Rick Keene Music Scene – Montreal Jazz Festival Review; Jann Arden Keeps Them Laughing

Variety shows once ruled television …

 

Music, comedy and drama – all inclusive in an hour long Sunday night program. A Jann Arden concert is a one woman variation on the above formula as all the aforementioned elements shine within.

From the get – go, Arden is a joker in a self depreciating kinda way. Whether it is her ‘poor choice of pants’, her broken top (fixed quickly by a nearby clamp) or her ‘shot’ at Shania Twain – Arden uses humor as quick as any Canadian can. Oh – and she can sing with the best of them also.

Where No One Knows Me, Wishing That,  At Seventeen, I Would Die For You , Not Your Little Girl .

Just a few of the starters served up between the comedic antidotes. Reminders that a long time ago (it seems), before the TV appearances on the Rick Mercer Report and all the humor Arden is associated with – there was ( and is) a truly talented songwriter. 

 

You Don’t Know Me, Anyone Who Had a Heart (Burt Bacharach cover), To Sir With Love, Could I Be Your Girl and  Little Bird – signified the sounds and vocals that are immediately Arden.

Like Murray, like Celine and like Sarah – Arden has a distinct style and persona in her voice and presence. Like all the above, a certain melancholia takes the reins and pushes the audience into a happy sadness.  A certain comfort in the sounds of Canada. In the sounds of refection.

If one song defines the image of Arden – Insensitive would be a non sensitive choice.

The punters on their feet with so much adoration in their hearts for Arden and the song Insensitve – a group hug was minutes away as the defining moment became just that. Add a backing band filled with so much integrity – it was difficult to not bask in the pure joy of music. Of Arden’s music.

If there was any danger of a show-gone-bad, it was Arden’s temporary explanation of her drinking problem. Something she says has stopped. Up to that point – a roll was upheld and gaining strength. Arden holding the recipe for success. In this day and age, sad stories are aplenty. Arden took what was an escape for the punters and dropped more reality into their problems. Connecting with some yet disconnecting from most who were out to have as good time.

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Montreal Jazz Festival Review; Cecile McLorin Salvant – The Voice of An Angel

A voice is an instrument.

Aside from Lisa Fischer ( Twenty Feet to Stardom, Rolling Stones back-up singer) – vocalists like Cecile MClorin Salvant come around as often as Haley’s comet.

With the same ease as most walk, Salvant traverses the scales, intonations and vocal range as elegantly as a debutante at a coming of age party. Salvant does so with as much effort as flicking a fly away from the dinner plate.

FogEverything I’ve Got Belongs to YouSpoonful and Stepsister’s Lament were just some of the main courses Salvant’s band served to the audience (and Salvant) with precision, texture and a lot of breathing room for Salvant to play. 

Tunes such as Spoonful – familiar yet somehow as fresh as the cool wind blowing in from the St. Lawrence river. Cecile, reaching to depths known only to her as the mask of Howlin’ Wolf’s classic song is removed and tossed aside to display the inner beauty of Salvant.

 

It could be a spoonful of coffee
It could be a spoonful of tea
But one little spoon of your precious love
Is good enough for me

 

Wives and LoversSi J’étais Blanche (Bobby Falk / Leo Lelièvre / Henri Varna), Omie WiseNever Will I Marry and The Ballad of the Shape of Things – a concert whose content made up for all the Divas in the world making millions through auto tune. Salvant enjoying the experience as if no one was in the room …

Darkies Never Dream and Sam Jones’ Blues stood apart with their opposite moods and lyrics. The former – as whimsical as a stroll through the park with cotton candy blowing in your face while the latter; a testament to all those with dreams dancing in their souls. Both songs somewhat biographical in a third person sense from Salvant. A storyteller conveying  fiction into a non fiction audience.

If Cecile Mclorin Salvant’s voice is an instrument – the world’s problems will be fixed with no labor or service charges added on.

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Montreal Jazz Festival Review; Charlotte Gainsbourg / Aliocha

An acoustic guitar and a great voice – sometimes is not enough.

Aliocha Schneider was BORN TO BE AN ARTIST …

All of his siblings are actors and so is he. Like most artisans – the craft can cast shadows on many different walls. Writing and performing songs – an extension of creative output for the twenty – four year old Montrealer.

Vocally – Aliocha, is unique. A gift has been bestowed upon him and in a world filled with ‘voices’ – Aliocha’s distinct delivery and tone immediately gain notice from the virgin punter. The original tunes come from the heart. Raw pain emerges and transports the messages into waiting wounds.

 Volodia Schneider (Aliocha’s  brother) on percussion, guitarist Christian Sean and bassist Tom Tartarin lend expert (albeit simplistic) accompaniment to Aliocha’s catalog. A stack of songs which require some peaks and arcs. Like most young artists today  – Aliocha’s sound contains melancholic undertones. The set-list ingredients are similar and contain nothing to lift and drop the audience. No roller coaster at this amusement park except for the ‘surprise’ visit by Charlotte Cardin in a ‘return the favor’ moment from last year’s festival when Cardin invited Aliocha on stage with her.   

Artists have something they want to say. To deliver their pain or profound wisdom to the masses. Aliocha does just that yet being an actor – he must learn to implement the same techniques as Alfred Hitchcock did if he wishes to achieve musical success.

Suspense, intrigue, drama and comedy. A show / career is a story – not one scene.

Charlotte Gainsbourg

Much like Carla Bruni – Gainsbourg is an actress turned singer and songwriter. Unlike Bruni, Charlotte creates unique songs and sounds. Combined with a beautiful voice and ( in this day and age) a flamboyant stage – Charlotte’s spectacle seemed appealing. Seemed …

Much like her opening act, song after song became one long song. If not for the stoppages – where one tune stopped and the other commenced; a conundrum took place for the uninitiated. Unless you are the most acute fan. Unless you are Charlotte Gainsbourg (or her band).

Combining Synth Pop and Rave like beats is unique and interesting. Melodic ballads are included with finesse and power. Art for art’s sake on display and perhaps Charlotte is to her audience what Buddy Guy is to the Blues. Given the nature of her success and providing tunes for TV shows and films – Gainsbourg’s music is not meant to be enjoyed live.

Gainsbourg is a talent on keys,  in vocals and songwriting. Her ability to grasp audiences with her ‘under the top’ style is refreshing when ‘Divas’ are overtly front and center as front-women. Charlotte and her band convey music for what is is. No drama from a woman known for her dramatic roles. An enjoyable experience if film studies with musical scores are of interest.

