Jerry Mercer; As the Years Have Gone By …

To say that ex – April Wine drummer Jerry Mercer has been around is a gross understatement.

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Starting from scratch and working his way up from Trevor Payne and The Triangle to the wondrous  sounds of the Cuban rhythms – Jerry Mercer has played a lot of percussion.

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He ain’t done yet …

Please listen below to my chat with this legendary Canadian musician.

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Ria Reece is Out All Night ! That’s a Good Thing !

Ria Reece is new on the scene of music. Professionally – that is.

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Out All Night is her and her band’s take on Ria’s musical experiences growing up. A little bit of Etta James, a lit bit of this and a whole lotta R and B, Blues and Soul.

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It is the band’s first album of original material, Judging by the sound of it – there will be a whole bunch more to come.

Please listen below to my interview with Ria !

 

Visit Ria Right here!

 

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Raising Money to Help Syrian Refugees! Duh … !

Edwin Brownell or his alter – ego; Edwin Orion Brownell … are good men.

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Whether he is playing piano and entertaining the ‘troops’ at old age homes across Canada, composing and performing classical piano and educating the music world with Mozart and Bach or ‘just’ playing good ol’ Rock n’ Roll with famous Rock stars – one thing is certain.

Edwin makes people smile.

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If all the above were not enough, Edwin also ‘jumps’ to arms if some form of humanity is suffering and requires fundraising efforts. Mr. Brownell usually grabs his band of merry men, aka The Bedouins, and puts on a heck of a show to raise money on  behalf of the humans in question.

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Now, The Bedouins are not your pack of ordinary musicians. They are Quebec’s version of a Rock n Roll Rat Pack. Seasoned performers in the twi -light of their careers, banding together to give to the poor and suffering.

Please listen to my interview with Edwin Brownell and Edwin Orion Brownell. ‘They’ will tell you all about the fundraising effort on Oct. 4th at Calistoga Grill in Pte. Claire and the names of his Rat Pack.

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Sultans of String – Never in ‘Dire’ Straights !

The Sultans of String, the Juno nominated band of musicians, headed East …

Musically.

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Together with master Sitar player Anwar Kurshid, the band has stepped up their education. Combining the souls of two regions of spiritual awakening, has not only allowed for the output of great tunes, it has established a growing friendship.

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Please enjoy my interview with Chris McKhool, bandleader and a man with his ear on the cusp of a new reality for Canadian audiences.

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Visit Sultans of String Right Here

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Top Ten Signs Your Career as a Rock Star ‘May’Be Over

Popularity can be a fickle thing …

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On top of the world one moment, singing with Justin Bieber the next!

Sometimes, musicians do not want to give up their last ditch effort to remain as the Gods they once were. Too often – they become jokes and popular only among drunken patrons who themselves attempt to rekindle their youth.

Here now are the Top Ten Signs Your Career as a Rock Star May Be Over.

10. You start buying tents to use as Spandex pants in order to ‘recapture’  that ‘ 80’s look’ in a size 58.

9. Your ‘groupies’  have to be back at the nursing home before 10 pm – putting a definitive ‘crimp’ on your sexual escapades.

8. Your only number one hit is louder from the jukebox in the bar next door than your voice is live at ‘Jed’s Custom Car and Wiener Show’ in the parking lot of Walmart in Topeka, Kansas.

7. While appearing in studio at a Classic Rock radio station, the DJ whispers during a commercial; ” What was your name again?”

6. When people find out who you are on the street, they ask; ‘ Can you get me Pete Best’s autograph?

5. No matter how hard you try – live performances cannot match the success of that cool video you filmed with Michael J Fox riding gigantic dragons across the stage.

4. Those ‘ five – minute-over-the-shoulder guitar solos’ force cancellations of the next five gigs to allow sufficient time for the pulled back muscles  to recover!

3. Your can no longer boast that your wife was the Centerfold of the Month in Playboy magazine – 1958!

2. It used to be hair and makeup before shows. Now it’s only makeup because you DON”T HAVE HAIR!

and the number one sign your career as a Rock Star may be over?

1. The teenagers in your neighborhood refer to you as ‘that 70’s dude!

 

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A Review of Keith Richards’ Documentary ‘Under the Influence’

Most people have dual citizenships. Keith Richards has dual personalities.

In the documentary ‘ Under the Influence ‘ ( available on Netflix) – the lines are blurred with orgasmic pleasure for a true music fan.

