(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – The first thing you notice about Mamie Minch is her impossibly deep, dark and dusky voice, which is totally belied by her sunny, fresh 32-year-old face. Minch, who is an old-style blues guitarist in the tradition of Rory Block and Hazel Dickens before her, performs accompanied by her full band in MASS MoCA‘s Club B-10 on Saturday, March 9, 2013, at 8 pm.
Minch plays songs of her own devising that sound like they’ve been stored in her old National steel guitar for decades. Her love affair with blues guitar began as a teenager, finger-picking blues songs by Mississippi John Hurt. “My dad played some folk guitar,” she says, “so there was a Martin guitar in the house. I would just go into my room and shut the door, and play these solos over and over until I could get them.”
A self-taught student of guitar, Minch has been the head of repair at RetroFret, a Brooklyn shop that specializes in vintage, rare, and unusual stringed instruments, for five years. Minch found her niche reviving – and writing – antique blues songs. She lists Reverend Gary Davis, Memphis Minnie, Bessie Smith, Big Mama Maybelle, and The Carter Family among her inspirations. In 2005, Minch co-founded The Roulette Sisters, a popular all-woman retro quartet that performed originals and covers of blues, country tunes, and early girl group harmony pieces by the likes of The Boswell Sisters and The Andrews Sisters.
Minch brought what Guitar World cites as a unique blend of “Americana, folk, blues and sass” to MASS MoCA’s FreshGrass Festival in September 2012, winning fans with her pop-up gallery performance and instrument-making workshop for kids
Minch will perform a special show for kids at 11:30 am on Saturday, March 9. Tickets for the family show are $5.
Minch performs in MASS MoCA’s Club B-10 on Saturday, March 9, at 8 PM. Club B-10 is an intimate, casual venue on the third floor of MASS MoCA. Full bar plus dinner and snacks from Lickety Split are available before and during the show. Tickets are $12 in advance, $16 on the day of the show, and $10 for students. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office, located off Marshall Street in North Adams, from 11 AM until 5 PM (closed Tuesdays). Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased online at MASS MoCA.