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L.A. Beat

L.A. Studios introduces Mark Nivet and Mike Maguire’s sensitve singer-songwriter style music

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Mike Maguire playing the Sterndale Bennett Theatre. PHoto by Richard AmeryI’m not a big fan of  earnest, sensitive singer songwriters, or pop music in general, however, new record label L.A. Studio Productions introduced two of their new artists to Lethbridge at the Sterndale Bennett Theatre, Jan. 13.

As most people know Mark Nivet from New West Theatre and seemed to know opening act Mike Maguire, the 100 seat event was pretty close to sold out.

Maguire’s boisterous fans packed the Sterndale-Bennett Theatre, cheering “I love you Mike,” as he played the earstwhile sensitive singer-songwriter schtick to a tee. He told stories in between all of his songs which were all about relationships past, and fingerpicked some impressive guitar lines throughout.
 He has a pleasant voice, reminiscent of Matchbox 20 and Rob Thomas.

 He played the music  from his CD “Things Unsaid”  note for note, and had the appreciative crowd laughing at his stage patter and affable stage presence.

He spoke of his songwriting, saying he writes songs so people can interpret them the way they like  and talked of his travels to Cambodia and his work as a counsellor, all of which inspire him to write.

While the songs do tend to sound very similar and have a similar theme, there were some standouts like “ Fall From Grace,” which he said was inspired by his grandmother and “Losing Control,” which reminded me of Todd Snider he said it was inspired by a “crazy bitch.”

Not that I minded it, but for a guy trying to pull off the sensitive songwriter image, he cursed a lot in between songs though the audience seemed to be enjoying it.


Mark Nivet playing a solo show at the Sterndale Bennett Theatre. Photo by Richard Amery He ended his set by playing a new song on the piano, saying he started playing piano at five at his parents’ encouragement, though he said he didn’t enjoy going to lessons. But he thanked his parents, family and co-workers for their support as well as L.A. Records’ Brad Lang for believing in him.

Mark Nivet was next on piano and played like a seasoned pro, joking with the crowd, about turning away from the audience to look at a camera behind his piano, so it “wouldn’t catch the reflection of my chrome dome too much.”

 He played his pop infused Cd “The Path” from the last track to the first and  chatted engagingly with the audience, noting he was inspired by “great soul singers,” whose influence came to the fore in his music. He introduced his own song about the ”crazy bitch” who inspired him to come overseas from Australia.

He told stories about the songs including one he co-wrote with his brother during a visit back home.
 Throughout he displayed his impressive vocal range and affable stage presence.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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