CD Release Concert
“A prodigious talent who has not only mastered the traditional forms but has managed to reinvigorate them.” – Guitar Player Magazine
Siskiyou Music Project welcomes back guitarist Mimi Fox for a solo acoustic guitar performance at Paschal Winery on Friday, May 24 at 7:00 p.m.
Virtuoso guitarist Mimi Fox has earned international renown as a live-wire performer, a startlingly poised improviser who can transform just about any tune into a thrilling and unpredictable instrumental adventure. But she doesn’t need to plug in to seize and hold an audience’s attention. While she’s best known for wielding her namesake Heritage Guitar Mimi Fox Signature model arch-top, spinning solos that unfurl with surprise twists like expertly tailored short stories, Fox is equally spellbinding on six and 12-string acoustic guitars.
Recently signed by Taylor Guitars as an endorsing “partner,” Fox has increasingly returned to her acoustic roots, delivering her wildly imaginative reinterpretations of standards, folk songs, pop hits and R&B anthems. She gave a taste of her ravishing 12-string work on a gorgeous arrangement of George Harrison’s “Within You Without You” from May I Introduce to You (Ridgeway Records), the San Francisco String Trio’s acclaimed 2017 album celebrating the 50th anniversary of Beatles masterpiece Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Her acoustic prowess has earned standing ovations at major festivals around the world, from the Kennedy Center and the Newport Folk Festival to the Montreal International Jazz Festival, where her solo set earned three encores.
Her love of the acoustic guitar and insistence on exploring disparate material was evident from the beginning of her recording career some three decades ago. Her 1985 award-winning debut release Against the Grain (Catero Records) featured a captivating Joni Mitchell medley of “Blue,” “All I Want,” and “Woodstock.” A decade later her 1995 album Turtle Logic (Monarch Records) included another gorgeous acoustic medley weaving together Holly Near’s “Hay Una Mujer,” the spiritual “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child,” and Earth Wind and Fire’s “Shining Star.”
As Fox turned her attention to recording solo sessions in recent years she kept acoustic tracks firmly in the mix. She offered a particularly memorable window into her wide-open sensibility on 2013’s Standards Old & New (Origin Records), a masterly and typically far-ranging solo session that included acoustic versions of Lennon and McCartney’s “She’s Leaving Home,” Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” and Michael Jackson’s “She’s Out of My Life.”
In many ways Fox’s commitment to acoustic guitar reflects her earliest sources of inspiration. As a young teen, she was first inspired to pick up the acoustic guitar by emerging singer/songwriters Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Paul Simon, and John Sebastian (a fellow Heritage Guitar endorser with whom she went on to play). During this time, Mimi also heard the great guitarist/lutist Julian Bream in concert which inspired her to study classical guitar for several years. This study influenced her own composing and deepened her musicality even before she found her way to jazz.