The Day – Jr. Mack performs at the Oat Theater in Norwich on May 11

Are there musical artists who claim to be real blues musicians or artists who are significantly influenced by the blues? Or are they trying to demonstrate the extent of the influence by adding “blues” as a modifier hyphen to their chosen genre?

Why yes! No shortage!

You know what I mean: blues-rock, folk-blues, country-blues, blues-polka, blues-Renaissance polyphony… That kind of thing.

What you don’t hear so much about anymore is a secular artist whose work is steeped in gospel.

All of which explains why Jr. Mack’s performance on Wednesday at the Norwich Arts Center is so intriguing. Mack, the self-taught guitarist/vocalist plays a fusion of Deep South blues and gospel that is rich and deeply moving. He holds a residency at Tera Blues in New York and is also a frequent guest on many projects featuring folks from the Allman Brothers Band, so this break in his schedule to play in our part of the world is a musical blessing. .

Jr. Mack, 7:30 p.m. May 11, Donald Oat Theatre, 62 Broadway, Norwich; doors open at 7 p.m.; $25, $20 members, $23 military, students, seniors;

$25 adults; $23 seniors/military/students; $20 Members Tickets @

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