Rick Keene Music Scene -The Musical Box;Turning Genesis Into An Extravanza

In the big scheme of things, very few people saw Genesis live in their orginal formation.

Before fans knew it – Peter Gabriel was gone and shortly after, Steve Hackett followed. Fans of the original material who missed out on the theatrics and brilliant musicianship of the original  line -up live were out of luck.

Out of luck until the Quebec – formed Musical Box took matters into their own hands and recreated the early years with precision. The Musical Box are the only Genesis Tribute band to be supported by the members of Genesis themselves.

They are that good.

Following twenty five years as the top Genesis tribute act – the members have decided to change things up a bit. An extravaganza is on the way …

Please listen below to my chat with the musical director and the ‘Mike Rutherford’ of The Musical Box,  Sebastien Lamothe.

Sebastien? What’s up?

 

 

Visit The Musical Box Here !

 

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Top Ten Interviews of 2018

They say talk is cheap …

That may be the case many times yet when music is involved – talk is an education.

In the past year, discussions took place with eighty musicians. Add multiple chats with engineers, producers or people in the music business; the list is long and informative.

All these moments above are meant to be a platform to educate anyone who listens or reads. A chance for up and coming musicians to learn and established artists to teach.

Of all the interviews in the past year – the top ten have been chosen for different reasons. All of the interviews gave value yet below are the unique ones.

Please enjoy and check archives to listen.

Top Ten Interviews 2018

10. Colin James

The veteran Canadian Blues guitarist is always down to earth and honest. Entering into his fifties, James has a different outlook on life including the need to not ‘disguise’ anything anymore. His knowledge of The Blues’ history is vast and his energy to share is immense. A new album and a new tour are the tools James uses to carry on …

Colin James

9. Dweezil Zappa

It is not often one has an opportunity to speak with Rock n Roll royalty. The offspring of Frank Zappa is just that. Listening to Dweezil speak of his late father is a privilege. Only a son can relate the musicianship and thinking process behind a legend with direct knowledge. Dweezil’s own music is also related through the lens of his Dad. Frank – the ultimate muse.

8. George Thorogood

George Thorogood

Speaking to a man who is now a Rock n Roll legend is as advertised. Chatting with a man who learned his chops playing with the likes of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker and Keith Richards is like earning an honorary degree. Blunt, to the point and honest – Lonesome George should not be his moniker. Long passed the days of not paying rent, Thorogood still conjures a devil-may-care attitude without the worry of going ‘out the door’. Everybody is funny and George is very funny too.

7. Kim Mitchell

The legendary musician and songwriter ( and former DJ) is a pleasure. Witty, well informed and a teenager at heart – the former front-man of Max Webster is the quintessential Canadian artist. Engaging and curious, Kim interviews back as he weaves his tales of lore. An insight into his near fatal heart attack – profound.

6. Malcolm Bruce

The son of legendary Cream bassist Jack Bruce is a chip off the bass block. Acknowledging his Father’s legacy and passing it on is first on a creative and musical list. Growing up in Rock royalty has enabled Malcolm the inside education to relive Cream’s music and add to his own. World matters? Do not get the English gentleman going. Like his Father- a lot of smarts are going on above the Bass.

5. Jean -Marc Pisapia

The front-man for The Box is animated, intelligent and appreciative of all that came his way. A unique chat which places not only The Box in perspective; the music business as well. Interesting anecdotes regarding youth, age and Fatherhood. Rarely does a man whose career hit the pinnacle faster than a speeding pick accept the equally quick demise with such happiness and distinguished responses. Part of the reason The Box has resurfaced lately with talent and songwriting that cannot be denied.

4. Andy Kim

Andy Kim

On December 1st 2018 – Andy Kim was inducted onto Canada’s Walk of Fame. This follows his already life size presence in Canada’s Music Hall of Fame. Kim is one of few Canadians that have had nine singles in the Top Forty chart and whose music has been covered by every artist imaginable. John Lennon himself was a huge fan. Say no more …

3. Gary Petersen

The original and current drummer of The Guess Who has been drumming since the beginning of Rock n Roll in the fifties. A survivor and a man whose (of late) physical impediments do not slow him down. His band – The Guess Who rivaled The Stones and The Beatles in the late sixties and early seventies. A man who knows that ‘if it ain’t got that swing’ – it don’t mean a damn thing.

