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Tuesday May 30, 2017
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Bill Staines

 

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Shakespeare and makes knowledgeable references to the gods of Greek mythology. He considers himself solidly in the tradition of American folk musicians, yet there is nothing of the "close enough for folk music" quality in either his songwriting or his performances.

His guitar playing is not flashy, but its elegant clarity commands your attention. Few guitarists get as pretty a sound from their instrument, and few songwriters craft such "just right" accompaniments to their songs. He sings with equal affection 150-year-old songs and ones he penned last month.

His traveling-troubadour lifestyle embodies wanderlust. You'd be hard pressed to find a folk venue or festival that he has not played. For much of the last four decades he has been everywhere but home. Yet he's also the epitome of stability and loyalty. He has played the same guitar for nearly forty years and has been married to the same woman for more than thirty. He returns to the clubs and coffeehouses he's played over the years as regularly as the seasons. He meets more people in a year than most of us do in a lifetime, yet he seems able to maintain friendships with many of them.

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