Rick Keene Music Scene – Myles Goodwyn Has The Blues and That’s a Good Thing! Part One and Two

 April Wine are forever etched in the consciences of Canadian music fans.

When original bassist Jim Henman asked  his former band-mate from Woody’s Termites to join April Wine; everything changed. For the better.

What followed was one of the great success stories for a Canadian band. Hit after hit turned into one of the best live shows this Country has seen.

Principal singer, songwriter and leader Myles Goodwyn set the bar high for all Canadian songwriters in Rock n Roll. Goodwyn, also set the bar high for Rock ballads as well.

Fittingly, his autobiography is titled  “Just Between You and Me’,  a mirror  name for the video and song which superimposed April Wine onto stages South of the Border and worldwide. The song which made April Wine a household name in North America.

Myles traveled backwards to tell the tale of his years inside and outside of April Wine. Now he is travelling backwards once again.

The Blues were an essential part of Goodwyn’s musical fabric and the sixty-nine year old musician is paying homage to the genre which helped ‘sculpt’ him as a young man growing up in New Brunswick.

Please listen below to my chat with Myles as we touch on the early days of April Wine and Myles’ new disc;

Myles Goodwyn and Friends of the Blues.

The album is out March 2nd 




Visit Myles Here !

Buy the Book Here !


Montreal En Lumiere




Artist Example







Rick Keene Music Scene – Myles Goodwyn Has The Blues and That’s a Good Thing! Part One.


April Wine are forever etched in the consciences of Canadian music fans.

When original bassist Jim Henman asked  his former band-mate from Woody’s Termites to join April Wine; everything changed. For the better.

What followed was one of the great success stories for a Canadian band. Hit after hit turned into one of the best live shows this Country has seen.

Principal singer, songwriter and leader Myles Goodwyn set the bar high for all Canadian songwriters in Rock n Roll. Goodwyn, also set the bar high for Rock ballads as well.

Fittingly, his autobiography is titled  “Just Between You and Me’,  a mirror  name for the video and song which superimposed April Wine onto stages South of the Border and worldwide. The song which made April Wine a household name in North America.

Myles traveled backwards to tell the tale of his years inside and outside of April Wine. Now he is travelling backwards once again.

The Blues were an essential part of Goodwyn’s musical fabric and the sixty-nine year old musician is paying homage to the genre which helped ‘sculpt’ him as a young man growing up in New Brunswick.

Please listen below to Part One of my chat with Myles as we touch on the early days of April Wine and Myles’ new disc;

Myles Goodwyn and Friends of the Blues.

The album is out March 2nd 



Visit Myles Here !

Buy the Book Here !




Montreal En Lumiere




Artist Example







Rick Keene Music Scene – Emma Frank Recruits Top Musicians for Her New Disc; Ocean Av.

Emma Frank came and went …

The Bostonian -turned-Montrealer-turned New Yorker was a rose in Montreal’s flower garden the brief time she lived here. One of those voices that could place an infant to sleep or raise the hairs on the back of Nina Simone’s neck.

Emma has turned her career towards the Big Apple with a new life, new / old friends and a new relationship. Did I mention the new record? Ocean Av?

Please listen below to a few tunes from the new album and words from Emma on the recording    ( life? ) process.

Emma? What’s up?



Visit Emma Here !


Montreal En Lumiere Here !








Artist Example







Rick Keene Music Scene – Kim Churchill; Sometimes Change Requires Change

Australian Kim Churchill tossed his sophomore album into the trash. One man’s treasure is – another man’s junk.

Pressure sometimes causes panic and that is not a great thing when it comes to art. Thinking is not great for the soul.

Singer,  songwriter and surfer  Kim Churchill is coming to Montreal on the heels of his latest album. Weight Falls is garnished with musical toppings on a rich musical cake. Combining excellent rhythms with profound harmonies and poignant lyrics – the album will not be tossed away anytime soon. By anyone. Especially not  Kim.


Have a listen below to my chat with Kim and hear some great tunes from the new disc.

Kim? What’s UP?



Visit Kim Here !

Montreal En Lumiere Here !




Artist Example







Andria Simone and Those Guys – Raising It Up a Notch. Jazz Festival Review

To get an idea of what type of personality Andria Simone is – one does not have to look past the name of her band. ‘Those Guys’.


The guys are – Mark Wilson on Bass, Brian Dihari on Sax, George Nikolov on drums and Dave Kirby on guitar. ‘Those Guys’ and Simone delivered a monstrous set of Soul, R&B, Blues and Rock n Roll to The Blues stage at The Montreal International Jazz Festival.

Simone is a cross between Joplin, Nina Simone and Tina Turner. Toss in a group who at times carefully unpurposely copy the sweet sounds of Amy Winehouse’s band The Dap Kings – an entity on the verge of exploding is at hand, sound and sight.


‘Do What I Want’ started the night on the right foot and ‘Proud Mary’ ended it up on the left foot. In between, Simone basked in the rays of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’ and Etta James’ ‘Id Rather Go Blind’.  The former – something familiar within an arrangement  of epic, strange proportions and the latter; true to Etta-esque form. 

Simone and ‘Those Guys’ are a force. Winners of many awards and events in Toronto, the band has played in Festivals around the globe on the same bill as Robert Plant and George Benson. “Beautiful Life’, ‘What Would I Do’, ‘You Know I’m No Good’ and ‘For Your Love’ explained why.


Imagine Janis Joplin on speed. Subtract above mentioned speed – adjust the rear view mirrors and lookout for “Those Guys’ carrying Billie Holiday on their backs. Such is the gamet in a varied setlist. Hard on Rock to seductive softness. Edgy Soul to Raspy Blues. Simone and Those Guys protect, nurture and nourish the legacy of the pureness of music. Saxophonist Brian Dihari, the link between space and timeless pleasure. Softening the guitars and Simone’s ravenous vocals. The piece of the puzzle completing the non-puzzling scene.

A taste of the band’s pleasure bolts through in ‘Burn Me’ and ‘ Revealed’.

A twin section of the mesmerizing genres aped and created. The students performing the chops of the masters within original compositions. Tightness prevails in a band which has been around for six years.

A lot of gigs with ‘Those Guys’ !

Buy The Album Here !
Buy The Album Here !

