Movin’ Melvin Brown – The Ray Charles Experience

by Heather-Jean Moyes
Movin’ Melvin Brown – The Ray Charles Experience truly rocks. If you like any of the following: Ray Charles, The Blues Brothers, Gospel, James Brown, Nat King Cole, The Beatles, Sam Cook, Percy Mayfield or soul, blues, or music performed well then you will love this gig. Brown sings like Ray Charles with nuanced traits and trademark mannerisms as he dips into Ray’s play list. But Melvin is so much more than this. For those that know the man they are aware of the range that this professional entertainer has. It’s vast. Far from a tribute band this show is like a night in Vegas. I’m pretty sure Ray didn’t tap dance but Marvin does. And man can he tap. Whether you can remember Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson (a truly great laid back, ‘make it look’ easy tap dancer of early C20th Hollywood) or not, it doesn’t matter. You will appreciate the footwork. It is just spectacular how Melvin can sing, dance and entertain without skipping a beat or loosing his breath. Through the night Brown powers his way through Ray’s life, singing songs from a range of artists and in doing so gives us an entre into Ray’s personal story and cultural milieu. Apart from the song and dance, Melvin has charisma. He thinks like a star, he is a star. The band keep the party going, with keyboard player George Papanaum, lead guitarist Steve Salvi, base guitarist Nikki Steadman, and drummer (saving the day – called in at the last minute) Jim Glaister, joining back up vocalist Francesca Sansalone. It’s cool, its high energy, and out of the box. On at the Garage International @ Town Hall (behind the Town Hall) Tues thru Sat until the 8th March with a final show at the Birdwood Exhibition Centre on Sun 9th March. And for those interested the talented Mr. Melvin Brown is running tap classes for any age and any level of experience. His mantra is – if you can walk you can do it. Running at the Lion Arts Centre. Sounds awesome! See the show – learn the dance! Cool.

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