2. Myles Goodwyn

How many people do you know who front their band for over four decades? How many songwriters in Canada have carved such a unique place in music. How many people do you know who wrote a song which was the first Canadian video to be played on MTV? The multiple Juno award winner and a member of Canada’s Music Hall of Fame recently released a book and a new album which uncovers his first love The Blues.

Alan Parsons

The Beatles started it all and Alan Parsons was there. Along with Geoff Emerick and George Martin – Parsons worked on the albums Let It Be and Abbey Road. If that weren’t enough – Alan also worked on The Dark Side of The Moon by Pink Floyd. Mr. Parsons then went on to write, produce and engineer one of the top bands of the eighties – The Alan Parsons Project. One of the most sought after technicians in the music business and a man with an astute ear for music.

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Top Ten Concerts of 2018

Attending all live music in Montreal is impossible.

Practically every crook and nook contains rhythms and vibes. World music, Blues, Rock – you name it, music is alive and well in the city .

Not all live music is performed by local musicians. Regularly – like pirates from a distant land; musicians arrive. They rape and pillage the souls of Montrealers and then they are gone. Gold pieces filling their guitar cases.

Arriving with a Top Ten Concerts List is not possible if integrity is involved. The simple fact that many live shows were missed adds to the incomplete puzzle. The most beautiful woman in the world, after all – is a choice ripe in location.

Please dissect the Top Ten Concerts of 2018 below with the knowledge they have been chosen from a well of sixty. Deep enough to siphon an amount comparable to the elite.

Top Ten Concerts of 2018

10. Steve Hackett

The former guitar player from Genesis loves playing in Montreal and Montreal loves having him. There are few guitar players in the world that play better than their glory years. Age is not kind to many. Hackett’s playing filled with an ever – growing knowledge and his touring band; second to none. Within the realm of Place des Arts, perfection is continually aimed for and forever obtained. A must see every time Steve is here.

9. Kim Churchill

The multi-talented singer/ songwriter from Down Under is ( for the most part) under the radar. Such is the sad state of mass media when artists that possess more talent than Boy George, scrape and claw to make a living. Kim’s live show is filled with musical and physical energy as Churchill trades keys, guitars, beat boxes and dancing with himself. The tunes are filled with Kim’s vocals emerging from his soul. Ballads mirror the journey of an artist in search of knowledge as he travels the globe.

8. Dr. Lonnie Smith

How many artists have mastered their craft for fifty years as a live performer? How many have mastered their instrument and continue to gain praise and achievements into their golden age? Dr. Lonnie Smith is the most sought after Hammond B3 player on the planet. Mostly due to not only hard work, Smith maintains an ability to grow by reaching into multiple genres and artists. Dr. Smith put on a Jazz clinic at Le Gesu as part of The Montreal International Jazz Festival. Every great commercial keyboard player on a Rock n Roll / Pop / Blues list will be erased following a performance by Dr. Lonnie Smith.

7. Jack Broadbent

Broadbent contains no bells nor whistles. A man, a chair, a guitar and a beer. Witnessing a live show by Broadbent conjures images of the old Delta Blues guys who laid down the framework for all music today. Bottleneck slide, a raspy voice and tunes dark like the night and crisp like a cold grey dawn. Songwriting combined with acute covers to remind everyone where Jack came from and at the same time – evolving into the future based on the past.

6. Jim Cuddy Band

Canadian music is filled with roots. Country, Folk and Blues intertwined with the vast landscape of Canada looming in the background like a canvas painted by the Group of Seven. Add Jim Cuddy, Barney Bentall and Jim’s two up and coming sons – the evening was as pure as pure could be. Every artist on stage taking turns in the spotlight showcasing their ability to headline on their own. Jim Cuddy has assembled a dream band to distract from his Blue Rodeo job. Not a bad side gig.

5. Jordan Officer

Quebec’s own Jordan Officer has made the leap. Opening up for one of his boyhood idols, Officer more than held his own as the opener for George Thorogood. Those in attendance unfamiliar with the most talented guitar player in Quebec and student of the Blues left with a deer-in-the-headlights look on their faces.The trio combined with Officer’s ability to play guitar unlike all Blues players in the province ( fiddle as well), elevated music to an entire different level. Rarely does an opening act place immense pressure on the headliner. Thorogood and his Destroyers must have been shaking in their boots.

