East Meets West at Artspace
Special to the Falls Church Times
August 14, 2012
When he’s not teaching art at Glasgow Middle School, Gus Guthrie often can be found working in his basement, putting the finishing touches on his second handmade mandolin. As a founding member of two local bands, NoBetterOff and Martinez & Guthrie, Gus sings lead and harmony vocals and plays guitar, mandolin and harmonica. “Before I was a teacher, I was a carpenter. Building my own mandolins has been a way to reconnect with my craft….and it’s cool to play an instrument you made yourself.”
When Joe Martinez was an All-Met basketball player at Fairfax High School, he was known for the intensity he brought to the game. “I did get a few technical fouls in my day, but they were always for a good cause,” said Martinez. Now an elementary school teacher in Fairfax, Joe brings that same intensity as the drummer in NoBetterOff and a multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer for both of Martinez & Guthrie’s successful albums on NezRecords, “Gathering Change” and “Still Here.”
Joe and Gus will be busy on Friday night when they open a show presented by The Creative Cauldron featuring Martinez & Guthrie and NoBetterOff. Joining the locals will be the Bay Area’s Dore Coller, an in-demand instrumentalist and songwriter who recently released a solo album “Life’s a Beach” on Deltamc records. Fritz Horisk of WSIG in Staunton, VA said, “It’s one of those rare albums where every song is outstanding.”
In this “East Meets West” evening, the bands will be playing original compositions, as well as covers of some of their favorite artists, from John Hiatt to Bob Dylan, Smokey Robinson to Jimi Hendrix, John Prine to Roseanne Cash.
“We’ve always enjoyed playing at ArtSpace,” said Tom Stamp, vocalist and guitarist for NoBetterOff. and a performing arts teacher at Bailey’s Elementary School. “It’s a warm environment, with great sound and an appreciative audience.” NoBetterOff plays regularly in the area and recently headlined Arlington County’s July 4th celebration at Long Bridge Park.
In addition to Guthrie, Martinez and Stamp, NoBetterOff features Arlington’s Terry Judd on bass and Falls Church’s Steve Selby on guitar. Joining Martinez & Guthrie will be Andy Bailey on bass, Colin Miller on guitar, and Augusto Torres on percussion.
ArtSpace Falls Church is located at 410 South Maple Street in Falls Church. Doors open for this show at 7:00 PM, music starts at 7:30 and tickets are available at the door for $15. It promises to be a lively evening — you might want to bring your dancing shoes.
By Special to the Falls Church Times
August 15, 2012