Renowned blues artist to perform at Patten Performance Series

By Sara Serkownek, Chattanooga, Tenn., — Five-time Blues Music Award winner Rory Block will perform at the UTC Fine Arts Center on Feb. 24.

Block has dedicated her life to not only playing, but also understanding the blues. Block strives to recreate the sounds of the original Delta blues by performing acoustically.

“It will literally be Rory and her guitar,” said Bob Boyer, director of the Patten Performance Series. Boyer said that he is also hoping that she will share some of the stories that are behind the songs, as she has studied the music extensively.

“She’s got the scholarship, she’s put the time in to really learn about this music and she’s got the chops, from a playing standpoint,” Boyer said.

Boyer stressed that this concert is not just for people that already know and listen to the blues, and that this concert is a great introduction to the genre.

“If you want to know something about where American popular music has come from,” Boyer said. “These country blues, Delta blues—whatever you want to call them—that she’s so familiar with, that she studies so much and knows so well, they’re one of the main roots to the tree of American popular music.”

Chloe Jenkins, senior from Kingsport said, “I think it’s really exciting that Chattanooga is able to bring in so many great artists of different genres.”

Block is famous within her genre. She has played with many of the great blues artists such as Reverend Gary Davis, Son House and Mississippi John Hurt.

“This is something that we try to do with the Patten Series is feature the absolute best of the best in whatever genre we’re doing,” Boyer said. “Sometimes those genres aren’t as well-known, may not be as capable of making money—it’s not like booking Katy Perry—but they’re just as important.”

The concert costs $10 for students with a valid UTC I.D. Faculty and staff tickets cost $18. Although many tickets have already sold, Boyer said that there will still be seats available on the night of the concert, so students should feel free to buy tickets then. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Roland Hayes Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center.

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