Rick Keene Music Scene – There Is ‘No Woman’ Like Angela Harris

It is all about the roots after all …

Angela Harris knows all about the ‘roots’ of music. It is in her blood and DNA. In fact – Bluegrass and Country were all around her as a child …

Please listen below to my chat with Angela about her new disc;

A Woman Like Me.

Angela? What’s up?

 

 

Visit Angela Here !

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Rock for Dimes This Friday !

Raising money for the March of Dimes via Rock n Roll.

Pretty cool …

Hosting Rock for Dimes 2014

Every year in several Canadian cities – corporate guys and gals get together and put on a Rock show.

This year, in Montreal – the event takes place on November 16th at The Corona Theater. It promises to be a night to remember and another big total of money raised for the March of Dimes Canada.

Please listen below to my chat with Marc Dore – chairperson for Rock of Dimes Montreal.

Marc? What’s up?

Visit Rock for Dimes Here

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Hey Dweezil! Where Did You Find That One? Concert Review

How do you describe Frank Zappa’s music?

Easy. A blend of Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Genesis, Yes, Rush, The Ramones, The Kinks, the Beatles and every artist between 1920 until present day.

Frank Zappa’s brilliance as a writer, producer, arranger, guitar player and every other position within an intellectual realm artistically and socially was put on display via Dweezil Zappa in Laval last night. Epic could be the best way to describe the evening.

The Purple Lagoon, Andy and Don’t You Want a Man Like Me opened things up along with the punter’s minds who were not far behind in realizing music exists beyond corporate radio. The name of this tour is Choice Cuts. An insight into the non commercial world of Frank Zappa. Given Frank’s songs were mostly non radio friendly, choosing ‘choice’ tracks should be easy.

Think again …

Firstly – Dweezil’s Muthas are not your Father’s band. When each player within a band could headline on their own – something special is on the way. Dweezil himself – one of the finest guitar players ‘off the beaten path’ and an astute songwriter to boot. Detach the Zappa moniker and all it’s expectations – Dweezil could very well be in the same breath as Vai, Satriano et al. in the mainstream conscientiousness. Frank probably would want it this way and ensure the Zappa legacy maintains musical integrity.

As the show moved along – perhaps the ladies initially stole the show. Vocalist Cian Coey and multi – instrumentalist Scheila Gonzalez were on fire. Frank Zappa’s tunes contained whimsical female voices along with serious style. Both Scheila and Cian added their parts with conviction. Cian alone – stealing the spotlight throughout the evening with power, finesse and grace. An indication the ‘top forty’ radio female vocalists are nowhere near the best. Scheila no slouch either as her vocals more than impressed and her Sax playing otherworldly. Frank would be proud.

Call Any Vegetable, Tell Me You Love Me and T’Mershi Duween. Three more tunes which only the die hard Frank fans know aside from the band.

Drummer Ryan Brown, bassist Kurt Morgan, Chris Norton on keys and guitarist / vocalist Adam Minkoff were on the same bus. Travelling the Zappa songbook at light-speed. Shining alone when called upon and perfectly in sync with grooves as sweet as the most perfect five hour Funk jam. The completeness allowing Dweezil to do his thang.

Steve Vai was one of Dweezil’s teachers back in the day. Frank Zappa was one of Dweezil’s muses. Dweezil has worked with every guitar player worth their weight in gold. Nothing could go wrong within a solo and Dweezil’s own curiosity to grow as an artist – adds to the special moments when Dweezil takes the spotlight.

Suzy Creamcheese, Valley Girl, Zoot Allures, Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow and Joe’s Garage – the show and the intensity continued.

Serious musicians playing serious licks. Only the students of music can understand and appreciate Dweezil’s (The Muthas) take on his Father’s songs. Only serious students of music can appreciate Frank Zappa and his genius.

They can describe Frank Zappa’s music …

Visit Dweezil Here !

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Jake Burns Still Has ‘Stiff Little Fingers’

Some bands fall through the cracks as far as recognition goes. Stiff Little Fingers are one of those bands.

Born at the height of Punk music’s global popularity, the band emerged from a Country that was not known for Rock music.

‘I have no doubt there were many talented musicians and songwriters in Ireland …” Says original and current member and songwriter Jake Burns. ” Due to the fear factor of losing jobs (that were few and far between) and the non acceptance of Northern Ireland musicians due to the political unrest in Ireland, sadly many chose or were forced to stay put.”

