When Sister Rosetta Tharpe plugged in her cream-colored Gibson SG, she grabbed the electric guitar — a tool of the devil — and then took it to church. Adia Victoria favors the same axe and channels some of that same ragged, bluesy energy, though on a song like “Heathen” it’s clear that Victoria sets her sights beyond the pulpit. The South Carolina native sings her songs with mysterious, beguiling intensity on the wages of sin — both personal and, increasingly, societal. A sparsely attended club show last year found Victoria no less engaging than in front of a packed house, and her rendition of the Billie Holliday bone-chiller “Strange Fruit” was just one of her musical contributions to the conversation surrounding race, identity and white supremacy.
So Ill: Hot off its LouFest performance, live hip-hop act Illphonics will warm the stage with songs from the recent Gone with the Trends.
Watch Adia Victoria perform "Heathen" at SXSW below:
7 p.m. Sunday, September 25. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue. $10. 314-773-3363.