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
Right here, at AQUARIUS RECORDS
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.