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Wednesday September 17, 2014
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George Bedard & the Kingpins

 

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"longhair music" still meant Bach, not rock.

If you heard Bedard & the Kingpins only on radio, you'd picture pompadours, jeans, and T-shirts — with packs of cigarettes rolled up in the sleeves. And you'd be partly right. Bedard does sport a 1950s-style haircut, but no casual clothes or cigarettes on stage. He follows the time-honored tradition that performers dress up for shows. It's one of the ways he shows his respect for this music, and for the audiences who love it. "I've never known anyone so into the music," says Kingpins bassist Randy Tessier. "Whether we're playing at Hill Auditorium or some Saturday night roadhouse, George gives the same thing."

And Bedard doesn't rate an A only for effort. Richard Dishman, the Kingpins' drummer, adds, "George is such a great student of styles. When he plays the blues, it sounds like the blues. When he plays a surf tune, it sounds like surf." Bedard is not only a monster guitar player in a huge variety of genres, he also writes convincingly in those styles. The trio's live shows and three recordings are about a fifty-fifty mix of originals and covers, usually of obscure classics. And you'd be hard pressed to tell which is which.

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