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‘Joe Cocker Experience’ aims for authenticity in Cowichan show

“Close your eyes, and you’ll swear you’re hearing the real deal”
Larry Brennan has a voice so much like Joe Cocker, you’ll have trouble telling the difference, promise producers of ‘The Joe Cocker Experience’, coming to Cowichan on April 9, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Joe Cocker Experience)

The Joe Cocker Experience, headed to the stage at the Sid Williams Theatre on Saturday, April 23, promises a voice so like the real thing, you won’t be able to tell the difference.

The show has been built around Larry Brennan, who is described as having a voice with an uncanny resemblance to Joe Cocker.

“Close your eyes, and you’ll swear you’re hearing the real deal,” says a press release for the show.

But the show’s producers didn’t stop there. They’ve re-created the band that Cocker used on his last tour at a performance in Cologne, Germany on April 22, 2013, including two female singers, two keyboard players, two horn players, a percussionist, bass guitar, lead guitar, and drums.

Kristi Kell and Cindy Goebel, the backup singers who will join Brennan in singing some of Cocker’s biggest hits including ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’, ‘Leave Your Hat On’, and ‘The Letter’, are described as having voices that blend so well with Brennan’s that it becomes magic.

But the vocalists aren’t the only stars, according to a press release for the show.

“Daryl’s [Marklinger] guitar playing is nothing short of awe-inspiring,” says the release. “His guitar solos can cry with melody or drive hard with fury — there is nothing like it — welcome to Woodstock!

“On piano, Rick [McDonough] will play you beautiful melodies or pound out riffs like he’s possessed — that’s when you get out of the way. On Hammond organ and trombone, Earle [Gibson] needs a lot of elbow room when he’s talking to you on trombone — and everybody knows when Earle’s talkin’ to you on trombone. When Earle is playing his Hammond organ, he owns the space he’s working in and he’s a master at it”

And still there’s more.

“Talking about bringing tears to your eyes, you haven’t heard anything like Claudio [Fantinato] on tenor sax. This guy commands your attention — and some. You have to see and hear this guy play — talk about a real pro! Rounding out the bottom end and heartbeat of the band, are two guys who have played together for over 25 years — it doesn’t get any tighter than that. Ron McKee on bass guitar and Gerry Pool on drums are an entity all on their own. They drive the pulse and feel of this show like they’re on a mission. You could say, they’re drivin’ the bus.”

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $44.50. Get them at, or call 250-338-2430 (ext. 101)

Masks are recommended but not required. Patrons must still show a vaccine passport and a photo ID if over the age of 19.

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Andrea Rondeau

About the Author: Andrea Rondeau

I returned to B.C. and found myself at the Cowichan Valley Citizen.
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