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A good friend of mine is the producer for the Unchained Tour, a traveling performance event that features modern-day raconteurs telling unique and engaging stories through spoken word, music and acting. Samita hit me up to help her find a location here in Jacksonville. Chamblin’s Uptown would have been great but the venue was just too small. She enquired about Burro Bar, but at the time we didn’t really have the seating capacity. I suggested she check out Thief in the Knight, the retail space at the Knight Building next to where Chew used to be. They’ve been doing some really cool things there during Art Walk lately and it seemed like the perfect place.

When I agreed to assist Samita in Jacksonville, I was just trying to help out a friend. I told her I’d do what I could to promote but when I finally got around to checking out what the production was about, I realized that this was really something special!

The Unchained Tour is the brainchild of novelist and storyteller, George Dawes Green. The Georgia native wrote two novels that have been adapted into films starring Samuel L. Jackson, Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin (The Caveman’s Valentine and The Juror). Most notably however, he is the founder of the Moth, the storytelling organization that hosts storytelling events and has its own Peabody Award-winning NPR radio program. Although not directly affiliated, the Unchained Tour shares similar objectives and inspiration with The Moth.

The “raconteurs” will be traveling from town to town in a ’72 Bluebird schoolbus as they tell their stories across the Southeast. They have an impressive lineup of performers from various walks of life with their own storytelling methods. Here’s a few:

Peter Aguero – lead vocalist for the BTK Band, “NYC’s hardest drinking improvised storytelling band”

Elna Baker – writer and comedian, who has appeared on This American Life, the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and written for ELLE, Glamour and Men’s Journal. She’s also Mormon.

Joan Juliet Buck – former editor of French Vogue and accomplished writer whose essays have graced the pages of Condé Nast Traveler, Vanity Fair, W and the New York Times.

George Dawes Green – Moth and Unchained founder himself

Edgar Oliver – actor, poet, playwright

Shovels and Rope – “sloppy tonk” country blues band

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased in advance here.

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