Rick Keene Music Scene – Happy Birthday Sir Michael Philip Jagger

“Sexually unsatisfied, financially unsatisfied and philosophically trying …”

The above quote was by Mick Jagger during their second tour of the U.S. in 1965. A tour which cemented their place at the time as second to The Beatles in the world.

Over the years, The Stones – despite the backlash of ‘society’ over their rebellious ways and disregard for so called public decency, The Stones have not just endured, they have outlasted most of their contemporaries

Mick Jagger and his intelligence are the main reason why.

Combining excellent showmanship with business savvy. Artistic and intellectual curiosity with an unmatched ability to mimic vocal ebbs and flows. Jagger has mastered the art of a front-man and set the bar for all to follow. No Mick Jagger – no Freddie Mercury, No Mick – no Stephen Tyler, no Michael Jackson, no Prince. Add the fact that none come close to matching the amount of quality songs penned by Mr. Jagger; at the age of 76 – Sir Mick sits alone on the throne.

Please have a listen below to my Birthday Tribute.

A Review of Keith Richards’ Documentary ‘Under the Influence’

Most people have dual citizenships. Keith Richards has dual personalities.

In the documentary ‘ Under the Influence ‘ ( available on Netflix) – the lines are blurred with orgasmic pleasure for a true music fan.

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The general population love Keith Richards. The masses also know very little about the man.

They know the myth. They have read the tales of decadent behavior and the seemingly endless nine lives which appear to pursue Richards on and off the stage. Everyone loves a survivor. Especially one who has written the songbook of Rock n Roll with a middle finger left off the fret and pointed straight at the powers that be.

Keith Richards at seventy – one years of age, can do no wrong. He has earned the right to captain the Black Pearl.

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‘Under the Influence’, the documentary which coincides with the release of Richards ‘ first solo album in over twenty years (Crosseyed Heart), is a showcase of Richards’ mindset in the studio as he lays down tracks with his ‘Xpensive’ mates.

Instead of this documentary being solely a marketing tool to help sell copies of an album made by a Grandfather who ( in Rock n Roll history) should be passed his prime, the film instead utilizes the celluloid moments to open the drapes and let the rays of American music display Richards’ crevasses on his worn face as valleys of knowledge. In short – ‘Under the Influence’ is a proper documentary.

In short – Keith Richards is a proper musician.

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The Stones’ guitarist has forgotten more than most know. The Stones’ guitarist happily has not forgotten more than most know.

Director Morgan Neville takes that knowledge and places it elegantly into a history class. Not a Blues class. Not a Rock n Roll class. Not a Country music class. Not even a Great American Songbook class.

Neville and Richards deliver a top of the line University music class with the above ingredients both separate and blurred together. Just as elegantly as Richards himself.

The best thing? Lazy people need not apply …

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In the 1960’s, the Beatles reinvented popular music. They too were influenced by the same men who laid the foundation for the Stones’ songbook. The Beatles remained white British boys while the Stones transformed into a bunch of Black kids playing the Blues to anyone who would scream. The Rolling Stones with Brian Jones , Mick Jagger and Keith Richards leading the way, introduced American Blues to America white folks.

In 2015, in glorious irony, at a time when the music business and an entire generation of musicians appear ‘lost for words’, along comes Keith Richards ‘under the influence’ once more.

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Satan, God or whoever runs the show – every once in a while sends Richards into the forest as a musical Robin Hood.  A rich man giving back to the poor.

In the eighties, when Rock n Roll and all it’s edgy guitars took backseat to synthesized drums machines and keyboards, it was Richards’ ‘Start Me Up’ riff that kept Chuck Berry sane. While Mick Jagger was experimenting with every sound heard by dogs and people as a solo artist, Richards angrily released the album ‘Talk is Cheap.’ A project that is held in highest esteem by any musician worth their weight in music.

Richards’ kept the Rock n Roll/ Blues and R and B barge afloat without a ‘Life’ jacket.

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Here is where the dual personality kicks in.

Richards’ has also kept Country music in people’s consciences. From ‘Country Honk’ off of Let It Bleed’, the entire Beggars Banquet album and into ‘Dead Flowers’ off of the Stones’ classic 1971 album Sticky Fingers and everything in between, Richards continues the tradition and love of Country on his new album Crosseyed Heart. Keith Richards along with Hank Williams, George Jones, Gram Parsons, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Wanda Jackson and thousands or millions more – have kept the world balanced within the structure of ‘Rock n Roll’.

No Country music equals no Blues or vice versa. No Blues / Country  means no ‘Roll’ in the Rock.

Richards likes his Roll … thank you very much.

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There is so much in Keith Richards songwriting than meets the bloodshot eye. ‘Under the Influence’ gives a glimmer of what makes one half of  The Glimmer Twins glimmer.

Hogey Carmichael and the Great American Songbook were a huge part of Richards’ post – war English environment. Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Solomon Burke and all the Soul and R and B men are the foundations of Richards’ indestructible frame. Mix them all together within a man with the backbone of a lion? The main ingredient of Richards’ and the Stones’ longevity. The ability to place a song ahead of the solos.

