Dave the Bartender does not talk much …
He’s far too busy listening to questions sent in by listeners of Rick Keene Music Scene.
Have a question for Dave?
Send them to Rickkeene2@gmail.com
Dave? The Bartender?
Wanda Jackson dated Elvis Presley. Not bad eh?
Following forays into Rockabilly, Rock n Roll, Country and Gospel music – Mrs. Jackson is still going strong into her sixth decade. Her latest endeavor? Working with Jack White and Justin Townes Earle.
Please listen as Wanda explains her experiences.
All part of music history …
Johnny Cash, Elvis, Wanda Jackson, The Stray Cats and …
Five musical acts, hellbent on keeping the true roots of Rock n Roll alive.
Please listen as Alexander Brown discusses his band’s recent activity and what are the plans for the future …
Caleb Taylor is very much like Johnny Cash …
Does he play Country music? Not really. Is he addicted to drugs? Nope. Not unless an addiction to his wife and baby boy counts.
Caleb is like Johnny Cash because the pair share an experience. They both visited and played music for prisoners. A spiritual revelation which enabled both men to beat their demons and spread their wisdom through music.
Caleb? What’s up …?
Country music is alive and well in Montreal …
According to the genre’s rising star in this province – ‘Lil Andy would not like to play anywhere else – for long …
Listen as Andy explains many things including his latest CD, his influences and how he surprised his Mom!
Inevitably – age catches up to everyone. Rock n’ Rollers are no exception.
Lou Reed is the latest victim of a combination of age / sickness. Who is next? McCartney? Ringo? Jagger? Richards? ( never mind the latter – the Stones’ guitarist’s shelf life has long since passed and his existence is questionable …)
The common denominator within the names above is simple…
What is that? Reed legendary on the same level as The Beatles and The Stones? Did Reed ( who passed away at the age of seventy-one) pen tunes along the lines of Hey Jude or Brown Sugar? Over and over? Are his songs implanted into the gums of music history – never to be removed or destroyed in fire?
Around the world, in the past few days, young rockers ( or just plain youthful musicians) have prodded their parents with pesky questions pertaining to Mr. Reed. Truthfully and sadly –one response to the rockin’ requests was undoubtedly delivered. Answered with a glint in the eye and a jump to the past …
‘Take a walk on the wild side …” The PARENTS may have said, thinking back to a simpler time. ” … Plucked her eyebrows on the way, shaved her legs and then he was a she.’ ….’And the colored girls say dododo dodo dododo do dodo dodo dododo do dodo dodo dododo do dodo dodo dododo …’
‘Yeah …’ Came the responses from unresponsive teens. ” I know that tune! Great song …!” With that – the young ones would continue listening to Muse or The Sheepdogs in their interior worlds known as iPods. The horror!
Lou Reed – who passed away on the weekend, was known more for than just one song. His work with The Velvet Underground and specifically Nico – produced one of the greatest albums of all time. ‘Femme Fatale’. ‘Venus in Furs’,’There She Goes Again‘, ‘I’ll be Your Mirror’ and ‘I’m Waiting for the Man‘ – songs to be sung forever …
What made that album legendary – is something most artists cannot claim. The melodies, the harmonies, the musicianship, the songwriting and the chemistry between Cale,Reed, Nico, Morrison and Tucker – impeccable. Many artists can claim that on discs such as ‘Pet Sounds’, ‘Revolver’ and ‘Exile on Main Street‘ yet the songs Reed wrote or co -wrote did not make Reed a legend. What made Reed a legend was his courage or ‘defiance’ to talk or sing about all things taboo. The music was the vehicle.
Heroin, Transsexuals, open sexuality ( the pre-cursor to f*ck friend) and general decadence. Things that existed. Things that lived and breathed in the pores of society long before Lou entered the dangerous picture. Reed made these subjects fashionable. The Rolling Stones may have opened the door – Reed and his ‘underground’ took it to another level. The Stones had their ‘Mother’s Little Helper‘ – Reed and his cronies raped her and stole her pills. Publicly!
Lyrically, Reed opened up to everything he saw. No candy-coating on what was happening in New York from 1966- 1973. No sugar in his coffee as he stared down the core of the rotting Big Apple. The world contains a lot of blackness and Reed drank it and spat it out. Darker than ever. Prettier than ever. Right up to his recent passing.
