Posts by Rick Keene

Rick Keene Music Scene – Big Wreck Celebrates Twenty Years with a Bang!

It was more like a large crash.

Like most ‘ big wrecks’, people are curious. They stop, look , listen and move one. Luckily for the band Big Wreck, the majority of the punters stayed at the Corona Theatre in Montreal Saturday night.

Big fans of the band helped Big Wreck celebrate twenty years since the debut of their first album; In Loving Memory Of. By no means was the gathering a wake.

Commencing with Look What I Found from the debut album – the love affair between audience and band was mutual and energizing. The post – Grunge / Alternative rock band with duel citizenship realistically appreciative of a Canadian audience.

After all, without Canada , Big Wreck may have been hauled off to the junkyard by now.

Listening to That Song , Ill Advice and How Would You Know – the first thing which grabs the guitar strings is bandleader Ian Thornley’s vocal power. Rarely does an artist in Rock possess such depth.

Chris Cornell of Soundgarden had it and Thornley is not far behind. Complimented by the Gord Sinclair-ish Brian Doherty on guitar, Big Wreck’s sound is unique within the sameness. Distinctively Big Wreck with enough nuances to nurture creativity . To breed solid guitar.

While Thornley and Doherty trade jabs and riffs , McMillan ( bass) and Keeping ( drums) maintain the base. Nailing the foundation with a rythym section as solid as the leaning Tower of Pisa. Swaying enough to add swing into a genre sometimes criticized for monotanous behavior. Sloppy enough to add the danger.

By the time The Oaf ended things and Albatross started them up again in the encore , Big Wreck and the crowd were as one. Albatross a giant sing a long / lovefest essential to the lifeline of a Rock band. Injections of crowd participation both nurturing and an indication of possessing a damn good song.

Two entities intertwined like, well – a large crash.

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Country Music Star Tim Hicks Set to Invade Quebec !

Country music has replaced the ‘roll’ in Rock n Roll.

Chuck Berry, Ray Charles and the Rolling Stones. Three of the biggest names in music, all bred with a foundation of Country music in their souls.

Tim Hicks of Niagara Falls Canada is on the brink of super-stardom.

In a music world where Country music is more energetic and more pure Rock n Roll than Rock n Roll, Hicks is carrying on the tradition with jaw- dropping live shows and riffs which are memorable. Platinum singles , Canadian lore and a spirit void of weakness. Tim Hicks is the future of Canadian music.

Please listen below to my chat with Tim.

 

 

Click on the link below to buy tickets to his Quebec gigs, shows which will make history.

Visit Tim Here !

Rick Keene Music Scene – Former Genesis Guitarist Steve Hackett Discusses New Album , Old Friends and A Scary World. Part One and Two

Montreal is a Genesis hub.

Along with bands such as Styx and Supertramp, Genesis were received and applauded in Montreal before the world embraced their talents. Consisting of Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett – Genesis served up a decade of classic music. Prog Rock. Cutting  age material that remains ahead of it’s time.

Steve Hackett , the former guitarist, feels the love  for his former band every time he is in town. Show after show are sellouts and the level of his performances  never cease to amaze.

Wolflight ( released in 2015 ) was the reason for Steve’s last trip to Montreal and in 2018 – another two albums are behind the jaunt to La Belle Province.

Please listen below to PART ONE and PART TWO of my chat and discover things both new and old.

Steve ? What’s Up ?

 

 

 

 

Visit Steve Here !

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Former Genesis Guitarist Steve Hackett Discusses New Album , Old Friends and A Scary World. 

Montreal is a Genesis hub.

Along with bands such as Styx and Supertramp, Genesis were received and applauded in Montreal before the world embraced their talents. Consisting of Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett – Genesis served up a decade of classic music. Prog Rock. Cutting  age material that remains ahead of it’s time.

Steve Hackett , the former guitarist, feels the love  for his former band every time he is in town. Show after show are sellouts and the level of his performances  never cease to amaze.

Wolflight ( released in 2015 ) was the reason for Steve’s last trip to Montreal and in 2018 – another two albums are behind the jaunt to La Belle Province.

Please listen below to PART ONE of my chat and discover things both new and old.

Steve ? What’s Up ?

 

 

Visit Steve Here !

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene; Top Ten Musician New Year’s Resolutions 

The new year brings hope.

 

 

Not just for regular folk, business people or pets. More than anyone, artists and musicians require a changing of course to right a sometimes leaky boat. It ain’t easy maneuvering the seas of art, just ask the Flock of Seagulls circling aimlessly overhead.

