Neil Fraser, guitar
John Lent, guitar
Shelby Wall, guitar
Brian McMahon, bass
Thanks to Candace McMahon for permission to use this article published in the Morning Star.
The local trio, on this night a quartet, will be playing a mixture of acoustic jazz and blues.
“Our playing has a rootsy, raw sound to it,” said lead guitarist Neil Fraser. “Our sound is driven by the acoustic guitar, even though we are amplified.”
What Fraser is referring to is the Django-influenced guitar style where, during improvisation, the artist controls and ‘bends’ the timing, rhythms, melody, and even the chord progressions. This acoustic style of playing is really what makes Lent Fraser Wall songs sound authentic as they move in and out of the groove.
The band’s many original songs are captivating, some say spellbinding, as they transport listeners on a journey filled with their unique blend of musical genres. It’s the ordinary day-to-day situations and occurrences that inspire John Lent in his song writing, as he transforms them into rich and magical lyrics that mirror our struggles to understand the world in which we live.
Lent moved to Vernon in the late ‘70s and taught literature and creative writing at Okanagan College for 33 years until his retirement as the college’s regional dean in 2011. He is still actively writing and publishing songs, books and poetry.
Fraser is an accomplished guitar teacher and, though now teaching privately, was an instructor with the Vernon Community Music School for more than 15 years. Listen in awe for the extremely elastic leads he is sure to deliver.
Shelby Wall moved to the Vernon area in the late ‘70s. He first began performing rock and country-rock and became interested in jazz around 1988. Wall has been described by Lent as the anchor, allowing Fraser his acoustic adventures.
Wall has the opportunity to hoist his anchor and do some unrestricted playing for this gig, as Brian McMahon will be taking on the responsibility of anchoring their sound for the night. McMahon, a Vernon bassist, is the band’s plus one. A long-time fan of the trio, McMahon is delighted to get the opportunity to perform with them for this concert.