BATH – Guitarist Rory Block will perform music from her new release, “Last Fair Deal,” at The Chocolate Church Arts Center Saturday, May 8. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

A longtime interpreter of traditional Delta blues, Block mines the roots music landscape in “Last Fair Deal.” Eight originals and six covers of early blues and gospel tunes find her bringing a world full of life lessons to bear on what she calls her “best friend, the guitar.”

Born and raised in Manhattan, Aurora “Rory” Block left home at age 15 to travel through the deep South and soak up the blues under the tutelage of Skip James and Mississippi John Hurt. By her 20s, she’d developed aggressive slide and fingerpicking styles that earned her a reputation as a brilliant technician, as well as a gifted songwriter and performer. She made her first record, “I’m in Love,” in 1975. She spent most of the ’80s making records that indulged her affinity for traditional country blues and served as a platform for her own songs.

The ambitious recording and touring regimen started paying off in the early 1990s, with numerous awards throughout the decade. She brought home W.C. Handy Awards four years in a row – her most recent being Best Acoustic Blues Album (for “Confessions of a Blues Singer”) in 1999.

In Last Fair Deal,” she says that she “stretched out” and “wanted the guitar to be an orchestra on its own.”

She also also celebrating the release of “Brother and Sisters,” an album featuring Block, Eric Bibb and Maria Muldaur that was released in February.

Tickets are $14 for advance purchases or $16 the day of show. The Chocolate Church Arts Center is at 798 Washington St. in downtown Bath. For more information, call (207) 442-5455 or visit www.virtuous.com.


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