Crossroads: Sitting in With Top Players

On Sunday at 5 p.m., Crossroads will offer the first of a series of workshops featuring both local and internationally renowned players

   Crossroads Music, the shop at Amagansett Square offering instrument sales and repairs as well as lessons, has long been a nexus for the South Fork’s thriving community of musicians and singers. From coffeehouse-type performances and open jam sessions to the “On the Air” events, in which Cynthia Daniels, a Grammy Award-winning producer and engineer, recorded ensembles for later broadcast, the shop has proven an invaluable resource for musicians.

    On Sunday at 5 p.m., Crossroads will offer the first of a series of workshops featuring both local and internationally renowned players. Andy Aledort, who recently wrapped up a tour with Dickey Betts, the former Allman Brothers Band guitarist, will lead a guitar workshop. For the $60 admission price, guitarists can enjoy an intimate, hour-plus lesson in a small group setting.

    The workshops continue with Kerry Kearney, who will offer a blues and slide guitar workshop on Oct. 13. Corky Laing, who performed his one-man show “Heavy Metal Humor” at the Bay Street Theatre on Sept. 21 and was formerly drummer of the legendary rock ’n’ roll band Mountain, gives a drum workshop on Oct. 20. Mick Hargreaves will lead a class for bass guitarists on Oct. 27, and Mr. Aledort, with Peter (Bosco) Michne, will offer a guitar workshop on Nov. 3. All sessions start at 5 p.m.

    The idea for these small group sessions developed organically, said Michael Clark, Crossroads Music’s proprietor. “Most of the time it’s people just stopping into the shop or hearing about us,” he said of his store, which has been visited by musicians including Sir Paul McCartney. “Kerry actually called me when we were doing ‘On the Air’ and said, ‘I’ve heard about these things.’ I said, ‘Wait a minute, you’re Kerry Kearney!’ He said, ‘But I love doing these small venues — it keeps me in touch with what’s going on.’ ”

    Mr. Clark connected with Mr. Aledort and Mr. Laing in a similar fashion. When these top practitioners visit his store, “I’m not shy about saying, ‘Would you consider doing a workshop?’ Ninety-nine out of 100 times, they say yes.”

    Mr. Aledort, who lives in Sea Cliff, is a senior editor of Guitar World magazine. He has written more than 200 books of guitar transcriptions and a series of instructional books and videos. His talent has taken him far, as both a performer and educator. His book “Jimi Hendrix Signature Licks: A Step-by-Step Breakdown of His Guitar Styles and Techniques,” an instructional book with accompanying CD of audio recordings, led to recordings and performances with Double Trouble, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section. That experience led to him perform and record with Billy Cox, Mitch Mitchell, and Buddy Miles, all members of Hendrix’s bands.

    From private lessons and, long ago, teaching at the Great Neck Music Center to more recent endeavors such as two and three-day clinics at the Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle, Mr. Aledort has ample experience in direct, hands-on education. “I’ve done a couple things closer to [the Crossroads workshop] — more intimate, where people will probably have their instruments,” he said. “It’s great.”

    Sunday’s workshop affords guitarists an opportunity to learn directly from someone who played with Stevie Ray Vaughan, the legendary blues-rock guitarist who died in a helicopter crash in 1990. “I got to play with Stevie the first time I went to interview him in 1986,” Mr. Aledort recalled. “It was an interview-lesson, so we played for 10 or 15 minutes, and then I stopped because I was supposed to interview him. He said, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘I have to interview you, that’s really what they sent me here for.’ He said, ‘Damn, I thought we were gonna have fun!’ ”

    “How cool is it to have the opportunity to learn, to sit and play and talk with these guys that have been doing it for such a long time?” Mr. Clark asked. “That’s really the cool part about the music community: Everybody’s willing to share. And we’re constantly trying to reach out and do something different. There are so many open mikes, which is awesome, but let’s try something a little bit different, just to keep the musical energy alive.”

    Seating at the Crossroads Music workshops is limited. Reservations can be made by calling the shop.