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Blues all-stars mesh styles in Golden State band

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Wednesday, September 2, 2015

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The all-star blues band Golden State/Lone Star Review was "good from the get-go" when it formed during October of 2012, according to singer and harmonica player Mark Hummel.

But it's only gotten better since then.

"It certainly develops as we keep playing together," Hummel, 59, says by phone from his home in California's Castro Valley. "It's definitely one of those things where everybody felt there was chemistry going on. And the more we do it, the better it gets."

The tricky part, he adds, has been juggling three bandleaders -- himself and guitarists Anson Funderburgh and Little Charlie Baty -- into a cohesive unit.

"I would say Anson seems kind of happy to give up the reins," Hummel says with a laugh. "Little Charlie had a tougher time with that but was also kind of happy to not be totally in the responsibility position that I'm in. So Anson was going, 'Hallelujah!' and Charlie was half-'Hallelujah.'

"And Charlie is happy he doesn't have to drive all the time, let's put it that way. When he's with the Nightcats he takes his own van out all by himself and drove it. That would be a much harder thing than just being able to be a passenger the way we travel."

Golden State/Lone Star Revue has already appeared on Hummel`s latest album "The Hustle is Really On," while the quintet -- which also includes bassist RW Grigsby and drummer Wes Starr -- recently recorded its band debut album. Hummel says the fascination remains blending the members' individual styles and finding the common ground between them.

"It's a meeting of the minds between Texas and the West Coast and Chicago," he explains. "There's a real connection between those styles. We all love and listen to the same Chicago blues stuff and listen to the Texas and California guys, which is almost one and the same because so many Texas guys moved out to California in the late 40s and 50s.

"Charlie's definitely more jazz-oriented than, say, Anson. I love jazz to death but I don't know how to play it like Charlie does. So everyone has to do a certain amount of compromising in general to play together, but in general we all have the same tastes and likes and dislikes, and it all comes together pretty smoothly."

Golden State/Lone Star Revue

Thursday, Sept. 3. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

Callahan's Music Hall, 2105 South Blvd., Auburn Hills.

Tickets are $35 and $20.

Call 248-858-9508 or visit www.atcallahans.com.

Web Site: www.atcallahans.com

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