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Ms Marci
& The Lovesick
Hounds


Ms Marci and The Lovesick Hounds are a tour de force for lovers of local music scene
By Susan Dziedzic The Reminder
Photos by Susan Dziedzic
Plainfield, CT
November, 2005

Ms. Marci and The Lovesick Hounds are a Connecticut favorite and there’s good reason – they’re a tour de force in the realm of New England blues bands. It’s too limiting, however to describe Ms. Marci and The Lovesick Hounds as simply ‘a blues band’. Although they’ve been a favorite on the blues circuit in New England for years, they boast a repertoire that far exceeds the limits of blues music. When Ms. Marci steps up to the microphone, levels her sultry gaze at the audience and dives into the classic “Fever”; there’s that Peggy Lee sound that just won’t hold a label. The band’s forte is being a tight, well-oiled music machine that can only come from seasoned and talented musicians tapping into each others’ wavelengths while on stage – putting them all on the same channel with a super sound as the outcome. And that outcome is the best of good time blues, rock and roll, and even some swing. When the audience starts dancing during the first few bars; you know this band has something to offer. Ms. Marci and The Lovesick Hounds have their home base in Plainfield, but play throughout New England.

Ms. Marci, (aka Marci Chevian-Hooper) is the driving diva behind the Lovesick Hounds. She’s a commanding presence on stage as she grasps the audience with her musical sleight of hand from the first note she plays on her lipstick-red bass guitar. Ms. Marci is billed as “The Mistress of The Blues”; but her talent gives her a range of styles – from R&B to rock and roll; jazz to swing – all with equal perfection. Marci has been a winner in the preliminary Connecticut Blues Challenge contests as well as sharing the stage with some of contemporary music greats like Muddy Waters, Luther Guitar ‘Junior’ Johnson, Pinetop Perkins, Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, B.B. King and Taj Mahal. How did she get the title of “Ms. Marci”? “Oh, that’s an abbreviation for Mistress,” said Ms. Marci. “See, a lot of people feel that because I’m white, I couldn’t possibly know all about the blues. Well, we may not be legitimately wed – but the blues an’ me have been romancing for a long time.” Both a top-notch bass player and vocalist, Ms. Marci is also a prolific songwriter. Much of the music performed by the band on their CD’s, “Drive Me Home Daddy” and “Mistress of The Blues” are Ms. Marci originals.

Jim Hooper, rhythm and lead guitarist, hails from Alabama and early on got hooked on the music of headliners like Little Richard, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Howlin’ Wolf. He also happens to be Ms. Marci’s husband. Jim’s got a true-blue hand on his mastery of guitar and with his signature black hat cocked across his brow, he bears a quick, fleeting resemblance to Stevie Ray Vaughan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The surprise band member among such a group of seasoned pros is young Dayne Laskey; a keyboard genius who just turned 18. Now a pharmacy student at University of Connecticut, Dayne’s classical keyboard training started at age 11 and there is no earthly explanation for how he’s reached such a seasoned, professional performance level in such a short amount of time. If pharmaceutical sciences don’t work out for this young man, he’s certainly got his second calling ready to go.

Ms Marci and the Lovesick Hounds are releasing their third CD, entitled “Last Call,” in the next few weeks. It’s a great collection of originals and will be available along with their other CD’s and show schedules on their website, http://www.msmarciblues.com.

 

 

Photos: Top right: Setting the tempo. Ms Marci sets the tempo with her signature lipstick-red bass guitar. Middle: Let's rock and roll. Jim Hooper rocks on rhythm and lead guitar. Bottom: Keyboard player genius Dayne Laskey.