15th August 2024 7:30 pm - 11:30 pm Ramsgate Music Hall - CT11 8NJ

We are truly honoured to welcome the legendary Lonnie Holley to Ramsgate on Thursday 15th August!

An extraordinary multi-disciplinary artist storied for his deprived upbringing in 1950s Alabama, Holley has been a key trailblazer for improvised music. Last year’s record ‘Oh Me Oh My’ is an instant classic, featuring illustrious collaborators like Michael Stipe, Sharon Van Etten, Moor Mother and Bon Iver

“Another electrifying blast of political exorcism and spiritual redemption from the American South’s septuagenarian survivor hero” – MOJO

‘Oh Me Oh My’ is both elegant and ferocious. It is stirring in one moment and a balm the next. It details histories both global and personal. Lonnie Holley’s harrowing youth and young manhood in the Jim Crow South are well-told at this point — his sale into a different home as a child for just a bottle of whiskey; his abuse at the infamous Mount Meigs correctional facility for boys; the destruction of his art environment by the Birmingham airport expansion. But Holley’s music is less a performance of pain endured and more a display of perseverance, of relentless hope. Intricately and lovingly produced by Jacknife Lee (The Cure, REM, Modest Mouse) there is both kinetic, shortwave funk that call to mind Brian Eno’s ‘My Life in the Bush of Ghosts’ and the deep space satellite sounds of Eno’s ambient works. But it’s a tremendous achievement in sonics all its own. It’s also an achievement in the refinement of Holley’s impressionistic, stream-of-consciousness lyrics. On the title track which deals with mutual human understanding, Holley is able to make a profound point as ever in far fewer phrases: “The deeper we go the more chances there are for us to understand the oh-me’s and understand the oh-my’s.” Illustrious collaborators like Michael Stipe, Sharon Van Etten, Moor Mother and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver serve as not only choirs of angels and co-pilots to give Lonnie’s message flight but as proof of Lonnie Holley as a galvanizing, iconoclastic force across the music community.

Since 1979, Holley has devoted his life to the practice of improvisational creativity. His art and music, born out of struggle, hardship, but perhaps more importantly, out of furious curiosity and biological necessity, has manifested itself in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, performance, music, and filmmaking. Holley’s sculptures are constructed from found materials in the oldest tradition of African American sculpture. Objects, already imbued with cultural and artistic metaphor, are combined into narrative sculptures that commemorate places, people, and events. His work is now in collections of major museums throughout the world (The Museums of Fine Arts, San Francisco; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Smithsonian American Art Museum; The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and many others), on permanent display in the United Nations, and been displayed in the White House Rose Garden.

“Like so much of Holley’s music, although Oh Me Oh My is profoundly personal, it’s also given over to a kind of spiritual service. His abilities here are never in doubt”UNCUT

“Another uniquely memorable record, encapsulating its creator’s restless spirit”MOJO