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Whiteboy Slim to blend the blues with many other influences

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Moose Jaw based bluesman Whiteboy Slim aka Maurice Richard Libby believes the blues are ever-changing.Whiteboy Slim plays Lethbridge for the first time, Aug. 17. Photo Submitted
“I don't think of the blues as a museum piece, I think it is always evolving and growing,”  said Libby, who plays Average Joes, Aug. 17 with bassist Dustin Boyer.

He adds a variety of influences to the blues including hip hop, R and B, world music and jazz into the blues.
“I have one foot firmly planted in traditional styles, so I play a lot of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, but the other half of what I do is  a lot more experimental with lots of other influences,” he continued.

The Moose Jaw based musician was born in Vancouver, went to school in Toronto, then to the Berklee School of Music in Boston right after graduating before settling back in Saskatchewan where his family is from.

“I just thought the scene there was really good. There are a lot of creative people there and good, strong audiences, so I thought it would be a good place to be,” he said adding there is also a strong blues festival circuit in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

“ My first band was a pop band, but I played a lot of bluesy stuff. But when I went to Berklee, on my application form they asked ‘What do you want to do?’ I said I was just excited to explore blues and fusion music, which is pretty much the same thing I do now,” he continued.

 He has been playing with Dustin Boyer for about a year.
“I met him through Facebook. I put out a call for a bass player and it turned out he was a student of a couple of guys I taught.

“ He’s only 20, but he can play everything from jazz to heavy metal if I asked him to. It’s a great feeling. He can play anything I throw at him,” he said.

 He has never been to Lethbridge before.
“I’ve passed through several times. I almost went to the University of Lethbridge. It was one of my two choices, so I’m really excited. It seems like a great place to play,” he said.

“ You’ll be seeing a really high energy show with lots of improvisation. We never do the same song twice. You can see me three times in a row playing the same song and it will never sound the same,” he said.
 Whiteboy Slim released his fourth CD “I’m Still Here” in 2010.
 He is finishing up his fifth CD.

“I usually start writing the next CD as soon as I am done the last one. But I’ve been working on it seriously for about a year and a half,” he said.

“It’s going to be  a big double album. There are  26 songs. I had to cut a few from 30. It is a pretty much a  continuation of the last CD. One of the CDs is straight forward blues. The other CD is really outside the box. It is blues mixed with ska, reggae and even country stuff,” he said adding the tentative title of the  CD is “Burning Down The  Box.” It will be released in September.

However he will be playing five or six of the new songs at the Lethbridge show.

“I want to save most of it for the CD release tour. It’s going to be really exciting,” he said.

 “Though I don't release any songs I don’t think are good. It will take things to a whole new level, he said.

 He has spent most of the summer touring  festivals across Alberta and Saskatchewan.
“I’ve been all over the place. It’s been really fun. I’m playing a lot of smaller places I didn’t even know had venues.”
Tickets for the show are $10. The show begins at 9 p.m.

— by Richard Amery,L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Sunday, 18 August 2013 00:31 )  
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