Craftsmanship.

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‘Under the Influence’ is a thoughtful insight into an ageing man’s psyche. Musically and as a human being.

Many times during the film Richards’ is on the cusp of melancholy and wistfulness. Tears are welling up behind the shades as much as his influences are masked by the shades of Rock n Roll. The documentary – a rare peek into Keith Richards as a man who has conquered everything on his own terms and has no idea how he has ended up as one of the most – loved people on the planet. No idea how he has ended up still ‘ on the planet’ for that matter.

It is called integrity Mr. Richards. See you at The Crossroads ….

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Ladies and Gentlemen – The Rolling Stones in Quebec

Keith Richards can no longer play guitar like the Richards of old.

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Any Rolling Stones review post – coconut tree (shrub) incident must include this fact. Stones’ fans know it, newer fans and people seeing the band for the first time must be educated. A combination of arthritic fingers / memory loss and / or years of living dangerously have left Keef a ‘moonlight mile’ from his former self.

Why is this important information for a ‘Zip Code’ Tour that has generated rave reviews leading to the finale in Quebec City?

Believe it or not – The Stones were better when ‘the engine’ operated on all cylinders. Believe it or not – The Stones are currently better than bands half their age who are operating on all cylinders. The Stones are ‘ that good’ .

The 2015 touring Stones whose four members’ collective ages reach a high decibel of 282 years, put on quite the spectacle in Quebec City on Wednesday, July 15th on The Plains of Abraham as part of Le Festival d’ Ete . As part of history.

Setting an attendance record is one thing. Setting a record at their age – a tip of the ‘tongue’ for the boys who are commencing their 52nd year as a band ( Charlie Watts joined in 1963 and for the band, the official start of their career).

Several factors ( aside from the songs) make the Stones as popular as ever879bc02607d427cd8cc4740919adfd5d

Their legendary mystique continues to add more and more generations of fans with every tour. Everyone must see the Stones at least once and with Grandfathers, Fathers, Uncles and Older Siblings passing the message along, a Stones’ show is always going to be filled with excitement. A sense of anticipation that no band can generate like The Rolling Stones.

Here’s the funny part.

That sense of danger. That increasing heartbeat. That insatiable desire to be fed raw unadulterated Rock n Roll has been with the Stones for fifty years. It was there on their first tour of America in 1964 and has festered in every show since. When The Stones are coming to a city, the urban buzz precedes and predates the concert by weeks. An uncanny sense of rebelliousness sets in because ‘the Stones fought the law and the Stones won’ – why cant we? Every city and every citizen welcomes the ‘pirates’ of music with open abandonment and for a couple of sinister weeks, generations have carte blanche to live vicariously through the Stones and their ‘satanic’ mentality. Generations create an invisible mutiny against their bosses, spouses and government.

That sense of ‘kicking authority in the teeth’ – front and center in 95,000 music fans’ fantasies on Wednesday night.

From the opening Richards’ ‘Start Me Up’ riff, Jagger et al hooked the ‘virgin’ and seasoned punters. It’s one thing to tire of the tunes on disc but hearing it live makes it important once more. Hearing the ‘ancient art of weaving’ as Wood and Richards challenge one another within the structure of a song is unique and priceless. Weaving with open tuning is the Stones. Part Blues, part Country and all their own.

Charlie Watts’ Jazzy crisp snare and a nanosecond removed from Richards’ relentless rhythm is also the Stones. A sound once again unique and definitive of the Stones’ ragged musicianship.

Jagger’s unchallenged  talent of vocal mimicking. Blending Soul, Blues, Country, R and B and every style he has ever enjoyed into drawls and connotations which cannot be mimicked by anyone else.  The ultimate showman and the unchallenged front-man of Rock n Roll.

Together – an initiation into the Stones’ ‘club’. The entrance fee? Your soul …

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Everything is never rosy in a Stones’ show. Organized chaos has forever been their motto and the band can never be accused of choosing perfect set-lists. Lately, one or two songs are altered on any given evening. For a Stones’ fan – boring. For a new (er) recruit? Blissful. A ‘Beggar’s Banquet ‘ of sounds supplicated live.

What ‘Start Me Up’ does to open things, the sophomore song ‘It’s Only Rock n Roll’ could easily stop the excitement in it’s guitar strings. Never a great song live as  the song only allows Richards’ weaknesses to shine through. A glorified Berry riff void of it’s studio cousin’s charm. A rhythmic warm-up for the band – nothing more.

Then – things get interesting …A pair of songs written in the basement of a former Nazi headquarters in the South of France. 

‘All Down the Line’ and ‘Tumblin’ Dice’ from the Stones’ most complete album; Exile on Main Street. The real Stones start to emerge within the rawness of the former and the groove of the latter. Disjointed sloppiness gives way to the classic pocket of a Stones comfort. A feeling which ‘once upon a time’ gave title to their ‘Greatest Rock n Roll Band in the World’ moniker. A title which in 2015 remains intact.

