Michel Pagliaro; Quebec’s Greatest Songwriter?

 Michel Pagliaro is a legend in Quebec …

Anglophone artists, Francophone artists – any genre, unconsciously or consciously affected  by ‘Pag’.

Rarely do artists create such a vast ‘society affecting’ songbook in a quick period of time. The Guess Who, Dylan,The Beatles, The Stones,Elvis and Pag.

For this reason, it is fitting after all these years for a tribute album. Eleven of Pagliaro’s songs performed by twelve Quebec artists. A brilliant CD package for immense listening pleasure.


Carl Bastien supervises a disc long overdue. A void within the borders is now filled. Pag and Gerry Boulet can now walk hand in hand across the Plains of Abraham.

Please listen below to some tunes from Pag Revisited.

Visit Pag Here !

Rick Keene Music Scene – Arcaydium; A Breath of Fresh Musical Montreal Air

To make it in this business – bands must have that ‘thing’. 

Any experienced DJ will tell you, all it takes is a three minute listen to separate the ‘men’ from ‘the boys’.

The ‘it’ in question is many times not explainable. A unique sound, voice or chemistry. It is basically magic. A wondrous thing found at Hogwarts.

Please listen below to my chat with Chris Petterson about his band Arcaydium.

Listen to Montreal’s new magic act! 

Chris? What’s up?


Visit Arcaydium Here !


Visit Smoke Meat Pete Here!


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Rick Keene Music Scene – Elizabeth Shepherd Loves Montreal on Her New Record

Once a Montrealer – always a Montrealer …

Elizabeth Shepherd is a traveler. Physically and spiritually. Searching for new within herself and within the world of music.

Her latest release brings her back to Montreal to discover things that were always under her nose. In the album Montreal – Shepherd brings the listener on a trip through her hometown.

Please listen below to my chat with Elizabeth.


Visit Elizabeth Right Here !



Visit Smoke Meat Pete Here!


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Rick Keene Music Scene – The Sheepdogs Take Montreal On a Ride

It is not easy ‘riding’ global accolades …

For the Western Canadian band The Sheepdogs – that is precisely what they are doing. And – doing it well.

When Rolling Stone magazine proclaims you as the band to watch out for, that is a lot of pressure. Judging from their performance at MTelus on a double bill with Montreal’s own The Damn Truth, the pressure appears to be in their favor. The crowd, the ultimate judges of success, was numerous and safe to say; satisfied customers on Saturday morning.

Following a powerful set from The Damn Truth, The Sheepdogs took the stage with pomp. The ceremony came after as the fans adjusted to the much different sound of the two bands on display. The Sheepdogs – much more grounded in Country and Pop to go with their Southern Rock n Roll. While The Damn Truth are in your face (take it or leave it), The Sheepdogs cater to the masses.

Who?, I’ve Got a Hole Where My Heart Should Be and Saturday Night started the twine rolling and from there on in – a simple matter of being strung along with good musicianship and catchy songwriting took precedent.

Ewan and Shamus Currie, Ryan Gullen and Sam Corbett are the men whose collaborations are grounded deeply in ‘roots’ music. Feel good tunes which are rich in traditional sounds. Bluegrass, Country, Folk and Blues. Easy going type stuff with an ingredient which is sorely missing these days in music. Storytelling. The Allman Brothers had it, CCR had it and so do The Sheepdogs. The knack for touching souls musically and lyrically. The knack of (figuratively) touching real people.

The set list is ripe with tales that add a connection to the fans (aka everybody). Human relations via words via truthful emotions. Relating to ‘stars’ on stages (and magazine covers) bridges the gap and increases bonds. Through songs such as Southern Dreaming, Kiss the Brass Ring, Up in Canada right until their mega hit encores – The Sheepdogs provide reliability. Meaningful thoughts build throughout and explode in a joyous singalong with the encore I Don’t Know. Good bands play – great bands let their fans ride a roller coaster live.

Tickets please …

Visit The Sheepdogs Here !

Visit Smoke Meat Pete Here!

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Rick Keene Music Scene – A Song for Markov, The ‘Mooch’ and Jack Black Recites Carl Sandburg

Everyone needs a break once in a while. Noise pollution is not good for the musical soul.  



Please enjoy some real tunes in the meantime. Rick Keene Music Scene will be back before you can say Andrei Markov !




Listen to my interview with Lawrence Gowan of Styx below !




Visit Styx Here !

Visit Strangers in the Night Here !



Visit Jarrett Lobley Project Here !


Rick Keene Music Scene – Montreal Jazz Festival Preview. Men without Hats

You can dance if you want to …

How many songs in Canadian music are recognizable by a few words? How many Canadian tunes are responsible for creating a non – dance dance craze?

Say what? 

