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Thursday afternoon found Vinnie Mele in his Front Street apartment, fingering through a couple of riffs on the fretboard of his vintage Epiphone hollow body electric guitar.

Less than a block away is Marietta's historic Lafayette Hotel, where Mele and his band, the Lubricators, will compete against 17 other acts during this weekend's River City Ohio Blues Competition.

“We join in the competition every two or three years to represent the local community, and it's a great opportunity to have our music heard by people from all over the region,” Mele said.

Vinnie Mele of Vinnie and the Lubricators

“We join in the competition every two or three years to represent the local community, and it's a great opportunity to have our music heard by people from all over the region.”

Other members of Vinnie and the Lubricators include pianist Michael Tobar, guitarist Chris Garten, bassist Dan Parsons and drummer Andy Hall.

“We're a blues-based band, but also play reggae, funk and R&B,” Mele said. “And 90 percent of the blues we play at the competitions are originals written by Michael Tobar and myself.”

The band takes the stage at 1 p.m. Saturday for its 20-minute set during the competition. Mele said that's enough time to play about four or five numbers.

Reviews

The Marietta Times

“One of the Mid-Ohio Valley's premier musicians”

ACRN News

“With experience comes refined skill, and Vinnie Mele has plenty of experience.”

The Columbus Dispatch

“The ultimate crossover band”

Union Hall Theatre

“Thank you for a great performance. You brought the crowd right out of their seats, exactly how we hoped!”

Brickstreet BBQ Festival

“Your music was great as always! You added a great spirit to the evening and everyone enjoyed your music so much. Thank you and thank you again.”

The Adelphia Music Hall

“Your show is always top notch, energetic and full of variety.”