‘Travelin’ Man Roy Book Binder spins yarns of a life on the road at May Memorial

Roy Book Binder is a blues singer, a virtuoso guitar player, a comedian, a folklorist and a master storyteller. The self-styled travelin’ man will bring his unique brand of southern acoustic blues to Syracuse for a Folkus Project concert at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20 at May MemorialUnitarian Universalist Church, 3800 East Genesee St., Syracuse. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
For nearly 40 years, the “Book” has been traveling the country in a motor home and his songs are rich with wry observations on the rambling lifestyle. His eclectic repertoire includes blues, ragtime, bluegrass, folk, and popular songs that originated in Tin Pan Alley.
Book Binder’s superb guitar work is complemented by his talents as a storyteller. With his dry, self-deprecating humor, Book Binder regales his audiences with tales of life on the road and the eccentric characters he’s met on his travels.
“I make people smile,” he says. “My greatest joy is to have an audience laugh.”
Roy has appeared as a featured artist at the National Storytelling Festival as well as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and the Chicago Blues Festival.
In the 1960s, Roy learned his craft by touring with the celebrated blind street singer The Rev. Gary Davis and later with the legendary Pink Anderson. During the 1970s he was part of the vibrant blues scene in England, performing with Homesick James and Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup. Since then he’s been performing at festivals, clubs and coffeehouses, breathing life back into the songs of his mentors and musicians like Blind Blake and Mississippi John Hurt.
Book Binder has performed with such artists as B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Ray Charles and Doc Watson. He’s listed in the Blues Who’s Who, has appeared regularly on TNN’s “Nashville Now” and has received five-star ratings from Billboard for his Rounder Recordings. His first album, Travelin’ Man, was released in 1970 and became the first solo acoustic blues album to receive a five star review in Downbeat Magazine.
By capturing the essence of the blues, Book Binder is not only preserving a rich musical heritage, he’s also earning himself a place beside the masters.
Tickets for the 8 p.m. performance Friday at May Memorial are $15. For reservations, email or call 440-7444.
To learn more about Roy Book Binder visit

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