Some musicians are poets. Some poets are musicians. Some – talented in one way more than another. Reed was equal in his talents. Raw, undressed and ready to go. A guitar riff as raunchy as his scowling words. You could not dress him up or take him out. Not on terms that disagreed with him. Not on terms deemed ‘politically correct’ …
Mr. Reed invented political incorrectness. A child of his environment – Reed saw the United States for what it was. Hypocritical, seedy, uncouth, unworthy of his worthiness. The peace and love generation wanted to ‘fix’ things – Reed basked in the horrors. Somehow aware things would never change and if they did – they would stay the same.
Rock stars, Jazz stars, Pop stars, Country stars and Disco stars can all be labelled. Even if their personas flop between identities. Bowie was a spaceman, weird but understandable. Michael Jackson? A weirdo from space? Unidentifiable yet classifiable. Johnny Cash – a man tormented by demons yet agonizingly shelved with so many artists. On and on except for Lou Reed …
A rebel …? Sorta. A junkie in the form of Keith Richards …um …no. An alcoholic a la Moon? Nope. Not even close. A genius in the form of Dylan? Bite our collective tongues …
Reed was a man unlike any other. Lost in translation yet translated as lost. A man in the mirror. An introspective soul unafraid to discover himself. A guitar player whose chords were tuned to his world while staying out of tune with the world’s. Above Dylan yet darker? Tortured like Cash yet tamed through words. ‘Out there’ like a Bowie / Jackson tandem yet with feet planted firmly on Earth.
I don’t know just where I’m going
But I’m gonna try for the kingdom, if I can
‘Cause it makes me feel like I’m a man
When I put a spike into my vein
One of the hottest flames to rise out of Montreal’s musical blaze, The In & Outs, a high voltage, electrifying experience have announced the following show dates in Vermont along with taking coincidence of their newly released album ‘Zero Gravity’ and acrobatics of their new music video ‘There We Go’ to a new level as they will be performing a flying high set for the grand opening of Montreal rock climbing center ‘Zéro Gravité’ on September 21st in Montreal, QC.
David Groover vocalist / guitarist comments:
“We’re very excited about this off the wall performance, literally! We will be flying in the air performing 3 songs at the grand opening of the ‘Zéro Gravité’ climbing center. The plan is to have two drums sets installed, one on the ground and one in the air on a floating platform along with myself playing guitar and singing with our bassist Alex. We will be floating and rocking out from up above from wall to wall. To get a bit of visual of what we’ll be doing live! Check out our music video ‘There We Go’.”
Music Video – There We Go – http://youtu.be/IJk83l6CCXY
The In & Outs Show Dates
October 1 – Nectar’s, Burlington, VT
October 10 – L’Escogriffe – Montreal, QC w/ Dead Messenger
December 18 – Radio Bean – Burlington, VT
Expertly fusing rock riffs with cheeky lyrics and the occasional hint of funky blues only begins to underline the trio’s vast influences from diverse genres, ranging from Johnny Cash to The Doors, passing through Elvis Presley and John Spencer.
Lyrically eclectic and musically unrivalled each and every In & Outs song demonstrates a profound love of music and reflects the ups and downs of life and the essence of a society where creating your own opportunities leads to self-fulfilment, all of which is transmitted to their audiences through a hypnotic stream of sound and energy.
Landing a commercial placement in a 2011 Ford Focus televised ad in Quebec with their track ‘Steep Mountain’ (video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAoRDl-VM2g), along with their songs ‘Celebrate Consumption’ and ‘Boo My God’ used for Sports Network (RDS) show H2Snow (video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9WcXbQXYWQ), The In & Outs have progressed in the Montreal music scene and beyond, touring Europe in 2012 and performing at multiple festivals in support of last year’s self-titled EP and their debut album, ‘Ascending Back and Forth’.
We are always excited to bring great folks to town, but numbers are down for our shows and this is a concern when it comes to launching a new festival. Summer time is busy and we all have things going on that take us away from the area, but if you are around next Saturday (July 27th), we’ve got THE MIGHTY LOPEZ (Mike Lopez Phillips) back by popular demand and he’s gearing up to record his first solo album….this promises to be a fun night of sampling songs that may be included, featuring his own original songs as yet performed in concert, but also covers by STOMPIN’ TOM CONNORS, JOHNNY CASH, HANK WILLIAMS, DYLAN and even some cool acoustic ROLLING STONES… Show details below.
Following Lopez, we have Folk Superstar GARNET ROGERS coming in on WED AUG. 7th. He’s on his way to play the Red Rocks Festival in Thunder Bay and we get to have him with us en route. If you’ve seen Garnet Rogers before, you KNOW of his brilliance and, I’m hoping that he will read more of the book that he is writing about his time on the road with his (in)famous brother STAN. It is always a highlight for me and I cannot wait until this book is finally finished. Show details below.
