Hawaiʻi Public Radio welcomes the return of slide guitar master Stefan George, partnered this time with local favorite, multi-instrumentalist Larry Spalding. For their Atherton Studio concert on Saturday, July 26, each of these veteran bluesmen performs his original material, provides back-up for the other, and together, they bring alive the rich tradition of country blues. For some added spice, they promise to even add a little zydeco with Spalding showing off his skills on harmonica and accordion. Tickets for this sole public performance on Oʻahu by George may be purchased online at www.hprtickets.org or by calling the station (955-8821) during regular business hours. Prices are $30 general, $25 for HPR members, and $15 for students with ID. The Atherton Studio is located at Hawaiʻi Public Radio, 738 Kāheka Street. Doors open at 7:00 p.m.; the music starts at 7:30 p.m.
Stefan George began playing guitar at age eleven. Inspired by legends like Doc Watson, Mississippi John Hurt, and Brownie McGhee, he eventually studied with John Jackson, Steve James, and Del Ray. He made his stage debut at thirteen, performing at Green Haven State Prison in upstate New York. At nineteen, he hitchhiked around Europe playing cafes and pubs and was a member of a house band in a Vegas-style nightclub in Turkey, backing a sword dancer. He left NY in the early 1970s and performed in San Francisco before settling in Tucson, Arizona, where he continues to reside. In 1983, with partner Lavinia White, he founded the dance crazed world beat, R&B band “Brain Damage Orchestra,” which broke club attendance records around the Southwest for ten years.
He then began dedicating himself to honing his acoustic guitar, songwriting, and slide guitar playing skills in earnest. Since then, George has been a finalist in the Telluride Troubadour, Kerrville New Folk, Music City, and Just Plain Folks songwriting competitions. He’s won TAMMIE Awards (Tucson Area Music Awards) for Best Songwriter, Best Solo Acoustic Performer, and Best Acoustic Ensemble. He was inducted into both the Tucson Musicians Hall of Fame and the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame.
George has opened for and/or performed with a plethora of music greats such as James Cotton, Mose Allison, Dave Van Ronk, Pete Seeger, Guy Davis, Norman Blake, Taj Mahal, Junior Lockwood, Honey Boy Edwards, Rory Block, Leftover Salmon, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Louden Wainwright III, Little Feat, Elvin Bishop, and many others. Recent performance highlights include a solo tour of Germany; two tours with his blues trio “The Conrads” also in Germany; featured artist on the internationally syndicated radio show Beale Street Caravan; the SXSW music conference in Austin, Texas; host and performer at the Kerrville Folk Festival's “Blues Project”; Telluride Blues and Brews Festival; Mammoth Festival of Beers Bluesapalooza in Mammoth Lake, California; Silver City Blues Festival in New Mexico; International Festival in Lawton, Oklahoma; Leverkusen Jazz Festival and Verdener Jazz und Blues Tage in Germany; and many other club and festival shows in eight countries and two continents. George is a prolific and committed recording and songwriting artist with more than ten CDs of original blues and folk music to his credit in the last twelve years.