Guitarist Bill Mize should not be mistaken for one of those ubiquitous finger pickers whose work meanders prettily but never gets to the point.
Mize, who will play tonight at Guitar Gallerie, 421 W. Riverside, has chops to burn, but it’s his compositional sense that sets him apart.
Listen to “Road Scholar,” the lead track from his 1993 CD, “Tender Explorations,” and you’ll hear the lift, the momentum, that distinguishes a real song from one that’s merely a set of progressions and neat tricks.
Mize’s work has not gone unrecognized - he is a past winner of the U.S. Fingerstyle Guitar Competition, called the U.S. Open of guitar competitions by Guitar Player magazine.
Tickets for the 7 p.m. show are $10 for adults; $7 for students and $5 for children. They are available at Guitar Gallerie (747-1083), Street Music, Dutch’s, the Sound Hole and Moonshadows.