Stiff Little Fingers, a group of schoolboy friends formed in 1977. A time when groups such as The Ramones and The Sex Pistols were gaining momentum. It was another band however which many comparisons were made.

“Everyone kept telling us we sounded like The Clash and we were asked if they were a huge influence.” Says Burns on the eve of their November 10th show in Montreal. “We never really spoke with the guys from The Clash and wondered if they took us as a threat or admired us.”

Four albums in three years starting in 1979 saw the band emerge as a voice of unrest for not only the people of Ireland – the entire world. Punk music and Stiff Little Fingers were affecting fans and non fans alike.

“When I started writing songs, I had a little difficulty coming up with ideas and they were forced’ Says Burns. ” I spoke with someone and once I realized it is important to write what you know – that is when things changed for me as a songwriter and the band.

Stiff Little Fingers then suffered the same fate as many bands. Knowing each other for so long and being on the road and always together, the fighting started.

” All these years later, in hindsight – all we needed to do was to take a step back and we would have been fine …” Admits Jake. ” It was not about dislike, it was about the stress of the business and a lot of pressure to maintain a band.”

In 1987, following a hiatus and Jake partaking in a solo effort and collaborations, Stiff Little Fingers reunited and despite the words of the music business; The Fingers embarked on what would become a very successful tour in Germany to sold out crowds. Burns and the band have never looked back.

Burns

Since their reformation, Stiff Little Fingers have released six albums with the last being the critically acclaimed 2014’s ‘No Going Back’.

Jake Burns still follows the recipe of writing what he knows for success.

” I went through some major life changes such as a divorce and relocation to a different continent and I did not think anyone would want to listen to a middle age guy sing about a mid-life crisis and divorce. Luckily I was wrong …”

Stiff Little Fingers are in Montreal Saturday night November 10th at Foufounes Electriques.

Get Tickets Here !

Visit Stiff Little Fingers Here

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Reuben and The Dark; A Musical Success For Album Number Two

Rarely does a band come along which evokes feelings of hope within despair. Reuben and The Dark are that band.

Just five years in and (now) two albums under their belts, Reuben and the Dark are setting Canada on fire as they tour the vastness.

Arms of a Dream is their latest recorded offering and in 2014 they released their ‘rookie’ disc; Funeral Sky.

Please listen below to my chat with Reuben Bullock about the new disc and hear some great tunes !

Reuben? What’s up?

Visit Reuben Here !

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Barbra Lica Is ‘A Little Bit Country’ On Her New Album

The word Jazzify is now a new thing …

Barbra Lica is one of the fastest -rising Jazz singers in Canada. Her last album – I’m Still Learning’, gained Barbra a Juno nomination for best Jazz album.

Stick to Jazz Barbra! Right?

Wrong.

By mistake – Barbra stumbled into Country music while learning her songwriting craft. The rest is present-day history.

Please listen below to my chat with Barbra and hear some great tunes from the new album; You’re Fine.

Barbra? What’s up?

 

 

Visit Barbra Here !

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene – A Zappa Doesn’t Fall Far From The Zappa Tree. PART TWO

Frank Zappa was all about artistic integrity. His son Dweezil is also …

Authenticity within sound is crucial to creating and delivering the art of music. Both Zappas live by that credo.

Please listen below to  Part Two of my chat with Dweezil Zappa as we chat about various topics including Frank Zappa’s foreshadowing. 

Dweezil? What’s up?

 

Visit Dweezil Here !

 

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene – A Zappa Doesn’t Fall Far From The Zappa Tree.

Playing guitar very well must be a DNA thing …

Frank Zappa’s son Dweezil, is a chip off the old block even though it is not sought out. Call it instinct, call it learned behavior or call it genetic – the artistic blood does circulate and will eventually come out in layered colors.

Please listen below to  Part One of my chat with Dweezil Zappa. Topics include his Dad, his guitar playing and many other interesting tidbits. Stay tuned for Part Two. 

Dweezil? What’s up?

 

Visit Dweezil Here !

 

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Local Nurse Chantal Guimond Realizes Her Dreams

A nurse has one of the most stressful  jobs in Montreal.

Chantal Guimond knows this very well. A veteran of nursing for thirty years. -music has always been her source of relaxation following a hard shift.

Creating music has always been a dream and now Chantal has obtained step one. A CD and an official launch just the beginning of what may be a post retirement career.

