Some of Maine’s finest guitar pickers are getting together on stage at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20, at St. Lawrence Arts in Portland.

Denny Breau

Breau is a triple threat: a consummate picker, evocative songwriter, and a singer with a voice that is warm and inviting but completely unpretentious — much like the singer himself, according to Lucky Clark, Kennebec Journal.

Breau’s family is music royalty in the state — his parents were country music singers who recorded for RCA Victor and his late brother Lenny was a renowned jazz guitarist. Denny himself started performing in his teens and was inducted into the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame in 2004. His rhythmically flawless and dazzlingly clear style allows him to do amazing and stunning things with a six-string guitar. He mixes genres with ease — folk, Delta blues, country and jazz — “creating a totally accessible musical mélange that captivates as it entertains,” according to Clark.

Sean Mencher

Mencher is, hands down, one of the finest guitarists ever to call Maine home, Chris Busby wrote in The Bollard in his review of Mencher’s latest album.

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With his style, a mix of Merle Travis and Scotty Moore with some jazz thrown in for good measure, and with his sure taste he gained a well-deserved reputation on the scene. He also played with Wayne Hancock and Dig Wayne (Buzz and the Flyers) and with his deep knowledge of Rockabilly and other related genres, he also produced bands like Croonin’ Kurt, the Gin Palace Jesters, the Starline Rhythm Boys and the Twilite Ranchers.

Gary Richardson

Richardson resides in Portland. He does music production and  composition for national, regional and local TV, radio and documentaries. He started playing guitar in 1966 at age 11 then professionally at age 12. He plays solo, in bands and as a studio musician on other artists projects. He also arranges and produces singer /songwriters. Richardson has traveled extensively providing music for retreats and workshops.

Peter Albert

Peter Albert, a lifelong resident of Maine, is an accomplished musician with over 30 years of experience as a solo guitarist. Starting in the 60s playing covers by the Beatles, the Stones, the Byrds, and Dylan and gradually finding his way to the blues, he put together his first blues band in 1969 called Homemade Blues. “There was a lot of spontaneity in that band, every night was a jam, we were the only band around at the time that just went up on stage and let the music take over.” It was in the early seventies when Albert heard a friend play classical guitar “I was completely in awe, having been totally ear taught, seeing this structured, disciplined way made me realize how limited my knowledge was.” For the next 10 years he tuned out practically everything else and focused on the classical guitar. “I still took gigs with bands here and there but my heart was in the classical style.” He studied classical guitar with John McLaren and the late Walter Spaulding (University of Maine) and also participated in a master class given by Cuban virtuoso guitarist Rey de la Torre.

Eventually, Albert expanded the classical technique he had learned to the steel string acoustic, giving him a method of staying creative by writing his own instrumental compositions. Other important influences include John Fahey, Leo Kottke, Adrian Legg, Michael Hedges, Kenny Burrell, Pat Martino, Julian Bream, Ravi Shankar. He performs live throughout Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, and has opened many shows for national acts.

Hugh Bowdon

As a youth in rural Maine, Hugh Bowden taught himself to play the guitar after becoming captivated by the music of legendary guitarist Chet Atkins. Bowden, who now lives in Ellsworth, has performed widely throughout Maine and beyond for several decades, both as a solo fingerstyle guitarist and singer and as a member of several small musical groups, in various styles of music. In recent years, he has concentrated primarily on instrumental jazz and while creating a substantial library of his own musical compositions, both vocal and instrumental.

Tickets are $22 advance/$26 door. For tickets and more information, visit stlawrencearts.org.


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