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Vince Converse 

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The citizens of Colorado Springs must be more depressed than those of other Colorado locales. Although you wouldn't think it of our blue-skyed, picket-fenced, birds-chirping community, the Springs is a haven for the blues. In any given month, you can catch at least five concerts with a Delta influence.

The latest bluesman to blow into town is 25-year-old Vince Converse. While Converse draws heavily from the same vein that feeds T-Bone Walker, Freddie King and the Vaughn brothers, he finds a great source of energy in the late master of the electric guitar, Jimi Hendrix.

Converse subtly incorporates Hendrix-esque vibes into his latest album, One Step Ahead. The recording was produced by Eddie Kramer, famous throughout the music world for his work with Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and KISS. Kramer's strong blues-rock influence can be heard throughout One Step Ahead, but Converse's original compositions, acoustic work and R&B exploration prove that he is anything but a musical clone.

Converse's guitar prowess has earned him the recognition of media across the country, including naming his band, Sunset Heights, the Most Promising Band of the Southwest by Texas Monthly magazine. Vince Converse will be appearing at Castaway's in Manitou Springs Thursday night with our own local blues hounds, Ricki Dee Hall and the Voodoo Hawks. Tickets are $8 to $10. Call 685-5626.

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