Carl Verheyen@The Baked Potato 10.12.17

While guitarist and vocalist Carl Verheyen is best known for his work with Supertramp, he also pumps a bleeding blues heart, exampled by his latest album Essential Blues and demonstrated during his sizzling set Friday night with some of LA’s best session studs around.

Verheyen admitted that it’s hard to get a front line of Dave Marotta/b, John Mader/dr and Jim Cox/key, away from their gigs with shows like Hamilton and tours with Mark Knopfler, but the allure of America’s roots music brought everyone together for a stomping collection of instrumentals such as the shuffling “Lone Star” and Crescent City’d “Little Swamp.” Verheyen’s touch on his ax was clean and tensile, making the strings go Fender Bender as they moaned for respite.

With a classic 70s earth-toned voice, Verheyen belted out a Texas two stepper “Take What I Want” as Cox’s B3 wheezed out 3 wailing choruses, while on the Freddie King classic “Someday After Awhile” the strings and Leslie Amps moaned together in ecstasy.

Mader used both maracas and tambourines as adjuncts to his drumsticks to snap on the traps on the soulful “Closing Time Blues” and Marotta laid down a deep swampy groove on “Stealing Gasoline” before the leader took the Beach Boys classic “Sail On, Sailor” and put a new coat of blue paint on it, making you feel the grit of each beat.

Bringing up blue hues from all parts of the country, Verheyen welcomed up accordionist Cory Pesaturo who added a Cajun flavor to the stomping “No Walking” before leading the band through a eye popping and torrid read of the bebop classic “Donna Lee.” The unison lines on the latter delivered by Verheyen and Pesaturo would have made Charlie Parker smile wide, as the packed house had been doing all night on this Fall evening of boogie’d nights.

Upcoming shows at the Baked Potato include Billy Childs 10/17, The Vivino Brothers 10/18, The Webb All Stars 10/25 and A Tribute to Allan Holdsworth 10/26


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