An Evening of Storytelling Planned Sept. 6 at River Campus


by News Bureau on Monday, Aug. 26, 2013

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 26, 2013 – An evening of storytelling with Michael Reno Harrell and Rev. Robert Jones is planned for Sept. 6 at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.

The event kicks off the 2013-2014 season of storytelling in Cape Girardeau, co-sponsored by the University and the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau. The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall.

Harrell and Jones will present an evening of good ol’ “Appalachian grit and wit” that meets gutsy Detroit folk and blues with spirited storytelling told with American roots music.

Harrell is an award winning songwriter, veteran storyteller and entertainer from the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Harrell’s recordings top the Americana Music Association charts year after year, and his original songs have been described as “Appalachian grit and wit.” As his writing shows, his awareness is much broader than the bounds of his boyhood home. Having toured throughout the British Isles and much of Europe, as well as most of the United States, the songs he writes and the stories he creates reflect an insight into people’s experiences that catch the ear like an old friend’s voice.

Harrell’s natural knack for storytelling has earned him praise from not only the music community, but from the literary and storytelling worlds as well. He has had the honor of being a featured teller at the National Storytelling Festival and s teller in residence at the International Storytelling Center.

Jones is a singer, storyteller and self-taught multi-instrumentalist. He has been performing professionally for nearly 30 years for festivals, schools, civil rights organizations and churches. Jones has opened for and played with some of the finest musicians in the world. Still, he considers his greatest honor to be his call to the gospel of ministry.

Born in Detroit, Mich., in 1956, he grew up listening to his grandmother’s record collection. Jones concentrated on traditional acoustic blues and started performing at some of Detroit’s best music venues including the Soup Kitchen Saloon and the Ark and Sully’s. Those early venues led to a touring career that included the Chicago Blues Festival, King Biscuit Blues Festival and tours throughout Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. Influenced by legendary bluesman Willie Dixon, Jones developed an educational program called “Blues for Schools,” which has taken him into classrooms all over the country.


Tickets may be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., by calling (573) 651-2265, or by visiting