Some people walk the talk. Some people talk the walk. Very few people walk and walk and walk and keep on walking.
Buddy Guy graced the Montreal Jazz Festival with his presence Saturday night. In a festival that has witnessed the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder – Buddy’s appearance and subsequent reception of the B.B. King Award for outstanding contribution to The Blues was icing on a fortieth anniversary cake.
Buddy Guy was in a field pickin’ cotton when he was fifteen years old. During Obama’s regime as President of The Unites States of America, Buddy performed at the White House. For Guy – the largest indication of how far he has come in this world. For the music world and specifically The Blues world; Buddy had already reached the musical White House.
With the recent passings of B. B. King and James Cotton (along with many Blues artists), Buddy Guy is the last Blues man standing. Buddy is a survivor and a witness to Blues history. Buddy has played with every Blues guy who is talked about in the same breath as Jesus. Buddy Guy is now in that category and giving Jesus a run for his money.
With the utmost respect to opening act Colin James and his band members, the difference between their show and Buddy’s was immense. James was presented on stage and Guy was ‘a presence’ on stage. The voice, the power of his guitar and the showmanship was as legendary as Guy himself. Some people have that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ and are born to lead the pack. Elvis, Sinatra, Jagger, Mercury and Prince all had or have it and in The Blues world; Guy is currently the King. When Buddy joins The Stones for a song or two live – he steals the show. How many people dwarf The Stones on stage?
At Place des Arts last night, Guy was in fine eighty – two year old form. At Place des Arts last night, Buddy and his band put on a clinic in sound, in theatrics and old fashioned get what you pay for showmanship. You cannot teach and old dog new tricks and in this day and age, when the new dogs cater to the short span of today’s music, the old dog was comforting as he lay at the punter’s feet.
The’ old hound’ brought along some friends as well. The Damn Right Blues Band backed up Buddy as a full blown 1960’s Blues club band. In the days of Blues haunts in Chicago such as Theresa’s and Muddy Waters’ Checkerboard Lounge, The Damn Right Blues band was the norm. Every player in all The Blues clubs was an elite performer. They were the forefathers of music today. The Damn Right Blues Band – relaying their ancestors messages loudly, purely and honestly. After all, real Blues music is as honest as you get.
Johnnie Taylor’s “Who’s Making Love” added a sing along portion to the show. One of Guy’s strong points is audience interaction and Guy furthered the bond with his rendition of John Hiatt’s Looks Like Rain.The audience was tutored by Guy into singing the chorus and it was angelic. Men were singing along yet eerily – it was only the female voices which rose to the heavens. Guy himself seem to pick up on that vibe and he sincerely gave his grading asking three or four times for them to do it again. It was a special moment.
Ric “Jazz’ Hall, Buddy’s gunslinger in crime on guitar was (next to Buddy) the best guitar player in Montreal last night. A headliner on his own, Ric displayed more than once how a guitar should sound while playing not only The Blues but Rock n Roll. Spacing and tone are far more important than technique and flash. Ric will be, one day – held in the same esteem that Mr. Guy is now.
Marty Sammon knows the feel of music. Marty Sammon well aware of how and what is needed in a Blues band. On keys, Sammon pushes and pulls the rhythm to lows and highs with power and solitude. Allowing Guy time to breathe physically and musically. The chemistry between the two as beautiful as Peanut Butter and Jelly. As tight as jeans on a runway model. As smooth as a baby’s bottom.
Two things happen at every Buddy Guy show. One – the master leaves his desk and ventures into the audience and two; the hairs on the back of people’s necks stand on end when Buddy opens his mouth and sings. Both occurred last night yet the softness in which Guy also sang was equally as outstanding. His control and the feel of The Blues was impressive. At eighty- two years of age, Guy’s stamina may be the inspiration behind Mick Jagger’s strength.
