Posts tagged ‘Montreal music’

Rick Keene Music Scene – Big Wreck Celebrates Twenty Years with a Bang!

It was more like a large crash.

Like most ‘ big wrecks’, people are curious. They stop, look , listen and move one. Luckily for the band Big Wreck, the majority of the punters stayed at the Corona Theatre in Montreal Saturday night.

Big fans of the band helped Big Wreck celebrate twenty years since the debut of their first album; In Loving Memory Of. By no means was the gathering a wake.

Commencing with Look What I Found from the debut album – the love affair between audience and band was mutual and energizing. The post – Grunge / Alternative rock band with duel citizenship realistically appreciative of a Canadian audience.

After all, without Canada , Big Wreck may have been hauled off to the junkyard by now.

Listening to That Song , Ill Advice and How Would You Know – the first thing which grabs the guitar strings is bandleader Ian Thornley’s vocal power. Rarely does an artist in Rock possess such depth.

Chris Cornell of Soundgarden had it and Thornley is not far behind. Complimented by the Gord Sinclair-ish Brian Doherty on guitar, Big Wreck’s sound is unique within the sameness. Distinctively Big Wreck with enough nuances to nurture creativity . To breed solid guitar.

While Thornley and Doherty trade jabs and riffs , McMillan ( bass) and Keeping ( drums) maintain the base. Nailing the foundation with a rythym section as solid as the leaning Tower of Pisa. Swaying enough to add swing into a genre sometimes criticized for monotanous behavior. Sloppy enough to add the danger.

By the time The Oaf ended things and Albatross started them up again in the encore , Big Wreck and the crowd were as one. Albatross a giant sing a long / lovefest essential to the lifeline of a Rock band. Injections of crowd participation both nurturing and an indication of possessing a damn good song.

Two entities intertwined like, well – a large crash.


Rick Keene Music Scene – Santa Claus’ Top Ten Favorite Songs …

There is a lot of time to kill at the North Pole. After all, Christmas comes once a year !


Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves like to bop. They like to Rock and they like to Roll. Sometimes they groove to R&B, often they dance …

Here are Santa’s Top Ten Favorite Tunes!

10. Condidering he’s the only guy who doesn’t receive gifts year after year,it’s no wonder Santa Claus has Sympathy for the Devil. 

The Rolling Stones


9. In 1983, Santa’s GPS broke. Yes, that’s right, Rudolph’s nose wasn’t so bright that Christmas Eve. Since then, Santa plays Road to Nowhere very loud in the stables the night before Christmas Eve to remind the Red nosed critter to check his batteries. 

Talking Heads


8. Each year, Santa is afraid of crashing and never returning to see Mrs. Claus in her sexy red satin negligee. So, before he leaves, Let’s Get It On is the song of choice in the bedroom of the Claus’ ( wink, wink, nudge, nudge). 

Marvin Gaye


7. Because there is a lot of sitting around up North, Santa tends to put on the pounds. Stuff his face a little too often with Mrs. Claus’ delicious Apple Pies. To stay in shape, once a week, Santa hits the gym and sweats off pounds to the beat of  YMCA.

The Village People.


6. During the off-season, Santa, the Elves and reindeer enjoy billiards. More often than not, bets are placed on trick shots as Roadhouse Blues frames the not-so-friendly environment.  

The Doors


5. Every music fan has a guilty pleasure and Santa is no different. When he is able, Santa sneaks off into the closet, plugs his earphones into his iPad and sways to the vibes of Seasons in the Sun

Terry Jacks


4. As a child, Santa loved listening to his Mom and Dad’s music. Some of it he outgrew but a lot stayed deep within his soul. For that reason, Santa insists that Candy Man is played every-time he walks into the toy factory. 

Sammy Davies Jr


3. Santa had a hard time with the next song. The singer goes against everything St. Nick represents yet it is one of Santa’s favorite tunes to get him pumped for delivering presents. To make sure he does not cross lines, Santa now only hums Rock n Roll Part One in his head as he mounts the sled.

Gary Glitter 


2. Santa sometimes survives near disasters. Flying around the world in under twenty four hours can be perilous. Ever since he flew over Chernobyl on that fateful eve, Purple Rain has a special meaning to him. 



And Santa’s number one favorite song ?


1.  Heroes – David Bowie. 



It’s A Charlie …er …Rick Keene Music Scene Christmas !

