Dan Crary , the masterly guitarist perhaps best known for his long stint with bluegrass provocateurs Berline, Crary & Hickman, has been bewildering audiences with his accrodextrous picking for decades, and with this musical, multimedia show TWAAANG: Stories of the Steel-String Guitar, he'll allow us a rare peek deep into one of pop music's key evolutionary progressions. Combining live performance, behind-the-scenes insight, still photographs and rarely seen archival footage of a slew of notable forebears, Crary's way-back revelations should be captivating. Steels strings, after all, were a major upshift in axmanship, and after both the Martin and Gibson companies beefed up their fingerboards to accommodate metal rather than gut strings, the instrument became loud enough both to duel with a banjo and affect listeners more profoundly. Steel strings moved guitar from its former primary rhythmic role to the lead position -- a significant shift of performance technique that originated with old-time steel-string pickers like Alton Delmore and Riley Puckett, clearing the way for future heroes like Doc Watson, Clarence White and Crary himself. Widely acknowledged as one of the driving forces behind the razzle-dazzle "flat-picking" style, his get-around rÃ©sumÃ©, insider intel and sheer talent are certain to make for a thoroughly fascinating presentation. Best of all, you have three chances to dig in. World of Strings, 1738 East 7th St., Long Beach; Fri., June 4, 7 p.m. (562) 599-3913; CTMS Folk Music Center, 16953 Ventura Blvd., Encino; Sat., June 5, 8 p.m. (310) 390-4391; The Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N. Lake Ave.; Altadena; Sun., June 6, 2 p.m. (626) 794-2424.
Fri., June 4, 7 p.m., 2010