Buddy Guy. Walking and walking and walking and walking and …
Alligator Records artists Shemekia Copeland and Christone “Kingfish” Ingram will perform with blues icon Buddy Guy as he is inducted into the Austin City Limits Hall Of Fame. In an all-star concert event to be held on October 24 at ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin, Texas, Guy, along with Shawn Colvin and Lyle Lovett, will be honored. Copeland and Ingram will perform with Guy as he celebrates his induction. Last year, Alligator’s Marcia Ball was inducted.
Additional guests will include for this year’s event include Jackson Browne, Jimmie Vaughan, Bruce Hornsby, Sarah Jarosz and Willis Alan Ramsey. The program will be hosted by Robert Earl Keen, and will be broadcast nationwide by PBS television on New Year’s Eve.
Award-winning blues, R&B and Americana vocalist Shemekia Copeland’s recent album, America’s Child, was named the #1 blues album of 2018 by MOJO magazine. The album is a courageous and fiery statement of purpose and a major step forward for the singer whose musical consciousness continues to expand as her star continues to rise. The album, with guests including John Prine and Rhiannon Giddens, bursts with Copeland’s bravado and embraces with her tenderness. Copeland recently received two Blues Music Awards for America’s Child: Album Of The Year and Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year. Her instantly recognizable voice–capable of being sultry, assertive and roaring–delivers every song with unparalleled honesty and passion. The three-time Grammy nominee’s wide-open vision of contemporary Americana roots and soul music showcases the evolution of a passionate artist with an up-to-the-minute musical and lyrical approach. The Chicago Tribune says, “Copeland is the greatest female blues vocalist working today.”
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, the head-turning 20-year-old blues guitarist and vocalist from Clarksdale, Mississippi, is currently celebrating the release of his debut album, Kingfish, on Alligator Records. With his eye-popping guitar playing and his reach-out-and-grab-you-by-the-collar vocals, Kingfish delivers each song with unmatched passion and precision. NPR Music calls him a “rising blues prodigy…a torchbearer.” The album showcases Ingram’s blistering, raw and inspired guitar playing, soulful, deep vocals and memorable songwriting. On the highlight track, Fresh Out, Kingfish is joined by his friend and mentor, Buddy Guy, who adds vocals and guitar on the song. According to Guy, “Kingfish is the next explosion of the blues.” Sprung from the same earth as so many of the Delta blues masters, Kingfish comes bursting out of Clarksdale, Mississippi, just ten miles from the legendary crossroads of Highways 61 and 49. A student of the Delta’s musical history, he is acutely aware of the musicians and the music that emerged from his corner of the world. “I do think I have an old soul, that I’ve been here before,” he says. “I’m moving forward with one foot in the past.”
William Burton – Le Réveil
Regroupement artistique francophone de l’Alberta (RAFA) – Nouveau Monde
Le R Premier – Planète Urbaine
Buzz Fortin – Session Buzz Fortin
Étienne Fletcher – Chérie, Chéri (réalisation : little jack films et brandon white)
Jacobus – Ma vie c’est un movie (réalisation : STEREO Films)
Marie-Clo – Taudis (réalisation : Groupe Média TFO)
Rayannah – En attendant demain (réalisation : Rayannah)
Shawn Jobin – Éléphant (réalisation : Xavier MC / Vandales)
23. Présence web
Les Rats d’Swompe
24. Conception visuelle
Aya Gano et Jeff Homère pour LeFLOFRANCO – Retranscrire
Christian Pelletier pour Mclean – Une dernière fois
Christian Pelletier et Marc Étienne Mongrain pour Damien Robitaille – Univers Parallèles
Élodie Evanno et Gabrielle Dubois pour Moonfruits – Ste-Quequepart
Gaëtan Vëno Joachim pour YAO – Lapsus
25. Réalisation et arrangements
Loig Morin pour Loig Morin – La Rivière
Mario Lepage pour Shawn Jobin – Éléphant
