By Emily Sorensen
Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, the Poway Library is hosting folk musician Jim Hinton in a free concert 2 p.m. Saturday, March 9 at 13137 Poway Road.
The San Diego-based folk musician will perform a concert of mostly Irish folk songs, in celebration of the holiday, with some of his own compositions mixed in.
“It’ll definitely have an Irish flavor to it,” said Hinton. “I’ll be mixing it up a bit, but more of an Irish flavor because of St. Patrick’s Day.”
Hinton’s concert is part of the San Diego County Library’s Acoustic Showcase concert series, which brings free concerts to libraries around San Diego County on a monthly basis.
Hinton is no stranger to the San Diego folk scene, or music in general. Born in Arizona, Hinton grew up in San Diego and can trace his first musical offerings to a rock band he formed in middle school in 1964. “I’ve pretty much been a musician my whole life,” said Hinton, who moved into performing folk music in coffeehouses as a teenager in the latter part of the 1960s, and moving into Irish folk music in the 1970s.
Hinton briefly stopped his music career to attend college and study psychology, but after graduating continued to perform and record. He also teaches extension and adult enrichment classes for SDSU, Cal State San Marcos and the City of La Mesa, including classes on Irish folk music and folk music of the 1960s.
“I’ve always been interested in Irish culture because of my own family,” said Hinton, who threw himself into reading Irish literature. “My interest in folk music led to exploring Irish music.” Hinton, who learned to play guitar as a child, has further expanded his folk music abilities by learning to play the mandocello (like a mandolin, but with a lower pitch), the bodhran drum (an Irish drum), and the harmonica. “I learned [the instruments] over the years,” said Hinton.
Another reason for Hinton’s devotion to Irish folk music is more practical. “Playing Irish folk was a way to make money at Irish pubs,” said Hinton, who said Irish pubs tended to hire musicians more often than regular pubs or coffeehouses. In addition to pubs and coffeehouses, Hinton performs at festivals, schools, churches and concert halls.
Though he’s never performed at the Poway Library before, Poway is an old stomping ground for Hinton, who has performed here a number of times with various bands, at folk festivals and at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts.
Hinton is also a prolific recording artist, performing with many folk groups on recordings, as well as making a number of his own. In the last 10 years, Hinton has put out three solo albums, the latest being in 2009. “I’ve been promising myself to get in and record again,” said Hinton.
The concert is free and open to all ages. For information, call the library at 858-513-2900.