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Gibson To Present ‘Strange Things Happening’ Tribute To Sister Rosetta Tharpe

The event takes place at Austin TX blues venue Antone’s during the 2023 SXSW.

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Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Photo courtesy of Gibson Guitars

Gibson Guitars, the iconic American instrument brand, has partnered with LUCK Presents, and the beloved Austin blues venue Antone’s for a special concert “Strange Things Happening: A Tribute to Sister Rosetta Tharpe” during SXSW 2023 to celebrate the music icon Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the Godmother of Rock n’ Roll. A trailblazing performer, Sister Rosetta Tharpe forged a style all her own that influenced countless musicians, including Elvis, Johnny Cash, Etta James, Little Richard, and more.

A mid-day gospel brunch, “Strange Things Happening: A Tribute to Sister Rosetta Tharpe” will begin on Sunday, March 19, at 11:00am at LUCK Ranch and feature a parade of artists alongside an all-star band finale to honor the legendary SRT including Amythyst Kiah, Abraham Alexander, Betty Harris, Ruthie Foster, Valerie June, Thee Sacred Souls, Gypsy Mitchell, Cookie McGee, as well as Adrian Reed and Anointed Praise, and more. Binky Griptite and his orchestra will be the band leader and MC for the SRT tribute. To purchase tickets to the tribute event, visit the official website.

Shout, Sister, Shout! Sister Rosetta Tharpe

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Born in Orlando, FL in 1939, legendary deep soul vocalist Betty Harris’s father Reverend Rufus Crews was a booking agent for gospel artists Sam Cooke, The Blind Boys of Alabama, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. “Sister Rosetta Tharpe was the first artist that encouraged me to keep singing,” says Betty Harris. “Later, she became the godmother to my son. This show gives me the opportunity to say thank you!”

“Sister Rosetta Tharpe is the Alma Mater to every rock, blues and soul fan,” says Abraham Alexander. “Every musician playing today is a biproduct of the doors that SRT has knocked down and the grounds she paved. She is a spirit that lives on today in every guitar player whether they know it or not, and it is an honor to celebrate her legacy.”

2023 marks 50 years since the world lost Sister Rosetta Tharpe and March 20 would have been her 108th birthday. Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s immense talent and confidence arrived during an era when women, and especially women of color, had no voice. An era where no woman dared play guitar at the front of the stage, let alone front a solo act. No woman except Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Listen to the best of Sister Rosetta Tharpe on Apple Music and Spotify.

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