Mawer blues for Ballina

Sure they look pretty well dressed. And decidedly sober. But the Chris Mawer Band lives and breathes the blues all the while keeping their shirts clean. Theyre coming to Ballina soon.

Chris Mawer has played with some notable names in blues names like Jan Preston, Harper, Ray Beadle, Lil Fi and Robert Susz. The young singer/bass player draws inspiration from blues bassists Bill Willis from Jimmie Vaughans Tilt-a-Whirl Band and Preston Hubbard of The Fabulous Thunderbirds.

His own band, the Chris Mawer Band, has just released its first album Boxcar Special. As you can tell from the name (you dont hear the word boxcar in Oz much) the CD has a very West Coast (US) sound with Chriss stylish vocals and the delicious guitar chops of longtime mate and writing partner Adam Pringle.

While writing Boxcar Special, Chris and Adam drew on their experience touring Australia with Los Angeles-based Italian blues guitarist Enrico Crivellaro and bassist/vocalist Finis Tasby (also from Los Angeles) in 2004.

Crivellaro is one of the best blues guitarists around today, Chris said. He taught me a lot about arranging blues music. Touring with him completely changed my approach to playing bass. Learning about Tasbys life reminded me of what the blues is all about.

Chris began gigging at 15 and met Pringle in 1998 when they both played in Sydney blues band The Midnight Ramblers. Chris, Adam and drummer George Brugmans have played together since 2001.

Blues music is honest. It deals with everyday ups and downs in a unique way, Chris said. Ill always have the blues its my life. I feel driven to get out there and keep the craft alive.

Check out the clean-shirted Chris Mawer Band at the Ballina RSL Club (in the Riverside Lounge) this Friday, February 2, from 9pm.

The gig is free so no blues about money, eh?

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