Smart Bets: AJ Ghent

Instead of taking a seat to play pedal steel guitar in the style of such greats as Robert Randolph and Roosevelt Collier, AJ Ghent performs standing upright as if handling a traditional guitar. The Atlanta-based artist uses an over-handed technique that allows him to dance and have increased mobility during his live shows. The great-nephew of Willie Eason (creator of the Sacred Steel tradition), grandson of Henry Nelson (founder of the Sacred Steel rhythmic guitar style) and a mentee of the late, great Col. Bruce Hampton, Ghent blends blues, funk, rock and pop into a genre he calls “neo blues.” Backed by his wife MarLa on vocals, keys and bass synth, and Javares “JD” Dunn on drums, Ghent swings by the Salvage Station on Saturday, May 12, at 9 p.m. $7. Photo by MarLa Ghent


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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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