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Janice Gerard belts the blues at Martini Blues in Huntington Beach

 In a recent open mic Wednesday night at Martini Blues, musicians who signed up were invited on stage to play with the house band.

Opening the show with a half a dozen blues tunes to get the house rockin', the professional musicians making up the house band were established performers from the Los Angeles/Southern California area.

Professional harp player Joe Blue greeted guests in hospitable fashion. You wouldn't know that such a low-key, friendly guy had so much energy till you saw him perform. His harmonica was never visible as his hands cradled it at the microphone. But the tunes and body language projected the heart and soul of the blues in rhythmic fashion.

We attended this concert to listen to a singer we'd heard about and found that she, indeed, was on the play list. Once popular in Europe and Finland, Janice Gerard is an attractive blonde with the All-American girl appeal. Like Joe Blue, you wouldn't pick her out of a crowd as the strongest candidate to belt the blues. But she did!