Shaun Verreault @ Backstage Lounge -- 02/11/12

One of my absolute favourite guitarists, especially to watch live, is Shaun Verreault of Wide Mouth Mason; so when I heard he'd be playing a solo show at The Backstage Lounge on Granville Island, of course I was going to be there.

Shaun was joined by Darren Paris on bass & drummer Timmy "Boom Bap" Proznick, and promised lots of improvisation and covers throughout the night ("The drunker I get, the more Prince songs I play") and more than delivered. There was everything from Hendrix to Bill Withers to Marvin Gaye, and even the chorus of Blackstreet's "No Diggity" slipped in. And yes, there were multiple Prince songs, including "When Doves Cry" and "Raspberry Beret". Aside form the covers, there was a handful of WMM songs, including one of my favourites off their latest album No Bad Days, "Sweet Little Thing", a slower, bluesy groove.

And there was improvisations abound with Shaun not afraid to take extended solos, or let his bandmates do the same. It was pretty amazing to watch the three play off each other, build the songs and make it look completely effortless. And no matter how many times Verreault tried to stump the other two, they kept right up with him.

After a pair of hour long sets, with a brief break between them, they wrapped up the night with a superb cover of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition", which has been in the Wide Mouth Mason repertoire for a few years, as well as a little Marvin Gaye and Rolling Stones to close out the night.

As usual, Verreault showcased his phenomenal guitar playing, and it was amazing watching the three musicians mesh and the songs unfold on stage. I could have watched them go on for at least another hour and already can't wait until the next time Shaun plays.