Program Details

Music Americana: Roots & Acoustic Music

Rod MacDonald
Video Catch-up

Course Description

 Drawing on basic forms of music in their communities, artists celebrate their times in song. From the sincere yearning of Ben E King's "Stand By Me" to the heartfelt wisdom of Dolly Parton; from the raw commentary of Buffy Sainte-Marie to the smooth pickin' of Chet Atkins, from the deep blues of Muddy Waters to the heartland sound of The Band, these artists showed the way forward for modern roots music. This course will examine the work, biographies, and enduring importance of these musical artists and attempt to sort myth from reality, using updated videos and excerpts from feature films, live performances, and a few surprises.


  1. Rhythm & Pop: Ben E King, The Drifters, Lieber & Stoller
  2. Legends Then & Now: Buffy Saint Marie, Muddy Waters
  3. Guitar Gods: Chet Atkins, Mark Knopfler
  4. Living Legends: Dolly Parton, The Band

About the Instructor

  • Rod MacDonald has 21 songs in the Smithsonian Folkways collection and 13 solo albums, including his 2020 cd Boulevard, which made the top ten on national folk music charts. He performs in festivals, concerts, and clubs and throughout North America, Europe, solo and with the bands Big Brass Bed and Rod MacDonald & The Humdingers. He was named Best Local Acoustic Performer by New Times and one of the "10 Magnificent Musicians of Palm Beach County" by The Palm Beach Post. Previous Music Americana courses include "The Birth of Rock & Roll," "The Great American Songbook," and "Mastery of the Art."

    Recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Faculty Award

Upcoming programs presented by Rod MacDonald.

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