Duo Emma’s Revolution takes its moniker from Lithuanian feminist and activist Emma Goldman, who lived between 1869 and 1940 and is known for saying “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution,” referring in general to her involvement in anarchist philosophy, women’s rights and social issues.
Singers, songwriters and acoustic guitarists Pat Humphries and Sandy O know how music informed and propelled social justice movements in the past and what’s happening in today’s resistance movements, including reproductive justice, refugees, Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, #TimesUp, voting rights, the degradation of the environment and the sustaining power of love.
The duo will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 24, at the Unitarian Fellowship, 87 Fourth St., Ashland.
A workshop, Music: The Voice of Justice, about using music to fuel progressive movments will be offered at 1 p.m.
The concert and the workshop are sponsored by Rogue Valley Peace Choir.
Concert tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. The cost of the workshop is $25. A concert and workshop ticket combination is available for $38.
Tickets are available at emmasrevolution.com or roguevalleypeacechoir.org.
Emma’s Revolution has won many music awards, including one for “If I Give Your Name,” a song about undocumented female workers killed during 9/11 at the World Trade Center.
It won grand prize in a John Lennon Songwriting Contest.
In 2016, the duo won the first Phil Ochs Award, presented by Och’s sister, Sonny Ochs, of the justice music organization A Still Small Voice.
The duo’s live shows include all types of music: folk, jazz, funk and rock.
Humphries also plays banjo and ukulele.
Look for songs from the pair’s newest album, “Revolution Now,” released in 2017. It’s available to download from their website.
Their 2004 album “Roots, Rock & Revolution,” 2011’s “Revolutions Per Minute” and 2016’s “One” are available at amazon.com.
Humphries and O also contributed to Grammy-nominated albums “Singing Through the Hard Times: A Tribute to Utah Phillips” and “Seeds: The Songs of Pete Seeger.”
“Seeds” features folk singer Seeger himself, along with Billy Bragg, Ani DiFranco, Janis Ian and Tom Paxton.
Humphires and O can be heard on “Seeds’” “Old Devil Time” and “To My Old Brown Earth.”
Emma’s Revolution has made appearances on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” Pacifica’s “Democracy Now!” and “The Thom Hartman Show.”
Humphries and O became drawn to activism after being in close proximity to the Kent State shootings in Ohio.
It was a local event for the women, and they were affected by it.
“Neil Young’s ‘Four Dead in Ohio’ became a song that’s hard for us to listen to,” O says.
O’s first songs were about social justice and gender issues.
“We were influenced by Michelle Shocked and Suzanne Vega,” she says.
“We love the activism in the music of Pete Seeger, whom we knew personally. We were at his bedside when he died.”
Emma’s Revolution will feature much of its new material from “Revolution Now” at its March 24 concert. Along with “If I Give Your Name,” look for “Into Your Heart” and “Swimming to the Other Side” — a transcedent song about what it’s like to be a refugee.
The workshop, like the duo’s music, promises to stimulate both thought and action.
“We guarantee people will surprise themselves and learn to create a space where their creativitly can come through,” O says. “The workshop is a safe space, and that will help people draw songs out of themselves.”