Please listen below to  my chat with Ivan Doroschuk – the writer and composer of ‘The Safety Dance’  and every song released by ‘Men without Hats’. 

Ivan? What’s up?




Part Two



Men without Hats are part of The Montreal International Jazz Festival. 


The Montreal International Jazz Festival 

Click Here for Tickets










Rick Keene Music Scene – What’s Going On ?

As usual – a lot going on …

From 80’s Pop to R&B and Soul – Montreal and The Montreal Jazz Festival has a lot to offer.

Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir


Please listen below for some upcoming shows and some great tunes.

Thank You !



Listen to my interview with Cliff Stevens Here !



Visit Cliff Here !


The Montreal International Jazz Festival 

Click Here for Tickets










Cliff Stevens – The Prodigal Guitarist Returns to Montreal to Prove ‘Grass Won’t Grow’.

Cliff Stevens’ hands aren’t slow.


Despite many years portraying Eric Clapton as means to meet the ends, Stevens’ is on his way to ‘bucking’ the label.

‘Grass Wont Grow’ – Stevens’ new album, is an accumulation of years of practice and years of being on the road. Easy going riffs compliment easier going melodies as Cliff reaches into his soul to evoke feelings which most musicians can relate to.

Please listen below to my chat with Cliff Stevens on the eve of his album launch at Bistro a Jo Jo  June 8th. 

Cliff? What’s Up?




Visit Cliff Here !


The Montreal International Jazz Festival 

Click Here for Tickets










Rick Keene Music Scene Jazz Festival Preview – An Extensive Chat with Dr. Trevor Payne

Dr. Trevor Payne is a Montreal institution. He may only be realizing it now.

Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir


Dr. Payne and his Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir have soared to heights not imagined by anyone. Considered to be one of  the top choirs in the world, Trevor Payne is ending his tenure as their leader. Something which is causing great angst inside him.

Please listen below to my extensive interview with Dr. Payne as he opens up on many subjects.






The Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir is performing on July 2nd as part of The Montreal International Jazz Festival 

Click Here for Tickets










Bonnie Raitt in Montreal – Like a Fine Wine …

Sometimes – people require a good slap in the face. A shock to make them understand what is purposeful and what is not.

Bonnie Raitt, her music and her band are purposeful. And then some …

Raitt was in town last night in support of her new disc; ‘Dig in Deep. The tour ( named for the record) kicked off it’s Canadian leg in Montreal. Ontario – born, musically- raised Royal Wood was the opening act and will continue that role until the Canadian portion winds down on June 19th in Vancouver. Judging by last night’s performance , Westerners in B.C.  should be in for one heck of a hoedown. After all – Raitt, her band and Wood are just ‘warming up’.

Modern music derives primarily from Blues, Jazz and Country. Three chicken-before-the-egg scenarios which built the foundations of everything good ( and bad ) escaping through speakers everywhere. Listening to Raitt and her mates at L’Olympia before a sold out audience gave argument that Raitt could very well be ; the definitive Mother Hen.

Combining two of three genres listed above along with an offspring named Rock n’ Roll – the sixty-seven year old Raitt ‘slid’ her way back and forth through time and arrived truthfully ‘on top’ of the present.

James ‘ Hutch’ Hutchinson (bass), Ricky Fataar (drums), George Marinelli ( guitar) and Mike Finnigan (keyboards ) were Raitt’s usual gang of suspects. The foursome without Raitt?  Worth the price of admission. Worth their weight in gold. Worth the wait …

Happy to be here ‘ is a term ubiquitously overused. Polite and with purpose. When Raitt uses it as a welcome back slogan, her band and herself are truly  ‘in tune’ and content to be ‘back on the road’.

The evening commenced with an interesting version of INXS’ ‘ Need You Tonight ‘. Shocking some and elevating others to a zone within Raitt’s zone. Marinelli and Raitt from the get – go, dueling and glancing with riffs both cutting and feathery soft. Exchanging slide roles yet never lending their personal gifts to one another. Similar styles yet uniquely​ individual. 

Many artists visiting from the States these days are vocal and apologetic towards the craziness which politicians in their country seem to be inflicting us with on a daily basis. Raitt? No different ..

‘The Coming Around is Going Through’ from the new disc ripe with a message and ripe with power. Added to ‘ I Knew and Undone’ , also new, Montreal quickly aware of Raitt’s neverending songwriting skills.

John Prine’s ‘Angel of Montgomery ‘ was heavenly. Raitt’s vocals strong, soft and heartfelt. Notes and tones touching and pushing hearts into dimensions reserved for few. A song covered by many yet somehow it belongs to Raitt. A showstopper leaving everyone wanting more.

The Blues would not currently  exist without people like Raitt and her band carrying on the tradition with such integrity. Elements of the Blues were displayed all night with soul yet it was a version of B.B. King’s ‘Dont Answer the Door’ which gave the audience ‘ something to talk about’.

