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Music, music, music

Just got back from seeing Tricia Alexander at Mama's Coffeehouse at the Birmingham Unitarian Church in Bloomfield Hills tonight. Tricia is a veteran of Chicago's storied folk music scene; she has a big voice and she's not afraid to use it. In addition to singing her own songs, she adapts other people's songs and makes them her own. Early on, she played the famous riff from "Inna-Gadda-da-vida" while singing "For What It's Worth," which works way better than either Iron Butterfly or Buffalo Springfield would've guessed. Her main stock in trade is positive songs, songs that reach the spirit, and fun stuff. Which made her opening act, local hero Dan Hazlett, very appropriate, for that's pretty much his stock in trade too. He joined her on a few songs at the end, adding his stellar guitar playing to her bluesy songs.

Now, last week at Trixie's Coffeehouse in Roseville, I saw Tom Masuga and Markita Moore, two locals I'd not seen before. I had no idea who was playing there that night; I decided to let myself be surprised. And I was, in a good way. Tom is an older guy (yay older guys like me) who plays some very inventive guitar arrangements behind his original songs. Most of what he sung seemed to be related to everyday life, family, and some political notes from the left side. Markita might remind one of Tracy Chapman at first glance, though she shows she has style all her own with her originals and selection of cover tunes. She has a very expressive voice and her guitar accompaniment is good. Markita hosts an acoustic open mic on Thursdays (7-10 p.m.) at the Meetery Eatery in Detroit near Wayne State University.

Guess I'll wind this up by mentioning two shows for me at the Blue Note Cafe in Pontiac as part of the Live! From the Living Room series. I'll be there Friday, May 5th playing a solo set along with Frank Roush & Sem Abraham. And on Friday, May 19th, John Finan and I will be doing our duo thang along with The Would Man.

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