Murphys, Ca. — Guitarist Beppe Gambetta will sing and play a solo concert of “American Roots with European Passion” on Feb. 15 in Murphys.
The concert will be held at the sanctuary of the First Congregational Church at 3 p.m., and marks a return of the internationally known artist who performed an all-American roots concert here last year.
Gambetta, who plays guitar in a flat-pick style and sings a mix of U.S. and European folk music, tours annually throughout America and Europe, playing at music festivals and concert halls. The Washington Post critic said his performance “calls to mind what a duet by Doc Watson and Leo Kottke might sound like.” The BBC Scotland critic wrote his concert there was “exciting, varied, satisfying and just downright musical music..”
This year’s program will include traditional American folk tunes, played in the flat-picking style which originated in rural America and made widely popular through folk and bluegrass festivals.
In addition, Gambettas will provide part of his “Canzoni — Poetry in Italian Songs and Melodies” program which draws on the traditional singer/songwriters of his native Italy. Gambetta also offers interesting background for his music, and includes lively humor in his presentation, including his trademark red shoes.
The sanctuary is located one block off Main Street, uphill from the Murphys Hotel. A donation for the artist of $15 will be taken at the door.
The concert is part of a periodic series at the Murphys church which offers the venue as an outreach to the community. Past concerts have included traditional Irish music, a memorial in honor of Pete Seeger, a classical string quartet, and a chorale.
Here are some excerpts from additional reviews of his performances:
“Get him on a stage and his fingers speak a language all their own. After all, he’s not known as the ‘Italian King of the flatpick guitar’ for nothing.”
(Steve Wildsmith, The Daily Times)
“A Spanish odyssey, a mazurka learned from a 78rpm record, slips into this repertoire, just as tunes like these have been slipping into American culture since.”
(Rob Adams, The Herald)
“His incredible versatility combined with his charm and engaging stage presence make Beppe’s concerts evenings of high quality music and relaxed entertainment. Over-riding all else, however, is the brilliance of his talent...”
“…Beppe displays his remarkable versatility with the flatpick guitar style, displaying the new directions he has taken in the art of playing the acoustic steel stringed guitar with pick in hand.” (Dan Miller, Flatpicking Guitar Magazine)
“Few players on the planet could so successfully fuse an unwavering allegiance to tradition with impatient, wide-eyed vision, tongue-in-cheek humor with solemn devotion, and folksy song styles with progressive improvisation as Gambetta…” (John D’Agostino, Wood & Steel)
"...Though he's shown over the years that he can keep pace with the Tony Rices and Dan Crarys of the world, , it is Gambetta's understated elegance as a flatpicker that has set him apart and made him an in-demand partner the world over, and he's as elegant as ever on Rendez-vous." (Sing Out!)