Rick Keene Music Scene – ‘Music DVD Pick of The Week ‘

It’s nice to discover stuff you thought you knew …


That is the case with the DVD; Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin’ Down a Dream (2007)

Everyone knows the hits. ‘Breakdown’,Here Comes my Girl’, ‘Refugee’, ‘Freefallin’. etc etc …

Tom Petty ( in case addition is not your strongpoint) has more hits and has been around longer than any band since the mid-seventies except for The Rolling Stones. Petty and his Heartbreakers have arrived in 2016 as legends.

th (3)

Watching the DVD ( directed by the legendary Peter Bogdanovich), three things arrive quickly. A trio of thoughts as clear as a Big Mac, Fries and a Coke.  One – Tom Petty is a very cool dude, two – Petty is one tough Motherf*cker and finally; Tom Petty is a songwriter’s songwriter.

The film excavates the Heartbreaker’s history. Unearthing gems of information straight from Petty’s voice. Tom, in a strange Lewis Carroll kind of way, narrates his story. Vintage footage the only interruption in Petty’s disclosures. Voiced only as Petty can. Cool, dry and in the true form of someone who loves his ‘Mary Jane’.

Fitting since – it is his story …

th (4)

‘Mudcrutch’ was the name of the original band.

Petty and his Gainsville, Florida buddies, arriving at legendary status in a town bordered by Alligators. Mudcrutch even forming it’s very own festival to accommodate the fans. A ‘backyard festival that became so large – it had to be cancelled due to ‘success’. A twist of irony which was the precursor to the start of Petty and the soon-to-be-Heartbreakers.

th (6)

Tom Petty along with some members of the band ( Mudcrutch) headed to LA to get a record deal. Mission accomplished as the group landed not one but two offers. The returned to Gainesville, sold off their possessions and headed West toward fame and fortune. Two things which appeared imminent. A pair of non-concrete entities which arrived with some surprises.


Without giving too much away, their story began with a changing of the name, early success in England and a historic battle with their record company. Petty, upon learning he did not own the publishing rights to his songs, predated his own lyrics. Petty stood up and said;

” I won’t back down …’

At a time when most bands would not ‘bite the hand that feeds them ‘, Petty was as rebellious as a band leader as he was as a young boy. Fighting tooth and nail to keep what was rightfully his. Interestingly, the press he received for his battles, inadvertently worked for him. The adage; ‘There’s no such thing as bad press’ becoming the invisible motto for his legal struggles.

th (1)

The outcome was positive and unprecedented in the music business. Petty was officially an outlaw. 

The album ‘Damn the Torpedoes’ ( which became a mega -seller) was written during his court battles  (hence the title) and The Heartbreakers never looked back. The momentum along with Petty’s uncanny songwriting ability, instilling Rock n Roll back into the consciences of a FM radio format that was struggling.

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers saved Rock n Roll.

th (7)

The nearly four hour long DVD spins the yarns. The drug – fuelled period following the band’s reception of their first triple zero cheques. The musical infighting of the band. The workaholic Petty constantly writing while his bandmates; in Petty’s words – ‘Chased women or whatever it was they did’. Everything imagined by  non-fans is magnified, adjusted and added in a fascinating story of a Rock n Roll band. An historical journey into one of America’s greatest poets and songwriters.

th (8)

Like any tale of the guitar string, facts emerge into the personal history of men and women who obtain ‘fame’. It is human nature to explore, identify and analyze those who achieve greatness and / or obscurity aka ‘ ‘Rags to riches’ or riches to rags’.

Bogdanovich’s microscope discovers Petty’s demons. His beatings both verbal and physical at the hands of his Father. An experience which made Petty both ‘ambitious’ and ‘tough’. A ‘dual’ personality which gave him the intensity to fight his battles. Unearthing this fact also identifies two factors among musicians in general who hit it big. Petty and his story – par for the stage.

th (2)

Bono, Hendrix, Joplin, RichardsPetty  – the list is impressive and long. A common denominator among music stars is they either had bad relations with their Fathers or lost their Moms at a young age. A fascinating discovery of the psyches of many stars who have touched the world’s souls through music and words.

Poetic license for their own pain.

th (10)

The remainder of the DVD explores the music. Live and studio footage from Tom’s long and winding career punctuated by tales of songwriting, musicianship and relationships within music. It is an exemplary tale of ‘how to stay together’ as a unit.

More historic footage emerges with The Travelling Wilburys front and center. Arguably, the most talented group of musicians and songwriters assembled in a studio. Legend upon legend. Learning and growing off each other. A turning point for Petty and a main reason the Heartbreakers survived and became relevant post – MTV. Tom citing that experience as a refresher course for his songwriting skills.

th (11)

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: ‘Runnin’ Down a Dream’ ( available on Netflix) is a must-watch for music fans both passing and profound.

Fans will discover new facts and non-fans will become fans. At the least, non-fans will receive Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers in a different light. An admiration earned by a bunch of Florida boys whose passion and commitment carried them through thick and thin.

It’s nice to discover stuff you thought you knew …




<a href=" 


Jazz Festival Reviews – Joss Stone

Joss Stone

In Montreal, it’s called ‘l’eau’ for your soul and that is exactly what Joss Stone provided at Metropolis on Sunday evening as the 36th Edition of The Montreal International Jazz Festival drew to a close.

What a way to go out … 


Joss Stone, complete with a ‘Superheavy’ resume constituting of collaborations with the likes of Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart and Damian Marley, arrived in town as a precursor to the release of her upcoming 7th studio album; ‘Water for Your Soul.’

Stone bears all on stage. Not the ‘ mind in the gutter’ type baring, more like ‘shed-inhibitions-and-display-the-soul’ type undressing. Complete with shoe-less feet ( a Stone trademark), Joss neither attempts nor delivers any preconceived corporate shows. She is a hippy chick – through and through.

victor diaz lamich Photos
victor diaz lamich Photos

The song ‘Spoiled’ introduced Stone’s tremendous ‘live’ voice to a very receptive Montreal crowd. Singers such as Stone and her predecessors in the Soul / Rock / Blues category (women such as Aretha Frankin and Janis Joplin)  are more times than not much better in person than their vinyl / digital representations. In other words – Memorex does not do Joss Stone justice.