Two upstart singer/songwriters that we love are coming on SAT. SEPT. 14th – JAMES GRAY and SCOTT GILSON. You’ve seen them open shows for us, now it is their turn to shine. Show details below.
Finally, WENDELL FERGUSON is back on FRI. SEPT. 27th. This show was to launch a new music festival (Music In Colour) for Tom Thomson Park in South River, but we may put the festival launch over to next autumn pending turn-out to our concerts and if numbers of audience members come up. Could be that instead of a festival we present SONGS FROM THE LAST WALTZ on Saturday Sept. 28th with some solo performances by some of the cast throughout the afternoon and evening. Again, it will depend on getting concert attendance numbers up.
We thank everyone for their support of Live music and for helping to keep South River on the touring schedule for many great artists that we have the pleasure to present. You are important and any feedback that you wish to offer or comments that you wish to make are always welcome.
Here is the show info – all concerts are at
Gladys and Vernon Presley‘s son had many monikers. Movie star, Elvis ‘the Pelvis’ and ‘The King of Rock n Roll’ – to name but three very important ones. ‘Wanda Jackson‘s boyfriend’ was also a name Elvis toted for a while. Few know it – everyone is impressed when it is discovered…
“I worked with Elvis from the summer of ’55 to ’57.” Says Wanda. ” I did not do every tour with him but I did do some very long tours with him. Don’t forget – I was very excited at that time to start my own career. We dated and liked each other and all, we had a sweet friendship and cared for each other deeply. At that time there was Jerry Lee Lewis, myself, Johnny Cash, Elvis, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbinson – a bunch of guys, we all toured together. All of us became very close friends and cheered each other on as our records began to sell.”
Jackson continues …
“As the years went on, Elvis and I did not keep in touch but I followed his career like everyone else. He got so big – he was in a different world. Like everyone else, I was saddened by what happened to him at the end but I don’t think anyone could have saved him. It is funny – back in the beginning when Elvis starting getting popular and the girls were grabbing him and everything, my Father ( who was Wanda’s manager at the time) said he would have a miserable life. He said that Elvis won’t be able to go out and lead a normal life. My Dad was exactly right …”
Wanda and the rest of the people in question, the ‘men’ in her life, did not realize at the time they were starting something special. Little did they know, they were setting the groundwork for future generations of rockers. They were the pioneers of Rock n Roll …
“All of us were young and just doing our thing, just having fun.” Explains Jackson form her home in Oklahoma City.” At that time, nobody understood young people and they were trying to make it bad what we were doing. They made it devilish – which, of course, it was not. We had no idea what we were starting and I guess we were the pioneers. Myself, I have the distinction of being the first woman in Rockabilly. It is something that makes me proud.”
Wanda Jackson may be known as the first lady of Rockabilly yet funny enough – it was country music where she enjoyed most of her success starting in the early sixties. A genre of music which explains the roots of Wanda’s career.
“I pretty much gave up on Rock n Roll.” Explains the seventy-five year old Grandmother. ” I could not get any airplay. I did not get my first hit ( in Rock) until 1960 ( Let’s Have a Party) and I started recording in 1956. I just thought -well, they are not going to play my records and if the fans cannot hear them – they won’t buy them. I switched to country to make some money. I would often make side A on my record a Country song and side B a Rockabilly song. That way I got the best of both worlds and Country music kept me afloat.”
Jackson’s decision paid immediate dividends …
Her early sixties country songs such as “Right or Wrong” and “In The Middle of a Heartache”, both earned her spots in the top ten on the Country charts as well as stays in the Top Forty Pop charts. Her new -found popularity, forcing Capitol Records to re-release her past Rockabilly / Rocks songs and allow Wanda the freedom to record one last disc for the company. ‘Two Sides of Wanda’ showcased Jackson’s genius as a duel Country and Rock performer. It was a mixture of both genres and has left a permanent mark in the history of music. In 1965, Jackson made the move to country music with an exclamation point. She had a string of Top 40 hits during the next ten years including “Tears Will Be the Chaser For Your Wine” and “The Box it Came In”. Just two examples of what would be many Top Forty hits.
Her soul somewhat incomplete until she commenced the next chapter in her life. A integration of Gospel music into her repertoire. A genre which is part of the foundation of popular music. ..
