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Band Review

BandName: Michael Bay and the Bad Boys Of Blues featuring Mary Bridgette-Davies
I saw the Michael Bay and the Bad Boys Of Blues featuring Mary Bridgette-Davies last night at the Parkview.

First I'll Start with the drummer. He was awesome! He played with fire. There was no need to put any mics on him and you could still feel the pulse of the kick drum resonating through the wood floor. His name is Jim Wall and he is a graduate of the Berkley school of music. Interestingly he played drums for the Arizona production of Love Janis and also was a fill in with Big Brother and the Holding Company and is also the drummer for Walking Crane, another Cleveland Area blues band. You couldn't sit still if you wanted to because your chair was bouncing up and down. He played (I believe) a five piece black metallic Pearl kit with heavy Zilgan cymbals.

The bassist, Mike Barrick, played a bass that I was not familiar with. It's body shape was reminiscent of a Richenbacker but it was neon green and had a headstock that reminded me of some of the off name brand guitars Jeff has shown us from his collection. He also played with a great deal of energy and enthusiasm. I would call him flashy. He played more solo lines than lines that actually conformed to the song structure but he pulled it off convincingly. He has a large arsenal of tricks which kept his flamboyant performance interesting even if somewhat sloppy and on the wrong chord at times. He played through a Carvin amp head with a Carvin 4x10 cabinet. It sounded powerful but I thought a little distorted.

Michael Bey played an Orville Les Paul through a Dr Z amp. The DR Z is a hand made in the USA amp that really kicks. There was no need for distortion with that amp. Just turn it up and you get a sound so fat that distortion would just get in the way. Michael plays fiery blues lines and is a solid performer. Perhaps a little sloppy on the solos but he conveys a great deal of energy when he plays. He is also a very nice guy. He has the sense to get the perfect sound for what he is doing and knows how to carry a blues or funk tune. His signature lick is strumming very quickly while playing octave lines. Personally I think he over played that lick but it was a good technique for driving up the energy.

May Bridgette-Davies has rare ability. There are great singers and then there is Mary. She conveys a great deal of emotion in her vocals which are usually pulled of in a sassy, I've already been through hell so you can't hurt me, attitude. Her range is daunting and she can do that burning scream that makes the bar's neighbors call the x-files to save them from the unnatural creature that has invaded their street. She has really developed a great stage presence and does a great job interacting with the audience, convincing and cajoling them to have a good time.