Wanda Jackson – From Elvis to Jack White

Wanda Jackson dated Elvis Presley. Not bad eh?

Following forays into Rockabilly, Rock n Roll, Country and Gospel music – Mrs. Jackson is still going strong into her sixth decade. Her latest endeavor? Working with Jack White and Justin Townes Earle.

Please listen as Wanda explains her experiences.

All part of music history …

 

 

 

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Leeward Fate - No Ordinary Kind iTunes cover copy

 

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Rockabilly Ain’t Dead – Neither are The Hellbound Hepcats

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Johnny Cash, Elvis, Wanda Jackson, The Stray Cats and …

The HellBound Hepcats!

Five  musical acts, hellbent on keeping the true roots of Rock n Roll alive.

Please listen as Alexander Brown discusses his band’s recent activity and what are the plans for the future …

 

Visit The HellBound Hepcats Here!

Tune in to k103.7fm on Thursday at 6:15pm for a chance to win Tickets!

 

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REPLAY Promo EF

 Missed an Interview?

Click here for a WHOLE BUNCH

 

The Slacks; Montreal’s Oldest / Newest Rock Band

Once upon a time …

Men like Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley were dominating the musical landscape. They were the ‘kings’ of Rock n Roll.

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Teenagers were screaming, crying and tossing various items of clothes toward stages filled with energy. Parents were appalled. Priests tossed their hands into the air to combat the ‘devil music’ which possessed so many teenagers.

Fast forward a couple of decades …

 

The Stone Doctors raised $9,000 last night at Chez Maurice in Ste Lazare for the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Care Unit.

Way to go Boys!

 

Leeward Fate - No Ordinary Kind press pic HQ

 

House of Jazz - Opening in Laval Sept. 6th
House of Jazz – Opening in Laval Sept. 6th

 

The Ins & Outs; Ups and Downs … Sept. 21

One of the hottest flames to rise out of Montreal’s musical blaze, The In & Outs, a high voltage, electrifying experience have announced the following show dates in Vermont along with taking coincidence of their newly released album Zero Gravity’ and acrobatics of their new music video ‘There We Go’ to a new level as they will be performing a flying high set for the grand opening of Montreal rock climbing center ‘Zéro Gravité’ on September 21st in Montreal, QC.

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David Groover vocalist / guitarist comments:

“We’re very excited about this off the wall performance, literally! We will be flying in the air performing 3 songs at the grand opening of the ‘Zéro Gravité’ climbing center. The plan is to have two drums sets installed, one on the ground and one in the air on a floating platform along with myself playing guitar and singing with our bassist Alex. We will be floating and rocking out from up above from wall to wall. To get a bit of visual of what we’ll be doing live! Check out our music video ‘There We Go’.”

Music Video – There We Go – http://youtu.be/IJk83l6CCXY

The In & Outs Show Dates

September 21 – Zéro Gravité – Montreal, QC – Show Details – https://www.facebook.com/events/315759595226365/ – More info on Zéro Gravité: http://www.zero-gravite.ca/

October 1 – Nectar’s, Burlington, VT

October 10 – L’Escogriffe – Montreal, QC w/ Dead Messenger

December 18 – Radio Bean – Burlington, VT

Expertly fusing rock riffs with cheeky lyrics and the occasional hint of funky blues only begins to underline the trio’s vast influences from diverse genres, ranging from Johnny Cash to The Doors, passing through Elvis Presley and John Spencer. 

Lyrically eclectic and musically unrivalled each and every In & Outs song demonstrates a profound love of music and reflects the ups and downs of life and the essence of a society where creating your own opportunities leads to self-fulfilment, all of which is transmitted to their audiences through a hypnotic stream of sound and energy.

Landing a commercial placement in a 2011 Ford Focus televised ad in Quebec with their track ‘Steep Mountain’ (video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAoRDl-VM2g), along with their songs ‘Celebrate Consumption’ and ‘Boo My God’ used for Sports Network (RDS) show H2Snow (video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9WcXbQXYWQ), The In & Outs have progressed in the Montreal music scene and beyond, touring Europe in 2012 and performing at multiple festivals in support of last year’s self-titled EP and their debut album, ‘Ascending Back and Forth’.

‘Zero Gravity’ can now be purchased on iTunes and via http://theinnouts.bandcamp.com/ along with a FREE download of their single‘There We Go’.

