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Thursday, April 10-Friday, April 11: Mike Coucoules & John Croarkin

Downtown Gig Harbor, Treos in Old Town Tacoma

Mike Coucoules / photo credit: Duncan Livingston

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I can't remember when I met Mike Coucoules. Years and years ago at Cole's in Ruston is my guess, well before it burst into flames, before his auto accident benefit jam at Seafarers Sports Bar in 2006, and before I became a groupie when Coucoules played bass in Malcolm Clark's blues trio. For certain I wasn't in the picture when Coucoules picked up a guitar at 14, studied Hendrix, Cream, Zappa, CS&N and Steve Miller during high school, before a friend turned him on to jazz and CTI Records. "He showed me some jazz chords and changed my world. He told me I was going to be a good musician because I had a lot of feeling, something that took years to understand. My music is all about feeling, from the heart," Coucoules tells me. He's shared his heart with too many bands to count over the last 40 years, and holds a piece from every one, but his heart grew three sizes when he met horn player John Croarkin during a gig with the Blues Bentley Band. Blown away by Croarkin's chops and comps, Coucoules knew he was the missing piece to the CD churning in his head. The resulting Latin jazz blues country CD can be purchased, and the duo heard live, the next two nights.

MIKE COUCOULES/JOHN CROARKIN, "Thursday Night Out," 5-8 p.m., April 10, Pioneer Village Building, 7700 Pioneer Way, Gig Harbor, no cover; 7 p.m., April 11, Treos, 2312 N. 30th St., Tacoma, no cover, 253.212.2287

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