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Playing Around: Erika Luckett 

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Imagine sitting in a living room, one of those sunken jobs with plush carpet, jamming with Phoebe Snow and Carole King, and then Annie Lennox comes over and you all sing "Stoned Soul Picnic." That's about what Erika Luckett's voice sounds like. Then Ani DiFranco and the ghost of John Coltrane come over with a bottle of tequila and get Al Kooper to take a turn at the organ, and you've got Luckett's music. Pretty soon you're all drunk and the creative juices are flowing, and by the end of the night you've come up with Tinted Glass, Luckett's first solo release, on BlueFish Records.

Born and raised in Central America, Luckett produces music with a base in Latin rhythms. For years, Luckett toured with her fusion jazz group, Wild Mango, putting out three albums and earning a Top 10 hit on the Latin Jazz charts. The desire to write and perform songs in English without the intricate arrangements required by the seven-piece band led to her solo effort, one that has been showered with acclaim and awards.

The song "Pennsylvania Ave.," a witty commentary on the upcoming presidential election, won Best Song at the Northern California Songwriter's Convention, while "Evangelina," a sad ballad tinged with regret and addressing the disillusion of a Latin immigrant in America, won Song of the Year.

Erika Luckett plays the Acoustic Coffee Lounge Saturday night. Tickets are $5; call 268-9951 for details.

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