LEWISTON – Samuel James, a master of fingerstyle, slide, banjo, harmonica and piano, will perform Friday, Jan. 23, at the restaurant/cafe She Doesn’t Like Guthries.

James’ musical lineage stretches back to immediate post-slavery. His grandfather, who was born in 1890, played guitar in contemporary blues styles of the era. James’ father was a professional pianist and trombone player. James learned to tap-dance at age 5, played the piano at 8 and toured the Northeastern circuit professionally by 12.

Today, still in his 20s, James released his second CD and debut for NorthernBlues Music, “Songs Famed for Sorrow and Joy.” The CD was recorded by numbers: one artist, five days, nine mics, two guitars, one banjo, both feet for percussion and 100 percent acoustic.

The recording reflects James’ live performances, but more importantly it showcases why he considers himself a songster and storyteller within a style of music, rather than a bluesman per se.

James is a hardworking individual steeped in the traditions of his elders and has created his own voice that speaks with clarity and pathos to a contemporary audience. ” Pre-war blues is much more intimate for me – much like a conversation. I’m not really drawn to anything contemporary because it’s not nearly as engaging,” he said.

The show will begin at 9 p.m. There is no cover. Guthries is at 115 Middle St. For more information, call 376-3344 or visit myspace.com/guthriesplace.


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