Mike Finnigan, keyboardist for the ages – put on a lesson.

Through soulful powerful vocals and an expertise created through fifty plus years of experience ( he played with Hendrix) on Hammond B3, piano and keyboard, Finnigan almost stole the show. Alone with occasional compimenting riffs from Raitt, Finnigan tingled spines musically and vocally. Finnigan the real deal and a professor in music.

Raitt’s ‘ pirates’ also paid tribute to Chuck Berry in a roundabout kinda way …

‘I Believe I’m in Love with You ‘, a tune penned by Kim Wilson of The Fabulous Thunderbirds – an obvious fit for Raitt. Hard rocking with a wisp of Country; the tune all parts Berry. The song – all parts Bonnie Raitt.

‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’, the icing on the evening’s proverbial cake.

If one song represents Raitt’s soul, if one song must be representative of all her pain and joy housed inside her road wary ‘traveller’ – this ballad is it. ‘ Pin drop ‘ material matters in a world where human emotions sometimes are hidden by atrocities.

Humanity needs a slap in the face every once in a while …

Visit Bonnie Raitt Here !









Matt Dusk – Bringing Back Christmas in a Big Way !

There is nothing like the good ol’ days.



Especially when Christmas comes to mind. Most people have fond memories of the Holiday Season and Matt Dusk is one of them.

In fact – Matt’s memories are so great, he decided to put together a Christmas album with a couple of guests. Traditional combined with new. A love affair with the past …

Trust me – this is your Father’s Christmas album!


Matt Dusk and Florence K. will be at L’ Astral on Dec. 19th

Visit L’Astral Here !

Visit Matt Here !

Visit Florence K. Here !


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Simon Daigle – Quebec’s Premiere Bass Player Talks Groove

Bass players unite !


Rarely are Bass players featured prominently on albums for promo. Once in a while – their pictures are front and center, on the back cover of CDs.

Simon Daigle – a Granby, Qc. resident, is shaking the normal world to it’s preconceived core.


Daigle is one of Quebec’s and Canada’s premiere Bass players. Collaborating with the likes of Victor Wooten, among others.

Please listen below to my chat with Simon.

After all – it is all about the Bass …

Isn’t it?


Visit Simon Here !


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The League of Rock Montreal – Cold Shot in The Final Showcase

No longer, deer in the headlights …

Cold Shot

This was the transformation which took place within the League of Rock Montreal in the past two and a half months. An alteration of Rock n Roll clothes into Rock n Roll tuxedos.

Figuratively and literally …


Cold Shotthe band.

A mixture of Blues, Funk and Pop. A potpourri of versatility. A ship led by an entertainment scholar with a natural ease on stage and buoyed by a guitarist ( Gregory Gallagher) with one year experience under his strings. Martin Jaz on Bass along with Jordan Gosselin on drums – a battery section capable of slow trances and lightning fast beats.

Texas Flood ( Stevie Ray Vaughn), Billie Jean ( Micheal Jackson) Uptown Funk ( Mark Ronson) and Snuff ( Slipknot). The staples of a dynamic set in the last showcase and except for Snuff, the staple of the band’s involvement in The League of Rock Montreal.


These tunes were hashed, rehashed and hashed again in rehearsals, gigs and the recording studio. Like any band, practice creates creativity, discipline  and next to perfection. Like any band – the journey to ‘the show’ is filled with arguments, agreements and bonding.

Cold Shot was no different. 


Martin Jaz on Bass. A twenty year player who cites John Myung of Dream Theater as his go to guy.

Jaz uses a Music Man Bongo 6 Bass and incorporates patience and a calmness to the songs at his fingertips. Bass players are the unsung hero in most bands and Martin’s personality suits the role like a round peg in a round peg hole. No squares allowed on Bass if a band is to succeed.


According to Martin – himself and Gallagher brought The Blues to the band, Slipknot was for drummer Gosselin and Billie Jean and Uptown Funk was to fit the versatility and dynamics of singer Apos’ performances. Jaz does concede it was difficult to make the song arrangements since the guys were together for a short time.  They decided as a unit to have a great time and put aside anything which was non beneficial to the sum of the parts.

Apo D. Kali

As far as the future goes, Martin would like to work together with Gallagher. Jaz believes Gallagher is a very talented kid and can’t wait to see how Gregory  grows as a guitarist.

Jaz also plays in a corporate band named Unison Band . They are currently seeking a male singer. Apo was approached and the future may or may not see Martin and Apo together again.

As far as Martin’s involvement in The League of Rock Montreal? 

“I grew as a musician and was very surprised how the band came together in such a short period. It was an awesome experience and I got to meet people in the industry”.

