|If you are looking for the best songs and stories for
let the words and music surround you with the wonder & magic of A Gentle Wind
an absolute must to see Sparky in concert!"
U. UTAH PHILLIPS
In Tennessee is also available as part of the Favorite Songs 4 Pack along with
Photo by A. Marc Shamblin
sings songs and tells stories from the American tradition accompanying himself on guitar,
banjo, and spoons. SPARKY grew up in
Knoxville, Tennessee and began playing guitar at age eleven. He was active in the Civil
Rights Movement, playing freedom songs at rallies, marches, and sit-ins, alongside other
folksingers such as Guy Carawan and Pete Seeger.
During Sparky's career as a folksinger and social activist, he has been on the boards of Sing Out! magazine, the John Henry Memorial Foundation, and the Southern Folk Cultural Revival Project (SFCRP). He also toured throughout the South with the SFCRP for several years with such luminaries as Johnny Shines, Olabelle Reed, Nimrod Workman, Hedy West, Mike Seeger, and Bessie Jones & the Georgia Sea Island Singers.
|Sparky's early blues mentors include Rev. Pearly Brown (who taught Duane Allman how to play bottleneck-style guitar), Buddy Moss (who taught Blind Boy Fuller), and Johnny Shines (who traveled with blues legend Robert Johnson). He also picked up pointers from Babe Stovall, Big Joe Williams, John Jackson, Robert Jr. Lockwood, and many others. The legendary "Blues Queen" Victoria Spivey pushed his career in the 1970s when Sparky joined the Spivey recording family. Sparkys expert blues and bottleneck style of guitar playing makes him a popular teacher at folk music camps and schools such as Common Ground on the Hill in Maryland and the Augusta Heritage Center in West Virginia.|
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