By Rhetta Akamatsu
Photos by Takesi Ken Akamatsu
Markey Blue has changed its name to The Markey Blue Ric Latina Project but the high-energy, nonstop joy of the group live hasn’t changed a bit! Lead singer Markey and lead guitar player Ric Latina still lead the charge into electrifying blues and blues-rock with Ron De La Vega on bass, Matt Doctor on drums and Mike Maoccio on keys backing them up like the champs they are.
Markey is a perpetual motion machine onstage! She has a powerful, expressive voice and is expert at cajoling an audience into interacting with the band. She is well-matched to Latina’s amazing, fiery guitar work. They started out with mostly original material, including their tribute to BB King, “Lucille,” and a great new tribute to Delbert McClinton. They also played “Cash Is Always King,,” which ws recently featured on the Netflix series “Bosch,” and some songs from the soon-to-be-released album.Then the dancers hit the floor and began pairing requests and tips, so the group happily swung into some classics like an incredible version of “Chain of Fools” and “Me and Bobby McGee.”
They played for nearly two hours in the first set, before Markey said they would take a short beak. “We could play for tow hours more straight through,” Markey said, and I believe her, but it was after 11 pm and both our guests had to return to Milton and we had to go home to Kennesaw, so we reluctantly left. I am certain the second set was equally entertaining.
By the way, if you notice in the photos she was barefoot, she told us before the show that when she went to change clothes for the show, she realized she left her shoes in the hotel room!
Back in January, I chose Markey Blue as one of my top 10 indie blues acts not to miss in 2017. The Markey Blue Ric Latina Project just proved I chose well.