Thursday Night, LiveMix Studio (one of the “stars” of Radio Free Charleston) will play host to their first concert.  Bert Lams of the acclaimed California Guitar Trio will perform on guitar, accompanied by Tom Griesgraber on stick.  Seating is very limited and the show is close to being sold out. Call 304-932-0705  to see if tickets are still available.

This will be the first public event at LiveMix, and it’s an exclusive performance by world-class musicians.  This is part of Bert and Tom’s East Coast Driving Tour, which is being documented on Bert’s Diary page at the CGT website.

Bert Lams is a member of the California Guitar Trio.  For the meaty details, we go to the band’s official bio: “With a whirlwind of instrumental styles fusing classical, rock, blues, jazz, world music, progressive, as well as the quintessential California musical genre surf music, the California Guitar Trio’s stunning virtuosity and sly sense of humor have earned them a rabid following and wide notoriety, with significant crossover in the progressive, acoustic and classical music scenes.

“Notably, CGT music was featured on the television coverage of the 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004 Olympics, and also on CBS, NBC, CNN, and ESPN TV programs. The CGT performed on the 2003 Grammy Awards nominated track Apollo on Tony Levin’s CD Pieces of the Sun; and CGT music was sent into outer space as wake up music for the crew aboard NASA’s Space Shuttle Endeavor.

“Over the past 14 years of nearly incessant touring, the California Guitar Trio has shared the stage with superb musicians and performers such as: King Crimson, Jon Anderson, John McLaughlin, John Scofield, Tito Puente, Taj Mahal, Peter Rowan and Tony Rice, Dark Star Orchestra, Leftover Salmon, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Steve Lukather, Simon Phillips, David Sylvian, Adrian Legg, Kaki King and many more.

“Paul Richards of Salt Lake City, Utah, Bert Lams of Brussels, Belgium, and Hideyo Moriya of Tokyo first met in England at one of Robert Fripp’s Guitar Craft Courses in 1987. After completing several of these intensive courses, the three toured worldwide with Fripp’s League of Crafty Guitarists. Wanting to continue working together after the League had run its course, Bert, Paul and Hideyo convened in Los Angeles and founded The California Guitar Trio in 1991, honing their intricate original compositions, surf covers, and classical re-workings.

“Since their inception in 1991, the Trio has released 11 CDs: six studio CDs featuring original works from the CGT and a variety of classics such as Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue” and Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. Four live releases that show the trio at their best onstage, and a Christmas CD with familiar and not-so familiar Christmas music, which continues to receive rave reviews.

“In August of 2004, the CGT released Whitewater produced by Tony Levin (King Crimson/ Peter Gabriel). With shimmering clean acoustic sounds blended with ambient and pungent electronics, Whitewater is a benchmark CD in the CGT’s catalog. Featuring mainly original works of the CGT, offset by a puzzle work arrangement of a Bach lute suite and a unusual version of the Cowboy classic Ghost Riders, the CGT have clearly arrived at a new level. “

Not too shabby.  Local prog-rock fans with lengthy memories will remember that the League Of Crafty Guitarists spent some of their history based in Charlestown, West Virginia, and appeared on Mountain Stage in the early days. 

Bert, the member of CGT who will be appearing at LiveMix has an impressive pedigree on his own.  Born and raised near Brussels, Belgium, Bert Lams is a graduate of the prestigious Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels. Originally a rock guitarist, he has extensively studied and taught classical guitar — and possesses a particular affinity for J.S. Bach and music influenced by the American Old West. Over the past 16 years, Lams has resided mainly in Los Angeles, and also spent several years in Wiltshire England and Santa Fe New Mexico, and has recently relocated to Pennsylvania.

Tom Griesgraber is no slouch either.  In his own words, from his MySpace page, “I’m primarily a Chapman Stick player (gtr/bass/synth hybrid) residing in San Diego, CA. I do music on my own and also with drummer Jerry Marotta (as a duo we call simply Marotta/Griesgraber). The music is a mix of things like rock, jazz, progressive rock, ambient and maybe some world textures.

“I perform and tour pretty consistently. You’ll always find the dates at I often perform as an opener too and have been lucky to share billings with some amazing musicians like: The California Guitar Trio, The Tony Levin Band, The League of Crafty Guitarists, Adrian Belew, Al Dimeola, Stanley Jordan, Steve Hackett, Larry Carlton and Steve Lukather, Bill Bruford’s Earthworks, Asia, Tower of Power, The Dixie Dregs and the Steve Morse Band. “

LiveMix Studio should be well-known to readers of PopCult.  It’s the home base for Radio Free Charleston.  Most of the bands on the show have performed at LiveMix, and many of the host segments were shot there (including our latest episode).  LiveMix Studio has been a key component of RFC.  This event marks a new era, as LiveMix debuts as an exclusive venue, hosting small gatherings with full audio and video recording capabilities. 

Thursday should be the first of many memorable nights.