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Alvin Youngblood Hart to perform on
first night of Delta Blues Symposium

March Alvin Youngblood Hart5, 2007 -- In conjunction with Delta Blues Symposium XIII: The Sixties, ASU’s English & Philosophy Department is honored to welcome blues musician Alvin Youngblood Hart, who will kick off the year’s events with a solo performance on Thursday, March 29, at 8 p.m. in the Student Union Auditorium. As are all Delta Blues Symposium events, the concert is free and open to the public.

rn in Oakland, California, in 1963, Hart’s earliest influences were his older relatives who played country blues in Mississippi. He grew up moving all over the United States, eventually serving in the National Guard as a seaman on the Lower Mississippi River. He later performed in Europe as well as at the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena. Since his recording debut in 1996 with his all-acoustic “Big Mama’s Door,” Hart has continued to perform all over the world. 

A devoted follower of Gatemouth Brown, Hart’s eclectic approach to music defies simple categorization. Hart’s music has drawn comparisons to such diverse artists as Leadbelly, Spade Cooley, Led Zeppelin, and Thin Lizzy. Besides acoustic guitar, Hart also plays electric guitar, banjo, and mandolin.

After receiving the 1997 W.C. Handy Award for Best New Artist and two Living Blues Awards, Hart released “Territory” in 1998. “Territory,” a tribute to all forms of American music, earned him the Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll Award for Best Blues Album. In 1999, Hart joined producer Jim Dickinson to record “Start with the Soul,” introducing a new kind of southern rock. The New York Times considered “Start with the Soul” one of the top ten releases of 2000; the album also earned acclaim as the BBC’s blues record of the year.

Hart shared Living Blues Magazine’s Best Guitarist Award with Big Jack Johnson in 2001. In 2003, Hart received a Grammy nomination and toured the world as a member of a long-running jazz poetry ensemble that provided musical support to Bay Area poet Ishmael Reed. Hart continues to tour the globe as a solo artist and with his Mighty Muscle Theory Band. In 2005, Hart received a Grammy Award for his contribution to “Beautiful Dreamer—The Songs of Stephen Foster.”

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