Holly Cole; The ‘Night’ Started Young …

It is no coincidence Holly Cole‘s new CD is titled ‘ Night’

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‘I am a night owl, I stay up very, very late every night …” Says Cole. ” I find it very quiet. I mean the only phone calls I get are from drunk friends. It is very mysterious and for a creative person – it is ideal. It is open at night – meaning there are no distractions. You have peace and quiet.”

Holly Cole’s latest musical effort and her first in five years, is definitely an evening affair.

b153bf1cbec0e6d_fileIt is an album which turned into a nocturnal theme after a few recording sessions and it also discovers Cole back to where she started. It’s a reunion of sorts. Cole has re-united with her two initial partners in crime. A duo, along with Holly – which made up the Holly Cole Trio.  One of the most talented threesomes in Canadian music history …

“My favorite song on the album is ‘Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues‘ ” Admits the 49 year old singer from Nova Scotia. ” One of the reasons I love the song is because it is done as my original trio with Aaron Davies and David Pilch. It really takes me back to the raw trio and that is where my real heart lies. It really is minimal and I am a real minimalist.”

All of the songs on the album ‘Night’ are covers except for one. ‘You’ve got a Secret’ is an original composition and it fits in well with the ‘accidental’ theme of the album. As Cole and her mates were recording, Holly realized the songs she had chosen, all had either the words or ideas of a nighttime flavor. An underlying message of what goes on once the sun disappears. She then chose the remainder of the covers based on that …

” I knew we would do songs in increments. Four at a time or something. Then I realized that most of the songs were about night, written at night or had night in the lyrics. It’s all about the ‘night’ feeling. Some of the songs  have a loose connection but they ended up being arranged with that night feeling. The song that I wrote is about night so I think the feel is very mysterious.”

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Holly believes her ‘late night’ habits were introduced to her at a young age. She profoundly recalls an incident that took place when she was a three year old in Halifax. She woke up in the middle of the night with a terrible cough – waking both of her parents up. According to Cole,  she sounded like Tom Waits and nobody wants their little girl to sound like him – a fan or not …

‘It was around four o’clock in the morning …” She remembers. ” My Father wrapped me into a blanket and took me for a late night stroll. My whole neighborhood was blank – not a soul there. I saw it all for the first time through completely different eyes.”

She goes on …

“It was a clear night with clean Halifax air and fog. I was sitting on my Dad’s shoulders and everything was basking him – the street lights, the moonlight … and all I could hear were his footsteps. It made me fall in love completely with the night. I sincerely believe it had a big influence on me becoming a night owl. When I got home, I felt better and I remember laying in bed thinking that I have a secret. Something which was mine and only mine. It really inspired me and I believe it opened up creative juices within me …”

Those creative juices have served Cole very well.

She released her first albumHolly+Cole+bw+mix+2a in 1990; ‘ Girl Talk’. It was recorded and released as the Holly Cole Trio. Since that time  – Cole has done everything from Christmas albums to an entire disc devoted to Tom Waits songs.

‘Night’ is Holly’s (including ‘best of’ and compilations) 16th album and it has been a long way since she sent a cassette to the founder of the Montreal International Jazz Festival – Andre Menard.

‘I did not have an album, a manager – nothing …” Says Holly. ” I sent him some songs I had done and he loved them. His influence put me on a stage and I was thrilled to play there. It was 1987 and Menard loved me from the beginning. He has been so great to me …”

Holly will be performing at this upcoming Montreal Jazz festival for three nights. June 27th, 28th and 29th at Theatre du Nouveau Monde.

She will be with her quintet as well as something that is a first for her. A full Gospel choir will be involved. It  is an idea that came to her. A thought that delivered the answer; why not …? After all – an artist must continue to grow or risk becoming stagnant …

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” This is the first time with a Gospel choir. We have worked with a choir before but not a Gospel one. I like to keep things fresh. They are a twenty – five piece choir called the ‘Praise and Worship Crew.’ They will be with us all three nights and they are from Montreal. I am looking forward to that as well as Kevin Breault joining us for the final two shows. He is a fantastic guitar player.”

Holly’s upcoming appearances at the Montreal Jazz Festival will be her 25th.  The city is her favorite and she simply adores not only playing – taking in as many acts as she can during the Festival. In fact – she always comes to the Festival if  she is not performing elsewhere.  Sometimes she is recognized – sometimes she is not.

” The thing about Montreal … (and I have been all over the world), is that it is able to combine the best of North America and Europe. Somehow – the city is able to not have the worst of those cultures. I really mean it when I say that. It’s the greatest Jazz Festival in the world and Montreal is fantastic!”

Cole’s ‘Night’ is  produced by Holly Cole and Greg Cohen. It includes cover songs from Tom Waits (“Walk Away”), Gordon Lightfoot (“If You Could Read My Mind”), Mort Shuman (“Viva Las Vegas”), Captain Beefheart (“Love Lies”) and a James Bond theme by John Barry (“You Only Live Twice“).

Holly Cole will be touring in support of her new record  in Canada, Germany, Japan and the U.S.

