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Hes a one-of-a-kind blues performer


Portland musician visits Theater in the Woods on Sunday

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO:  - Joe McMurrian is not cut out of the same mold as other blues artists, and Sandy area residents will find out how individual he can be at his acoustic Theater in the Woods performance Sunday evening.Portland’s Joe McMurrian has roots in the hills of Oklahoma — echoes of Willie Nelson and Muddy Waters — but the music he writes today can either blow the roof off or calm the livid spirit within.

This renegade player — of guitar, banjo, harmonica, jaw harp and piano — tries to focus on guitar and banjo and his voice.

His career began at the tender age of 9, when he found his father’s old slide guitar in the attic. With a little help from his dad, McMurrian learned some of the old blues and country songs of earlier decades.

McMurrian’s Delta blues tunes will filter through the conifers in Meinig Memorial Park at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, when he walks onto the acoustic stage at Theater in the Woods as part of the Sandy Summer Sounds series of concerts.

McMurrian has toured across the world and has played alongside some of the best blues musicians, such as Robert Cray, Johnny Winter and Honey Boy Edwards.

His last album, “Get Inside This House,” was voted best independent self-produced CD of the year by the Memphis-based Blues Foundation.

Sandy’s city fathers are inviting local residents to stretch their imaginations and listen to this unique and individual style of music.

The Theater in the Woods stage is in the southeast corner of Meinig Park. Bring a blanket or stadium chair to make the bench seating more comfortable. There will be no food vendors, but you are welcome to bring a picnic meal. Wine and beer are allowed. The event is free and family friendly.

In case of rain, the show will be moved to the Sandy Community Center, 38348 Pioneer Blvd. For more information, call 503-668-5569.