Lyric Video – Zero Gravity – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGd6zkE992M

Savvy with The Savoy Ellingtons

The kids’ hearts are in the proper place …

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That was the feeling jumping around The Rialto Theater on Friday in Montreal. The children of Duke Ellington – April and Edward Jr., suspended in time. Starting with their clothes, the duo transcended time and place right back to the era of the Big Band prominence of the 1940’s.

With the big band boppin’ behind them, along with the choice of classic songs, an easy -to-please audience was right for the pickin’. Easy to please because those in attendance – got exactly what they came for. Swing, swing and more swing.

April, along with gowns fit for the era of her Father Duke – exchanging voices with brother Edward Jr. Together and apart. A duo and solo. Back and forth they went with classic vaudevillian banter showcasing the time their Father was the king of everything grand in music.

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Amid the grandiose and renovated Rialto Theater – Frank Sinatra staples ‘Fly Me to the Moon‘, ‘I’ve Got the World on a String‘ and ‘ Come Fly with Me‘ – seemed to be at home. The vocals carried simply yet powerfully by Edward Jr. The entire time – delivering the right words to demonstrate how he and his sister are carrying the legacy of their Father and people like Sinatra to ensure the music’s survival. Edward Jr. – the stronger vocalist of the pair, as charming as his sister. Working the crowd yet allowing the backing big band to take over (as they should). Brassy and filled with foot – stomping’ numbers. A trip back to a greater time in music when the artists seemed bigger than life. A time when Facebook and Twitter – did not allow a peek into the performer’s lives …

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April delivered the portion of the show meant for the lady singers who led the way for women like Lady Ga Ga and Madonna to reap millions.

Peggy Lee‘s ‘Fever’ – a highlight if only for the reason that most young people know Madonna’s version and Elvis Presley’s ‘ gyrating – sexy’ version from his ‘Aloha from Hawaii‘ television special. April sung Lee’s version as if Peggy herself appeared via a ghostly figure. It was a special moment and commenced the trip down memory lane for most in attendance. “I Got It Bad (and That Ain’t Good)” – ( a song that Dad Duke wrote the music for and was recorded by more than fifty artists including Peggy Lee and Billie Holiday), sung almost to perfection by April. After all – once Holiday sang it, everyone else cannot meet perfection or come close.

The surprise of the night was Lady Alicia …

The Ellington’s Mother, arrived on stage and sung her heart out. God bless her. Surprisingly – she did a bang on job considering her age. If Ella could carry it out – so can Miss Alicia. With a roar to the twenties and an ear to the forties, the lady was definitely not a tramp.

The third -to-home trot, complete with a wink towards Duke Ellington.

‘It Don’t Mean a Thing ( if it ain’t got that swing)’, ‘In a Sentimental Mood’ duke-ellington-1and ‘Take the A Train’ – just a few of the numbers from Duke’s vast catalog, displayed with conviction by the Big Band, April and Edward Jr. Let’s not forget – back in the day, these songs were the ‘Satisfactions’, ‘Hey Judes’ and ‘ Like a Rolling Stone’ of the time. Thousands attending and listening to – the sounds of orchestras led by Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey and …

Duke Ellington.

A man whose heart was in the proper place and after all these years – remains as prominent as ever. His kids – doing their best to keep the legacy alive.

Wanda Jackson – A Legend; Pure and Simple. Part One

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Gladys and Vernon Presley‘s son had many monikers.  Movie star,  Elvis ‘the Pelvis’ and ‘The King of Rock n Roll’ – to name but three very important ones. ‘Wanda Jackson‘s boyfriend’ was also a name Elvis toted for a while. Few know it – everyone is impressed when it is discovered…

For Wanda Lavonne Jackson of Maud, Oklahoma –  it was a special time for both her personally and for the start of her musical career.

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Wanda and Elvis

“I worked with Elvis from the summer of ’55 to ’57.” Says Wanda. ” I did not do every tour with him but I did do some very long tours with him. Don’t forget – I was very excited at that time to start my own career. We dated and liked each other and all, we had a sweet friendship and cared for each other deeply. At that time there was Jerry Lee Lewis, myself, Johnny Cash, Elvis, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbinson – a bunch of guys, we all toured together. All of us became very close friends and cheered each other on as our records began to sell.”

Jackson continues …

“As the years went on, Elvis and I did not keep in touch but I followed his career like everyone else. He got so big – he was in a different world. Like everyone else, I was saddened by what happened to him at the end but I don’t think anyone could have saved him. It is funny – back in the beginning when Elvis starting getting popular and the girls were grabbing him and everything, my Father ( who was Wanda’s manager at the time) said he would have a miserable life. He said that Elvis won’t be able to go out and lead a normal life. My Dad was exactly right …”

Wanda and the rest of the people in question, the ‘men’ in her life, did not realize at the time they were starting something special. Little did they know, they were setting the groundwork for future generations of rockers. They were the pioneers of Rock n Roll …

“All of us were young and just doing our thing, just having fun.” Explains Jackson form her home in Oklahoma City.” At that time, nobody understood young people and they were trying to make it bad what we were doing. They made it devilish – which, of course, it was not. We had no idea what we were starting and I guess we were the pioneers. Myself, I have the distinction of being the first woman in Rockabilly. It is something that makes me proud.”

wanda5Wanda Jackson may be known as the first lady of Rockabilly yet funny enough – it was country music where she enjoyed most of her success starting in the early sixties. A genre of music which explains the roots of Wanda’s career.

“I pretty much gave up on Rock n Roll.” Explains the seventy-five year old Grandmother. ” I could not get any airplay. I did not get my first hit ( in Rock)  until 1960 ( Let’s Have a Party) and I started recording in 1956. I just thought -well, they are not going to play my records and if the fans cannot hear them – they won’t buy them. I switched to country to make some money. I would often make side A on my record a Country song and side B a Rockabilly song. That way I got the best of both worlds and Country music kept me afloat.”

Jackson’s decision paid immediate dividends …

Her early sixties country songs such as “Right or Wrong” and “In The Middle of a Heartache”, both earned her spots in the top ten on the Country charts as well as stays in the Top Forty Pop charts.  Her new -found popularity, forcing Capitol Records to re-release her past Rockabilly / Rocks songs and allow Wanda the freedom to record one last disc for the company. ‘Two Sides of Wanda’ showcased Jackson’s genius as a duel Country and Rock performer. It was a mixture of both genres and has left a permanent mark in the history of music. In 1965, Jackson made the move to country music with an exclamation point. She had a string of Top 40 hits during the next ten years including “Tears Will Be the Chaser For Your Wine” and “The Box it Came In”. Just two examples of what would be many Top Forty hits.

wanda4Jackson was not finished there however.

Her soul somewhat incomplete until she commenced the next chapter in her life. A integration of Gospel music into her repertoire. A genre which is part of the foundation of popular music. ..

‘I became a Christian and was very enthused about that.” Explains Wanda. “The music industry continued to change and was in turmoil really since 1956 on through.  I never intended to divorce Country music – I just wanted to add Gospel.  Capitol did not want it and  they allowed me to  record only one album in Gospel so by my choice – I decided to walk away. I wanted to pursue a more Gospel – oriented career because that’s where my heart was at the time and still is …”

Jackson’s Mother was a devout Christian yet her Father did not ape his partner’s denomination. Her Dad was very encouraging and believed Christianity was the right thing to do although he did not practice it. Wanda also wanted to raise her children in that environment and believes that accepting the Lord in her life in 1971 – is the reason that good things have come her way every since. Things like working with one of Rock’s biggest names – Jack White.

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Please stay tuned for Part Two …

Terez Montcalm; Voice of a Ragged Angel

At L’Astral last evening, Terez Montcalm came home and the predominant Francophone crowd – welcomed her with open ‘bras’.

Why would they not …?

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Montcalm, in her somewhat short, six album career, has recorded mostly in French. Her sole English album? Voodoo, released in 2006.

Terez is presently touring with her new album; I Know I’ll Be Allright. It is a mixture of jazzed – up covers translated in both official languages. Songs from David Bowie, Micheal Jackson and Neil Young circle like vultures from a time long ago. All placed together in an album with songs that Terez handpicked to soothe her soul.

‘Hier soir’ – she performed the ‘new songs’ impeccably. Her spirit – silenced from it’s angst. If only for a moment or two.

‘Superwoman’, the 1972 song penned by the then boy wonder; Stevie Wonder, set the tone of what would come. In English…

The song, recognizable to music connoisseurs and diehard Wonder fans – arrived masked in a cape of old school Jazz rhythms. Lena Horne, Billie Holiday and Eartha Kitt kinda stuff. Montcalm’s voice dipping and striving between complex structures of an arranged musical marriage. A unison fitted with a first time scenario.

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“This is the first time I have played with French musicians in Quebec.” Admits Montcalm – herself a Quebec City native.”In Europe and France I have but never here at home.”

Montcalm has assembled a great ensemble of backing ‘musiciens.’ A group of young men consisting of elite talented craftsmen. Performing to the utmost of their musical ability.

Terez Montcalm (guitar, vocals), Jean-Sébastien Williams ( a man who Terez calls out as the best guitarist in the world), Pierre De Bethmann (piano), Christophe Wallemme (double bass) and Steve Williams (drums) simply deliver the goods. De Bethmann particularly adept with a beautiful piano solo in Superwoman.

The show was underway …

Wanna Be Starting Something‘,  Micheal Jackson’s great tune – displayed Montcalm’s vocal range. Anywhere from scat down to a sultry refined raspy tone, Terez delivered an array of voices which transcends all time. One moment she is a child and soon after a teenager, lost in the wilderness of peer pressure. A young adult then grabs the microphone and seduces. Anger creating the undertone. Jackson’s song evolves into a slowed down version of classic Jazz as the crowd grooves. Jackson would be proud.

“Tonight, judging by the crowd reaction.” Says Montcalm. ” Neil Young’s Philadelphia, Ashes to Ashes by David Bowie and ‘Je Reviens Te Chercher’ were my favorites. I am so happy they received the reaction they did.”

“If You Don’t Know Me by Now” – the song written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff and recorded by  Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes ( also made famous by the group Simply Red), was instantly recognizable. Carried truthfully by Terez and her mates. The soul of the song traversing the crowd with sentiment while providing Montcalm’s ‘offspring’ –  the vision to introduce itself properly to the world of music. Not many would attempt to alter a tune embedded so profoundly within decades of music fans. Montcalm does. It  changes nothing to the fans of the original romantic classic.

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The Francophone  contingent were very boisterous welcoming their own. The political undertones very evident as Montcalm bantered with the patrons. Realistically, the majority of the best Jazz artists that come through these parts, speak English as their mother tongue. Even the Francophone greats perform Jazz standards written by Anglophone legends. Terez Montcalm herself, may one day be deemed legendary and the audience were not shy in making Terez aware of this potential outcome. They  let her and everyone in attendance know, with every standing ovation and amorous catcall – she is recognized as a true Quebec-er.

Montcalm sings and plays acoustic guitar and double bass, Montcalm is close to hitting the half century mark in age. This life experience of wisdom along with a musical education consisting of Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Billie Holiday and Shirley Horn – shines through in her singing. It is not just the fact her range is so various, it is her experience that is delivered sharply through lyrics. The tone is ‘ been there – done that’.  Very similar to all the greats as the years envelope their musical souls.

Terez Montcalm will be; ‘ Allright …”

It’s a feeling that a listener cannot shake yet they still want to follow to make sure …

01. Superwoman
02. If I Could Turn Around
03. Je reviens te chercher
04. Philadelphia
05. Wanna be Startin’ Somethin’
06. Lilly
07. Honest to the Bones
08. Fling
09. If You Don’t Know Me by Now
10. Chambre d’hôtel
11. I Could Have Told You
12. Tell It Like It Is
13. Ashes to Ashes

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Derek Falls – Keepin’ the R and B Tradition Alive!

Tommy Falls – Derek’s father, loved rhythm and Blues. Little did he know, his son was listening to all his music. Otis Redding, Elvis Presley and all the great pioneers of soul, rock n roll and Blues.

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“One day, my Dad had a party and I asked him if I could play along with my guitar. My Dad asked where I got it. I told him  I wanted it so badly that I worked hard and saved all my money.”

Needless to say, the elder Falls, a guitar player himself – was pleased that his son wanted to carry on not only the great tradition of R and B, the family tradition as well …

“I guess I was about thirteen.” Explains Falls. “I would play alongside my Dad. Later, around sixteen – my friends and I started a band and we played all those great R and B tracks. It was the time of Corey Hart‘s popularity, so we started playing his songs as well. ‘Sunglasses at Night‘ , ‘Never Surrender‘ … those songs. I always played with my family band and me and my father and Brother starting playing at home and in shows ”

derek5Not immediately, yet a bit down the road, the father – son tandem evolved into The Mother Jones Band. It featured Derek on lead guitar and Father Tommy by his side playing a Blues rhythm guitar that would make John Lee Hooker himself – very proud. Following one album entitled ‘Father and Son‘ – Derek Falls decided to dip into his solo ‘pool’. He has released several videos, notably ‘Down at the Butcher Shop’ and has just finished recording his new cd; ‘The Better Side of Me’ …

‘I basically sat down, started strumming on the guitar and all these great songs came out. I decided to get a group of musicians together and record the album. I am especially happy Jim Zeller, Quebec‘s finest harmonica player is in the recording. His playing with my acoustic is just so real. It adds a whole dimension to the songs.”

