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Me & Julio

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MARY JO LEECH
  • Photo by Mary Jo Leech

Mary Lou's, 3536 N. Academy Blvd., 622-0400 Saturday, Jan. 27, 6:30-9:30 p.m. All ages, no cover.

Tony's, 311 N. Tejon St., 228-6566 Saturday, Feb. 3, 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. 21-plus, no cover.

When Julio Garcia caught John Stone's solo act in the summer of 2003, he knew he had to take a chance and jam with Stone, just to see what would come of it.

Immediately, the two meshed. And after playing just a couple of tunes together, Me & Julio was born.

"From the moment we met, we wanted our own sound and something new," Stone says. "We bring each other to a higher level musically."

It's one part Garcia's Cuban background, one part his rhythm guitar, one part Stone's soul-shaking lead guitar, with a dash of backup vocals. Mix and serve, and you've got Me & Julio.

"Our music is a Latin fusion," Garcia says. "A hybrid. It's not salsa, not rock, Cuban or jazz. But it is a synthesis of all the elements."

Although they do have two CDs out, trying to capture that one-of-a-kind Me & Julio sound on an album has proven trying.

"We love to see people appreciate the music," Stone says. "We're always better live, working with a crowd. They bring up our energy and add so many elements."

"It's hard to record that sound on a CD," Garcia says. "We're better live."

Nicole Laird

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