It is no coincidence that all of the shows will take place at ‘Night’ …

 

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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

 

Bands for Baskets – Friends in Need!

Peter Angrove knew a lot of people in the music community.

The year was 2005 and given all the advances in technology – people were still starving. What shocked Angrove the most was how many families were struggling in the West Island.

Peter Angrove of Pincourt – decided to do something about it.

He gathered a few of his musical friends and placed them together in the form of a concert. The funds raised through tickets, raffles and merchandising- is all going to the underprivileged for food baskets during the Holiday season.

The first year, $2500.00 was raised and has leveled off around the $5000.00 mark in the subsequent years. Not bad for a fundraising effort just before the holidays.

Bands for Baskets is aided by the volunteers from the Lakeshore Kiwanis Foundation. This means that all of the people involved are strictly volunteers and not one cent of the money raised goes to anything except the needy. Something which makes Peter’s heart proud.

This year, a ticket cost $10.00 and a raffle ticket is $5.00 that gives you, a chance to win half of the money raised in a raffle held during the show. This way, according to Peter, more tickets are sold and more money is raised even after giving the prize away to the lucky donor.

win – win situation for all involved.

This year,  the annual calendar which will be available for sale at the show, has special meaning to Angrove and his family. For the second unfortunate year in a row, the Angove’s have lost a family member through death. Two seasons and two of Peter’s brothers gone. Last year, John was featured in the calendar dressed as Santa – this year it is Michael’s turn.

Please help out the needy in the West Island. After all they could be your neighbor.

December 2 @ Calistoga Grill in Pointe Claire

Show starts at 4pm

100% of the money raised goes to the Lakeshore Kiwanis Foundation who – in turn, distribute Christmas Baskets to the needy.

Please help everyone have a Merry Christmas!

Scheduled Performers

Big Fun

This is True

Moonlights

Jam Avenue

Roxfield Pointe

For the seventh year in a row – Special guest … Blues Guitarist Extraordinaire

Steve Rowe

The show starts at 4pm with opening act …

Angel Forrest and Denis Coulombe

Don’t be a Grinch! Help the Whos from Whoville !

See you then !

Zachary Richard ; Zydeco comes Home

Are stories your thing …?

If so – a Zachary Richard concert is the place to be. Historically, musically and most importantly; emotionally.

Last night at L’Astral, as part of the Jazz All Year Long series, M. Richard of New Yorek, Louisiana – utilized numerous skills to pulverize a sold out crowd into submission. A happy submission …

‘Le Fou ‘ is Richard’s 20th studio album and on stage, surrounded by Nicolas Fiszman on bass, Eric Sauviant on guitar and Justin Allard on drums – the ‘ adopted’ Quebecer introduced his new disc to a welcoming, predominantly Francophone audience.

Wow!

Beginning with the first song of the night, ‘Laisse le Vent Souffle’ (Let the Storm Wind Blow) – Richard made sure the emotional gusts were captured by an audience obviously in love with the man.

The first set contained folksy songs which arrive from a profound place in the holder of three doctorate degrees’ heart.  Seldom do words flow from fountain of truths as is the case with M.Richard. The lyrics in songs such as ‘ La Chanson des Migrateurs’ ( The Migrant’s Song) and ‘Original ou Caribou’ ( Moose or Caribou ) transcend the plains of consciencness.

There are messages in each song and this singer (who just happens to be a published poet as well) – delivers notes of resistance and mankind’s craziness in such a manner, acceptance is not just a fact – it evolves into a way of life …

Musically, Richard strums the guitar, plays the harp and accordion. Musically, Zachary Richard and his backing band fly above most artists occupying the high levels of charted music. The Black Keys would be a great opening act for a foursome this divine.

And … M. Richard is funny to boot!

Following the first song and sweeping the band introductions out of the way, Richard explained that a lot of tunes the audience would be hearing – ‘they would not know’! ‘ Its okay …’ Continued Richard. ‘ We don’t know them either!’

With such ‘Socratic’ gems tossed into a salad bar containing pure Louisiana – based Zydeco fruits of love, Richard had the audience ‘alive and jumping’ in the second set.

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The songs ‘Sweet Sweet’,’ Clif’s Zydeco ‘ and ‘ Dancing at Double D’s’ – kicked even the most dormant moose into a mood reserved for an anxious child on Christmas morning. The ‘ slightly above middle – aged ‘ crowd stood , clapped and slapped in anticipation of every note arriving from a stage equipped with talent.

‘ You don’t know how this song ends ‘ Quipped the sixty – two year old songwriter right in the middle of a song. ‘ It’s okay – neither do we ..’

Just another element of humour which – along with the music, brought numerous smiles to the enthusiastic crowd. Numerous smiles and numerous standing ovations.

‘Most people think I am Quebecoise’ Stated one of the patriarchs of the Cajun sound from center stage. ‘ I am from Louisiana and was the only white boy growing up in my neighborhood. I remember cleaning the glass with my hand and looking through a window at all the Zydeco musicians playing Cajun music …’

As mentioned … Zachary Richard is a storyteller …

Watch Zachary Richard video here!