The album, is a throwback to the old days.

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‘If I had a Minute”, a track which Derek played live on k103.7fm, is Derek and his guitar introducing a song – or, track two; ‘Corner Stop’.  The rest of the band kicks in with Luc Murphy leading the charge on flute. Derek’s riffs, reminiscent of Dylan’s ‘All Along the Watchtower‘, providing a backdrop for Murphy’s instrument flying like a bird gone wild. Some songs remain the same throughout. No need for ebbs and flows. Corner Stop  is one of those.

‘They say that I am Crazy’ is Derek’s rendition of Leonard Cohen. Lyrically and soulfully. Just when you think Derek may be too repetitive, too mundane –  suddenly the chorus picks up the song and delivers some funky riffs from a backseat derived through some devilish excursion into a Blues’ past riddled with guitar bullets.

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‘Down at the Butcher Shop’ and ‘Walk This Way‘ ( not to be confused with Aerosmith’s hit), rock out with a hard guitar and piercing solos by Falls. The great thing about Derek, is his non – shyness to add phrases introducing his directions while he goes. Hooker did it, Muddy Waters did it – now, add Falls to that list. Amid this ‘sound-a-like’ world which we live in, Falls’ tunes remain ‘old school’ yet at the same time – unique.

Like a Rolling Stone‘ and ‘Heading on Down the Road’ provide a slower Bluesy tracking device to the listener. Zeller’s harp and Emilie Desroches’ violin – providing an old – fashioned backdrop to Falls’ songwriting scriptures. Once more – a call goes out to the masters. Obvious that Tommy Falls’ inspiration added up in the plus column.

‘I’m a Strange Nor Ordinary Man‘ is the best song on the album. It’s a hit waiting in the wings. Zeller’s harp kicking off the sort of song heard in old western movies. Suddenly, Falls jumps in and it’s a 1970’s ‘woe is me’ feel good riff. Foot – tapping with an Allman Brothers – type chorus making an easy route to a smile more convenient. Falls’ solo near the end – magical!

‘The Better Side of Me’, the title track is haunting. Side by side with Radiohead’s ‘Creep’. Can ‘Creep’ be explained? You cannot explain ‘The Better side of Me’ either. Just listen and enjoy …

‘Angel Devine’ brings Luc Murphy and his flute back to the front of the line. A happy-go-lucky tune with a hint of The J. Geils Band‘s ‘Angel in Blue‘. Faintly. A great song to listen to while writing, thinking or driving in the night. Non – threatening in a threatening way.

‘King and Queen’ is the weordest song this side of a combination of Tiny Tim and Weird Al. Weird in such a great way. A fantastic song with Sergiu Popa on the accordion. Adding a ‘French ‘ feel straight from the boulevards of Gay Paris. Combined with Falls’ R and B influence and catchy lyrics – ‘King and Queen’; the second best song on the album.

‘Been a Long Time’, ‘derekCherry Love’, ‘I’ll Be There’ and ‘Who Do You Know’ finish the album in Derek Falls’ style. Four ballads which instill passion, romance and possibly the greatest blending of an electric guitar in slow tunes ever. Falls retains the uniqueness to write love songs which others would simply overdo and overdub. Falls simply strums from his heart and that noise is captured by the hearts within earshot.

Derek Falls will be playing most of his new tracks on the terrace at Annies sur La Lac on Friday the 10th of May. He will also be playing covers from the R and B greats.

Manu Pele – one of the best bass players from the Ivory Coast of Africa will be joining him along with a drummer to be named later.

Eat, drink and listen to Derek fill the air with sounds of happiness – old school style …

http://www.annies.ca/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Derek-Falls/127299527355165?ref=ts&fref=ts

http://www.reverbnation.com/derekfalls

http://www.derekdartist.com/

http://music.cbc.ca/#/artists/Derek-Falls

 

Elvis Presley’s Rhythm Guitar Player; Dead at 67.

Rhythm guitar player John Wilkinson, who performed with Elvis Presley more than a thousand times, has died at his home in southwest Missouri. He was 67.

