Dwight Ritcher is a jazz and blues guitarist, and singer living out of Vermont. Ritcher grew up near Asbury Park in New Jersey — home base for Bruce Springsteen — and his grandfather led a touring big band in the 1940s. In addition to guitar Ritcher sings and plays the Hammond organ, but he started out as a drummer in high school.

"They'd sneak me into the Bar Bombay and the clubs down by the race track, and I played a lot of blues music," Ritcher said. "I also played in shows. Pirates of Penzance and My Fair Lady. I played in the pit. I'd memorize the show. They'd give me the tape because I didn't read [music] well enough. I remember after the first gig, the conductor brought me over, she goes, 'You did a good job, kid, and we're going to get you back again. But don't turn the drum music at the same time as the violins. They're not in the same place you are."

Dwight Ritcher plays in a number of groups, including Dwight Ritcher Band, as well as Dwight & Nicole, a duo he formed with singer Nicole Nelson. (Nelson is his wife.)

Ritcher will play at The Beehive Friday night, and Harvard Square's Beat Hotel on Saturday.

Bruce Ferrara, the music director of Beat Hotel and The Beehive, said Boston trombonist Jeff Galindo so effusively praised Dwight Ritcher's playing that Ferrara booked him without ever hearing him play.

"If Jeff Galindo says someone's good, you know they are," Ferrara said.

Ferrara said musicians like Dwight Ritcher are a sign that Boston's music scene is on the ascent. "People are starting to come back. There are more places to play out," Ferrara said.

To hear the entire interview with Dwight Ritcher — including three song performances — click the audio below.

011615ritcher.mp3