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L.A. Beat

Clown prince of folk music tears audience’s ears off

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If admission was charged per note, a close to full house more than got their money’s worth before the second half of Toronto guitarist/funnyman Wendell Ferguson and Katherine Wheatley’s show, March 6, even began. Ferguson ended the first set at the Lethbridge Folk Club’s Wolf’s Den with one of my favourites ‘Throw Another Fiddle on the Fire,’ then started his second set by giving host Wayne a wet willie, much to Wheatley’s disgust, who asked Wendell how he could get away with something like that and how the  almost full house could laugh at it.Wendell Ferguson and Katherine Wheatley at the Wolf’s Den, March 6. Photo by Richard amery
 He showed how he can get away with cracking hilarious off colour jokes and wet willies by blowing everyone away with his Chet Atkins inspired guitar playing beginning with two of his  ‘Cranky Christmas’ songs including “Why Does Every Christmas Have So Many Chords,” which included pretty much every chord ever invented and probably a couple  he invented himself as well as most Christmas carols.
As per usual, Wheatley’s more country folk flavoured, more ‘normal’  originals  were a mellow counterpoint to Ferguson’s goofy, gap toothed, big kid yet self-deprecating humour. But she showed she was no slouch on the guitar as well. She told some of the stories behind her songs including one about growing up surrounded by boys and being the only female guitar player in her neighbourhood.
They played well off of each other, adding solos and vocals to each other songs.
Ferguson and Wheatley met during the recording of Wheatley’s song ‘Main Street,’ which was a major highlight of the show. Ferguson’s solo on that included some blazing Chet Atkins style fingerpicking and excerpts from about a dozen Beatles songs and Smoke on the Water. Impressive. Wheatley ended by having the crowd sing along with ‘Moon River.’ It was enough to make me want to burn all of my guitars. Excellent.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 March 2010 15:33 )  
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