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Starr Center for the

Study of the American Experience

Riverfront Concert Series: Back Porch Blues

Date: 6:30pm EDT July 2, 2015

The C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience presents three live riverfront concerts this summer on Custom House lawn, continuing on July 2nd with the Back Porch Blues trio!

July 2: Back Porch Blues

Back Porch Blues is an all-star down-home acoustic trio consisting of the incredible guitar and vocal work of Eleanor Ellis, the blues harmonica virtuosity of Jay Summerour and the percussion talents of Eric Selby. Together they deliver real deal acoustic blues, from the Piedmont to the Hills to the Swamp, blues without compromise in a relaxed, fun musical atmosphere…just like sittin’ with friends having a jam session on the back porch. Eleanor Ellis is a native of Louisiana who began her musical career in New Orleans. She has traveled and played with the late gospel street singer Flora Molton and bluesman Archie Edwards, and is a founding member of the DC Blues Society and the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation and has written about the blues for several publications. Jay Summerour has been involved with music for well over 40 years. Beginning his musical education on the trumpet at age 7, Summerour learned the harmonica from his grandfather Smack Martin, an accomplished blues harmonica player. Largely self-taught, Summerour picked up bits and pieces from “folks he ran into”—folks like Sonny Terry, James Cotton and Magic Dick. Eric Selby has performed with The Memphis Gold Band, The Daryl Davis Band (keyboardist for Chuck Berry), Mark Wenner (The Nighthawks), Warner Williams (acoustic piedmont legend) and Charlie Sayles (W.C. Handy Award Winner). 

July 9: The High and Wides

Go back to an era when the genres of bluegrass, country, swing, blues, and rock were still unsettled, a time when jazz groups had banjos and country bands had horns. Bluegrass bands ventured into rockabilly and every country group had a boogie song. If that sound had continued on its own you’d have The High and Wides. Sam Guthridge (banjo/mandolin) and Marc Dykeman (guitar), veterans of the bluegrass band, Chester River Runoff, joined with friend and upright bass player, Mike Buccino, to develop a rhythmic style somewhere between Western Swing and early Rockabilly overlaid by harmonies in the vein of vocal duos like the Delmore and Louvin Brothers. Nate Grower, also a member of Chester River Runoff as well as the David Bromberg Band, rounds out the four piece with a mean fiddle chop and singing leads.  “The sound is a compelling blend of emotions that combines the nostalgic twinge of old-time folk, the laid back drive of western swing, and the raw energy of rockabilly.”

All shows are on Thursday nights at 6:30pm. Bring picnics and lawn chairs. Lawn seating available, plus free lemonade and cookies. Bring a bunch of friends and help spread the word! Special thanks to Yerkes Construction, the Maryland State Arts Council and the Kent County Arts Council.