4. Steven Wilson

Cut from the Prog Rock cloth – Wilson (known mainly for his band Porcupine Tree) is a man who makes Dave Grohl appear talent-less. Mainstream gravitates towards the flavor of the moment and those willing to sell their souls. Wilson is a true artist along the lines of Brian Wilson (albeit in a different genre). An Engineer, a producer, a multi instrumentalist and a premiere songwriter who avoids the fame. His band – oozing musical integrity like a bleeding Van Gogh. Balladry interrupting perfectly crafted instrumental based high caliber Rock with a toe inside the Prog. A must see for all music fans.

3. Cecile Mclorin Salvant

If Cecile had arrived on the scene forty or fifty years ago, she would be revered like Etta James, Billie Holiday and Etta James (to name a few). Blessed with the voice of several angels – Salvant’s range is second to none. A no frills performer who sings for the right reasons. Combining the sweetness of honey and the strength of a whiskey straight up,Cecile’s performance as part of the Jazz Festival was an evening for purists. Salvant did not disappoint.

2. Beth Hart

Honesty is the best policy. Beth Hart is the most down to Earth raw female performer on the planet. Then she takes that integrity and sings with the same convictions. Listening to Hart is almost like witnessing an accident on the side of the road that never happens. Akin to Keith Richards’ about to fall down walk – Hart invites concern. Once she stops running and drops the scissors – the most natural voice in the universe becomes the star. Blues, Rock and Jazz-inspired tunes fill the night with wonderment. Talent oozes down the aisles as Hart follows the notes into the audience with love and appreciation. An interactive experience with Hart’s vulnerabilities as the headliner.

1.Ranee Lee

Montreal’s Queen of Jazz put on the most memorable performance this city has maybe ever seen. The day before her appearance at the Montreal international Jazz Festival – Ranee lost her musical muse and husband. A devastating moment for anyone and a life altering moment.

Under extreme emotional circumstances – Ranee decided the show must go on as her husband Richard would have wanted.

Any show completed would have gained a standing ovation due to the circumstances. Heartbreak on the sleeves and a hole in the heart can be the wind that pushes the tightrope walker off the thin line. A musical death would have been accepted without critique.

Ranee reached deep. Ranee reached long. Ranee reached hard. As if Richard was seated next to her – Lee put on the performance of a lifetime. Holiday, James, Washington – the ladies of Lee’s youth appeared live through Ranee’s vocals. The strength and the power increasing as the night went on. Lee’s passion for the history and the music growing stronger as the mountain of grief lay before her. The stamina not giving in to the tiredness she felt. The glow of her husband leading the way like the star of a musical Bethlehem guiding Ranee’s soul through the dark.

One evening when the realities of life could not be avoided changed The Montreal International Jazz Festival into a mystical place. One woman who took on the realities of life with courage transformed The Montreal International Jazz festival into Magic.

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Rick Keene Music Scene – A Musical Chat by ‘Christmas’ Candlelight with The Lyric Theater Singers

Face it – Christmas is special …

Every year in December, the Lyric Theater Singers get to work. They rehearse and practice new and old arrangements of Christmas tunes.

This year is no different.

Please listen below to my chat with Chris  Barillaro – a lifelong employee of music and second banana to the musical director of The Lyric Theater Singers – Bob Bachelor.

Chris? What’s up?

Visit The Lyric Theater Singers Here !

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene – An ‘Engineered’ Discussion with Alan Parsons.

Alan Parsons got his start working with George Martin and Geoff Emerick. Not too shabby eh?

Learning from the likes of Martin and Emerick – gifted  Parsons with a foundation. One that has made him one of the most sought after engineers and producers in music.

Emerick and Parsons

Please listen below to my chat with Alan Parsons about Geoff Emerick, sound recording and Alan’s new album – his first in fifteen years.

Alan? What’s up?

 

 

Visit Alan Here !

Get Tickets for February 24th Here 

 

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Steve Hackett Is ‘Selling England by the Pound’ Part Two.

It was a ‘rushed’ album.

Genesis’ landmark record was in fruition before it was in fruition. Several of the songs were thoughts in the heads of Peter Gabriel,Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett.

It was guitarist Hackett who came up with the idea for perhaps what was the deciding song in Genesis’ soon-to-be upcoming superstar status. It was also an album where Steve Hackett made his mark as a guitar player.

Please listen below to Part Two of my chat with Steve about Selling England By The Pound.

Steve? What’s up?

 

Steve Will be in Montreal September 21st and 22nd. Get Tickets Here !

Visit Steve Here 

 

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Steve Hackett Is ‘Selling England by the Pound’

It was a ‘rushed’ album.

