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Beatles without BoundariesBeatles Beyond Boundaries -

This is not a blues review but a review of some really terrific music that any good blues lover could get into.

Sat. night at the intimate and historic Roberts Orpheum Theater in Downtown St. Louis, I was witness to a two and a half hour concert by Peter Mayer and an ensemble of well practiced musicians who clearly love playing. Very tight group fun to watch and supported by a great sound system and lighting system, and in a hall that can carry the sound.

Oh, I failed to mention, it was a great tribute to the Beatles music and in particular, on the 25th anniversary of his premature death, the music of John. Adaptations and arrangements of Beatles music with complete reverence and honor to them but with a style reminiscent to that of ELO.

Supported by strings from the St Louis Symphony Orchestra, solid rhythm, percussion, and a bass player (brother Jim Mayer) who clearly has an intimate relationship with his upright bass, this group pounded out like 20 songs with only a brief 15-20 min intermission. Wow!!

Peter starts out the concert with a solo number, with a tip of the hat to Les Paul, by double tracking a couple of rhythmic sounds from his guitar then melodically overplaying and singing the song “Blackbird”. Then the entire 11-piece group gets into a grove with “Hello Goodbye” and we are cruisin’ on a great trip through the Beatles’, classic music. About three quarters of the way through the concert John does a little “six pack” of just John’s music and it is a great stop along the way before the train gets rolling again. Soft music with great rhythms, plus big sounds with the strings sounding like an orchestra, and tight percussion, bass, and guitars, all blended into a great palate of musical colors for the ear. After three of four encore tunes, Peter ends the concert as he started, alone on stage. This time with no electronic support he sings and plays a great closing version of, naturally, “Imagine”.

They did a respectful tribute to the Beatles and a very entertaining concert for us in the audience. For more info on this group and Peter go to www.petermayer.com.

The talented band: Peter Mayer - guitar & vocals; Jim Mayer – bass & vocals: Roger Guth – drums; Dan Rubright – guitar; Ted Rubright – Percussion; Scott Byran – percussion & vocals; Mark Holland – flutes; and the talented strings: Amy Oshiro – violin; Angie Smart – violin; Morris Jacob – violin; Melissa Brooks-Rubright – cello.

Gator at www.STLBlues.net

Jimmy the K

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