Please listen below to my chat with Chantal and hear some great tunes!

Chantal?

 

Visit Chantal Here !

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Ladies and Gentlemen; The Winner of The Quebec to Memphis Blues Challenge Justin Saladino

Only the good die young …

The Blues are steeped in tradition of making deals with the Devil at the crossroads. Bad in the Blues is a good thing.

Justin Saladino and his band were the baddest thing on stage Tuesday night as they competed and won The Quebec to Memphis Blues Challenge. The next step? Conquering the biggest Blues stage in the world.

Please listen below to my chat with Justin about the win and his steadfast work ethic to be better all the time.

Justin? What’s up?

Visit Justin Here !

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Chris Velan is No ‘Amateur’ on Latest Album

Montreal singer and songwriter Chris Velan has it right.

His latest album contains lyrics so human, so profound and so unique – the only thing missing is an old landline telephone.

 

Please listen below as Chris explains ‘Amateur Hour’ among other things.

Chris? What’s up?

 

Visit Chris Here !

 

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene – The Five Finalists for The Quebec to Memphis Blues Challenge 2018

Every year someone heads to Memphis …

This year is no different.

Five bands have been chosen as the finalists in 2018. Five different sounds all within the confines of the Blues formula. Different but with the very familiar sound which propelled the legends of Rock n Roll to super-stardom.

Have a listen below to five songs from five artists. Can you choose a winner?

 

Visit the Montreal Blues Society Here !

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Joe Louis Walker; Every True Bluesman Tells a Story …

Joe Louis Walker understands the Blues …

The guitar player was around to witness the Blues being introduced to California in the late sixties and the early seventies. Being privy to guys like Mike Bloomfield and Paul Butterfield.

Please listen below to my chat with Joe about Mike Bloomfield’s influence on The Blues scene and Joe’s new record; JourneysTo The Heart Of The Blues

Joe? What’s up?

 

Visit Joe Here !

 

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Kyra Shaughnessy; A Breath of Fresh Music Air …

Sit back and escape …

Leaving the fast paced digital age behind is something Kyra Shaughnessy wants to pass on to listeners through her music.

On her fifth release – the (now) resident of the Eastern Townships has matured into a comfortable artistic place. Combining all previous learning curves into a beautiful arc.

Please listen below to my chat with Kyra about her new album Standing Still.

Kyra what’s up?

Visit Kyra Here !

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Max Parker; Do Not Call Him the Next Justin Bieber …

Max Parker is young, Canadian and a songwriter. That is where the comparison with Justin Bieber ends.

Max is his own person. Something he wants to make clear as his single makes it’s way into the charts.

‘Out of the Blue’ is the first single released with more on the way in the  coming months. The song showcases Max’ talents as a guy with a profound soul. Something which is essential to a songwriter. The innate ability to see the world from the outside looking in.

Please listen below to my chat with Max and hear the new single. Get a sneak preview to another tune as well.

Max? What’s up?

 

 

Visit Max Here !

 

 

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Andy Kim to Be Inducted Onto Canada’s Walk of Fame; Part Two

Andy Kim is a songwriter.

He found fame in New York City at just 16 years old when he wrote How’d We Ever Get This Way?- the first of nine Billboard Top 40 hits. Those hits included #1 songs Rock Me Gently and Sugar, Sugar, the latter being one of Billboard’s “Greatest Songs of All Time.

Andy is a member of Songwriters Hall of Fame and was inducted into Billboard’s Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2010. Andy has sold over 30 million records with songs covered by music history’s greats; Wilson Pickett, Tom Jones, Ike & Tina Turner and Bob Marley.

Andy will be inducted onto Canada’s Walk of Fame in December! Inductions will be held at the Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards show at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto on December 1,2018, followed by a 20th Anniversary Gala celebration to be held at the Fairmont Royal York. The Canada’s Walk Of Fame Awards will air on CTV in December.

Please listen below to part two of my chat with Andy.

 

 

 

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Andy Kim to Be Inducted Onto Canada’s Walk of Fame; Part One

 

Andy Kim is a songwriter.

He found fame in New York City at just 16 years old when he wrote How’d We Ever Get This Way?- the first of nine Billboard Top 40 hits. Those hits included #1 songs Rock Me Gently and Sugar, Sugar, the latter being one of Billboard’s “Greatest Songs of All Time.

