Essentially Blues – an Evening with Mike Dowling and John Miller

To close out Centrum’s sold-out Essentially Blues Acoustic Guitar Intensive, we are pleased to present two master guitarists in one amazing evening of blues music.

Saturday – October 19, 2013 – 7:30pm
Wheeler Theater, Fort Worden State Park – Port Townsend, WA
Reserved seats: $20 – order tickets online.

When the late, great Vassar Clements heard Mike Dowling play guitar back in 1975 he did the sensible thing – he hired him. Mike was the guitarist in Vassar’s first touring band and can be heard on his Grammy-nominated “Nashville Jam”. Clements called him simply, “one of the finest guitarists there is, anywhere.”

Mike digs deep into the musical bag of American roots guitar, favoring the melodic Piedmont style of acoustic blues masters like Mississippi John Hurt and slide great Tampa Red. But Mike can’t be pigeonholed as a blues player, or even as a fingerstylist. He’s far too versatile for that.

From bottleneck blues to vintage jazz and much more in between, Mike’s musicality, depth, and mastery of the instrument translates fluently to flattop, archtop, and resonator guitars alike.

The playing of John Miller, at the age of 21, was described by guitarist John Fahey as being “so good it’s scary”. In the years since then, John has gone on to learn and play music from a variety of traditions in addition to the Country Blues that formed the core of his repertoire back then.

At this stage, a John Miller concert performance is likely to include his re-workings of Country Blues classics or original compositions in that style, beautiful, swinging versions of classics of the American Songbook, by composers like Hoagy Carmichael and Burt Bacharach, and a healthy dose of John’s original tunes, ranging from Boleros to Bossa Novas and Jazz Ballads.

The flow between numbers is smooth, despite the variety of styles being played, because everything is filtered and expressed through John’s musical sensibility and deep sense of how things should go.