Her arsenal on Sunday consisting of ‘L.O.V.E’ and ‘Baby Baby Baby’ are nothing new in the annals of popular music. The wheel has not been reinvented by Stone nor her band. In 2015 – it is difficult for any artist to truly come up with anything truly original  especially in the style which Stone has etched herself. Voices are original. Vocal styles are not.

‘Super Duper Love’, from the 2004 album ‘Mind Body and Soul’ is the closest Stone has to an identifying tombstone in the graveyard of music. Catchy, bouncy with a body of soul – Super Duper is a song that comes around once -in-a-Brittany Spears. Take away Spears’ voice and add some depth – Joss Stone is front and center with a hit of her own minus the Illuminati drama.


At twenty-eight years young, Stone carries herself with extreme class combined with a touch of innocent flirtatious behavior. Why not? An entertainer utilizes whatever they must to get people to enjoy the show. In Stone’s case – her charm is much more inherited than acted. Some are born to be special and Stone compete with vocals, looks and character – is one of the ‘lucky’ ones.

One surprise last evening was Stone’s version of A White Stripes Song.

‘Fell in love with a Girl ‘ is the Stripes ‘ version and Stone (making a statement on her sexual preference perhaps), altered the lyrics to “Fell in Love with a Boy’. Either way, a perfect rendition of a well chosen song to display Joss’ versatility and her willingness to take risks.

A trio of songs which stood out like a giraffe in a herd of antelope represented different stages in Stones’ career. ‘You Had Me’ and ‘Right to be Wrong’ are part of the ‘here’s Josh Stone’ period while ‘ While You Are Out Looking for Sugar ‘ is the ‘ where’s Joss going next’ phase of her ( so far) 14 million album-selling career. All three representing brassiness, vocal perfection and a seasoned vocabulary.


A couple of songs from the ‘Water for the Soul’ album were strutted out while with the song  “The Answer ‘ blending nicely from studio to live. Any songs from her work in the group Superheavy was sadly vacant. ‘Miracle Worker’ from Superheavy is another tombstone for Stone and it was a precursor for the upcoming  Reggae-inspired ‘Water for Your Soul’.

Oh well, at least Stone is not as perfect as she sounds or looks …

JossStone_WFYS_2015 (Album Cover)

Jarrett Lobley Project Click Here !
Jarrett Lobley Project
Click Here !

Jay Sewall – Old School ( (With a Little Help from Some Friends

Earning a Lys Blues Lifetime Achievement Award is nothing to sneeze at.

Earning a lifetime achievement award when life is just getting good, somewhat unfitting. Do they give away two lifetime achievement awards?

Jay Sewall is just getting started.

th (2)

Jay has a new album out which includes all of his musical friends he has accumulated over the years. A musical voyage back to the future.

Listen below as Jay talks about his album as well as his lifetime learning about the Blues, Folk, Country and ‘Roots’ music.




Visit Jay Right Here!


Click Here!
Click Here!


Click Here!
Click Here!


stone docfinal


Buy Tickets Here!
Buy Tickets Here!







Fleetwood Mac in Montreal; Time Stands Still …

Fleetwood Mac are one of the biggest selling groups of all time. Over 100 million albums sold. Not so bad.


Thursday, February 5th 2015 at the Bell Center in Montreal, they showed why. And then some …

Christine McVie is on board for the first time in sixteen years. Sixteen is sweet. Sixteen is an even number and now – Fleetwood Mac are even once more.

During the almost three hour, no intermission, no opening act show, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham displayed their pleasure of having the ‘prodigal girl’ return. ‘Complete’ was the word  Fleetwood used …


Seldom does a group come along which places all the elements of the music universe in one tight package. Vocals as harmonic as Angels singing in heaven. A battery section void of any miscues. Songwriting as diverse as music itself. Lyrics as poetic as a romantic dinner by candlelight. Guitar solos straight out of the best ‘ how to’ book.

Fleetwood Mac has it all ….


Rumours – that 1977 album which everyone in the world owned or owns, was the flagship last night. A collection of songs which defined Fleetwood Mac and placed them into the upper echelons of Rock music. A Fleetwood Mac show, because of this – is also in the upper echelon of Rock concerts.

The evening commenced with The Chain. A link to that glorious album Rumours which immediately set the tone and lit a fire into the frozen mindset of the almost sold out Bell Center.

There is something sinister in Mac’s music. An underlying demonic tone which offsets the vocals of McVie and Nicks. A combination of Buckingham’s guitar work and skillful songwriting. Add Fleetwood’s crisp snare-work – no wonder it takes almost every band four albums to match Fleetwood Mac’s legendary disc.

download (2)


1. Second Hand News – Played

2. Dreams – Played

3. Never Going Back Again – Played

4. Don’t Stop – Played

5. Go Your Own Way – Played

6. Songbird – Played

Track list: Side Two

1. The Chain – Played

2. You Make Loving Fun- Played

3. I Don’t Want to Know

4. Oh Daddy

5. Gold Dust Woman – Played

Nine of Eleven tracks from Rumours played in a two hour and forty-five minute set. Nine songs which, with eyes closed, placed a patron last night  back in the basement on a couch in the late seventies and dreaming of the future. As in Dreams …



There were …. other songs.

Tunes which gave the band re-birth with an album called Tango in the Night. A cleaner, post – vinyl Mac which displayed Nicks’ talents and almost placed her above the band.

‘Everywhere’, ‘Seven Wonders’,  ‘Little Lies’ and ‘Big Love’.  Four tracks which made purists shudder in  1987 yet are now classics in the songbook of … ‘purists’. The fivesome, played and sang last night as pure and true to Fleetwood Mac’s second biggest selling disc.

Stevie Nicks is mystical. Some people have that ‘je ne sais quoi’ component embedded into their souls. Stevie, complete with a black top hat – is one of those special people. Her voice last evening as defining as is her role in Rock history. Along with Anne and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Nicks was a trailblazer in what was ( still is ?) a music landscape littered with males.

Chrisitine McVie, compared to Nicks is as mystical in a different way. Grounded yet with an air of mystery. The Ying to Nicks’ Yang. The ‘regular’ voice compared to Stevie’s distinctive singing style. Together or apart, a duo as important to music as Phil and Don Everley.