Andy is a member of Songwriters Hall of Fame and was inducted into Billboard’s Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2010. Andy has sold over 30 million records with songs covered by music history’s greats; Wilson Pickett, Tom Jones, Ike & Tina Turner and Bob Marley.

Andy will be inducted onto Canada’s Walk of Fame in December! Inductions will be held at the Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards show at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto on December 1,2018, followed by a 20th Anniversary Gala celebration to be held at the Fairmont Royal York. The Canada’s Walk Of Fame Awards will air on CTV in December.

Please listen below to part one of my chat with Andy.

 

 

 

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Cream’s Legacy Lives on Through the Kids of It’s Members

Cream are legendary …

Ginger Baker, Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce created something that no one had heard before.

A hybrid of Classical, Jazz and Blues music. Cutting edge kinda stuff that to this day – remains magical and untouched.

Fifty years later, the prodigal sons (and nephew) are hitting the road to pay homage to a legacy that will forever be etched into the fabric of popular music. Malcolm Bruce, Kofi Baker and Will Johns unite to recreate magic that only they can …

Please listen below to Part One of my chat with Malcolm Bruce, the son of the late Jack Bruce.

Malcolm? What’s up?

Visit Music of Cream Here !

Buy Tickets Here !

 

 

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Philip Sayce – This is Your Father’s Rock n Roll!

 

Philip Sayce did not just get off the Rock n Roll truck …

A Mini-Van perhaps – but not a truck!

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Fresh off a triumphant eight city tour of Canada that left fans and critics spellbound, rock guitar sensation Philip Sayce makes his major label debut on Tuesday, April 7 with the release of his album Influence.

Originally released in Europe in late August 2014 to critical acclaim, the Canadian version of Influence will include two new songs led by the first single, Philip’s incendiary version of the Ten Years After classic “I’d Love To Change The World.”

The video for “I’d Love To Change The World” is now live on Philip’s YouTube channel.

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Born in Wales and raised in Toronto, Canada, Philip Sayce’s love of the guitar started at an early age when his parents introduced him to all of the classics, notably, Clapton, Hendrix, and Beck. He started playing guitar as a teen and before long was winning admirers at blues jam nights at Grossman’s Tavern in downtown Toronto.

One such admirer was legendary guitarist Jeff Healey who invited Philip to join his band with whom he toured the world for the next couple of years. After a move to Los Angeles, producer John Shanks introduced Philip to Melissa Etheridge who recruited him for her band. Over the next several years Philip performed on Melissa Etheridge’s albums and was featured during her live sets on world tours.

Please listen below  to my conversation with Philip.

 

Visit Phillip Here!

 

 


 

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As Dave the Bartender; Plagiarism​,​ the Best Country Artist of All Time, Blues Guitarists and Brian Greenway

Dave the Bartender does not talk much …

 

He’s far too busy listening to questions sent in by listeners of Rick Keene Music Scene.

Have a question for Dave?

Send them to Rickkeene2@gmail.com

Dave? The Bartender?

 

 

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Death in Music; Two Very Different Levels …

If a person passes away, a famous person such as an actor or musician – their death is considered a tragedy. A loss which sends ripples across the global seas at breath – taking speeds through the countless media outlets positioned to do – just that.

Everyday, thousands perish by way of disease, accidents,criminal behavior, war or plain old age. Everyday people whose lives may have been important to their immediate families, give a final ( and often painful), farewell to the few saddened people who knew them well. The media take no notice and justifiably so. A full page story is not physically possible for every death or else – news of corrupt politicians or cheating sports stars would remain hidden. Society would not stand for that. Sex, scandal and ultra-ordinary events sell. Well meaning souls crossing the great, infinite divide into worlds unknown – do not. Such is the society we have built. Such is the society in which we dwell…

Recently, a musician by the name of J.J. Cale passed away at the age of 74. Recently, an educator and trumpeter by the name of Laurie Frink passed away at the age of 61. Two people important in simular ways. Two people – different in simular ways …

J.J Cale

True music lovers know the name Cale. Passing music listeners may know the name Cale. Millions do not …

JJCale was one of those guys. A more behind -the -scenes guy who did not seek or obtain the high profile life lived by the likes of  Eric Clapton and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Ironic because if it were not for Cale – arguably, an entire generation of music fans may not know of Clapton and his earlier work. Cale was responsible for Clapton’s biggest and highest selling hit; Cocaine. A song which placed Clapton immediately into the living rooms of millions globally. A tune which opened the ears to millions of people into not only Clapton’s back catalogue – Eric’s immense guitar – playing talent. The song; After Midnight – another Cale gem made popular through Clapton. A friendship and mutual admiration held in high esteem by both men until Cale’s untimely passing.

