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L.A. Beat

Danny Michel entertains full house with humour, piano and Paul Simon melodies

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As expected, Danny Michel’s Oct. 5 show at the Slice was packed to the rafters. While I missed Samantha Savage Smith, I arrived in time to  see Michel sitting behind the Slice’s battered piano, coaxing beautiful music out of every creaking note. The standing room only crowd sat rapt at attention hanging on every note and word. He kept their attention as he picked up his guitar for one of several exotic, Belize inspired songs from his latest CD “Sunset Sea.”


One of my favourites “Wish Willie,” was a highlight of the show, which he ended with a long story about golfing with the guys in Lethbridge and playing the Slice’s open jam the night before.Danny Michel tries out the Slice’s piano. Photo by Richard Amery
One enthusiastic fan answered his cell phone by whispering  “this is show of the night in Lethbridge,” before leaving the room.


Michel was happy to chat engagingly with the crowd about his golf game with the Slice gang and about how one of his songs , “White Lightning,” was often compared to Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” then talked about actually meeting Paul Simon, then joked he only told stories to add a capo and retune, then retuned and added a capo, then laughed “You people didn’t pay to hear me talk about golfing.”


There was a lot of Graceland era Paul Simon in his music and especially in his voice and held the crowd as he looped  numerous guitar parts, added some piano and sang mesmerizing melodies.


 He showed off his whimsy by adding a few bars  of the Spiderman theme to one of his songs, looped several guitar parts, then sat down at the piano again.
 While the audience was quiet for the most part, they got caught up in their own chatter midway through the set, though Michel didn’t mind as he beamed a big, beaming smile, getting lost in his music.


He wound down his set with  a couple crowd favourites “Daddy Was a  Bank Robber,” and  his big hit “Feather , Fur and Fin,” before ending with  another crowd favourite “Tennessee Tobacco.”
 After that the effervescent Michel got excited about setting up  the stage for a massive jam session to close off the night.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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