BEFORE BLUEGRASS THERE WAS CELTIC FINGER STYLING

In the 1700s, Scottish and Irish settlers moved into the Appalachian Mountains, bringing their fiddles with them. The result, as Jerry Barlow suggests, was “old-time mountain music and from that, we got our bluegrass.”

Thursday, January 26, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Barlow brings his unique Celtic finger-styling to Telluride’s Wilkinson Public Library. Barlow’s unique sound is draw enough, but what makes his program even more appealing is the history, humor, and legends that inform and enhance his sounds.

In his newest album, Fields and Fences, Jerry continues his work in Celtic-inspired compositions, but has also begun to embrace the stylings of Americana music, which we hear in the artist’s warm, spirited rendition of “America the Beautiful” and in the title track, “Fields and Fences. ”

“Sometimes as an artist you find yourself evolving in certain directions that are not really premeditated, but your inner directives say go and you just go. Fortunately, the Americana music is congruent with the Celtic music I play,” explains Barlow.

Barlow is an expansive researcher with an ear that is always alert to a new story or Celtic tradition that might inspire a song. One morning, while listening to National Public Radio, he learned of an interesting detail within the history of the Battle of Culloden in 1746, a Scottish rebellion all about restoring Bonnie Prince Charlie to the throne. The English were the victors. Many Scottish rebels were captured and imprisoned, but family members were known to have made the long journey to visit their relatives in their prison cells in London. The story is the foundation for one of Barlow’s songs, and will be told, along with many others tales, at Thursday’s performance.

To hear the full story of the Battle of Culloden and how Jerry Barlow plans to work it into the evening of the 26th, listen to the podcast below:

The concert is free and all ages are welcome to attend and listen to this warm, accessible performer and storyteller.

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