Live Review: The Proven Ones at The Mint in Los Angeles, CA

Material: The Proven Ones are categorized as blues music but, man, there are so many influences oozing out of these guys. They played a lot of blues, yes, but it was frosted with sweet icing like chocolate R&B, vanilla country and strawberry rock & roll. Super enjoyable songs were played that had some super fun twists. The songs are all written with catchy rhythms and even catchier grooves. Songs like “Get Love,” with its Southern Rock feel and heart-warming lyrics, get you tapping your toes ‘n shakin’ what the good lawd gave ya.

Musicianship: All the players from The Proven Ones are top notch. Ramos came out firing from the hip and hitting all targets in songs like “Don’t Leave Me This Way” and “Somebody Loan Me A Dime.” A shredding blues guy with superb tone and a tasteful approach makes for an awe-inspiring performance. Campbell and Bott were made for each other as they held down the rhythm section with remarkable accuracy. All the while dancing around and having a great time, they had an infectious influence on everyone in the room as one and all sang and boogied to thunderous beats. Geraci is a great piano player. Adding some well placed rhythm and beautiful leads, his layers of groove are a readily welcomed treat to an already juicy set. Mack and Mercer are more icing on the cake. This delightfully sweet music is taken up a notch when they add their own style of trumpet and sax. Is Joe (Bonamassa) missing you guys, yet?

Performance: The performance was good. The stage was crowded with cables, guitars, amps and people, but The Proven Ones proved that they came to play. Templeton was excellent in addressing the crowd and keeping them involved. Directing traffic and making sure the songs went smoothly must be in a lead man’s job description, because while belting out the tunes he played traffic controller and all with a good voice. “You Ain’t Done” was by far the best Templeton tune on the set list.

Summary: The Proven Ones are a very tight and well rehearsed group. True to their name, they are proven musicians from all walks of life. Numerous accolades include Grammy nominations, Lifetime Achievement Awards, Blues Music Awards, Blues Foundation nominations and Cascade Blues Association Awards. Having played with the likes of The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Radio Kings, Sugar Ray, James Harmon, Smokin’ Joe Kubek, Rod Piazza, The Pretenders, Janiva Magness, John Mayall, Freddie King, T-Rex and Buddy Guy, The Proven Ones are a band not to be missed.

Contact: [email protected]


Players: Kid Ramos, guitar; Brian Templeton, vocals; Anthony Geraci, keys and piano; Willie J. Campbell, bass, Jimi Bott, drums; Joe Mack, trumpet; Chris Mercer, saxophone