Christmas comes once a year boys and girls ! Unless your name happens to be Christmas and you are … um … never mind.


‘Tis the season to be jolly as they say and there is no better way to get into the Holiday Spirits ( and spirit) than listening to Christmas tunes !

Please listen below to some great Christmas tunes and a few surprises if you are naughty or nice …






Rick Keene Music Scene; The Lyric Theatre Singers Add Purity to Christmas 

Since their inception in 1990, the Lyric Theatre Singers have entertained Montrealers young and old. Christmas is special. Especially a candlelight version.

Bob Bachelor

Forced to move from the familiar surroundings of Tudor Hall ( renovations are taking place), the Lyric Singers took up residence over the weekend at Loyola Chapel on the Concordia University campus. Bigger venue means more exposure for a group that deserves it. More tickets sold means more funds to not only keep the group intact, to increase the already firm legacy that exists.

Peter Colantonio

A Candlelight Christmas, constructed and directed by musical director Bob Bachelor – is mystical in many ways. Combining old school Christmas favorites with Bachelor’s intriguing arrangements; the concert is borrowed but new. Traditional sounds engulf the ears yet the ups and downs of tunes from around the world turn the show into a magic carpet ride. The valleys hung by the choir with care. 

Shelagh Hannigan

Winter cold and ice not your thing ? Spend a moment in Africa with the rhythms of  Photo ni fun Oluwa ( Glory to God in the Highest ). The world renown choral composer Rosephanye Powell contributes to the Candlelight Christmas with the perfect upbeat appetizer to the feast to come. Complete with the Lyric Singers framing the audience and intertwining their baritones and altos – the concert is immediately set apart from most.

Bachelor constructed this version of Christmas with diversity in mind. All the trouble in the world requires an understanding of diversity more than ever.

Ben Kwong

Calypso , Celtic , Gospel, Pop and Chanukah. All represented throughout the show with acute renditions both traditional and rearranged by Bachelor. The sways in moods range from tearful to joyous. Heartfelt to thoughtful. The singers complimenting the musicians and vice versa with a oneness.

Laurie -Ann Jean-Baptiste, the soloist in Sweet Little Jesus Boy ( Altos and Sopranos accompanied) , renders a vocal performance so incredible, so beautiful – the bar was set high for the remaining tunes. Luckily, the other soloists (Katherine Fournier, David Cchiv, Tarik Azgoui ) not only maintained the level of talent, they tweaked and pulled it in different directions. The glove fit the hand. The fingerprints stayed on the souls.

Laurie-Ann Jean-Baptiste

A Candlelight Christmas would not be complete without the Christmas everyone knows.

Rudolph the Red- Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Zat You, Santa Claus? , Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Enough of the tv / film commercial hits to raise the ears of the children in attendance. The older folks smiling with Christmas’ past.

Too often in Christmas shows , boredom arrives with the all-too-familiar hymns and carols. Cool at first with the attention span waning later on. A Candlelight Christmas manages to spark the tinder of melancholy. Igniting the imagination and the kid at heart simultaneously.

Christmas for The Lyric Theatre Singers’ audiences ? Special.

Visit The Lyric Theatre Singers Here 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Former April Wine Guitarist Joins Forces to Shine on New Disc !

Gary Moffet is a man of few words. He lets his feelings take over within music.

This way of thinking helped propel April Wine to new heights during the band’s most commercially successful period from the mid seventies until the early eighties. Moffet was the principle arranger on the songs from Nature of the Beast. The album which broadened April Wine’s image South of the Border.

That talent has also allowed Gary to work on several projects behind the scenes and allow his gift to shine on.

Now, Moffet has utilized his skills as a guitar player and arranger to produce one great album. Combined with Bianca Ortolano and several guests, the end result is like rose petals pressed into a book.

Please listen below as Gary explains the album and what to expect in the future.

Gary? What’s up?



Visit Gary and Bianca Here !



Visit Evenko Here !




Rick Keene Music Scene Concert Review; David Crosby Thrills Montreal

Imagine standing in front of John Lennon, dressed like … John Lennon?



Just one of the tales spun last night at Theatre Maisonneuve as David Crosby and his ‘friends’ put on a surprise ( not surprising ) show.

