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The original item was published from 9/24/2020 4:33:45 PM to 10/19/2020 1:47:15 PM.

News Flash

Hampton History Museum

Posted on: September 24, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Virtual Concert: Jackie Merritt and Resa Gibbs - Wednesday, October 21, 7 pm

Square Rona Cohen 2017

Grab a seat on our virtual front porch to share an hour with the two local members of the acclaimed M.S.G. Acoustic Blues Trio, Jackie Merritt and Resa Gibbs. Renowned as the premier purveyors of Piedmont Blues tradition, they are adept musicians and songwriters. These engaging performers have been known to raise the roof with old-fashioned house party tunes, make you laugh with their witty originals, and then make you weep with blues ballads!

After the event airs live, it can be found under the museum’s Facebook Videos tab, and later the video will be added to the museum’s YouTube playlist.

About the artists

Jackie Merritt is a multi-instrumentalist (harmonica, guitar, bass, uke and bones) and a multitalented songwriter and visual artist. In 2010, she, along with Resa Gibbs, was accepted into the Library of Congress “Americana Women: Roots Musicians – Women’s Tales and Tunes” as part of the MusicBox Project collection (some of which has been catalogued in the American Folklife Center).

In 2015, she had an original song featured on the first-ever internationally acclaimed CD, “Blues Harp Women” which celebrates female harmonica players. It was produced by Ruf Records, out of Germany.

Besides her dual activities as a visual and musical artist, Jackie is a charter member of the Natchel’ Blues Network, an organization formed in 1984. With the help of the NBN, for thirteen years, she managed the Annual Hampton Acoustic Blues Revival. When John Cephas passed in 2009, she changed the name to the Annual Hampton Acoustic Blues Revival “A Tribute to John Cephas”.

Before joining M.S.G., she performed in several blues bands. One of her favorite bands was an electric Chicago Style Blues band, “Blues Xchange”, where she played bass for nearly 26 years.

A music instructor of harmonica and bones, as well as a visual arts instructor of painting/drawing, Jackie has received several prestigious awards for her contributions to the Arts/Music scene in the Hampton Roads area.

Musically, she is deeply influenced by Elizabeth Cotten, Etta Baker and Phil Wiggins.

Jackie is a Renaissance woman.

Resa Gibbs- lead vocalist and percussionist for M.S.G. Acoustic Blues Trio (a trio steeped in the Piedmont Blues tradition), is known for her warm, soulful and heartfelt sound. A sought-after vocal instructor, she was honored by the opportunity to instruct/lead blues vocal performance classes at Augusta Heritage Center’s Blues & Swing Week in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

In the summer of 2008 and 2009, Resa taught Blues Singing during Country Blues Week at Centrum, Port Townsend, WA. She has also been an assistant instructor at Augusta’s “Blues Week” gospel mini-class (Elkins, WV). In 2010, she, along with Jackie Merritt, was accepted into the Library of Congress “Americana Women: Roots Musicians – Women’s Tales and Tunes” as part of the MusicBox Project collection (some of which has been catalogued in the American Folklife Center).

Resa has made vocal contributions including backing vocals on several award-winning singer/songwriter’s albums/CDs. Most notable, she sang background vocals on Gaye Adegbalola’s Bitter Sweet Blues CD, produced by Rory Block and recorded by Alligator Records.

On the 2008 CD project by Gaye Adegbalola entitled Gaye Without Shame, Resa sang a featured duet with Gaye and added backing vocals to several tracks. This CD was produced by Blues Music Award winner, Bob Margolin. She performed with Gaye, Bob Margolin, Jason Ricci and other nominated artists at the 2009 Blues Music Awards in Memphis. Resa also contributed background vocals on award-winning singer/songwriter, Julie Clark’s Feel Free and Change Your Mind. Resa’s latest vocal contributions include backing vocals on Lawrence Lambert’s Soul Folk, 2012; Bobby “BlackHat” Walters’ Hot Blues Mess, 2014; Karl Werne’s This Little Notebook, 2015; Roddy Barnes’ ODD, 2015; and Kim Capps’ uplifting CD Together, We Rise, released in Oct. 2017, which was produced by Resa who also guided vocal arrangements. In Feb. 2018, Resa provided vocals and vocal arrangements for Bobby “Blackhat” Walters’ chilling single, “Run Baby Run.” With a focus on fundamental humanity, this song is a desperate plea to stop the slaughter of mass shootings.

Excerpt from an article on Acoustic, Folk and Country Blues (June 18, 2015): ‘The lead singer Resa Gibbs is not just one of the best singers in the Piedmont region, but in the blues today, period. Part church gospel, spiritual, blues and soul, she has the voice that enthralls so powerfully it would take a heart of stone not to be moved….’ Frank Matheis

Photo: Ronna Cohen


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