Here now are The Top Ten Musician New Year’s Resolutions. 

10. In 2018, out of respect for my spouse, I will no longer sleep with the man / woman in row 4, seat 6 …

 

9. ‘ Moves Like Jagger ‘ doesn’t work live unless you ‘move like Jagger … ‘

 

8. No more gigs with ‘money for nothing and chicks for free …’

 

7. Investigate the reason why my manager is driving a Porsche while I take the bus …

 

6. No more appearances at 5am on ‘Tom Cruise’s Telethon of Scientology’ 

 

5. Don’t enter any more contests where I have to pay for winning! 

 

4. No more gigs that are interrupted by badly played hockey by the Montreal Canadiens.  

 

3. Before singing ‘when I think about you I touch myself’ at a wedding gig, make sure Harvey Weinstein’s victims are not in attendance. 

 

2. ‘You Dropped a Bomb on Me’ must be scratched from the set list before touring North Korea. 

 

And the #1 Musician New Year’s Resolution ? 

 

1. If I actually write a song, I can stop delivering pizzas full time ! 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene; Top Ten Signs Your Music Career May Be in Trouble. 

Music is the gateway to the soul.

If the entrance is locked , jumping fences can only end up bad. There are no shortcuts to success in the music business.

Here are the top ten signs it may be time to change careers in 2018.

10. Two years after playing the Montreal International Jazz Festival , your most lucrative gig is playing at the local dive for shots !

9. Your merch guy gives away CDs so he doesn’t have to carry the box back to the van.

8. You win a music contest to compete in a far away land but you can’t afford the airfare …

7. A GoFundMe campaign is created to stop you from making anymore CDs.

6. Your tour manager goes on tour without you!

5. You are added to a festival of one hit wonders and your band performs on the side stage.

4. Your performance on a nationally televised telethon is interrupted by the ONE phone call.

3. Your family are the only ones who come to your gigs.

2. Audiences at live performances leave their phones at home.

And the Number One Sign your Music Career May Be in Trouble ?

1. Your agent sends you for a gig in North Korea with a one way ticket !

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Santa Claus’ Top Ten Favorite Songs …

There is a lot of time to kill at the North Pole. After all, Christmas comes once a year !

 

Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves like to bop. They like to Rock and they like to Roll. Sometimes they groove to R&B, often they dance …

Here are Santa’s Top Ten Favorite Tunes!

10. Condidering he’s the only guy who doesn’t receive gifts year after year,it’s no wonder Santa Claus has Sympathy for the Devil. 

The Rolling Stones

 

9. In 1983, Santa’s GPS broke. Yes, that’s right, Rudolph’s nose wasn’t so bright that Christmas Eve. Since then, Santa plays Road to Nowhere very loud in the stables the night before Christmas Eve to remind the Red nosed critter to check his batteries. 

Talking Heads

 

8. Each year, Santa is afraid of crashing and never returning to see Mrs. Claus in her sexy red satin negligee. So, before he leaves, Let’s Get It On is the song of choice in the bedroom of the Claus’ ( wink, wink, nudge, nudge). 

Marvin Gaye

 

7. Because there is a lot of sitting around up North, Santa tends to put on the pounds. Stuff his face a little too often with Mrs. Claus’ delicious Apple Pies. To stay in shape, once a week, Santa hits the gym and sweats off pounds to the beat of  YMCA.

The Village People.

 

6. During the off-season, Santa, the Elves and reindeer enjoy billiards. More often than not, bets are placed on trick shots as Roadhouse Blues frames the not-so-friendly environment.  

The Doors

 

5. Every music fan has a guilty pleasure and Santa is no different. When he is able, Santa sneaks off into the closet, plugs his earphones into his iPad and sways to the vibes of Seasons in the Sun

Terry Jacks

 

4. As a child, Santa loved listening to his Mom and Dad’s music. Some of it he outgrew but a lot stayed deep within his soul. For that reason, Santa insists that Candy Man is played every-time he walks into the toy factory. 

Sammy Davies Jr

 

3. Santa had a hard time with the next song. The singer goes against everything St. Nick represents yet it is one of Santa’s favorite tunes to get him pumped for delivering presents. To make sure he does not cross lines, Santa now only hums Rock n Roll Part One in his head as he mounts the sled.

