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L.A. Beat

Good night for skiffle, storytelling and the blues

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Tuesday night was a good night for storytelling, a bit of skiffle and the blues at the Geomatic Attic.
A sold out show with Rod Davis as well as New York acoustic bluesman Guy Davis was  superb. They play again at the Geomatic Attic tonight at 8 p.m.. There are still tickets left for the show
 Rod  and Guy Davis play Can't Be Satisfied. Photo by Richard AmeryRod Davis, who used to play with John Lennon in skiffle group the  Quarrymen while at school began the set  on guitar with  “Freight Train,” whistling along to it , joking the song that started it all “ Rock Island Line” which was prefaced by a blow by blow account of  what it was like in the early days of rock and roll in Britain, hearing  Lonnie Donegan’s version of “Rock Island Line,” buying a banjo and joining the Quarrymen, meeting John Lennon and accidentally etching his place in British musical history.
 So there were a lot of entertaining stories, but even better, some impressive  guitar picking. Davis played everything from  “Rock Island Line” to Flatts and Scruggs bluegrass and even Ian Tyson’s Four Strong Winds.” He ended with  the Beatles’ “Day in My Life” and  “Midnight Special.”
Guy Davis was next with some impressive 12 string guitar slide and finger picking on some obscure acoustic blues. He cracked jokes, switched guitars, took his time tuning them, cracked a few more jokes and  introduced  one of his songs “Chocolate Man” which   made one fan exclaim it was her favourite, which in turn made him jump about a mile in his seat. And then he pulled out the harp, and his harp holder, which he said used to hold his sister’s braces on before he swiped it. He played impressive melodies on it, and harmonized with his guitar throughout.  His vocal melodies  also harmonized with a few of his guitar leads and got the audience to sing along with him.
He played a few selections from his most recent CD,  ”Sweetheart Like You,” as well as older material, which he interspersed between stories about being in Scotland.
 Turning serious for a brief moment he  told a story about visiting blues legend  Odetta in her last days in a New York hospital and playing  the song “Payback” for her, much to the chagrin of the hospital staff. He had the crowd singing along with that too, and then pulled out  the harp again for an impressive original song reminiscent of Sonny Terry, which included  the sounds of train whistles and live stock.
Impressive. Rod Davis joined him on stage for a version of Muddy Waters’“Can‘t Be Satisfied,” which drew the show to a close, after he stayed on stage for a couple encores.
 The Show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $35. E-mail Mike Spencer at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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