Montreal En Lumiere – Heymoonshaker; BeatBox Meets The Blues

Two guys – one love.

Horizonte_2014_Fr_1029

“Heymoonshaker” is a music duo from England. Daco Crowe, Beatboxing and Andy Balcon, Guitar.

They met in New Zealand and the rest is history.

A duo whose love for the Blues and each other ( in a friendship kinda way) has given the world a new way of listening to the legacy of Robert Johnson and Elmore James.

Please listen below to Andy and Crowe as they explain their partnership, their EP and The Blues …

Andy? Crowe?

Visit Montreal En Lumiere Here!

 

300-250

Click Here!
Click Here!

 

Click Here
Click Here

 

Buy Tickets Here!
Buy Tickets Here!

Johnny Beaudine; History of Chicago Blues – Part Two

How many times has someone brought you to their car and showed you a double barrel shotgun in the trunk?

How many times was it a legendary musician who used it to show strength?

Well – Sax player and Chicago -born Blues player Johnny Beaudine may be one of very few who can answer in the affirmative.

Buddy Guy and Rick Keene
Buddy Guy and Rick Keene

 

Please listen to find out who the musician was and many more great tales from the South Side of Chicago …

Johnny?

 

Buy Tics Here!
Buy Tics Here!

 

daverick

 

cyndi

 

 

Top Ten Blues Guitarists – Part Two

Here we are …

The final five. The top four leading to the number one Blues guitarist.

Agree? Disagree …?

That is the problem. No one will ever agree on the contents of a top ten list.

Here are the TOP TEN Blues Guitarists …

10. Buddy Guy

9. Eric Clapton

8. Otis Rush

7. Elmore James

6. Muddy Waters

5. B.B King

King is credited with changing the way a Blues guitar player played the Blues. Buddy Guy is adamant that if not for King – the Blues would have never have picked up speed at the time and enter into the popularity of not only the Blues – Rock n Roll. Along with Otis Rush – instrumental in ‘bending’of the chords. A staple in Rock guitarists to this day.

bb_king

4. Roy Buchanan

Buchanan’s legacy is tainted with controversy. It is also painted with such beautiful and jaw -dropping playing. A man ahead of his time and – not unlike Robert Johnson and so many other Blues players, tortured by demons. Clapton has called Buchanan the greatest Blues guitarist he has ever heard. What else can be said ….?

hugeroystrawhat

3. Stevie Ray Vaughan

Vaughan’s legacy and ‘feel’ for the Blues – cut short tragically. Poetically. The greats are supposed to disappear in their prime, not allowing Mother Nature to interfere with the hands of time. Vaughn’s playing – a ‘shake your head moment’ for everyone who was at one point – considered the best. Guy, Clapton, King – Vaughn’s playing utterly transcending their own playing into different worlds …

stevie-ray-vaughn1

2. Peter Green

What can be said about Peter Green that has not been said? Everything …

The most ( generally) underrated and unheard of man on the list. A pure player who preceded Vaughn and Buchanan. The best Blues player to come out of England. A man whose star – stamped out too soon. In many ways …

green

1. Robert Johnson

Johnson did so many things for the first time – in a short time, it is hard to fathom any of the above players existing in any form without him. Lightning – fast fingers, gritty – dirty chords, sweet riffs combined with living the Blues everyday. A pre-cursor to the shenanigans of Keith Richards and the excesses which killed many in the music business. A legendary conundrum.

robert_johnson2

Top Ten Blues Guitarists – Part One

Lists are difficult …

Especially when it comes to something as unique and divers as music. One person’s junk is another man’s treasure. Human nature. Human choice. Human ears …

The Blues are an integral part of so many forms of music. Arguably – the single most used genre in every genre known. Rock n Roll … the Blues. Country … the Blues. Jazz … the Blues. On and on right up into Rap and Hip-Hop. Is it impossible to narrow down a group of guitar playing blues men to a Top Ten list of the greatest …? Probably. But why not try? Why not irk the millions of music fans around the planet who will surely disagree with some – if not most of the choices?