Gary Glitter 

 

2. Santa sometimes survives near disasters. Flying around the world in under twenty four hours can be perilous. Ever since he flew over Chernobyl on that fateful eve, Purple Rain has a special meaning to him. 

Prince

 

And Santa’s number one favorite song ?

 

1.  Heroes – David Bowie. 

 

 

It’s A Charlie …er …Rick Keene Music Scene Christmas !

Christmas comes once a year boys and girls ! Unless your name happens to be Christmas and you are … um … never mind.

 

‘Tis the season to be jolly as they say and there is no better way to get into the Holiday Spirits ( and spirit) than listening to Christmas tunes !

Please listen below to some great Christmas tunes and a few surprises if you are naughty or nice …

 

 

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Top Ten Favorite Interviews 2017

For those who follow my escapades (both online and in attempting to promote local music), five words may come to mind;

It ain’t easy being green.

Competing against the corporate machine is not something that comes easy. Ringo Starr was dead on.

For six years, I’ve accomplished more than I thought possible as one guy. Bringing record reviews , concert reviews and interviews to homes. Stuff that corporate may cover but on Rick Keene Music Scene – more extensive and personal. More attune to the man on the musical street.

Sass Jordan

Sifting through the 2017 interviews I undertook, it is not fair to narrow down to the top ten. It’s not fair to remove ten from all the hard working musicians attempting to make the world a better place.

Let’s call it my Top Ten Favorite Interviews. For whatever reason , the ten below stand out in my mind.


Thanks for listening. Talk soon !

2017 Top Ten Favorite Interviews

10. Chris White – The Zombies

The original bass player in The Zombies, one of the iconic British Invasion bands of the sixties , both educational and pleasant. Chris very fortright in his opinions of putting the Zombies and their tales into perspective.

9. Darryl James – The Strumbellas

The Strumbellas are possibly the biggest Canadian band at the moment. Check that , Canada’s youngest biggest band right now. In the middle of a tour , Darryl took time to provide an insight into the day-to-day goings on in a band on the verge of global success.

8. Anthony Gomes

Anthony is originally Canadian but currently resides in St. Louis. Not only is Anthony one of the best Blues guitarists on the circuit , he is also one of the purest songwriters. He combines all the ingredients that make up music into his tunes. Gospel, Country , Blues , Soul and Folk. Aside from all that , Anthony constantly raises money for mental health facilities.

7. Sass Jordan

Canada’s sweetheart and foremost carrier of the Rockin torch is always a pleasure. No holds barred , no bs with Sass. The truth about herself and anything else that comes up – Sass is an interviewer’s dream.

6. Sheldon Kagan

One of Montreal’s original concert promoters retired and is writing a book about his experiences. Hearing how a young man left home ( against the advice of his parents ) to become a DJ and parlay that into a hugely successful commodity, a learning curve more acute than most. Lots of tales.

5. Lawrence Gowan

The front man for Styx since 1999 is always Canadian. Honest , funny,  polite and extremely intelligent. Providing insightful musical antedotes and life lessons – Lawrence is a walking encyclopedia about Canadian music.

4. Dr. Jarrett Lobley

The Jarret Lobley Project is a band ripe with inspiring lyrics. Lobley, a physician full time, instilling hope to the listener. He does house calls on his motorcycle and treats aboriginal addicts on his own time as he flies his plane to the north. Compelling.

3. Dr. Trevor Payne

The doctor was head of and founder of The Montreal Jubilation Choir for thirty five years. He decided to step aside and I was the first media guy to help him get the message out. Dr. Trevor Payne ‘s thoughts and experiences – second to none. Working with Stevie Wonder and Dr. Oliver Jones. Tales come from wide and far.

2. Garland Jeffries

One of music’s unsung heroes. One of the first African American musicians to address the racial strife South of the Border. From hanging out with Lou Reed to Bruce Springsteen , Garland remains an every man. True , down to earth and one of the most entertaining singers live in the past fifty years.

1. Melissa Etheridge

Melissa Etheridge was the voice of Rock n Roll for women. Arriving at the perfect time (videos taking over ), Melissa not only shot to the top with songwriting and performance , she gave attention to the many females who came before. A cancer survivor, a Rock n Roll survivor and a spokesperson for the LGBT community and any cause that benefits the underprivileged

Stay tuned for

          The Top Ten Concerts of 2017 !

Garland Jeffries

 

Rick Keene Music Scene; U2 Borrows from The Sixties to Avoid Jumping the Shark. 

Just call it the ‘In Through the Out Door / Steel Wheels phase.