‘Street Fighting Man’ – the request song of the evening introduced in the past few tours via internet as a fan friendly ‘ keep up with the Jones’ gimmick, remains a no-frills Rock song. No ad- libs by Sir Mick. No flashy solos by the  ‘almost out of tune’ guitars. A relentless repetition of chords which increase intensity as the tune echos Jagger’s lyrics and Watts’ hard pounding metronome. The Stones have nothing to do but to play in a Rock n Roll band so why fight the simplicity of what any garage band does when their managers and record executives are looking away.

‘Wild Horses’, the only ballad of the evening, was shocking. With eyes closed, it was Mick in the 1960’s with Marianne Faithful on his arm.  His voice on the Plains of Abraham as fresh and crisp as a man half his age. The entire evening was proof of Jagger’s amazing vocals yet somehow, Wild Horses from the album Sticky Fingers was special. The song, on a cool Wednesday evening under the stars, was transformed to a turntable in front of 95,000 basement party guests. To steal a Pink Floyd title; the guests were ‘Comfortably Numb’ and the band became the evening’s dealers.

Throughout the Stones’ career, they have obtained legendary status based on their unmatched circus-like live shows. Over the years, a myth has spread that they have always been great musically on stage. To set the record straight, they can be the worse band one night and the best group the next. This is the legend of the Stones. The band that never acts or attempts to fit into preconceived ideology of how a band should act.

‘Bitch’ was the Stones at their worst on Wednesday night as the Sticky Fingers’ song defined sloppiness. Jagger’s vocals losing their way in choruses and the horn section while Wood and Richards fought to keep it all together. The tune sounded like a riff looking for a home on a Stones ‘ album but could not make the cut. A bootleg which demonstrated Richards’ 2015 weakness on the guitars and perhaps – proving former sax player ( deceased) Bobby Keys’ absence is profoundly missed by the band and his partner-in-crime Richards.

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‘Honky Tonk Woman’ came next and in 2015 – the song is a conundrum. An audience ‘guilty pleasure’ and the ultimate party -with-chicken-wire-around-the-band song. Richards’ can still perform his trademark riffs and the opening of ‘Honky Tonk’ makes the hairs on anyone’s neck take notice of the ‘gin soaked bar room Queen’ about to take the stage. Sadly – in recent years, the song has become too generic. Too clean for Rock n Roll’s original punks and their decadent fan base. It starts as a journey into a crack-house but quickly becomes a corporate reality show.

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Ladies and Gentlemn – the home run trot now begins ….

Commencing with the band introductions and a chance for fans to say thank you through applause, it is also the introduction of Keef’s opportunity to shine. The generic ‘two song’ showcasing of Rock’s most elegantly wasted human being.

‘Before They Make Me Run’ and ‘Happy’ took center stage on Wednesday evening amid cries of adulation, respect and pride. The prodigal son is alive and standing with cockroaches within earshot of Richards’ maniacal laugh.

Two songs which define Keef more than others. An insight into kicking his heroin habit and authority away. Happy’s ‘never kept a dollar past sunset’ and ‘ always took candies from strangers’ biographical lyrics frightening in their reality of a survivor’s ability to stand true. Riffs uniquely Keef-isms. Riffs as pleasant as they are unpleasant. Defining moments on display of the reason the Stones remain apart from every band. Once more – garage band stuff littered with oil (blood?) stained hands. Richards walking before he ran …

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In Quebec, ‘Paint it Black’, ‘Get Off of My Cloud’, ‘Ruby Tuesday’, ‘ ‘Cant You Hear Me Knocking’, Love is Strong’, ‘Fool to Cry’, ‘Angie’, Emotional Rescue’ and ‘Star Star’ were not played. Nor were some of the greatest songs in the past five decades displayed. Not many bands can leave the very songs which defined the decades of their success on the sound-check floor. Unless …

Midnight RamblerMiss YouGimme ShelterJumpin’ Jack FlashSympathy for the DevilBrown SugarYou Can’t Always Get What You Want and (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction are part of the soundtrack of humanity for the past fifty years. In the words of Jagger; ‘people want to hear these songs live and we can’t displease our fans …’

If any song in the Stones’ arsenal proves undeniable they are the best of all time – it’s Midnight Rambler. No matter the decade, the stage or state of the band, Rambler combines everything into one epic story of the history of The Blues blending into modern day Rock. It allows a journey from Robert Johnson’s crossroads through Sonny Boy Williamson’s harmonica and into Muddy Waters’ Checkerboard Lounge.  It allows Richards to demonstrate no nonsense riffing and Jagger’s only ‘pure’ character to emerge from within his may personas. It allows an insight into why Mick and Keef met at the Dartford train station and to this day – remain on the same train. Rambler also unites the crowd into a mass of unsolicited focus. The demonic presence of the Stones and / or the demonic presence which watches over the Stones takes control. In every Stones concert since that fateful day in Altamont California, ‘Rambler’ means the Stones are getting serious.

