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  • Roy Book Binder
    Roy Book Binder
    Roy Book Binder -- Friday, October 10, at 7:30 PM

    The Charlotte Folk Society will present blues-singing, guitar-picking, raconteur and blues legend Roy Book Binder in concert on Friday, October 10th, at 7:30 PM in the Great Aunt Stella Center. He has traveled the world with his guitar for the past 30+ years. "The Book" is one of the names in acoustic blues and is simply the best when it comes to hot lick, finger-style blues guitar, plus he's a guy teeming with hilarious stories and great old blues tunes, not to mention his own great songs. With more than twenty albums and instructional videos to his credit, he's a real force on the acoustic blues scene.

    The Great Aunt Stella Center, a beloved downtown landmark located at 926 Elizabeth Avenue in the edge of downtown Charlotte, was originally designed as a church. The former sanctuary offers a warm and beautiful performance space with seats for 400. Free surface parking is available adjacent to the Stella Center, as well as in a nearby parking deck after 7 PM (map here).

    Folk Society Gatherings are family-friendly, open to the public, and free. Donations, which in part support the series, are greatly appreciated. The hour-long concert will be followed by refreshments, a song circle, and slow and fast jams. Visitors are also invited to the Charlotte Appalachian Dulcimer Club meeting after the concert.

    Back in the early '60s, Roy learned his craft from the legendary blind street singer, Reverend Gary Davis, who was thrust into the national spotlight when Peter, Paul & Mary recorded his song If I Had My Way. After two years of traveling the folk-blues circuit with his mentor, Roy struck out on his own. Along the way, he befriended Pink Anderson, an old South Carolina medicine show performer and one of the "real" bluesmen of the early part of the 20th century. Before Anderson passed away, he gave Roy all his songs, and asked him to please keep his name alive.

    Over the years, Roy Book Binder has befriended quite a cast of blues characters in his travels, including three peg-legged dancers, and a 90-year-old classic blues singer with a sparkling smile, who went by the name of Diamond Teeth Mary (Bessie Smith's half sister). Roy has toured with Bonnie Raitt, Hot Tuna, and J. J. Cale. He has been invited to many festivals, including the National Storytelling Festival, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and the Chicago Blues Festival. Next year will mark his fourteenth year as host of the acoustic Blues Stage at MerleFest. Too, he's been featured on countless public radio and television broadcasts and has been included in the The Blues Who's Who and The Big Book of Blues.
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    Book Binder's mastery of country blues on his vintage Gibson guitar is a must-see-and-hear for pickers. The blues are often said to be the only true American style of music, and he will take you to a place many people have never been with music. He'll play for us songs of the mid-20th century, the classics performed on the streets and in the juke joints of the side streets of a by-gone America. Plus, he'll fascinate and entertain us with funny and appealing stories of the road and share some of his original blues tunes. Like Roy says about his feelings when he first heard the blues, it'll tickle your ear.

    To learn more about Roy Book Binder and sample his songs and tunes, visit his website at www.roybookbinder.com. For more information, call 704-563-7080.

    Charlotte Folk Society Gatherings are made possible, in part, through a Cultural Project Grant from the Arts & Science Council and the Grassroots Program of the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency.