Rick Keene Music Scene – Jessica Rhaye Re-Imagines Bob Dylan in a Ramshackle Parade

Ring them bells …

Jessica Rhaye and The Ramshackle Parade have released an album with tunes that Bob Dylan may want to re imagine. Jessica and her mates redo the songs of Dylan through other people’s interpretations as well as Dylan’s originals. Confused?

Please listen below to my chat with Jessica and hear some amazing takes on Bob Dylan’s tunes.

Visit Jessica and The Ramshackle Parade Here

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Thanks for Listening !

Chaim Tannenbaum; His First Album and It’s a Beauty !

Chaim Tannenbaum has done many things in life. Releasing an album is not one of them.

Until now …

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Informally, he is known as the Godfather of Canadian Folk music. Having co-produced Loudon Wainwright and worked on practically every album the McGarrigle Sisters and Loudon delivered.

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Keeping it among the family, Tannenbaum has also worked with Rufus and Martha Wainwright. 

Following a thirty-five year career as a Philosophy professor, Chaim has decided to release his first CD. As they say in hand grenade tossing; better late than never … !

Please listen below to my chat with Chaim. He speaks of his influences, working as a professor and the new album. Discover his thoughts on Bob Dylan !

Chaim?

 

Chaim is at Upstairs Bar and Grill on June 9th !

 

Visit Upstairs Here !

 

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Ask Dave the Bartender – Easter Bunny Streaking?

Dave the Bartender is a busy guy …

Then – he goes to work as a bartender.

 

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Not only does he see and hear everything, Dave the Bartender knows everything he sees and hears. A lethal combination of knowledge and / or hearsay.

Please listen below as Dave the Bartender answers your musical questions.

 

 

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Ask Dave the Bartender; Dylan Sings Sinatra and Other of Life’s Mysteries

Dave the Bartender takes time off to feed his dog sometimes. Dave the Bartender does not have a dog …

 

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That is why he has the time to ponder musical questions sent in by listeners of Rick Keene Music Scene.

Have a question? Send them to 

Rickkeene2@gmail.com

 

Dave? The Bartender?

 

*The opening sequence was done in parody. On International Women’s Day – we were pointing out how so many women use doors hitting them to cover up for their abusive partners. If a ‘ door ‘ hits you, go to the police!

 

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Ask Dave the Bartender …

Sometimes music knowledge escapes even the most ardent fan …

Unless of course – drinking and not driving are involved. Then, answers are downed quicker than a shot of Whiskey at closing time.

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Please listen as Dave the Bartender attempts to answer unsolved musical riddles. He’s funny, he’s smart … he’s …

Dave the Bartender?

 

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Tune in at 6:15pm Thursday on k103.7fm to win tickets for Judas Priest

Oct. 6th at The Bell Center!

 

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Tom Petty Concert Review; Rock n’ Roll is Alive and Well …

Tom Petty is the real deal …

In an age where ageing Rock stars more often than not mail in performances, Petty with his band of Heartbreakers – as refreshing as a sea breeze on a hot and humid day.

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The sixty-three year old Petty, on tour with his latest album Hypnotic Eye – took the stage at 9pm with a statement which set the stage ( so to speak) for an evening void of pretentiousness.

” We are going to give you a Rock ‘ Roll show …” Claimed Tom. ” It may be long. Better call the babysitter …”

Starting with a cover of the Byrds’ tune; So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star – Petty and his mates were powerful. A garage band with all amplifiers cranked to the max. A garage band one phone call away from a late night police visit. A garage band with smoke emerging through the cracks.

Petty himself, a throwback to the seventies. In speak, in appearance and most importantly – in attitude. Think of ‘The Dude’ in the film The Big Lebowski. Now – think of ‘The Dude’ with a guitar in his hands and a  Dylan-esque voice. The sum of all parts becomes Tom Petty. A Rock singer who appears ‘surprised’ and ‘at ease’  in front of a large crowd. A songwriter who may be the ‘last guitar man standing’.

Petty__isn__t_it_As Petty swash-buckled his way through ‘ Mary Janes Last Dance’, American Dream Plan B’ ( from his recent album Hypnotic Eye) and the foot tapping (stomping) cover of Big Joe Williams’ ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’; thoughts of Springsteen, Dylan and Neil Young circled the Bell Center in Montreal. Tom Petty a combination of all three yet so unique and legendary. A survivor from the 1970’s with a smoke-filled bong intact. 

‘Into the Great Wide Open’ book-ended ‘Mary Jane’ with a sneer of nostalgia while ‘Forgotten Man’ (off Hypnotic Eye) reeked of a Bo Diddley nostalgic rhythm. Refreshing since ‘American Dream Plan B’ was dull and ineffective and signaled the demise of Petty’s recent songwriting ability. ‘Forgotten Man’ allowed a sigh of relief into the room as did ‘You Get Me High” ( the latest single)  later on. Petty’s songwriting intact.

‘I Won’t Back Down’ was the evening’s anthem. A biographical statement on the part of Petty and more so as the years pass by. A finger to authority if there ever was one; the audience ‘au Centre Bell’ agreed. On their feet, singing, waving and embracing it as their own personal scripture. The former ‘Wilbury’, perhaps sensing a ‘capturing’ of the crowd; traveled once more into his vast catalog. The opening chords of ‘Free Fallin’ sealed the deal and pushed everyone who may have been ‘on the fence’ – into the waiting arms of Tom, The Heartbreakers and ‘Mary Jane’.

The beauty of Petty’s songwriting is just that. Songwriting.071708petty425

Much like the Stones, Dylan and The Beatles – Petty’s compositions are all about the songs. No drum solos, lengthy guitar ego-boosters and not a lot of banter. A man, his buddies and some tunes gather, sing and maybe loot and pillage. The only thing raped? Society and it’s hideous mask of rules and regulations.

A Woman in Love (It’s Not Me),’You Get Me High‘, ‘Rebels‘ and ‘Yer So Bad‘ – settled everyone in the seriousness and respect Petty has earned. For those only aware of ‘the hits’, a foursome complete with the gamete of balladry and rockers. Four songs which led into the homestretch. A home-run trot led by anthem number two …

‘Learning to Fly’ is the type of song identifiable by all ages. Everyone has endured, is enduring or yearns to endure the coming -of-age rite. The time where parents and / or their rules are shredded for independence. Petty sings the song with an underlying melancholy. A subterranean message of hope sets the audience’s heart adroit with nods of approval amid primal instincts. 

Shadow people, will sing their heads
In the corner next to you
When the light is red

‘Shadow People”s words rang true. At the beginning, in the middle and near the end of the show. Everyone – singing their heads into submission. A ‘choir’ leading into ‘I Should Have Known It’, ‘Refugee’ and  the show stopper; ‘Runnin’ Down A Dream’. The latter? As perfect as a Rock song could be. A Menacing riff with a hard pounding drum beat, complimented by Petty’s uncanny vocal ability. A ‘gift’ to sound urgent and mellow at the same time and place. A feature saved for few.

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Even the most jaded forty-and-up partisans at The Bell Center overcame their fear of the demise of Rock n Roll last night. 

The exclusion of mega-hits ‘ Don’t Come Around Here No More’, ‘Breakdown’, ‘Here Comes My Girl’ and ‘Don’t Do Me Like That’ ( among many others) did not dampen ‘the spirits’ of young and old alike. Petty and The Heartbreakers continued the ‘lesson’ in Rock n Roll with ‘ You Wreck Me’ and a perfect cover of Paul Revere and the Raiders’ (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone. A duo fit for the evening’s finale.

American Girl was and is – the quintessential rock song. Complete with a theme on the mind of every boy (man?) on the planet. A rough guitar complimented by Petty’s non-threatening vocal style. Petty’s coup? Maybe or maybe not. Does it really matter …?

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Stay tuned for Part two of my interview with Grand Fatilla!

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Friday night at The Dome in Kirkland! 3000 rue Emond
Friday night at The Dome in Kirkland! 3000 rue Emond
MBD9 Final
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Matthew Barber; A ‘Big Romance’ with Songwriting …

Matthew Barber considers himself to be a romantic

A lover and observer of all things in the universe. A songwriter. A modern day poet. 

In his latest album; ‘Big Romance‘, this Juno Award nominee – places his heart on the line and finishes first. A blend of old school Blues, Folk and Country – blended purposely with a Pop / Rock mentality.

Surrounding himself with some of the finest musicians and singers in Canada, Barber places himself among the elite of a new generation of songwriters in this vast country of talent.

Please listen as Matthew speaks of his love affairs …

Matthew …?

 

 

Please Visit Matthew Here!

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Kim Mitchell – Hangin’ Out; Part Two

On May 9th at Club Soda Kim Mitchell is bringing history to the stage.

Long before many Canadian artists were introducing a certain ‘sense of ‘Canadian – isms’ to the world; Mitchell had already been there – done that! Wearing thrift store clothes and injecting humor through music -one of Mitchell’s fortes. No wonder The Barenaked Ladies’ Ed Robertson was such a fan …

Please listen as Kim talks about many things including his buddy doing something …um … ‘not so nice’ to Bob Dylan.

Kim …?

 

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Hanson; REAL or Imagined?

The kids … er … adults … are all right. Sorta …

hanson2The authors of the huge hit; MMMbop – are grown up ( fathers in their own right) and have elevated their game (and height) to a different level. What level? Is anyones guess.

For the large contingent of females in attendance who are in the same age bracket or a little younger than the trio – the boys are status quo. Forever embedded in that special place as pre – teen poster boys. A boy band with hair a la Beatles with a much lighter hue and a much lighter musical catalog.

For music ‘enthusiasts’ – a blend of potential combined with a dash of ‘cheese’ all mixed together with smoke and mirrors. Drummer Zac appears to be the most talented of the bunch. Singing, banging and even playing guitar and keyboards. Brother Taylor – a close second with the same talents but less sincere ( he comes across as calculated ) and less able on the skins.

Then there is Isaac. This is where the trickery appears. The mirror amongst the smoke …

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Poor Isaac.

The least talented of the bunch ( he does play piano – offstage). The runt ( weakest ) in this musical litter. The guitar player who wasn’t. The brother whose Mom may ask his siblings to bring him along so he will not cry.

How else does someone explain his lack of natural rhythm in the hand clapping segments of the show? The guitarist behind him on stage playing the same chords? Something is rotten in Denmark, Montreal and probably everywhere else the ‘big boys’ play … Nothing appears natural for Isaac – it all seems forced and for that reason, all eyes focus on Zac and Taylor.

Hanson is a Pop group who tinker with – and sometimes pull off, a more profound sound. Sometimes funky, sometimes Bluesy and sometimes interesting. ‘Get the Girl Back’ – their first single to chart on Billboard in nine years and possessing a Billy Squire-type intro, an example of doing something ‘not broke’. Hanson ( and probably the powers that be) do not want to fix the sound too much. A shame because the group appears to want to mature on songs such as ‘Give a Little‘. A funky number which escapes the Pop moniker and at the very least – delivers the band to a level which is more suitable to their age than Mmmbop (even Michael Jackson OUTGREW Ben).

On the Coldplay copycat; ”Lost Without Each Other‘ – the boys soak up the love emitting from the mostly female audience. People who were in the building for the fun and not as judges. No Simon Cowells to be seen dissecting musical theory,pitch and chord structures. The audience just a bunch of folks who like what they hear and Hanson  delivered it quite well …

The band also knows how to dip into a treasured past via covers. ‘Happy Together’ – that wonderfully innocent Turtles tune as well as The Bee GeesToo Much Heaven‘ – a pair of songs perfect for the setting and sung a capella. An additive of where the boys’ come from when they are not performing their own songs. Hanson do come from an education ripe in Motown as well as Classic Rock and R and B. A fact which appears sporadically in their new songs from their latest disc; Anthem.

‘Lost without You’ is a perfect example of what is good in Hanson. The boys are hugely popular worldwide and appear to do things for the right reasons. They have a squeaky clean image which borders on a seemingly ‘uncomfortable’ transition into adulthood ( see video below).

Hanson cannot be taken seriously in the grand theme of musical history. Hanson will never be spoken in the same breath as Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan or  Elton John. Hanson will be included in conversations related to all the boy bands who have come before and will arise in the future.They will be added into a category of able songwriters who can write catchy Pop tunes.

A bad thing?

Only if the ‘kids’ who idolize the band are not all right …

Or …

Hanson: Melding Rock and R&B Influences with Radio-friendly Pop

By Craig McKee

How many groups do you know that can go on tour and play EIGHT songs from their newest album without their fans minding a bit?

That’s what fans of the pop/rock trio Hanson heard at Sunday night’s show at the Corona Theatre in Montreal. Taylor, Isaac, and Zac treated their fans to 23 songs from their catalog of pop gems, including eight from their new album, Anthem.

They performed hits from their early years, including Mmmbop (the song that launched them – written and first recorded when the average age of the band members was 11), Where’s the Love, A Minute Without You, With You in Your Dreams, This Time Around, Crazy Beautiful, Lost Without Each Other, and Penny and Me. Their encore included a rocking version of the 2000 album cut In the City that is even better live than on record.

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But what really shows the development of the band is their more recent output, 2010’s Shout It Out (which has a distinctly Motown feel to it) and 2013’s Anthem, which incorporates their classic-rock-influenced style into a very current sound. Whether they exhibit the influences of Ray Charles or The White Stripes, they seem equally at home.

Hanson’s more than two-hour set also included a terrific a cappella version of the Bee Gee’s Too Much Heaven along with a rousing version of So Happy Together. It worked. All three members sing lead on different songs, and all three are comfortable changing places and instruments on stage, going from drums to piano or vice versa.

What is very clear about Hanson is that they are in it for the long haul. Each album this hard-working band releases shows another side of their talent and a growing maturity. They are celebrating 21 years as a band, even though the youngest member (drummer Zac) is just 28 (guitarist Isaac will turn 33 next week while piano/keyboard player and lead singer Taylor is 30).

Unfortunately, those most lacking in imagination will cling to the success of Mmmbop as an indication that these brothers aren’t to be taken seriously. But that’s their problem. With each new release, Hanson keeps proving themselves with quality material and passionate, crowd-pleasing performances.

The thing that comes across most as you watch Hanson is that these three really love music and respect those who have paved the way for them. It shows.

–Craig McKee is a Montreal journalist who has covered news and entertainment for more than 25 years. He is the creator of the  political blog Truth and Shadows

Mitch Ryder Speaks … Part Three

Mitch Ryder will be collaborating with a young Seattle band in the coming months. Depending on the band’s ability, his songs may or may not work. Ryder prefers to work with his own band so he can just give them what he has written and they can play it.

“Once I meet the guys and learn their sensibilities, their musical abilities and so on …” Explains Mitch. “Then I can see what we will do. If – according to their individual talents, they cannot do what I have written, then we will start from scratch. Collaborations are difficult …”

mitch ryder@rockpalast 2004A recent collaboration which took place, was Mitch working with the legendary Don Was as his producer on his recent album – ‘The promise’. Was has worked with everyone from Bob Dylan to The Rolling Stones and while the pair of icons were working together, Was said something to Ryder which kinda floored the legendary singer …

” All the stuff I did with Don Was was my own material. All except one song which I covered by one of my heroes, it was a live version of a  Jimmy Ruffin song.. Don told me that there are two people he would never question in his studio. One was myself and the other was Bob Dylan. That was something I did not understand at all. There is no way I would put my name in the same paragraph as Dylan.”

Speaking of Dylan …

Mitch ran into Rodriguez – the South African wonder who gained a ‘Dylan-esque‘ mystique in the early seventies and disappeared from the music scene following a brief outburst of songwriting brilliance. Ryder ran into him when he was running for city council in Detroit.

Ryder Finds 'The Sugarman'
Ryder Finds ‘The Sugarman’

“This was decades ago …” says Mitch. ” He had already given up the music part and he almost made it but he didn’t. He got the job he wanted as was related in his unauthorized biography. I think it is marvelous he got to cash in on his early years but these things have shelf lives. After a while it will go out of the public consciences. ”

The ‘throwaway society in which we dwell cause concern for Mitch as far as how quick people get hits these days and how fast they disappear. ‘Timeless songs such as ‘Satisfaction’, ‘Hey Jude‘ and ‘Devil with a Blue Dress On‘ – not quite the same as the hits of today.

“It’s possible to have a bonafide hit in one day.” Says Mitch.” I can’t see my Grandchildren singing along to lyrics when they are my age – songs about the evil things you do in bed to someone or using filthy language to describe your Mother. I do not see these as lasting songs. They are hateful, harmful stuff that may have been the truth about someone’s life and it’s cool they got it out of their system – I just don’t see it as a building stone for society.”

The music business can be a building stone for society but at the same time – quite destructive. Ryder has seen everything in his five decades. Drug use and the very bad side of the music business.

2786401157“It is a fun industry to be part of as far as the performance aspect of it but on the business side it is cutthroat and nasty. People have committed suicide over rejection. It is a weird business. People will give up their self-pride, their self-worth over it. Especially in America. They will bend over backwards for their fifteen minutes …”

Mitch Ryder has had more than fifteen minutes of fame in his career. None more pleasing or ‘bordering on embarrassing than when he was Bruce Springsteen’s guest on stage.

“We were having a great time and I got carried away.” Laughs Mitch.” I went in front of Max’s ( Weinberg ) drum kit and I gave the signal for him to bring it down. Slow the beat. Max looked at me like I was crazy! I could tell he was thinking … this is Bruce’s show …What are you doing ?”

Mitch Ryder could have easily said ..

‘ Teaching Max. Just teaching …’

Mitch Ryder is at The Rialto Theater Sept.14th Purchase tickets here!

Check out Mitch’s Site Here!

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Mitch Ryder Speaks …

Rolling Stone Magazine has cited Mitch Ryder as one of the five most influential rock and roll singers to ever come from
Detroit. How about one of the most influential to come out of the Unites States?

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Just ask Bruce Springsteen

“Bruce has said on numerous occasions that I was one of his major influences.” Says Mitch from his home in Detroit. ” I think he was ‘born to run’ regardless of my influence, but it is nice to have such a great performer to acknowledge me like that.”

Mitch Ryder, author of the groundbreaking and in essence, career defining song; ‘Devil with the Blue Dress On‘ – is far from being a forgotten golden oldie touring act. Ryder released his thirty-third record in 2012. An album titled  “Its Killing Me”. Unfortunately –  like most of his post – 1970’s material, that album is huge in Europe and practically ‘out of sound’ in North America.

‘Apparently in America, they only want the things they are familiar with.” Says Mitch.” It’s not so bad in Canada, it is existent yet not as bad. By not securing a recording deal in America, it deprives people from hearing new stuff. It is not the general population’s fault. The audience is totally blameless but my progression continued. There are something like twenty-two CD‘s that America has never heard of. It is a catch 22 …”

Mitch Ryder only has three gold records on his wall. A fact which serves injustice to his songwriting ability. An ability which was egged on by Ryder’s favorite songwriter – Bob Dylan. A lyricist, poet and musician who Ryder to this day – remains in awe of . Ryder is writing a screenplay for his own musical and is implementing ‘a trick’ which Dylan used in his songwriting.

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“Most people that go see plays are more intelligent compared to the majority of the population. There are so many nuances in putting on a play. You see something in a play and then you realize that is not what you have seen at all. That’s what Dylan did in his songwriting. Bob Dylan had so much ambiguity in his lyrics, it appealed to all the masses.  It meant something to one part of the population and something quite different to a different segment of the population. It held meaning to all of those groups. That was his genius.”

Ryder’s musical is a current ‘obsession’ which is based on a book he just finished. ” Hide Your Love Away‘ is a title borrowed from The Beatles’ lyrics. It was perfect in Ryder’s eyes for the characters he is creating within his original idea and Ryder believes the time is right. He does not see the point of the current trend which takes someone or a group who have had a lot of hit records and create a flimsy story line around it.

” If I wanted to see that kind of stuff, I could go to see a cover band, read ancol_cd_8637 artist’s biography and obtain the same experience I would get by throwing away my money at a theater. I am looking for something more compelling. Something to keep the audiences in the theater so they walk away humming the melodies if they cannot remember the lyrics.. I’m not sure if I can do this but it is the kind of thing that I will not find out until I find out.”

Ryder has also recently penned his autobiography entitled, “Devils And Blue Dresses”. A book which  is continuing to climb upwards having already won a Gold Medal from the IPPY Awards as well as taking 1st place in their Performing Arts category. It also took 1st place from The Indie Excellence Awards in their Autobiography category, and was a finalist in the Performing Arts category of ForeWord Reviews annual BOTYA.

” The book contains my life. ” Explains Mitch. “Musically and personally. ‘They’ tell me it’s a great book. It’s about my wives and children – people I have met along the way and not just people in the music industry. It is about things that happen in your life, rights of passage, strange events, epiphanies, revelations, abuse, self-destruction, redemption – the whole deal. ”

Ryder’s voyage contains meeting and playing with many legends in the music business. Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett to name a couple. The latter – quite the handful on the road according to Mitch. A real character.

It is impossible for Mitch to cite any major influences, the thought alone to come up with such a vast list – too taxing and unworthy to those he may leave off his list of influential artists. When he started with The Detroit Wheels, they just wanted to play music and were astounded to be suddenly meeting musicians who they once held as ‘out of reach’ in their minds.

Mitch Ryder is now ‘one of those guys’ …

Please stay tuned for Part Two where Mitch discusses the hypocritical state of American politics,the general decay of the American infrastructure, drug abuse and music …

 

To buy tickets for Mitch’s show on Saturday Sept. 14th Click here!

Visit Mitch’s website here !

The Beach Boys; What to Expect …

The Beach Boys are in Montreal Aug.10th at Maddie’s Place in Kanawake, Qc. as part of their never-ending 50th Anniversary tour. This stop is one of two in Quebec as the band continues on to Rouyn Noranda on Sunday the 11th of August.

This incarnation of the band – will be performing a two hour plus set containing a lot of their best loved songs. It also coincides with an upcoming box set that is by far the most accurate account of the band’s legacy. The set; ‘ Made in California’ – will also contain sixty previous unreleased songs by the singing group which started a whole generation of harmonies.

Says Mike Love, one of the original Beach Boys; “This box set captures the evolution of a dream which started with a family singing Everly Brothers songs around a piano, to creating the harmonies that fans would carry in their hearts for a lifetime. Seeing these photos and rediscovering some of this music, I’m reminded of the immense love I feel for Brian, Dennis, Carl, Bruce, Al, and David. I’m still floored that our stories continue to inspire new generations to catch a wave and ride it is long as it lasts.”

Some of the songs previously unreleased include; “Goin’ To The Beach,” “California Feelin’,” “Soul Searchin’,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” and “You’re Still A Mystery,” among others. The set also debuts 17 unreleased live recordings, including “Runaway” (1965), “Friends” and “Little Bird” (1968), “Wild Honey” (1972), “It’s About Time” (1973), “Wonderful” and “Vegetables” from The Beach Boys’ legendary 1993 acoustic tour, and a 1995 rendition of “Sail On, Sailor” featuring a soulful lead vocal by the late Carl Wilson. The greatly missed talents of Carl and Dennis Wilson are also celebrated with rare and previously unreleased recordings including Dennis’ “(Wouldn’t It Be Nice To) Live Again,” “Barnyard Blues” and “My Love Lives On,” Carl’s lead vocals on “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “Soul Searchin’,” and Carl’s shared lead with Bruce and Brian on “California Feelin’.”

Regardless of anyone’s’ feelings pertaining to the questionable statistics of The Beach Boys being an ‘operative band’ – one thing is sure; The Beach Boys altered the sounds of popular music and have left imprints on souls as have The Beatles, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones.

If attending the show tomorrow night – expect to hear the following …

‘Good Vibrations’, ‘California Girls’, ‘I Get Around’, ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’, ‘Help Me Rhonda‘, ‘Surfer Girl’, ‘Surfing U.S.A’, ‘Fun,Fun,Fun’, Barbara Anne’ …

and that is just the beginning …

Kokomo anyone?

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Top Ten Christmas Songs

There are a lot of great Christmas songs. Whatever floats your boat …

Here are mine! Merry Christmas !

Father Christmas   The Kinks

Run Rudolph Run   Chuck Berry

Merry Xmas Baby   Bruce Springsteen

Rockin Around the Christmas Tree   Brenda Lee

Happy Christmas (War is Over)     John Lennon

The Christmas Blues  Bob Dylan

Merry Christmas ( I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)  The Ramones

All I Want Styx

Please Come Home for Christmas   The Eagles

Christmas Blues   Canned Heat

 

Lee Mellor; The Country comes Begging to Town …

It’s a long way from Mersey to Montreal. It’s even a longer journey from the home of the Beatles to Nashville; music – wise.