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‘Miss You’ – the band’s biggest commercial hit, makes  the most demur sisters dance. A non fan dragged to a Stones show against their will starts to groove. Jagger, the original ‘prince of darkness’ struts his feminine / masculine self across and into the crowd like the piper he is. The wettest of rats will survive Jagger’s emotional rescue as Mick sets the tone for how people will behave. Like a magician in satin sheets, Jagger controls if, when and how the orgasms will play out. Rambler and Miss You – Michael Phillip Jagger’s wands of magic and manipulation.

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‘Gimme Shelter’ not only showcases Lisa Fisher’s vocal talents and enables her to get work outside of the Stones with ease, it is also a defining moment for many punters in attendance. No song within the Stones’ artillery belt ( Paint it Black a close second) represents the closeness of evil versus good. Richards’ opening ascending riff combined with Jagger’s warning of impending doom symbolic of every generation being ruled through fear. Consciously or unconsciously, the Stones created a timeless tune which hovers above any musical act with a sense of irony, realism and fear of the political monster that gives no shelter but promises safety. The Stones had an insight in the sixties and sadly society has not changed. The Stones had an insight in the sixties and gladly for the people in attendance, the Stones’ message has not changed.

The rest of a Stones show is gravy on top of a delicious piece of steak.

‘Flash’ and ‘Sympathy’ are covered in Brown Sugar. Each timeless ‘drink and shout’ party song belongs to someone in the crowd. Energetic songs with riffs unmatched. As pleasing to a seventy year old’s ears as to an eighteen year old. Sing-a-long choruses as simple as smoking a joint or sipping a hidden drink inside a tongue-adorned flask. It’s no genius behind the Stones’ most loved songs. It’s a relentless in-your-face sound which grabs the primal instincts and awakens the dormant demons. Masks are discarded and it’s a gas, gas, gas …

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In Quebec, the Stones delivered a two hour and fifteen minute show which would have been longer if the good folks of Le Festival d’Ete could / would have lifted the curfew. The final pair of songs, the encores, left everyone content. All smiles as the 90,000 plus left the Plains of Abraham anything but plain …

‘Can’t Always Get What You Want’ (sung with Le Chœur des Jeunes de Laval) was  a pleasure. Once more Jagger conducting his orchestra, the crowd and a timeless message. Witnessing Jagger alone on the catwalk with a noir backdrop and sporadic glimmerings of light is historic. The Stones and Jagger somehow have managed to grab the pulse of every sick aspect of society, all the hopes and dreams which never change and capture the imagination of anyone and any age. Under the stars in Quebec, Jagger and the Stones ‘tried’ and the fans got what they needed including ‘ satisfaction …’

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Satisfaction was sung in unison by 95,000 people to end the night. A remarkable thing. It was not sung for pleasure. It was not sung because the crowd could. It was sung with a forcefulness and conviction. It was a crowd, five generations of people and a Rock n Roll band agreeing on a simple fact of life. No matter how hard people try, satisfaction is never obtained.

Maybe one day – the Stones will be as satisfied as the 95,000 people who saw them for what may be the last time on such a grand stage.

Doubtful or the Stones would not have been in Quebec on Wednesday evening driving around the world tryin’ to meet some girl …

 

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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 … 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 …


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Take An Elevator Ride with Miles Davis and Discover What’s Happening at The Jazz Festival

The 36th Edition of The Montreal International Jazz Festival is heading towards the final weekend.

Photo Denis Alix
Photo Denis Alix

As the weather turns from frightful into delightful – head on down and enjoy the best festival of it’s type in the world!

Listen below to a few of the shows this weekend and click on the Jazz festival logo to access everything you need to know about the Festival.

Thanks for listening! Talk soon …

 

 

Joss Stone - July 5th
Joss Stone – July 5th

 

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The Kentucky Headhunters – ‘ John Bonham Dying Killed Our First Shot at Success …

The Kentucky HeadHunters are living proof – Country Music and Blues make up Rock n’ Roll …

Johnnie Johnston
Johnnie Johnston

Starting in 1968 as The Itchy Brothers – the band came oh-so-close to stardom. An untimely death ultimately killed their chances of becoming ‘America’s Greatest Rock n Roll band’ yet, like Rock n Roll itself – they came back with a vengeance …

Please listen to Part One and Part Two of my interview with Richard Young. Richard talks about working with Chuck Berry’s pianist (and friend) Johnnie Johnston. The greatest sideman in the history of Rock n Roll.

Kentucky Headhunters Live
Kentucky Headhunters Live

 

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Philip Sayce – This is Your Father’s Rock n Roll!

 

Philip Sayce did not just get off the Rock n Roll truck …

A Mini-Van perhaps – but not a truck!

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Fresh off a triumphant eight city tour of Canada that left fans and critics spellbound, rock guitar sensation Philip Sayce makes his major label debut on Tuesday, April 7 with the release of his album Influence.

Originally released in Europe in late August 2014 to critical acclaim, the Canadian version of Influence will include two new songs led by the first single, Philip’s incendiary version of the Ten Years After classic “I’d Love To Change The World.”

The video for “I’d Love To Change The World” is now live on Philip’s YouTube channel.

