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L.A. Beat

Big Dave McLean and Doc MacLean take audience to school for authentic acoustic blues

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Anytime Big Dave McLean and Doc MacLean are in town like they were at the Slice, Oct. 6, it’s not  only going to be entertaining, but also a crash course in authentic delta Big Dave McLean and Doc Maclean ended their show on a gospel note. Photo by Richard Ameryblues history. I arrived during the last song of the set from the self proclaimed “Bad Boys of the Blues” — Doc Maclean playing “Jimmy Lee Jackson’s Blues,” with Big Dave McLean  blowing some beautiful harp.

 That was the template for the show. They took turns trading lead vocals and harp solos and other accompaniment during each other’s songs and complementing each other perfectly.

 Doc MacLean is well known for telling stories in his laid back, southern drawl and had plenty of them.

 Big Dave McLean has as big of a heart as he does prowess on guitar and showed it. He belted out blues classics  and originals, like the dark, but hilarious “Gun,” about a car thief stealing his prized Cadillac, not once but twice and grinned as he offered to rip out the thief’s “yellow spleen” then following it by vocalizing a cheerful poppy, bluesy melody.

 Doc MacLean stood up and conducted the audience of approximately 30 into the chorus of Muddy Waters’ “Love Somebody,” while Big Dave McLean  played and belted out the lyrics.
 He also did an exceptional job of Mississippi Fred McDowell’s “You Gotta Move.”

Their  gritty, authentic delta blues muse made it easy for the audience to envision themselves in  a hot, sweaty,  and humid Mississippi juke joint back in the Depression instead of the Slice on a rainy, chilly Thursday night.

Doc MacLean did a great job, pounding out the blues on an old National Steel guitar of some of my favourite originals like “Bone Train,” and “Robert Johnson Terra-plane,” which he prefaced with the longest introduction ever for a two minute song. It is was very cool to listen to him speak/ sing  the introduction to that song while Big Dave set the beat with the harp.

 They ended their show with a  gospel tinged “Goodbye,” which concluded with them wandering through the audience, battered acoustic guitar  and harmonica in hand.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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