Sparky and Rhonda Rucker deliver an uplifting presentation of toe-tapping songs spiced with humor, history, and tall tales. Their music includes a variety of old-time blues, Appalachian music, slave songs, and spirituals as well as originals, and they accompany themselves with finger-style picking and bottleneck blues guitar, old-time banjo, blues harmonica, piano, spoons, and bones. Rhonda is also a children’s author, and her picture book, Make a Change, tells the story of a boy’s surprise at his first civil rights demonstration.
Over forty years of performing, Sparky and Rhonda have performed at the Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival as well as NPR’s On Point, Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, and Morning Edition. Their recording, Treasures & Tears, was nominated for a W.C. Handy Award, and their music is also included on the Grammy-nominated anthology, Singing Through the Hard Times. The duo’s most recent recording is Down by the Riverside.