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Born in Wales and raised in Toronto, Canada, Philip Sayce’s love of the guitar started at an early age when his parents introduced him to all of the classics, notably, Clapton, Hendrix, and Beck. He started playing guitar as a teen and before long was winning admirers at blues jam nights at Grossman’s Tavern in downtown Toronto.

One such admirer was legendary guitarist Jeff Healey who invited Philip to join his band with whom he toured the world for the next couple of years. After a move to Los Angeles, producer John Shanks introduced Philip to Melissa Etheridge who recruited him for her band. Over the next several years Philip performed on Melissa Etheridge’s albums and was featured during her live sets on world tours.

Please listen below  to my conversation with Philip.

 

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James Green; Never a Bridesmaid – Always a Blushing Bride .​.​.

The Blushing Brides.

North America’s version of

‘The Greatest Rock n’ Roll Band in the World.’

Thirty-six years together as ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Cover Band’.

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Lead guitarist James Green has been there from almost the beginning. He has been there since the band became one of the most sought after tribute bands in North America!

James Green has seen it all …

Please listen to James explain many things including the Brides’ original 1982 song; ‘What You Talkin’ Bout ..’

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From B.B King to Keef – An ‘Acoustic’ Chat with Colin James …

Saskatchewan – born Colin James has lived a dreamy life …

So far – Stevie Ray Vaughan, Keith Richards, Carlos Santana and Buddy Guy are just a few of the guitar players Colin has had the opportunity to play or hang out with.

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Not bad for a young guy who hoped to be able to ‘just see these guys live’ …

Or – for that matter, ‘just travel outside of Saskatchewan.’

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Please listen below to Colin’s thoughts on many topics including B.B King, his latest album and playing Ping Pong with The Rolling Stones.

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Top Ten Things Overheard Backstage on The Rolling Stones’ 2015 Zip Code Tour

 

The Stones are at it again …!

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Fifty-three years since the boys formed a band in the name of a Muddy Waters’ song – they are back on the road and visiting fifteen cities in North America this summer.

Ronnie Wood just celebrated his fortieth anniversary with the band and he holds up the rear at the young age of sixty – eight.

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Jagger ( 71), Richards ( 71) and Charlie Watts (74 ) are Rock’s royalty. Having survived and surpassed everyone in the music business except for a few of The Bluesmen who inspired their careers.

In 2015 – the backstage antics ain’t what they used to be for the Bad Boys of Rock n Roll. Times have changed …

Here are the Top Ten Things Overheard Backstage at a Rolling Stones Concert in 2015 …

10. Hey Mick! Don’t flirt with her! That’s my great, great, great granddaughter!

9. Really? Do we have to play Jumpin’ Jack Flash for the 1,567, 987, 000 time?

8. Anyone seen Charlie’s teeth?

7. Wow! Red Bull is much cheaper than heroin !

6. What city are we in? Never mind that – what happened to 1972?

5. I really think we need to use more than three chords if we want to survive as a band …

4. I don’t care if you are now called Sir Mick! Please get off of my foot!

3. Depends …! Where is our supply of Depends .. ?

2. Come up with a new riff? That’s crazy talk …..

and the number one thing overheard backstage at a Rolling Stones 2015 Concert?

1. Okay ..okay Ronnie … You made your point! As of right now – you are officially a Rolling Stone and we will start paying you money …

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The Alec Mcelcheran Trio – Bluesy Rock n Roll At It’s Best! Part Two

When it comes to adding Blues and Rock together – there are very few bands who have pulled it off and lasted …

The Rolling Stones are the true survivors. Always keeping to their Blues roots while staying trendy over the years.

The Alec Mcelcheran Trio capture the Blues in the true vain of The Stones while adding other elements to keep it fresh.

Just like the Stones …

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Please listen below to Part Two of my interview with Alec. One of the most interesting conversations about music this side of Muddy Waters.

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The Alec Mcelcheran Trio – Bluesy Rock n Roll At It’s Best!

When it comes to adding Blues and Rock together – there are very few bands who have pulled it off and lasted …

The Rolling Stones are the true survivors. Always keeping to their Blues roots while staying trendy over the years.

The Alec Mcelcheran Trio capture the Blues in the true vain of The Stones while adding other elements to keep it fresh.

Just like the Stones …

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Please listen below in Part One of my interview with Alec. One of the most interesting conversations about music this side of Muddy Waters.

Alec?

 

 

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What’s Happening in Montreal and The Greatest Half Hour of Music!

Lots going on in the city.

Lots of tunes, fun times and finally … warmth !

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Please listen below to several upcoming concert announcements, what’s coming on Rick Keene Music Scene and several great songs – new and old.

What better way to start off your weekend?

Click on The Montreal International Jazz Festival logo as well as Evenko to discover and buy tickets to a whole bunch of great shows in and around Montréal.

Talk soon …

 

 

 

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Mike Goudreau – A Must Listen for The Blues and How to Make Money from Music!

Every musician can relate. CDs are not selling as much anymore and the cost to put on gigs is high. The pay for the gigs seem to diminish with every  passing month.

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Mike Goudreau is no different.

With the help of the internet, Mike discovered a money – making vehicle for his endless repertoire.

