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L.A. Beat

Romi Mayes returns to Lethbridge to sing Lucinda Williams

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 It is always a pleasure to see Winnipeg  singer songwriter Romi Mayes back in Lethbridge it has been  a long time since she visited and as happens a lot more often than it should, she didn’t have the crowd she deserved. So she made the typical Lethbridge mistake of  delaying the show, waiting for an audience that never arrives. And as usually happened, they all missed out big time.


Romi Mayes playing the Slice, May 18. Photo by Richard Amery

 The show brought out a lot of people I haven’t seen for a while including Corb Lund and George Arsene.


 I was hoping to hear her own music, but knew to expect otherwise as this tour is all about the music of alt country icon Lucinda Williams. She wasn't[t trying to be Williams, but definitely put her own stamp on her songs.

 She and a hot band including some of Winnipegs best roots and blues musicians new drummer Travis Maclean, D Rangers bassist Tom "Twisty Fodey"  and lead guitarists Chris Saywell (also of D.Rangers fame) JD Ormond.


 Their first set focused on the more laid back Lucinda Williams cuts from her ground breaking 1998 album  “ Car Wheels on a Gravel Road like “ I Lost It” and “ Satisfied Mind” and “ Concrete and “Barbed Wire.”’

Saywell and  Ormond took turns playing rhythm and hot leads as Mayes added extra rhythm guitar. Ormond also added excellent harmony vocals.


 They picked up the  tempo for the end of the set with  “ I Want to See You So bad.” which featured a beautiful guitar solo from Chris Saywell.

 They wound up the first set with “ Change the Locks” which featured Mayes playing a harp solo.


 After an extended set break, they returned  for a more upbeat set focusing on the rock side of Williams’ country rock sounds around 11:15.

A couple  a shots of whiskey during the set break helped Mayes nail  Williams inimitable raspy voice.


One of Williams‘  newer numbers “You Can’t Rule Me” was an immediate highlight of the second set.  They went back to “Car Wheels on a. Gravel Road” for another highlight “ Firecracker.”

 Mayes really sold “ Drunken Angel,” Williams’ ode to the tragic life of Austin songwriter Blaze Foley.

Mayes admitted she cheated a little by playing  A Steve Earle song “ You’re Still Standing There,” which Lucinda Williams recorded with him in 1996 and cheated again for another, more bluesy number, “ Ramblin’ on my Mind.” she recorded for her debut album in 1979.

 Mayes also sold another popular Lucinda cut “Lake Charles.”

Romi Mayes on the bar at the Slice, May 18. Photo by Richard Amery


 They wound down on an upbeat note “ “Can’t Let Go, featuring solos from everyone and ended the show with “ You Took my Joy.”

Mayes was called back for  an encore, so she perched  on the edge of the bar t strum “Greenville” on her acoustic guitar.

— by Richard Amery,L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 25 May 2023 17:50 )  
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