Blues-rock guitar sensation A.C. Myles will bring his talents to the Willow Creek Lounge stage Saturday night at Black Oak Casino in Tuolumne.
Myles, who is based out of Fresno, will be making his yearly trip to Tuolumne County for the show. Myles said he always enjoys himself while performing in the mountains.
“I wouldn’t mind coming up a little more,” he said. “It’s always a good time.”
Myles was raised in a musical home. His father was a guitar player and his mother enjoyed rock ‘n’ roll. It was from watching his father play guitar that Myles began to gravitate towards the instrument. Myles learned the basics from his dad and quickly discovered he had a passion for the blues.
“It’s a huge part of the basics to music and guitar, so you must have a handle on the genre to be effective in most musical situations,” he said.
In high school, Myles did what most kids who know three chords do -— he started a band. He played guitar and also began to sing. Although Myles has no professional training when it comes to singing, he has a range that most vocalists can only dream of.
But Myles knows what his niche is and he doesn’t pretend to be someone that he’s not.
“I’m only good at what I do,” Myles said. “Thrown into a foreign musical situation like jazz or country and I’m laughably bad.”
After high school, Myles continued to play live and eventually made his way north and began playing in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was a sideman for a number of big blues names, but none bigger than the legendary John Nemeth.
Once Myles broke out on his own, he toured as a trio. Myles feels comfortable playing in a trio, but said he also knows that there is good and bad that comes with having only three instruments.
“As I grew and matured as a musician, that format was very limiting in some ways, but freeing in other ways,” he said.
Myles plays more than 150 shows a year. Being a working musician can be a difficult occupation, especially when it comes to having a family. But Myles has been able to juggle his professional life and home life the best he can.
“Being a musician is obviously different than having a 9 to 5,” Myles said. “Scheduling can be a dance sometimes, but I would compare a musicians gig calendar to something similar to that of a full-time college student’s schedule. You have several choices and options, to a point, but also sometimes have to take what you can get.”
Myles released his first studio album “Reconsider Me” in 2014. On the record, Myles takes covers and puts his own twist on them. Songs include “Do You Read Me” (Rory Gallagher), “Rock My Soul” (Elvin Bishop), and “Blue Monday” (Fats Domino).
Myles had one simple objective for his debut record, and that was to not release something that sounds like what every other blues-rocker was doing.
“With ‘Reconsider Me’ I wanted to show the blues without the nerdy overplayed distortion that most blues-rockers do,” Myles said. “Most modern guys within the genre over play and lose the relaxed feel. I also wanted to show blues rock done with fire and good guitar tones and good vocals, instead of less than desirable vocals and bad guitar tones like many current releases. I wanted to prove that both can be done.”
In his sophomore record, 2015’s “Rush To Red,” Myles kicks things off with a slide guitar-driven song called “Open Road,” where he sings about the struggles and satisfactions of being a working musician. Myles shows off his versatility with “Closin’ Em Down Every Night,” a mid-tempo song that showcases his powerful voice and clean guitar playing.
Myles didn’t want to release two records that sounded similar, but he feels that the two are not that different from one another.
“I think they make more sense listened to as a pair, although that wasn’t my intention at the time,” he said.
Myles hopes to begin working on a new record by next summer.
While Myles may not be a household name — yet — he said he typically hears the same thing from people once they hear him play for the first time.
“The one I get most is, ‘He’s better than we’d thought he’d be,’ ” Myles laughed.
Both of Myles’ records are available on iTunes as well as Pandora, Spotify or at acmyles.com.
Myles takes the stage at 9 p.m. Saturday for the free show. Opening will be local blues-rock band Dossi on the Rocks, who will start at 8 p.m.
Editor’s note: Union Democrat sports reporter Guy Dossi is also frontman of Dossi on the Rocks.