Here are the Top Ten Blues guitarists …

10.  Buddy Guy

Considered the first Blues player to combine showmanship with talent. A scholar of B.B King and T-Bone Walker. Once Guy arrived commercially with the release of ‘Damn Right I got the Blues‘ in 1991 – there was no turning back. For fans – for musicians – for Guy …

Geez, you can’t forget Buddy Guy. He transcended blues and started becoming theater. It was high art, kind of like drama theater when he played, you know. He was playing behind his head long before Hendrix. I once saw him throw the guitar up in the air and catch it in the same chord. – Jeff Beck

buddy_guy1

9. Eric Clapton

Clapton was the first Englishman to pick up a guitar and emulate every Blues guitarist that came before him. Adding his own talent and songwriting – allowed Clapton to become known as God in the music world. An inspiration to every white Blues and Rock guitarist who followed, Clapton also helped to elevate the style of Country Blues to a higher level by imitating his friend and mentor – J. J. Cale.

clapton

8. Otis Rush

Probably the least -known guitarist on the list to the general public. Not with Blues musicians however. His ‘bending’ of chords, considered to be among the first and an inspiration to Clapton and Buddy Guy.  No Rush – no Clapton.

A guy will promise you the world and give you nothin’, and that’s the blues.

-Otis Rush

Otis+Rush+Otis_Rush

7. Elmore James

The ‘Father of the Slide’. Elmore James was the precursor for most of the Blues – oriented artists who rose to fame in the sixties and onwards. His version of ‘Dust my Broom’ ( an argument exists as to whether he or Robert Johnson wrote it), remains the most recognizable riff in Blues music. Jimi Hendrix and Brian Jones ( the Rolling Stones) – both highly influenced by James’ ‘electrifying’ of the slide guitar. Along with Muddy Waters – a forefather of ‘loud’ Blues …

elmore_james

6. Muddy Waters

The inspiration of The Rolling Stones – in spirit and literally.  His song; Rollin’ Stone, the perfect name for the perfect Blues band -turned Greatest Rock n Roll band of all time. His ‘pluggin in and turning up’ the guitar to levels previously unheard of in England and most of the world. Author of some of the greatest Blues tracks ever and a teacher to everyone. The father of modern Chicago blues.

“It’s going to be years and years before most people realize how greatly he contributed to American music” – B.B King

muddy

Stay tuned for Part Two

Rod Argent and The Zombies. Rock History – Part Three

Breathe Out, Breathe In is The Zombies new album. Something which Rod Argent is proud of. He and Blunstone, according to Rod – have captured the sound of the Original group in the 1960’s. The spontaneity the band had which produced great songs …

present_4

” I have produced a lot of records in my time and have been through the techniques of layering and one thing or another. We ( Blunstone and I ), had just finished playing live and I had just finished mixing the live tracks.”

Argent goes on …

” When we were starting the tracks for the new record, I said to Colin – why don’t we re -visit the way we used to record. I don’t mean in an old-fashioned dated way, I meant more by laying the rhythm tracks first and going from there. That is the way we did it back then. Typically, we would record the rhythm for each track in three hours, then I would give Colin the piano and voice demos so he could learn it. After that, we would take a relaxing day putting the vocals on and then a third day we would work on the harmonies. That is typically how we would do it. Each track took about three days …”

One thing Argent did realize when he turned back Father Time, aside from the modern day equipment making thing easier, Rod also realized he had his own way of doing things …

” On the songs I wrote with The Zombies, in the early days, I realized that I would write the bass parts as part of the song. I did that on Breathe Out as well – giving the bass parts to Jim to play and he would play it the way I had written. In the old days it was an unusual way of doing things but it seemed to have worked ..”

present_5

Argent, Blunstone, Jim and Steve Rodford and Tim Tooney – the current Zombies, also focused on the harmonies. Something which was crucial in the original group. Something which immediately jumps out when ‘Breathe Out, Breathe In’ is listened to.

“It was part of the criteria for this album.” Says Rod. ‘ We thought how great it was to do harmonies and let’s explore that again …! I have always loved doing harmonies and this band is so good live – we wanted to capture the freshness of the old days. If someone recognizes the ‘Zombie’ sound, it is because Colin and I are there and a lot of the same elements are there. I am glad if someone can tell it is The Zombies right away. That makes me feel good …!”