Very successful bands reach a point where they’ve written everything in their style and have experimented with new sounds to reach new heights and / or fans. Suddenly , they find themselves in the studio, looking in the mirror and realizing they are close to parodying themselves. It’s one thing to be U2 and entirely something else to try to be U2.

In recent years , most agree – U2 have lost an edge. No no, The Edge is still plucking away on his guitar strings but it’s been more and more the Bono show. Self indulgent on the world stage as he has tackled issues more than he probably should. Sadly – that self indulgence poured into U2 territory on disc. The band lost as many fans as the number of people fleeing the Province of Quebec. La plus CA change … c’est n’etait pas la meme.

Songs of Experience is a fitting title for the new disc. First , perhaps the experience of losing respect the past few years kicked the lads in their Irish cabooses. Forcing them to investigate albums such as War to discover the magic. The recipe for creativity.

Second , their experience as musicians and their vast catalogue has taught them things most artists never learn. Passing the career hump and still ranking close to the top with a longevity that will probably never been seen again with a band is a flowery guitar pick in their hats.

In 2017, U2 has / had everything. Accolades, money and presumably at one point; ‘ chicks for free’. Take it all away and the love for each other is all they have left. Which brings us to the opening track on Songs of Experience.

Love is All We Have Left introduces the punters to the new record in eye opening fashion.

At first listen , the production values of the song / disc slap the listener silly. Operatic without the make-me-puke reverbs from songs like A Beautiful Day. Think Cold Play with talent. Bono’s voice a brighter shade of yellow. A soul grabbing track that invites curiosity into the intestines of the album. The journey begins with meloncholy surrounded by hope. U2 sounds different and fresher than the past decade.

Lights of Home , the second track introduces a new Edge. Something is different with the tone of those familiar riffs. The chorus is U2 and it borders on recent recordings by the band but with keys more predominant and The Edge more melodic. It’s the bridge to the best and catchiest track on the album ; You’re the Best Thing About Me.’ 

Vintage U2 with catchy riffs and catchy lyrics. It’s Bono and The Edge time with Larry and Adam joining in. Bono,sounding much younger than his fifty-seven years. The tune is a throwback to the late 70’s blending of Punk Rock into 80’s new age. In effect, recent U2 without the self indulgent ego. U2 with energy.

There are some tracks on the album that are very good background candy. Of the seventeen songs, half are non offensive. Wash the dishes, vacuum the rug or write an album review, all tasks made comfortable with the album Songs of Experience as the little yellow pill. 

In an age when new dangers threaten peace of mind and the planet, Bono instills peace.

What makes the album somewhat relevant is the return to the simple sounding riffs and choruses of the sixties.

Red Flag Day , The Showman, American Soul and the aforementioned Your the Best Thing About Me – all included with an innocence not heard of for a while with U2. Just like that, Eddie Murphy traded places with Bono and added a poor man’s point of view. U2 are back from the future and jammin at the high school sock hop. U2 seemingly have returned from the dead. Sorta.

Songs of Experience contains many tunes that once upon a time were shocking to fans. Songs that were shunned in the past are currently the norm for U2. Status quo for men sneaking up on their 60’s. Gone is the hunger of Sunday Bloody Sunday. Gone is the anger of Bullet the Blue Sky. Even Vertigo is fading. U2 are the modern day crooners.

Balance wise , Songs of Experience is the best U2 record in ten years. Maybe more.

The weaker songs are framed by the stronger tunes and are short. No annoying things happen on the album and if they do; they don’t last long. To place the album in a bottle and toss it to sea is not a bad idea. Sharing the experience is a good thing in a day and age where music is suffering commercially. The airplay with Songs of Experience could wake young bands up. Production – wise , a modern day Sgt. Peppers or Pet Sounds (well, U2’s version anyways).

 With the album atop the Billboard charts, it’s hard to decipher why. A group such as U2 gathers quite a bit of moss ( fans ) in forty – odd years. Even if one quarter buy the disc , the album would shoot to the top. U2 groupies will tell you it’s because it’s a great album. Music aficionados will say it’s because the rest of the music out there sucks and a sub par U2 album is still better than the best of the worst.

In other words; same thing that happened when In Through the Out Door / Steel Wheels was released.

Rick Keene Music Scene; The Lyric Theatre Singers Add Purity to Christmas 

Since their inception in 1990, the Lyric Theatre Singers have entertained Montrealers young and old. Christmas is special. Especially a candlelight version.

