This article originally appeared in the Carmi Times.
Carmi, Ill. — The White County Historical Society, in cooperation with the Illinois Humanities Council, will explore America’s roots music as it host the local showing of “New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music,” a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition.
“New Harmonies” will be on view beginning May 29 and continuing through July 10 at the L. Haas Store Museum on Main Street in downtown Carmi. Hours will be 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.
“When you stop and listen, you quickly realize that music is all around us – at a local festival, at a dance hall on a Saturday night, or on your radio or .mp3 player,” said a historical society news release.
“Whether you’re hearing blues, country western, folk or gospel, American roots music reveals the American story – peoples reshaping themselves in a new and changing world.
“As Americans from a variety of heritages shared cultural influences, musicians found new ways to play unique sounds learned from new neighbors on traditional instruments. The inevitable intermingling of musical influences created exciting new sounds – new American music.”
The local society was chosen by the Illinois Humanities Council to host “New Harmonies” as part of the Museum on Main Street project, a national, state and local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations. The exhibition will tour six communities in Illinois through Jan. 23, 2011.
Through a selection of photographs, recordings, instruments, lyrics and artist profiles, “New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music” will explore the distinct cultural identities of American roots music, “as rich and eclectic as our country itself,” said the news release. Other musical genres profiled include zydeco, Tejano, bluegrass and klezmer.