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The general population love Keith Richards. The masses also know very little about the man.

They know the myth. They have read the tales of decadent behavior and the seemingly endless nine lives which appear to pursue Richards on and off the stage. Everyone loves a survivor. Especially one who has written the songbook of Rock n Roll with a middle finger left off the fret and pointed straight at the powers that be.

Keith Richards at seventy – one years of age, can do no wrong. He has earned the right to captain the Black Pearl.

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‘Under the Influence’, the documentary which coincides with the release of Richards ‘ first solo album in over twenty years (Crosseyed Heart), is a showcase of Richards’ mindset in the studio as he lays down tracks with his ‘Xpensive’ mates.

Instead of this documentary being solely a marketing tool to help sell copies of an album made by a Grandfather who ( in Rock n Roll history) should be passed his prime, the film instead utilizes the celluloid moments to open the drapes and let the rays of American music display Richards’ crevasses on his worn face as valleys of knowledge. In short – ‘Under the Influence’ is a proper documentary.

In short – Keith Richards is a proper musician.

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The Stones’ guitarist has forgotten more than most know. The Stones’ guitarist happily has not forgotten more than most know.

Director Morgan Neville takes that knowledge and places it elegantly into a history class. Not a Blues class. Not a Rock n Roll class. Not a Country music class. Not even a Great American Songbook class.

Neville and Richards deliver a top of the line University music class with the above ingredients both separate and blurred together. Just as elegantly as Richards himself.

The best thing? Lazy people need not apply …

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In the 1960’s, the Beatles reinvented popular music. They too were influenced by the same men who laid the foundation for the Stones’ songbook. The Beatles remained white British boys while the Stones transformed into a bunch of Black kids playing the Blues to anyone who would scream. The Rolling Stones with Brian Jones , Mick Jagger and Keith Richards leading the way, introduced American Blues to America white folks.

In 2015, in glorious irony, at a time when the music business and an entire generation of musicians appear ‘lost for words’, along comes Keith Richards ‘under the influence’ once more.

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Satan, God or whoever runs the show – every once in a while sends Richards into the forest as a musical Robin Hood.  A rich man giving back to the poor.

In the eighties, when Rock n Roll and all it’s edgy guitars took backseat to synthesized drums machines and keyboards, it was Richards’ ‘Start Me Up’ riff that kept Chuck Berry sane. While Mick Jagger was experimenting with every sound heard by dogs and people as a solo artist, Richards angrily released the album ‘Talk is Cheap.’ A project that is held in highest esteem by any musician worth their weight in music.

Richards’ kept the Rock n Roll/ Blues and R and B barge afloat without a ‘Life’ jacket.

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Here is where the dual personality kicks in.

Richards’ has also kept Country music in people’s consciences. From ‘Country Honk’ off of Let It Bleed’, the entire Beggars Banquet album and into ‘Dead Flowers’ off of the Stones’ classic 1971 album Sticky Fingers and everything in between, Richards continues the tradition and love of Country on his new album Crosseyed Heart. Keith Richards along with Hank Williams, George Jones, Gram Parsons, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Wanda Jackson and thousands or millions more – have kept the world balanced within the structure of ‘Rock n Roll’.

No Country music equals no Blues or vice versa. No Blues / Country  means no ‘Roll’ in the Rock.

Richards likes his Roll … thank you very much.

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There is so much in Keith Richards songwriting than meets the bloodshot eye. ‘Under the Influence’ gives a glimmer of what makes one half of  The Glimmer Twins glimmer.

Hogey Carmichael and the Great American Songbook were a huge part of Richards’ post – war English environment. Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Solomon Burke and all the Soul and R and B men are the foundations of Richards’ indestructible frame. Mix them all together within a man with the backbone of a lion? The main ingredient of Richards’ and the Stones’ longevity. The ability to place a song ahead of the solos.

Craftsmanship.

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‘Under the Influence’ is a thoughtful insight into an ageing man’s psyche. Musically and as a human being.

Many times during the film Richards’ is on the cusp of melancholy and wistfulness. Tears are welling up behind the shades as much as his influences are masked by the shades of Rock n Roll. The documentary – a rare peek into Keith Richards as a man who has conquered everything on his own terms and has no idea how he has ended up as one of the most – loved people on the planet. No idea how he has ended up still ‘ on the planet’ for that matter.

It is called integrity Mr. Richards. See you at The Crossroads ….

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Visit Keith here!

 

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