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Lafayette Falkquay's purple Strat shoots straight

Two decades of club-hopping gets blues man to a rare place

Lafayette Falkquay
Lafayette Falkquay

Pure and greasy, raw, nasty, sexy, down-home Texas-style blues: there are possibly three or four authentic blues performers in San Diego, and Lafayette Falkquay is at the top of the stack. He’s a product of the same Austin, Texas, nightclubs that sheltered Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan, among others, and that’s what Falkquay brings to the blues conversation here in San Diego.

I first caught wind of Falkquay when he fronted the Leasebreakers, an improbable band of contrasts that nonetheless delivered great blues music. They featured a tall bass player who dressed as if he was on loan from the Beach Boys: white pants, Hawaiian shirt. Then Lafayette, immaculate in purple mohair jumpsuit with purple cowboy hat, purple boots, and purple guitar. Even his amplifier was covered in purple fabric. He walked the bar tops back then, sure-footed as hell and firing notes from that purple Stratocaster straight into the hearts of his listening audiences.

Video:

Lafayette Falkquay at Adams Avenue Street Fair, 2013

The thing about Falkquay today is that, 20 years older, he is 20 years better. Time has only sharpened his reflexes. His guitar whispers or it screams, and it is always played using that down-home finger-style of his. That he can get the bright and hard attack he gets on guitar without use of a pick defies physics, in a way. But a true fan of the blues arts might argue that Falkquay’s voice, honeyed over the years of straining into the upper reaches of soul, is the key to his authenticity. For in these past two decades of club-hopping he has gotten to that rare place occupied by the Robert Crays and the Tommy Castros of the blues idiom. I think that maybe the distinctive vibrato the three share was perfected years ago by late greats from blues generations prior, but no matter. That magic is alive and well wherever Falkquay happens to be.

Lafayette Falkquay: Wednesday, August 23, Prohibition Lounge, 548 Fifth Ave, 9 p.m, no cover

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Lafayette Falkquay
Lafayette Falkquay

Pure and greasy, raw, nasty, sexy, down-home Texas-style blues: there are possibly three or four authentic blues performers in San Diego, and Lafayette Falkquay is at the top of the stack. He’s a product of the same Austin, Texas, nightclubs that sheltered Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan, among others, and that’s what Falkquay brings to the blues conversation here in San Diego.

I first caught wind of Falkquay when he fronted the Leasebreakers, an improbable band of contrasts that nonetheless delivered great blues music. They featured a tall bass player who dressed as if he was on loan from the Beach Boys: white pants, Hawaiian shirt. Then Lafayette, immaculate in purple mohair jumpsuit with purple cowboy hat, purple boots, and purple guitar. Even his amplifier was covered in purple fabric. He walked the bar tops back then, sure-footed as hell and firing notes from that purple Stratocaster straight into the hearts of his listening audiences.

Video:

Lafayette Falkquay at Adams Avenue Street Fair, 2013

The thing about Falkquay today is that, 20 years older, he is 20 years better. Time has only sharpened his reflexes. His guitar whispers or it screams, and it is always played using that down-home finger-style of his. That he can get the bright and hard attack he gets on guitar without use of a pick defies physics, in a way. But a true fan of the blues arts might argue that Falkquay’s voice, honeyed over the years of straining into the upper reaches of soul, is the key to his authenticity. For in these past two decades of club-hopping he has gotten to that rare place occupied by the Robert Crays and the Tommy Castros of the blues idiom. I think that maybe the distinctive vibrato the three share was perfected years ago by late greats from blues generations prior, but no matter. That magic is alive and well wherever Falkquay happens to be.

Lafayette Falkquay: Wednesday, August 23, Prohibition Lounge, 548 Fifth Ave, 9 p.m, no cover

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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