Award-winning guitar virtuoso Andy Hackbarth pays tribute to the “Father of the Classical Guitar,” Andres Segovia, in Polson and Hobson this month and Thompson Falls in February. Through instrumental selections and short stories about Segovia’s life and music, Hackbarth invites the audience on an eclectic musical journey from the music of Bach and the cathedrals of Germany, to the hills of Spain and the work of Albeniz and Tarrega. Listeners travel from classical Europe to the southern tip of South America.
“A Tribute to Segovia” also looks to modern music and how Segovia’s work has influenced the contemporary guitar world.
Raised in the Rocky Mountain region of Colorado, Hackbarth grew up surrounded by folk songs and classical music. He studied classical guitar at Lawrence University Conservancy of Music in Wisconsin and at Colorado’s Aspen Music School before earning a bachelor of music degree in classical guitar performance from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He then held a position on the university’s music faculty for three years during his graduate studies.
He combines both of those early influences to create his own unique sound, which draws on his years of study of classical guitar at the Aspen Music School, as well as his willingness to explore, experiment with and electrify traditional folk music. The resulting body of work has taken him across the country-where he’s made a name for himself as a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist and bandleader.
His newest offering, Panorama Motel, was written and recorded in the wake of a messy breakup. The record finds Hackbarth singing over acoustic guitars, dobro, upright bass and organ – turning his recent brush with heartbreak into some of the most moving songs of his career.
“It’s reflective of my music career as a whole,” Hackbarth explains, “from the classical/Spanish guitar background to the darker, more indie/acoustic rock writing style that I’ve been gravitating toward lately.”
“I’ve always loved the sound of the nylon-string guitar, and paired with layered violins, guitar swells and some haunting background vocals, its aim is to capture the despair and loneliness we all feel after a breakup.”
A unique album about a very universal experience, Panorama Motel is Hackbarth at his best: melodic, raw and real, with one foot planted in the sounds of his influences and the other pointing in a new direction.
His Montana performances, however, focus on Segovia – regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time and the father of the modern classical guitar movement. Segovia taught students himself and indirectly influenced thousands of guitarists worldwide, Hackbarth included.
Hackbarth Concert schedule:
Ronan: 7 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Ronan Performing Arts Center (406-877-2739 or missionvalleylive.com)
Hobson: 4 p.m. Nov. 19 at the school multi-purpose room (406-566-2651)
Thompson Falls: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Rex Theater (406-826-8585 or www.sanderscountyarts.org)