Genesis’ landmark record was in fruition before it was in fruition. Several of the songs were thoughts in the heads of Peter Gabriel,Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett.

It was guitarist Hackett who came up with the idea for perhaps what was the deciding song in Genesis’ soon-to-be upcoming superstar status. It was also an album where Steve Hackett made his mark as a guitar player.

Please listen below to Part One of my chat with Steve about Selling England By The Pound.

Steve? What’s up?

 

Steve Will be in Montreal September 21st and 22nd. Get Tickets Here !

Visit Steve Here 

 

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Former Genesis Guitarist Steve Hackett Discusses New Album , Old Friends and A Scary World. Part One and Two

Montreal is a Genesis hub.

Along with bands such as Styx and Supertramp, Genesis were received and applauded in Montreal before the world embraced their talents. Consisting of Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett – Genesis served up a decade of classic music. Prog Rock. Cutting  age material that remains ahead of it’s time.

Steve Hackett , the former guitarist, feels the love  for his former band every time he is in town. Show after show are sellouts and the level of his performances  never cease to amaze.

Wolflight ( released in 2015 ) was the reason for Steve’s last trip to Montreal and in 2018 – another two albums are behind the jaunt to La Belle Province.

Please listen below to PART ONE and PART TWO of my chat and discover things both new and old.

Steve ? What’s Up ?

 

 

 

 

Visit Steve Here !

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Former Genesis Guitarist Steve Hackett Discusses New Album , Old Friends and A Scary World. 

Montreal is a Genesis hub.

Along with bands such as Styx and Supertramp, Genesis were received and applauded in Montreal before the world embraced their talents. Consisting of Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett – Genesis served up a decade of classic music. Prog Rock. Cutting  age material that remains ahead of it’s time.

Steve Hackett , the former guitarist, feels the love  for his former band every time he is in town. Show after show are sellouts and the level of his performances  never cease to amaze.

Wolflight ( released in 2015 ) was the reason for Steve’s last trip to Montreal and in 2018 – another two albums are behind the jaunt to La Belle Province.

Please listen below to PART ONE of my chat and discover things both new and old.

Steve ? What’s Up ?

 

 

Visit Steve Here !

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Music To Do The Sunday Crossword Puzzle

What to do on a Sunday?

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Open the curtains, make a cup of coffee, grab the paper and do the Sunday Crossword Puzzle.

It is – a no brainer!

Oh – don’t forget to listen to some great tunes! Right here on Rick Keene Music Scene !

Thanks !

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Buy Tickets for A Magical Musical Evening to Combat Prostate Cancer Here !

 

Visit Procure Here !

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Happening with Jazz All Year Round Series and in Montreal !

As usual …

Lots coming in Montreal !

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The Jazz All Year Round Series is in full flight, Evenko has their usual fine acts and the Holiday season approaches with concerts, shows and fund raising efforts.

Please listen below to some of the upcoming events, some great tunes and information to help the less fortunate and the sick.

Thanks for listening! Talk soon …

 

Visit Rocky Dawuni Here !

Listen to my Interview with Rocky Here!

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Check out Bands for Baskets Here!

 

Buy Tickets for A Magical Musical Evening to Combat Prostate Cancer Here !

 

Visit Procure Here !

 

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Reggae ‘Superstar in Waiting’ Rocky Dawuni ‘Kills’ Montreal !

Bob Marley would be proud

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Over the years, many Reggae ( Marley) – influenced singers and musicians have come and gone. Some, like Peter Tosh, have had successful careers cut tragically short. Most, have a few hits (or none) and fade into obscurity.

Ghana native Rocky Dawuni does not fit into the above category.

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Dawuni has that ‘ je ne sais quoi …’ . That something special which separates the Adeles of the world from the rest of the female singers. Rocky Dawuni is … that special. 

Dawuni was in Montreal last week as part of the Mundial Montreal Festival supporting his 2015 brilliant album;  ‘Branches from the Same Tree’. His concert at Petit Campus a reflection of the energy which is so eloquently produced within this landmark album.

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Smiles and infectious grooves via a delicous and contagious melange of Afro-roots and reggae-based melodies were omnipresent at his very first ‘historic’ Montreal appearance. The ‘poet’ from Ghana, a prancing preacher relaying his wisdom with fiery energy and conviction into a capacity audience filled with bright eyes.

