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Jazz Guitarist Powers Will Visit The Blues And Funk At The Mars

Guitarist Michael Powers got the Spokane treatment when he performed at The Met in April.

Almost no one showed up.

Those who did, however, were treated to an amazing display of guitar virtuosity. The instrumentalist conducted an engaging guitar exhibition from stage, wowing the audience with his mastery of jazz, blues and funk.

For those who missed the show or didn’t know about it, you’ll have four chances to see him next week. Powers will begin a four-night stand at the Mars Hotel on Wednesday.

Although he’s primarily a jazz guitarist, Powers will dip into a hefty amount of funk and blues for his shows here.

Powers is an incredibly open-minded musician. His influences stem from jazz greats like George Benson and Wes Montgomery as much as they do from rock deities Jimi Hendrix and Santana.

“What ends up happening is, if you have enough diverse influences, you come up with quite a unique way of looking at things,” Powers said in a phone interview from his Seattle home this week. “They all become part of you.

“I don’t sing. So I really have to push to the guitar to the limit as far as what you can do with it, as far as different styles (go), and make it interesting,” he says. “Listening to music is very much like dining. You have a little part of one dish and then you clear your palette, and you go on to another dish. If someone just hands you all one dish, it could be boring.”

The guitarist has done everything from recording an album of jazz on “Full Circle” to releasing a bluesy Christmas album called “Frosty the Bluesman” to collaborating with Sir Mix-a-Lot.

It’s true. He actually teamed up with the Seattle hip-hopper, playing guitar on his multi-platinum album “Mack Daddy.”

Powers most recently played with Sir Mix-a-Lot in Seattle during the Labor Day weekend Bumbershoot Festival.

Wednesday, the Mars will open the upper mezzanine of the restaurant to all ages. In the bar, it’s 21 and over, of course. Admission is $5 Wednesday and Thursday and $6 Oct. 4 and 5. All shows start at 9 p.m.

Hot blues brewing at the Brewery

The Fort Spokane has two monstrous blues acts visiting the club over the next week.

The Duffy Bishop Band will get things cooking there with Charlie Butts and the Filter Tips on Saturday.

The Duffy Bishop Band is hot on the heels of their second album “Back to the Bone.”

The album should be called “Back to the Basics” as it’s a no-frills journey into American roots music. There’s rollicking rockabilly, straight-ahead blues, electric Chicago blues and honky-tonking country. The band even throws in a non-American derivative, soca (soul-calypso), for good measure.

The Duffy Bishop Band, led by the flamboyant and husky-voiced singer Duffy Bishop, may be the Northwest’s premier blues combo, but they’re not just about the blues.

Opening band, Charlie Butts and the Filter Tips, one among the handful of local blues acts with a blue-collar work ethic, is planning a CD release in the next month or so.

There are no advance tickets. The cover is $8. Music starts at 9:30 p.m. Get there early.

Jimmy Thackery plays the Brewery on Thursday.

This Stratocaster slinger doesn’t like to sit still on stage. Thackery has been known to walk off stage while still strumming his guitar, head for the door and entertain passer-bys on the sidewalk.

With his sidekick, the Drivers, the veteran player has shed three albums, two studio recordings and one live one. “Wild Nights Out,” his live effort, has won the praise of many, mainly because of his astounding performances.

Thackery is another musician whose style eludes conventional blues trappings. This guy can rock. He can funk. He can strut. And he can swing.

Thackery sold out the Fort Spokane Brewery on his last swing through town. Get tickets now. They’re $12 and are available at the Brewery. Show starts at 9 p.m.

Revitalized battalion

The unsaintly Battalion of Saints, hardcore heroes of the 1980s, reformed last year and have been waging their unholy war on the American underground. Again.

The band plays Ichabod’s North Monday with the Flies.

Original singer George Anthony remains the general and visionary of the band. But everyone else is new. Guitarist Tezz is veteran of Ministry, Discharge and Section 5. Bassist Gregor Kramer and drummer Matthew McCoy both played in the legendary U.K. Subs.

In 1995, Battalion of Saints released its first album in almost a decade, the sardonic “Death-R-Us.” The disc culminates out-of-print album “Second Coming” and EP “Fighting Boys.” It also includes two new cuts.

There is some truth the title of the album, “Death-R-Us.” Most of the band’s original members were claimed by the Grim Reaper.

There are unconfirmed reports that guitarist Chris Smith died after slipping in the bathtub and suffering head injuries. Some say he died of a drug overdose. Dave Astor died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. And Donny Diaz died from AIDS-related complications. As for original drummer Ted Olson, no, he didn’t spontaneously combust, he’s living happily in San Diego, Calif.

Appropriately, after the reformation, the new band is calling itself Battalion of Saints A.D.

This year, the fierce-some foursome finally released an album of all new material with “Cuts…”

Longtime fans have been impressed by new material. Even the unofficial punk rock bible, Maximumrocknroll, likes this album, calling it: “Pretty slick, but a damn good hardcore record.” Music starts at 9:30 p.m. The cover is $4.

Distorted but not silent

Local metal band Distorted Silence will be playing songs from its forthcoming CD, “Fear the Network,” at Outback Jack’s on Saturday. The album should be in Spokane stores sometime next month.

Nightwatch was handed an advance tape of the album last week. To our delight, we found it a major step forward from their tape release two years ago.

Also this week

Other shows to look out for are the return of hardcore/metal faves D.R.I. and break-neck cruiser Zeke. D.R.I. plays Ichabod’s North on Wednesday. Lords of three-chord punk, Zeke, will blaze a trail at Ichabod’s North Thursday.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: NIGHTWATCH PICKS SATURDAY: Duffy Bishop Band and Charlie Butts and the Filter Tips at the Fort Spokane Brewery MONDAY: Battalion of Saints and the Flies at Ichabod’s North WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY: Michael Powers at the Mars Hotel

This sidebar appeared with the story: NIGHTWATCH PICKS SATURDAY: Duffy Bishop Band and Charlie Butts and the Filter Tips at the Fort Spokane Brewery MONDAY: Battalion of Saints and the Flies at Ichabod’s North WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY: Michael Powers at the Mars Hotel