Bob Bachelor

Forced to move from the familiar surroundings of Tudor Hall ( renovations are taking place), the Lyric Singers took up residence over the weekend at Loyola Chapel on the Concordia University campus. Bigger venue means more exposure for a group that deserves it. More tickets sold means more funds to not only keep the group intact, to increase the already firm legacy that exists.

Peter Colantonio

A Candlelight Christmas, constructed and directed by musical director Bob Bachelor – is mystical in many ways. Combining old school Christmas favorites with Bachelor’s intriguing arrangements; the concert is borrowed but new. Traditional sounds engulf the ears yet the ups and downs of tunes from around the world turn the show into a magic carpet ride. The valleys hung by the choir with care. 

Shelagh Hannigan

Winter cold and ice not your thing ? Spend a moment in Africa with the rhythms of  Photo ni fun Oluwa ( Glory to God in the Highest ). The world renown choral composer Rosephanye Powell contributes to the Candlelight Christmas with the perfect upbeat appetizer to the feast to come. Complete with the Lyric Singers framing the audience and intertwining their baritones and altos – the concert is immediately set apart from most.

Bachelor constructed this version of Christmas with diversity in mind. All the trouble in the world requires an understanding of diversity more than ever.

Ben Kwong

Calypso , Celtic , Gospel, Pop and Chanukah. All represented throughout the show with acute renditions both traditional and rearranged by Bachelor. The sways in moods range from tearful to joyous. Heartfelt to thoughtful. The singers complimenting the musicians and vice versa with a oneness.

Laurie -Ann Jean-Baptiste, the soloist in Sweet Little Jesus Boy ( Altos and Sopranos accompanied) , renders a vocal performance so incredible, so beautiful – the bar was set high for the remaining tunes. Luckily, the other soloists (Katherine Fournier, David Cchiv, Tarik Azgoui ) not only maintained the level of talent, they tweaked and pulled it in different directions. The glove fit the hand. The fingerprints stayed on the souls.

Laurie-Ann Jean-Baptiste

A Candlelight Christmas would not be complete without the Christmas everyone knows.

Rudolph the Red- Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Zat You, Santa Claus? , Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Enough of the tv / film commercial hits to raise the ears of the children in attendance. The older folks smiling with Christmas’ past.

Too often in Christmas shows , boredom arrives with the all-too-familiar hymns and carols. Cool at first with the attention span waning later on. A Candlelight Christmas manages to spark the tinder of melancholy. Igniting the imagination and the kid at heart simultaneously.

Christmas for The Lyric Theatre Singers’ audiences ? Special.

Visit The Lyric Theatre Singers Here 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Dr. Trevor Payne Exits The Montreal  Jubilation Gospel Choir 

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.

 A standard misquote from the first chapter of the Book of Job.

 Dec.3rd 2017, Dr. Trevor Payne’s final appearance as head of The Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir left no room for misquotes. Perfection was perceived by everyone with the possible exception of Dr. Payne himself. Perfection never obtained by the artists themselves.

Dr. Trevor Payne

For thirty – five years ( officially ), the good doctor has guided the Gospel Choir to unimaginable heights ( performing for Nelson Mandela ) and equally unimaginable anxieties. The choir was his child. His offspring . His legacy. His love. His life’s work. His calling.

Putting all the above aside to move on to different projects privately is difficult. Saying goodbye publicly is immense. Ensuring the final performance is not marred by emotions – inconceivable.

Dr. Payne reading good wishes before the show.

 On stage , in rehearsals at Place des Arts, the emotions were in check. The run-through of vocals , music and timing as smooth as the top of Dr. Payne’s head. Good natured ribbing , laughter and smiles framed the always professional choir as they focused on the task at hand. The ‘well oiled’ machine almost didn’t need Dr. Payne. The ‘well oiled’ machine is Dr. Payne. The machine is – ‘ well oiled ‘.

Payne directing the choir.

One by one , the choir and musicians take turn performing as part of a sound. Each person listening attentively to the words of Dr. Payne. Not often and not irrationally do the instructions flow. Calmly the music is stopped and the singing is hushed. Like a Father lovingly teaching – Dr. Payne repairs or introduces observations to make the choir the best they can be.

‘People may teach what they know, but they reproduce who they are’. – John.C.Maxwell

As each of the soldiers of God ( soloists ) took turns rehearsing , Payne conducted but mostly exuded admiration toward his pupils. Hugs were given either before , during and after each performance. Rehearsals give the opportunity where ‘the show’ does not.

