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L.A. Beat

Jack Semple tears ears off at the Casino

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After being blown away by Saskatchewan bluesman Jack Semple at CASA, June 15, there was no way I was going to miss his return engagement at Casino Lethbridge, Sept. 19. I brought a couple friends to the show and they left with their ears ringing and jaws dropped as Semple backed by Vancouver band EB Roots tore their ears off with blazing  guitar solos, an amazing voice and an unstoppable groove.Jack Semple shreds at Casino Lethbridge. Photo by Richard Amery

 He did it in the style of old bluesmen — GB roots started off with a set of high energy blues rock full of big riffs and  beautiful slide guitar solos and that killer bass groove. Bassist Kirby Barber and her husband Dave Barber were locked in with drummer Pat Stewart. They played several covers of the likes of Jeff Beck and some catchy, riff heavy original music and even brought out the banjo for a more country/bluegrass  tinged number.

 They had never played a show with Semple before, but played so well they sounded like like they grew up with him.
 Semple started his set with some smoking acoustic guitar blending the blues with  flamenco, jazz and classic music, ending that part of the show with a hot version of “Classical Gas.”GB Roots bassist Kirby Barber. Photo by Richard Amery

 He just took off from there on electric guitar playing more flamenco and adding liberal doses of Rhythm and Blues and soul with searing yet tasteful leads, which he picked with just his fingers. His sense of melody and dynamics were exceptional as he sang along with some of his leads sounding like the bastard child of Robert Cray and Stevie Ray Vaughn especially on the slower number Rainy Night in Georgia.”

He talked about his song “Shut Up,” from his latest album, joking he was getting a request for it during sound check and  decided not to play it — “out of spite and because there are too many words to memorize.”

 He picked up the tempo on a cover of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Cold Shot.”
 After a quick set of impressive blues and soul, he made the audience’s jaw drop even further with a beautiful cover of Elvin Bishop’s  “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” which showed off how impressive his voice is.

 He was called back for an encore of a one last acoustic piece, then brought the band back to perform  a smoking version of Van Morrison’s  “Domino.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Monday, 09 December 2013 12:32 )  
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