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Singer Narissa Bond, known for her deeply moving songs crafted from life and family experiences, will perform with fellow musicians as Narissa Bond and Company for the Hampton History Museum’s monthly music series on Wednesday, September 20, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Noted for her warm soprano voice, Bond will preview new music from her upcoming CD, “False Gods.” She will be joined by bassist David Mills, percussionist Charlton Phaneuf, and Gwen Frederick on guitar, ukulele and vocals.
Bond’s mother urged her to tell family stories. She took that to heart, saying “When I write, those voices come to me.” And it’s a clear voice, like the one in “Road to Berea,” about her great-grandfather James, born into slavery, who walked 75 miles to Berea, Kentucky, where he attended college as a free man. His mother gave him a cow to pay for the tuition. Other stories flow through her songs, some that are personal, and others with lyrics so deep, they feel like family tales.
You can hear Bond’s idols in her music, from Joni Mitchell’s finely crafted songs, and from Tracy Chapman, a sharp rhythmic and melodic sense. But Bond is her own woman. She studied classical music, and jazz guitar, and there are elements of that in her work, as well as a nod to the blues and a strong connection to contemporary folk.
She had a passionate fan base early on. Her first album was recorded in the 1990s, partly with studio time won in a song contest, and then finished with studio hours donated by fans and friends. Her albums are filled to the brim with her poignant songs, from “Celia,” the true story of a slave who was executed after killing her master, to “Wishbone,” an uplifting song about the power of dreams told through the story of her mother’s father -- a beekeeper, carpenter, and farmer:
You can put your dreams upon the shelf
Hold them close to your heart and tell nobody else
Or break the wishbones you’ve been saving
And let your dreams fly free
There’s a delicately fingerpicked ukulele in “Beyond the End of Time,” a touching song written for her niece, and a bluesy guitar in the life-affirming “The River.” “With These Two Hands” features her rich voice against a cascade of guitar arpeggios, gentle yet strong, she tells us “With these two hands we can save the world.”
Admission is free to museum members, $5.00 for non-members. Beer and wine will be available for purchase from La Bodega Hampton. The event is held in the museum’s Great Hall. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
The Hampton History Museum is located at 120 Old Hampton Lane in Downtown Hampton. There is free parking in the garage across the street from the museum. For more information, call 757-/727-1102.