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Mama lets Jerry Doucette play the blues

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Jerry ‘Mama Let Him Play’ Doucette is a bluesman at heart, which Lethbridge will see when he plays Casino Jerry Doucette returns to Lethbridge, Aug. 15. photo by Richard AmeryLethbridge, Aug. 15 with his band.
 Doucette is best known for his signature song “Mama Let Him Play,” but what he likes to do is play the blues.

“I love the blues. It has always been the blues and always will be. I was actually raised on cajun blues music because of my parents who are from Quebec,” he said.
“I’ll play the blues. People seem to like the way I play it and throw in the Mama Let Him play stuff too,” he said.
He noted his signature song came together quickly.

“I moved to Vancouver in 1973 from Ontario and started thinking about growing up.
 My dad used to work shifts and come home and go to sleep. I’d just started playing guitar and my mom would yell at me to turn it down. Then dad got up and told her ‘Mama, let him play.’ Later I thought, what a great title. The first thing that came to mind was the intro and finished it in about an hour,” he said.
“The rest of the album took three months. The rest of it is pretty different,” he said adding the solo is fiendishly tricky.

“It’s pretty tricky. I only know one guy who plays it properly — he’s the guy who teaches guitar on the internet,” he said.

One of his children hooked him up with Lethbridge guitarist Paul Kype, who often pays  guitar in his band when he’s not being a fishing guide in the summer.

“I met Paul at the Yale Hotel. My son Jerry Jr.  was working there and  told me  I had to hear him, but I kept holding off him off. When I went down there, I heard him play and I got  goose bumps. I sat down with him and asked him if he wanted to play in my band. He got goosebumps and said yes,” Doucette reminisced.

“He keeps me on my toes,” he said.
 Drummer Marco Ibarra and bassist Trevor Newman complete the band.

“ I always wanted to record a blues rock album,” he said adding he may soon get the chance to record one with  Rob Begg who offered him the use of his home studio. So he will be recording with him in the Fall.
“He’s 100 per cent behind it,” he said.

Doucette has been keeping busy playing gigs when they come up and recording with other people like Vancouver area country musician Roger Schmidt.

“ I have a great life. I have a beautiful wife I’ve been married to since 1973 and five kids and grandkids. There have been tough times, but I can take gigs when I want them,” he said.

 He joined his first band called Reefer at age 11 in Hamilton with some older kids and  hasn’t looked back since.
“They were older than me, 15, 17 and 18. We played things like the Hollies and the Turtles. Those boys took me under their wing and took care of me. And they taught me a lot,” he said.

Doucette has been playing music professionally for 50 years, so now is the right time to release a new double CD / CD rom collection providing a thorough overview of his career. It will be released in September through IDLA, which is similar to cdbaby.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Saturday, 10 August 2013 12:22 )  
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