On the heels of an excellent album; Sky Trails, Crosby and his pals are knee deep into a tour of the same name. Montreal ( Canada) could become Crosby’s new home as David pointed out his displeasure with Trump ( the States) on numerous occasions. ” Can you change the weather?’ Crosby asked.

In My Dreams opened things up and with a slight frog in the throat, Crosby dispatched (along with the frog) any queries of his ability to sing / perform at the age of seventy- six. At times – hitting notes on cue and with the force of a much younger guitar player. Once he and his mates ( James Raymond on keys, Mai Agan on bass, Steve DiStanislao on drums, Jeff Pevar on guitar , Michelle Willis keyboards/vocals) kicked into second gear, it was obvious there would be no stopping to pee anytime soon on this musical road trip.



Crosby is so much part of history, there should be an entire chapter about him in the music dictionary. The Byrds, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and CPR. In fact, Crosby is in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame not once – twice. Heck, they don’t just let any Johnny B Goode in do they?

At Place des Arts last night, the song choices were a mixture of all his endeavors ( No Mr. Tambourine Man or Woodstock).

Morrison ( about Jim of the Doors) opened many punters eyes as the CPR tune showcased the talent within the band on just the second song of the night. Crosby’s CPR pal – Jeff Pevar, a beast on lead guitar. All night, his solos echoed with eerie precision the vibe of Crosby’s soul. Part Gilmour, part Clapton and all Pevar. The ‘best in the world’ according to Crosby and that’s saying quite a bit.



What brought life to the show was the rhythm section. Mai Agan (above) on bass and Steve DiStanislao on drums. The Pop in Agan’s grooves complimenting the human metronome in DiStanislao. Ebbing when asked and flowing with power when needed. Crosby’s ‘friends’ one of those ‘once – in – a – lifetime’ things. A chemistry that works and enhances each other in every nook and cranny. Crosby himself? The maestro. The magician conducting the notes. The legend.



Tracks in the Dust, She’s Got to Be Somewhere, At The Edge, Laughing and right up to the title track of the new disc ( Sky Trails), the band increased the energy. Even the ballad Breathless ( a song penned by Crosby to his wife of forty years)  seemed on the edge of pouncing into the audience and devouring a diverse meal. Crosby the one (only?) lion tamer in the house. Nothing like a nod and wink to keep things in check. A very experienced nod and wink



Michelle Willis ( from Toronto) provided the backing vocals all evening as did the entire band as Crosby and Friends channeled the luscious harmonies of The Beach Boys and The Bee Gees. Musically, the album Sky Trails is very jazz oriented and  last night ( more than once) – the band sounded like a great Steely Dan jam. Showcasing guitar and drums while Crosby’s son ( James ) created harmonic and classic tinkles on the keys. Touches of the late Manzarek sprinkling the dust onto the night lights .

Aside from the delicious array of music, it was Crosby’s tales in between the main course which were more than appetizers. Jackson Browne forcing Crosby to finish a song during Crosby’s self professed Junkie phase. Crosby’s friendship with Beatle Harrison. Tales from the grave in the case of Harrison and yarns which could be very well be from Crosby.s own grave as the man has more lives than Keith Richards.

Imagine standing in front of John Lennon, dressed like … John Lennon?


Visit Crosby and Friends Here !


Please listen below to some shows coming your way !



Visit Evenko Here !




Rick Keene Music Scene – What’s Up Doc?

What’s coming to Montreal ?



As usual – quite a bit !

Please listen below to some things that are in need of your attention !



Visit Delfeayo Here !




  Visit Evenko Here !




Rick Keene Music Scene – Delfeayo Marsalis; ‘Live’ and Stunning on New Record

Aside from making ‘America Great Again’ – Delfeayo Marsalis is on a roll …

‘An Evening with Delfeayo Marsalis; Kalamazoo’ is Delfeayo’s newest offering and it combines Jazz standards with a few originals. All recorded in a live setting in the midst of a ten city tour.

Marsalis of the world famous and critically acclaimed Marsalis clan, is joined onstage by his Father. The family patriarch, Ellis, adds to the spontaneity and fun which makes any Delfeayo performance special.

Have a listen below to some of the tracks wont ya? Find out more about this outstanding musician and even more outstanding being.



Visit Delfeayo Here !




  Visit Evenko Here !




Rick Keene Music Scene – Andrea Ramolo Bares All in New Album


Baring the soul …


That’s exactly what the album Nuda is about.