McVie and Nicks. A pair who caught Montreal in the headlights of a speeding vehicle of talent. The Bell Center? Dead in it’s tracks.

Nicks may have won the hearts yet it was Lindsey Buckingham who stole the show.

Much has been written of Peter Green, the original guitarist in Mac who is heralded as one of the best Blues guitarists to grace a stage or studio. Buckingham is the engine in Fleetwood Mac. Buckingham is the ‘new’ Peter Green.

Much as Joe Walsh adds much needed energy to an  Eagles’ show, Buckingham does the same with Mac. His guitar solos unmatched almost anywhere in the record stores. An unsung hero who is hailed by those in music yet seldom mentioned among the best by music fans.

Time after song, Lindsey displayed piercing riffs with equal amount of old fashioned panache. Screaming into the microphone with wild eyes, dancing from one end of the stage to another, Buckingham was having fun. His head, his gigantic head, bouncing on the giant screen behind the band, comical as a backdrop yet poignant in it’s size.

Egos seem to have always been the dagger in Fleetwood Mac’s dartboard. Larger- than- life size egos not able to fit inside the Bell Center. Alone or together.

Last night, it is easy to see why as McVie, Fleetwood, Nicks and Buckingham all took turns in the spotlight within the songs. Each member capable of headlining on their own. Each one ‘stealing’ songs along the way.

From Mick Fleetwood’s manic drumming style and even more maniacal personality to McVie’s contrasting performance. Buckingham’s energy to Nicks’ mellowness. All of the members to John McVie’s best interpretation of a Bill Wyman invisible stage presence. Like Wyman, one of the best, one of the ‘real’ bass players.

An enigma this band. A musical lottery – winning group of artists who created timeless music and thankfully, continue to perform and astound the masses.

Evenly and oddly ….

Over 100 million times ….

Easily more ….

Click Here for Great Savings !
Click Here for Great Savings !


Click Here!
Click Here!


Click Here
Click Here











Angel Forrest; Female Vocalist of the Year … !

It’s been a long journey from Bishop Street in downtown Montreal during the 80’s to the Maple Blues Awards in Toronto in 2015 ..


Angel Forrest, originally from Dorval, Qc – has earned every accolade thrown her way.  The ‘once-upon-a-time’ Janis Joplin clone, is without a doubt – Montreal’s ( and now Canada’s ) premiere female vocalist.

Please listen as Angel dicusses her voice, her life, the future and – a couple of awards she won on Monday, January 19th in Toronto.



Visit Angel Right Here!











Ask Dave the Bartender; Episode Eleven

He is the man of all seasons; Winter, Summer, Spring  and fall down.

images (3) copy

Dave the Bartender is available to listen, to talk and to give advice to the most lost of souls. He is also open for the biggest tips.

Please listen as Dave the Bartender disperses his wisdom as quick as he delivers shots.

Dave? The bartender?

Email your questions to



Donate Here!
Donate Here!





Celebrating the Music of Stephen Schwartz; In Just ‘One’ Corner of the Sky

Executive producer Noelle Hannibal is on a mission. An excursion to ensure the music of someone is spread about

The person in question is Stephen Schwartz.

schwartz_bwAuthor of such soon-to-be-classic songs such as ‘Day by Day’, ‘No One Mourns The Wicked’, ‘Corner of the Sky’ and ‘Alas for You’ – Schwartz has quickly established himself as one of today’s brightest talents.

Noelle Hannibal wants to make people understand by singing and producing; Corner of the Sky – The Music of Stephen Schwartz. The night this happens? November 13th at The Segal Center Studio. 

*Jeremy James – Carver ‘s name was cut out of audio. My apologies. It is Jeremy whom Noelle is speaking of in terms of lucky it was his week off.

Please listen as Noelle discusses all things Schwartz and maybe some other things as well …


Buy Tickets Here!

Buy Tickets Here!
Buy Tickets Here!
Click to see all Evenko Shows
Click to see all Evenko Shows


Donate Here!
Donate Here!







Serena Pryne; Cranking Up the Mandeville (s) !

It’s all about ‘old school’ Rock n Roll …


According to The Mandevilles’ singer; Serena Pryne – that is what she would like her band to be known as …

Fresh on the heels of the album; Windows and Stones – Serena discusses that disc, her influences and where she would love to travel to sing.



Visit The Mandevilles Right here!





Groupe invité: STEEL PANTHER



Billets en vente aux guichets du Centre Bell
Commande téléphonique: 1 855 310-2525
Commandez en ligne: www.evenko.ca
Billet:  67,75$ / 82,75$ (taxes et frais de service incluent)
*Limite de 8 billets par personne




Leeward Fate - No Ordinary Kind iTunes cover




Megan Bonnell – One Chance for a First Impression …

Ontario-born Megan Bonnell speaks of her debut album with love. ‘Hunt and Chase’ was her introduction to having her songs produced with precision.

Please listen as she talks about that process as well as songwriting and a trip –  ‘down the rabbit hole ‘ ?

Megan …?


Visit Megan Right Here!




Replay The Beatles
Replay The Beatles






Leeward Fate - No Ordinary Kind iTunes cover copy

Need a Painkiller to Kill the Blues? Call Tommy Castro …

Tommy Castro was born in San Jose, California. Perfect for a music fan because he was a hop, skip and jump away from the San Francisco Bay area.

A melting pot for not just the Blues, every other genre possible.

Tommy Castro


Please listen as Tommy explains his past, his love for music and his new album with The Painkillers. A Bluesy outfit complete with a couple of very special guests …



Stay tuned for Part Two !


Visit Tommy and The Painkillers Here !


Come together – Robin Williams & Bobby McFerrin: http://youtu.be/P_7xoC6k7PA

play4keeps copy


brides copy



2014 Montreal International Jazz Festival Preview; Texarillo – Hometown Boys Done Good!

Black Satin Blues is the name of Texarillo‘s first album. It won’t’ be their last. Talent does not disappear that quickly …

Please listen as Dwane Dixon explains his excitement for what has been a short but successful jaunt into the Canadian Blues scene.

Dwane …?


Visit Dwane and Texarillo Here!


Visit Jazz Festival Here!


Visit Strangers in the Night 10









‘Angel’ in our Hearts …

Angel has come a long way. Literally and figuratively.