Gregory Gallagher, the ‘new kid’ on the Montreal music block, used a Gibson Flying V and a Fender Strat for his time in The League of Rock Montreal. Gregory sums up his learning curve …

“For me, being new to playing in a band, I learned a lot. ” Admits Gallagher. “The most important thing was I learned when to step up and when to step back. To not take away from a song but add my element. Everyone has a different part and makes a different noise but at the end we all come together to make one giant noise. “

Gallagher is a big fan of  Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Muddy Waters. Being part of The League of Rock Montreal exposed him to different genres which he realized he is able to play. The musical world opened up in a big way for Gregory.

The future for Mr. Gallagher?

“I want to study music here and hopefully actually work in Korea later on but right now I learn from guys like Dwane Dixon and Corey Diabo who I know on a friendly basis and hang out with. I get a lot of tricks of the trade from them…  The music industry in Korea has a huge demand for musicians of all genres. I will do another League of Rock when the next session starts. It gave me a taste of what it is like to be a working musician from going to rehearsal to recording to gigging with a band you play and practice with for a good amount of time.  It differs greatly to going to jams so at first I was scared but I found that I could keep up with my fellow musicians and you learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses and use it to your advantage as a band.

Overall it’s a great experience and it’s given me the idea of what I’m kind of going for in my future. I learnt a lot and the price you pay to do this cannot even compare to the amount of experience you get at the end. It’s worth the money and time. “

Please listen below to Texas Flood / Billie Jean by Cold Shot.

Visit The League of Rock Here !



Visit Cliff Here !
Visit Cliff Here !


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Don Henley – That’s Why You Pay the Big Bucks ! Montreal Concert Review

 Welcome to the Hotel Bell Center…


It took the entire show and practically Henley’s entire back catalog to arrive at Hotel California. Don’s and his former band – The Eagles, piece de la resistance ( music by Don Felder). Luckily for the punters, it was not the final nail in the coffin at Le Centre Bell. After all – ‘ you can check out any time you want but you can never leave …’

Such is the legacy of Henley’s and The Eagles’ very ‘Long Run’. They don’t write songs like these anymore and inevitably, tears may fall from the eyes of all those who attend Henley’s recent tour.  

Sadness for Glen Frey’s death, sadness for The Eagles’ passing and definitive melancholy for the lack of ( general) songwriting skills in today’s music.

Ironically – it was a cover song which started the whole Bell Center crying in a very good way.  Steve Young ‘s Seven Bridges Road set the table for the evening’s dinner. A perfect meal before Henley et al aired their ‘Dirty Laundry’. Arguably, the song which kinda, sorta, separated Henley from his Eagles’ roots and established Don as a bona fide solo artists in the  … ahem … eighties. The crowd at The Bell Center (the majority over the age of forty) – huge fans of the eighties judging from the reaction to the second song of the evening.


As nostalgia kicked into full gear with ‘Witchy Woman’ – it was easy to tell Henley has equipped himself with a top notch backing band. The official fourteen member group instilled everything needed (and then some) within Henley’s set list. Henley himself, vocally –  in vintage 1970’s form.

Sunset GrillWhen I Stop DreamingNew York Minute and Shangri-La, all songs compiling the efforts of backing vocals, violins, mandolins, synthesizers and guitars ( Henley with a Telecaster) into a potpourri of over five decades of Henley experience. Harking easily into the magic which took place between himself and his late songwriting partner, Glen Frey.

Bramble Rose ( Tift Merrick ) off Henley’s 2015 album ‘Cass County ‘ ( Henley’s first in fifteen years) – a lesson in harmonization as Henley dueled with his back – up female singers. That lovely trend carried throughout the evening with the entire band sounding tight within the harmonies. The stars were out and lighting the stage at the Bell Center.  Very brightly …


It can be difficult at times to distinguish The Eagles and Henley’s solo efforts if not a huge fan of either. The Last Resort, a seldom played  Eagles’ live tune, was one of those moments. Henley’s solo career; Eagle- esque to a tee. Vocals are a brand for any band and Henley ( the fourth richest singing drummer of all time ), left his brand firmly on The Eagles.

Train in the Distance, a Henley tune – gave insights into Henley the person in a rare glimpse  of growing up in Gilmer, Texas. Henley, front and center and very lifelike (human), spun tales of placing pennies and nickels on railway tracks as a boy for no reason other than  ‘ lack of anything else to do.’  Complete with train sound effects, that specific train was far away in the distance last night as Henley fast approaches the age of 70. Inflation affects pennies on tracks after all …

The End of The Innocence and The Boys of Summer, two massive hits for Henley (the solo artist) , were the bread for a meaty piece of fun. Sandwiched between the pair of mega hits was another mega hit. ‘ Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ . The smash hit from Tears for Fears, stunned and pleasured the Bell Center faithful. The song was a perfect wake up call within Henley’s mostly soft  (Country – ish) song list. What Joe Walsh does with The Eagles, Tears for Fears did for Henley. Henley introduced the song as ‘ therapeutic’ following a brief summary of   ‘ ‘ ‘ the circus ‘  that is – American politics.