One half of Scarlett Jane’s Andrea Ramolo needed time to reflect and get naked with her feelings. Combining new found musical partners with old school thoughts, Andrea evokes nurturing through music.

Please listen below as Andrea explains everything about her new disc.

Andrea? What’s up?



She will be in Montreal on November 8th.

   Buy Tickets Here

Check out her site here !



Hallowe’en is coming up ! Get spooked below!



  Visit Evenko Here !




Rick Keene Music Scene – Turn Out the Lights and Beware !


Once a year …

A frightening thing takes place. Something so terrifying, the little hair you have left on the top of your head turns white. Things go bump in the night. Chains rattle. Noises make you sit up in fright …

Turn out the lights, turn up your computer and listen below to the scariest half hour in Montreal !




 Visit Evenko Here !




Rick Keene Music Scene – Associating with An Associate. Full Interview

Guilty by association. No one knows that better than Alec McElcheran . Himself, also an associate.

Combining Blues and Rock – Alec ( Bass), Dan Legault (drums) and Alan Springer (guitar) form The Associates. A hard driving machine equipped with the tools required to make a stand in the Montreal music scene.

Please listen below to my chat with Alec as he discusses opening up for one of the most legendary bands in history and his thoughts on The Associates Volume One.

Alec? What’s up?




Visit The Associates Here !


Visit The Montreal Blues Society Here !



Visit Evenko Here !




Rick Keene Music Scene – Sheldon Kagan; A Success Story.

Imagine telling your Mom; ‘I’m moving out!’ (when you are fifteen years of age?)


Imagine the reaction of your parents even if you have a full time job? Imagine the reaction if you only have a couple of events planned at $25.00 each?

Welcome to the start of Sheldon Kagan’s career as a mobile disc jockey. A career that has spanned over fifty years and made Sheldon one of Montreal’s most successful promoters. One of Montreal’s greatest entertainers.



Please listen below to Sheldon’s story. A great foray into the life of a fascinating man.

Sheldon? What’s up?









Visit The West Island Palliative Care Here !



Rick Keene Music Scene – Associating with An Associate. Part One.


Guilty by association. No one knows that better than Alec McElcheran . Himself, also an associate.

Combining Blues and Rock – Alec ( Bass), Dan Legault (drums) and Alan Springer (guitar) form The Associates. A hard driving machine equipped with the tools required to make a stand in the Montreal music scene.

Please listen below to part one of my chat with Alec as he discusses opening up for one of the most legendary bands in history and his thoughts on The Associates Volume One.

Alec? What’s up?



Visit The Associates Here !


Visit The Montreal Blues Society Here !



Visit Evenko Here !




Rick Keene Music Scene – The Snyders; A Family Affair

Denny Snyder must have been a fan of the television show; All in the Family.

Denny – along with his two kids, Lorrie and Phillip, form the trio known as The Snyders.

At first listen and glance on stage, it would be easy to label them a Blues trio. Standard Chicago – style or Delta Blues. Ya, ya, seen it before, heard it before.


Not quite. The Snyders are a mixture of different styles and genres. Something which is the true essence of the Blues. A potpourri sending sweet sounds into the air.

Please listen below to my chat with Dad Denny. He explains the Snyders, the Blues and his fam … er … band.

Denny? What’s up?



Visit The Snyders Here !



Please listen below to my chat with Phil Brisse, the President of The Montreal Blues Society. He’ll explain everything about the

Quebec to Memphis Blues Challenge.




Visit The Montreal Blues Society Here !



Visit Evenko Here !




Rick Keene Music Scene – The Associates, The Snyders, David Myles, Dale Boyle and See Spot Run

Lots of great new tunes that are not auto-tuned.


If you pay attention away from the mainstream, real music exists without payola in the form of advertising. Lots of places to hear great tunes from great people.

Please listen below to a few of those tunes and hear when they may be playing at a venue near you.




Please listen below to my chat with Phil Brisse, the President of The Montreal Blues Society. He’ll explain everything about the

Quebec to Memphis Blues Challenge.




Visit The Montreal Blues Society Here !



Visit Evenko Here !




Rick Keene Music Scene – The Quebec to Memphis Blues Challenge

If you have the blues, you are lucky.


It is the music that defined the sound of what we hear today. The foundation of popular music. The frame of the Cadillac that Justin Bieber drives today.

