Chris's multi-instrumentalist skills shine bright, whether sweetening up the closer "Oh My Love" with a kazoo solo or ripping the harmonica rack on "Honey Bee," "Violence," and "The Eleven." But his guitar skills get top billing, and understandably so. Guitarist Joe Paye, a Liberian immigrant and fellow member of Afro-rock/reggae/funk collective the Double Decker Dance Band, took Monti under his wing two years ago and introduced him to Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars last summer. Monti paid his "apprenticeship" dues by driving the traveling troupe to their Northeast gigs, setting up their PA, and tuning instruments, and eventually found himself playing guitar onstage alongside the internationally-renowned African musicians. Monti also acknowledged longtime mentor Geremia.

"I saw Paul Geremia play rack harmonica before I knew who Bob Dylan was," Monti said. "I got turned on to Robert Johnson when I was in high school, but until I saw Paul Geremia I never saw anyone play country-blues like that. It took me years to figure out what Paul was doing on the guitar," he continued. "I mean, playing the harp and the slide on a 12-string at the same time? Paul Geremia is just out of this world.

"I have been getting a musical education that you couldn't possibly get in a school."

CHRIS MONTI + ALEC K. REDFEARN & THE EYESORES + THE DOUBLE DECKER DANCE BAND | Friday, March 4 @ 7:30 pm | Firehouse 13, 41 Central Street, Providence | $8 | 401.270.1801

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