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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Get Out: Nicole Hart & Lance Ong

Nicole Hart and Lance Ong

Courtesy of Nicole Hart and NRG

Nicole Hart (left) and Lance Ong

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If Nicole Hart and Lance Ong are a burgeoning power couple of blues and soul, then it all started with Ong's playing and Hart's ears.

Nearly eight years ago, Hart was a singer for hire, at a performance space and talking with her agent, when in the next room she heard the sounds that changed her life.

"I said, 'Excuse me, I'll be right back. I have to go check this guy out,' " Hart recalled. "And I ran into the room, and there was this cat on stage, this Asian guy, taking this amazing, amazing B-3 organ solo, but there was no B-3 there, no Leslie cabinet, no nothing."

Hart and the guy with the midi-controlled keyboard strapped to him like a guitar became fast friends, writing, recording and eventually falling in love. They'll be married on Aug. 8.

But first, there's plenty of prewedding gigging to do. Hart, Ong and the NRG Band (she pronounces it N-R-G, not energy, but doesn't seem to mind if you call it the latter) are playing at Blue 5 Restaurant on Saturday.

Go to this story online for a podcast, which includes discussion of her influences and her "female first" approach to winning a crowd. While you're there, listen to the first song Hart wrote for Ong, "That Woman's Trash is This Woman's Treasure."

"It's basically an ode to everyone and anyone who's ever had love and lost that love, and I think that's probably 98 percent of the population, unless you're incredibly lucky," Hart said. "And if you ever think that you won't find love a second time, that's definitely not true."

-- Tad Dickens

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