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Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys bring audience members to their feet!

Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys brought a lot of energetic fun to the EMCA stage at the Pinawa Community Centre last Friday and the full house loved it.

The Rhythm Boys are Jason Burbine on upright bass and acoustic guitar, Connor Nabuurs on drums, and Nick Gauthier on acoustic and electric guitar. ‘Crazylegs’ Gordie fronts the group on tap shoes with his amazing fiddle and occasional upright bass. This is a tight group that plays well off of one another with just enough looseness (so Nick told me) to have a lot of fun doing so, and it showed.

They gave us fourteen songs before intermission, starting with King Ganam Style and a first taste of Gordie’s amazing footwork. Wonderful electric guitar features graced Done Gone and Just Wanna be Loved. Jason took lead with acoustic guitar and vocals for Motorcycle (a great tune that became ‘Motorpsycho’ in my mind). Pickle King Polka featured fine fiddle pickin’ and dance from Gordie. Nick was splendid leading Did She Mention my Name on acoustic and vocals. Gordie pulled the sound of a Caribbean steel drum from his fiddle strings on Jamaican Love Ballad, a fun play on an East Coaster and a Jamaican hooking up. The set ended with a superspeed stompin’ and fiddlin’ Black Mountain Rag with enthusiastic audience clapalong.

In the second set a standout for me was Nick leading I’m a Rolling Stone All Alone and Lost on acoustic guitar. Jason’s upright bass and Nick’s electric guitar were well-featured in Wrong Road. Some of the best music came in several pieces where Gordie on fiddle and Nick on electric guitar played strongly off each other, nose to nose and toe to toe. Church Picnic was fun, ‘keep the fiddler well-oiled’. The audience loved the energetic Country Boy Rock, but not as much as they thrilled to Listen to the Mockingbird. This was an outstanding virtuoso performance, letting us hear the unheard-of from the fiddle.

Gordie, Jason, and Nick traded lead vocals and instruments seamlessly, always backed by Connor’s steady pacing. This unpretentious sharing of the lead made the Boys seem more unified and connected rather than less, and added splendid variety to the performance. The impossible moving, shaking, wheeling and stomping on the plywood as the dance muse moved ‘Crazylegs’ added to the

spontaneity and fun of the evening.

The crowd rose and called for more at set’s end, and Gordie and the Boys responded with a fun and extended version of Mama Don’t Allow, bringing the house back to their feet. This show was twenty-nine pieces of East Coast Folk, blues, country, and novelty; all well-presented and appreciated.

Now watch for information on our next concert featuring the incomparable Chase Padgett as he brings us his wonderful multi-genre guitar show on March 15 at the Pinawa Community Centre.

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