Published on March 23rd, 2015 | by TLV News2
Lonnie Holley Playing Two Free Shows in Oxford (3/25 and 3/26)
The inimitable Lonnie Holley will be performing twice in Oxford ! You can see him at The End Of All Music on Wednesday, March 25 at 5:30 pm—free beer and refreshments, and he’ll be on hand after he performs to sign records and body parts. The next day, March 26, he’ll be featured on Thacker Mountain Radio, happening at The Lyric Theatre in conjunction with Oxford Conference for the Book. Thacker Mountain begins at 6 pm. Both performances are free.
Holley was born on February 10, 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama. From the age of five, Holley worked various jobs: picking up trash at a drive-in movie theatre, washing dishes, and cooking. He lived in a whiskey house, on the state fairgrounds, and in several foster homes. His early life was chaotic and Holley was never afforded the pleasure of a real childhood.
Since 1979, Holley has devoted his life to the practice of improvisational creativity. His art and music, born out of struggle, hardship, but perhaps more importantly, out of furious curiosity and biological necessity, has manifested itself in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, performance, and sound. Holley’s sculptures are constructed from found materials in the oldest tradition of African American sculpture. Objects, already imbued with cultural and artistic metaphor, are combined into narrative sculptures that commemorate places, people, and events.
Holley did not start making and performing music in a studio nor does his creative process mirror that of the typical musician. His music and lyrics are improvised on the spot and morph and evolve with every event, concert, and recording. In Holley’s original art environment, he would construct and deconstruct his visual works, repurposing their elements for new pieces. This often led to the transfer of individual narratives into the new work creating a cumulative composite image that has depth and purpose beyond its original singular meaning. The layers of sound in Holley’s music, likewise, are the result of decades of evolving experimentation. Just Before Music and the follow-up Keeping a Record of It were released on the Dust-to-Digital label in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Come to the show to find out what “just before music” sounds like.