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L.A. Beat

Brock Zeman is the man with upbeat show

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Brock Zeman is the man, and so is his band. The Slice was pretty vacant, Monday save for a couple tables of chess players. They didn’t know what to expect  as the Carleton Place, Ontario based  Brock Zeman, Blair Hogan and Brad Brouwer, May 17. Photo by Richard Amerysongwriter Zeman, and lead guitarist/ mandolinist Blair Hogan along with special guest drummer Brad Brouwer launched into an upbeat set of heavily Steve Earle influenced, no holds barred country rock music, which sent the chess players packing.

The trio didn’t  let up as more people trickled in.
 Zeman  didn’t do much talking in  between songs, preferring some of his funky  riffs, his deep southern Texas rhythms and  Hogan’s mind and finger-bending solos plus  Brouwer’s unstoppable beat, do the talking for him.
 He sang about the hooker of Carelton place, lost loves, getting drunk and ‘Blood on the Hardwood Floor.’

His lyrics were heart felt, gritty yet poetic,  entertaining  with a southern drawl and the music upbeat and energetic.
Hogan’s guitar solos were inspiring, containing elements of country, flamenco, bluegrass and what sounded like a couple of banjo licks. Plus he had some excellent vocal harmonies as well.

They kept  throwing songs at Brouwer, who proved himself  to be more than up for the challenge.
Their second set  began with an excellent version of the traditional gospel standard ‘Ain’t No Grave,’ and had a more of a Tom Waits feel, though still with a lot of country. The set also included a couple excellent songs from ‘a songwriter who refuses to play gigs,’  Robert Larisey, whose new CD is on Zeman’s new record label Mud Music Records. One was an excellent  upbeat song called ‘Three Squares a Day’ and the other was a slower song called ‘Black Heart.’
Zeman did a great job  on them and then took a break to plug in a bass amp for Tyler Bird to play in the third set.
It was an excellent show that deserved more than the 15 people who stayed throughout the show.


— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 May 2010 12:01 )  
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