Mark Howard pour Cindy Doire – Panorama
Olivier Fairfield pour Marie-Clo – Faune
Olivier Fairfield et Simon Jutras pour Mclean – Une dernière fois
26. Prise de son et mixage
Don Benedictson pour Ariane Mahrÿke Lemire – Je deviens le loup
Don Benedictson pour Suzanne Kennelly – Suzanne Kennelly Jazz
Frédéric Levac et Marc-Antoine Joly pour Céleste Lévis – Donne-moi le temps
Loig Morin pour Loig Morin – La Rivière
Sébastien Perry et Stéphane Rancourt pour Mclean – Une dernière fois
27. Émission musicale télé ou web
Balade – Machine Gum Productions
Balade à Toronto IV – Machine Gum Productions
FrancoMusique – Roch et Catherine Archambault
Session Buzz Fortin – Buzz Fortin
Suivez-moi – Sabine Daniel Productions
36 Mille – Mathilde Hountchégnon
Intello-Productions inc. – Yaovi Hoyi
JKB Communications – José Bertrand
LaFab Musique – Michel Bénac– Nathalie Kleinschmit
Centre Culturel Frontenac
Festival du Bois – Centre francophone de Maillardville
Festival Edmonton chante
Le Centre culturel francophone de Vancouver
Enzo Carniel House of Echo / Florian Pellissier Quintet invite Roger Raspail / Bibi Tanga & The Selenites
L’Astral (Maison du Festival)
JAZZ ALL-YEAR ROUND
January 10th Taurey Butler Trio at 7pm.
People often comment on Taurey Butler’s resemblance to the young Oscar Peterson, in appearance as well as his winning combination of hard swing and melodic invention. Gratifying as it may be, he backs away from the compliment. There’s only one Oscar, he says. But there is no question that the one Oscar Peterson had a profound effect on Taurey’s life and his music.
Snooky was born in Norfolk, Virginia and raised in a small city called Woonsocket in Rhode Island. At the early age of 6, he began humming and singing songs to his mother while keeping the drumming beat going with his mouth. Even then, at that young age, music was in his bones. So, his journey began into the wonderful world of drumming. Upon arrival in Montreal, Quebec, he met an extremely talented and well known performer by the name of Freddy James. He later became his drummer and back-up vocalist in his dance R&B band, known as Fusion 3. For the next 6 to 7 years, they toured Japan, Africa, USA and Canada.
When the Freddy James era was over, he continued to successfully perform in night clubs, gospel choirs, and worked with other great musicians in studios. By the spring of 2010 he stayed in Montreal to work and finish writing another CD. He started playing regularly at the House of Jazz with Geraldine Hunt: His quartet,Snooksta and The Gangstas – became one of the headliners at the House of Jazz.
Dweezil Zappa, son of Frank – stopped by to chat about his upcoming Montreal show and the legacy of his Father. Given the notoriety of Frank Zappa’s humor in music and lyrics, it was interesting to hear Dweezil’s take on everything not funny. The genius of Frank as a guitar player, a writer, a producer and an engineer taking forefront of the chat. Zappa’s tune Bobby Brown was the summation of all parts for Dweezil noting that song was a Top Ten hit in Europe while North America banned it from radio play. Says Dweezil; ‘It was the most requested song on Valentine’s Day and at College and high school dances.’
Maybe it is time North America relaxed?
Local nurse Chantal Guimondreleased her dreams.
A Blues and Rock fan her entire life, Chantal put out a CD with covers of her favorite tunes as well as a couple of originals. Combined with a great backing band and a fantastic vocal range – Chantal ( who is retiring soon) has a nice career in front of her. Judging by the reaction of her first live appearance – sick people may have a different location to go and get healed.
Angela Harris took time to chat about her new album; A Woman Like Me.It is one of the purest ‘rootsy’ albums released in the past ten years in Canada. Combining Country, Folk and Rock with a powerful voice – Angela may be the most talented singer and songwriter in Canada. And – she has only really just begun.
