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Bowers brings autoharp to local stage

Bryan Bowers will combine his instrumental virtuosity on the autoharp with vocals at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, in Crossings at Carnegie, Zumbrota. Submitted photo

ZUMBROTA — Bryan Bowers invites people to learn to love the autoharp as much as her does. The singer and storyteller has been praised for introducing a new generation to the autoharp.

He will performing at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at Crossings — just over a year since he last performed in Zumbrota.

Born in Yorktown, Va., Bowers was raised in New Bohemia near Petersburg of the Civil War's Battle Of The Crater fame. As a child, Bowers tagged along with the field workers and gandy dancers and learned to sing old call-and-answer songs. In the late 1060s, Bowers took up the guitar.

"The roots of the music had gone real deep in me. Music was real fulfilling, unlike anything I had ever done before," he recalled.

Soon he encountered the autoharp, which is defined as a kind of zither with a mechanical device that allows the playing of a chord by damping all the other strings.

For over five decades, critics have said Bowersis to the autoharp what Earl Scruggs was to the five-string banjo.

"Live at Winterfolk 2015" is his most recent album, having been recorded at Portland's premier folk event and 28th annual fundraiser for Sister of the Road.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $23 at the door. Visit, call 507-732- 7616 or stop at 320 East Ave., Zumbrota.