The singer-songwriter first picked up an acoustic guitar in 1963, and he’s never put it down, mixing together his own blend of original blues, folk, and roots jazz, sometimes with a pick, sometimes not; sometimes accompanying himself on harmonica, usually putting his baritone voice to effective use. His nine albums, including 2010’s Put the Big Stone Down are all available on his Web site. Greatly influenced by Dave Van Ronk, Bartley had his first paying gig in 1970 at the old Turk’s Head Coffeehouse in Boston. These days he plays at and hosts singer-songwriter nights on Mondays and bluegrass nights on Tuesdays at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, and headlines every Sunday night (with various guests) at Smoken’ Joe’s BBQ in Brighton.
(by Ed Symkus)
Published on December 28, 2012