US acoustic guitar master meets UK jazz violin virtuoso at Coolham club

Coolham Live Music Club is working with Crawley Blues Club to stage an evening of the very best in acoustic guitar at Coolham Village Hall.

Thursday, 8th October 2015, 2:31 pm
Mike Piggott
Mike Piggott

The event takes place on Saturday, October 17, and will be headlined by US-based, Grammy award-winning guitarist, singer and composer, Mike Dowling.

Mike has been a highly regarded exponent and teacher of fingerstyle guitar for over 40 years and the list of musicians he has worked and recorded with include mandolin player Jethro Burns and jazz violin great Joe Venuti.

But Mike is too versatile to be pigeonholed as a blues player, or even as a fingerstylist.

From bottleneck blues to vintage jazz, Mike draws inspiration from deep in the musical bag of American roots guitar , favouring the melodic Piedmont style of acoustic blues masters like Mississippi John Hurt and slide great Tampa Red.

His skills, coupled with an engaging voice, a self-deprecating wit and an arsenal of elegant guitar interpretations, has secured his place among the musical masters of his generation.

In 2005 he was one of twelve top fingerstyle guitarists who won a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Album for their solo arrangements of Henry Mancini compositions on a CD called Pink Guitar.

Mike continues to write and record from his Wyoming home and maintains a busy tour schedule. He also had a successful stint as a Nashville songwriter, writing for artists that included Del McCoury, Kathy Mattea and Emmylou Harris.

At Coolham, Mike will be accompanied by one of the UK’s most respected and highly regarded jazz violinists and mandolin players, Mike Piggott.

Mike has also been a professional musician for 40 years and has been described as “one of the best swing jazz fiddle players anywhere” by the New York Jazz Times. To complete the band, the musicians will be joined by drummer and percussionist, Marianne Hillier-Brook.

Support will be provided by Danny Kyle, a guitarist, singer and songwriter from Chatham, who has similar influences to Mike Dowling and actually travelled to the US to be coached by Mike. Danny is perhaps Kent’s best kept finger-picking secret with a thumb-driven guitar style that has been compared to Tommy Emmanuel. Tipping his hat to the likes of Mississippi John Hurt, Ry Cooder and Chet Atkins, Danny’s song writing combines swinging ragtime, ’20s and ’30s jazz, bouncing country blues and melodic Piedmont.

Doors open at 7pm and admission is £15 per person with the opportunity to enjoy a fish and chip supper during the intermission for an extra fiver.

There is no licenced bar so audience members can bring their own refreshments.

To book a place call either Graeme on 07889 775173 or Richard on 07971 627639.

For more information about future events at Coolham, visit

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