Today, The Black Legacy Project, a musical celebration of Black History, releases “Rise Up” from the debut album Black Legacy Project Vol. 1, out September 22nd. “Rise Up” is an original composition, created and performed by a diverse group of musicians in The Berkshires area of Western Massachusetts. Listen to the moving “Rise Up” HERE.
The Black Legacy Project launched in September 2021, partnering with communities nationwide to promote transformative dialogue crossing racial and political divides. The first areas to participate were The Berkshires/Western Massachusetts, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Denver, The Mississippi Delta, the Arkansas Ozarks and Boise. Enlightened by those conversations, Black LP brings Black and White communities together to record present-day versions of songs central to the Black American experience and to compose original, meaningful songs relevant to the profound need for positive change. Watch the Black Legacy Project trailer HERE to get a glimpse of the process, and pre-order Black Legacy Project Vol. 1 HERE.
For its groundbreaking work, CNN honored the organization as a 2022 Champion For Change. Watch the inspiring CNN piece HERE.
About the Berkshires Black LP event and creation of “Rise Up,” Musical co-director Eric Reinhardt said, “As a local musician in the Berkshires I was very moved by the entire Black Legacy Project process. Recording and performing “Rise Up” felt genuine…like we were putting out a message and offering tangible steps to take action. In many ways, I think the song embodies what the project is all about.”
The twelve songs featured on Black Legacy Project Vol. 1 are part of a curated compilation of meaningful cover songs (including “American Skin (41 Shots,” “We Shall Overcome”) along with profound originals (such as “Better,” “Let Me Walk In Your Shoes”). There are three tracks featured from each session; two Black musical directors reimagine one cover song, two White directors reinvent the other cover, while all four join together to create the original composition. A full track listing is below.
In addition, a live version of the Black Legacy Project will be embarking on a tour in select cities. Tour dates are below and on the website HERE. Additional dates will continue to be added.
Black Legacy Project Tour Dates
September 22 – Great Barrington, MA – Guthrie Center
September 23 – North Adams, MA – FreshGrass Festival
October 1 – Philadelphia, PA – City Winery, Philadelphia
October 5 – Atlanta, GA – City Winery, Atlanta
Black Legacy Project Vol. 1 Track Listing
“American Skin (41 Shots)” – Written by Bruce Springsteen, Los Angeles session
“Sweeter” – Originally performed by Leon Bridges, Los Angeles session
“Better” – Original, Los Angeles Session
“What Is The Color Of The Soul Of A Man?” – Written by Jimmy Driftwood, Arkansas Ozarks session
“Sundown Town” – Written by Ry Cooder& Joachim Cooder, Arkansas Ozarks session
“Where I Find Love” – Original, Arkansas Ozarks session
“Ballad Of The Walking Postman” – Written by Buck Ram, Denver session
“The Klan” – Written by Alan Arkin, Denver session
“Let Me Walk In Your Shoes” – Original, Denver session
“Lift Every Voice and Sing” – Written by James Weldon Johnson & John Rosamond Johnson, Berkshires session
“We Shall Overcome” – Public Domain, Berkshires session
“Rise Up” – Original, Berkshires session