It’s hard to imagine a better afternoon than a sunny, mild one spent in the presence of a powerful singer and songwriter. Last week, I got to do just that: I hit “record” on one of three cameras capturing Alice Gerrard, the 80-year-old bluegrass legend who released her latest LP, Follow the Music, last month.

She sang “Strange Land,” the second track, with Hiss Golden Messenger’s Mike Taylor accompanying her on the guitar. Taylor produced Follow the Music and appears with her tonight as she takes the stage at The ArtsCenter to celebrate the album’s release. Gerrard is sharp-witted and kind, and though she never raised her voice, her presence was both commanding and humbling. Check out the video below, shot by Dan Schram and Gabriel Nelson. And tickets to tonight’s show are still available here. If you can’t make the show or want an extra dose of Gerrard’s excellent tunes, you can catch her again on Saturday for Dear Hearts’ first anniversary party.

YouTube video

Special thanks to Aaron Greenwald with Duke Performances, Orla Swift with the Sarah P. Duke Gardens and the Brody Family for use of the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden.