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Vientiane Times

American artist Mary McBride Sets Laos Audience Rocking

April 5, 2012

American singer Mary McBride delivered a lively performance at an open air concert staged by the Mekong in Vientiane on Tuesday night.

The performer received a warm welcome from the enrapt audience as her powerful voice blended blues, soul, country, and rock music.

The concert attracted people from the nearby night market and caused traffic jams along Fa Ngum Road as passers-by were drawn in by the show.

The highlight of the concert was an ensemble performance with four Lao musicians who accompanied the singer on piano, violin, flute and drums.

The performance is part of a three-day visit sponsored by the US Embassy to Laos and Humpty Dumpty International (HDI).

Introducing the show, US Ambassador Ms Karen Stewart said "Last time I was on stage at a concert here I ended up rapping. Don't worry, this time I will leave the music to the professionals! Tonight I have the great honor to welcome Mary McBride and her band, who have been bringing their unique blend of American musical genres to audiences all around the world and are here in Laos for the very first time."

Ms McBride is helping to raise awareness of the humanitarian programmes that HDI manages in different parts of the world, the Ambassador added.

In Laos, HDI and the US Embassy have worked together to provide clean water, latrines, new schools, and school meals to thousands of hungry children.

The US government has supported the HDI programmes since 2007 and provided over US$11 million in funding to the organisation.

In addition to the evening concert, Ms McBride held a musical workshop at the School of Music and Dance for students of traditional Lao instruments.

Mary McBride and her band will next be in Vietnam where they will play at the International Culture Festival in Hue and for survivors of UXO accidents and their families who are participating in HDI's victim assistance programme in Vietnam.