Speaking of talented singer and songwriters – Barbra Lica is up to her tricks again. This time – Lica made a wrong turn and ended up putting out a superb Country disc. She went to a songwriter’s convention without knowing the folks who were putting it on were from Nashville. Well, as they say – the rest is history and Barbra released one of the best albums of her career thus far.
Joe Louis Walker ( friends with Hendrix and roommates with the late Mike Bloomfield) sat down to chat about his latest disc. Joe is always informative in his chats and not only educates with words, his new songs are always pushing the limits in terms of Gospel and R&B. A great album if you want to know where people like Beyonce really come from.
Ontario youngster Max Parker took time to chat about his new songs and subsequent upcoming studio album. Max – although acknowledging the Justin Bieber connection via age and location – quick to point out he is his own man. Catchy riffs and a more Bluesy feel than Bieber – Max will not be repeating Bieber’s mistakes if he gets that big. The internet can be a good thing sometimes …
Rock /Pop legend Alan Parsonstook time to chat (albeit briefly) about his first album in twenty years. The engineer, producer, writer and performer also discussed his DVD that has been implemented in Universities as a must have learning tool for studio recording. He also spoke of his friend and mentor – the late Geoff Emerich ( Beatles) and what Geoff meant to him. A great chat with a man who worked on Abbey Road, Let It Be and Pink Foyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.
John Muirheadknows how to become friends with musicians. Just release an album about playing gigs in different cities and sleeping wherever you end up. John’s disc is a the beginning of a career that will bring him to the highest places. Songwriting is new to him and now that he has discovered to sing about the truth and what he knows – the musical sky is the limit for John …
Reuben( Reuben and The Dark) stopped by just before hitting the road and coming to Montreal from BC. The chat revolved around his unique style and observations as a songwriter. Balancing the ebbs and flows of human emotion. The dark and the lights within and without. The band crashed their van outside Calgary on the way here and luckily none were seriously injured but some equipment was destroyed. Opening act ( in Montreal) John Jacob Magistery – saved the day and loaned Reuben and his mates what they needed. The show went on and it was a lesson in the rides of life – literally and figuratively.
It would not be complete on Rick Keene Music Scene without an annual chat with Steve Hackett of Genesis fame. This time – Steve spoke of Genesis’ landmark album Selling England by the Pound. Steve will be performing the album in it’s entirety in September 2019 in Montreal. The history of recording that album is a must hear for Genesis fans as things aren’t always what they seem.
Andy Kim took time out to chat about his induction onto Canada’s Walk of Fame. Combined with a resurgence of late with a critically acclaimed album; Andy’s fame is on the rise for the second time in his life. One of Canada’s greatest songwriters bares his soul and honesty for being ‘lucky’ in his life. A very humble and decent man .
Montreal’s own Justin Saladinowon the Quebec to Memphis Blues Challenge this year. Following in the footsteps of Steve Hill, Dawn Tyler Watson / Ben Racine Band and The Paul Deslauriers Band – Justin should take Memphis by storm. Hot on the heels of his most complete album to date (A Fool’s Heart), Saladino should be Quebec’s next global Blues / Rock star along with Jordan Officer.
Malcolm Bruce took time to speak of his band and what a band it is. Bruce is the son of legendary bass player Jack Bruce (Cream) and together with Eric Clapton’s nephew (Will Johns) and Ginger Baker’s son Kobi – the trio are paying homage to Cream. But wait. it is not what you think. No cash grab here. In the words of Malcolm; ‘Most people know my Dad for Cream and that only lasted a couple of years. My job is to spread the generous legacy and body of work of my late dad.’
The Proclaimersstopped by Montreal and amazed everyone with their songwriting skills. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) is the song everyone loves but it is the Zombie-esque harmonies that set them apart and allow the twins to continue their musical path. One of a few bands that get stronger as the show goes on.