This Dorval, Qc.  lady – born with the voice of a non-angel, has learned many things in her life. Finally – she gets it. The accolades do as well.

Female artist of the year in 2014 at The Maple Blues Awards may not be a Grammy yet for Angel; it may as well be. A Blues-bred upbringing was pushed to the side for too many years. In 2013 -14, the Blues resurfaced to give Angel success and peace.

A little ‘peace’ of her heart maybe …?


Please visit Angel Right Here!

Jerry Mercer – As The Years Go By; Part Five

In this segment of my interview with Jerry Mercer – the drummer discusses opening up for the Rolling Stones, hearing Janis Joplin sing from the heart and thoughts on April Wine’s late great bass player; Jimmy Clench.

He also talks about the downside of being a performer and the loneliness that sometimes comes with it …

Please enjoy this latest installment. Very insightful and poignant for any musician or music fan. Part six will follow …

Jerry Mercer – As the Years Go By; Part One

Jerry Mercer heard Ray Charles’ song ‘What I’d Say’ on the radio. His life was never the same …

Starting with Trevor Payne and the Triangle, Mashmakhan and eventually April Wine – Mercer’s career has taken him on trips with Janis Joplin, Roy Buchanan, The Band and many, many others …

At the young age of seventy-four, four years following his ‘retirement’ – Jerry continues his musical education. He is a man of class, integrity and a work ethic compared to none. Please listen as Jerry explains the beginning of his career in part one of my interview.

Stay tuned for part two and beyond …

Terez Montcalm; Voice of a Ragged Angel

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

Why would they not …?


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

The show was underway …

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

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

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


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

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

Terez Montcalm will be; ‘ Allright …”

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

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

Related articles

Grace Potter and The Nocturnals – Concert Review

Grace Potter is not Janis Joplin. Grace Potter is not Sass Jordan.

Thursday night at The Virgin Mobile Corona Theater in Montreal, Grace Potter was Grace Potter …

Potter and her band of Nocturnals, arrived in Montreal promoting their new album; The Lion The Beast The Beat. The same – titled first track of the night, introduced a Montreal audience to the band with all three elements.

The guitars and bass – The Beast. The primal drum beat – The Beat. Grace Potter – The Lion. Each facet of the song could easily be switched among ingredients as the band and Miss Potter displayed a raw power very early. A force which quickly started to warm the Montreal audience and get the hot blood rising to the surface. The juices were flowing …

The Go-Go‘s  … esque second song,  retained the hard-driving beat  with Potter’s ever-present energy slightly outdoing her voice. Slightly.

If the audience was tired after a long week at work, halfway through the song ‘ Hot Summer ‘Night’, an awakening was starting to take place thanks to drummer Matt Burr. His hard-hitting ways ensured the audience would also become ‘Nocturnal’.

Burr is an original Nocturnal. If anyone knows about keeping people awake – it would be him.

‘Goodbye Kiss’  slowed things down.

A car should not be driven the speed of light constantly if the owner wants it to survive.  The band and Potter, natives of Vermont, seem well aware of this fact. Pacing themselves and at the same time portraying Potter’s country influences. There ‘ain’t’ too many skyscrapers in Burlington so the time Potter and all spent hanging out in the fields and maybe even barns – shines through. Along with the song ‘Apologies’, it does not take a dairy farmer to realize why Potter collaborated with Country  star Kenny Chelsea on  his song; ‘You and Tequila.’


“Low Road’ was the first ‘sing-along’ portion of the show. Scott Tournet’s acoustic combined with Potter’s girl-next-door vocals prove this band is more than a rock n roll one. Grace Potter has a hippy mentality which evokes images of Joplin. The girl who once stated that she would ‘ sing naked if she were allowed’, is at ease on stage. This fact persuades an audience to  want to put on some beads and toss their Iphones into a field.

‘Big White Gate’ and ‘Stop the Bus’ combined Country and Blues while ‘2:22’ gave a sign that somewhere, sometime – the group used a  Ouija board to send for Janis Joplin’s spirit.  Find the song online on YouTube. Don’t watch – listen to a live version. If that is not Joplin and The Big Brother Holding Company coming through the speakers – then what is?

Now the surprise …

On purpose  or not – a Canadian connection came candidly.

Neil Young‘s ‘ Cinnamon  Girl‘ started a rockin’ home stretch for The IMG_1149Nocturnals and Grace. The rock icon and  forefather of  Grunge’s chords resonated through a crowded room like a long-lost relative returning home following an evening of drinking.  Smiles were abundant for the older patrons while the young fans rocked. The Nocturnals could not have chosen a better song to prequel Potter’s eventual holding of a Canadian Flag on stage.

Canada has The Guess Who. Canada has Rush. Canada has April Wine.

Canada is … Neil Young.

Grace Potter and The Nocturnals get it!

‘Stars’, ‘The Divide’ and ‘Nothing but The Water II’ showcased Potter’s immense vocal range and guitar playing. Not only can this ‘chick’ sing – she plays a mean guitar. Raw, powerful and inspirational. Combined with ‘Benny’ Turco and Scott Tournet – the trio’s guitar work left the eighteen year old wannabe rockers in attendance ‘speechless’. All this led up to their biggest hit off the new album and the party song of the night …

Everyone in attendance at Thursday night’s  show,  woke up the following morning singing; “Ooh -la -la -la -la-la-la- la-la” …

Paris (Ooh La La) is one of those songs which come around every fifteen spins of a turntable. Maybe twenty.

Powerful chords, spiffy lyrics and an addictive chorus this side of ‘ Happy Birthday’. Potter uses the opportunity well. The shyest person in the house could be heard muttering the chorus from behind his overcoat and sunglasses. The mice nested outside in the alley, singing dancing and enjoying the crack  in the wall more than most nights. The band said their farewells following this one. The band left – leaving the audience wanting more …


A thunderous ovation later – a return to the stage to complete the celebrations of everything good in music. Even a broken guitar early on, a malfunction which Potter blamed on Beyonce – could not dampen the spirits of  what Potter referred to as ‘ the band’s favorite Canadian city’.  Habitually – every city is ‘the band’s favorite city’.  Somehow – Potter made you believe it!

