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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Natalie Renee; Just Like Everyone Else …

Ontario-born Natalie Renee is one smart girl …


“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.”


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!