Colin James took time out to chat about his new disc. Miles To Go is a throwback of the old Blues tunes that enamored the young James in the first place. James is continuing the trend among older Rockers ( Myles Goodwyn, The Stones, Randy Bachman) to pay homage to the Blues greats and release a Blues cover CD.
Lindsay Beaver is a Nova Scotia native current;y absorbing her Blues / Country / Rockabilly chops in Nashville. Lindsay spoke of her first CD and subsequent American tour. A Canadian making waves as a songwriter, singer and drummer. Alligator record top man has personally embraced Lindsay which saying quite a bit.
Black Mountain Whiskey Rebellionreleased a song (Holy Smoke) which is an indication of what very cool stuff is coming. Rather than release an EP or album – the band will be showcasing their stuff one song at a time. Not to be greedy but to market themselves. Their sound is a purposeful Muscle Shoalsone and that live on the floor feeling knocks your socks off. Once you listen – all the ‘star’ bands in Montreal crumple with weakness.
Blues veteran Jack DeKeyzertook time to chat about his homage album to the Blues’ greats. Checkmateis the name of the disc and Jack is in fine form as he covers some of the greatest tunes in not only Blues history – Rock as well.
How many people do you know that sell out stadiums and are the King ( musically) of their Country and then throw it all away for integrity?
Senri Oeof Japan is that guy. He was the darling of K Pop in Japan and was the Country’s equivalent of Michael Jackson. Senri loves Jazz so he moved to America and went back to school to learn his Jazz chops. How cool is that ?
2018 continued in August where it left off in July.
George Thorogood was back in Quebec for the second time in three months. Trois Rivieres en Blues was the setting this time around and the swagger returned. Thorogood was ‘safe’ at Place des Arts in Montreal and in Trois Rivieres; he discarded the condoms. Rock n Roll is dangerous and Lonesome George delivered.
Global Bluestrotter Harry Manxreleased an album with Canada’s best harp player Steve Marriner on board and Harry took time to chat about it. Marriner – fresh off touring with Colin James, adding an ingredient to Manx’ genius which complimented Harry’s style without taking anything away. Manx never sounded better.
TV’s Survivorman Les Stroudchatted about his new disc. A surprisingly sound album complete with menacing riffs and acute songwriting. Stroud’s insight into the environment taking control of the lyrics and musically, a blend of Neil Young and Bruce Cockburn took place. A brilliant disc.
The lead singer of The Guess Who, Derek Sharp took time to discuss the first new Guess Who album in twenty years. Sharp (also the husband of Sass Jordan) co-wrote half of the tracks and co produced the album. A throwback Rock n Roll disc with swing. A relief in this day and age and proving once and for all – the ‘ old guys’ know how to do it …
Continuing The Guess Who trend – guitarist and producer Will Evankovich spoke of the new album and his role as principle songwriter. Will, a relative newcomer to the band, provided old school mentalities and astute precision to an album that was recorded on analog equipment. Will is hot considering he also co-wrote and produced Styx’ latest album The Mission.
Continuing the Canadian Blues legacy is one Spencer Mackenzie. The young lad from Ontario has already won New Artist of The Year at The Maple Blues Awards and his album’s musicianship is far above his age in quality. A must see prodigy live if there ever was one. Buy Spencer’s new disc Cold November and support Canadian artists.
It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing …
Black Mountain Whiskey Rebellion are poised to take North America by storm. Much like the English re-introducing The Blues back to the States, BMWR are re-introducing the Muscle Shoals sound back to musicians.
With only one single officially released, the band has already made Rolling Stone magazine’s ‘best bands to lookout for’ in 2018. The song Holy Smoke is a tongue in cheek look at the hypocrisy of religion without taking literary licence.
Please listen below to my chat with Mitch and hear the Montreal debut of Black Mountain Whiskey Rebellion’s first single;Holy Smoke.