Hickory – The City of Hickory’s 2023 Sails Original Music Series welcomes back nationally renowned bluesman Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues this week. The free concert begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 16, at Union Square in downtown Hickory.

Now famous for his use of rhythm and slide guitars made from old gas cans, Mac Arnold is a 2017 inductee to the Alabama Blues Hall of Fame. Highlights of his musical career include performing with famous musicians like James Brown, Muddy Waters, Otis Redding, and B.B. King, as well as producing “Soul Train” and playing bass on the “Sanford & Son” television show.

After moving back to his home state of South Carolina to be an organic farmer, Arnold formed his own band to continue serving up world-class blues music. The band consists of Austin Brashier on guitar and vocals; Max Hightower on harmonica, keyboard, guitar, bass, and vocals; Rick Latham on drums; Mike Frost on bass; and Mac Arnold on vocals, bass, and gas can guitars.

“An 80-year-old, award winning bluesman playing a gas can guitar with a killer backing band. What could be better?” says Sails Music Coordinator Bob Sinclair.

In addition to the seating available at Union Square, audience members are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets. A variety of close-by bars and restaurants offer food and beverages.

ABC permitted businesses within the Hickory Downtown Social District will sell beer and wine in special marked cups that may be consumed on Union Square, sidewalks, and other public areas within the designated boundaries of the social district. No outside alcohol may be brought into the social district. To review additional restrictions and a detailed map of the social district’s coverage area, visit www.hickorync.gov/downtown-social-district.

After a break over the summer, the music series will return this fall with concerts every Friday in September.

For more information, please visit www.HickoryNC.gov/SailsMusic and follow the Sails Original Music Series Facebook page, www.facebook.com/SailsMusic.