Dawuni is a natural born showman with timely messages for the world within the tunes of a Saint. Dawuni combined these rare talents within each song. He climbed the peak of Mont Royal and sent his vibes brilliantly over the valleys of the pilgrims.

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Dawuni’s backing band, are Rocky’s ‘tribe’. The foot soldiers for a General. Tight, rhythmic – ‘on edge’.

Drums, bass, guitar, and keyboards echoed his latest single ‘African Thriller’ ( part of Branches from the Same Tree) with a influence of African music, traditional music, reggae and eclectic global sounds. Blues, Country-Blues, Rock and roll and everything in between fused together to sculpt a show-stopping tune high in ‘Highlife’  – a genre that originated in Ghana.

Dawuni  is involved with UNICEF, the UN Global Fund and other organizations, and has been named one of Africa’s Top 10 global stars.

All this keeps his lyrics fresh, poignant and cutting edge.

 Dawuni splits his time between the U.S. and Ghana and visits Rwanda, twenty years after the genocide there killed up to a million people. As a guest of the Kigali genocide museum, Rwanda’s ministry of culture, and the NGO Aegis Trust (which promotes post-genocide peace building), Dawuni delivers messages of peace in reality and through his music. In Montreal, that peaceful vibe was present within the most piercing guitar solo or ‘angry’ lyric.

Dawuni displayed urgency, thoughtfulness and humanity at Petit Campus. Empowerment and positivity, knowledge rather than ‘lyrics’.

Now – it’s time for the rest of the world to listen to Rocky Dawuni also !

Listen then sing along. It’s a human thing.

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Visit Rocky Here !

Listen to my Interview with Rocky Here!

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Check out Bands for Baskets Here!

 

Buy Tickets for A Magical Musical Evening to Combat Prostate Cancer Here !

 

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Bands for Baskets and A Magical Musical Evening to Combat Prostate Cancer

 Have you ever starved at Christmas?

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Most people in the West Island receive over a thousand dollars in presents at Christmas in the form of jewelry, gifts and trips. Most people in the West Island don’t realize that over a thousand food baskets are given out at Christmas.

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Prostate cancer is the most common cancer to affect Canadian men. One in eight men will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime.

Prostate cancer is a disease where some prostate cells have lost normal control of growth and division. They no longer function as healthy cells.

A cancerous prostate cell has the following features:
•    Uncontrolled growth
•    Abnormal structure
•    The ability to move to other parts of the body (invasiveness).

It is important to note that not all clusters of cells growing in a mass are cancerous, and that a prostate with an irregular shape is not necessarily cancerous either. It is advisable to ask your doctor what it may be.

Prostate cancer can be slow-growing and some men who develop prostate cancer may live many years without ever having the cancer detected. It is important to get screened regularly so that if you do develop prostate cancer, the appropriate action can be taken. A significant proportion of prostate cancers, if untreated, may have serious consequences.

Please listen below to a pair of very important fundraisers for two growing concerns in Montreal and Canada.

 

Check out Bands for Baskets Here!

Buy Tickets for A Magical Musical Evening to Combat Prostate Cancer Here !

 

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Ask Dave the Bartender – What does Randy Rhoads’ Mom and Michael Jackson Have in Common?

It is not easy being married. Ask any bartender !

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Dave … the Bartender, has heard everything. Drunken confessions, slurred slander and lies and innuendo. All from his Mom !

Please listen below as Dave the Bartender answers your musical questions.

 

 

Buy Tickets for A Magical Musical Evening to Combat Prostate Cancer Here !

 

 

 

 

Steve Hackett – The ‘Genesis’ of His New Album Wolflight. Complete Interview.

Steve Hackett is better known as the lead guitarist with Genesis.

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Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford.

Legends …

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 Following his departure from Genesis after the album Wind and Wuthering was released, Steve Hackett has continued his musical prowess and education.

Adept in Classical, Blues and really – every style of music, Steve Hackett is a true writer, composer and player.

A LEGEND …

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Please listen below to Part One of my interview with Steve as he speaks of his new album Wolflight. Stay tuned for Part Two as the possibility of any Genesis reunion is discussed.

Steve ?

 

 

Visit Steve Hackett Here !

 

Buy Tickets for A Magical Musical Evening to Combat Prostate Cancer Here !

 

 

 

 

Mike and The Mechanics – A Cover Band ( Sort Of)

These were not your Mother’s Mechanics …

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A legend took the stage last night at Place des Arts. Theatre Maisonneuve was the setting and the Eighties was the era …

No – the legend was not Paul Carrack. The original singer of Mike and The Mechanics ( the late Paul Young was the other original singer ) is on his own and has left the relative new guys; Andrew Roachford and Canadian Tim Howar to sing and – pick up the pieces.

