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Doc MacLean plays the blues for attentive audience

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Finally, Delta bluesman Doc Maclean got a what he deserved in Lethbridge- an attentive, carefully listening crowd and a sold out Doc MacLEan playing for the Lethbridge Folk Club, May 22. Photo by Richard Ameryroom.
 The Delta born, Toronto based bluesman has played Lethbridge umpteenth  times, but never gets any of the above.

 But on May 22, he filled the Lethbridge Folk Club Wolf’s Den to the brim with 60 some people hanging off of every word he said and every note he played, May 22.

 I only caught the second set which was filled with some intricate fingerpicking and a lot of long, dark tales of gypsy women and sinister spookiness in the Mississippi.

He sang about gypsy women who would give kids beer, farmers hoeing the rows, old records  and lots of darkness.
 He began  the second set with an old familiar favourite “Johnson Terraplane,” which he introduced with probably the longest song intro on record, plucking the strings of a battered old National Steel guitar as he spoke.

He switched to an even more worn battered acoustic he called Stella, which you could see printed in fading lettering on the headstock, for some of the more upbeat numbers.

“This old gal gets to do all the fun stuff,” he grinned as he launched into a sprightly melody.

“Make It to the River” was a highlight. I especially enjoyed a new gospel influenced song about a farmer.

 One of the more fun numbers was an old Charlie Patton cover called “Shake It or Break It.”
 He wound up an exceptional set with one of my favourites “ Angola Prison Rodeo, again providing the detailed backstory behind the song about a prison in Mississippi where the warden would make city born prisoners perform in a rodeo to entertain the people, though they had never done any such thing.
  He wind up his set with a cover of blues classic “Smokestack Lightning and stood up to sing goodbye to the applauding audience.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 June 2015 10:57 )  
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