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Still Playin’ the Blues

In his fifty years of playing throughout America and Europe, Paul Geremia has earned a reputation as an acoustic guitar genius, music scholar, and living link to America’s early jazz and blues.

When he’s not on the road, he can be found at home in Chepachet, RI with the 1930s Regal guitar he lovingly adapted to a twelve string. Unassuming and soft spoken with a glint of devilment in his smile, he’s come a long way. In 1962 as a URI freshman in the College of Agriculture, he was inspired by Pete Seeger’s performance in the basement of Edwards Hall. A 1963 Newport Folk Festival encounter with Mississippi John Hurt and others “sealed the deal” and he’s never looked back. From attending agronomy class and teaching guitar lessons out of the old Kingston Inn, to playing alongside some of America’s greatest blues legends, Geremia gives performances that ring true as the heartfelt mastery of a sincere artist and historian playing for the pure love of it. With his signature style, ten solo albums and another due out early next year, Paul Geremia continues to impress (paulgeremia.org).

—Kate O’Malley

4 comments to “Still Playin’ the Blues”

  1. Barbara comments:

    Ron Shaver ’71 emailed this comment to the QuadAngles editor. It is posted here at the editor’s request and with Ron’s permission:

    I enjoyed your back page article on Paul Geremia. As a freshman at URI in 1967 from a small town in Massachusetts and living in Bressler Hall, I discovered Canto II, a coffeehouse that was open on Friday and Saturday nights in a church basement. I came religiously every weekend and helped the young pastor—whose name I can’t remember—set up and prepare for the festivities. Paul Geremia was a frequent entertainer and was always not only extremely talented but friendly, pleasant and quite a handful for the young pastor to handle but always treated me well in spite of being older. Years later as a senior I rediscovered Canto II when it was being run by a fellow student, Fran Asselin, and Paul was still a frequent visitor. I have a number of his albums, have had a lifelong love of music, especially the blues, and miss the atmosphere of Canto II. As an aside, I hear that he has put over 300,000 miles on his Chevy over the years going from gig to gig. One night, he and some of his friends took me along to sit in a car in a used car lot in Peace Dale and drink beer after a performance. Even then, we talked about music and he was a walking encyclopedia of the blues even in those days.

    --Posted: October 15th, 2012 at 9:04 am
  2. Fran Asselin Macomber comments:

    To my long lost friend Ron Shaver– I remember you well …and, of course CANTO — and the wonderful Father John Hall . We had incredible times there and Paul Geremia … as well as Pat Sky, Jeff May, David Lipson, Doreen Conboy, Rik Bourne and many other wonderfully talented folks shared their gifts with a devoted following! It was one of the best times in my life — thanks for reminding me Ron !!!

    --Posted: January 12th, 2013 at 1:51 pm
  3. Maria Back comments:

    Paul Geremia is a legend in the blues world. While its great to read about his beginnings with URI, the comments above add so much to the story that make it real and give me a feeling of nostalgia. So thanks to Ron and Fran too!!

    --Posted: January 16th, 2013 at 9:19 am
  4. Claude Corry comments:

    What a great and truly inspirational site this is—and I will definitely be back for some more juicy blues literature. Thanks heaps for the great read.

    --Posted: October 2nd, 2013 at 7:16 am

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