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A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

April 12, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Portland’s Mark McGuire a most valuable player | Concert preview

Mark McGuire

Mark McGuire plays Seattle Sunday. Photo by Ken Seeno.

Don’t confuse Mark McGuire with the home run hitter — and admitted steroid user — with the similar name. The Cleveland-born, Portland-based guitarist, headlining Barboza Sunday, is a natural.

The 28-year-old musician creates long, luminous soundscapes using his Fender Lonestar Stratocaster and cadre of time-based effects pedals as both melodic and rhythmic implements.

As one-third of now-defunct drone-psych troupe Emeralds, McGuire broke in early. By now — between the band, and eponymous work — he has more releases than he has years.

This year’s “Along the Way,” his latest, is auditory Jenga — precariously adding and subtracting as it progresses, but always building up.

For further evidence of McGuire’s ability to elevate any team he plays for, refer to his five-song cameo on the Afghan Whigs’ comeback album “Do to the Beast,” due next week. (Coincidentally — or maybe not — that band plays Tuesday at the Showbox.)

With the possible exception of Baltimore’s similarly-minded Dustin Wong, it’s hard to think of other solo six-stringers generating so much sound — and so much material — with such a spartan setup.

Unlike Mark McGwire, his accomplishments need no asterisk.

8 p.m. Sunday at Barboza, 925 E. Pike St., Seattle; $10 (206-709-9442 or thebarboza.com)

Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: experimental, progressive rock, psychedelic

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