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By Rick Zeigler—

MUNCIE, INAcclaimed Wales-born and London-based solo acoustic guitarist Gwenifer Raymond will be performing in a FREE concert as part of the 2022 Muncie Three Trails Music Series. The concert will take place at 7 PM on Saturday, September 24th in the E.B. Ball Auditorium at Cornerstone Center for the Arts. Lonesome With Company will be open the show.

Raymond’s specific field of solo guitar is known as “American primitive,” a term coined by acoustic guitarist John Fahey in the late 50’s to describe his own music, intended to somehow convey an ineffable and ever-evolving amalgam of influences. Although the classification may seem odd for an artist who has a PhD in astrophysics and holds down a day job as a video-game coder, Raymond embraces the label. “Fahey himself invented the term because he couldn’t think of what it was he did, right?” Raymond asks. “So in and of itself, the moniker is kind of representative of the idea that I don’t really know what it is I do, I just play instrumental guitar that has some influences from American folk music – and then a bunch of other [stuff] thrown in there.”  It’s a mesmeric, meditative form of playing that, with its open tunings and air of mystery, has as much in common with Appalachian folk and the pre-war country blues of the American south as it does with Indian ragas and more modern drone-based music.

Raymond also admits to being heavily influenced by artists such as the Fall, Gang of Four, and Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, whose MTV Unplugged in New York proved particularly addictive. She has taken all these forms and also added an Old Country twist, conjuring up a good dose of Welsh folkloric strangeness (make sure to check out her videos!). When she plays, her hands are a blur of motion exhibiting her awe-inducing clawhammer technique: the right hand, with thumb and fingers curled in like a claw, providing a rhythmic counterpoint to the singing, melodic storytelling work of the left. The sound she makes is so cavernous, evocative and frenetic it seems as though at least two more guitarists must be hiding somewhere in the wings. Whatever the description, it all comes together on her two long-players and in her live performances. So be prepared for a completely unique and spellbinding experience when Gwenifer Raymond takes the Cornerstone stage.

The Muncie Three Trails Music Series is a non-profit partnership between Muncie Downtown Development Partnership, Muncie Arts and Culture Council, and Rick Zeigler, series founder and organizer. The mission of the series is to bring critically acclaimed, national recording artists to perform in downtown Muncie, IN. A second mission is to promote the many recreational, artistic, and cultural attractions located along, or in close proximity to, the downtown area and  Muncie’s popular “Three Trails” — The White River Greenway, Cardinal Greenway, and Muncie Arts and Culture Trail. We hope attendees will heed our slogan, “Explore the Trails, Enjoy the Music.”

Complete information about the Muncie Three Trails Music Series can be found at www.munciethreetrails.com.

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