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Live Music: Sparky and Rhonda Rucker at Cave of the Mounds Discovery Center

April 5, 2019 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm


Cave of the Mounds hosts musicians Sparky and Rhonda Rucker, who bring a repertoire of songs culled from careers promoting civil and environmental rights through song and story. Tickets are are available at the door for this event sponsored by Southwest Wisconsin Area Progressives, Farley Center for Peace, Justice & Sustainability and the Madison Folk Music Society.

Sparky and Rhonda Rucker perform throughout the United States as well as overseas, singing songs and telling stories from the American folk tradition. They are internationally recognized as leading musicians, authors and storytellers. They accompany themselves with finger-style picking and bottleneck blues guitar, blues harmonica, old-time banjo, piano, spoons and bones.

Sparky and Rhonda are sure to deliver an uplifting presentation of toe-tapping music spiced with humor, history and tall tales. They take their audience on an educational and emotional journey that ranges from poignant stories of slavery and war to an amusing rendition of a Brer Rabbit tale or their witty commentaries on current events. Their music includes a variety of old-time blues, Appalachian music, slave songs, Civil War music, spirituals, work songs, ballads, civil rights music and their own original compositions.

You will hear soulful blues licks, heart-rending gospel, knee-slapping good rhythms and bottleneck guitar slide. Over 50 years, Sparky and Rhonda have performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival as well as on NPR’s “On Point,” “Prairie Home Companion,” “Mountain Stage” and “Morning Edition.” Their recording, “Treasures & Tears,” was nominated for a W.C. Handy Award, and their music is also included on the Grammy-nominated anthology “Singing Through the Hard Times.”

Earlier in the day, thanks to a generous grant from the Foundation, the two musicians will perform for the eighth-grade classes at Mount Horeb Middle School. The performance will be a presentation of “Swing Low, Sweet Harriet” based on Harriet Tubman’s work as a spy and scout during the Civil War when she helped lead African -American soldiers on the Combahee River raid in South Carolina. In this program, Rhonda and Sparky blend storytelling and music to help students learn about the Gullah Culture, Harriet Tubman and the Civil War. The study guide that accompanies this program gives vocabulary words, background history, writing exercises, discussion topics and recommended books to help expand learning opportunities. The presentation is based on Rhonda Rucker’s award-winning historical novel for young readers.


April 5, 2019
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
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Cave of the Mounds
2975 Cave of the Mounds Rd.
Blue Mounds, WI 53517 United States
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(608) 437-3038
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