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Montreal Jazz Festival Preview; The Best of The Blues

Having the blues is a good thing …

 

The only type of music that collects down-to-earth people. The only real genre within music that connects all walks of life to it’s fan base. Arguably – the cornerstone of all music.

 

Beginning June 28th on the Hyundai / CBC/Radio-Canada Stage (Parterre symphonique, corner Clark and De Montigny) – The Blues will be alive everynight.

Check out these ‘Can’t Miss Shows !

June 28 / Endrick & The Sandwiches — Singer, guitarist and harmonica player Endrick and his triple-decker Sandwiches dig deeply into the joys of delta blues and boogie-woogie, with the occasional foray into ’60s Brit rock.

June 30 / Justin Saladino Band — Nominated this year as Best New Artist at the Maple Blues Awards in Toronto, Justin Saladino has everything it takes to be one of the greats: precision and melody.

July 1 / Mike Goudreau Band —the American guitarist returns to Canada, his father’s native land, with songs from Alternate Takes – Vol 1, an anthology of unreleased tracks recorded throughout his career.

July 3 / Rob Lutes Band — For over 20 years, Rob Lutes and his group have whipped out a workingman’s rock-blues worthy of Springsteen. A Festival regular, Lutes brings us an exclusive preview of Walk in the Dark, his 7th album due in September.

July 4 / Dwane Dixon — A true ambassador for the genuine blues-rock of the ’60s and ’70s, Dwane Dixon pours body and soul into the genre.

July 7 / Orb Mellon — Orb Mellon – nickname of dynamic Connecticut musician Mike Malone – describes his music as “the blues in all its primeval glory,” an epic fusion of acoustic and electric. An artist you can’t afford to miss!

 

Soirées blues Hyundai series, 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.

July 1 / Diunna Greenleaf Raised on gospel in her native Houston, Texas, this fiery blues diva boasts a complete mastery of the genre.

July 2 / They Call Me Rico — After two critically-acclaimed albums and a live record, one-man band Frédéric Pellerin, alias They Call Me Rico, returns stronger than ever this year with a 4th release, This Time.

July 3 / Lachy Doley Group — Hailed as the “Jimi Hendrix of the Hammond Organ”, the hyper Lachy Doley delivers an absolute psychedelic-rock knockout alongside renowned drummer Jackie Barnes and bassist Joel Burton.

July 5 / Christone Kingfish Ingram A blues guitarist right out of Mississippi, this artist remakes the standards of blues and rock, making them utterly his own and electrifying fans with his passion.

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Montreal’s Next Super-Group; East of Sunday

In sports, music and all forms of art and business – every ten years or so,  a new superstar emerges.

The band, East of Sunday, just happen to be from Montreal and they will ensure another Montreal group (The Damn Truth) won’t get lazy. If so – Montreal will have a new crowned champion in the Rock n Roll scene sooner rather than later .

East of Sunday will rock you !

Four guys who know how to combine sensibility, hard Rock, Country, melodies and craftsmanship into one tight package. All the ingredients necessary to make a career in a very tough music business.

Derek Wiltshire ( guitar,vocal and songwriter) leads the band with forcefulness. Projecting his voice with integrity and power. His guitar – equally powerful with acute riffs and stingy solos. Tunes such as Cold Heart Killer, Treat Me Right  and Anti Valentine instill a message that East of Sunday are real. Derek Wiltshire is real.

Brothers Michael (drums) and Ryan (Bass) Zinck hold the rhythm section down with enough swing to create a sound sadly missing in Rock n Roll these days. None of those monotone beats heard so much these days. The brothers know how to create energy while grounding the sound of East of Sunday with finesse. Ryan slapping the bass beyond normal and implementing funk into Rock.

Songs such as She Drive Me / Wandering Star , Comfort Creature, Nightmare, Struck a Chord, Stay and Play and Superstition – create valleys , peaks and abysses. Giving the audience a journey filled with incredible highs and primal lows. Much of that is due to guitarist Serge LeBlanc with his feel and touch. Knowing when to breathe and when to hold the notes inside. A perfect partner to Wiltshire as the pair trade riffs and solos. Different enough but similar to keep East of Sunday as a whole.

With their first taste of a big club show under their guitar straps, quality songwriting and musicianship beyond their years as a group  – East of Sunday are on the brink of leading Montreal Rock n Roll back to the future.

Once radio gets a hold of them – there’s only one way to go …

West of Sunday …

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Montreal International Jazz Festival; Free Outdoor Shows!