Rod Argent, by his own admission, does not listen to much of today’s music. Something he blames on ‘old age‘. Two bands which Argent has heard and thinks are great are The Kings of Leon and The Killers. Argent thinks what they do are interesting …

” I tend to listen to a variety of music as I always used to. I listen to a lot of Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans from the Jazz side of things. Time to time – I listen to Ray Charles, I tend to like things that are Blues oriented. Whether it be musically or vocally. A lot of the bands from the sixties would have those same habits and incorporated that into their music.  Not long ago I was speaking to John Steel from The Animals and he said when he was playing ‘House of the Rising Sun‘ on record, in his head he was playing ‘ Walk on Wild’ side by Jimmy Smith.”

present_12

“Those rhythm and blues factors were often a starting point for the English bands but not as much anymore. I tend to like it when those feelings are still there. The Blues also has to be natural – they can’t be contrived …”

Argent once more thanks The Beatles for introducing him to the likes of Big Mama Thornton, Robert Johnson and Elmore James. Elvis, the ‘Fab Four’ and later – The Rolling Stones helped introduce a generation to the Blues …

The Zombies will be in Montreal on the 28th of February at Metropolis. According to Argent, the audience will hear all The Zombies’ hits from the past, five or six songs from Argent including ‘Hold Your Head Up’ and about five new songs from the record ‘Breathe Out, Breathe In.”

A show drenched in nostalgia with a hint of the future. In complete harmony of course …

Related articles

Ten Great Blues Artists – 2012

The Blues … the Blues .. the Blues …

The foundation, along with Jazz, of music as we know it today. Popular music that is. There are many who carry the Blues tradition throughout North America and the world.

Elmore James , Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters  would be proud of the following artists on this list. Here are ten great Blues artists from 2012 …

Steve Hill; King of the Mountain

Some people are born to bake cakes. For others – mechanics may be their thing. Steve Hill of Trois Rivieres, is meant to play guitar …

steve_hill_a_9112011_600At Club Soda on Saturday night, in a concert dubbed ‘A Return to Montreal‘ – Hill proved once more why he is considered to be one of the best blues guitarists in North America. How about one of the best blues guitarists period!

” The tour has be great so far …” Says Hill following his two hour performance. ” Everywhere I have played it’s been sold out and my solo performance is getting approval.”

Hill is referring to his latest album; Steve Hill Solo Recordings Volume One. A disc which was released this past summer and is a homage to the great blues artists such as Muddy Waters, Elmore James and Robert Johnson. From the moment the blonde-haired guitarist steps on stage and takes his place behind a bass drum and a high-hat, it is clear. This is the way the Blues are supposed to be played. This is the way Steve Hill is supposed to play …

Once upon a time – Muddy Waters plugged his guitar into an amp and commenced playing on the street in front of his girlfriend’s place. It was fierce, it was unique and it garnered attention from the many passerby on the way to work or play. Now – people gather at a club in Montreal to listen to the same fierceness and uniqueness that Hill provides.

It comes from original compositions such as ‘King of the World’, ‘About Phase’ and ‘Ever Changing World’. Within these songs are a young Robert Johnson and Elmore James. Angry riffs sustaining the music which was at one time the tunes  of the oppressed and underprivileged. Anthems to freedom.

tumblr_m3pokymrwQ1qepr2p

Hill is a presence on stage. The way he plays his guitar with conviction. Alone, with no backing band to fill in the gaps. Nobody to supply security as is the case in many groups. If Hill makes a mistake – it would resonate around the room like a weasel attempting to escape a box without holes. Maybe that is what  makes Hill so good. Perfection arrives through a self -induced musical coma. A trance which few can match and no player can play along with. Charlie Parker, the great Jazz player was in that zone for much of the time as was Miles Davis.

Steve Hill is the same type of player.

“The first set was okay.” Says Hill. “The second set I really felt it all come together. I can see myself start to gain momentum.”

