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Focal Point Duos Series with Andy Cohen and Mat Wilson
August 14 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm$15 – $20
In an effort to unite the generations, the Focal Point’s new Duos Series takes a younger musician and older musician of the same musical genre who have never or barley met and puts them on stage together to “trade” songs.
Many places along the Mississippi river from New Orleans to Chicago are Blues towns. These are the places that the art form originated from and spread like a raging river to all corners the United States and beyond. Unfortunately, the originators of this music are very hard to come by in this day and age. However, many had the foresight to pass on what they knew to a 2nd generation who are also starting to become hard to come by. When we here at The Focal Point get the chance to book a 2nd generation blues master who learned DIRECTLY (up close and personal like) from many of the original blues artists, we jump all over it.
Enter Memphis Blues man and historian Andy Cohen. Andy Cohen grew up in a house with a piano and a lot of Dixieland Jazz records, amplified after a while by a cornet that his dad got him. At about fifteen, he got bitten by the Folk Music bug, and soon got to hear records by Big Bill Broonzy and the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, both of which reminded him of the music he grew up listening to. At sixteen, he saw Reverend Gary Davis, and his course was set. He knew he had it in him to follow, study, perform and promote the music of the southeast quadrant, America’s great musical fountainhead. Although he’s done other things, a certain amount of writing and physical labor from dishwashing and railroading to archeology, playing the old tunes is what he does best. Andy’s blues musician friends, teachers and influences include Willie Walker, Lemon Jefferson, Lead Belly, Reverend Gary Davis, Big Bill Broonzy, Skip James, Bukka White, Reverend Robert Wilkins and Brownie McGhee.
Joining Andy for his visit to St.Louis will be our very own Mat Wilson representing the now 3rd generation of practitioners in this all American musical form. A Saint Louis Blues hound in his own right, Mat fronts the renowned Rum Drum Ramblers with his punchy vocals and unmistakable white National guitar.
Now here’s the fun part. Short of a few recent emails, Andy and Mat have NEVER met. Yet they will be on stage together. Youth vs. Experience. What could possibly go wrong or right?
YOU’LL HAVE TO BE THERE TO FIND OUT!!