TD Stage (Place des Festivals)
In addition to its 2 major events, the Place des Festivals hosts larger-than-life parties in thePerformances TD series at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.
June 28 / !!! (Chk Chk Chk) — This dance-punk-indie-rock combo is already 20 years into a fab career. They’re the logical follow-on from Talking Heads, PIL and New Order.
June 29 / BoulevardsIncarnating the funk revival in a direct lineage from Prince and Rick James, Jamil Rashad aka Boulvards gets everyone dancing from the title of his debut album Groove! on out.
June 30 / Spanish Harlem Orchestra — Hailing from the famed Latin New York neighborhood they name check, this salsa outfit returns to thrill salsa fans with a Nuyorican party they’ll never forget!
July 1 / The Suffers — Authentic jazz soul-funk from a band straight from Texas. Led by the charismatic Kam Franklin, this Gulf Coast band relentlessly spreads its contagious groove.
July 2 / Nomadic Massive — The Montréal-based collective assembles members from all backgrounds to create a unique rap-jazz fusion with lyrics in English, French, Créole, Spanish and Arabic.
July 4 / Hannah Williams & The Affirmations — “Deep soul’s funkiest new diva” has the gift of a golden voice that rings out like a bell and charms everyone, including Jay-Z, who took her on as his protégée.
July 5 / Too Many Zooz — In 2014, they whipped up a buzz in the New York Subway with their supercharged jazz fusion and unhinged look. Since then, the trio has racked up the concerts and released the dynamic Subway Gawdz, perfectly capturing their completely wild style.
July 6 / Megative — Exciting new Brooklyn combo Megative lays down an intense dub sound deeply rooted in the British punk and reggae of the late ’70s, laced with cool influences from the New York scene. Experience the finest Canadian jazz!
Gammes TD series at 6 p.m.
June 28 / Joe Sullivan Big Band — Now a major presence on the Canadian jazz scene, this Big Band has released 3 albums and numbers some of the finest musicians in Québécois jazz among its membership.
June 29 / Hilario Duran trio with special guest Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez — Leading a trio, brilliant Cuban pianist Hilario Duran showcases his excellence on his instrument, accompanied by virtuoso drummer and percussionist Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez for a moment of unprecedented sun-soaked intensity.
June 30 / Elise LeGrow — On her latest album, cleverly titled Playing Chess, the young thirty something with the magnetic look pays tribute to the songs of the famed Chicago label Chess Records and that ’50s era.
July 1 / Jerry Granelli — A major player in modern jazz, famed drummer Jerry Granelli thrills fans with his precise, impulsive beats, leaving plenty of room for improvisation.
July 4 / Annie G. Roy — Winner of this year’s contest organized by Fondation evenko (inviting young performers and singer songwriters aged 18-25). Not yet 20, the singer dreams of becoming a renowned jazz-woman. She’s already off and running!
July 4 / Annie G. Roy — Winner of this year’s contest organized by Fondation evenko (inviting young performers and singer songwriters aged 18-25). Not yet 20, the singer dreams of becoming a renowned jazz-woman. She’s already off and running!
Rio Tinto Stage (corner Ste. Catherine and Jeanne-Mance)
At noon and 3 p.m., youth proves its mettle in the JazzFest des jeunes series spotlighting highschool and college ensembles.  At 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., Les Soirées jazzy Rio Tinto series unfolds the full range of music derived from jazz.
June 28 / Banda Magda — Led by Greek singer Magda Giannikou, this talented multicultural group grooves into the bossa nova repertoire, elevated by her sublime voice.
June 29 / Davina and The Vagabonds — Davina and the Vagabonds roll in with a distinctively New Orleans jazz spiced up with a pinch of burlesque verve from the sparkling Davina.
June 30 / ECHLO — With her unique voice and orchestral soul pop style, Charles hit the big time from the release of her debut EP Little Green Bud in 2010.
July 1 / Deva Mahal — The daughter of legendary blues man Taj Mahal plunges into the biz with her first release Run Deep produced by Scott Jacoby, steeped in soul and R&B and laced with the dub sounds of her youth.
July 2 / Barbra Lica — Nominated for a 2017 Juno Award for Jazz Album of the Year for I’m Still Learning, the singer invites us into her original jazz-accented pop world.
July 3 / Sarah McKenzie — A genuine revelation in her native land, the Australian pianist and singer represents the new face of the jazz scene with her swing and blues accents and suave voice.
July 4 / Stéphane Moraille — The iconic voice of Bran Van 3000, and especially classic single Drinking in L.A. The artist returns to the spotlight with the album Daïva: colorful vocal jazz where Créole meets English.
July 5 / David Myles — A native of New Brunswick, singer-songwriter, David Myles unfolds a sound often called folk-jazz. An eclectic, prolific artist, he’s also the voice heard on smash hit Inner Ninja by Canadian rapper Classified.
July 6 / Hannah Williams — Accompanied by her Affirmations, assembling the finest English jazz musicians of the the moment, the singer sweeps us into her entrancing whirlwind of soul.
July 7 / M. Ward — The music of American singer Matthew Stephen Ward is a perfect example of subtle indie folk, as captured on his album More Rain, at once melancholy and soothing.
Club Jazz Casino de Montréal (on De Bleury, below Ste. Catherine)
A true favorite Festival fan spot for its warm ambiance, fun spirit and three series of concerts.  Kick things off with Apéro Casino de Montréal at 6 p.m.
June 28 / Zara McFarlane — With her warm, spellbinding voice, Zara unfurls a poignant jazz steeped in influences from reggae to pop, folk to blues.
June 29 / Mario Allard Quintet — Montréal saxophonist Mario Allard is back with the aptly-named Diaporama, a 2nd album recorded with a quintet, where inspired improv and long solos act out a breathless back-and-forth.
June 30 / Trio Jonathan Turgeon with Alex Dodier — Accompanied by excellent saxophonist Alex Dodier, the group will unveil original pieces from a pair of albums, including the latest Les rêves errants released in 2017.
July 1 / The Ernesto Cervini Turboprop — In his third visit to the Festival, the consummate bandleader and sought-after collaborator invites us to experience the unique Turboprop, his latest critically-acclaimed album.
July 2 / Simon Legault Quintette — A Festival regular, the Montréal guitarist returns at the head of a quintet with Hypnagogia Polis, his 3rd album.
July 3 / Thomas Carbou trio — Eight-string guitar virtuoso, this Montréal musician describes his sound as electro-jazz and draws inspiration from the four corners of the planet, equally from traditional music, folk and chanson.
July 4 / Charles Trudel — The pianist recently launched his first, Fruit, a gamble that paid off for an experienced musician who draws inspiration from the hard bop period, with an added flavouring of the post-modern.
July 5 / Robi Botos Trio — Juno Award winner in 2016 for Jazz Album of the Year (solo), the Hungarian-born pianist and keyboardist returns to the Festival with a decidedly original: in a trio accompanied by his brother on bass and his father on drums.
July 6 / Le Jaguermalsen with guest Christine Jensen — After assembling at McGill University, the members of this group present original compositions drawing on a vast range of styles. For the occasion, they welcome talented Montréal saxophonist Christine Jensen.
July 7 / John Roney & Tevet Sela —The River is the result of an inspired collaboration between pianist John Roney and saxophonist Tevet Sela. The accomplished musicians bring out the best in one another while transporting us on the wings of their exquisitely tranquil jazz.
Brunantes Casino de Montréal series at 8 p.m.
June 28 / Shake Stew — Shake Stew is the Austrian jazz group of the moment. This unique septet is conquering the music world with its hypnotic blend of Afrobeat and jazz grooves created by a combo of two drummers and two double bassists!
June 29 / Rémi Panossian — The virtuoso French pianist, a leading figure in the renewal of contemporary jazz, unveils the deeply intimate album DO, featuring original compositions and recorded live in a club in Toulouse, where the musician has held court for over 12 years. Between nostalgia and a new departure.
June 30 / Jazzlab — Since their creation in 2003, this collective of the finest players in experimental Québécois jazz has been innovating and creating in a permanent whirlwind of musical ideas.
July 1 / Gwyneth Herbert — The British singer delivers an array of her finest songs with her moving voice and oh-so-British poise.
July 2 / Min Rager Quartet — Born in Seoul, pianist Min Rager launched her career in South Korean jazz clubs before moving to Montréal. In 2003, she formed her own group to perform her originals, evolving into one of the most undeniably talented jazz pianists in Canada.
July 3 / Rafael Zaldivar & The Afro-Cuban Revival A Festival regular, this Cuban pianist now living in Montréal invites us to experience his Afro-Cuban folk sound and warm rhythms.
July 4 / MTL HB5 — MTL Hard Bop Five, a quintet of Montréal musicians transporting us back to the golden age of hard bop with original compositions heavily influenced by such major artists as Art Blakey, Donald Byrd and Horace Silver.
July 5 / Razalaz The Razalaz project unveils a jazz/funk repertoire laid down by a passionate sextet led by pianist and composer Oliver Salazar. With an electric rhythm section and powerhouse melodic section, their delicious blend gets everyone to boogie.
July 6 / Christine Tassan et les Imposteures — A devoted fan of European gypsy jazz, the French guitarist accompanied by her “imposteures” presents music inspired by the immortal Django.
July 7 / Stéphane Wrembel — A reference point in gypsy jazz, this guitarist released The Django Experiment III in January, the final chapter in a triptych dedicated to the undisputed master of the genre, Django Reinhardt.
Escales nocturnes Casino de Montréal series, 10 p.m. (90 min.).
June 28 and 29 / Papagroove Collecting Montréal’s finest jazz musicians, this band unfurls a sound they dub Afro-funk, blending the best of funk, rock, soul and jazz.
June 30 / Ghost Note feat. MonoNeon Drummer Robert Sput Searight and percussionist Nate Werth, both members of supercharged group Snarky Puppy, welcome American bassist MonoNeon for a deeply rhythmic, groovy musical moment.
July 1, 2 and 3 / LowDown Brass Band Originally from Chicago, LowDown Brass Band is a horn section deeply rooted in the New Orleans Second Linetradition, with a touch of the modern.
July 4 and 5 / Clay & Friends — Pros of musical improvisation and freestyle, Mike Clay and his band play with words equally skilfully in English and French. Their latest album, Conformopolis, extends a bridge from the mountains of the Maghreb to the streets of Montréal with its cutting-edge urban lyrics.
July 6 and 7 / Fredy V — Impossible to resist the charisma of Fredy V once he takes over the stage. On his debut album, #ItTakesAVillage, the multi-instrumentalist – born in Washington DC and now a resident of Montréal – unveils a danceable, inspired electro-funk.

