Feb. 26: Kelly Joe Phelps at Schoenberg Guitars

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“Jazz was the first music,” Kelly Joe Phelps once told an interviewer, “that I was aware of that was improvised. That alone was enough to make me do literally nothing else for nearly 10 years.” Certainly, Phelps’ recorded output hasn’t reached the soaring heights of exploration that his early idols Miles Davis and John Coltrane once so constantly strove for and oftentimes reached, because after his jazz immersion he hit a bump in the road: delta blues. Based in Portland, Ore., the finger-picking guitarist now journeys along a unique hybrid trail of folk music, where free improvisation points the way as much as strict technique. And others have noticed. Phelps has guested on albums by Townes Van Zandt, Greg Brown, Jay Farrar and Tim O’Brien, among others, and just released his eighth album, Western Bell, last year. He plays an in-store concert with country/folk singer Corrine West on Friday, Feb. 26, at Schoenberg Guitars. 106 Main St., Tiburon. 8pm. $20–$25. 415.789.0846.Gabe Meline

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