Our promo for this show:
[Fountain, NC] Claude Bourbon, the French guitar virtuoso, headlines the upcoming weekend of live music at Fountain General Store. Bourbon, one of the most popular bluesmen in Europe, is touring the U.S. and Canada from April through June to promote his sixth CD, The Frog with the Blues, which was recorded live in Belgium.
Bourbon, who now lives in England, began playing guitar at the age of 15. His early influences were the British rock bands. For several years, he studied classical guitar in Switzerland, and in the early 1980s worked with a Belgium-based touring band that covered Dylan, Hendrix, Clapton, and “played a lot of blues-based music.”
“At the moment,” he added, “I’m quite into a ragtime/gospel kind of mood.” The Rev. Gary Davis remains one of his favorite bluesmen, and he also cites Django Reinhardt as an influence.
Willie Painter, the Durham-based music critic also known for his own fine guitar playing, says of Bourbon’s latest CD that “the blues is a big part of Bourbon’s repertoire, but that’s not all he does: Ravel’s ‘Bolero’ gets a ten minute-plus workout, and during the tune ‘How To Stretch It’ he not only quotes the Muddy Waters standard ‘Baby Please Don’t Go,’ Bach’s ‘Bouree’ finds its way into the mix as well.”
Painter concludes: “This is solo acoustic guitar that is dazzling.” [Painter’s complete review appears below.]
Claude Bourbon’s May 12 concert begins at 7:30. General admission is $5. The show will be preceded by a free hot dog supper. “We’d love to see folks come out and meet Claude and his family before the show,” said Alex Albright, Fountain General Store proprietor. “He, his wife, and 5-year-old son have rented a camper for their tour, and they’ll be staying in town that evening, too.”
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Claude Bourbon’s Latest: Dazzling Acoustic Guitar
by Willie Painter
Merci – Thank You
Frog Records, 2006
Merci – Thank You, recorded live in Brussels in 2005, is a showcase of fingerpicking, noodling and to a lesser degree, vocalizing from France’s Claude Bourbon. The blues is a big part of Bourbon’s repertoire, but that’s not all he does: Ravel’s “Bolero” gets a ten minute-plus workout, and during the tune “How To Stretch It” he not only quotes the Muddy Waters standard “Baby Please Don’t Go,” Bach’s “Bouree” finds its way into the mix as well.
This is solo acoustic guitar that is dazzling. “Acoustic calisthenics” might be a better word for some of the fretwork done here, which at times sounds like the pyrotechnics of Monte Montgomery. Bourbon may also remind the listener of Leo Kottke and Jorma Kaukonen. Rarefied air, indeed. With guitar like this one might wonder why vocals would be needed, but Bourbon has a pleasant baritone that gets his message across.
Listen to Merci-Thank You and immerse yourself in beautiful music. A must for guitar players.
About the reviewer: Guitarist Willie Painter, who has lived in Durham for a decade, wrote a regular music column for the Urban Hiker for five years. A native of Dallas, Texas, he currently fronts the Willie Painter Band, which will be playing at Charlie’s on Ninth Street in Durham, this Saturday night, May 13.
Tags: Concert, medieval blues, original