Cale was a masterful guitar player and songwriter.

Clapton aware – along with many artists who covered his songs, that in Cale – a storyteller existed. A spinner of tales blessed with the ability to provide an easy going listening experience through his guitar playing and laid back vocals. One listen to ‘Clapton; Live at Budokan‘ and it easy to tell – Clapton adored and emulated Cale to the highest degree.

After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang out
After midnight, we’re gonna chug-a-lug and shout
We’re gonna cause talk and suspicion
Give an exhibition
Find out what it is all about
After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang out
After midnight, gonna shake your tambourine
After midnight, it’s gonna be peaches and cream
We’re gonna cause talk and suspicion
Give an exhibition
Find out what it is all about
After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang out
After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang out

Jon Weldon Cale was born on December 5, 1938, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He passed away on July 26, 2013.

Cale’s syle included a blend of many styles. Jazz, Blues and Folk remain at the forefront yet it was Cale’s ability to place his own unique stamp on these genres which set him apart from most songwriters. Every once in a while – someone like Cale arrives and silently influences an entire world. A messiah of music whose students implement his sounds into their music both consciencely and unconscienciously. The latter – one of the highest forms of flattery for any type of artist.

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Cale’s only Top Forty hit recorded by himself; Crazy Mama – a true glimpse into the man’s pyche and a taste of what would come and what existed beforehand. Cale’s perhaps one shot at becoming famous and on the path to ‘Rock Stardom’ derailed by the man himself for refusing to Lip Synch the tune on American Bandstand. A man’s refusal to be bought and to sustain his moral integrity. Sometimes the poets of the world must be virtually unnoticed to be noticed. Sometimes – performers like Cale, need to be who they are and somehow, the are the only ones who know it.

Rest in peace John Weldon Cale. The world is a far better place for not knowing you very well …

 

Laurie Frink

New England Conservatory is mourning the death of faculty member Laurie Frink, a renowned trumpeter and educator.  Frink died at her home in Manhattan on July 13 at age 61.

“One of the leading brass pedagogues of our time, Laurie Frink will be sorely missed, as a teacher, as a player and as a friend,” said Ken Schaphorst, Chair of NEC’s Jazz Studies Department. “I noticed immediate improvement in the playing of every NEC student who worked with her. She was also one of the most accurate and musical lead trumpet players I’ve ever heard.”

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 Laurie Frink, born on August 8, 1951 in Pender, Nebraska, played trumpet with Benny Goodman, Gerry Mulligan, Mel Lewis, Bob Mintzer, John Hollenbeck, Dave Liebman, Andrew Hill, Kenny Wheeler, Maria Schneider, Darcy James Argue, John Hollenbeck and Ryan Truesdell.

Her diverse career included several Broadway shows, radio and television jingles, movie soundtracks, and guest appearances with artists such as the Talking Heads, David Bowie, and David Sanborn. Her versatility as an artist led to performances with the Manhattan Brass Quintet, the Saturday Brass Quintet, the Gramercy Park Brass, and Concordia.

frink_laurieWith fellow NEC faculty member John McNeil, Frink coauthored Flexus: Trumpet Calisthenics for the Modern Improviser, which the New York Times called “an essential resource for many trumpeters since its publication a decade ago. The book’s exercises and études came from Ms. Frink’s reservoir of strategies for addressing physical issues on the horn, especially where a player’s embouchure, or formation of lips and facial muscles, was concerned.” She was well known for her insightful ability to solve physical difficulties experienced by many brass players.

“Laurie was known by many as an extraordinary teacher,” said McNeil, “She was one of the best trumpet players in New York, a great sight-reader, a knowledgeable and consistent lead player and an extremely popular human being. You get to be popular, of course, when you save peoples’ careers over and over, as she did mine (twice).”

