Blues and folk guitarist Andy Cohen and his musical buddies Mark Ross and Chico Schwall play a free, 90-minute acoustic concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 30, at Congregation Beth Israel, 2200 Broadway.
Cohen is a virtuoso finger-style guitarist who has been described as "a walking, talking folk-blues-roots music encyclopedia." His trio will play a blend of acoustic music spanning Jewish and folk traditions in a string band format.
Cohen grew up in a house with a piano and a lot of Dixieland jazz records, amplified after a while by a cornet his dad got him. At about 15, he was bitten by the folk music bug and soon got to hear records by Big Bill Broonzy and the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, both of which reminded him of the music he grew up with.
At 16, he saw the Rev. Gary Davis and his musical course was set. What he plays now, he says, is a sort of "Country Blues 101," covering material from before the '20 to about the '50s, and ranging over the several states adjacent to Memphis, Tenn.