Encore number one brought out the big guns.Life in the Fast Lane carried the satisfied and exuberant crowd( hitchhikers) right into the driveway of  Hotel California. Both songs raising the baby boomers into an orgasmic state of bliss. For those in attendance never having the opportunity to witness The Eagles live – ecstatic to be sooo close … with Mr. Henley at the helm.


The second encore provided the ‘grab a box of Kleenex’ ( make that two ) moment of the show, Henley telling the crowd; ‘ this one is for Glen ( referring to recently deceased Glen Frey). Desperado, the first official tune written by Henley and Frey aimed at the heartstrings and connected on so many levels. The Grinch’s ( in attendance) hearts grew ten times last night.

Wasted Time was the final song of the evening in the third encore proving that on September 14th – time was not wasted by anyone. 

 Not by the punters, not by the band and not by Don Henley. It took the entire show, three encores and practically Henley’s entire back catalog to arrive at the fact that Henley is not finished the ride away from Hotel California.




Sign Up for The League of Rock Here !

Mention Rick Keene Music Scene and Receive a $150.00 discount !


Visit Dwane Dixon Blues Here and Buy the New Album;

Working Man Blues




Nanette Workman – ‘You Can Always Get What You Want ‘ – Part Two

Nanette Workman is real …

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A singer who has been there – done that. A seasoned professional who has not lost her ability to know the true reasons behind music. Passion and integrity, beauty and soul.


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Please listen below as Nanette explains her philosophy behind the nurturing of both young and ‘old’ musicians. Something which is fragile and exciting for Nanette.

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Thanks for Listening !



 Visit Nanette Here !




Sign Up for The League of Rock Here. Mention Rick Keene Music Scene and Receive a $150.00 discount !


Visit Dwane Dixon Blues Here and Buy the New Album;

Working Man Blues




Nanette Workman – ‘You Can Always Get What You Want ‘ …

Nanette Workman is not a born Quebecer. A fact which some people know …

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Nanette was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. She was inducted into The Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame in 2000. Not bad for a Quebecer … eh ?

The now 70 year old singer / musician / composer and actress moved to Montreal with her Pop Idol boyfriend and recorded her first album in French in 1967. Pretty cool since at that time – Nanette did not speak a word of that language.

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Nanette has worked with practically everyone in the music business over the years but perhaps, her most famous session was with The Rolling Stones. Lending her voice to a couple of songs which are part of the cornerstones of Rock music. Part of Rock history …

Please listen below as Nanette explains part of her early career and what songs she sang back -up in The Rolling Stones; vast catalogue. Nanette will be a coach in Montreal’s first edition of The League of Rock. Stay tuned for PART TWO and hear how Nanette will be approaching her gig as a coach.

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Thanks for Listening !


 Visit Nanette Here !


Sign Up for The League of Rock Here. Mention Rick Keene Music Scene and Receive a $150.00 discount !


Visit Dwane Dixon Blues Here and Buy the New Album;

Working Man Blues




Rick Keene Music Scene – The UnderGround Divas ! Somewhere Gram Parsons is Smilin’ …

Take Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground. Add Tom Waits. Add Gram Parsons.

Mix ’em all together and you get …

The Underground Divas. 



Singer / songwriter / multi – instrumentalist Rick Murrin is the mastermind behind The Underground Divas.

A man with a vision and a man with soul.


Please listen below to my chat with Rick and listen to some of the fifty – two songs he wrote during his personal fifty – two week challenge !

Say What ?


 Thanks for listening …talk soon !

Visit The Underground Divas Here !


Visit the League of Rock Here !

Mention Rick Keene Music Scene and Receive a $150.00 Discount !

Visit Dwane Dixon Blues Here !

The CD – ‘Working Man Blues’ on Sale Now !

Rick Keene Music Scene – The Underground Divas, Raisin’ Cain, Lisa Simone and Gov’t Mule … or… Mule (If You Prefer)

The Underground Divas. A perfect name for a band. 


Underground as in rebel and Divas  – as in Rock Star mentality. Just one of the bands from Montreal with a new album coming.

Please listen below to a preview of the songs AND INTERVIEWS coming this week on Rick Keene Music Scene.  Stay tuned for Paul Ierrera from Raisin’ Cane and Rick Murrin from The Underground Divas. 

Check out Paul and Raisin’ Cane at

The House of Jazz on Aug. 17th.

Thanks for listening …talk soon !


Visit the League of Rock Here !

Mention Rick Keene Music Scene and Receive a $150.00 Discount !

Buy Working Man Blues Album Here !
Buy Dwane Dixon’s Working Man Blues Album Here !

