Sunday, April 12, 2009
Silver Spring Blues Festival Features Local Guitarist Jonny Grave
Silver Spring's Jonny Grave will perform before his hometown crowd at the first Annual Silver Spring Blues Festival at Downtown Silver Spring on Saturday, May 9, 2009.
Jonny Grave's music is true acoustic blues from the Heartland, steeped in the traditions of R.L. Burnside, Fred McDowell and others. Unlike the more common Delta variety, Grave’s blues hails from the North Mississippi hill country, like the music of Bukka White and Junior Kimbrough. As a solo acoustic bluesman, Grave maintains a traditional grip on the genre while seamlessly adding a modern twist, incorporating the singer-songwriter, bluegrass, and Americana genres into the recipe.
Both six and twelve-string guitar, Dobro, and Appalachian fretless banjo (made by Grave himself) make up his repertoire of sound. Grave began playing guitar in his early adolescence, and quickly picked up the slide guitar technique from watching Washington DC bluesman Robert Lighthouse perform. Grave performs fingerstyle guitar (without flat picks) and emulates the styles of Leo Kottke, John Fahey and Chris Smither.
Performing professionally since 16, Jonny Grave has been a frequent performer at clubs in DC, MD and N.VA. He is an active member and participant of the Washington Folk Festival at Glen Echo Park, as both a solo performer and as a member of the family band with Reuben Musgrave.
His debut solo album, “Cropduster’s Story,” now sold on iTunes in all five regions, preserves the precious, and simple blues while making it accessible to a wide audience. Grave’s newest release, “Gone Everywhere But Home,” completed in 2009, and also available on iTunes, expands from the hill country blues sound, pulling again from traditional elements, and introducing new, solid originals.