Mathew and Jill Barber Keep Family Values Alive With New Album

Mathew and Jill Barber are brother and sister. 


Both – possessing very solid solo careers on their own but face it, family is family …


All these years later, the pair of siblings have finally recorded an album together and it is a feel good story. ‘The Family Album’ combines folk music with sentimental values – the album is an open door to heartwarming lyrics and melodies.

Please listen below as Mathew explains the album and his relationship with his younger sister.

Thanks for listening ! Talk soon !


Please visit Mathew Here !



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Jill Barber; Up Close …

Jill Barber is hard to pin down …

Is she Jazz? Pop? A little of both?


Judge for yourself with some songs off her latest album; Fool’s Gold. A melting pot with a sound purposely copied via The Dap Kings – Amy Winehouse’s backing group.

It is no surprise Jill sounds a little like Winehouse.

Please listen as Jill discusses the above topics moments before her performance at The Montreal International Jazz Festival.



Visit Jill Here!




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Hilary Jane; The Right Thing at ‘The Right Time’

Montrealer Hilary Jane has been singing in and around Montreal her entire life. Practically …

Now, following a series of events, life-altering events – she has decided to write and record her first full length album. It is a throwback to a different time and Hilary somehow makes it fresh again …

Please listen to this woman’s story and get ready to have your feet tapping!

Hilary …?






Please visit Hilary right here!

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Coming soon … my interview with Jill Barber!


Jill Barber
Jill Barber



What’s Happening on Rick Keene Music Scene?

What are you doing this week?

Mending the piece of  fence where the cattle escaped through? Cooking up a pot of grits to feed the outlaws who are coming to town to soak up the Jazz Festival?

Whatever it is – fear not …

Visit Rick Keene Music Scene all week to hear some great interviews along with some great tunes. The Jazz festival is starting on Thursday – so for the following ten days; a bevy of show reviews coming your way.

Thanks for listening!









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Rick Keene Music Scene Presents; What’s Going On?

As the talented Ranee Lee sings in her latest album ...’What’s Going On’?

Perfect words for what is upcoming on Rick Keene Music Scene along with a few new tracks from some Canadian groups.

In the case of Go Van Gogh – hear one of their classic songs as a per-cursor to their June 26th Jazz Festival appearance at Club Soda and my interview with Daniel Tierney.

So – what’s going on …?


Stay tuned for some awesome photos of Strangers in the Night 10

Thanks for Listening!


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Matthew Barber; A ‘Big Romance’ with Songwriting …

Matthew Barber considers himself to be a romantic

A lover and observer of all things in the universe. A songwriter. A modern day poet. 

In his latest album; ‘Big Romance‘, this Juno Award nominee – places his heart on the line and finishes first. A blend of old school Blues, Folk and Country – blended purposely with a Pop / Rock mentality.

Surrounding himself with some of the finest musicians and singers in Canada, Barber places himself among the elite of a new generation of songwriters in this vast country of talent.

Please listen as Matthew speaks of his love affairs …

Matthew …?



Please Visit Matthew Here!

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Jill Barber (Tres Smart ) Concert Review

They say the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Could it be possible the fastest way to a Francophone’s heart is through song? If so – songstress Jill Barber is a maverick of sorts.


Singing as part of the Jazz All Year Long series – Barber held court at The Metropolis Thursday night and had the Francophone patrons eating out of her hand.

Singing eight French songs from her newly released album ‘Chansons’ – Barber innocently and honestly explained her love affair with Paris, Piaf and La Province du Quebec. It was non – threatening, her easy speak. She is trying through French lessons and interpretations of songs. The audience  fell in love with the ‘trying’ – hook, line and sinker.


Then, there were the songs …

Imagine sitting on a sidewalk cafe in gay Paris. The birds are crooning from their perches high above as the sunlight paints romance with dabs of color. An accordion player sits at the corner. The sounds from the instrument intruding every nook, every cranny with mystique and casual prodding.

Add a grand piano. The keys sprinkling sounds of Spring like leaves on a journey into adulthood. An electric guitar piercing every so often – a pin prick on tender skin as lovers play. As partners make love.


The drums. Keeping the pace as hard or soft as the candles blow in the night. Pulsating or providing a backdrop to silent whispers. Romantic sax, clarinet and an unassuming bass, flying over and beyond the lyrics, the compositions and the tone.

Barber’s voice. Child like. Mature. A hint of realness. Dispensing innocence like a scent paving the way home.


Jill Barber has discovered a few things.

One; Francais is a hard language to grasp. Deux; French people love to hear an effort. Trois; French is the language of love …

Last night, Montreal discovered Jill Barber and fell in love with her …

Does anyone have Saku Koivu‘s phone number?

Jill Barber – ‘In Amour’

Jill Barber, according to Jill Barber,  took a big chance recording an album in French. Judging by the response in Canada so far – that chance appears to be being paying off.


The album is aptly titled “Chansons’. Released in January and inspired by Barber’s performance of a French  song at the 2009 Festival International de Jazz in Montreal, it is a wonderful surprise to Jill.

“I wasn’t very confident singing in French and a friend of mine offered to translate my song into the language. I performed it and I was overwhelmed by the response. It was kind of a revelatory moment in my life. Then I realized that I wanted to get my French back from my childhood and sing more of the beautiful language which is the language of love.”

Barber’s ‘French’ childhood was French class in  Port Credit, Ontario – her birthplace. Following stints in the East Coast of Canada and France – Barber now makes her home in Vancouver, B.C. With her fifth album completed and  vastly becoming ‘Canada’s sweetheart’, her hometown Province proudly lays claim to the beautiful singer.

“It’s been really interesting to see how my English fans seem to embrace the album even though they don’t speak French. I think the songs and the music bring out the same emotions regardless of language. So far, the album has been released all over Canada and will be released in France and Europe in the near future.”


Barber has not sung many of the new songs live and is looking forward to her show in Montreal on the 2nd of May. It will be the ‘real’ test  because a lot of Francophones and bilingual people will be in attendance. Because of this – Jill will be performing more French songs during her Montreal show than the ensuing gigs in Toronto and Calgary. The set list will include favorites from her repertoire so a performance consisting of  ‘French only’ on Thursday appears nil and void.

“I spent time in the South of France, even enrolling in a French immersion school. I am going back there in about ten days. My first French song was an Edith Piaf song. Sitting in a café in Paris made me fall in love with the tune and language. Piaf’s songs are filled with something which cannot be described. When choosing the songs for the album, I did not choose a song just because it was French, the songs had to hit me in a certain way. If it did, then I decided to record it. I would say the entire process, the  song selection, the recording, the producing took about a year. I am very proud of the result.”

Barber started writing songs when she was 14 and released he first CD when she was 16. She did not think of writing songs in French at that time, although her first single from the album ‘Mischievous Moon’ was released in both French and English (“Dis-Moi/Tell Me”). Her previous four discs focused instead on her folk – ish / coffee – house repertoire. ‘Chansons’ is not only Barber’s first album in another language, it is also her first album of covers.

A songwriter first, Jill believes if a song comes from the heart, it does not matter the language.


” I am writing songs for my new album now. So far – no French ones have come up but I may start writing in French. Obviously it would be better if I lived in Quebec and was surrounded by the language. I have commitments in Vancouver at the moment so i can’t just pick up and leave. I will be inspired over in France and hopefully one day, I will get to spend more time in Montreal.”

Jill Barber is performing Thursday night at The Metropolis. Showtime is at 8pm.

Concert and ticket info here