Doc MacLean to play African influenced Delta blues in Lethbridge this week


Bluesman Doc MacLean took some time to reevaluate his life and career while spending most of the pandemic in South Aftrica.


 MacLean makes a long awaited return to the Slice on Friday, Oct. 29 to play a fantastic double blues bill with Paul Kype and Texas Flood.

 He is glad to be back on the road.


Doc MacLean and Albert Frost playing the Lethbridge Folk Club in 2018. Photo by Richard Amery

“It’s great to be back. I’ve a had a lot of cancellations because of Covid. Most of the venues have paid me anyway. So the venues are really looking out for the artists,” said MacLean from Creston B.C, noting his Thursday show in Calgary at the Blues Can and the Lethbridge show are still a go.

 He spent most of the pandemic locked down in Kwa Zulu Natal,  South Africa.


“I was locked down in Africa, I hardly played at all. You couldn’t have live music, alcohol sales and cigarette sales were banned and the military was enforcing it,” he said.


 “But it would have been worse if I’d been in a city. I was out on the edge of the jungle with monkeys and things. I was still deciding whether it was worth doing this thing,” he said, adding he was happy to not have to think about booking tours and taking care of the all the things that go on behind the scenes of being a touring musician.


“At least I could wander through the jungle and take a dip in the ocean,” he said, adding while he didn’t play a lot of music, he focussed on writing his books.


“I’ve been touring for over 20 years. It’s about my career and the people I’ve met I’ve been writing a blog for years, so there was a lot of material to draw from. I just need to go through it all,” he said, noting he’s considering a semi-permanent move to South Africa.

“ I play a lot in Europe and Africa and Australia. You have to go where the numbers are,” he said.

He is considering slowing down his pace be focussing on bigger festivals and Blues Cruises, like the one’s he’s played on a few times in Africa.

“ There’s a lot of African musicians and some bigger names. It’s rare to be asked to play them,” he said, adding before Covid he was  been playing with African blues musician Albert Frost and was starting to record with some African musicians.


 In the meantime, he is glad to be playing in will be his first time at the LSice in many years.


“I’ll be playing some Delta blues and telling stories. I’ll invoke the spirit and see what happens,” he said.


“ I’ve got some old songs but I also have some new songs with a more African feel. I also have old songs I forget how to play, so I have to write new songs,” he chuckled.


 Paul Kype and Texas Flood and Doc MacLean ’s show begins at approximately 8:30 p.m at the Slice.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 October 2021 12:32 )