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Listen to tunes under the Harvest Moon

Posted: September 2, 2011 3:31 p.m.
Updated: September 5, 2011 5:00 a.m.

One hundred and seventy three Harvest Moons ago the Cherokee Nation, including many from the Carolinas, made ready to join the other Southeastern tribes who had been forced by the Federal Government to relinquish their lands and relocate to Oklahoma.  Some 4,000 of the 20,000 Cherokee died that bitter cold winter of 1838 while making the grueling 1,000-mile journey that became known as the “Trail of Tears.”

Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site will present its first Harvest Moon Concert on Sept. 24 from 7 to 10 p.m. (gates open at 6:30 p.m.).  To be held in the garden behind Kershaw-Cornwallis House, admission is $15 adults, $13 seniors and military, $4 ages 6-12, and under 6, free. Advance tickets, available at Historic Camden, are $12 adults and $10 seniors and military through Sept. 23.

The concert will follow the format of Historic Camden’s Jammin’ in July Music Festival with a few variations.  Danny Riddick with Naked Eye Productions will produce the outdoor concert (limited seating in the Kershaw House basement if it rains).  Lawn chairs, blankets, kids, and coolers are welcome, but no glass bottles, tents or pets, please. Free parking and an on-site food vendor are available. The variations:  only a few bands/solo acts will perform; the concert will start later/end earlier; the music will be mostly acoustic, often folk, roots or Americana; the Kershaw Garden will provide an historic, intimate setting; and September is usually a lot cooler!

Wanting to set the right tone for future Harvest Moon Concerts, Joanna Craig, director of Historic Camden, and Riddick decided award-winning Cherokee recording artist Michael Jacobs, currently from Wisconsin, would be the ideal main performer for the fledgling event for a couple of reasons.

“We like our events to reflect on our history and certainly the Cherokees were here in the 18th century,” Craig said. 
In fact, Historic Camden Part One mentions that the Cherokees ceded territory to the State in 1775 that included future Kershaw and neighboring counties and that possibly the large Indian mounds along the Wateree River belonged to them or their ancestors.

Riddick adds, “Acoustic, solo act, Americana -- Michael Jacobs fits the bill with a great mix of Native American, roots rock, pop, and folk that is compelling.”

Initially a rock band songwriter and guitarist in Nashville, Tenn., in the late 1990s Michael Jacobs abandoned his electric guitar after attending a Native American powwow in the Southwest. The encounter, especially with fellow Cherokees, led Jacobs to embark on a “journey of learning about being a Native American” -- the bad, the sad and the good.

When Jacob returned to the stage, he brought with him an acoustic guitar, a Native American flute, and thought-provoking songs that reflected the paths of his journey and those of his ancestors.  Since then, his powerful raspy voice and evocative songs have been heard in numerous college settings, museums, powwows, festivals and fairs spanning 34 states and Canada.

Jacob’s debut solo CD, “Sacred Nation,” won the 2003 Native American Music Award for Best Independent Recording. His follow up, “They Come Dancing,” was nominated in 2004.  “The Journey,” received a 2006 Indian Summer Award and two Native American music awards and “Mystery,” received the 2008 Indian Summer Music Awards for Best Rock Recording and Best Pop Recording. Samples of his music may be heard online at www.sacrednation.com and his CDs will be available for purchase at the concert.

Harvest Moon’s special guest band, performing from 7:10 to 8 p.m., will be founding members of The Mobros band, Morris brothers Kelly (lead vocals and guitar) and Patrick (drums and vocals). The brothers currently reside in Camden and are half Trinidadian.

According to Patrick, the young musicians started out playing separately then joined forces to produce and perform “Shake,” an instant hit with their classmates. Soon performing to Columbia audiences, they added a third musician to give their sound, a memorable mix of “Funky Blues & Latin Soul with a Trini Back Bone,” some weight.

These days The Mobros perform mostly as a three-man brotha band with bassist Zach Slaughter of Columbia (both Kelly and Zach attend the University of South Carolina School of Music).  Their website, http://themobros.com, features some of their songs and copies of The Mobros CDs will be on sale Saturday night.

Be sure to save the date for the  Harvest Moon Concert -- another revolutionary idea that keeps the light shining brightly on Camden’s history.

Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site is located at 222 Broad St., Camden, 1.4 miles from I-20 Exit 98.  For information call 432-9841, e-mail hiscamden@truvista.net or visit www.historic-camden.net.

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