‘Preachin Blues’ – the Robert Johnson song, was one of the second half songs. Following a brief introduction where Hill asks the crowd if they are aware  of the fabled artist who sold his soul at the ‘crossroads’ and if not, they should be because Johnson’s songs have been covered by the Stones, Zeppelin and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Hill then proceeds to play a slide guitar which boggles the mind and ears.His fingers as fast as a mouse scurrying along a vinyl record. Watching this talent within a five foot radius, ‘shrinks’ even the greatest cover band player into a self-induced inferiority complex they may never come out of …

aa

Members of the audience who are witnessing tunes such as ‘Got To Be Strong’ and ‘Coming Back to You’ for the first time will have sore eyes in the aftermath of a show. Their eyes widen like crop circles in the making. Each second Hill does something magically with his guitars. Each song delivering a ‘How did he do that?’ moment. A ‘shake the head’ anthology primed for Ripley’s Believe It or Not segment.

Hill and his ‘non-band’ have a couple of shows left before Xmas and then he is settling down to enjoy the holidays before hitting the studio to record a new album. Steve Hill Solo Recordings Volume Two? Nothing is certain except …

Steve Hill is meant to play guitar …

The Rolling Stones’ First Setlist – July 12 1962 Marquee Club

Kansas City – Wilbert Harrison

Honey What’s Wrong – Billy Fury

Confessin’ The Blues – Chuck Berry

Bright Lights, Big CityJimmy Reed

Dust My BluesElmore James

Down The Road Apiece – Chuck Berry

I Want To Love You – Charles Smith

I’m A Hoochie Coochie ManMuddy Waters

Ride ‘Em On Down – Robert Johnson

Back In The USA – Chuck Berry

I Feel A Kind Of Lonesome – Jimmy Reed

Blues Before Sunrise – Elmore James

Big Boss Man – Jimmy Reed

Don’t Stay Out All Night – Billy Boy Arnold

Tell Me That You Love Me – Fats Domino

Happy Home – Elmore James

image

I Think I Busted a Button on my Trousers … I hope they don’t fall down; Part Three

Meredith Hunter – the kid who was stabbed to death at the Stones’ Altamont concert, the pied pipes from Morocco, the numerous drug busts, the backlash from woman’s groups, Elmore James, Howlin ‘ Wolf, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Tina Turner, Maggie Trudeau and even Roy Rogers – all took the stage with the Stones in one form or another …

image

It was the very first stadium tour. It was the very first corporate – sponsored tour. The Stones about to rake in the money after being raked over the coals by then managerAllan Klein in the late sixties to early seventies. The band not about to end up on the short end of the paintbrush at Decca studios.

Aerosmith, Z.Z Top, Van Halen, Journey, Foreigner, Thorogood, Prince and many of the biggest names in rock – opening for the last of the British Invasion bands operating in full. Balloons, multi – nation capes and Jagger on center stage in football attire . The ultimate frontman – preaching to his disciples by the thousands.

image

The tours now legendary.

1972 and 1975. Sex and sex and sex and sex- left the majority of the U.S in tatters. Go ahead, find the Big Apple – don’ t mind the Stones …

Stevie Wonder, the entree to a Stones’ dinner complete with side orders of Billy Preston and Ollie Brown on the 72 tour. Funky rock n roll providing Mick with a dancefloor painted with the roots of Africa. If the Stones couldn’t rock you – nobody could. If the Stones couldn’t rock you – you did not deserve to rock.

image

If a band toured it was a tour. If the Stones toured – it was an event. A three- ringed circus complete with elephants, rooftop television tosses and planes equipped with giant tongues. A Rolling Stones‘ Rock n Roll circus with Jagger as the demonic ringmaster. ‘Raise a glass to the salt of the earth …’

In the words of Richards’; ” I don’t have a problem with drugs – I have a problem with police …”

In front of a backdrop of pastel drawn cars, guitars and magnificent colors – 81′ re – introduced Richards and company to a new generation.

Old Standby’s ‘Under my Thumb, Lets Spend the Night Together and ‘Ruby Tuesday’ providing insight to ‘ Black Limousine‘, ‘Little T and A’ and ‘Neighbors’. Time was on the Stones’ side – time waited for the Stones. A ‘fortune teller’ not required to foresee a future for these men performing ‘2000 light years’ from their roots.

‘It’ s just that demon life that’s got you in its SWAY …’

image

%d bloggers like this: