American blues guitarist Guy Davis will rock the Wellesley Community Centre October 8.
Hosted by the Wellesley and District Lions Club, proceeds from the concert will support the accessible playground initiative launched earlier this year.
“We’ve got playgrounds here in Wellesley for the kids, but those kids who are physically disadvantaged don’t have access to it,” said organizer Peter van der Maas. “What we’re doing is raising funds for those kids. It’s going to cost about $100,000 all told.”
Raised in New York City, Davis taught himself to play guitar and later pursued careers in acting, directing, writing and playing music.
Influenced by blues greats like Blind Willie McTell, Skip James, Manse Lipscomb, Mississippi John Hurt, Elizabeth Cotton, and Buddy Guy, Davis has produced 15 albums over the past three and a half decades.
He described his style in an e-mail to The Observer while on tour in Europe last week.
“My show is an amalgam of ancient blues, and modern, Delta blues, and Piedmont. Classic, and brand new. My job is not just to bring this ancient music to life, but also to make it very, very entertaining.
He added, “I love being on the road going from place to place playing shows. I love performing by myself, but I also work with a band or as part of a review from time to time. The most rewarding aspects to life as a professional musician mostly have to do with meeting wonderful, warm, and gracious people. Entertaining them is a privilege.”
Some career highlights include performing on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” playing the late-great bluesman Robert Johnson in the 1993 Off-Broadway production “Robert Johnson: Trick the Devil,” and appearing on Garrison Keillor’s
nationally syndicated radio programs “A Prairie Home Companion” and “Mountain Stage.”
The Lions Club is fortunate to have such an accomplished musician on side, van der Maas said.
“Guy Davis is a very good player and he just happened to be coming through on his Ontario tour and he had a hole in his schedule. It was serendipity. And he is also interested in children’s causes, so it worked out well.”
Guy Davis plays “Traditional Blues” at the Wellesley Community Centre, 1000 Maple Leaf St., Wellesley on October 8. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door and are available at Pym’s Village Market (519-656-2950), by calling Peter van der Maas (519-656-3474) or e-mail email@example.com.