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An encore performance

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By Kirsten Laskey

Two years ago, Jerry Barlow made his debut performance in the Guitar and Gateaux series. Thursday, he will be back for an encore performance.

Barlow, an acclaimed Celtic finger style guitarist, is eager to return to the series after a successful first show. “I enjoy performing for a warm and appreciative audience,” he said.

Barlow said Los Alamos residents clearly show a love of the guitar and music.

He added it is always nice to have a welcoming audience.

Barlow has experienced a significant event since he first played at Los Alamos. He earned an Indie Award, which is the equivalent of a Grammy for independent artists. Barlow earned the award for his second album, “Bringing Down the Storm.”

Receiving the award was unexpected. “I was very surprised,” Barlow said.

He explained 250,000 people apply for the award. With the large number of applicants, Barlow didn’t think his chances were good when he submitted his application.

So Barlow said it was a “lovely surprise” when he received the Indie.

Also, Friday, he was in Amarillo, Texas, to go on National Public Radio to kick off its pledge drive.

He said he felt honored to be invited to be on the show. “I’m proud about that,” he said.

Speaking to those who didn’t make it to Barlow’s first performance, he said, “I play traditional Celtic music, which is to say music from Ireland, Scotland, northern France, England and Cape Briton Island. In addition to that I will be playing some of my original compositions as well.”

Barlow explained he became introduced to this music while living in east Tennessee in the Appalachian Mountains.

“You hear a lot of Celtic influence in the music up there because the Irish and the Scots settled in those hills in the 1700s,” he said.

Barlow defines Celtic as comprised of jigs, which are tunes played for dances. Reels are also dance tunes, and dives are slow, pretty melodic tunes.

“You know it when you hear it,” he said.

Those Irish and Scottish fiddle tunes have had a lot of influence on American music, for instance, Bluegrass.

Barlow added, “I think I found the music went very deep and it had a therapeutic quality to it. It just kind of spoke to me – I felt compelled to play it.”

Besides Los Alamos, Barlow has been sharing his music with a lot of library audiences. He said he enjoys playing for libraries because the audiences are as interested as he in the music and its history.

A big part of his shows, Barlow said, is explaining the history behind the music. He said 99 percent of his music is instrumental, therefore, he likes for his listeners to know what the music is speaking about.

Additionally, explaining the music allows the audience to go on a musical journey with him.

The Guitar and Gateaux concert will begin with desserts at 7 p.m. at Fuller Lodge. The music will begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10 for Los Alamos Arts Council members and $15 for non-members.