If you love the smooth guitar picking styles of Merle Travis and Chet Atkins, you are going to love the playing of Mark Mazengarb from New Zealand and Loren Barrigar, who now lives in Syracuse, N.Y.
The duo will launch the 2016-2017 season of Augusta Amusements Inc. with a show at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, at the Jabez S. Hardin Performing Arts Center, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd.
Reserved seats are $35. New this year is a pre-show salmon or steak dinner for $25 that must be ordered 48 hours in advance. Call (706) 726-0366 or visit augusta
Chances are these are two of the best guitarists you’ve never heard of, but if you google or youtube their videos, you most likely will fall in love with them.
Mazengarb and Barrigar met 11 years ago at Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch guitar camp in Pomeroy, Ohio, learning from famous guitarist Tommy Emmanuel.
It was another meeting in 2009 at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society convention in Nashville, Tenn., that cemented their friendship and led to a successful appearance together at the same convention in 2010.
Mazengarb had studied classical music in New Zealand but fell in love with bluegrass music when he undertook exchange study at the University of North Carolina.
Barrigar, who started guitar playing at four, became at age six the youngest instrumentalist to perform on the Grand Ole Opry stage as a guest performing in 1968 with Opry members Jim Ed Brown and Minnie Pearl. He played the Chet Atkins’ hit Yackety Axe.
His songwriting has been heard on the network TV shows ER and The Young and the Restless and on a Christmas CD featuring B.B. King and Patti Labelle.
For more about the duo visit lorenandmark.com. For more on the season, visit augustaamusements.com.
– Don Rhodes, columnist