A selection of bands zigzag across the site throughout the Festival run, offering non-stop musical entertainment. Enjoy fab combos including The Heavyweights Brass Band, Les Royal Pickles, Streetnix, Le Dixieband, Swing Tonique.

World Stage (corner Clark and De Maisonneuve)
The Grooves du monde series takes off every evening at 8 p.m. on its musical tour of the world.
June 28 / Elida Almeida — Originally from Cape Verde, this talented singer conjures up the moments of joy and suffering that mark life in her native land. On her second album, Kebrada, the artist declares her African allegiance through Cape Verdean rhythms laced with Latin accents.
June 29 / Noubi Trio Based on traditional West African music blended with influences from folk to jazz, this trio led by Noubi Ndiaye takes us on a genuinely mystical and exotic musical journey.
June 30 / Florence K, EstrellasAt her piano, accompanied by her loyal musicians, Florence K transports us to the Caribbean with a new album laced with Cuban and Latin influences, Estrellas, written and produced with Alex Cuba.
July 1 / Roberto Lopez, Criollo Electrik — In a trio, Colombian guitarist Roberto Lopez unveils his album Criollo Electrik — electrified Créole — percolating with the varied trad influences of his musicians, for a tasty Melting Pot sound.
July 2 / INUS ASO Reggae Band — Live, this combo shifts between classics by the pope of reggae, Bob Marley, and original compositions in direct lineage from the master.
July 3 / Jupiter & Okwess — Modernity and tradition collide in an explosive musical cocktail! Discovered by the leader of Gorillaz, this group led by the charismatic Jupiter Bokondji shakes up a powerful, captivating Afro-jazz.
July 4 / Altin Gün — Dutch musician Jasper Verhulst’s group Altin Gün ­– Turkish for “golden age” – revives the greatest music of the late ’60s and early ’70s of that faraway Bosphorus land.
July 5 / Lo’Jo — For thirty years, these tireless street artists have spread their dreamlike music to the four corners of the planet. It’s a strange, poetic world fusing typically French chanson with gypsy influences.
July 6 and 7 / Lakou Mizik — Founded in 2010 in the wake of the Haitian earthquake as a statement of resilience, this group of players from diverse backgrounds and generations lays out a sound based on Traditional Haitian music (Rasin) laced with elements of rap and dancehall.
When electronica meets tropical rhythms… things get hot-hot-hot! TheElectropical series at 10 p.m.
June 28 / Boogát Blending hip-hop with Latin music like Cumbia, Salsa and Reggaeton, the Boogát sound stands out as unique on the musical landscape.
June 29 / Agua Negra — Cutting-edge hip-hop with neo-Latin soul accents. The group takes the stage with an exclusive unveiling of tracks from their new album, six years after their eponymous debut. A musical voyage away from the everyday!
June 30 / Teke Teke — Originally conceived as a tribute to legendary Japanese guitarist Takeshi ‘Terry’ Terauchi, this group swiftly evolved into an original outfit with an album, Line Art, crossing traditional Japanese music with modern elements like shoegaze, post-rock and surf.
July 1 / La Chiva Gantiva — It’s a unique jazz fusion with Afro-Colombian accents. Last November, the group released its 4th album Despegue, (Spanish for “takeoff”) – consider yourselves forewarned!
July 2 / Afrikana Soul Sister Afrikana Soul Sister is the point at which Western techno and traditional African music meet. It’s a delightful blend of two musical worlds, born under the impetus of Jean-François Lemieux.
July 3 / Gato Preto Describing their sound as “AfroFuturist”, this group plunges us into a musical trance woven by powerful electronica and hypnotic African percussion.
July 4 / Jupiter & Okwess — Modernity and tradition collide in an explosive musical cocktail! Discovered by the leader of Gorillaz, this group led by the charismatic Jupiter Bokondji shakes up a powerful, captivating Afro-jazz.
July 5 / Da Cruz — Energetically blending styles as varied electronica, funk, dancehall, Afrobeat, kuduru, jazz and samba, Da Cruz has crowds worldwide up and dancing.
July 6 / Pierre Kwenders –– Artist Pierre Kwenders effortlessly moves from R&B to futurist hip-hop, with his Congolese influences always in the picture, as on his latest release MAKANDA at the End of Space, the Beginning of Time. Amazing!
July 7 / Sweet Crude — This septet blows out a sound in the purest Louisiana tradition, lacing it with modern sounds.
Hyundai / CBC/Radio-Canada Stage (Parterre symphonique, corner Clark and De Montigny)
The annual must-see and must-be for true blues fans: the famed Parterre Stage! The action kicks into blues gear with Spectacles blues Hyundai series at 7 p.m.
June 28 / Endrick & The Sandwiches — Singer, guitarist and harmonica player Endrick and his triple-decker Sandwiches dig deeply into the joys of delta blues and boogie-woogie, with the occasional foray into ’60s Brit rock.
June 29 / Riot and The Blue Devils — They sold their souls to the blues…  and in a puff of smoke, here they are with original tracks including hellacious songs from their recent 4th album The Roxboro Sessions released in February.
June 30 / Justin Saladino Band — Nominated this year as Best New Artist at the Maple Blues Awards in Toronto, Justin Saladino has everything it takes to be one of the greats: precision and melody.
July 1 / Mike Goudreau Band — The American guitarist returns to Canada, his father’s native land, with songs from Alternate Takes – Vol 1, an anthology of unreleased tracks recorded throughout his career.
July 2 / Delgres — Blues in Créole – that’s the latest wild project from guitarist Pascal Danae, here with a trio for a trip through delta blues, blues-rock and Caribbean laments steeped in the life-affirming brass of New Orleans.
July 3 / Rob Lutes Band — For over 20 years, Rob Lutes and his group have whipped out a workingman’s rock-blues worthy of Springsteen. A Festival regular, Lutes brings us an exclusive preview of Walk in the Dark, his 7th album due in September.
July 4 / Dwane Dixon — A true ambassador for the genuine blues-rock of the ’60s and ’70s, Dwane Dixon pours body and soul into the genre.
