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World-class finger-pickin guitarist comes to Sandy

Mary Flower is the only woman who placed in the top three at national competitions


by: POST PHOTO: JIM HART - World-class guitarist Mary Flower will appear at the European coffee house inside the Sandy Public Library during First Friday from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4.The ambience of a European coffee house is unmistakable: small tables, colorful tablecloths, flowers on each table, art hanging on the walls, live music filtering through the room.

That scene is recreated each good-weather month through October in downtown Sandy during Sandy Main Street’s First Friday observance.

But Sandy doesn’t have any dimly lighted cafes on cobblestone side alleys with hand-lighted street lamps.

In Sandy, that ambience is found at the city library.

This month’s performer is Mary Flower, whose music — last heard in the Sandy library May 4, 2012 — was unforgettable.

Flower has mastered acoustic blues and plays lap slide guitar, but she really excels in the intricate Piedmont style of fingerpicking, with its ragtime feel.

Piedmont has been described as an early African American form of blues.

The fingerpicking style of Piedmont blues guitar is somewhat like West African kora playing and earlier banjo styles, also of African origin.

The Piedmont style forms the foundation of much of Flower’s work, but she’s an unrivaled interpreter of Mississippi blues and a remarkable composer.

Flower is recognized in many circles as one of the world’s best finger style guitarists in the acoustic blues tradition.

But Flower goes beyond technique and her style of swinging the blues. She’s a warm vocalist who sings blues, pop and jazz with ease.

So if the first Friday of October looks like it might be a bit boring in your home, perhaps a visit to the library would make it spicier.

Certainly, the pleasure of Flower’s company would bring a lot of smiles to the faces of café-goers.

Library staff members suggest sitting at a café table, enjoying free snacks and beverages and especially the music coming from a guitar virtuoso.

Remember, this is the final First Friday event of the year. The festivities should resume next spring.

All library services will be available until 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, at the library, 38980 Proctor Blvd.

For more information, call 503-668-5537.