Rick Keene Music Scene – Jazz Festival Reviews; Hill, Andersen, Musslewhite and Guy – A Night of Blues.

Steve Hill and Matt Andersen are ‘Brothers from other Mothers.’

Friends offstage, the pair have appeared together a few times guesting on each other’s shows. Friday at the Jazz Festival, the duo were an opening act for Charlie Musslewhite and Buddy Guy. Opened they did !



Commencing with Hill’s ‘Tough Luck’ from the album Solo Recordings Volume One, Andersen complemented Hill and Vice versa. Or, versa -vice. ‘You do my murder and I do yours’, Criss-cross. 

The dueling banjos in the film Deliverance have nothing on these guys …

Andersen’ s crisp picking and Hill’s lightning fast fingers sang and danced. Combining harmonic symphonies with etching solos. Hill’s vocals menacingly baritone while Andersen’s cries as forceful as a volcano erupting into the pale moonlight.

Who are you listening to?

Hopefully a Steve Hill / Matt Andersen collaboration in the near future. Anything less would be a shame.


Charlie Musslewhite

On the 50th anniversary of the release of Musslewhite’s first album; ‘Stand Back! Here Comes Charlie Musslewhite’s Southside Band’ ; the seventy – three year old harmonica pioneer received the B.B. King Blues Award at The Montreal International Jazz festival. 

 Musslewhite then went out and displayed why he deserved the award.

Into his fifth decade atop the harmonica world, Musslewhite shows no signs of slowing down. It’s difficult enough to play harp at high caliber, non-stop lengths for men or women in their forties. Even more so if singing interrupts the jam before the jam starts up again. Wash, rinse – repeat.

That ‘soulful cleansing’ cycle continued for an hour and a half. Musslewhite hardly broke a sweat as the intensity of the band grew larger than the Grinch’s heart in a night of re-runs.  Salle Wilfred Pelletier was smokin’ and Musslewhite – the backyard chef.

In the words of comedian Eddie Murphy – ‘Roll that Chil’ , we gonna have a fire !’

June Core ( drums), Steve Froberg ( Bass) and Matt Stubbs (Guitar) provided the canvas on which Musslewhite painted his longevity landscape. How often does a music fan get to witness a man who played and learned from Muddy Waters ( among other legends) ?

‘300 Miles to Go’ , ‘My Kinda Gal’ and ‘Cristo Redentor’ – just three of the tunes which lit up and educated the masses at Place des Arts. Stubbs’ licks easing in and out of Musslewhite’s  range while the rhythm section ebbed and flowed as a rhythm section should. As rhythm sections must.

Charlie Musslewhite ( since the death of James Cotton) is the last Bluesman blowin’ from an era that was the foundation for men like John Popper ( Blues Traveller) . Musslewhite; the carrier of legacies. Musslewhite; the man who Dan Akroyd modeled Elwood Blues after in the film The Blues Brothers. 

It doesn’t get much better than that.


Buddy Guy

Speaking of ‘last man standing’ …?

Eighty year old guitar virtuoso Buddy Guy was in the house Friday night. Literally – Guy was in the house, around the house and bought Salle Wilfred Pelletier outright!

Combining a ‘live instructional video’ on the history of The Blues with well chosen ‘samples’ of songs such as Cream’s ‘Strange Brew’, Guy educated (as he has been doing for a few years now) the masses on what Blues means to music. Given his tutelage under the wings of such players as ‘T-Bone Walker, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and B.B. Kingreally, who else could teach?

Interweaving heartwarming tales of his youth on a farm in Lousiana with licks of the legends of American and British Blues, Guy was charming, provocative and even ‘sexy’ as the patrons at Place des Arts sat on the edge of their seats ( when they were not standing).

 Once in a while, special moments take place in life. Whether or not the recent deaths of B.B. King and James Cotton had something to do with it, Guy’s performance as part of The Jazz Festival had an air of appreciation. An air of satisfaction.

Many people who come to realize their time on the ‘stage of life’ is limited, reflect on their choices. A certain melancholy replaces the anger of youth and the hunger of a life ahead of them.  Buddy Guy – with all his accomplishments and a legacy sure to be remembered for many years; no different.

His guitar playing and quick fingers matched only by his quick wit and hasty replies to catcalls. Guy has earned the right to say and do anything on stage. ‘Damn right’ he’s got a seasoned voice and ‘Damn right’ – he will use it anyway he sees fit.

Any punter who complains that Buddy does not play many full songs at his shows anymore is missing the point. Important artists need to be listened to before they fade away. Only they may relay insights that will be relayed from parents to children in the future. It is a bridge to keep torches from burning out. Without words of wisdom – music ( society) will suffer. Learning guitar licks easy compared to swallowing truths.

Buddy Guy delivered on all counts. Providing just enough mastery on guitar, his vocals as powerful and ‘stunning’ as always and his ‘baton’ relaying – to the point and filled with emotion.

 Damn right Buddy Guy has the Blues and he wants everyone to have them too. Nothing wrong with that.


Melissa Etheridge Interview below.



Visit Melissa Here !

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The Montreal International Jazz Festival

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