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Doctor of the blues Marshall Lawrence to make a Lethbridge house call

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It takes a bold man to bill himself the Doctor of the Blues, but Edmonton bluesman Marshall Lawrence’s credentials check out.

 Because up until December 2009, Lawrence was using his doctorate in psychology to help troubled children. Well, that and his guitar.
Doctor of the blues Marshall Lawrence pays a house call to Lethbridge  on Saturday. Photo submitted“I used my music to help connect with them,” said Lawrence,” who plays the Owl Acoustic Lounge, May 14 with Johnny Greenshields.

“I worked with kids for the last 10 years.I’d be working with some pretty tough kids, but they were pretty cool. I’d visit them in their homes and there would always be a guitar lying around, so I’d pick it up and play a couple riffs and their jaw would drop and all of the sudden, now I’m the cool doctor. After we were done talking, I’d teach them a few things on the guitar,” said Lawrence.

“The blues has a lot of parallels with therapy. I’d get them to write lyrics as part of their therapy. They’d write about their problems in the third person and then they wouldn’t be so scary, getting all that stuff out in the open. They’d write rap songs or country songs,” continued Lawrence who decided to quit that gig in 2009  at age 53 to do somthing for himself and concentrate on his other passion— playing blues music. He has played rock and roll, funk, punk and R and B, though no jazz or country. His first love is the blues.

“That’s what you have to do for young people to listen to it, reinterpret blues standards and add as much of yourself as you can to it while respecting what came before,” he said.

 He has released three CDs — his plugged in, rockin’ debut “Where’s the Party,” the acoustic follow up “The Morning After,” and his latest — the acoustic “Blues Intervention” which was released last year.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 10 May 2011 10:52 ) Read more...

Marq DeSouza returning home for special acoustic gig

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Marq DeSouza returns to Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard AmeryVancouver based musician Marq DeSouza is returning home to Lethbridge for a few days to play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Friday, May 13 with Spencer Jo from Calgary.

“Last time I was here, the show was all over the place — part acoustic, part electric. But this one is going to be completely solo acoustic,” he said.

“I really want to do a more focused song orientated show,” he continued.

He is looking forward to seeing a lot of old friends and familiar faces in Lethbridge.

“I never had a high school reunion, so when I come a town I get to see a lot of people again and they get to see a lot of people they haven’t seen in a while. It ends up being a little party,” he said.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 10 May 2011 10:36 ) Read more...

Boogie Patrol ready to boogie and open for Buddy Guy

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The Boogie Patrol are aptly named.

The Boogie Patrol are back in Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Amery
 The Edmonton based quintet taps into the essence of the blues and gets the audience moving to the groove, as their last sold out show several months ago will attest.

 If you missed them then, catch them Thursday, May 12 when they return to the Slice with new drummer Jeff Lisk.

 He has been with the band for two months.

“He’s from Chicago, we got to know him playing around Edmonton at jams. He hasn’t even been with us for not even two months.,” said frontman/ harp player “Rotten” Dan Shinnan adding  the band is working on new songs with him.

 Even more exciting, after they play Lethbridge, they will be going back to Edmonton the next day to open for the one and only Buddy Guy, and back to Calgary to open for him again.

“We just found out about it. We’ve been pushing for something like that for a while. It’s about getting to know the right folks,” he said adding they opened for the Fabulous Thunderbirds last year and the same group hooked them up with the Buddy Guy gig.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 10 May 2011 10:00 ) Read more...

JT Nero and Allison Russell “blissed out”

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Allison Russell and JT Nero. Photo by Richard AmerySunday is a good day to be “blissed out,” at least that’s what Chicago soul/ pop/ blues singer told a respectable and laid back audience at the Geomatic Attic.

“We’re pretty blissed out now,” Nero deadpanned in between songs in his first set.

He and Po’ Girl’s Allison Russell played an intimate set of mellow pop/ folk music with a lot of soulful elements.

 The first set included a few songs from Nero’s new solo CD “Mountains/Forest,” on which Russell also appears. There were also a few Po’ Girl songs, which  Nero said was his favourite, several from JT Nero’s band, JT And the Clouds’ latest CD “Caledonia,” and a lot of dry humour from Nero.

Russell added gorgeous vocal harmonies as well as some banjo picking, a little clarinet and even some ukulele.

It was an entertaining, well played show thanks to the easygoing, joke cracking duo, their mutual respect and admiration for each others’ music and excellent musicianship shining through.

—  By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Manvils plays short but sweet set at Slice

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Mikey Manvil  and the manvils brought the rock to the Slice, May 29. Photo by Richard AmeryAs sad as I was to leave Sam Roberts early, I did want to hear one of my favourite Vancouver rock bands the Manvils.

It was a good thing I did as they played one of their short, sweet and ear blisteringly loud “so fast, if you blink you’ll miss it” sets.

 They played all of a new EP coming out in a couple months as well as crowd favourites from their self titled CD including “Turpentine,” “Disaster” and “Substation.”

As always, guitarist / vocalist Mikey Manvil looked simultaneously happy and possessed, while combining elements of Clash reggae/ punk and The Who style rock and roll with a touch of U2 ambiance.
 Their set was tight, full of excellent musicianship I could even, sometimes,  hear a few vocal harmonies.

They ended with a scorching version of “Dancing With Me” which has the enthusiastic audience hopping.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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