Please listen below as Mike discusses his new found fame, his work on Jay Sewall’s album Duets 1 and The Mike Goudreau Band’s new record.

Mike?

 

 

Visit Mike Here

 

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What’s Happening on Rick Keene Music Scene

Lots coming up …

 

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Have a listen to some of the artists I will be interviewing as well as some shows coming to Montreal

Talk soon …

 

*Apologies Styx is touring with Def Leppard not Journey. My mistake.

 

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Ask Dave the Bartender; What is the Best Single by an Actor or Actress?

Sometimes – everyone is lost …

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Everyone with the exception of Dave the Bartender.

He is cool as a cucumber, hot as a dash of Tabasco and smoother than a fine, aged wine. Dave the Bartender hears everything, sees everything and passes this information along as best he can.

Or – does he?

Dave? The Bartender?

 

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene; Top Ten Concerts of 2014 – Part One and Two

It’s that time of year once again.

A time to say, a time to reminisce, an occasion to place memories into a pocket called time. Concerts, just like  shooting stars – come and go …

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Some remain bright for years while others die within minutes of their creation. Some linger for a fleeting moment – others force gazers to look away or write a ‘bad review’. Montreal, is the music capital of Canada and arguably the best place in the world for musicians from ‘around the world’ to come play.

It is impossible to concoct a list of Top Ten Concerts. There are so many quality acts in Montreal every year. Plus – attending all the concerts; physically impossible.

There are favorites however. Shows which etch themselves profoundly inside the soul.

Please listen below to part one and two of my Top Ten Concerts of 2014.Number one is on the way …
Thank you and enjoy the holidays !

 

 

 

 

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Joe Louis Walker; Full Interview

Joe Louis Walker just recently returned from a tour which brought him to Australia. He hooked up with some fellows who were schooled in the Blues. Mick, Keith, Charlie  – along with Joe’s pal Ronnie Wood, love talkin’ about the Blues.

Joe loves talking about the Blues also so a match made in heaven; a gross understatement …

Joe and Mick
Joe and Mick

Please listen as Joe discusses many topics including the present and the future of the Blues along with some very interesting insights.

Joe?

 

 

 

Visit Joe Here!

 

 

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‘ Television is Boring Anyway … ‘ – A Tribute to Bobby Keys 1943 – 2014

Keith Richards does not allow anyone close to his heart who he feels does not have the chops or the strength to play in the Rolling Stones.

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Sax player Bobby Keys not only proved his worth musically to Richards, he proved he may have been the one guy who could sustain the same lifestyle Richards become famous for.

It is probably why the two became best friends. They also shared the same birthday. Dec. 18th 1943 …

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Please listen to some of Bobby Keys most enduring  Sax licks with the Stones and some words about what kind of man Bobby Keys was.

 

Bobby Keys 1943 – 2014

 

 

 

More Bobby Keys Info Here

 

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Keith Richards quotes Via Rolling Stone

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? 

 

 

 

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John Fogerty Review – Montreal 2014

What’s with these old guys anyways?

th (2)First, their ‘throwback’ songs set the bar too high for every young musician to reach, then – as if matters were not worse for the next ‘Mick Jagger’ –  the old guys’ concerts are as high as the tunes.

John Fogerty, he of  Woodstock fame – played at The Bell Center last night. The year was 2014 not the year of our Lord ’69. Good thing music is timeless. Good thing Fogerty is also …

Following a very well put together biography on Fogerty and Creedence Clearwater Revival on the big screen, the audience was well prepared. The young folks – schooled in  the importance of Fogerty. The older folks? Reminded. For those at Woodtsock? Perhaps  seeing and hearing Fogerty for the first time last night.

Yes – Woodtsock was that awesome!

Born on the Bayou, one of CCR’s signature tunes, introduced the th (3)crowd to a unique sound. Fogerty, as head of CCR or on his own – distinct with his vocals and his riffs. One of very few Rockers on the planet who is instantly recognizable. Instantly dirty …

The type of songs and where Fogerty comes from – a big part in the raw, almost ‘out of tune’ sound emitted from this Rock n Roll legend. It’s a swampy thing for sure …

Good Golly Miss Molly ensued. A song rich in early Rock n Roll. A song rich in a combination of a Chuck Berry / Little Richard duet. Feet were tappin’ and relief by the ‘over forty’ age group in the crowd – swept through the Bell Center like a broom on a dusty floor. This was going to be a Rock n Roll showit was, that obvious. In your face as  ‘Up Around the Bend‘ and ‘Down on the Corner‘ testified. Court was now in session. Fogerty – no Jester …

The singer ripped through the songs  with conviction, his vocals, somehow preserved in 1969. Eyes closed – it was ’69. A time void of metal detectors at concerts ( see Montreal, Fogerty, 2014). A time of peace and love.

Fogerty himself, last night,  telling a tale of Woodstock as CCR hit the stage after ‘The Grateful Dead ‘put everyone to sleep.’

GRATEFUL DEAD“It was 2:30 in the morning”. Explained the former frontman of Creedence …” I looked out in the crowd and everyone was the same as me. Except they were naked. Naked and asleep. “

He continued.

