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 !

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 !

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 !

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 !

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 !

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 !

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 !

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 !

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 !

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

 

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 !

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

 

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 !

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 !

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Natalie Renee; Just Like Everyone Else …

Ontario-born Natalie Renee is one smart girl …

nrb1

“I am in school right now for  Occupational Physiotherapy.” Explains Natalie from her home near Niagra Falls. ” I am doing the music on the side because it is a safe bet to have a back up plan. My plan is to continue to go to school and do music on the side and whichever one flourishes more – I will go in that direction. I hope the music takes off but until then – I will cover my rear.”

Natalie Renee started to take music seriously when she was twelve years old. She dabbled in musical theater and performed a lot on stage. Discovering that maybe musicals were not her niche – she then attempted opera until she discovered acoustic folk blues.

” I worked with a producer in Toronto who taught me how to write. He taught me how to (lyrically) put everything together. Not to be too wordy and to piece it all coherently. I was all over the place before that …”

Natalie did have it together enough to recognize a beautiful singer and songwriter. The late Eva Cassidy. A woman who Renee believes did not get her due until after her death from Cancer. A woman who Natalie believes had ‘the voice of an angel.’

Eva-Cassidy-r01” I’m also a huge fan of Celine Dion.” Admits Renee. “She is more Pop but I enjoy her performance. No one has a voice like her.Whether you like her music or not.”

Renee has just released her first full C.D. It is called ‘ When the Road Splits in Half’. A thirteen track album containing all original songs. Tunes which are all upbeat – something which Natalie believes is needed right now.

” We need a lot more of these songs these days. Some of the songs are about what I have experienced but others are about what is happening around me. I keep the audience in mind and change the words a bit so it is not always geared towards me. I want people to feel as if the songs are theirs also.”

One song on the new C.D. which Natalie is extremely proud of is the tune; ” Thank You‘. A song Renee wrote when she hit a low. A downpoint which Natalie believes everyone can relate to for various reasons. It was about a time in her life ( and everyone’s ) where they do not know where they are going. . It is a song for everyone.

” The message I am trying to get across is the biggest mistake we make is to stay in our lows. We focus so much on the negative things people do to us and we forget the amazing things that happen in our lives. When I hit a low, I catch myself. I really try to practice that when I start feeling low.”

nrb

Natalie’s songs all come from her head. She then sings it to her bass player and it is brought to life. Natalie is not necessarily in a band but she does play with the same two guys most of the time. Mathew Ross ( bass, guitars, keyboards ) and Mike Fisher ( guitar). Two fellows who help greatly in putting the songs together. In essence – three people who feed off one another.

” Songwriting is something you cannot be selfish about.” Says Natalie. ” It is amazing what can happen when you open yourself to other people. You have to trust the people you work with.”

Currently, because of Natalie’s schoolwork, the gigs are few and far between. One of her most recent gigs was in Montreal, a place that is familiar to the dark-haired talent. A place where many of her relatives dwell …

” I do have a few in the province of Quebec.” Admits Natalie.’ A big proportion of my family are in Montreal, Trois Rivieres and Quebec City. It is nice that I can dip in the Province when I can. As a matter of fact, one of the songs I wrote has a French flavor. It is called Je T’aime. A song which is very special for two very special people.”

She continues.

” I wrote that song with my bass player for my grandparents. They had their 60th wedding anniversary last year and I though it was special because it was a great anniversary to reach at sixty. Not a lot of people hit that mark.”

Natalie played the song ‘live’ for her Grandparents and it was well received. Hugs and kisses aplenty following a Granddaughter’s gift to her elders. A special present for special people.

Natalie Renee is one smart girl …

Visit Natalie’s site here!