McNeil notes that some “90% of the outstanding jazz and studio players in New York were her students at one time or another, and many great players world-wide as well.” Her students at NEC included trumpeters Jake Baldwin, Dave Neves, Josh Gilbert, David Adewumi, and Tree Palmedo, as well as trombonists Michael Prentky and Eric Stilwell.  Outside of NEC she taught Dave Douglas, Ambrose Akinmusire, Jon Crowley and many others

Considered the foremost authority and teacher of the Carmine Caruso method, shef1400b attracted professional brass players from around the world. Her personable style contributed to Frink’s success as a clinician, lecturer, and conductor. In addition to her work ranging from junior high school wind ensembles to professional jazz orchestras, she was also a featured artist at the International Trumpet Competition in Kiev, and the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Goteborg, Sweden, and a member of the ITG Board of Directors.

NEC’s Jazz Studies Department was the first fully accredited jazz studies program at a music conservatory. The brainchild of Gunther Schuller, who moved quickly to incorporate jazz into the curriculum when he became President of the Conservatory in 1967, the Jazz Studies faculty has included six MacArthur “genius” grant recipients (three currently teaching) and four NEA Jazz Masters, and alumni that reads like a who’s who of jazz. Now in its 44th year, the program, headed by Ken Schaphorst, has spawned numerous Grammy winning composers and performers.

As Mike West writes in JazzTimes: “NEC’s jazz studies department is among the most acclaimed and successful in the world; so says the roster of visionary artists that have comprised both its faculty and alumni.”  The program currently has 114 students; 67 undergraduate and 47 graduate students from 12 countries.

John Weldon Cale and Laurie Fink …

Two different people who have left the world a better place. Two folks who demonstrate that obtaining mass fame is not becessary to label a death tragic .

Tragically so …

 

 

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Top Ten Greatest Solo Artists

For every bunch of guitar – toting, ripped – jean wearing, bad – ass drum keepers and platinum blonde – haired  singers who called themselves a band; there were solitary men / women who crooned their way into the hearts of millions …

There are many talented singers who have been omitted from this list. James Brown and Michael Jackson to name two.This list is comprised of the most influentual individuals and the people responsible for the careers of the likes of Jackson, Brown and Janis Joplin.

Here are the top ten …

10. Little Richard

Glam rock did not commence with Gary Glitter. It started with ‘Good Golly Miss Molly’, Tutti Frutti’ and a pompadour which made wealthy women ‘ gold’ with envy. A rock n roll legend who was never given his due financially or musically. A foreshadow for James Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elton John , Mick Jagger, Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson ….  Should we continue?

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9. Long John Baldry.

The British grandfather of blues. The man who played an intregal part in the careers of Rod Stewart, Elton John, Mick Jagger ,Charlie Watts, Clapton etc etc. Not a hit maker, not a star – just one of the best teachers of all time and considered the first british man to perform the blues on stage.

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8. Rod Stewart

A member of the faces and a true blues singer before branching out on a solo career which has spanned multiple genres and decades. Pop, rock, disco, blues up until his current standing as a crooner of American standards. A shameless chameleon, one of the most distinctive singers and performers to grace a stage. ‘Wake up Maggie’ – Mr. Stewart has something to say to you ..

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7. Elton John

No other artist, solo artist – had the amount of songs and stage personas that Mr. John possessed in the 1970’s. Hard rockin’ ‘Bitches’ were front and center while ‘Daniel’ was everyone’s brother. Giant glasses, ‘mohair suits’ and ‘Tiny Dancers’. Elton John revitalized the soundtrack almost single – handily in the 90’s.

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6. Eric Clapton

Considered by many as ‘ God ‘. A guitar playing one anyways … Aside from spectacular stints with Cream and the Yardbirds, Clapton carved the rock landscape with one song; Cocaine. ‘Tears in Heaven’ made the world forgive his pain while women continue to adore his romantic ‘ Wonderful Tonight’. Possibly the only white man to channel Elmore James and Robert Johnson directly and profoundly …

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5. Elvis Presley

The ‘King of ( white ) Rock n Roll’ . One of the biggest selling artists of all time. The most influentual performer of the twentieth century and the first male sex symbol to grace a stage and movie screen. His one downfall – not a songwriter …

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4. Tina Turner

Mick Jagger combined James Brown and Miss Turner to come up with his act. Turner made women everywhere realize they could be a star and not just a back-up singer. Surviving years of abuse at the hands of Ike – Tina became the most successful woman in rock, selling out stadiums well into her fifties. ‘What’s Love got to do with it …?’

