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John Lamb, Published June 05 2013

Weekend Watch: “T-18: A Celebration of Creative Guitar”

If you go

What: “T-18: A Celebration of Creative Guitar”

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Where: Studio 222, 222 Broadway, Fargo

Info: Tickets for this all-ages

show are $10 at the door.

FARGO – Most of the time, Tom Johnson is happy to just sit back and listen to guitarists he admires. He just may do that at a pair of shows he’s playing in this weekend.

Johnson organized “T- 18: A Celebration of Creative Guitar” Friday and Saturday nights at Studio 222 in downtown Fargo. The event features Johnson and fellow pickers Tim Sparks and Todd Clouser.

While all three musicians share a love for the six-string (T-18 reflects their first initials and the number of strings on three guitars), they all come from different backgrounds and sounds.

“It’s going to be a night of experimentation, and wherever I think the sound should go, I’ll find the color I want out of a certain guitar or instrument,” Johnson explains during a recent rehearsal with Sparks. “And these guys are so good, if I screw up, I’ll just play quiet so I can hear them play great.”

Johnson is known to local crowds for playing guitar with Diane Miller & the Silver Daggers, the hip-hop group D Mills and the Thrills and his former namesake Americana act, the Johnson Family Band.

Sparks is a trained finger-picker who started off learning traditional folk, blues and country styles of the Blue Ridge Mountains and moved on to jazz, classical and various world music.

Clouser, who plays tonight at the Hotel Donaldson with his band, A Love Electric, comes from more of a rock and jazz background, and is best known for his amplified sets, as opposed to the acoustic tones of the two guitarists with whom he’ll share the stage.

Clouser and Johnson will play first, then make way for Sparks, who will mix in Sephardic tunes with clips from his take on Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite.” All three will join together for a final set.

“It’s going to be quite an interesting evening,” Sparks says about the shows.

While each player comes from different musical experiences, they all have history in improvised music, whether that be jazz, jam or avant garde styles.

Though the sets will be heavy on improvisation, Sparks says there’s basic architecture to each number, but spontaneity building off of the tunes.

“And hopefully that goes somewhere,” Johnson says.

Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533

Lamb of God


With singer Randy Blythe recently cleared of manslaughter charges for pushing a fan off the stage to his death at a Czech Republic concert, Lamb of God is able to get back to doing what they do best – rocking hard. The Grammy-nominated quintet released its seventh album, “Resolution,” earlier this year and returns to Fargo tonight at The Venue at The Hub, 2525 9th Ave. S., Fargo, in support of the disc. Decapitated and Anciients open the all-ages show at 6:45 p.m. (doors open at 5:30). Tickets are $29, though additional fees may apply. (866) 300-8300.

Cruisin’ Broadway Downtown Fargo


It just may clear up enough today for the sun to shine on Cruisin’ Broadway Downtown Fargo. Tonight is the last official cruise night in downtown until Aug. 1 (the next first Thursday of the month is July 4), and with the first night being largely rained out, it would be nice to get one night of shiny metal and burnt rubber in before the dog days of summer. Weather permitting, festivities fire up at 5 p.m. and wind down about 9. In between, take in the sights and sounds and smells of some of the finest cars in our area.

Hawley Rodeo


A week’s worth of events leading up to the annual Hawley Rodeo kicks into high gear the next few days. From 4 to 7 p.m., the Boy Scouts serve a pitchfork fondue at the community center, followed by the first night of the PRCA event at 7 p.m. at the Hawley Rodeo Grounds off Highway 10. Saturday starts off with a 5K walk/run at Hawley School, followed from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. by horseshoe tournament at Riverbend Park and a classic car and motorcycle show at City Hall. Fun for the kids starts at 10:30 a.m. with kids bouncy games and a water fight at noon and a 3 p.m. kiddie parade along Sixth Street. A beef feed at noon and a pie and ice cream social at 3 gives everyone something to savor. Late-afternoon parades lead up to the second night of the rodeo at 7. Advance tickets are $12 for ages 13 and older, $15 at the gate, $5 for kids 12 and younger, $7 at the gate, and free for kids 3 and younger. For a full schedule go to www.hawley.govoffice.com or call (218) 483-3331.