‘I became a Christian and was very enthused about that.” Explains Wanda. “The music industry continued to change and was in turmoil really since 1956 on through. I never intended to divorce Country music – I just wanted to add Gospel. Capitol did not want it and they allowed me to record only one album in Gospel so by my choice – I decided to walk away. I wanted to pursue a more Gospel – oriented career because that’s where my heart was at the time and still is …”
Jackson’s Mother was a devout Christian yet her Father did not ape his partner’s denomination. Her Dad was very encouraging and believed Christianity was the right thing to do although he did not practice it. Wanda also wanted to raise her children in that environment and believes that accepting the Lord in her life in 1971 – is the reason that good things have come her way every since. Things like working with one of Rock’s biggest names – Jack White.
It’s a long way from Mersey to Montreal. It’s even a longer journey from the home of the Beatles to Nashville; music – wise.
Don’t tell Lee Mellor all this – he won’t believe you …
The England – born singer / songwriter arrived in Canada at the ripe age of five. Bowmanville,Ontario was the new adress for the Mellors. This introduction to the space and vastness of Canadian soil, opened the door to Mellor’ s soul.
Highways, natives and trains. Say what?
” These themes are reoccuring in my songs and in my psyche. Somehow I think they have become part of my experience in Americanization. There is something about the sheer size of Canada that fascinates me!”
Not only is Mellor a great story telling music artist whose tastes contain a mixture of everyone from Bob Dylan to Otis Redding – Lee is also a published author. His first book; Cold North Killer; Canadian Serial Killer, can be found among the best in Canada when it comes to this rather gruesome subject.
“It ( the book ), has opened so many doors for me. I have made acquaintances with prominent phychologists and police both here and in the U.S.” Says Mellor just before he hits the stage at Casa del Papalo on St.Laurent Blvd. ” In my own way, through my words and music, I am trying to serve humanity the best way I can. Not Mother Theresa or anything – just my part”
It does not require a pychologist to analyze what makes Mellor’s music rise to the top of the music heap. It’s all about telling a tale. Stories that come from someone aside from Lee himself.
” When I write the songs, it’s another personality that takes over.” Says Lee. ” Its hard to explain but I become another character and I visualize the story through them.”
A good example of these ‘ characters’ is in the song; Liberty Street. A tune which is on Mellor’s first c.d – Ghost Town Heart. The disc was released in 2007.
The song is the story of two perspectives.Two pairs of eyes seeing the pomp and pageantry of a military-type parade which takes place on main street in ‘anytown’ North America.
The first take is from a naive point of view. An innocent child not understanding the concept of the ‘trotting out’ of the flags of war. The secondary viewing is through the eyes of a war veteran. A person who has lived through and seen war first hand. That person’s view is jaded and along with the child’s outlook; a dislike of the parade takes place for different reasons.
Toss these derogatory views into the type of music which makes you want to hold your sweetheart tightly in ‘anytown Canada’, a moment is created by Mellor which rests profoundly in the heart.
It’s no secret why Mellor pens these types of songs.
Lee grew up listening to and admiring people such as Johnny Cash, Steve Earle, the Band, Gram Parsons and Towne Van Zandt. ‘Dirty Blues’ and ‘Dirty Country’ are the roots which hold Lee firm in his songwriting prowess.
“I was attracted to these storytelling musicians because it seemed more real. It was all about the content of the lyrics more than the image.”
Mellor created his recent c.d; ‘Loser’, in the same fashion. The first disc was all about the sound being tight and produced perfectly. The first disc was also more country.
” ‘Loser’ is more raw and fun.” Says Mellor. “It is also more psychedelic, drawing from my love of the sixties and early seventies music. I would say the second disc is more rock n’ roll.”
Two albums and soon another book for Mellor. Rampage; Canadian Mass Murderer and Spree Killing should hit the bookstores in 2013. This time – Lee is chronicling Canadian killers who carry out dasterdly deeds such as the recent killings in Colorado.
Mr. Mellor is a very talented fellow. He plays guitar, banjo, mandolin and harmonica. He writes and produces all his music. He tries to find a balance in all this as the artistic side does not always pay the bills.
Lee is hoping to return to Concordia University in the fall. An institution which brought him to Montreal in the first place ( he obtained a history degree ). This time Mellor is after a PhD …
“My books or music do not take precedent over one another.” Says Lee. ” I don’ t chose one to make a living. I believe I need both to balance me out – keep me steady.”
Luckily for a fan, sitting at a Mellor concert invites all type of emotion which is far from steady. Drinking songs, ballads, foot – stompin’, dancing and even a taste of punk rock hits the audience squarely in their musical palates.
If Bluegrass, Country, Rock, Motown, Blues, Soul and Folk music are your tastes, grab Mellor’s music.
Van Morrison up your alley? Listen to Lee’s amazing talent and why not read a couple of ‘true crime’ books while the eclectic tunes are spinning in the background.
They won’t kill ya …