Spotlight on Tammerlin: Lee Hunter and Arvid Smith perform Saturday at The Blue Vine

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 6, 2008

Since 1992, Lee Hunter and Arvid Smith, together known as Tammerlin, have been placing their own stamp on folk/roots music.
What you’ll hear is exceptional guitar work accompanying clever original songs and traditional tunes pulled from the roots of American music ó a little bit folk, pop, country, old time, British Isles and blues ówith some world music flavorings.
The collaboration began in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1989, when Smith and Hunter were drawn together by a shared love for folk and world music. With that, they stepped into that stream of expression that goes back to the first campfire. The result is a style that transcends the music’s origins while honoring its roots.
“It’s all about evolution,” Hunter says. “Music has never stayed in one place and it’s not going to. Lots of people are doing what we’re doing, but in different ways. We’re taking traditional music and writing inspired by the tradition as well, to a new place, with our own voices and vocabulary and experience, but always with respect for where it came from.”
In Tammerlin’s music, you hear that process.
As Tammerlin takes on more and more original material, Hunter is usually the one wielding the pen. She handles rhythm guitar duties and most of the vocals with a voice that one Florida music magazine called “haunting, passionate, and powerful.”
“A wizard on the silver strings” is how Britain’s New Musical Express described Smith’s approach to the guitar. He is a man in love with strings with a collection of instruments to prove it. He’s been categorized as a “fingerstylist,” a description that is simultaneously apt and inadequate. He plays a mean slide and some pretty rockin’ electric as well. Possessed of a high level of skill and a cleverness to match, he can “pick the splinters out of” a guitar or coax and cajole the gentlest of sounds.
Tammerlin has shared the stage with such artists as The Band, Emmylou Harris, Alex De Grassi and Doc Watson.
Whether performing as a duo or collaborating with talented friends, their sound is rich, full, fascinating and just a step off the well-beaten path.
For more information, visit
Tammerlin is making their first appearance at The Blue Vine this Saturday, 8:30-11:30 p.m. There is no cover charge.
The Blue Vine is located at 209 S. Main St.
For more information, call 704-797-0093 or visit