Rick Keene Music Scene – Messin’ with Paul Arthur and Raisin’ Cain !

Paul Arthur and Raisin’ Cain make their long awaited debut at

The House of Jazz 


Paul Arthur has long been a staple in the montreal Blues scene going back to the days of the Rising Sun. Originally from Boston but raised in Montreal – Paul and his band recently won a contest as best Blues band which saw the group head to New Orleans during Mardi Gras.


Please listen below to my chat with Paul Arthur and listen to some great tunes by him and his band – Raisin’ Cain.

Check out Paul and Raisin’ Cain at

The House of Jazz on Aug. 17th.

Thanks for listening …talk soon !


Visit the League of Rock Here !

Mention Rick Keene Music Scene and Receive a $150.00 Discount !

The Wainright Sisters; Laughing All the Way to The Jazz Festival !

Martha and Lucy Wainright Roche are a lot of fun …


 Martha and her half-sister Lucy have written and performed with most of their family. Kate and Anna McGarrigle, the Roches, Victor – the list is long and musical.  For reasons which are comically dark, Lucy and Martha collaborated on their first project ‘ Songs in the Dark’ in 2015.

Fast forward to July 8th, 2016 au Theatre du Nouveau Monde at the 37th Edition of The Montreal Jazz Festival. 

FIJM-d10-328With Martha in cast and Lucy cast as the straight man ( woman) – the duo explained, carried on, told jokes and sang songs from their debut album. Lullabies from the Devil would be an apt ‘ulterior’ title for the evening’s setlist. A stomach for Hitchcockanother …

Themes of despair, death and disappointment thick with the lyrics of songs sung for kids. Harmonious lullabies written with Martha’s kids in mind.’Mother’s Little Yellow Pill’  kind of stuff.

 ‘Long Lankin‘- the murderous tale, all the way to Richard Thompson’s literal  ‘End of the Rainbow’, performed tongue in cheek (hopefully) by The Wainright Women. In between – the self deprecating humor of poor Martha’s cast and crutches to Lucy’s brilliant deadpan delivery on everything – the pair were delightfully entertaining.  Even with a  Baby Rockin’ Medley instructing the crowd how to dance a baby to sleep while planning his / her departure as ‘a gift’.

Not all songs were about ‘haunted lullabies’.

 FIJM-d10-330Two of the evening’s most charming moments, insights into the childhoods of Martha and Lucy. ‘Lullaby for a Doll’, sung beautifully and wistfully by Martha as she covered her Mother’s song about the games Martha played as a child. Acoustic guitar providing the car as Martha took the audience on a trip backwards. Lucy grabbed the wheel ( and acoustic)  and issued her own tale of childhood.  ‘Screaming Issue’, a cover of a handcrafted tune to a younger version of Lucy carried out originally by her Father –  Loudon Wainwright III.  It was a children’s party and easy to decipher where Martha and Lucy obtained their musical prowess.


Throughout the evening – Martha and Lucy raised eyebrows and smiles. The chemistry between them filled with love, admiration and a wicked sense of humor. An impeccable sense of timing. Abbott and Costello would be proud …

‘Songs in the Dark’, the name of the album and tour – not without logic. In the olden days with medicine and means not always available, more kids died. Lullabies were created and sung to stomp and sooth the negativities associated with death and disease.

Martha and Lucy, aka The Wainright Sisters, more or less did the same thing  during a three night run au Theatre Du Nouveau Monde.  


In short …

Martha and Lucy Wainright Roche were a lot of  fun !

Visit Martha Wainright Here !


Buy The Album Here !
Buy The Album Here !

Rick Keene Music Scene – You Want a Jazz Festival Preview?

There is a lot of talent coming to the Montreal International Jazz Festival in 2016 …

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The Festival gets underway on June 29th with Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings doing a free blow-out show to open the Festival. Jones, one of the best performers on the scene today –promises to deliver a opening showstopper for the ages.

Susie Arioli performs on July 2nd at Club Soda. On the heels of a tour to support her first album without Jordan Officer on guitar, ‘ Spring’  is a year long thing now. The show and tunes will be Susie’s coming of age …

Please enjoy my interview with Susie !


Lisa Simone, the daughter of Nina Simone, will be performing two shows as an opening act for Melody Gardot on June 29th and 30th at Salle Wilfrid Pelletier. Lisa, like her famous Mom – blessed with amazing vocals and a way with words. Just may be the hidden gem of the Festival !

Enjoy my interview with Lisa !


The stages will be busy this year ! Most of Montreal and Quebec’s top players will be on hand to ‘sing the Blues’ to anyone who will listen ! From The Paul DesLauriers Band at Metropolis to Dawn Tyler Watson at L’Astral – there is something for everyone both indoors and outdoors ! Free and Paid !

Here are some of the performers ….

