Wood River — This June at Wood River Library, Lee Murdock will present a program of music and narrative, shedding some entertaining light upon a lesser-known era in the history of North America.
The presentation, "Star Spangled Banner and the Struggle that Forged Two Nations" will take place on June 23 at 6:30pm at the Wood River Public Library, 326 E. Ferguson Avenue, Wood River.
In the summer of 1812, President James Madison declared war against Great Britain. Why? The British navy had been seizing or impressing cargo and crews of the American merchant fleet on the high seas. British agents had been encouraging Native Americans to rise up in rebellion against white American settlers. American interests coveted the vast expanse of the Canadian frontier, which remained in Britain's possession.
The War of 1812 contributed significantly toward defining the identities of the United States and Canada. The many songs composed during the war and its aftermath -- including our own national anthem -- express a broad range of Native American, white American, British, and Canadian perspectives. They demonstrate that perceptions of war and its repercussions can vary widely, depending on one's experiences of them.
Skilled guitarist and singer Lee Murdock performs several of these songs and provides commentary about them based on his extensive research.
Wood River Public Library is hosting Lee Murdock as part of their "Read to the Rhythm" Summer Reading Events. A variety of events and activities for children and adults run through mid-July. For more information, visit www.woodriverlibrary.org.
The event is being produced in part by the Illinois Humanities Council’s Road Scholars Speakers Bureau, a program that provides organizations statewide with affordable, entertaining, and thought-provoking humanities events for their communities. A roster of speakers, hailing from 16 different towns and cities across Illinois, present topics in history, culture, literature, music, politics, law, science, and many more.
Road Scholar Lee Murdock has uncovered a boundless body of music and stories in the Great Lakes. There is an amazing timelessness in this music. Great Lakes songs are made of hard word, hard living, ships that go down and ships that come in. Noted as a fluent instrumentalist, Murdock's musical influences span fifteen generations, combining ragtime, Irish, blues and folk styles with his flair for storytelling in songs. Making folk music for the modern era, Lee Murdock’s work is a documentary and also an anthem to the people who live, work, learn and play along the freshwater highways of North America.