Americana in Nathalia

By John Lewis

The moving and powerful sounds of the American songbook from slavery spirituals and the civil war to the folk movement of the 1960s and ’70s will be heard at Nathalia’s G.R.A.I.N Store this weekend.

Led by Picola-based musician and artist Linden Lancaster, the performance of Americana will include the 20-strong Nathalia and District Community Choir, accompanist Marie Martin, and three-piece Melbourne folk band Rare Child.

Ms Lancaster said this weekend’s two performances of Americana was a follow-up to a 2017 concert of Celtic music performed at the Blake St arts hub in 2017.

‘‘So much of American music is inspired by the migrations of Irish and Scottish people in the 19th century and afterwards — we thought it would be wonderful to stage another concert of historical tunes,’’ Ms Lancaster said.

She said the shows would include slave songs and spirituals sung a cappella (no instrumental accompaniment), with slave memoirs read out accompanied by historic photos.

American Civil War tunes such as Shenandoah, All Night All Day, and I’ll Fly Away will be performed accompanied by Rare Child comprising Erin and Lachlan Heycox on fiddle and guitar and double bass player Lachlan Gordon.

Upbeat hoe-down style tunes such as Bought Me a Cat and Pretty Little Girl with the Red Dress On will also be performed.

Ms Lancaster said choir members had been working hard on the unique collection of songs.

‘‘This is a wonderful opportunity for them to perform with Melbourne musicians,’’ Ms Lancaster said.

Americana will be performed on Saturday from 7.30pm, and on Sunday from 2pm.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children and pensioners. Tickets are available online at www.trybooking.com/BBKZD, at Nathalia Post Office or at The G.R.A.I.N Store, 24 Blake St.