Pat Loiselle

Dawn Tyler Watson

Paul DesLauriers

Adam Karch 

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Please keep coming back for all the news, reviews and interviews as part of The 37th Edition of

The Montreal International Jazz Festival !

Visit the Festival Here to Buy Tickets and Check Out The Schedule !


Visit The House of Jazz here !


Working Man Blues CD Cover

Dawn Tyler Watson – A ‘Jawbreaking’ Interview !

Montrealers know Dawn Tyler Watson. Or – do they … ? 



Dawn Tyler – Watson has been entertaining Montrealers and Canadians for what seems like an eternity. In a good way …

Hard to believe her latest release ‘JawBreaker’ is only Dawn’s fourth solo album. Her small-ish output is not for lack of talent or opportunity, it is based on …

Please  listen below and Dawn will explain the reasons! Hear some tracks from ‘JawBreaker’ as well.

Dawn? What’s Up?



Visit Dawn Right Here !



Working Man Blues CD Cover

Dawn Tyler Watson – Experience is a ‘Jawbreaker’ ! Album Review

Montrealers know Dawn Tyler Watson very well …


One of this city’s brightest diamonds has shone bright for a few decades. In her latest offering; ‘Jawbreaker’, Dawn exudes passion with experience.

They say practice makes perfect yet musicians are all aware, perfection is as unattainable as The Holy Grail. Perfection is the hunger which, more times than not – sustains a career.

In ‘JawBreaker’, Tyler comes close with a little help from her friends.

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On the first track, ‘Can’t Nobody’, the beacon to the shore of a grounded habited island, guitar great Paul DesLauriers lends a pick. The Rock tune heavily infused with Bluesy- soul, opens the senses and dictates this will not be ‘ just another Blues record’.
DesLauriers, the seasoned veteran – lays the juice on and off. A perfect combination – a perfect fit to Tyler’s schizophrenic ability to power through or seduce with her voice. Montrealer Patrick Lehman lends his voice for the first time on the disc and yes, JawBreaker is about to be something juicy to bite into.

Patrick Lehman, the Juno nominated ‘Soul brother from another mother’, makes another appearance on ‘Shine On’. Whatever energy DesLauriers brought in the opener,  Lehman and Watson counter with a Gospel -inspired influence. Lehman and Watson dueling in an R&B cage. Grounding the sound and creating diversity. Another Jawbreaker straight from the church. The cornerstone of Soul.


‘A Little Bit More’ makes us comfortable. Watson – the singer we all know, appears with a ballad. Sultry, no nonsense. Dawn’s true self reflects off of Ben Racine’s shadow. The entire soul searching experience framed nicely by ‘Little Frankie Thiffault’s saxophone. The tune will make your heart melt.

“Son of a Gun’ jolts the wispiness away. DesLauriers returns and duels with Racine in a Rock n’ Roll Boogie Woogie high calibre fashion. Combing Berry- type riffs with Watson’s easy vocals. No rocket science here but ‘a rocket ‘ to balance JawBreaker. A missile to the good old days of Bill Haley and The Comets.

‘Tootsie Roll Blues’ is a return to the roots. Upright bass, harmonica and a smoke-filled Jazz club in a basement. Guy Belanger (Harp) and Morgan Moore (Bass) creating an atmosphere to forget troubled times. A tune to dismiss blues while wading firmly through the Blues. Dawn-Tyler is in her element and her ease within the melancholy structure holds a lantern to the underlying darkness within.

Festiblues Ahuntsic 2010 les 40 ans de Martin Deschamps
Festiblues Ahuntsic 2010

‘I Don’t Live Here Anymore’ is the gem. Montreal legend Rob MacDonald adds acoustic and Dimitri Lebel-Alexandre instills pedal steel on a heart-breaking delivery.  The opening riff, reminiscent of the 1970 – inspired Country balladry.

A ‘Desperado’ type song which enters into Blues -y despair in a fashion which only Tyler could deliver. Watson’s haunting vocals as fresh as a teenager trying to make her break. Watson inspires on this inspirational tune while MacDonald and Alexandre ply their craft brilliantly. Wow!

‘Rotten’ is Watson and the band. It is important to mention ‘ the band’ especially the nimble-fingered John Sadowy on piano and organ. Often, the piano player – the ‘filler’ on stage, is forgotten by the audience and sometimes the singer. Sadowy, throughout JawBreaker is the saving grace. Providing Boogie Woogie, grace and ‘the meat’ to the potato salad of guests. Nicky Estor holds the beat throughout and is a solid metronome providing rolls and fills at the most important moments. Francois Dube, Estor’s better half on Bass, grounding the songwriting and allowing the ‘cats to play’. Mathieu ‘Moose’ Mousseau on Baritone Sax – balancing Little Frankie on Tenor. Both players, part of The Ben Racine Band. Racine himself, integral to the complete sound on JawBreaker.