The legend on stage last night was Mike, as in Mike Rutherford ; guitarist and bass player from Genesis. Mike amassed some ‘mechanics’ back in 1985 as a side ( a Supergroup) project from his ‘other’ band. What happened was Mike et al became a sugar free version of Asia ( another Supergoup from the 1980’s). Mike and The Mechanics even managed to grab a few commercial hits much to the surprise of everyone . Think post – Hackett Genesis and that is what Mike and The Mechanics sounded like.

Paul Carrack handled the ballads and Paul Young delivered the ‘rockers’ in the original line up.

Howar and Rutherford
Howar and Rutherford

Fast forward to 2015 …

Andrew Roachford handles the ballads and Tim (where’s the ‘D’ in your last name dude?) Howar handles the ‘rockers’. Aside from the entire band change (Rutherford only original member)  – Mike and The Mechanics sounded the same. The Eighties can do that to music. 

Synthesizer-led songs complete with guitar riffs both hard and fitting – was the recipe for the eighties soup. Formulaic tunes transmitted via video to living rooms everywhere. A sound so indistinct – an entire generation of music became fodder for Karaoke machines. Heck – if John and Helen from down the street could sing ‘All I Need is a Miracle’ at the local Pub, replacing Carrack and Young – as difficult as finding an escort in Ottawa.

Last night it was hit and miss vocally. Roachford hit and Howar missed – mostly. 

Roachford sang professionally and appeared to be content in his own skin. Howar acted as if he was a contestant on The Voice and desperate to appease the judges. A heterosexual Adam Lambert if you will sans the decor of a rock star. No sir – Howar is as Canadian as a Timbit . He even borrowed Neil Young’s plaid shirt and unwashed jeans for the occasion.

Being Canadian may have been the problem. Perhaps Howar was trying too hard  to please the non Facebook Canadian audience and be ‘liked’. For the first half of the show – Howar appeared out of place among his band mates. Without the high pitches, Howar was like David Lee Roth. Not the young Roth with charm and charisma – Howar was more the arm swinging replica of the 2000’s Roth. Tim’s vocals thankfully hit stride half way through and his ‘stride’ on stage finally synced. Roth was gone.

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Roachford was the opposite. As cool as ‘Luke’ during a hot summer gunfight. Whether singing while playing keyboards or grooving back and forth on the stage – Roachford was the oil in the Mechanics’ car. Andrew added the soul to the tunes much the way Carrack did in the eighties. The Yin and the Yan were in place but Howar’s Yan took a while to grab root.

Mike Rutherford is a cross between John Cleese and Michael Gross from Family Ties. A grin on his face the entire show, ebbing and flowing with a feeling that ‘Mike knows something the rest of us do not.’ Reserved in his banter yet there is a Cleese waiting precociously close  to the surface. Waiting to pounce on anyone who falters the towers of Mike and The Mechanics.

Rutherford’s guitar playing ( including a short version of Purple Haze), not outstanding nor insufficient. The right playing for the right music. Rutherford played the same role in Genesis. Mike is a more subdued Hackett and very much rich in Genesis blood.

I Cant Dance and Turn It On Again were the Genesis picks of the soiree. Mike and The Mechanics’ original tunes paled in comparison to the impact songs of his Alma Mater.

‘Another Cup of Coffee’ was sung brilliantly by Roachford and backed up brilliantly by the Mechanics.’ The Living Years’ – that anthem of the eighties, cannot be done poorly. The lyrics and the sullen tone – enough to make Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett all cry while counting their millions. Roachford capturing Carrack’s vocal in perfection. Same can be said for Howar as he took the reigns for ‘All I Need is a Miracle’. Miracle is the Mechanics’ party song. The sing-a-long portion of the show. Surprisingly, the audience sang along but seemed quiet. Part trepidation, part wonderment – part thawing out following a hard winter for the over-forty punters in attendance.

‘Silent Running ( on Dangerous Ground )’set the tone for the evening as the opening number. In between, the band displayed more chops than allowed in an eighties’ song. ” Word of Mouth’ off of Roachford’s solo album, a soulful glimpse into one of the UK’s biggest stars of the 90’s.

Mike and The Mechanics played a lot of covers by Mike and The Mechanics and the band Roachford. 