July 5 / Conor Gains — A precocious talent from Ontario, Conor Gains grew up with a guitar in his hand. He and his band roll in to get us grooving to blues accented with soul and folk.
July 6 / Layla Zoe — Often compared to Janis Joplin for her timbre de and vocal power, Layla Zoe is an internationally acclaimed artist.
July 7 / Orb Mellon — Orb Mellon – nickname of dynamic Connecticut musician Mike Malone – describes his music as “the blues in all its primeval glory,” an epic fusion of acoustic and electric. An artist you can’t afford to miss!
Next, Soirées blues Hyundai series, 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.
June 28 / Steve Strongman — Award-winning Canadian bluesman Steve Strongman pays tribute to blues-rock as a living, evolving form, as amply evidenced on his latest album No Time Like Now.
June 29 / Bryan Lee — A cornerstone of the celebrated Bourbon Street scene in New Orleans, the man known as “Braille Blues Daddy” masters the genre like nobody else. A regular in prestigious venues and festivals for almost 40 years, he has the history of the blues at his fingertips.
June 30 / Angel Forrest For almost 20 years, this powerhouse artist has unleashed her full, raw voice all over the world, from Canada to Mexico to Japan, thrilling true fans of the blues.
July 1 / Diunna Greenleaf — Raised on gospel in her native Houston, Texas, this fiery blues diva boasts a complete mastery of the genre.
July 2 / They Call Me Rico — After two critically-acclaimed albums and a live record, one-man band Frédéric Pellerin, alias They Call Me Rico, returns stronger than ever this year with a 4th release, This Time.
July 3 / Lachy Doley Group — Hailed as the “Jimi Hendrix of the Hammond Organ”, the hyper Lachy Doley delivers an absolute psychedelic-rock knockout alongside renowned drummer Jackie Barnes and bassist Joel Burton.
July 4 / Steve Hill — Renowned for his fiery live performances, multi-instrumentalist and virtuoso Steve Hill impresses with his technical mastery and musicality alike.
July 5 / Christone Kingfish Ingram A blues guitarist right out of Mississippi, this artist remakes the standards of blues and rock, making them utterly his own and electrifying fans with his passion.
July 6 / Thornetta Davis — Nicknamed the “Queen of Detroit Blues”, the fiery Thornetta Davis fully deserves her title. A born stage performer, she electrifies crowds with her powerhouse voice and mastery.
July 7 / RL Boyce — A true bluesman straight outta Mississippi! With his laid-back style and fretboard skill, RL Boyce transports us back to the root of modern music.
Place Heineken (corner Ste. Catherine and De Bleury)
An absolutely essential Festival destination with its lovely terrasse, bar and continuous music into the wee hours.
From 1 p.m., Envolées du Festival series hosts the best university combos in Québec. (Encore at 5 p.m. in Complexe Desjardins)
At 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., the Lounge Heineken series bridges blues, rock’n’roll, rockabilly, country, swing, folk, bluegrass and much more!
June 28 / Sam Tucker — Semi-finalist on La Voix in 2017, this British native now living in Québec recently dropped a debut single, Powder Fame, with a gritty, powerful blues-rock style, driven by catchy riffs and strong melodies!
June 29 / Declan O’Donovan — This modern troubadour transports us back to the Prohibition era with his jazzily accented folk.
June 30 / Bharath and his Rhythm Four — Based in Montréal, this quartet led by guitarist, singer and harmonica blower Bharath Rajakumar pays tribute to the blues, swing and rock of the ’50s.
July 1 / The Mighty Swells — The cats in this 100% instrumental surf rock combo blast out an array of tracks from such genre pioneers as The Ventures and Link Wray, alongside originals that do their idols proud.
July 2 / The Wood Shredders — Take a trip through ’30-’50s era Americana with this multi-instrumentalist duo. The tandem explores the bluegrass, folk, Cajun and blues repertoire, picking up pretty much anything with strings on it.
July 3 and 4 / Aurora Nealand & The Royal Roses — Led by sparkling saxophonist and singer Aurora Nealand, this combo draws its repertoire from Sidney Bechet, Django Reinhart and the traditional jazz of New Orleans.
July 5 / Kepa — This former pro skateboarder from France traded in the steel stairway railings for steel guitar strings, delivering an epic, cutting-edge modern blues.
July 6 / Orb Mellon — Orb Mellon – nickname of dynamic Connecticut musician Mike Malone – describes his music as “the blues in all its primeval glory,” an epic fusion of acoustic and electric. An artist you can’t afford to miss!
July 7 / Seb’s Music Shop — It’s one-man-band Sébastien Plante, exploring the soul of blues and rock’n’roll through the songbooks of Robert Johnson, Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters and Jimmy Reed.
The fun rolls on from midnight with Sessions Heineken series!
June 28 and 29, July 1 to 7 / Israel Proulx — Calling all toe-tappers and rug-cutters, singer Israel Proulx invites you all to one fiery rockabilly throwdown.
June 30 / Wasiu — Wasiu assembles the brightest Montréal stars under one roof for a decadent soirée of hip-hop bristling with trenchant rhymes and contagious rhymes.
M2 (59 Ste. Catherine E.)
The smallest of venues, the wildest of parties! The Nightcap Heineken series at midnight.
June 28 and July 2 / Dunes — It’s a brilliant project assembling of some of the most accomplished musicians in Montréal, including Jesse MacCormack, current and former members of Plaster and Afrodizz, Betty Bonifassi, Stefie Shock and Coyote Bill. Together, they weave a desert blues crossed with African grooves and twangy guitars.
June 29 and 30, July 1 / Kalmunity — This artist collective gathers poets, singers, an MC, DJ, dancers and musicians around an improvisational concept of live music described as live organic improv. Featuring a genuine potpourri with multicultural influences including R&B, hip-hop, Afrobeat, funk, reggae, soul and jazz!
July 3 and 4 / Surprise concert!                                    
July 5 to 7 / #LECYPHER — Famed for their #LECYPHER jam sessions, this eclectic group of Montréal musicians, singers, rappers, beatboxers and an MC invite everyone to bring their own instruments!