“I tried my best to get things Rockin‘. Nothing. The first rows were fast asleep. Then, in the distance, I saw a lighter being held in the air. A voice followed and I heard that voice. It said; We are with you John!’

With that story, that simple tale, John Fogerty circa 2014 set the mood for the Bell Center. The crowd was his. Just like that one guy in 1969.

‘Who’ll Stop the Rain’ was written for that guy and it is the song which – once more, either shocked or pleased a Montreal crowd ripe for nostalgia. Some bands arrive in town from the 1960’s and they play songs like it is the new millennium. John Fogerty plays his songs like it is the 60’s and – everything is so right with that.

Just ask Suzie Q …

If Fogerty was ‘born in the Bayou’, Suzie Q gave birth to him.

That riff, that nasty, sweet and messy opening riff.

Injected into a vein th (4)opened by Fogerty’s love of music  which started at the age of eight. Playing piano to Jerry Lee Lewis, an early lesson in life which drove him to the point where he had to ‘put out’ or ‘shut up’. Suzie Q would not allow him to shut up.

Night Time (is the Right Time) ‘- that old Rosevelt Sykes tune made famous by Ray Charles came next. Fogerty and his band, paying homage to the music of the past. Many bands these days include a Sykes’ song in their shows and Night Time is the right time to do so. The only thing missing  in Fogerty’s version? The horns and women back – up singers.  Fogerty and his guitar – more than compensating. 

CCR’s Sweet Hitchhiker, from 1971’s Mardi Gras album was a low point. Not because it was performed poorly. Not because it is a non hit. A low point because it sank into generic rock territory. Fogerty’s vocals need attention. Amid the standard rock fare provided by his band – Sweet Hitchhiker was lost amid the noise .

Next – back on track. 

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Organist, keyboardist and accordionist Bob Malone commenced with an accordion solo. Who does accordion solos anyways? Only guys secure in their musical roots (like Fogerty), hire guys like Malone to merge sounds of the South. Sounds of the swamp. Malone’s intro long enough to heed notice, short enough to appreciate.

‘Looking Out My Backdoor’ – another CCR classic, took center stage. Once more shoving everyone in attendance back to ’69. Guitar chords so raw, a medium rare order at a steakhouse, embarrassing ..

Midnight Special ( Leadbelly), New Orleans ( Gary U.S Bonds) and I Heard It Through the Grapevine ( Smokey Robinson) aside – the rest of the evening was all about CCR. Almost …

unnamed (12)Fogerty’s attempt to mist the eyes of the crowd failed miserably with ‘Joy of my Life‘, a song he wrote for his wife. THE INTENT was there, the soft acoustic guitar was there – the soul was not. A legacy of Rock songs will do that to a guy. Kudos for trying John – don’t give up your day job!

Of the four remaining non – CCR Songs (aka John Fogerty solo), two stood out and the test of time. Centerfield and The Old Man Down the Road, two songs which gave Fogerty a comeback in the 80’s, could well be CCR tunes. The devilish riffs – present and accounted for along with the nasally – tinged vocals which made Fogerty a legend. The other pair of solo songs performed last night; ‘Mystic Highway’ and ‘ Hot Rod Heart’ – sadly clumped into the generic rock group. No hooks, bridges or nuances to make them stand out. Great jam but not for the faint of ‘hits’ …

The stretch run contained CCR at its filthiness …

‘Bad Moon Rising‘, Fortunate Son’, Have You Ever Seen the Rain‘ and ‘Proud Mary’. A Four song home run trot’ ripe in history, ripe in riffs and just plain ripe …

Few bands can pull a foursome of songs which carry their weight almost fifty years later. The longevity reason? Partly due to the songs, partly due to the use of these songs in movie soundtracks – mostly because they posses a haunted, underlying theme. A sound of danger. A sound of changing times.

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A sound fit for every decade and the political themes which cause rebelliousness. A sound known as Rock n Roll …

Watch Fogerty Here !

Tune in Wednesdays at 6:15pm to k103.7fm

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Rock for Dimes Montreal; Raising Eyebrows and Money for Great Causes!

Rock for Dimes Montreal is entering it’s eight year. By the amount of money raised so far – it would appear to be in it’s 20th incarnation.

A lot of money raised in a short time means two things; Montrealers are generous and Montrealers love to Rock n Roll!

Jerry Mercer
Jerry Mercer – April Wine

Rock for Dimes is a charity evening which places ‘cover’ bands in direct competition with one another. In a friendly way – of course. The winners get to gloat for one year until they return to defend their crowns and pride.

A year long reign as the Kings of Rock n’ Roll!

Please listen below as Marc Dore; the chairman for Rock of Dimes Montreal – explains everything involved for the evening. He speaks of the origins of the March of Dimes and how Brett ( The Hit Man) Hart and William Shatner are involved …

Marc? Rock me Baby …

Visit March of Dimes Here !

*Please note Jerry Mercer of April Wine is not appearing.

