Spirituals to Hip Hop: the Social and Political Evolution of American Music

Join us on Monday, June 18 at 6:00 pm when Kevin Comtois will use recorded music, film clips and still images in this presentation that will trace the evolution of American music from the early slave spirituals, through the hugely popular minstrelsy in the late 19th century, to the blues and jazz that developed at the opening of the 20th Century, to the Rock n’ Roll that was created in the late 40’s and early 50’s, and ending with the various strains of American popular and topical music of the last thirty years that resulted from the evolution of rock and roll.

Space is limited, sign up required.

This program is funded by the Friends of the Amesbury Public Library.


Join us on Wednesday, June 6 at 7:00 for a concert with folk duo Hungrytown. Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson met in New York City, where they had already been performing regularly. Their introduction to folk music came when a close friend entrusted to them her collection of 1960’s folk albums and her guitar. Inspired by the grit and true-to-life experiences she heard in these traditional ballads, Hall was inspired to write the lyrics that later became her first songs, aided by Anderson’s flair for musical arrangement. In the winter of 2003, the duo quit their boring desk jobs, moved to the green hills of Vermont, and decided to pursue a full-time career as touring musicians.

They released their first CD, Hungrytown, in 2008; Any Forgotten Thing in 2011; and Further West in 2015. The couple continue to spend more than half of each year on the road, especially roads in North America, Europe and New Zealand. Hungrytown’s music has received extensive radio airplay worldwide and has appeared on several television shows, including the Independent Film Channel’s hit series, Portlandia.
This concert will take place outside in front of the Library, by the fountain. In case of inclement weather it will be inside the library downstairs.