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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Southern Comfort




As anybody who loves the music knows, the best blues comes from Chicago, Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia. And then, of course, Georgia, the republic.


Georgia's Levan Lomidze, Blues Cousins guitarist and lead vocalist, has been playing the blues now for 20 years, five of them with the Cousins. In both acoustic and electric sets, the band pays soulful tribute to some of Lomidze's strongest inspirations: Buddy Guy, Albert King, B. B. King and Albert Collins. Inspired singing and playing attract a loyal following that trails Lomidze, drummer Slava Ignatov and bass player Andrei Kislov to the many gigs they play every week.


This week the Blues Cousins released their third CD, "Dozhd," or "Rain" - a mix of covers and original material. Fresh off of a tour of Russia in which they played to stadium crowds, they are now back home in Moscow, where they continue to play more gigs a week than just about any other band in the area. You might think that having so many opportunities to see them might dull the experience, but this isn't the case. No two sets are the same, and like any good blues act, the Cousins depend on spontaneity, which often means inviting other musicians up on stage.


The Cousins usually hold court at the blues jam sessions held every Sunday at Le Club, and they welcome listeners to participate. Since the audience to a large extent comprises blues devotees and musicians, this makes for a pretty riveting and informal close to the weekend.


The Blues Cousins will be playing Vermel on Saturday at 11:00 p.m. and Cabana at 1:00 a.m. Sunday they will play Le Club at 9:00 p.m. See listings for addresses.


- Guy Archer