Sharon Othello ( Highway to Heaven Medley ), Genevieve Bikond Nkoma ( He’s a Shelter ), Mary Manon Meresier ( Joyful, Joyful) and Janique Montreuil ( Changed ) – a few of the members embracing the musings and admiration from Dr. Trevor Payne.

Alexandre Paquette ( bass) looking on

Soundchecks can be a difficult affair for the most seasoned performers. To be in tune , in sync and in ‘ motion ‘ – often requires the spirit to be as one. Larger groups of musicians can be more obscure at unity in the beginning of ‘ practice’. Not the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir.

Once the notes commence , with very few exceptions , does the engine stop. The train starts rolling and the conductor likes it that way. The battery shovels the coal. The guitars and horns provide the food. The choir are the whistles echoing across the valley signalling the Glory Train is strong.

Right before showtime , Dr. Trevor Payne was nervous. Former choir members from as far away as Spain in attendance. Memories present and counted for.

Adulations from Dr. Oliver Jones and Jazz Festival co – founder Andre Menard (among many ) greeting Payne onscreen in a video montage praising and congratulating the ‘ master ‘ on a career which is legendary. A career unmatched in the Montreal and perhaps global gospel community. Verbal imagery for a job not only well done – above and beyond what was necessary.

All the way from Deep River ( arr. Roy Ringwald) to the Calypso Christmas Medley ( arr. Dr. Trevor Payne ), the final performance under Dr. Payne was brilliant. Payne himself , displaying no signs of emotion except for talking about his Mom and Dad. His Father, explained Payne, carrying bags at Windsor Station to put food on the table , a roof over the head and enough money aside so Trevor could take piano lessons.

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away

Thank you Dr. Trevor Payne

Visit The Montreal Jubilation Choir Here 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – The Lyric Theatre Singers; Lighting Up Christmas with Class

The world is a mess.

With everything that is happening around the world these days, The Lyric Theatre Singers are literally – to the rescue.

Their Christmas themed show; Candlelight Christmas, a welcome relief from the noise all around us. Silence among thieves. Calm in a global storm.

Bachelor

Please listen below to my chat with the musical director of The Lyric Theatre Singers; Bob Bachelor. He explains everything and – a little bit more.

Bob? What’s up?

 

 

Visit The Lyric Theatre Singers Here 

 

 

 

Top Ten Reasons to Attend Bands for Baskets 2017

 

 

Visit Bands for Baskets Here !

 

Click on the links below to HELP FIND JESSE GALGANOV

 

 

Missing Children’s Network Click Here

Facebook Page 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Diana Krall Reminds Montreal of All That is Good

A good concert is an occasion to make new friends. You leave the venue satisfied. The soul filled with goodness.

Diana Krall and her four piece ensemble did just that.

 

Exploring and paying homage to the likes of Cole Porter, Tom Waits and Bob Dylan, Diana reminded everyone why music was created and how diverse the beauty may be.

Commencing with the tune Deed I Do, the punters quite aware the evening would be a treat. Rarely does such talent grace Place des Arts all at once. Rarely does such grace inhabit the talent all at once. Anthony Wilson (guitar), Robert Hurst ( Bass), Karriem Riggins (drums) and Stuart Duncan (violin) displayed such touch on their respective instruments. Such finesse. Such magnificence. They were so good, at times, Krall could be seen watching and listening in awe. When ‘ the boss’ is happy the product must be good.

The Turn up the Quiet Tour is named after Diana’s new album. Following a long excursion overseas, Krall is back on home turf and Montreal – according to Krall, ‘feels like home’. 

The Montreal International Jazz Festival was one of the most important building blocks in Krall’s steps to Juno and Grammy Awards. Last night, the love affair was evident with a few people yelling out ‘ we love you Diana’. Krall shouting back ‘ I love you too’. One fan even managed to alter the encore. ‘S’Wonderful – the brilliant Ira and George Gershwin ballad replacing the scheduled song as an audience request.

 

Turn Up the Quiet , the album, is a return to The Great American Songbook for Krall. A place where she discovered her talents and passion. Isn’t it Romantic, Blue Skies and Sunny Side of the Street were delightfully displayed live and the band took turns implementing their skills within each. Waits’ Temptation, as close to a Rock song as you’ll get in a Krall concert. A tad demonic with the stage lit up in Satan’s color. A rendition perfect to break the theme of the show yet keeping it within the boundaries of jazz. Within the boundaries of Waits.