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Carvin Jones; Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself Montreal !

It is easy to live in a cocoon and be oblivious to the outside world.

An almost incestuous mindset takes place as the ‘homies’ live and breathe with blinders on as they traverse the musical path they know.

Guess what? Outside of the pond – there are bigger fish. Barracudas and sharks.

Out of fear, the leaders of the blind – lash out to not only protect their territory, to sustain the ‘legend in our own minds’ mentality.

A sad state of mind as barracudas and sharks can be beautiful to observe. Menacing yet colorful and vibrant as they glide effortlessly through the troubled pond with ease and finesse.

Ladies and gentlemen – behold a shark …

 

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Conductor Aram Demirjian Gets ‘Animated’ About DreamWorks.

Marriages make strange bedfellows.

Cinema and music have a large and interesting history together. Hollywood is filled with smoke and mirrors yet when the fog lifts – it is the images and the music that remain.

In this case – the images are the beloved animation films that we have grown to love. Movies such as Shrek and Kung Fu Panda have embedded their consciences into ours through state of the art CGI imagery and symphonic music.

Please listen below as conductor Aram Demirjian explains his role in bringing a live symphony orchestra to The DreamWorks animation as well as The Montreal international Jazz festival.

Aram?

 

 

Get Tickets Here for DreamWorks !

Visit Aram Here !

 

 

East of Sunday are opening for Carvin Jones June 21st at Club Soda

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Midge Ure and Paul Young Montreal Review

Midge Ure and Paul Young are musical figures you cannot avoid.

Midge wrote Do They Know It’s Christmas and co founded Band – Aid and Live – Aid along with Sir Bob Geldof. He was also part of Thin Lizzy and Ultravox. The former a band which cut new ground in a decade where many artists sounded the same.

Paul Young, although not a hit-maker on the same level of some of his contemporaries such as George Michael, did have one of the most played videos and songs of the 1980’s ; ‘ Every time You Go Away ‘.

The pair seem a good match to hit the road together. On their own – in a landscape filled with short attention spans and ‘ what have you done for me lately’ mentalities; the concerts would be difficult to sell on their solo status’.

Who’d a thunk the double bill would suffer the same fate in Montreal?

Ure was fine. Churning out the tunes he  is known for and backed by a state of the art band. Ultravox’s Passing Strangers, his solo offering Dear God and his debonair hit; Dancing with Tears in My Eyes.

Ure was at ease on stage with the confidence of a musician who doesn’t need the gigs to pay his internet bill. His humor as fresh as the light dancing off his head. Even  a few technical problems couldn’t dim his enthusiasm for being on stage and doing what he loves.

Paul Young was a completely different story.

If you have not seen Young since those nights on a  couch eating Doritos and watching Friday Night Videos – guess what? Young has aged just like you. Greyer and more wrinkled but the body is in shape as the  ‘brand’ must be kept on track. After all – nobody wants another Elvis circa 1976 …

It’s a great thing that Young looks young- ish because his voice ( at least last night) sounds as if someone woke him up and said ‘get on stage’.

Backed by the tight band that held Ure together, Young struggled from the get go through his set-list.

Some People, Love For the Common People and No Parlez – a few of the songs that sounded mismatched and out of sync. Young trying his best to grab the tones and the moods for each one. His vocals throwing all of the tightness behind him into some sort of an abyss. Remember those old Godzilla movies that were overdubbed into English? Paul Young’s performance was almost as comical. His voice set the unity of the band off by a nano second.

One of the covers Young performed; Slipped, Tripped and Fell in Love, at least relaxed the musical ear as the band and Paul slipped – but did not trip, into a funky Bluesy jam. It’s very hard to screw up the Blues so there appeared to be greatness lurking in the shadows. Unfortunately not …

Ure joined Young for a musically great rendition of The Boys are Back in Town – a tune by Ure’s ‘other’ band. With the help of another singer on stage – Young was adequate.

Those few who were in attendance at Club Soda last night left with one song in their heads which Young performed sounding nothing like his former self.

Unfortunately – most altered the lyrics …

‘Every time you go away – please do not come back again …’

 

East of Sunday are opening for Carvin Jones June 21st at Club Soda

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Tune in Thursdays from 7 pm to 10pm

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Rick Keene Music Scene – 2018 Montreal International Jazz Festival Preview; Dr. Lonnie Smith – A Legend Among Us.

Legends are few and far between …

Dr. Lonnie Smith is one of them.

The word is tossed around too loosely based upon false fame. The good doctor has earned his status for performing  and creating music for over five decades.

