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The Arts

Next Stage Bandwagon Summer Series at Living Memorial Park features Marquise Knox and Seth Walker

Advance tickets ($20) are available at nextstagearts.org. Tickets are $25 at the gate, with children under 12 admitted free.

BRATTLEBORO—On Sunday, June 5, at 5 p.m., the Next Stage Bandwagon Summer Series presents a twin bill at Living Memorial Park, pairing Marquise Knox and Seth Walker for a double dose of deep blues, roots, and rhythm.

Born in St. Louis, Marquise Knox hails from a musical family deeply rooted in the blues. He learned to play guitar from his grandmother Lillie, and also played with his uncle Clifford, who was a major influence in Marquise’s life.

According to a news release, Knox spent his early teenage years in St. Louis “mentoring under the late, great blues legend, NEA Heritage Fellowship recipient, and Grammy Award winner Henry James Townsend.”

Marquise has performed with some of America’s most notable blues performers, including blues legends B.B. King, Pinetop Perkins, and David “Honeyboy” Edwards (the latter two also NEA Heritage Fellows). He has performed at dozens of festivals, and toured throughout Europe.

Marquise was reportedly a crowd favorite on the “Bluesmasters at the Crossroads” series, according to organizers, and earned approval from elder blues artists. “His evident talent, along with his deep knowledge of the blues and vast respect for his elders, made it clear that Marquise had something special.”

Knox’s debut album Manchild was nominated for a Blues Music Award for Best New Artist Debut. The album was recorded when he was 16, with guitarist Michael Burks and his band. The release received a Living Blues’ Best Debut Artist Award and a Blues Music Award nomination for Best Debut Artist.

His second album, Here I Am, includes a little help from Wayne Sharp of Michael Burk’s band sitting in on B-3 and piano. The tracks include nine originals and three covers of Marquise’s favorite Muddy Waters tunes.

Over the last decade, Seth Walker has been recognized as a “three-dimensional talent who combines a gift for melody and lyric alongside a rich, Gospel-drenched, Southern-inflected voice with a true blue knack for getting around on the guitar,” according to organizers.

In 2022, Walker will release, I Hope I Know, his eleventh studio album. Produced by Jano Rix of The Wood Brothers, the collection was written and recorded during the pandemic. “Each song burns bright with what fans have come to love about Walker: stylistically diverse influences, pure soul in his delivery, contemplative lyrics, and musical movement both geographic and spiritual,” states a news release.

Walker has used his experiences living in Asheville, Nashville, New Orleans, and Austin, continues the news release, “soaking up the sounds and absorbing the musical lineage of these varied places.

“With a bluesman’s respect for roots and tradition, coupled with an appreciation for—and successful melding of—contemporary songwriting, Seth sublimely incorporates a range of styles with warmth and grace.”

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Originally published in The Commons issue #665 (Wednesday, May 25, 2022). This story appeared on page B8.

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