Who better?

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Ask Dave the Bartender; Episode 11 and a 1/2

Dave the Bartender is no kidder … 

He is also no bartender.

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He does what he does and speaks what he hears. He is every man / woman who tends bar. He is wise, diligent and savvy.

He is ….

Dave the Bartender?

 

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The ‘ Genesis ‘ of Steve Hackett …

Contrary to popular belief, the lamb did not lay down on Broadway.

Au contraire mon frere …

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In like a lion, out like a lion, stay like a lion. A summation of Genesis’ career. Starting with Peter Gabriel and ending with Phil Collins at the helm; Genesis roared loud and long …

From 1970 until 1978 – Steve Hackett was the lead guitarist in the band. Hackett solidified the position, innovating and bridging the gap between keyboards, cartoons and nursery rhymes. ‘Tapping’ his way into Rock history.

Or- is it Prog Rock history … ?

Please listen to the first part of my interview with Steve as he speaks of many things including the dynamics which led to his departure. Part two explores his guitar techniques.

 

Steve? 

 

 

 

Visit Steve Here!

Buy Tickets Here

 

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Donate Here!

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Rock n Roll Bands of All Time

It’ s a hard call …

Amassing arsenals of music executed to the utmost of rock band’s abilities and narrowing them down to ten. Daunting yes – impossible?  Not really …

Beauty is in the ‘ear ‘ of the beholder, a full agreement can never be reached with lists like these. The only certainty is the top two on the list must be forever linked as 1-2 or 2-1 for obvious reasons.

10. Rush

This iconic Canadian band is responsible for more popular air guitar and drum solos than anyone aside from Led Zeppelin. The softness of ‘The Trees’ to the hard rockin ‘Tom Sawyer’ all the way back to Lakeside Park and a return to 2112. This Canadian trio surpassed the Guess Who many moons ago as Canada’s number one band of all time. Unlike the Guess Who – Peart, Lee and Lifeson have talent beyond three chords. Three nerds – four decades … do the math!

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9. The Velvet Underground

Has there been a band which leaned toward decadence and the rock n roll lifestyle more than the Rolling Stones? Yes … The Velvet Underground combined r and b, pop, blues and lovely romantic poetry with a lust for the drug culture at a time when the world was learning to ‘achieve satisfaction’. Lou Reed and John Cale observed the New York seedy elements from the inside looking inside. Nico joined the mix and Warhol kicked their habits onto a unsuspecting mass of bohemian tramps searching for a home.

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8. Black Sabbath

The pre- cursor and major influence for every Def Leppard, Iron Maiden and Alice Cooper wannabe. Satanicly – induced and proud of it, the lads dipped deep into the Hades and came up with decades of bat – eating, cloak – wearing gothic- inspired followers. Paranoid? Of course … Fairies wear boots and such strides may induce fear and indulge parents to lock the doors on their non -bible stompin’ offspring!

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7. U2

The only post- 1980 group to claim global domination and retain the crown. Sometimes over- indulgent via Bono’s over the top preaching and waning messages, the group from Ireland remain intact. ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’, ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’, ‘ I Still Haven’t Found What I’m looking For’ and even the more recent ‘Vertigo’ – will outlast and remain ‘poignant’ for years to come. Something few bands can claim on such a scale.

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6. Genesis

No band is responsible for progressive rock more than Genesis. Starting with Peter Gabriel and the iconic ‘Lamb Lies Down on Broadway’ and ‘Selling England by the Pound’ all the way to the eighties and pop – genius Phil Collins leading the way, Genesis was near the top of the heap for almost twenty straight years. Unheard of on most basement turntables.

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5. The Who

Smashing guitars, thematic albums with entire storyboards, punk – rockish antics before punk rock and some of the greatest rock songs of all time. Add a show which delivered chaos weekly amid vocals bordering on operatic melodies – deaf dumb and blind kids knew they would die before they got old. Who are you indeed …!

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4. Led Zeppelin

Considered the forefathers of heavy metal and the first to blend blues with hard – driving beats and tender ballads. Owning and operating a timeless vehicle by the name of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and driving it through paths partnered with Physical Graffiti, Zeppelin spawned three generations of air guitar and pretend drummers. Page – an innovator on guitar and Plant; a symbol of sexiness with a voice unmatched to this day. Some guy named John Bonham led and continues to lead the way as Zeppelin remain near the top of awe – inspiring conversation and sing – a-long choruses …

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3. Pink Floyd

If someone was afraid to utilize their ‘doors of perception’ and indulge in L.S.D – Pink Floyd did it for them. Logically, musically, lyrically and properly. Starting with Sid Barrett and continuing into realms meant for candidates of induced mind control experimentation – the British group dated the extremes normally associated with insanity. The only band in history able to transcend worlds and shape imagery into a fascinating trip understood by few yet admired by many.