 

He has played with everyone in the Jazz world that is notable and in 2017 – Smith received the highest honor in the Jazz world. The NEA Jazz Masters Award.

His sense of musicianship is second to none and he continues touring and creating with an antenna to the sky …

 

Please listen below to part one of my chat with Dr. Lonnie Smith in advance of his upcoming appearance as part of The Montreal International Jazz Festival.

What’s up Doc?

 

Get Tickets Here For Dr. Lonnie Smith!

 

 

East of Sunday are opening for Carvin Jones June 21st at Club Soda

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Rick Keene Music Scene – 2018 Montreal International Jazz Festival Preview; Ranee Lee Is All Set for Her 39th Performance !

Ranee Lee is class …

If you Google the name, the accomplishments are long and outstanding. Ranee loves and cherishes the accolades yet there are things which are more important to her than others.

What are they you ask?

Well, listen below and you may find out.

Ranee?

 

 

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East of Sunday are opening for Carvin Jones June 21st at Club Soda

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Rick Keene Music Scene – East of Sunday; Montreal’s Next Rock n’ Roll Superstars

There are bands that buy their way to the top. They use fans and family with little musical knowledge to substitute content with popularity.

Then there are East of Sunday …

East of Sunday are a hard working group of guys who also have the content to go places. Gigging and paying their dues while getting more and more notoriety because of the songwriting and musical prowess. More and more opportunities via truth through musical abilities.

Please listen below to my chat with Derek Wiltshire and hear some fresh Rock n’ Roll!

Derek? What’s up?

Visit East of Sunday Here !

East of Sunday are opening for Carvin Jones June 21st at Club Soda

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Rick Keene Music Scene -The Brooks Take Montreal By Force !

Even if you did not dance – your body hurts this morning …

Following a very short but extremely successful entrance into the Montreal music scene, The Brooks have funked their way to the top of the heap.

Their resume includes opening up for The Doobie Brothers and Kool and The Gang. Two huge blowouts at the Montreal International Jazz Festival are also easy on the ears on a rhythmic C.V.

On Tuesday night – the band (and what seemed like the entire city of Montreal), raised the roof at L’Astral and cemented their position as this city’s soon-to-be next Arcade Fire on the global scene.

The situation was an EP launch. Their new disc Freewheelin’ Walking, a colorful in-your-face injection of Funk, R&B and Soul. The band showcased the tunes and judging by the reaction of the sold out club, a second pressing of the vinyl album is on the schedule for this week.

Led by Montreal veteran singer / instrumentalist Alan Prater – The Brooks on record and live are acutely layered. The eight piece group combine just enough spaces with just enough solos to allow each song to breathe fire into the band and the crowd. Fire requires oxygen and Prater (himself likable as the front man with enough confidence to lead but enough humbleness to enjoy the moments) is the lifeline of the raging funky inferno. No amount of water could douse the heat provided by The Brooks live.

In a music scene void of swing in all genres – The Brooks may be the recipe required to draw musicians away from the melancholy kitchen which economically and socially is dictating the stripped down main courses served up on a much too frequent basis. Tunes such as Live Free, Where the Party At, Freewheelin’ Walking and Priceless ( from the new EP) are all set to be programmed on any DJ’s playlist.

All set to be distributed through all platforms into the buying public.

If DJs know what they are doing of course …

Visit The Brooks Here !

Buy Jim Henman’s Song

Some of These Children Here !

Fifty percent of proceeds to Boys and Girls Club Halifax

Visit Jim Here !

Visit April Wine Here

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Tune in Thursdays from 7 pm to 10pm

Rick Keene Music Scene

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Play 4 Keeps; Playing for Keeps – Funk Wise!

Play 4 Keeps are a Montreal-based band who are deep in a funk. That is a good thing …

Much has been said (too much), of the music from past generations being better than today.  Now – with a band such as Play 4 Keeps, it is nice to see a new (er) generation being influenced by  a new (er) generation.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are a huge influence on bassist Dimitri Lappos, guitarist Phil Boucher and drummer Chris Butz. The young teaching the young.

Please listen as Chris and Dimitri talk about their influences, the albums and ‘monkies in their bedsheets’ …

Say what?

 

Visit the boys on Facebook!

 

 

Aug. 22nd at Annies! 5pm

Come and Have a blast!

 

This week - my interview with Don Felder
This week – my interview with Don Felder

Cody Chestnutt Review – Montreal International Jazz Festival 2014

Who is Cody Chestnutt?

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Easy. Put Marvin Gaye, Barry White, Lionel Ritchie and practically every other R and B singer from the 1970’s into a blender, add some influence by The Roots and – TA DA! A Cody Chestnutt shake.

Shake? The audience at Club Soda did just that!

If anything, the man who just flew in from L.A – was a ball of energy. Mind you – that energy did dissipate once in a blue while in songs such as ‘Up in the Tree House‘. A tune Cody introduced comically as ‘going from the tree house to the crack house’.

_MG_9979The song; a Monkee-ish / Mamas and Papas / Turtles melody depicting a sentimental side to the energetic Chestnutt. A dreamy trip into the psyche of psychedelia. It was a welcome break to a concert which to that point was deliciously repetitive.

Rock, Funk, Hip Hop and Blues. Singular, accumulative or blended by genre one at a time – Chestnutt and his tight – loose band of gypsies enticed smiles from the get-go. Easy to see why The Roots chose his song ‘The Seed’ to do on their album; Phrenology,

‘That’s Still Mama’  channeled Gaye to a rhythmic ‘T’. Complete with horns and Geoffrey Gaines’ demonic bass holding Chestnutt to the ground level, Cody showcased his voice. A query to fans as Chestnutt cannot be stereotyped into a genre. At times the tune bordered on ‘Shaft’ and could well be the soundtrack to a 70’s cop show. Nothing wrong with that. No thing wrong with Joel Johnson’guitar licks either.

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‘Under the Spell of the Handout’placed the keyboards in full throttle as Cody and his mates sped along with drummer Stephen Fryson keeping the pedal to the metal at a fanatic pace.

‘Love is More Than a Wedding Day‘ gave everyone a reason to smile. A summer song which the audience participated in by singing the chorus ‘ I Believe in Love’ or more to the point ” I Believe’.

That is the beauty of a Chestnutt show. Non threatening. A huge love-in. A simple reminder of why music was invented in the first place. More times than not; the audience joining in whether by Chestnutt’s demand or on their choice..

