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Guitar Night (Mostly Solo)

Guitar Night.jpg

Three long-time friends and musical associates, Mike Wollenberg, Barry Solomon, and Dix Bruce, have played together in the Bay Area for decades. They share roots in folk, bluegrass, rock, country, and especially jazz playing, in ensembles of all types from soloist to combo to big band. Guitar Night (Mostly Solo) will concentrate on their work as soloists but you can expect some collaboration and jamming too.

Berkeley native Mike Wollenberg began playing folk, bluegrass, and pop guitar as a young teen. He studied flatpicking, folk, rock, and discovered swing, jazz, and solo playing in his early twenties. Following mentors like Joe Pass, Tuck Andress and Martin Taylor, Mike developed the ability to seemingly play several parts simultaneously while still allowing for the freedom to improvise. He has released two solo CDs, The Hand That Feeds Me, and Just Another Fool On The Hill, and a duo CD with violinist Julian Smedley, A Common Language. Music critic Phillip Elwood wrote that Mike is “…the master of the four T’s (touch, tone, technique, taste).” Guitarist Tuck Andress has called Mike “a magician of solo guitar…”

Barry Solomon is regarded as one of the pre-eminent acoustic guitarists in the country. He started playing guitar at nine years old, and by his early twenties Barry had mastered bluegrass flatpicking as well as folk and blues fingerpicking. Around this same time he began playing swing and mainstream jazz and had his own quintet, which featured many of his original compositions. Along the way he developed his solo guitar playing at concerts, clubs, and music festivals. Barry has authored guitar instruction books and has contributed to a number of recordings by fellow musicians over the years, and opened the Alameda School of Music in 2004. Since then, he has provided lessons for hundreds of students, teaching a wide variety of instruments.

Dix Bruce began playing guitar at age twelve. Like Mike and Barry, he initially learned folk, pop, and bluegrass flatpicking, eventually studying jazz and the Great American Songbook. Over the years he has performed and recorded with a variety of Bay Area-based musical groups in varied styles from Americana to swing to jazz. He has performed and recorded with The Royal Society Jazz Orchestra since the late 1980’s. He has recorded four CDs of traditional American songs and originals with guitarist Jim Nunally. His most recent project is a CD, Look at it Rain, with singer and mandolinist Julie Cline. Dix has produced nearly sixty music instructional books and videos, including books on guitar legend Doc Watson and the later work of Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia. He has also produced four play-along book/recording sets entitled Gypsy Swing and Hot Club Rhythm, two volumes each for guitar and mandolin. Acoustic Musician magazine describes Dix Bruce as a “…west coast virtuoso.”

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Earlier Event: July 25
Peter Apfelbaum/Josh Jones Duo
Later Event: July 27
Jennings & Keller