It’s difficult not to indulge in extensive hyperbole about Tuesday night’s concert by New York bluesman, Guy Davis, at Studio 64. It was wonderful entertainment.
Standing tall on the small stage facing a full house of expectant blues fans, Davis plunged into the opening number on his 12-string guitar, his powerful voice riveting the audience, electronic reverb adding depth to the instrumental sound, and left us spellbound. Utter silence followed the applause for each number as the audience waited in thrilled anticipation for the next one. The man was magic.
It did not take long, however, before Davis’ big smile and his humorous asides tucked between the lines of his songs had the audience laughing. And when he invited us to sing along on certain chorus lines, he had us in the palm of his hand. Soon it was just a lot of fun.
Switching between 12-string and 6-string guitars, and manipulating those dicky little electronic foot pedals, Davis varied the style of songs and accompaniment, taking us from deep south Delta blues to Dylan and Donovan and the Rolling Stones. Many of the numbers were written by Davis, one or two of them as yet unrecorded, and when he sang about women and love and sex he added some body language that obviously delighted the female half of the audience, judging from their peals of laughter. The man was a consummate entertainer. Guy Davis was last in the East Kootenay about 12 years ago when he appeared at the Key City Theatre. For most of last night’s audience he can’t come back too soon.
The third and final concert in this spring’s Live at Studio 64 concert series takes place on Saturday, May 23, when Blue Moon Marquee from the Alberta Badlands comes to town. This duo of A.W. Cardinal (guitar, vocals, harmonica) and Jasmine Colette (bass, drums, vocals) are usually considered a gypsy blues band but their music has been variously tagged as delta blues, folk, swing, and ragtime at one time or another. Playing primarily original compositions, they owe their style origins to the likes of Django Reinhardt. It promises to be another great concert.
Advance tickets, available from Centre 64 and online at snapd.eastkootenay.com, are $22 Kimberley Arts Council members, $24 non-members, or $26 at the door, although the likelihood of there being any tickets left to purchase at the door is negligible, given the last two sold out events.