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2nd Shift Concert: Lonnie Holley

Doors open at 7:30pm and the show begins at approximately 8:00pm

Lonnie Holley is a self-taught sculptor and musician from Atlanta. His sculptures, constructed from found materials, are in the collections of The Whitney Museum, The Smithsonian and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 2012, at age 62, Holley made his debut as a recording artist. His improvised songs defy easy categorization, but their humanity, unconventional beauty and surprising catchiness have brought Holley critical acclaim. He has released two albums on the Dust-To-Digital Label, and performed with David Byrne, Daniel Lanois and Bill Cunningham and many others.

Holley was born on February 10, 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama, at the height of the Jim Crow era. His early life was chaotic. 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.

Since 1979, Holley has devoted his life to the practice of improvisational creativity. His art is born of struggle, hardship and a furious curiosity which manifests itself in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, performance, and sound.

Holley’s songs and lyrics are improvised on the spot and morph and evolve with every event, concert, and recording. No two songs, and no two shows, are ever the same. The layers of sound in his music are the result of decades of evolving experimentation.

2017 promises to be a busy year for Holley. In January, an exhibition of his art will be shown at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. In May, an exhibition entitled Thumbs Up for the Mothership (a two-artist show with Dawn DeDeaux) will premiere at MASS MoCA. In the summer he will be collaborating with Lee “Scratch” Perry on a project that will include visual art and performance, and that same summer, the exhibition of his art from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation will open at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His next album will also be released in 2017.

Beverages are included in the ticket price, non-alcoholic for everyone, and beer & wine to those 21+.



All Rendered Truth:

Mama’s Little Baby:


“Both records are prismatic, with Holley contemplating consumerism and cruelty, slavery and survival over arrangements that seem at once simple and surreal. Each of Holley’s stories and songs are gentle but genuinely concerned sermons, delivered from a pulpit flooded with neon air. On stage and in the studio, he improvises all of his lyrics, depending only on some themes jotted down or plucked from the stories he’s lived or learned during the last six decades. …. There is a truly alien aspect to Holley’s music, which engenders a disconnect between the past and present through its mere existence: Holley’s voice feels old, his wisdom earned and real. But the sounds and structures his songs embrace seem somehow futuristic, devoid of a need for steady chord progressions, dramatic resolution, or the momentum of verses and choruses.” –– Grayson Currin, Pitchfork

“Haunting vocals accompanied by rudimentary keyboard effects, progressing without any traditional song structure — no choruses, chord changes or consistent melody whatsoever... a raw voice plucked from a lost world, evoking the visceral authenticity of a crackling acetate…” –– Mark Binelli, New York Times

“The music he makes sounds like it comes from some other place. It's so elemental, so stark and ripped from the ground, there should be no mystery how his first record, last year's Just Before Music, got its title: it sounds old and draws on principles that have been long forgotten…. Keeping A Record of It has a droney, nocturnal waft, and his electric keyboard playing can sound like avant-garde music made by somebody obsessed with repetition and simplicity…. His singing suggests backwoods gospel testifying from some unnamed church of the swamp… Everywhere Holley's lyrics refer to slavery, the church and universal ecology. They are mystical and emphatic.” – RJ Smith, NPR