Adventures in Guitar with Paul Asbell & Hugh Pool

Tue, Mar 27 at 7pm

  • All Ages
  • Seated Show
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Zenbarn welcomes guitar heros Paul Asbell & Hugh Pool


From his early years, playing blues on Chicago’s South Side, to his present multi-faceted career based out of northern Vermont, Paul has earned an underground reputation as a true “musician’s musician”. He has played and recorded with Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Otis Rush, Magic Sam, Earl Hooker, Lightnin’ Slim, Paul Butterfield, Sam Lay, Pops Staples, Donny Hathaway, and numerous others while in his home- town of Chicago, Ill.

Paul moved to Vermont in the heady “back-to-the-land” days of 1971, where he still lives. He soon started playing with a head-spinningly diverse array of artists, including Big Mama Thornton, singer-songwriters Paul Siebel, Jim Ringer, Mary McCaslin, and Rosalie Sorrells, jazz greats Jon Hendricks, Bobby McFerrin, Sonny Stitt, and Nick Brignola, and many others.

In 1978, seeking an outlet for more personal musical visions, he formed Kilimanjaro, and recorded 2 award-winning albums for Philo Records which led to several appearances at the Kool Jazz Festival at SPAC, the Atlanta Jazz Festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the Roskilde Festival in Copenhagen, and numerous national tours and concert dates.

In 1981, he and other members of Kilimajaro joined forces with a legendary saxophonist/blues singer to form Big Joe Burrell and the Unknown Blues Band, which remained a Northeast regional favorite until Big Joe’s passing in 2005.

Performance/recording credits in recent years include David Bromberg, Paul Butterfield, Betty Carter, Joshua Redman, James Carter, Kermit Ruffins, Michael Ray, the Sun Ra Arkestra, The Wild Magnolias, John Stowell, guitar wunderkind Julian Lage, and ex-student Trey Anastasio.

He has also taught guitar for over 50 years, including workshops at the Healdsburg, Woodstock (NY) and Newport Guitar Festivals, and positions at Dartmouth College, Skidmore College, St. Michaels College, and presently at Middlebury College and the University of Vermont.

Since 1994, Paul has been reconnecting with his original folk-based roots in enthusiastically received festival shows and solo concerts at numerous acoustic venues across the country. His 3 solo acoustic CDs, “Steel-String Americana”, “Roots and Branches”, and "From Adamant To Atchafalaya" received rave reviews in Acoustic Guitar, Guitar Player, Sing Out, Downbeat, Blues Revue, and other mags for their highly individualized twists on blues and jazz standards, old-timey country-based themes and original pieces from the “american roots” tradition. The Flynn Theatre called them “A genre-blurring, virtuosic waltz through the deep heritage of American folklore, where styles of Robert Johnson, Doc Watson and Dr. John rub elbows with those of Joe Pass and Bill Frisell.” 


Hugh Pool is a journeyman blues player whose guitar has taken him around the globe. From Indonesia to the Arctic circle and from cafes in Europe to major festivals and ampitheaters, Hugh has opened for and/or played with: Johnny Winter, John Mayall, Joan Jett, Canned Heat, Patti Smith, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Ritchie Havens, Arlo Guthrie, Foghat, Government Mule, Commander Cody, Dave Edmonds, and more. He’s been punched on stage by Leslie West. He has been called out of the audience to jam by Leon Russell, Chris Whitley, John Campbell and Bob Margolin. He has been invited to party old school with Tony Joe White, Lonnie Mack, Rick Danko, Hubert Sumlin, Towns Van Sant and Paul Gerimiah. In Chicago, Cleveland, and New York he’s had backstage conversations in the code of blues with legends Sunnyland Slim, Pinetop Perkins, Robert Jr. Lockwood, and Les Paul. Hugh has sung, talked and played on jingles for Pepsi Cola, Dr. Pepper, Heineken, Pillsbury, Texaco, Nissan etc. He has composed music for an award winning AIDS documentary, an off-Broadway play, a couple of feature length motion pictures, many episodes of the series Duck Dynasty, the NBA, a German made for TV movie along with regular usages of his music on Network and Cable TV. In 2015, he was inducted into the New York Blues Hall of Fame as Master Artist at BB King’s in NYC.

Hugh has released a dozen CD’s under various names and has been lauded by The New York Times, Village Voice, The New York Press, Blues Review, Living Blues, and Big City Rhythm and Blues. He has appeared on TV shows including The Emeril Lagasse Show, Late Night With Conan O’Brien, ABC World News Now, ABC’s The City, The Mitch Albom show, and ABC’s Love Monkey.

In addition to his success as a musician, Hugh has also earned acclaim as a producer/engineer/mixer and session player at his Brooklyn-based studio, Excello Recording. Hugh’s talent behind the board and musical ears have led him to work with such talents as Taj Mahal, Debbie Harry, Hubert Sumlin, Michael Brecker, The National, Olu Dara, and Chuck Berry piano legend Johnny Johnson.

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette may have summed him up best for their readers—“You may not have heard of Hugh Pool now, but if there is justice in the world of music, that will change.”

"Spider's Web"


179 Guptil Road
Waterbury Ctr, VT 05677

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