‘ Nothing but the Water I’ was all Potter. A Capella performance rooted in Gospel. You know – church going kind of stuff. Potter’s range at this point? Bluesy, Country, Hymn – like … mesmerizing.

IMG_1067Jefferson Airplanes’ ‘White Rabbit’ appeared from its ‘sixties’ hole via the band. A cover supposed to be covered by Potter. It is easy for a female singer to be linked eternally with Grace Slick.  Especially when the pair share the same first name. Potter not only does the song justice, she sings with such profound emotion – eyes closed, Grace Slick appears times two.

‘Medicine’ closed the show. A Sass Jordan performance. An upbeat tune caged. At this point – The Lion The Beast The Beat had nothing left to prove. This concert had Potter playing the Hammond B-3 organ, Potter playing the guitar, Potter singing from the depths of her soul and Potter dancing around like the world was going to end tomorrow.  No wonder. She had to keep up with her band!

Grace Potter is sometimes Janis Joplin. Grace Potter is sometimes Sass Jordan. Most of the time – she is Grace Potter.

Remember that … !


All photos courtesy of Richard Tremblay

Grace Potter and The Nocturnals; Stay Awake for This Show!

Grace Potter visited Daryl Hall‘s place and was very nocturnal about it …


You see – Mr. Hall, of Hall and Oates fame, conducts an on-line broadcast from his home. Potter, joining the likes of other guests from previous episodes such as  Joe Walsh (Life’s Been Good) and Cee -Lo Green ( F*ck You) to sing along with Hall and his band-mates. It is easy to  see from this footage – why Grace Potter and The Nocturnals are enjoying so much success.

Potter is a ray of sunshine.

She glows like a radiant flower upon a greyish stone. Oh – she can sing also. Boy can she sing! Her band? A powerhouse of Blues and Rock. A powerhouse of soul …7645873030_d8f3c9bb5b_m

For a band, now in their 13th year, the past decade has been filled with hard work. In the early stages, two hundred plus shows a year was the norm rather than the absurd. Recently, a fourth album has been released titled; The Lion the Beast the Beat.  The group collaborated with The Black Keys member Dan Auerbach in such songs as  “Stars”, “The Divide”, “Parachute Heart” and  “Never Go Back”.  This disc follows their highly successful third album – Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. An album which catapulted the group into a stratosphere which  contained several dates opening for The Dave Mathews Band among other accomplishments.

Yet the band has not forgotten their roots.

In June, 2010, coinciding with the release of album three, the band  performed a free concert in Vermont and stuck around for three hours afterwards meeting and mingling with their fans. A high five is necessary. In this day and age where money appears to dictate everything – the band’s gesture, a welcome relief to music lovers everywhere.


Potter herself, a woman whose vocal style has been likened to Janis Joplin, appears to not stand still. Among her many collaborations is the recent rendez-vous with Kenny Chelsea on the track; You and Tequila. A song which reached the third position on the country charts in the U.S.

Grace Potter and The Nocturnals bring their loveable nature along with numerous hits to the Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre on Feb. 7th in Montreal. An Evenko production.

For everyone who attends the show – nocturnal is the word. It will be a long and pleasant evening …

Tune in at 5:15pm on Friday Feb.1 on k103.7fm for a chance to win two tickets.

Tickets – http://www.evenko.ca/en/show/event/grace-potter-&-the-nocturnals-6957

Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/events/298944626884389

Like a ‘Dear in the Headlights’ – The Damn Truth!

What would happen if you took The Sheepdogs  and The Black Keys and combined them with Jack White? Pretty amazing music n’est pas? Well – a band by the name of The Damn Truth would also arise from the musical ashes in the form of a high – flying bird. The fowl’s name …?


A CD called ‘ Dear in the Headlights’. A CD which will knock the socks off anyone who lives and breathes by old time Rock n Roll – early seventies style …

If this band does not surpass the wannabe -like-a seventies-band like The Sheepdogs, then all hopes of Rock n Roll regaining a rightful ownership of the airwaves, sadly – done like dinner. The album is that good. The band; that damn good …


Where do we start …?

71c8873c032f11e28d6622000a1fbc43_6Track one? Nah. Skip to the most toe-tapping cut on the album. Listen and hope it skips. It’s a throwback to vinyl and the guitar riff is monumental. Track eight is titled ‘Montreal’. Track eight will ‘chew you up and spit you out’ – ‘leave you naked on the floor’. Do Montrealers know Montealers and the city or what? Listen to the track on the dance floor, listen while cooking dinner or listen while getting a tooth pulled; either choice will have everyone dancing until sweat provides more traction under the feet. I dare the listener to not smile and stay still. Impossible …

Track #9. Just a Reflection. A showcase for lead singer  Lee-La Baum’s  voice and  acoustic guitar playing. She plays the way an acoustic guitar ought to be strummed. The instrument is used with power. A truer sound develops into a duet with Tom Shemer. As lovely as the moon glows – as lovely a tune for an afternoon of play. A recollection of thoughts to make thoughts jump forward. Once more – Lee-La’s vocals come from a soul which appears relieved to rid itself of the angst. Her acoustic guitar – an entire different scope of intellectual finger -playing. A song to listen to with hearts on sleeves …

The Damn Truth, as a band, display the individuality they confess to strive for on the next tune; Kinda Awkward.

954e3220032e11e282fd22000a1e8a9e_6The song starts off with a wicked bass line from David Massé. Lee-La joins the fray soon after with a voice subdued by a heavenly effect. Shemer, as if to add an exclamation mark multiplied by two – punctuates everything with such menacing guitar riffs – it’s a wonder that drummer Dave Traina stands out. Well, stand out he does. His work on the snare alone – enough to make Mitch Mitchell of Hendrix fame, sit behind a drum kit and notice.

The third track; I Want You, will make you understand what it was like to listen to Janis Joplin for the first time.

Lee-La is such an incredible talent who ejects all notions of self awareness into an audience. Her soul – out there. Flying, hovering and inflicting damage on the eardrums like a pleasant love-bite from a songbird. ‘I Want You’ is a mid-sixties song. Shemer’s soul is right alongside of Lee-La’s. Side by side – in your face.