 

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Ask Dave the Bartender; Episode Eight

He knows where you’ve been sleeping, he knows who you’ve been sleeping with … He knows if you are naughty. He knows if you are nice.

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There is not much he does not know, hear or see. Then – he goes to work behind the bar

He isDave the Bartender …

Got a Question for Dave the Bartender? Rickkeene2@gmail.com

Click to see all Evenko Shows
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The Wisdom of Emerson, Lake and ‘Carl Palmer’ …

Carl Palmer has been around for a while …

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The sixty-four year old drummer from England, was born into a musical family. Both parents, his Grandfather and his siblings – all playing instruments around the Palmer homestead.

Beginning with his first professional gig at the age of sixteen, Carl has brushed shoulders or played with some of the legends in the music world. Heck – Mick Jagger and Keith Richards even got involved!

Emerson, Lake and Palmer
Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Reaching incredible heights in not one – two ‘Supergroups’ over the years, Palmer is still going strong. Touring with Asia and for the past little while, his own group, which brings the songs of Emerson, Lake and Palmer to a different level. Carl Palmer will be in Montreal on the 26th November at Le Gesu.

Please listen as Carl explains his influences, including his relationship with ‘the world’s greatest drummer‘ and what Montreal means to him after that fateful August evening in 1977.

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Carl?

Visit Carl Palmer Here!

Visit Emerson, Lake and Palmer Here!

Visit Le Gesu Here !

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Christmas Songs in November? Relax – It’s for a Good Cause!

Are you going to have a great big turkey on Christmas day?

Maybe the little rug-rats will be spoiled rotten by Santa Claus. Everyone will sit around, drink eggnog and be more merry than a dog with a red ribbon tied to it’s bone …

For many, this is not reality.

They are people who wish Xmas would go away faster than a P.K Subban slapshot. The very thought of the festive season brings agony, a pain so deep – Tiny Tim would wince.

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In our society, things are not what they seem. Especially in the West Island. A place normally associated with money, possessions and glamorous homes. In between – amid ‘the cracks’ in the carefully manicured lawns, live a segment of the population who suffer.

Mental illness, physical sickness, laid off from work, bad luck – whatever the infliction, this is reality.

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Everyone enjoys a party during the holidays. Why not combine the joyous celebrations with an opportunity to feed the less fortunate? A chance to feel as if you contributed to society. A chance to place a smile on someone’s face?

Please click on the green Bands for Baskets below to donate

Bands for Baskets is that chance! 

December 7th at Calistoga Grill in

Pte Claire.

What’s happening there?

Have a listen won’t ya? Oh … and have a Merry Xmas!

 

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Submit your Questions to Rickkeene2@gmail.com

Johnny Beaudine; History of Chicago Blues – Part Two

How many times has someone brought you to their car and showed you a double barrel shotgun in the trunk?

How many times was it a legendary musician who used it to show strength?

Well – Sax player and Chicago -born Blues player Johnny Beaudine may be one of very few who can answer in the affirmative.

Buddy Guy and Rick Keene
Buddy Guy and Rick Keene

 

Please listen to find out who the musician was and many more great tales from the South Side of Chicago …

Johnny?

 

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Johnny Beaudine; The Blues – ‘Live’ from Chicago ….Part One

How many times has someone sat down and explained how good Muddy Waters was. On how many occasions did someone tell a captive audience that Howlin’ Wolf was the best …

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How many of these storytellers actually played with and/ or  witnessed these legends first hand?

Not many.

This is where saxophone player Johnny Beaudine comes in.

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Two Chicago Boys - Tom Lavin ( Powder Blues Band) and Johnny Beaudine

Born in Chicago and receiving a Blues apprenticeship with men such as Otis Rush, James Cotton and Buddy Guy – allows Beaudine an insight very few have into the legacy of the Blues …

Johnny?

Johnny Beaudine and his band Deep Blue

appear every Monday Night at

The House of Jazz in Montreal!

 

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What’s Happening on Rick Keene Music Scene; Special Blues Edition

A lot coming up …

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Especially with Blues shows in Montreal. Have a listen to some tunes, some upcoming shows and some information – you may not know.

Thanks for listening!

 

 

Buy Tickets Here for Downchild / Powder Blues Band 

 

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Ask Dave the Bartender; Episode Five

He’s the guy who drowns your sorrows …

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The man who can answer almost any genre of question related to music.

Can you stump Dave the  Bartender? 

Send your questions to rickkeene2@gmail.com and find out if you can!

 

 

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Buy Tickets for Replay Sixties Invasion Right Here !

 

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Maurice Raymond; Montreal’s Mick Jagger – Complete Three Part Interview

Michael Phillip Jagger has been fronting The Rolling Stones for fifty years. Fifty … and counting …

Maurice Raymond has been fronting a Rolling Stones’ cover band for thirty-four years. Thirty-four … and counting …

 

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Please listen as Maurice speaks of his legacy as one ( if not the best ) of the Mick Jaggers of the world.

It did not start out that way …

Maurice?

 

 

 

 

 

The Blushing Brides Are Here!

 

 

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Leeward Fate - No Ordinary Kind press pic HQ

 

 

 

 

 

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