Cobbler John concert planned Saturday in Marietta

MARIETTA – The late Cobbler John Bolen, the founder of the Blues, Jazz and Folk Music Society, won’t soon be forgotten.

The first Cobbler’s Coffee House, part of a society music series, will be held 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Over the Moon Pizzeria, 170 Front St., Marietta.

Acoustic blues musician Paul Geremia, who has performed across the U.S., Canada, England and Europe, will be the featured artist.

Geremia is known for his finger-picking and slide styles on both six- and 12-string guitar, covering musicians like Tampa Red, Blind Willie McTell and Lemon Jefferson. He also plays harmonica and piano.

Bolen is primarily known for spearheading two major blues performance events to Marietta, the annual River City Blues Competition and River City Blues Festival, but he enjoyed playing acoustic-based music.

Bolen’s widow, Peggy Bolen, said he liked to play and listen to a variety of domestic musical styles.

“His main music interest is American roots music, which includes old-timey, bluegrass, folk, early acoustic blues and more,” she said.

Bolen died on Feb. 25 at age 66.

Michael “Moon” Mullen, owner of Over the Moon Pizzeria and a longtime member of the society, said Bolen played at the pizzaria several times over the last couple of years. Mullen, also a musician, said he and Bolen often played together.

“We would get together in various coffee houses, at Marietta College and in other locations,” he said. “A coffee house event is a great way to showcase local and national talent. It’s a more intimate and affordable experience for the audience, too.”

Mullen said the pizza shop is located where the music society was created 27 years ago.

“So it seems somewhat appropriate that the first Cobbler’s Coffee House event will be held here,” he said.

Peggy Bolen also is a longtime member of the society member and continues to help coordinate society events, including the coffee house series traditionally held at Daydreams Cafe on Putnam Street.

“We had to move the event from Daydreams temporarily,” she said. “I believe we’ve done five of these concerts at Daydreams over the last two years. And we hope to do three this year.”

As for putting Bolen’s name on the coffee house series, Peggy Bolen said there had been some talk early on about renaming the annual River City Blues Festival as the John Bolen Festival.

“But I told them that John, being the businessman he was, would object to that because (River City Blues Festival) is already a great name that people relate to,” she said.

“I suggested that we call the cafe concerts ‘Cobbler’s Coffee House,'” she said. “It has a nice sound to it. And I think he would approve.”