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The Upbeat: Chris Canas Band

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Chris Canas Band

Formed: 2003 in Ann Arbor

Sound: A mix of blues, funk and soul "with about a half cup of Motown," according to Canas.

Members: Chris Canas (nee Cottingham) -- guitar, drums, keyboard, bass, trumpet, vocals; Angela Cottingham -- tambourine, vocals, drums; Kevin Schoepke -- bass; Greg Sauceda -- drums; Michael Scott -- drums; Chris Nordman -- keyboards.

Influences: Prince, BB King, Freddie King, D'Angelo, Jonny Lang, Joe Bonamassa, Santana, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Robert Cray, Robben Ford, Miles Davis, Eric Benet, Eric Clapton, Albert Collins, Dr. John, Ray Charles "and many, many more."

Day Jobs: Canas works as a security medical ifficer in Novi. Cottingham is a retired nurse. Schoekpe is a print press operator in Jackson. Sauceda plays for the Detroit Pistons Drumline. Scott is an engineer in Canton, and Nordman is retired from General Motors and is the President of Chris Nordman and Associates Inc.

What's in a name?: "I would like to say there is some grand meaning behind it," Canas explains, "but I was actually 15 and I was writing one of my first songs and I looked down at my pile of notepads with lyrics and music all over them to find the name CANAS spelled out from half of a word being chopped off in the title of my song. I liked the way it sounded with my first name because I figured Christopher Cottingham wasn't a very good stage name. I feel the band is a mix of a solo act as well as a full functioning band. I like having input from every member so all of our styles can shine through. I chose to use name because sometimes members change; I am the only constant. I also do almost all of the writing, and arranging. Angie has written a couple of tunes as well."

Favorite Gig: "One of my favorite gigs was at the Mohican Blues Festival in Ohio when we opened for Joe Bonamassa. The atmosphere there was electric and the crowd wanted to hear some blues." Adding that "it's really hard to pick just one all-tine favorite gig" Canas also cites performances at the Detroit Jazz Festival and Detroit's Concert Of Colors, among others.

Hear `Em: The Chris Canas has relased five albums -- "Shades of Blue," "C,", "Sunshine," "Pure As Gold" and "She's Breaking Me" -- with the next one "on the way some time this year."

See `Em: The group performs at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 16, at Boo's insider Mr. B's, 215 S. Main St., Royal Oak. Cover is ?? Call 248-399-0017 or visit www.mrbspub.com. The band plays again Saturday, Jan. 17, as part of the Anti-Freeze Blues Festival at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. The Siegel-Schwall Blues Band, the Howard Glazer Band, Jimmy Alter & JBone also perform. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. Call 248-544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.

Surf `Em: www.chriscanas.net, www.chriscanas.com

Web Site: www.chriscanas.com

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