NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

September 19, 2013

Grammy-winning guitarist to play at Newburyport City Hall

Most musicians could die happy if they won only one Grammy Award.

Jerry Douglas has won 14 of them. And he is coming to Newburyport to share his talents in a show at City Hall on Saturday night.

“It’s going to be a night of surprises for (the audience) and me,” said Douglas, who is promoting his latest album, “Traveler,” which features collaborations with Paul Simon, Eric Clapton and Mumford & Sons.

“The name was the last thing to figure out,” Douglas said of “Traveler.” “But it wasn’t really hard to figure out after I kind of circled the globe putting it together.”

Known as a master of the Dobro resonator guitar, the Warren, Ohio, native does indeed get around. He has been to Newburyport quite a few times in the past, and the city has left an impression on him.

“My wife and I used to take a lot of vacations,” Douglas said. “We would start out in Gloucester or Marblehead and venture on out all the way up to Newburyport. That’s my favorite place to go.

“I travel quite a bit, and there are not many places that you would want to go back to. But that is one of the more beautiful places in this country. There’s so much history, and it just feels good to be that close to the water. There are so many great things about it.”

Well-known for his recording and performance work with country singer Alison Krauss, Douglas has performed on more than 1,600 albums and collaborated with such well-known and diverse artists as Phish, Johnny Mathis, Elvis Costello and Ray Charles.

Saturday’s show will see him performing a rare solo set in an intimate surrounding.

“I’ll be playing some tunes from ‘Traveler,’ maybe a little singing, whatever strikes me, and conversation: ‘What kind of wine is that you’re drinking?’ Or, ‘Your wife sure is pretty.’ That kind of thing,” Douglas said with a laugh. “I like playing all these songs in a different way and actually getting to have a conversation with the audience instead of just going from song to song. It’s a lot of fun and a little more personable.”

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