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Elvis and Wilkinson

Wilkinson passed away Friday at his home in Springfield after a fight with cancer, according to a family spokesman and the Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home. Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley offered their “deepest sympathy” to his family, saying in a statement that “John and the beautiful music he made with Elvis will live forever in our hearts.”

Wilkinson first met Elvis Presley when he was 10 years old after sneaking into his dressing room before a show at the Shrine Mosque in Springfield. He amused Presley when he told him, “You can’t play guitar worth a damn.”

Family friend and spokesman Gary Ellison said a Springfield history museum recalled the pair’s meeting in an exhibit that ran until about three weeks ago.

“John loved to tell that story,” Ellison, a fellow musician, said Friday.

After the chance meeting, Wilkinson developed a name for himself as a singer and guitarist, performing with such groups as The New Christy Minstrels.

He was 23 when Presley saw him perform on a television show in Los Angeles in 1968, and asked him to join the TCB Band _ not knowing he was the youngster who insulted his playing a decade earlier, Ellison recalled.

Wilkinson went on to play 1,200 shows as Presley’s rhythm guitar player until the legendary singer’s death in 1977.

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“John considered Elvis more as a friend than as a boss,” Ellison said.

Even after suffering a stroke in 1989 that left him unable to play the guitar, Wilkinson continued singing with fellow musicians, including the old TCB Band (the acronym stood for Taking Care of Business), and also made a living in retail and airline services management.

“He was honestly one of the best acoustic guitar players I’d ever heard,” Ellison recalled, adding that Wilkinson kept in touch with many of the performers from the folk music era in the late 1960s and early `70s.

A statement from the family, released through Ellison, said Wilkinson also was proud of the fact that he never turned down a request for an autograph.

“It didn’t matter if he was meeting adoring fans, joking with Chuck Berry about keeping his B-string in tune, or if he was talking to a neighbor about her dog, people were people to him,” the statement said.a

“Folks were folks. John would look you square in the eye and accept you, just as you were. There was nothing phony about him.”

He is survived by his wife, Terry. A private graveside service is planned.

Gilberto Gil; A Brazilian Mick Jagger?

When a seventy year old man is able to lift people from their seats – over and over and over again …

A flip of the fedora in his direction is not just necessary – it is required.

Photo courtesy of Anne Achan

Gilberto Passos Gil Moreira, born in 1942, is the man responsible for a love – in at Theatre Maisonneuve at Place des Arts last night. Who knew that a man from  Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, could one day be king of Montreal – if only for a couple of days.

Dressed entirely in a white suit and a blue guitar as an accessory, Gil was a presence the moment he took center stage. John Bon Jovi and Stephen Tyler take note. Before the status of Mick Jagger is obtained – an obstacle by the name of Gilberto stands in the way.

Gil is an icon. Gil is a performer and a groundbreaking songwriter. Gil is special.

With his trademark dance moves a la James Brown / Jagger, his falsetto notes arriving on cue and an ability to raise the level of the musicians around him – Gil possesses that ‘something’ which all superstars possess. Elvis Presley had it, Micheal Jackson had it and the man who was at one time his country’s Minister of Culture – is one of the few living who not only ‘have it’, know precisely how to use ‘it’.

Photo courtesy of Anne Achan

That’s exactly what Gil did, utilizing every tool in his white suit jacket to get the audience so involved – the rain outside, a footnote in the long history of Montreal Jazz shows.

Gil utilized his song;  ‘Fe Na Festa’, as an instrument of warmth. A beach – the only thing missing in a theater suddenly alive with rays of musical sunshine. People perked up, they took notice and from that point forward – a sold out theater  were drinking from the palm of the ‘once upon a time’ jailbird’s palm.

‘Vamos Fugir’, ‘Expresso 2222’ and ‘Andar com Fe’ – three songs ripe with a vocal following from the crowd mixed in age, continued a stand-up, sit-down, stand-up roller coaster of a set. The crowd danced, the ushers danced, the band danced and the man himself –  appearing ghostly under a white spotlight, summoned  the only man who may have been able to upstage Gil himself.

Bob Marley appeared. Through song. Particularly – ‘Three Little Birds‘ and ‘No Woman No Cry’. A pair of tunes which rode along within Gil’s four decade repertoire. A duo which delivered smiles to people’s faces and warmth to the coldest of souls.

People were lifted out of their seats over and over again.

Even seventy year old men …

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