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Music » Sound Stories & Interviews

California Dreamin': Dueling guitar trios descend on Tower

The California Guitar Trio and Montreal Guitar Trio will make their way to the Tower Theatre this Friday.

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When Paul Richards, Bert Lams and Hideyo Moriya take the Tower Theatre stage on Friday it will be a homecoming of sorts, not for the three musicians per se, but for their instruments, at least.

Two of three members, you see, play guitars that were built wholly or in part in Central Oregon. So when you hear Moriya or Richards burn through the guitar solo of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" - something they are known to do frequently - give a silent little thanks to Breedlove Guitar Co. which opened the door for the California Guitar Trio in Bend.

The trio was here in 2009 as part of the annual Breedlove guitar festival and is looking forward to returning to Bend as part of their marathon 2012 tour. This time they're bringing friends, and not the hanger-on, drink-all-your-beer-and-crash-on-your-living-room-couch kind. No, they're actually bringing another guitar trio, The Monteal Guitar Trio.

It will be a night of six-stringed virtuosity, but also one of contrasting styles that showcases the rather incredible range of the instrument.

CGT founding member Paul Richards said there was an immediate chemistry between the two groups when they met, coincidentally, in Oregon roughly three years ago. One of the things that struck Richards immediately was the interplay of CGT's steel strings and the Montreal Trio's traditional nylon strings.

It didn't take long for them to map out a collaborative touring schedule.

The shows are served up in two parts, said Richards. The first half consists of a performance from each of the groups. The second half is a joint performance. The idea is to let audience's familiarize themselves with the contrasting styles before blending them together.

"The first half is necessary in a way to hear what each group sounds like on their own, and when we come together, the audience can tune into what's happening," Richards said.

As far as what to expect musically, audiences are likely to hear everything from classical presentations of Beethoven to the theme from The Exorcist. The name of the game is improvisational interplay between musician, instrument and audience.

The California Guitar Trio with the Montral Guitar Trio

$25/ $30 All ages. 7pm

Tower Theatre

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