Friday night, Traci and Dennis Fick-owners of DAT Bar on the city’s west side- welcomed back internationally touring Scottish Alternative Blues Artist Dave Arcari, for his third performance in as many years. Arcari’s opening act was Phyl Wickham of Minocqua.
A native of Glasgow, Scotland, Arcari’s career has spanned four decades, including appearances at several famed European music venues including the Royal Albert Hall, The London Blues Festival and the Glastonbury Festival. In that time he has toured all over Europe as well as completing two US tours beginning in 2014.
Arcari attributes his unique blend of grovely, hard hitting lyrics and bottleneck guitar to rockabilly and punk as well as pre-war delta blues.
As for how a Scotsman comes to be a bluesman, Arcari chalks it up to his teenage discovery of the electric guitar.
“I was about 18 when I got my first acoustic guitar,” the towering rocker explains with a thick Scottish brogue. “I started off playing the usual (Bob) Dylan/Neil Young etc kinda stuff. After picking up electric guitar, I gravitated towards playing blues and started my first band… a fairly regular blues band playing original material.
“I was always more comfortable playing slide/bottleneck,” he continued, “so when I discovered ‘National Guitars’ and started listening to some of the pre-War Delta folks like Blind Willie Johnson, Bukka White and Son House it had an effect on me!”
Arcari and the Ficks first connected in 2014, after the couple were introduced to Arcari by friends and local musicians Mitch Ostrowski and Tom Jordan of Wausau-based ’20 Watt Tombstone.’
“It was one of those rare times you are introduced to someone and you immediately know you just met a great friend for many years to come,” Dennis says with a grin.
“He’s a world class musician. Dave and his wife Margaret are just two of the best people you will ever meet. We consider ourselves very lucky to even be able to book him. He plays everything from small town bars to huge, famous venues like the Royal Albert Hall.”
Following his 90 minute set Friday night, the Arcari’s were off to the Polack Inn in Wausau for a show Saturday, followed by a Sunday night show at the Watering Hole in Green Bay.
Dave will wrap his 2016 US tour on Sunday November 6 at the Rockwood Music Hall in New York City.