Robert Jones and Matt Watroba Find Common Chords

Robert-Matt_Turtle-Hill_400px.jpgA concert by the Detroit musicians Robert Jones and Matt Watroba covers the gamut of traditional American music – blues and spirituals, field hollers and work songs – as well as some original compositions, early rock ‘n’ roll, R&B, and country. They consider it all “roots” music – music that America and the world have in common and can help bring people together.

Last here for the 2016 Turtle Hill Folk Festival, Jones & Watroba return for a Golden Link concert on Saturday, January 20 at 7:30 pm at the Rochester Christian Reformed Church. (Click here for concert details.)

Both have powerful voices and play a mean guitar, with Jones adding in some blues harmonica. Their music is exciting and energizing, conveying a message of mutual respect and diversity – which seems more important now than ever – with humor and musicality. And there will be lots of opportunities to sing along.

Reverend Robert Jones, Sr., is an inspirational singer, songwriter, storyteller, and self-taught award-winning multi-instrumentalist. He uses American roots music to champion the history, beauty, and power of our shared culture. A lifelong Detroiter, Jones has been performing professionally for nearly 30 years for festivals, schools, civil rights organizations, and churches.

Matt Watroba is known to many as the voice of folk music in Michigan at Detroit Public Radio, as well as Sing Out Radio Magazine and Folk Alley. Watroba has shared the stage with some of our greatest performers, such as Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Arlo Guthrie, Christine Lavin, Peter Yarrow, and Richard Thompson. He sings songs that you will feel and remember for a long time, and he is committed to inspiring the world to sing – one town at a time.

To hear Robert and Matt’s 11-minute history of roots music, from blues and gospel songs through bluegrass, doo-wop, and Elvis Presley (hips and all) from their showcase performance at the 2015 NERFA conference (which I was lucky enough to witness in person), watch this YouTube video:

And to see the rest of the Golden Link season – which includes concerts by John McCutcheon, RUNA, Matthew Byrne, and Robin & Linda Williams – visit the Golden Link website.

Keep on singing!

– Janice Hanson

Janice Hanson is Concert Chair of the Golden Link Folk Singing Society, which was founded in 1971 to present, promote, and preserve folk music in the Rochester area.


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