Five on the Floor and Shifting for the Lord: the Blue Grass Gospel Tradition

Get ready to tap your toes and save your soul Blue Grass Gospel music weaves elements from British ballad, "Sacred Harp" singing school, tin-pan alley, Blues, and Black Spirituals into tight harmonies and then adds lyrics that are inspirational, humorous, and often ironic. This is music which addresses the basic emotions of human existence (hate, love, pain, death, joy and faith). The result is irresistible.

Performance by "Five on the Floor"

Kitchener-Waterloo's own "Five on the Floor and Shifting for the Lord" presents an evening of live music peppered by short talks by members of the group on various aspects of the history, style, and religious vision of both the music and the lyrics. The music reflects the resurgence of Pentecostalism at the beginning of the 20th century and the movement from rural-country life to urban existence, especially for the Mountain people of the Appalachians. Together for over two years, "Five on the Floor and Shifting for the Lord" consists of Ron Harder, social worker; Jim Reimer, theologian; Henry Schmidt, financial consultant; and Bob Janzen, lawyer. They are all members of Rockway Mennonite Church in Kitchener. All four have long-time singing experience. Reimer and Schmidt were members of a religious folk group in Manitoba called the "Faith and Life Singers" in the late 1960s; Harder and Janzen belonged to a southern Ontario band called "Rural Delivery".

Lecture by Jim Reimer, Ph.D.

Dr. Reimer is a professor of Theology at Conrad Grebel College at the University of Waterloo.

Friday, January 29, 1999 - 7:30pm
Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome's University