Rick Keene Music Scene – The Damn Truth Deliver The Damn Truth !

It is a lot of fun watching a seed grow

For the fans of Rock n Roll in Montreal – watching The Damn Truth emerge from seedlings in the garden of Montreal music has been – thus far, satisfactory. Yet in the immortal words of one of Rock music’s founding fathers; “I can’t get no …”

Lee-La Baum

Obtaining ‘satisfaction’ as a Rock outfit is beyond reach if you take your craft seriously. Perfection is striven for yet always just out of a finger’s touch. That is the ingredient which separates bands with success and those without. Constantly working hard.

Montreal’s The Damn Truth have had more success in the Montreal Rock n Roll scene than anyone in the past five years. Touring with ZZ Top and opening for Styx – just two achievements reached. Working with top level producers and engineers; a couple more pats on the back. The latest notch in their guitar straps? Touring Quebec with the critically acclaimed band The Sheepdogs.

Tom Shemerr

In 2012, the CD Dear in The Headlights was released. It was the beginning of numerous radio appearances and live shows which introduced the band to Montreal and eventually; the world. It was the beginning of introducing Lee -La Baum’s infectious energy and chameleon-like vocals. It was the start of showcasing Tom Shemerr’s raw piercing guitar riffs and groundbreaking solos. Drummer Dave Traina’s hard driving beats and unique rhythms a la Bonham. Newcomer PY Letellier on bass – grounds it all in slightly sloppy, groovy vehicule. All in all, the city of Montreal was introduced to a talented Rock outfit with an endless amount of work ethic and hunger.

Shemerr, Baum

Fast forward to MTelus on a cold January evening 2019 – nothing has changed onstage. The Damn Truth still perform as if it was their very first show and their musical life ( career) depended on the outcome. Success has not reached the ears of the band. If it has, then their love and passion for what they do – easily dismisses the accolades as a monkey dismisses a fly.

Lee-La Baum

Whether pounding out tunes such as I Want You (He’s a Lightweight) or Kinda Awkward from their rookie CD to new tracks off their 2016 album Devlish Folk – one thing remains the same; the fans’ reaction.

Dave Traina

There is something in the air when The Damn Truth play their hometown. It is beyond hometown support and /or love. It is beyond great tunes. It is superior to a Rock show. What The Damn Truth bring to the stage (aside from energy) is honesty. Integrity oozes through their sweat and into the first row. From there, like an epidemic – it is passed throughout the venue. The most jaded of music fans cannot dodge the bite of the band’s vicious and truthful fangs.

In this day and age of auto-tune, loops and programmed music, The Damn Truth are throwbacks to an era when music mattered more than the money. The days like the Fillmore West when the East Coast Blues, Funk and Country guys met and blended with the California music scene. The days (and nights) when those musicians talked about creativity and making great music. The days when bands played for the fans from the heart.

An audience cannot be fooled. An audience knows when a performer is real or calling it in. An audience knows authenticity. The Damn Truth are the real deal and that is why the audiences grow larger and larger at The Damn Truth shows.

The audiences cannot get satisfaction.

Visit The Damn Truth Here !

Photos courtesy of Ron Roxtar

Stay Tuned for my Sheepdogs Review !

Visit Smoke Meat Pete Here!

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Grace Potter; Sagging a Bit …

Grace Potter and her band of merry Nocturnals appeared at the Virgin Mobile Corona Theater on Thursday night …

Or did they?grace1

It was the second appearance by the Vermont -based group in seven months at the very same venue. Maybe they should have waited.

Or – stayed home.

Grace herself – one of the most talented and energetic female singers to come out of the United States since a certain Miss Joplin. The passion and voice, something special – something desirable on so many levels. Her band. Tight as the screws which fastened the frames of the foundations of the many females who have come before. Smyth, Hynde and Turner. Three of a numerous crop of infectious and ground-breaking female singers who paved the way for the likes of Potter to captivate an audience. To enlist an army of impersonators such as Lee-La Baum of Montreal’s The Damn Truth.

In songs such as ‘Apologies’ and ‘All Over You’ – Potter delivers heartfelt innocence through country-inspired ballads. Songs which seperate her from the pack of Pat Benatars and Deborah Harrys. Bordering on Jewel, Taylor Swift and even Shania Twain – Grace invitingly opens the door to a soul which cries out for love while sending sweet gentle kisses. The Nocturnals – led by guitarists Scott Tournet and Benny Yurco, a perfect backdrop to Potter’s sometimes haunting vocals.

Too bad two hours of ballads do not make a show.


Upbeat numbers such as ‘Ah Mary’. ‘Medicine’ and ‘ Stop the Bus’ – agonizingly fading into each other like a long drawn -out tooth pull. Too many songs sounding similar which harmfully placed Grace’s voice into a syllable bordering on annoying.

In the group’s February appearance – songs such as ‘The Lion The Beast The Beat, interrupted classically by the likes of Neil Young‘s Cinnamon Girl and Jefferson Airplane‘s White Rabbit’. Tunes which gave the opportunity for Potter to display her versatility. Her range. Her passion. Her bluesy, Joplin – esque mystique.

Without that punctuation on Thursday night – Grace Potter and the Nocturnals sentenced the crowd to a mundane event complete with instances of excitement. Like a stripper removing her gloves and placing them back on – Potter and the band teased and never delivered.

If not for the courage of ‘Nothing But The Water’ ( parts 1 and 11) and Paris (Ooh La La), the Nocturnal ship would set ground on a deserted island and nobody would bother searching for them.

The concert seemed mailed in. Potter’s banter – so fake and shallow, the grace8normally appreciative applause when an artist mentions the ‘home’ country ( Canada – for those taking notes at home), half the decibels of the band’s last appearance.

Sadly – Potter et al, either lost amid a tour which sees them venturing to Rio de Janeiro on the 20th or running out of gas in a career which seemed to hold so much promise. Joplin was twenty-seven when she died. Grace Potter and The Nocturnals – just about to enter their ‘teen years’. Far too young to fade away. Far too young to burn out …

Grace Potter and The Nocturnals were in Montreal last Thursday.

Were they …?

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