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Wild T shows Monday night spirit

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Wild T takes a bite out of his Strat. Photo by Richard AmeryIf Jimi Hendrix lived past age 27, he might have ended up sounding something like Wild T and the Spirit.
Wild T, aka Toney Springer and his crack band  left a good sized Monday night crowd at the Slice, with their jaws on the floor, March 29.
Bluesman Wild T pulled out all of the stops, playing guitar behind his back, between his legs and with his teeth, beaming ear to dreadlocked ear all the while.  Bassist Guenther Kappelle and  his drummer kept step with him. Kapelle was a marvel in himself, playing  effortlessly solid  intricate bass lines without looking like it was any trouble at all.Another guitar trick from Wild T. Photo by Richard  Amery
 But Wild T was a blur of energy and good vibes, playing about a dozen different guitar tricks sometimes in a single song including as lot  of Eddie Van Halen style fretboard tapping, but then would switch into Bob Marley’s  ‘Everything’s Going to be All Right’ then back into a crazy jazz inspired improvisational jam.

Open mics a great place to fight stage fright and play with others

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What with  downloading and  numerous ways to access music for free online, playing live is a musician’s bread and butter. But when you have horrible stage fright not to mention a notoriously bad memory  for my own lyrics and guitar licks, facing an audience is a challenge. So I made it my goal this year to play more in public.Some dude name Richard trying to play an open mic. Photo by Dean Wilson
So, being an up and coming performing musician trying to overcome stage fright, I thought I’d try to hit every single open mic in a week. Pretty much every day of the week open mics provide an opportunity for up and coming musicians to test their live chops and get over stage fright and experienced musicians looking to play with and meet other musicians. They come out in force and there is a completely different crowd out to each open mic.

 Sunday: My adventure started at the Sandman Inn with the very first open mic there at the lounge next to the Denny’s,  Feb. 9.
Jon Vornbrock, who plays guitar with the Void and the Phantom Creeps started this up.
“It’s something to do on a Sunday. They were looking for someone to host the open mic and approached me,” Vornbrock said, who knew management through his day job.
He has also played at Henotic’s Wednesday open mic a few times as well as the Slice’s Tuesday open mic.
“(Open mics) are a little more relaxed. And you’re a little more free to play what you want,” he continued adding playing with a band is a little more structured.  I played a pretty classical piece I wrote which I dug up for Henotic’s open mic the week before and try singing a couple others.

Monday: The 1010 Pub’s open mic this week is hosted by Taylor Ackerman and Ryan Dyck of Treeline. I played a couple of my own blues songs because Taylor offered to add some sweet pedal steel guitar to them. They went over well  as well as a complicated folk song and another which which I try to play at this open mic, every time I play it. Paul Kype and Greg Gomola, who often host this open mic were there , though don’t play this time, along with Jenn Pellerin and some other talented performers.  Performers usually get to play longer at the 1010 open mic  partially because there aren’t as many performers as some of the other ones.
Ackerman likes the fact that open mics give musicians a chance to play other musicians.
“The appeal of them is if you’re an up and coming musician, it gives you a chance to  play with other musicians. Plus you only need to know three or four songs. And the audiences are more forgiving,”  said Ackerman, who also hosts open stages at the Slice periodically.
This is something I’m starting to notice. So far nobody seems to mind if you forget your song and start again and they applaud  afterward.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 28 March 2010 17:41 ) Read more...

Phantom Creeps to host unplugged open mic Fridays

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The Phantom Creeps unlugged , March 19. Photo by Richard AmeryA unique gig featured local punk/psychobilly trip the Phantom Creeps playing an ‘unplugged’ gig at Bar One in the Sandman Inn, March 19. Several guests came up to play and surprisingly ‘unplugged’ Phantom Creeps sounded pretty good.

Guitarist Jon Vornbrock plugged his acoustic guitar into a distorted Fender amp, so the gig was unplugged, but not really. Their music translates well into an unplugged setting.

They are going to be hosting these Friday night open mics every Friday.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 March 2010 13:27 )

Dalliance Elixer combines jazz with pop

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At the Slice, March 20, a new band called Dalliance Elixer including Randy Shaver, Murray Nelson, Brad Brouwer and JolenJolene Draper. Photo by Richard Amerye Draper played an interesting mix of jazz, hippie folk and Aqua ( mid- ’90s one hit wonder Barbie Girl) style pop.

They had a full house who were enjoying themselves.
Draper took turns playing with the band and with Nelson and Shaver solo. She also performed a couple of covers including “White Rabbit.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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Tech N9ne entertains crowd by rapping “Rock Me Amadeus’

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Tech N9ne entertains a sold out crowd. Photo by Richard AmeryI caught the end of a sold out hip hop gig by Tech N9ne at the Blarney Stone March 19. I missed most of it, but the Kansas City rappers  had the sold out crowd hopping in front of the stage.

They showed they could sing too on a pretty impressive version of ’80s hit “Rock Me Amadeus” which impressed me quite a bit.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor


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