‘Gunpowder on the Letter’ a throwback to the Blues blending into Rock n Roll. A song suited for a Little Richard – Jerry Lee Lewis album. ‘Thank You‘ – perhaps exactly that. Another copy of the songs of days gone by. Sung elegantly and heartfelt by Cody and his backing vocals.

The steal of the show was Alvin Giles on keyboards. Tinkering softly or providing a piano- based rhythm a la boogie woogie on the R and B gems: the show void without him.

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In short – Chestnutt followed up a very successful appearance at the PoP Montreal Festival last year with a return to Montreal at this year’s Jazz Festival. A fact not foreign to Cody himself as he said the word ‘Montreal’ or some variation thereof at least thirty times.

Yes Cody – Montreal realizes and appreciates your ability to decipher the city where you are playing. Montreal thanks you for coming and bringing the ‘real’ music ‘back’ with you.

Until next time …

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 Visit Cody Here!

 

boris-vian3modif

 

Hear My Interview with Myriam Here!

Myriam Phiro will be at

The House of Jazz

July 3rd 8:30pm

 

 

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‘Snooky’ Stuck in Music School

The beat goes on …

Especially for drummer Leslie ‘Snooky’ Alston.

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Kicking the bass peddle, cracking the snare or shuffling on the high hat- this American – born keeper of all things rythym, feels as if he has something to say …

Musically anyways.

“I always thought I was a drummer.” Says Snooky. ” Recently, my 86 year old Mother tells me I was a singer first. It comes as a surprise to me …!”

Leslie Alston grew up in Rhode Island and as early as the age of six (according to his Mom), Leslie sang hymns to the matriarch of the Alston clan while drumming along with his mouth at the same time. It has been a long musical journey since then, a trip which has seen ‘Snooky’ play with every type of musician imagable. Motown, Jazz, Funk and disco to name a few.You name it – Alston has been there done that.

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His current gig with Snooky and the Bandits every Monday night at the House of Jazz is not enough however.

“Inside, I feel as if I have something to prove. Something to say musically.” Admits Alston. “Something which is chasing me …”

The musical demons which follow this fifty – something man, are the reasons Snooky is planning to embark as the resident drummer on a cruise ship. Alston agrees that most musicians are like gypsies – always on the move.

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A Younger Alston on Drums

“It won’t be the first time that I have travelled. I have been to Japan and Africa touring with Freddy James. The band was named Fusion 3 and it was an interesting foray into the world of professional music.”

Perhaps Snooky’s most defining musical education came when he was stationed in Morocco. He signed on with K9 Entertainment in 2007 and for the next three years travelled back and forth between Montreal and Casablanca. According to ‘the Snooksta’ – the experience made him realize how easy life as a musician is in North America.

“Over there, entertainment is not as abundant as it is here and in the States. When the people go out to be entertained – they want to be entertained ! They get all dressed up and they want the entertainers to be sharp. They can turn on you pretty quick if you slack off on stage.”

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Alston does not want to ‘slack off’ with the rest of his life. He is currently working In the studio lending his voice to a local musician and plans on recording his second cd. His first disc – recorded in 2006, contains a virtual stew of musical genres. Snooky not only played drums and sang every song on the disc, he wrote all the tunes and produced it as well.

The album – ‘Snooky – Let’s Talk About’, contains every influence this man has employed into his drumming. Michael Jackson, Prince and George Clinton to name a few. Snooky came very close to playing with Clinton and the story is a funny one …

“George was playing in a club downtown Montreal. Most of the people attending were white so I figured if I attempted to sneak in the back and pretend to be part of his entourage – I just might have a chance.” Continues Snooky …

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“George often has fifty people on stage with him and I figured I could blend right in with the predominantly black crew and performers.”

Sure enough, the ‘white’ security guard assumed that the African-American Snooky was part of the crew and let him in. For once – racism was a good thing.

“I ended up talking to George in the hallway. I told him how much a fan I was and that I could go on stage right now and play any song in his catalogue. If it was not for his loyalty to his drummer (someone who I thought was bad at what he does), I would have played with one of my idols.”

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Leslie ‘Snooky’ Alston will continue to bash out beats with his Bandits every Monday night at the House of Jazz until he departs on his ship.

One thing is certain in this musician’s life. One thing that ‘Mama’ Alston can be proud of …

Snooky will not be sailing on a ‘ship of fools’ …

Make it FUNKY – CONCERT DVD

First things first.

What is witnessed in this documentary/ concert film, is not for the faint – hearted. In other words; Justin Bieber fans stay away.

‘Make it Funky‘ tells the tale of New Orleans music. A combination of blues, jazz, rhythm and blues, gospel, soul and funk. Rock n roll? You bet …

According to one of the performers in the almost three hour concert which is featured in the DVD, New Orleans music has a sound of it’s own. Keith Richards knows a little about sound and about being different.
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This docu- cert weaves a fine road through a thick tapestry of N’Orlean mud. The groundwork as astonishing as the music itself. The groundwork the architectural plans of modern day music.

Meet the Neville clan. There are quite a few of these home grown boys carrying the messages of music in their instrument cases. Aaron, in what may be the most compelling statement of the film, tells how his song ‘Tell It Like It Is ‘ grew into a global monster hit. Mr. Neville did not receive much money for it – in fact, next to nothing. Profoundly, Neville explains how this was a good thing. The riches he richly deserved, would have surely killed him.

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Make it funky sheds light on the darkness called racism. Many of the founding fathers of modern day music discovered themselves banished from the clubs which showcased the very tunes they themselves made famous.

The origins of this movie commenced inside the head of Allen Toussaint. If James Brown is the godfather of soul, Toussaint may be the patriarch of the New Orleans sound. By no means did he invent it yet there are few who carry the torch so highly and publicly as Toussaint.

What the Rolling Stones have done and continue to do for the forefathers of blues, Allen is doing for the greats of New Orleans.

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The late Earl Palmer, considered the grandfather of Rock n Roll drumming is featured and honoured by the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Kermit Ruffins, Irma Thomas and the human riff himself – Keith Richards. Palmer, who passed away in 2008 at the age of 84, provides the backbeat for the musical journey from the days of segregation through to the newest member of the Neville clan on guitar.

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You got horns, you got funk on the piano and you got a whole lot of New Orleans ripping up the stage. This is soul- defining stuff which pretty much makes the majority of music since seem amateurish in comparison.

Toussaint knows; first things first …