Rare performance at Country Blues Concert at Centrum, Saturday, October 21

Blues musicians Michael Roach and John Miller give the kind of performance that might make other musicians in the audience fight over front row seats. “Their remarkable skills on guitar are a thrill to witness,” said Mary Hilts, who manages the blues programs at Centrum. “Equally thrilling is the connection to history they share, having learned directly from masters of country blues traditions.”

Roach and Miller will perform at Centrum on Saturday, October 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Wheeler Theater at Fort Worden State Park near Port Townsend. Each will complete a solo set before performing together. The musicians bring audiences back in time to the old porches and barbershops of an era of songster-bluesmen.

Roach, a singer and guitar player native to Washington D.C., was a student of the legendary John Jackson. Jackson, who was born in Virginia in 1924, played the music of his birthplace, known as the northern Piedmont plateau region.

Roach also learned from guitarist John Cephas, who played secular songs and ballads, blues and hokum, folk revival tunes, dance reels and church music from the eastern Piedmont region. He studied also with Archie Edwards, whose barbershop in Virginia was a practice ground for aspiring blues musicians, and Turner Foddrell, son of old-time musician Posey Foddrell, as well as Jerry Ricks. Roach moved to the United Kingdom in the early 1990s, so this concert is a rare opportunity for American audiences.

When guitarist John Miller was 12, he saw Mississippian John Hurt play at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. He taught himself to play in the years following, and made his first record at the age of 21. The acclaimed John Fahey described Miller at that time as “so good he’s scary.” John went on to release six more solo recordings and appeared on more than 50 other CDs. He is a teacher and produced seventeen video lessons released by Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop.

General Admission: $23, Ages 18 and younger: Free, must call to reserve seat at 360-385-3102 x110. More info: centrum.org/tickets

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