Don’t tell Lee Mellor all this – he won’t believe you …

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The England – born singer / songwriter arrived in Canada at the ripe age of five. Bowmanville,Ontario was the new adress for the Mellors. This introduction to the space and vastness of Canadian soil, opened the door to Mellor’ s soul.

Highways, natives and trains. Say what?

” These themes are reoccuring in my songs and in my psyche. Somehow I think they have become part of my experience in Americanization. There is something about the sheer size of Canada that fascinates me!”

Not only is Mellor a great story telling music artist whose tastes contain a mixture of everyone from Bob Dylan to Otis Redding – Lee is also a published author. His first book; Cold North Killer; Canadian Serial Killer, can be found among the best in Canada when it comes to this rather gruesome subject.

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“It ( the book ), has opened so many doors for me. I have made acquaintances with prominent phychologists and police both here and in the U.S.” Says Mellor just before he hits the stage at Casa del Papalo on St.Laurent Blvd. ” In my own way, through my words and music, I am trying to serve humanity the best way I can. Not Mother Theresa or anything – just my part”

It does not require a pychologist to analyze what makes Mellor’s music rise to the top of the music heap. It’s all about telling a tale. Stories that come from someone aside from Lee himself.

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” When I write the songs, it’s another personality that takes over.” Says Lee. ” Its hard to explain but I become another character and I visualize the story through them.”

A good example of these ‘ characters’ is in the song; Liberty Street. A tune which is on Mellor’s first c.d – Ghost Town Heart. The disc was released in 2007.

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The song is the story of two perspectives.Two pairs of eyes seeing the pomp and pageantry of a military-type parade which takes place on main street in ‘anytown’ North America.

The first take is from a naive point of view. An innocent child not understanding the concept of the ‘trotting out’ of the flags of war. The secondary viewing is through the eyes of a war veteran. A person who has lived through and seen war first hand. That person’s view is jaded and along with the child’s outlook; a dislike of the parade takes place for different reasons.

Toss these derogatory views into the type of music which makes you want to hold your sweetheart tightly in ‘anytown Canada’, a moment is created by Mellor which rests profoundly in the heart.

It’s no secret why Mellor pens these types of songs.

Lee grew up listening to and admiring people such as Johnny Cash, Steve Earle, the Band, Gram Parsons and Towne Van Zandt. ‘Dirty Blues’ and ‘Dirty Country’ are the roots which hold Lee firm in his songwriting prowess.

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“I was attracted to these storytelling musicians because it seemed more real. It was all about the content of the lyrics more than the image.”

Mellor created his recent c.d; ‘Loser’, in the same fashion. The first disc was all about the sound being tight and produced perfectly. The first disc was also more country.

” ‘Loser’ is more raw and fun.” Says Mellor. “It is also more psychedelic, drawing from my love of the sixties and early seventies music. I would say the second disc is more rock n’ roll.”

Two albums and soon another book for Mellor. Rampage; Canadian Mass Murderer and Spree Killing should hit the bookstores in 2013. This time – Lee is chronicling Canadian killers who carry out dasterdly deeds such as the recent killings in Colorado.

Mr. Mellor is a very talented fellow. He plays guitar, banjo, mandolin and harmonica. He writes and produces all his music. He tries to find a balance in all this as the artistic side does not always pay the bills.

Lee is hoping to return to Concordia University in the fall. An institution which brought him to Montreal in the first place ( he obtained a history degree ). This time Mellor is after a PhD …

“My books or music do not take precedent over one another.” Says Lee. ” I don’ t chose one to make a living. I believe I need both to balance me out – keep me steady.”

Luckily for a fan, sitting at a Mellor concert invites all type of emotion which is far from steady. Drinking songs, ballads, foot – stompin’, dancing and even a taste of punk rock hits the audience squarely in their musical palates.

If Bluegrass, Country, Rock, Motown, Blues, Soul and Folk music are your tastes, grab Mellor’s music.

Van Morrison up your alley? Listen to Lee’s amazing talent and why not read a couple of ‘true crime’ books while the eclectic tunes are spinning in the background.

They won’t kill ya …

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