Arts and Entertainment

First Friday features blues on the plaza

Peter Spencer and Jonathan Green will play original acoustic blues in a concert on the plaza for tonight's First Friday Art Walk in Winslow.

Spencer is a fingerpicking guitarist, singer and songwriter. Born in Erie, Pa., he grew up listening to rhythym-and-blues and hillbilly music played on radio stations like WLAC in Nashville and CKLW in Windsor, Ontario.

He began his musical career in 1968 playing harmonica in a blues band in Pittsburgh, but soon switched to solo guitar.

Spencer spent the 1970s touring North America and Europe playing early blues, jazz and ragtime. Then, in the early 1980s, he began writing songs, co-founding the Fast Folk Musician's Cooperative in Greenwich Village, New York, where he worked with artists like Suzanne Vega, John Gorka, Lucy Kaplanski, Cliff Eberhardt and Jack Hardy.

After graduating from The Writing Program at Columbia University in 1989, he retired from performing and became a full-time music writer for magazines like Rolling Stone and Sing Out. He returned to performing with the 2000 release "New Hope and Wise Virgins," followed by a series of releases beginning with an album of original and classic blues called "Nobody's Daddy" in 2005.

His newest album, released in 2011, is called "1896," recorded simply with his voice and an 1896 Washburn parlor guitar in a Bainbridge Island schoolhouse that was also built in 1896.

Spencer has been called a "guitar wizard" by Seattle's Victory Music News and "a gifted lyricist with a sharp eye" by the New Jersey Star-Ledger. He tours regularly in the Northeast and throughout the Pacific Northwest and teaches guitar and voice at the Dusty Strings Music School in Seattle and the Island Music Center.

Green, born in Chicago, Ill., joined the Seattle Symphony as assistant principal bass in 1998.

Before moving to Seattle, he performed with the San Diego Symphony for eleven seasons, including three years as principal bass, and with the San Antonio Symphony and the Tulsa Philharmonic.

He has also performed at the Icicle Creek Music Festival, the Sedona Chamber Music Festival, the Colorado Music Festival (Boulder), and the La Jolla Chamber Music Society's Summerfest. He was the double bassist for the world premiere of Music of Remembrance’s commission of Paul Schoenfield's “Camp Songs,” which is recorded on “Art from Ashes, Volume I.”


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