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3. Bob Dylan

Rock n roll’s, folk, the blues’ and country’s biggest poet. A genius who has sang everything and sang it …not so well. A conundrum yet responsible for ‘plugging in’ and taking folk music to a different level. Rock’s singular muse who is seemingly getting better with age … Anyone who is involved in music – holds Dylan in high esteem …

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2. Muddy Waters

The first man to elecyrify not only the blues, audiences as well … His songs remain the cornerstone and building blocks for the elite of rock n roll royalty. ‘Mannish Boy’, ‘ You Shook Me’ and ‘I’m your Hoochie Coochie Man’ among many songs covered by anyone starting a rock n roll band ….The father of Chicago, Delta and Mississippi blues. The father of the Stones and Led Zeppelin.

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1. Chuck Berry

Would rock n roll be the same today without Johnny B. Goode? Little Queenie or School Days? The St.Louis native combined the blues with a sound all his own and got people dancing. A showman who endured through racial profiling and greedy record executives. No Berry – no Keith Richards – no Rolling Stones. No Berry – no Lennon – no Beatles. Imagine a landscape without the three ?

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Steve Hill; Back Where he Started

When Steve Hill was a lad, he discovered the blues much the same way many people do.

Through the music and words of others…

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“Everytime I would hear guys like Jimmy Page talk about music, they would always be talking about people like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Robert Johnson. This is how I learned the blues, by listening to my heroes’ heroes.”

For Steve Hill – that was eighteen years ago and a lot has happened in between. A lot has happened yet Steve finds himself back where he started with his new cd – Steve Hill Solo Recordings Volume One.

Sorta, kinda …

“I had written some songs years ago that were acoustic – stripped down stuff. I was meeting a record guy in Toronto to sign a deal with that type of music. Well … the deal did not go through and the songs stayed hidden.”

Hill explains further.

“It was not the right time anyways for me. I was into electric guitar and hard rocking music. Now – I feel after all these years, I deserve and have earned to do what I want. In this case, a solo show.”

This is a big change for Steve after recently playing a recent Montreal Jazz Festival gig at Place des Arts with another guitarist, Paul Deslauriers. It was billed as a ‘ Guitar Duel ‘ and Hill enjoyed the experience immensely.

” I actually replaced Paul years ago in a band. He was one of the guys I looked up to  growing up in the business. It was cool to play with him and the fans loved it.They kept coming back for more.”

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Guitar duels are not heard on Steve’s new project. It is a one man show which features mostly original tunes with a couple of covers tossed into the mix – most notably ‘ Honey Bee’ by Muddy Waters. Hill explains how the album came to be.

” I was visiting a buddy and he had an old Gibson lying around. Its the type of guitar that is made for the old time blues music. He was trying to sell it and although I could not afford it at the time, it gave me the idea to do an album with just me.”

Hill’s ‘Solo Recordings’ are exactly that. It’ s a good thing the album is not called Steve Hill and One Thousand Maniacs – there is simply no room in the studio nor in Steve’s mind.

“There are two songs which I wrote on the record which I like a tiny bit more than the others (which I love)! Laughs Hill”.

‘Ever Changing World’ and ‘About Phase’ are the pair of tunes which stand out in Steve’s mind. About Phase is a definite standout, as nice a ballad you will find with a very sweet sounding riff carrying the tune …

“Musically and lyrically I am proud of the way these songs turned out. As a songwriter, if I do not think of writing and a song comes natural – the song is usually good. I have an antennae and the songs come to me through the air …”

The album, Solo Recordings Volume 1, has been online and in stores as of May. In its first week of sales, the release reached No. 10 on the Quebec SoundScan Anglophone charts.

Steve Hill is used to success. In his career spanning almost two decades, the Trois Rivieres artist has shared the stage with legends of blues and rock.

Ray Charles, B.B. King, Jimmie Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Santana, ZZ Top, Jeff Beck and Metallica. Not bad for a French Canadian boy …

This “Guitar Hero” as appointed by Voir Magazine and “Montreal blues-rock guitar god” by the Gazette, was floored when he performed with Hubert Sumlin – one of the greats of the ‘old blues guys’..

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“I learned so much from him. It was funny though, I helped him to adjust his amps and stuff. He had no idea how to do it ….” Chuckles Steve.

Closer to home, Hill has accompanied some legendary Quebec artists as well. Nanette Workman, Zachary Richard, Michel Pagliaro, Éric Lapointe and Jeanm Leloup have all benefited from Hill’s lightning fast fingers and a tremendous understanding of the blues.