When the band started thinking of making a record, they wanted to do something that reflects each member personally. They take a lot of pride that the band is unique and different. 430476b8032f11e28d1322000a1cba90_6

Track#5 – the title track, does that with perfection …

‘Dear in the Headlights’ is magical in so many ways – it underestimates the greatness of the rest of the creative genius which is taking place. Which says enough if enough could be said. Shemer’s riff soars like a lost lullaby and Lee-La’s acoustic attempts in vain to trap the melodic drama which ensues. Songs like this cannot be explained. Not by the artist nor the ‘punter’. Every seat is a good one and standing room only is required. Especially if ‘Downtown’ is the destination.

Track six continues the awe factor.

Most albums, especially debut ones – leave a audience in despair for the lack of being able to create ten good songs. The Damn Truth do  lie in this respect. Every track is different. Every track is different yet the sameness remains. Powerful drums, hard bass lines, guitar-playing so creative and poignant. Eyebrows raise and grow higher. The golden age of Led Zeppelin has returned …

b3f609fa032e11e2b23022000a1cbb39_6Picture Perfect’ – track seven, channels Zeppelin, Rush and every band which was good at Rock n Roll in the late sixties. No redundancy in the instruments. No stagnant solos, no holds barred. Refreshing in it’s uniqueness yet unique within it’s freshness.

According to band members; working on ‘Dear In The Headlights’ was deep and at times, very hard. They dealt with countless issues of mental health and addictions.

We opened the doors wide and let everything fly out. No holding back. We wanted an honest record and we had to deal with the implications of that.”

We wanted to take our personal experiences and reflections, turn them inside out on themselves, capturing a mood and raw emotion that would satisfy our soul. The result was very human – we all go through different moods and emotions daily at one point you feel like a totally different person then you felt just a few moments ago. So does this record. The mood changes almost from song to song, that’s what we wanted. A body of work that reflects what it’s like to be human for us. That celebrates the changes we go through and makes us all dears in the headlights.”

Listen to the album here …

Top Ten Interviews of 2012

Starting yesterday – I began to count off my top ten interviews in the past year. I continue with the next two …

So far …

10. Lee Mellor

9. Jason Rockman

8. Susie Arioli


I spoke to Susie over the phone the night before her performance at Place des Arts. Having never spoken to her or listened to her music regularly – I had no idea what to expect. Judging by her photos, I assumed she would be a bit of a prude. Boy was I surprised …

Miss Arioli was the polar opposite. Down to earth, witty,clever,unassuming with a few swear words tossed into the mix. Arioli is eager to learn and to philosophize over anything. My interview ended so far away from Susie’s band and music, it’s a wonder I wrote anything at all on the subject. Susie is what I always imagined what talking to Janis Joplin would be like.


7. Cecile Doo Kingue


I met Cecile downtown on the terrace of Grumpys Pub. She was getting set to debut her cd the next night at Le Petit Campus. She spoke from her heart about her life. Her struggles with alcohol, her sexuality,  her demons and where they came from. She and me both almost coming to tears on occasion. The following evening she went on stage and performed such an emotionally charged show. An amazing woman and a great listener as well.


Janis Joplin – Found Dead Oct.4 1970

On this day in 1970, Janis Joplin was found dead at the Landmark Hotel in Hollywood. A heroin overdose is suspected.


In an interview I conducted with Jerry Mercer, the iconic drummer for the Triangle, Mashmaakan, April Wine and the Buzz Band – Mercer relayed this tale of a sad encounter with Janis Joplin …

Mercer and his band at the time – Mashmaakan, were part of a train tour which crossed Canada. It was called Festival Express and it carried the likes of the Grateful Dead, the Band, Mashmaakan, Ian and Sylvia, Janis Joplin and many more from city to city to play for adoring fans.

This tour took place in the summer of 1970. The summer before Joplin’s untimely death …


According to Mercer, he and the rest of his mates, discovered a very drunk Joplin leaning against a chain- link fence after a show in one of the prairie provinces. It was pouring rain and Joplin – with a bottle of Southern Comfort in one hand and still dressed in her ‘stage clothes’, refused to budge unless her manager appeared. To no avail, Mercer was unsuccessful in his attempt to lure the singer out of the rain and into the waiting train. Everyone boarded and the train left. Joplin still awaiting the presence of her manager by the water – drenched fence.


Upon arrival at the next stop, a plane was sent to pick up Joplin and fly her back in time for the next show. “It was very sad to see such a talent in that condition.” Said Mercer. “She seemed so lost and vulnerable …”


Rest in peace Janis.

Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow to k103.7fm at 5:15pm and listen to me discuss Brie Nielson’s album launch, and play a sample track from Dany Rebel and the KGB

Just Who is Biz Oliver?

There are so many things that this musical mother of two teenagers would like to do.


” When I retire, I would like to paint, renovate my house, sew and cook. Meantime, I run like the devil, booking all my gigs, with a little help from my number one fan and manager.”

Biz Oliver, a singer who does a more than fitting tribute to Janis Joplin and Aretha Franklin – gets help from her  brother Andrew from Spark SMP Inc.

” Between car pools and vet appointments ( we have a dog, two cats, 2 turtles, and a cockatiel) I perform any chance I can get!” Says Biz from her home in Montreal.


These chances translate into at least 200 gigs a year at the present. It may seem like a lot yet Biz is a seasoned performer. She has been performing since her early twenties in various cover bands. Off The Record, Jimminy Crickets, Rock Steady and Slowhand to name some.

Oliver also plays in her own band; Biz Oliver and The Lost Boys.

Explains Biz.

“My career has taken off since the release of my original single, You Always Love Me Like I Used To Be (2000) and my full length cd of originals called Soul Secrets in 2005. I have also played a lot of solo piano gigs, mainly so I could keep working throughout the year.”


Upstairs, Cafe Boomers, and other places in the West Island are some of the places as well as Smoke Meat Pete. A place where Biz is the only female solo blues piano player and singer on the regular roster for over seven years.

“I have been singing Janis and Aretha for a long time. It only made sense to do a tribute show because I am told that I look like Janis. I can do her justice because of my ability to sing soulfully in a rhythm and blues context.”

People like the fact that Biz makes the show her own. She plays keyboards yet  maintains the passion and intensity of the legendary female singer referred to endearingly as Pearl.

