“Richard Johnston: Hill Country Troubadour,” my documentary about the amazing street musician and one-man-band Richard Johnston, will be shown on November 29th at the Don Gibson Theater in Shelby, North Carolina. The special screening will be a part of the state of North Carolina’s celebration hosting the Smithsonian Institution’s “New Harmonies” traveling exhibit.
The exhibit commemorates the legacy of American music with interactive kiosks devoted to jazz, the blues, R&B, bluegrass, country western, zydeco, Cajun, Tejano, klezmer, folk, and gospel. It traces the emergence of such genres to African influences and the traditions of early European immigrants to North America. New Harmonies “tells a new American story” with displays of vintage sheet music, photographs, and instruments such as the dulcimer, banjo, diddley bow, spoons, washboard, and drums. A listening station provides an opportunity to experience music firsthand with legendary performers such as B.B. King, Joan Baez, Woody Guthrie, Mahalia Jackson, Bob Dylan, and Earl Scruggs.
New Harmonies is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.