Dorian Michael and Kenny Blackwell are California boys who just can't get enough of music.
As Michael puts it, "Music is something you feel deeply. Some music makes you think and some tunes are just plain fun to play."
The duo returns to the Tri-Cities on Nov. 20 for a concert that will offer blues, bluegrass and Brazilian sounds.
Show time is 7:30 p.m. at the Community Unitarian Universalist Church, 2819 W. Sylvester St., Pasco. Tickets are $11 adults and $9 for students and senior citizens. Cost is $1 more at the door. Advance tickets are available at Octopus' Garden and all Tri-City area Bookworm stores.
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The two also will give guitar and mandolin workshops at 3 p.m. Nov. 20. Cost is $15. To register, call 528-2215.
Though Michael is a frequent performer at the Three Rivers Folklife Society's Tumbleweed Festival, the two musicians haven't performed together in the Tri-Cities for more than six years.
"I play solo most every year at the Tumbleweed Festival, which is one of my favorite things to do," Michael said. "I reminded Kenny that it was time to see the great Northwest again and he didn't argue, so here we come."
Blackwell plays the mandolin and Michael is the guitarist.
With the mandolin, "Kenny found himself playing in the bluegrass world," Michael said. "But he also plays guitar and has ears for many kinds of music."
Michael added, "I grew up playing blues, but like Kenny listened to and played lots of other stuff."
The two were brought together by their differences, Michael said.
"We were out to broaden and maybe deepen our music making and to play stuff that we were not going to play otherwise," he said. "Kenny is a great blues player, not so common among mandolin players. He got us playing some Brazilian music and some Celtic tunes as well.
"It's a learning experience for both of us, me mostly. And I know there's been a lot of that since we last played in the Tri-Cities together."
Some folks might wonder how a guitar and a mandolin by themselves can crank out true blues. Michael describes their music as "spare and pointed."
He explains that this way: "There is a certain amount of space, of air, of open geography that happens with a duo with no bass. The music breathes in a different way in this setting and we have come to dig it a lot."
One thing's for sure, when Michael and Blackwell play together the audience hears a variety of sounds that in some cases are trial runs on the listeners.
"Both of us have a tendency to get restless and want to try out different kinds of music," Michael said.
Those styles make for different attitudes and emotional takes on the music, he said.
"We like to try to get to all those places in the space of concert."
*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org