Primal Twang: The Legacy of the Guitar

September 7-10, 2006 San Diego will host the world premiere of Primal Twang: The Legacy of the Guitar - the first definitive theatrical - multimedia journey through the guitarıs 3500-year history.

Primal Twang reveals compelling stories and music from the guitar's past, present, and future, says Adams, who is directing the production. Dan Crary and a seven-piece band are onstage the whole time, performing everything from ancient modal music to classical, flamenco, and the Chet Atkins school, and from the guitar-based vocal pop of the early 20th Century through the jazz, folk, surf, and rock eras, right up to today. At key points in the show, our featured guest artists will join the band. So weıll see and hear some of the best guitarists in the world as the "instrument of the gods" emerges from antiquity, gathers steam over centuries, and explodes in our own time to become the "universal musical instrument."

Primal Twang began several years ago as the brainchild of flatpicking pioneer Dan Crary, who sought a dramaturge to help him realize his vision of a theatrical production that would honor the steel-string guitar. Two years ago, Crary teamed with film and TV writer/producer/director and lifelong guitarist Anthony Leigh Adams. They expanded the premise and co-wrote a script that begins with the guitarıs ancient ancestors and covers not only the wildly eclectic forms of music played throughout the centuries on variants of the steel-string, nylon-string, and electric guitar, but also the sociological impact the guitar has had in every era.

Crary, a world-traveler, raconteur, and former communications professor, stars as the singer/narrator, performing with a stellar stage ensemble that includes bandleader and multi-instrumental session player Dennis Caplinger (HBO's Deadwood), drummer Duncan Moore, classical/flamenco guitarists Fred Benedetti and George Svoboda (who will perform with rising flamenco dance star Lakshmi Basile), gypsy-jazz guitarist Raul Reynoso, bassist Jeff Pekarek, and pop-rock guitarist/vocalist Jon Walmsley (he was "Jason" on the TV series, The Waltons, and now plays guitar on the soundtracks of several TV shows).

But Primal Twangıs trump card is a showcase of international guest performers assembled for the first time on any stage, including Grammy-winning guitarists Eric Johnson, Albert Lee, Doc Watson, Mason Williams ("Classical Gas"), Andrew York (Los Angeles Guitar Quartet), as well as Richard Watson, harp-guitarists, John Doan and Beppe Gambetta, Brazilian jazz master, Peter Sprague, and Grand Old Opry star, Doyle Dykes. Apparently, those fortunate enough to nab tickets are in store for some surprises.

In addition to performing his own music, Eric Johnson is working up a "tribute" to Creamıs legendary live version of "Crossroads" for the section on the late '60s, Adams says. Andrew York will be performing some new music for the "progressive classical" portion of the show. Everyone sees Primal Twang as an opportunity not only to play their best music, but to celebrate their special passion for the guitar.

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