Carnegie Hall presents Black Opry Revue Thursday, Feb. 23, at 7:30 p.m.Black Opry Revue is the touring company of the Black Opry, a collective supporting and promoting Black country, folk, blues, and Americana musicians. The Carnegie Hall performance features Lauren Napier, Justin Reid, Whitney Mongé, and Roberta Lea.
Never really having roots in one geographic location, Lauren Napier has tailored her many creative interests to suit her ever changing address. Writer,singer,cellist,model, and publicist are labels that can be indulged whilst traveling.
Over the last ten years, Lauren has been a writer for such outlets as Smash Magazine, Tinsel Tokyo, Berlin Beat, Sugarhooker, Music Zeitgeist, NPR Berlin, Tacoma Volcano, and many others. She has acted as a tour manager for both club and festival circuits, a booking agent for national tours, a programming director and station manager for Bowdoin College’s radio station, a publicist for large scale music industry campaigns, a print and runway model, and as an editor for various texts including screen plays, lyrics and news articles. Her current project is a collection of short stories and melodies.
Justin Reid, a powerful writer, singer and guitarist from Greensboro, North Carolina. His genre is “soul-folk,” capturing traditional storyteller elements while bringing in gospel vocal embellishments and dynamic rhythmic guitar. Calling up comparisons to John Legend, Sam Cooke, and John Mayer, he leans into these influences and more during his live performances. His songs of heartache and hope, alongside signature guitar rhythms and chords, make for his own “singer-songwriter meets R&B” style.
With a voice like cinnamon and a pen like butter, Roberta Lea is a rising artist, ready to give the world a taste of what she’s made of. Fellow artists have called her Hampton Roads’ best kept secret. It’s as though she’s a family recipe, kept hidden until now.
Fellow musicians have described Lea’s sound as “country-neo-pop.” As a millennial, it’s often quite difficult to pin her down to one genre. Her influences range from 1980’s RnB legends like Roberta Flack, Anita Baker and Sade, to pop 90s girl-power players like Alanis Morissette, Sheryl Crow, Shania Twain and everything in between.
Americana Soul, Singer-songwriter and guitarist, Whitney Mongé rounds out the group. She learned to capture the power of authenticity while honing her skills as a street performer. With or without elevation of a stage, each part of her performance, from the passion of her powerful, smoky voice to the intensity of a whispered lyric, draws listeners into an embrace within each truthful moment of song. Whitney was raised with rhythm and blues in her blood, and while growing up in the Pacific Northwest, her music is heavily influenced by the alternative rock and indie folk scene coining her own genre, Folk n’ Soul.
Guests are invited to come early for the free Mainstage Lounge Preshow Reception from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. in the Board Room. A cash bar and snacks will be available.
Tickets start at $23, and discounts are available for Carnegie Hall members, students, senior citizens, and military. To purchase tickets, call Carnegie Hall Box Office at 304-645-7917, visit www.carnegiehallwv.org, or stop by at 611 Church Street, Lewisburg. Carnegie Hall Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
This engagement of Black Opry Revue is made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the WV Division of Culture and History, with approval from the WV Commission on the Arts.