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Chase Padgett - A Surprising Treat for All in Attendance!

Written by: George Gibson

Photo Credits: Derrek Owen

We were promised a unique show in Chase Padgett’s ‘Six Guitars’ and that is what we got last Friday at the EMCA concert - not concert. In fact, ‘Six Guitars’ turns out to be an enjoyable education in music appreciation – part lecture, part comedic sketch, and part demonstration by guitar. The teacher is secure enough to use humour and improvisation to disguise his message, calling this show his ‘personal love letter to music’. 

Chase presents six musical styles while acting in six broadly drawn stereotyped characters. The show opens with a strong performance of the blues classic ‘Crossroads’ in the character of 87 year old Tyrone Gibbons. Picture a past-his-prime good natured Louisiana blues lifer sharing his wisdom – playing the guitar and playing with his listeners at the same time. 

Michael Marsh is a 20 year old manic but dopey kid playing lead guitar for a rock-metal band called Satan’s Orthodontists, ‘like for real though’, – a juvenile Jack Black from School of Rock. Rupert Colt is a strapping, big-hearted, three-chord country guitar player fronting The Fisticuffs. Emmanuel is a meek and humble middle-aged European who has trained all his life to play classical guitar. He speaks four languages but mixes all his metaphors in English (‘point in case’). He is Lotka from Taxi playing classical guitar. 

Wesley Tankerleaf is more than proud of himself, his education, and his ability to see down his nose while speaking jazz jargon to the boors below. He is the picture of pretension. Finally, Peter Winterjones is an oh-so-sincere, oh-so-happy-sad folk singer trying oh-so-hard to be heard and felt. He could be Fez from That 70’s Show holding an acoustic guitar and vacillating between laughter and tears. 

Chase, sometimes with guitar and sometimes without, moves seamlessly among these characters and their musical styles. This is inimitable virtuosity in character, comedic timing, and musical talent. Hearty and spontaneous audience laughter abounds, broken here and there by near tears as Peter or Emmanuel tell their sad stories, or by awestruck wonder as Chase plays his various riffs. 

Slowly the messages seep in and take hold. All music is one, it’s not a competition. When we hum, sing, or tap along together, these are moments of human oneness and unity. All a body needs is good food, good friends, and good music. If no work, no discovery, no smile. We use our voices to sing, seek, connect, inspire. What music does above all is help us share in irrational, effortless feeling. Good music is ALL about authenticity, honesty, openness. All good music tells a story, with words or without. 

The show closed with a truncated yet still outstanding rendition of ‘Imagine’, magically picked and strummed in each style and sung in each voice. Chase Pagett’s love letter to music ends with Lennon’s plaintive plea that ‘. . . the world will live as One’.

Now watch for information on our next concert featuring the lively classical/pop sounds of Buzz Brass as this world-class quintet blows its own horns on April 19 at the Pinawa Community Centre. 

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