Smith Mountain Lake and the surrounding countryside is beautiful even in it’s winter sparseness this time of year. But if you are tired of being housebound the last couple of weeks with the snow and extreme cold, bundle up and come out to enjoy some interesting music in Bedford, Va.
Jan 26 – Barbara Martin and Mac Walters in Concert – 7:30 pm – ”Barbara Martin’s music is a rich stew of earthy blues and folk peppered with sassy, swinging jazz.” Her performances are rooted in a healthy respect for the traditions of American music from Josh White to Bessie Smith to Billie Holiday. Her sultry, soulful voice interwoven with the bending, sliding strings of guitar wizard Mac Walter create an experience that covers a full emotional palate, moving audiences from tears to laughter and back again. From the time she bought her first guitar at the age of 13, Barbara Martin has never been afraid to explore and experiment. She moved from the folk coffeehouse circuit in her native Iowa to the new wave rock scene in Boston, to discovering her true love, blues and jazz, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
From her decision in 1990 to give up her job as a social worker and embark on a career as a full time musician she has never looked back. Her journey has taken her to festivals and concert venues throughout the United States and Europe, five recordings and critical acclaim from presenters and reviewers alike. Guitarist, Mac Walter, began his musical career at 16 when Marianne Price, formerly with Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, convinced him to give up the ukulele and try the guitar. Three months later Mac was playing in Marianne’s band and has not put the guitar down since. Over a 35-year career Mac has studied with guitar greats Roy Buchanan, John Knowles and Woody Mann. He has performed with Danny Gatton and Deanna Bogart, touring the United States and Europe. Claiming influences from Wes Montgomery to Django Reinhardt to Frank Zappa, Mac is a fluid master of many styles. Martin’s sultry, soulful voice combined with the bending, sliding strings of guitar wizard Mac Walter captivate audiences. – Bedford room at Bedford Central Library, 321 North Bridge Street, Bedford – $10.00 suggested donation p.p – 540-586-8911 X 4 – www.friendsofbedfordlibrary.org
Jan 30 – Old Blind Dogs in Concert – 7:30 pm – Over the years Old Blind Dogs have evolved and grown into one of Scotland’s favorite folk bands. In the early days, the line-up consisted of: Jonny Hardie, Buzzby McMillan, and Ian Benzie, along with Dave Francis on percussion and Carmen Higgins on fiddle. The band’s most recent permutation consists of Aaron Jones on bass, bouzouki, guitar, and vocals, Rory Campbell on Border (Reel) Pipes, whistles, and vocals, Jonny Hardie on fiddle, mandolin guitar and vocals and Fraser Stone on Drums, percussion and Tequila. “The…band keeps its modern grooves authentic by following Robert Burns’ 200-year-old model of applying original arrangements to traditional forms…This veteran Scottish trad quintet whips up energy while making it look like it’s no big deal…the sell-out crowd is dancing behind the soundboard. Malcolm brings his own variety of laconic cool, ‘The Wisest Fool’ has a sweet choral hook that hands off to Campbell’s border pipes, backed by a funky conga groove, fiddle, bass, and even a harmonica backbeat. Much of the melodic engine is driven by Rory Campbell, an extraordinary Scots border piper and whistler. He cranks out original pipe tunes at an alarming rate, his writing infused with fire and authenticity.” – Danny Carnahan – Acoustic Guitar Magazine – Bedford Central Public Library, Bridge Street, Bedford – $10.00 suggested donation p.p. – 540-586-8911 x 4 – www.friendsofbedfordlibrary.org