Tuesday nights are Blues Night at Blind Lemon’s, a lakeshore music club and restaurant in the mountains- of Guatemala. There, American ex-pat owner Carlos Funk (aka William Freed) and visiting musicians hold forth beside beautiful Lake Atitlan, bringing an authentic taste of the blues to the Mayan highlands of San Marcos. Carlos has deep roots in the blues, but also in the Swannanoa Valley, and his visit with local family will give WNC music lovers a chance to hear this talented performer at the White Horse Black Mountain.
Carlos Funk was in college when he discovered the Lovin’ Spoonful. Their music carried echoes of pre-war country blues and jug band music which called to the young player, but he never really got to the heart of the tradition until the first ever Blues Week at the Swannanoa Gathering. That experience changed the direction of his life, and he set off in pursuit of the blues. “In this particular pursuit”, he says, “you never actually get there, but you have so much fun on the trip you don’t care.” Along the way he’s developed a clean, precise, but highly rhythmic guitar style and a vocal delivery that expresses all the passion, pain and humor of the blues. He has an extensive repertoire of original songs and early blues classics from the likes of Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Willie McTell, Tampa Red, and of course Blind Lemon Jefferson, whose name graces Carlos Funk’s San Marcos establishment.