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Mussels, Moonshine & Music
September 29, 2019 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Mussels, Moonshine, and Music: Mississippi Valley Migrant Life in the Early Twentieth Century with Illinois Humanities Road Scholar, Dennis Strounghmatt. Join us for a voyage to discover the work of the river-based mussel shellers, moonshiners, and musicians that worked across Illinois in the late 19th century and early 20th century. This performance and presentation uses artifacts, photos, oral histories and fiddle music. Sunday, September 29; doors open and pie served at 1:30, program at 2:00 pm
Western Illinois Museum 201 South Lafayette Street Macomb, IL 61455 309.837.2750 email@example.com
The presentation will introduce audiences to mussel shellers, moonshiners, and musicians that worked across Illinois in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Audiences will join Dennis on an exciting voyage of discovery of the Midwest and upper South that once was home to thousands of Americans. Stroughmatt brings to life their work on the rivers as sharecroppers, fishermen, mussel shellers, button cutters, traveling minstrels, and even moonshiners that was the backbone of industry in cities like Muscatine and Cairo. Music was an import part of river life, too with influences from Memphis and St. Louis being passed on along the river. The programs will shed light on the role the river played in everyday life in our region.
About Dennis Stroughmatt
From the Wabash River region of southeastern Illinois, Dennis Stroughmatt was taught to play fiddle by a mixture of tradition bearing stylists including southeast Missouri French Creole fiddlers Roy Boyer and Charlie Pashia in the tradition of their fathers and the southern Illinois Western Swing fiddle legend Wade Ray. He became an adopted son of the French Midwest Creoles who settled near St. Louis and Cahokia by playing at weekly house parties or “bouillons” and later made journeys that have included studies in Louisiana, Quebec, and Tennessee. Dennis finds himself in a unique position as one who can speak knowledgeably of and play in a variety of French Creole and Old-time Western musical styles. With a master’s in history from SIU-Carbondale and a Certificate of French Quebecois Studies from The University of Quebec, Dennis is not only a musician but a passionate educator who entertains and teaches his audiences at the same time. Speaking engagements, residencies and performances include The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, The Library of Congress, The Kennedy Center, The Missouri Folklore Society, and Festival Acadian in Lafayette, LA.
The program is made possible in part with funding from the Illinois Humanities. Illinois Humanities is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Illinois General Assembly [through the Illinois Arts Council Agency], as well as by contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations.
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed by speakers, program participants, or audiences do not necessarily reflect those of the NEH, Illinois Humanities, our partnering organizations, or our funders.
The Western Illinois Museum’s Our Front Porch is located indoors and is located at 201 South Lafayette Street, one block south of Macomb’s Courthouse Square. For more information, contact the Western Illinois Museum by phone at 309.837.2750, text at 309.837.2613, or firstname.lastname@example.org.