You can check out Biz Oliver and The Kozmic Gold Boogie Band at Calistoga Grill on Saturday, September 22nd at 10:45 (reserving a ticket highly recommended)



Both of Biv’s recordings are available for sale on Bluetracks on the internet .

Can You Guess the Singer?

Can you guess the music star ? ( answers below ).


















The answers are; from bottom to top;

Stephen Tyler – Aerosmith
Axl RoseGuns n’ Roses
Bruce Springsteen
Deborah Harry– Blondiie
Eddie Van Halen
Gwen Stefani
Janis Joplin
Jim Morrison – The Doors
Snoop Dog
Kurt Kobain – Nirvana
Marilyn Manson
Michael Stipe – REM
Flea – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Iggy Pop

Just Between Jerry Mercer and Me – Part Two

Pierre Senecal, Brian Edwards and Rayburn Blake first met in 1960 in Montreal. Their drummer did not show up one night for a gig, so Jerry Mercer was brought in and ended up joining the band. Brian Edwards quit the band and they continued playing under the names; the Phantoms, Ray Blake’s Combo and the Dominoes.

By 1965 they were calling themselves The Triangle. R&B singer Trevor Payne was the singer and they played for an additional four years until being discovered by record producer Bob Hahn. Edwards rejoined the band and they changed their name to Mashmakhan, after a variety of hashish sold by a local dealer.

‘ As the years go by’ was the band’s biggest hit and Jerry remembers getting off the plane in Japan to thousands of screaming fans.

” It was like we were the Beatles or something …! At home – we were playing before two or three hundred people. We sold 400,000 copies of the song in Japan. There were 10,000 Japanese people waiting for us!” Mercer laughs.

Mashmakhan was lucky enough to be part of The Festival Express. A gig that toured across Canada with some of the biggest names in rock music. The Grateful Dead, the Band and Janis Joplin all travelled with Mercer and his mates on a train.

” I think we were in Winnipeg. It was pouring rain and the train was leaving.” Says Mercer. “Janis was still wearing her stage clothes and was standing in the rain, leaning against a chain link fence. Being Janis, she was pretty drunk with a bottle of Jack Daniels in her hand. We all tried to convince her to get on the train. She said she would not leave until her manager came. Well, the manager never came and the train ( including us ) left the station without her. A small plane picked her up and flew her to the next town.” Mercer frowns. ” It was sad to see such a big star like that …”

During that tour, Jerry marvels at the memory of what went on.

“All the bands did not stay within their groups. I would hang out with Levon Helm for a couple of hours and next thing – I am with Mickey Hart of the Dead. I was lucky to pick up stuff from those guys. It was a once- in- a -lifetime  event!”

The only sour note for Mercer is years later, in 2004, a documentary was released about the tour. Mercer and Mashmakhan were mentioned briefly. A point which Jerry does not believe is right as he put a lot of effort to get the film made.

“Mashmakhan was just as much a part of that as anyone!” Says Mercer. ” To feature the ‘ big names ‘ and not us is a shame for everyone involved.”

Realizing the domestic success was not happening, Mashmakhan broke up shortly after the tour which led to Mercer becoming a session guy for a while. Jerry played drums with Roy Buchanan – a man who Eric Clapton was once referred to as ‘ the greatest blues guitarist ever’ and a band by the name of the Whackers.

It was then, along with Steve Lang, Brian Greenway and Garry Moffat – Mercer auditioned and got the job as a drummer for the band April Wine. The foursome along with founding members Myles Goodwin and Jimmy Clench – went on to international fame …

To be continued …

Jerry Mercer will be playing Friday night, May 18 2012 at Calistoga Grill in Pointe Claire.

He will be joining John McGale and Breen LeBoeuf of Offenbach fame. A band which played together in the late eighties as The Buzz Band !

Just Between You and Me – Part Three and a Bit …

So there I was…

As I stood in front of a mahogany bar that was painted ever so slightly by the morning sunlight,  a smile appeared on my face. I had met some of my childhood idols, enjoyed a lustful evening of rock n roll and was pumped to enjoy a day of waitering. A few dollars in my pocket followed by an evening of blues … what was there not to be happy about !

One of the waitresses was behind the bar and preparing her station for the forthcoming events. Suddenly, the door which led from the bar to the adjacent terrace opened . With the sun and the maple boards as a backdrop – there stood a figure that was at once recognizable. A silhouette that graced hundreds of stages around the world. For the second time in less than twenty – four hours,  I was in the company of Mr. Jerry Mercer.

A Coincidental Coincidence

I had worked with this waitress for two months. I never knew her father was the drummer for April Wine. It was probably a good thing. If I had known – the poor girl would have had to endure many hours of questioning. Once I was done – the Spanish inquisition would have come across as a segment on a poor talk show.

Like a teenage boy receiving a glimpse of a girl’s underwear under a short skir,  I said hello to the icon with a huge smile on my face. Mercer recognized me from the previous evening and appeared equally amused to see me. He introduced me to his daughter (formally) and the pair let it be known that Jerry was dropping something off  the younger Mercer had forgotten. I told Jerry that I had thoroughly enjoyed the show and it was an immense pleasure to make his acquaitance for the second time. He thanked me,  kissed his daughter goodbye and was just about to make his exit – stage left , when a thought occurred to me.

I asked him if he would be interested in doing an interview.

Mr. Mercer replied in the same fashion as did Brian Greenway the night before.  ” Been there – done that ” was the sentiment the members of the band ( Myles excluded ) seemed to be riding –  full steam.

” Has anyone ever done a story about you ? ” I inquired with an inquiring mind.

” You know …” I continued. ” An interview about what makes Jerry tick outside of April Wine ? Your likes , dislikes etc…”

I was aware that I had the man ‘s curiosity by the neck. He stopped and stood for a moment. Save the smoke emitting from his ears – it was easy to tell the man was thinking….  Hard!

After a few minutes of trepidation – Jerry replied almost surprised. After all the years of playing with bands such as the Triangle, Mashmakhan, April Wine and the Buzz Band. All these seasons of playing with or around the likes of Trevor Payn ,  Roy Buchanan,  Janis Joplin, the Band,  the Grateful Dead and many more … Mr. Mercer realized that no one had ever sat down and spoke to him about his life experiences and his viewpoints.

I was to be the first and we made arrangements to meet the following week. 

To be continued …

%d bloggers like this: