CAMDEN — Roger Salloom, who has been called America’s Best Unknown Songwriter, will kick off Independence Day Weekend with a free SoundCheck show 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 1, at the Camden Opera House, 29 Elm St. The hour-long musical gift is made possible by the opera house’s Community Arts Fund.

The Worcester native was in the center of the 1960s San Francisco psychedelic scene, playing the Fillmore with Santana, Van Morrison, B.B. King and Procul Harum. In the 1970s, he moved to Nashville to pursue songwriting … then disappeared for 20 years to raise a family as a single parent and draw a syndicated cartoon.

Creating songs that fuse blues, roots, Americana, country and soul, Salloom always speaks from his heart. His self-deprecating humor, mixed with a powerful sensitivity and depth of character, makes for a musician’s journey worthy of a documentary — and Chris Sautter’s 2004 “So Glad I Made It, the saga of Roger Salloom, America’s Best Unknown Songwriter” may be viewed on YouTube.

The opera house goes back to full capacity as of July 1 and while choose-your-own reserved seating will continue in the future, this holiday weekend concert is a free, general admission show – the opera house staff welcomes locals and visitors alike to just show up, take a seat and enjoy. Doors will open at 7 p.m.

SoundCheck shows also are livestreamed on the opera house’s Facebook page, no fee or link required. For more information on all this summer’s upcoming events, including the July 8 concert by Denmark’s KIMI Ensemble, visit