 

All these years later, Canada’s favorite musical daughter is all grown up. Now a wife and Mother. Those life changing facts are essential to understanding a Krall concert. Mellow, relaxed and with that old Diana sneaking around just under the stage. Popping up every now and again. Playful with an attitude.

 

Wonder if the old Diana and the new one are friends? Judging by the return to Jazz standards they are.

 

Visit Diana Here !

 

 

Top Ten Reasons to Attend Bands for Baskets 2017

 

 

Visit Bands for Baskets Here !

 

Click on the links below to HELP FIND JESSE GALGANOV

 

 

Missing Children’s Network Click Here

Facebook Page 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Emilie Claire Barlow; Basking in Quebec’s Winter

 Not everyone embraces Quebec winters. In fact , most don’t.

Emilie Claire Barlow is one person who loves Quebec winters. So much so, the Toronto native and Juno Award winner took up residence in Quebec. Not only that – she sings about it on her new disc.

A combination of English and French, the tracks are sure to give you frostbite ( in a good way).

Please listen below to my chat with Emilie and hear some tracks from the new album.

Talk soon.

 

 

Visit Emilie Here !

 

Top Ten Reasons to Attend Bands for Baskets 2017

 

 

Visit Bands for Baskets Here !

 

Click on the links below to HELP FIND JESSE GALGANOV

 

 

Missing Children’s Network Click Here

Facebook Page 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Top Ten Reasons to Attend Bands for Baskets 2017

Once a year, around this time, Santa visits twice.

 

Make that two Santas. 

 

Ross Griffiths and Peter Angrove; for the twelfth year in a row, place a few local bands together and raise money for the needy in the West Island. Help, in the form of food baskets.

Please listen below to my chat with Ross and discover everything you need to know about Bands for Baskets 2017 and hear the Top Ten Reasons you should attend.

Santa …er … I mean Ross? What’s up?

 

 

Visit Bands for Baskets Here !

 

Click on the links below to HELP FIND JESSE GALGANOV

 

 

Missing Children’s Network Click Here

Facebook Page 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Searching for Jesse Galganov

The idea of a son missing in a far away place is enough to make any parent go crazy.

This is exactly what is happening as Todd Galganov is in Peru doing all he can to bring his son Jesse Galganov safely back to Montreal.

Please listen below to my chat with Todd and find out what is going on. Please share this as much as possible in hope that someone with information may hear this and help out. Click on the links below to help also.

Thank you on behalf of the family.

 

Missing Children’s Network Click Here

Facebook Page 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – See Spot Run Celebrate Thirty – Five Years in Powerful Style.

It all started in the basement

That’s  usually the spot rebel teenagers get together to ‘ under ‘ mine their parents’ and society’s rules. Randy Bowen and Chris Brodbeck were no different. 

Thirty five years later – the duo, along with the ‘new’ bandmates Aaron Little ( guitar ) and Dave Fudge ( Drums ) returned to the place where it kind of all started. Le Pionnier in Pte Claire. Le starting point. 

Local sensation and legendary songwriter / producer Jeff Smallwood opened things up with an acoustic set. Smallwood has known the band since the beginning and it was only fitting for him to set the stage. Cover versions of April Wine and Pagliaro set the tone and Smallwood’s version of Safety Dance -turned-ballad was eye opening. Smallwood’s musings a history lesson and a treat to witness one of Montreal’s great ( and unsung ) talents. 

Smallwood

Appearance wise , See Spot Run must have released their album Ten Stories High when they were playing with their Tonka trucks. Rock n Roll may be a vicous game but for See Spot Run; it’s the fountain of youth. 

Randy Bowen and Aaron Little dueled the guitar work with precision on songs that splattered their career. ‘ Au Naturel ‘ and ‘Lucy‘ from their debut album on display in full power. The Neo Punk Alternative vibrations creating a buzz in the crowd to both the fanbase and the music virgins. Considering all the music played on radio today , it’s a puzzle why more people do not wake up on their morning drives to the combined harmonies and spunk within a See Spot Run CD. 

Fudge and Brodbeck sustain the foundation with a professionalism second to none. This battery is both heavy and soft to maintain a perfect equilibrium with the twists and turns of the band’s catalogue. 

