Earth, Sir Richard Bishop, James Blackshaw

Thursday, February 26

Ready for your guitar-induced hypnosis? The U.K.-based James Blackshaw uses a 12-string Guild to create acoustic music that billows like sheets in the wind. Inspired by the ‘60s acoustic revolutionaries from the Takoma label (John Fahey, Robbie Basho), Blackshaw's music sounds like a fluttering of quickly plucked notes, but it's also deceptively minimalist and mesmerizingly pretty. But where a Zen calm can be found in the midst of Blackshaw's dazzling flourishes, Earth evoke Zen calm by playing almost nothing. Guitarist Dylan Carlson is proving himself to be a master of evoking Western desolation via his hollow-bodied electric. Like a gloomier Bill Frisell, Carlson plays solitary notes that seem to lift themselves up like ghosts from his fretboard and dissipate into thin air. Rounding out the bill is former Sun City Girl Sir Richard Bishop, who, since about the turn of this century, has been proving himself a master of acoustic idioms. By spending 30 minutes hunched over his instrument, Bishop can take audiences damn near anywhere he pleases--listening to him is like embarking on a kaleidoscopic globe-trot through his multiple styles, languages, and obsessions.

Thu., Feb. 26, 9 p.m., 2009

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