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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

James Blackshaw tonight, 6pm, free

Posted By on Tue, Feb 5, 2008 at 3:44 PM

click to enlarge james_blackshaw.jpg

James Blackshaw's acoustic guitar work is pretty magical. The young UK musician comes from the John Fahey school of sublime melody. Blackshaw's in town this week to play with another Fahey follower, Berkeley's Sean Smith, at Cafe du Nord tomorrow night. But if you can scoot over to Aquarius today at 6 p.m., you can see Blackshaw without spending a penny (or, rather, you can save those pennies for his 2006 CD, O True Believers). Full Aquarius email blast to follow. -- Jennifer Maerz

Beloved Customers and Friends:

Just a quick note for local folks, one of our main resolutions for

2008 was to have more instores, performances and special events, so

we couldn't be happier to start this year with a bang, that bang

being a very special live instore from one of our favorite guitar



Performing live, acoustic, right here.

Tuesday, February 5th

6:00 p.m.


1055 Valencia Street (btwn 21st and 22nd)

Avid readers of the AQ list should already be familiar with

Blackshaw, and how much we dig him. But if you need a reminder,

here's a little bit of what we had to say about his sound in the past:

"Totally mesmerizing Appalachian raga folk. Fans of John Fahey, Jack

Rose, Matt Valentine and all things free folk will be completely

blown away. There's still an element of drone in the repetitive raga-

like riffing, but this is mainly and most definitely weird and

wonderful modern avant bluegrass / folk "

"Crystal clear and crystalline, shimmering and glistening, as if

Blackshaw was some strange musical alchemist who discovered how to

use a guitar to describe leaves covered in dew, green grass sparkling

with morning frost, the sun reflecting on a placid pond, silvery

streaks of sunlight filtered through the interwoven branches

overhead. It's like wandering into a lost glade, laying in a thick

soft patch of grass, and slowly sinking into the ground, until you

BECOME the forest around you, sinking into a warm, wash of tranquil


"Overwhelmingly beautiful and impossibly otherworldly. Expressive and

aggressive but completely delicate and introspective at the same

time. Simple and so lovely."

Need we say more? Well, lucky you, we did say more, WAY more. Just

have a look at our reviews of Blackshaw's records on the AQ website,

and a listen while you're at it. And of course if you're in the

neighborhood tomorrow definitely stop by. It should be fantastic.

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Ian S. Port


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