Every year, the Montreal Blues Society ensures the legacy remains. Each Fall the group accepts submissions for Blues’ bands and solo / duo artists to compete for the grand prize. A trip to Memphis.

Please listen below to my chat with Phil Brisse, the President of The Montreal Blues Society. He’ll explain everything about the

Quebec to Memphis Blues Challenge.



Visit The Montreal Blues Society Here !


What’s Happening in Montreal?

Listen Below!



Visit Evenko Here !




Rick Keene Music Scene – The Phantom of the Opera is ‘Magically Delicious’

The touring version of The Phantom of the Opera is the biggest Broadway show ever produced. Judging by the reaction of the punters at Place des Arts last night, producers Cameron Mackintosh and Matthew Bourne can sleep well.

Complete with state of the art pyrotechnics, the world famous chandelier, a fifty-two piece orchestra and a stellar cast, The Phantom of The Opera outdoes itself on every level.

Andrew LLoyd Weber’s ( Charles Hart, Richard Stilgoe) score is set to life under, on top and around brilliant sets and spectacular costumes. The contrast between the dark of the ‘mood’ and the light of the characters is simply stunning. Led by Derrick Davis as The Phantom, Eva Tavares as Christine Daae and Jordan Craig as Raoul – the tale of despair and terror inside the opera house is brought to life tenfold. 

Davis brings an unhinged masculinity to the part of The Phantom. On edge and every bit a man on the verge of insanity (sanity?). Piercing vocals softened by a human element which is not easy to portray. To act a phantom is one thing. To be the phantom – idiopathic. Davis not only energizes, he depletes. The energy gathered in a room, simultaneously sucked in and out in the blink of a chandelier.


 Aside from the ensemble of actors, actresses and dancers, the supporting player who should win awards is the set designer Paul Brown.

Seamlessly the sets rotate like a rose petal in the breeze. Stunning when you consider the illusions parlayed into the crowd. One moment a graveyard is the canvas and suddenly, in a matter of seconds, the Opera House is the central character. Like a well edited film; the scenes’ continuity as pure as The Phantom’s mask.

Sound and vision. One without the other as empty as a tin can washed ashore on a barren beach.

Mick Potter’s sound design, John Rigby’s musical supervision, Maria Bjornson’s costumes and Paule Constable’s lighting design frame the show with precision. Taking lyrics and a musical score to new and different heights visually is a task. Keeping the theme of the original Phantom and bringing it to date without raping and pillaging – a veritable task. If sound or sight is off, the phantom would fade into obscurity.


Adapted for the new run – The Phantom of The Opera is bound to invite an entire new generation to the story of love gone amiss. Twenty – five years of attracting audiences and fans is nothing to scream at. The choreography is acute and the timeless songs send joy to the soul and shivers down the spine.

A must see for theater goers and everyone who is a fan of a good story.


Buy Tickets Here !


What’s Happening in Montreal?

Listen Below!



Visit Evenko Here !




Rick Keene Music Scene – What is Happening Musically in Montreal ?

What are you listening to?





Please listen below to some shows that are coming up in Montreal ! Hear some great tunes as well.



Visit Evenko Here !




Rick Keene Music Scene – Dale Boyle; Putting Some Much Needed ‘Gasoline’ Into the Montreal Music Fire

Songwriting is always there but sometimes it takes a while to come out.


This appears to be the case with Dale Boyle. 

Originally from the Gaspe region and currently a Dorval resident, Boyle has written five songs that are way ahead of the Montreal curve.

Citing one of his major influences as recently departed Tom Petty – it is easy to hear the contributing factor of Petty’s style within Boyle’s tunes.

Aside from the depth of the five song EP, Boyle also managed to have two of the biggest names in the music industry help him out during a recent stop in Montreal.

Please listen below to my chat, find out who the players are and hear some great tunes.

Dale? What’s Up?



Visit Dale Here !




Rick Keene Music Scene – Sass Jordan’s ‘Roots’ Revisited

Sass Jordan is a one of a kind performer.




Twenty-five years ago, Sass’ biggest selling album Racine hit the radio and the charts. Songs that catapulted her to higher levels both inside and outside of Canada.


Fast forward a decade and a half and the ‘kids’ are all grown up.


Please listen below to my chat with Sass about Racine Revisited and other bits and pieces of a long and storied career.

Sass? What’s up?



Please Visit Sass Here !





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