Blues guitar virtuoso at Greystones

Woody Mann.
Woody Mann.

The Greystones has offered a stage to more than its fair share of blues/roots artists since its revival as a 
community pub and music venue seven years ago.

Yet they don’t come much more distinguished than guitar virtuoso Woody Mann.

The New York-born musician has made his mark around the world and even has his own signature guitar.

His musical grounding combines a formal education in performance and composition with an early unbounded interest in folk and blues, studying guitar with the Rev Gary Davies from the late 60s.

There’s a chance to hear all the influences when Woody Mann appears at the Greystones on Sunday (June 10).

Growing up in a political family, folk music and perfor-mers such as Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie and Paul Robe-son grabbed his attention.

Hearing the likes of Blind Blake, Josh White and Leadbelly introduced him to blues and ragtime.

He found Rev Davies in the phone book, rang him and went to meet him. Lessons followed.

Mann paid tribute years later as the driving force behind The Empire Roots All Stars Band, the feature group for the documentary film Harlem Street Singer, which tells the story of, and celebrates the music of, Davies.

Woody Mann has also performed and recorded with blues masters of the calibre of Son House and Bukka White.

Now his teaching is in demand (and there’s a workshop in Buxton from June 22 to 24).

It’s a return to Sheffield after an appearance with the late Bob Brozman, at the long-lamented Boardwalk.

It promises to be an illuminating and entertaining evening with one of the masters of the acoustic guitar.

n Blues-rock guitarist, singer and songwriter Aynsley Lister is at the Greystones on Thursday, June 14.