“Kiss Me Down South” An Evening of Music and History

By Megan Willis
Elm Staff Writer

Tuesday, April 26 marked the anniversary of musician, author, and producer, Ned Sublette’s year in Chestertown.

Sponsored by the English department, Sublette shared his gifts of literature and music with the student body and Chestertown community.

He first arrived here last September and became the Washington College Patrick Henry Writing Fellow for 2010-2011. The Patrick Henry Writing Fellowship has the goal of encouraging reflection on the links between American history and contemporary culture, and to promote the art of historical writing.

Sublette’s time in Chestertown is now winding to a close, but he is sure to go out with a bang.

“I will miss Chestertown,” Sublette said. “I’ve had a great time here.”

He opened his final act with a reading from his new book, “The Year Before the Flood.”

“I was sitting in my New York apartment,” Sublette said.

He then proceeded to take his audience, a room of local faces, back to his southern youth in this memoir.

“I remember the play about slavery, where no one wanted to be the slave,” he said. “People in the South are very nostalgic about the past. They cling to it.”

The reading diversified and covered everything from Elvis to racism, in his true southern style.

“It’s not as popular as my first book,” he said, with a self-depreciating smile before transitioning to his second act: music.

Sublette is a quietly moving act with only his guitar and a chair, performing from his new album, “Kiss Me Down South.”

The gatherers munched on cheese and fruit, gathering to get copies of his newest book, while they said goodbye to a man who had, in every way, become their neighbor during his time here.

April 29, 2011
Volume LXXXI Issue 24

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