Terrified ‘ , ‘Gonna Get Ya ‘ and ‘Let It Go ‘ – a trio of tunes framing the band’s career. Catchy , hard driving and formulaic for See Spot Run. Caressing Brodbeck’s vocals for their unique sound while implanting a relentless energy into the pulse of the punters. ‘My IPad Killed my Girlfriend ‘, one of the highlights of the show and a perfect Rock / Alternative song if their ever was one. Another example of a tune that should be propelling the band beyond Nickleback status but is not. 

Le piece de la resistance. ‘Weightless’. The tune which placed the band on stage for a lifetime. The song that made many people kiss and fall in love. See Spot Run saved it for the end (as most bands would) and upon its uncaging, it proved that music is timeless. A great song is a great song no matter the place, time or era. Brodbeck’s vocals youthful as the the day it was first recorded.

Along the journey of a See Spot Run show, the playfulness shines on. Bowen and Brodbeck miming their way through various antics and adding humorous antedotes along the way. Drummer Fudge singing ‘Wild Thing’ (the one hit wonder by Ton Loc) and upon completion Brodbeck stating ‘ If you came to hear Fudge you can leave now.’ 

See Spot Run show no signs of slowing down. Why should they? It’s not their fault mainstream and radio haven’t caught up. 

Visit See Spot Run Here ! 

*Apologies

 Photos of last night’s show unavailable. 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Rest in Peace Malcolm Young. 

The band was not cutting edge but it was. The band did not invent Rock n Roll but it did. The reason was Malcolm Young.

To coin a well known phrase; ‘ It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing …’

Look up that explanation in any dictionary and there should be a photo of Malcolm Young beside it. It was AC / DC’s rythym guitarist and co – founder ( along with brother Angus ) Malcolm Young who made three chords stroll .

Starting with the band’s formation in 1973, there have been plenty of hard rock bands that have come and gone. In the form of such predecessors as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, it was in England where the boys from Down Under surfaced. Unlike their predecessors , AC DC  were a Blues – based outfit that blended hard rock without the continuation of energy throughout. No catchy riff -turned-into -noise. 

Like a great speaker on a podium , it was Malcolm’s dramatic pauses which elevated the songs to musical heights. Unlike many before and after, those pauses resurfaced throughout the tune and added emotional ebbs to a Rock world filled with mostly flows. The groove filled the heavy metal holes.  

Back in Black , Shoot to Thrill , For Those About To Rock ( We Salute You) plus many other ‘ anthems ‘ the band created until Malcolm’s departure in 2014  stood out.

The spaces were what created the anthem yet it was Malcolm’s ‘swing ‘ as a rythym player that gave life to Angus’ leads. Much like the Rythym section of Watts and Richards in the Stones, Malcolm imported that ‘Jazz’ mentality into the feel of AC DC’s music. Any live stadium or arena show by AC DC on YouTube is proof of that. The crowds , en masse – caught up in the momentum of the moment. Bon Scott’s  (Brian Johnson later ) powerful vocals, Angus’ theatrics and artful solos and Phil Rudd’s relentless pounding all grounded by Malcolm’s sensibilities.  Malcolm’s engine. Malcolm’s songwriting

Malcolm was the brains behind the band on and offstage. The quiet introspective one who watched , learned and played. For Malcolm – it was and it remained until the end; about the music. 

Very few music performers will be laid to rest knowing they wrote and played on twenty odd songs which are played somewhere on Earth everyday. Three hundred and sixty five days a year, somebody is bopping to Thunderstruck, Whole Lotta Rosie and Rock N Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution.  

Habitually , Rock n’ Roll is known as the Devil’s music. Somehow, Malcolm Young was never on the Highway to Hell so his final resting place is in store for something new and not borrowed.

Malcolm Mitchell Young (6 January 1953 – 18 November 2017

Watch The Jack Here 


Rick Keene Music Scene – Former April Wine Guitarist Joins Forces to Shine on New Disc !

Gary Moffet is a man of few words. He lets his feelings take over within music.

This way of thinking helped propel April Wine to new heights during the band’s most commercially successful period from the mid seventies until the early eighties. Moffet was the principle arranger on the songs from Nature of the Beast. The album which broadened April Wine’s image South of the Border.

That talent has also allowed Gary to work on several projects behind the scenes and allow his gift to shine on.

Now, Moffet has utilized his skills as a guitar player and arranger to produce one great album. Combined with Bianca Ortolano and several guests, the end result is like rose petals pressed into a book.

Please listen below as Gary explains the album and what to expect in the future.

Gary? What’s up?

 

 

Visit Gary and Bianca Here !

 

 

Visit Evenko Here !

 

 

 

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