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2. The Beatles

The band which started it all. The band which made every kid in the world believe that music, their very own music could be delivered to a mass audience. The most successful prolific songwriting duo in history unfortunately done in by the love of a woman. Live? An enigma as the amps and sound equipment not yet formed by the time of their demise. Number one on the list if longevity remained an acquaintance and not a foe. Number one on the list if a beginning period of fluffy love songs did not exist.

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1. The Rolling Stones

No band put up with the ‘attacks’ of government while trying to start a career. Fighting drug busts, the popularity of the Beatles, the death of the founding member, the death and chaos of Altamont, the changes in music landscape, the ‘ death’ of guitar rock, the video age, punk rock, disco and age – the Stones continue to survive. The only group to be sucessful in every genre – a musical juggernaut blessed with an insatiable appetite for the blues. A common denominator which strays not from a catalogue of six hundred plus songs. Jagger – the poster boy for every lead singer and Richards – the poster boy for every guitarist and decadent human being living with a middle finger to rules and regulations. Critics of the latest song have said; “Its great except for Jagger’s voice …” In 1964, critics adorned the pages of music reviews with the same vowels and syllables. Composers of an album considered best of all time – Exile on Main Street, responsible for one of greatest live albums of all time – Get Yer Ya- Ya’s Out and owners of five of the biggest grossing tours of all time.

Time is on their side …

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Transcend your Mind

“Innocence flowing through me as people pass me by. The world is at my fingertips, there’s promise in my eyes.”

With these words, the band Transcend welcomes you to their world. Their very young world …

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This group of West Islanders are a combined age of seventy- two. That is the same age as Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones. Four divided into that number equals Constantine Damoulianis on guitar and vocals, Alexi Lagogianis on keyboards, Devon Butters on bass and Jake Shamash on drums and percussion.

These four lads, and they really are lads – have created a theme. A concept album which – if released in 1970, would have propelled them to supetstardom. That is what happened to bands like Rush and Genesis. The forefathers of concept, progressive rock …

Listening to side one of Transcend’s first disc is an eye – opening experience. The first thing which slaps your senses is a thought. A basic idea that these guys are very talented musicians. The second slap is just how diverse the songs are …

They do not want to stop. Nor should they.

Up and down, tight to left, right to right and left to tight. Got it ? Uh huh ….

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There is no point in naming song titles here. Side one is one continuous tune marked by subtitles. Cleverly disguised by names like Entity Divine and Reign Over Me. A blending of hard rock guitars, Neil Peart – wannabe drumming and soft ballads. Add Alexi’s sharp keyboards a la Styx – a fantastic listening experience is what spins on the cd player.

Constatine ( Costas ), wrote, produced and edited the album. It is his baby and he sings all the songs. According to the soon – to-be-nineteen year old, the album came about thanks to the movie; Waking Life. An animated trip through conscienceness. ‘Transcending’ dreams and the time of a complete alerted being.

Exactly …

It does not matter if a grasp of the concept is out of reach. Once the roof of ‘the mind’ is opened and the rain is allowed to enter – the vegetation of truth grows upward. It is that profound and that is only the first disc!

Disc two commences somewhere in Costas’ mind. A recess of improbable ideas combined with incredibly interwoven guitar and keyboard. An introduction to the song ‘ the mind’. An intro to the mind.

Alexi and Damoulianos duel to the death. A battle where the listener is the victor as a story of the different steps a mind takes as it develops maturity. ‘The Mind Awaits’ and walks away into ‘new horizons’.

Spend hours making love, exploding the passions of what it takes to develop a special bond. A unison of trust, lust and sexuality. Upon doing so – a better understanding of side two is in grasp yet not quite. Through heart – pounding ruthless rhythms to melodic sweetness portrayed as an actress of serenity, disc two is a love affair.

As most amorous engagements, it takes time and effort to instill a comfortable belonging. Following two sessions of listening foreplay – an understanding is reached with the band …

A connection of two minds …

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Please contact me for information on how to purchase this disc.Rickkeene2@gmail.com