The Vienna Union Hall Association will present two world class blues players at 7 p.m. Friday, June, 24, at the Hall.

In the late 70s “Poor” Howard Stith and Mike “Bullfrog” Rogers performed on the same stage and they both felt that a duo was in the near future, both feeling strongly about authentic blues from the 20s and 30s. However, their paths were different and now this duo is making up for lost time. Howard and Bullfrog are playing the blues with all the passion and flair of two old troubadours.

“Poor Howard” Stith has been performing 12-string barrelhouse blues for more than 40 years. As a student of Dave “Snaker” Ray in Minneapolis, he perfected his 12-string guitar style and showed that Delta blues could be found at both ends of the Mississippi. This led a fellow Minneapolis performer to tag him with the moniker “Poor Howard”, after the Leadbelly song.

Over the years, Poor Howard has performed across the U.S., from Maine to California, Europe and Japan, entertaining audiences in coffeehouses, bars and at festivals with his guitar, heartfelt voice, and seemingly endless supply of anecdotes, puns and shaggy dog stories

Recently, Howard has teamed up with harmonica player, Mike “Bullfrog” Rogers, a 40-year veteran whose styles range from folk to blues. In the past, Rogers has opened for performers including Emmie Lou Harris, the Eagles, Jonathan Edwards, James Montgomery, John Paul Hammond and Luther Guitar Johnson. Mike also appears with the groups Salt River and Wooden Eye, and has appeared on more than 30 CDs.

Rogers is a member of the Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s Wooden Eye which originally started out as a recording project but has since become a live band. It consists of Bob Halperin on Delta Blues “Poor Howard” Stith and Mike “Bullfrog” Rogers to perform guitars, mandolin, vocals and diddley bow, joined by Dan Maclellan on bass and dums. Mike and his wife Beverly also perform with Lee Hosack as the Salt River Trio. Mike and Beverly have been performing together for more than 25 years.

Tickets cost $8 in advance, or $10 at the door. For more information or for tickets, call 293-2674 or email [email protected].


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