49 West - Coffeehouse, Winebar & Gallery / Annapolis, Maryland
Coffee House | Wine Bar | Gallery | Music Venue
OCHS Clan to Raise afternoon Ruckus at 49 West
Bo Arbogast on Mandolin, Eli Arbogast on Cello, Wema from kenya on Vocals, Jem Seidel on piano and guitar, Max Ochs guitar
plus SURPRISE guests
Max Ochs was a key figure in the reinvention of the steel-string guitar when he was part of the hugely influential Takoma LP, “Contemporary Guitar Spring ‘67,” alongside tracks by John Fahey, Robbie Basho and Harry Taussig. Though Fahey became the best known of this group, they all pioneered ways of opening up old blues and country tunes with a new improvisational freedom. Ochs has pursued his low-profile, high-achievement career ever since, running the 333 Coffeehouse in Annapolis for many years and releasing a number of albums. His profile rose significantly in recent years when Tompkins Square Records chose Ochs’ composition, “Imaginational Anthem,” as the title track of a compilation of new guitar music, as influential in its own way as its Takoma predecessor. Last year, Tompkins Square released Ochs’ own album, “Hooray For Another Day,” featuring a new take on Fahey’s arrangement of “In Christ There Is No East or West” and the spoken-word poem, “Phil,” written for Max’s cousin, the late folk legend Phil Ochs.
Max Ochs served the Annapolis community for nearly four decades with Anne Arundel County’s anti-poverty agency, as well as the A.A. Conflict Resolution Center. He also taught World History in high school. He believes that “it is better to practice a little than to talk a lot”. He majored in Philosophy at University of Maryland and received a Masters in Humanities from St. John’s in Annapolis.
A “primitive American” guitarist with several recordings, Max still enjoys performing in public. He and his wife Suzanne enjoy being with their nine grandchildren.