As cheesy as the title track may suggest, ‘Smoke Meat’ is the hidden gem on the album.

Dawn Tyler Watson - Ben Racine
Dawn Tyler Watson – Ben Racine

Starting off as ‘ just another song’, suddenly – following the first verse, substance rears it’s beautiful head. Estor and Sadowy setting the Jazzy tone. An intro to a Funky jam which allows all the players to shine. Watson paying homage to Montreal’s number one food delicacy and ironically – a staple of Montreal musicians’ diets. A red-hot song to go with red hot meat!

‘Greenbacks’ and ‘I See’ are R&B and funk fan’s guilty pleasures. Once more the sax is prominent as in any good funk/ R&B tune. The horns on the album providing a feel good mentality and transporting the listener to the days before record companies ruined everything. Foot-tapping type stuff yet compared to most tracks on JawBreaker – more generic and not quite up to Watson’s creative standard.

‘Forever Young’ – the Bob Dylan tune returns the album and Watson to glory. The vocals alone, worthy of several awards. Think KD Lang singing Hallelujah. At times, Watson hitting the spine tingling moments associated with Lang. Just one of those special moments which cannot be defined. Certainly to become a fan favorite on disc and off.


‘It Ain’t Elvis’ returns JawBreaker to generic territory. The album contains thirteen tracks and would have been more suited to ten. Adding similar sounding tracks diminishes the brilliance of the album. Watson is well know and everyone is aware of what she can do. All musicians are solid throughout yet generic can border on boredom within a complete album listening structure. Each generic track great within a playlist including different acts.

JawBreaker concludes with ‘Shine On / Rise’. A bookend for the album’s second track ‘Shine On’.  Once more – Lehman lends his backing vocals and the song is a tribal chant. An interesting way to end the disc. A statement sung with conviction by Watson and Lehman. A tease which starts to rise and disappears leaving the listener thirsty for more.

All in all – JawBreaker is a must buy album. A return of sorts by Dawn – Tyler Watson to the throne of Quebec female singers.

Ear candy if you will …


Visit Dawn Right Here !

Stay tuned for my Interview with Dawn !


Working Man Blues CD Cover
Click to Buy Album !

Watch Elvis Leave the Building !

Presented for the first time in Montreal!

Premiere on June 15  8 p.m.

 Place des Arts


evenko presents for the first time in Montreal, RETURN TO GRACE from June 15 to June 19, at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier.

A  glorious, heartfelt tribute to Elvis Presley’ s music featuring Steve Michaels,  and over 30 singers, dancers and musicians on stage, RETURN TO GRACE flawlessly delivers some the greatest musical moments of a generation with song favorites that include Heartbreak Hotel, Suspicious Minds, Love Me Tender, and more!



From the King’s beginnings in Memphis, to the amazing ’68 Comeback Special, to the historic Aloha from Hawaii concert, audiences experiencing RETURN TO GRACE re-live the music that changed rock and roll forever.

Enjoy the BEAUTY of the voice, the GRACE of the spirit and the JOY of the memory when you …

The concert of a lifetime

Wednesday, June 15
Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts
8 p.m.Curtain


Click Here to Buy Tickets !

Please help to encourage musicians everywhere.

Click here to support the growth of Rick Keene Music Scene. 

Thank You.


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Buy Tickets for Strangers in the Night 12 Here !

Chaim Tannenbaum; His First Album and It’s a Beauty !

Chaim Tannenbaum has done many things in life. Releasing an album is not one of them.

Until now …

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Informally, he is known as the Godfather of Canadian Folk music. Having co-produced Loudon Wainwright and worked on practically every album the McGarrigle Sisters and Loudon delivered.

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Keeping it among the family, Tannenbaum has also worked with Rufus and Martha Wainwright. 

Following a thirty-five year career as a Philosophy professor, Chaim has decided to release his first CD. As they say in hand grenade tossing; better late than never … !

Please listen below to my chat with Chaim. He speaks of his influences, working as a professor and the new album. Discover his thoughts on Bob Dylan !



Chaim is at Upstairs Bar and Grill on June 9th !


Visit Upstairs Here !


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The Anderson – Ponty Band; Music’s Best Kept Secret Astounded Montreal !

Jon Anderson of Yes fame is one matter. Jean -Luc Ponty is an entire different matter. Place the two together and what you receive in return – matters the most !

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The pair were in Montreal last evening on the heels of their album; ‘Better Late Than Never’. An album which took thirty -odd years to come into fruition. Judging by the live versions of the songs on the album; The Anderson -Ponty Band, arranged with a more fusion based sound combined with Yes and Ponty songs,
is better late than never at all!

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Former Yes frontman Jon Anderson along with Ponty, have assembled a band who have no business being this good. Each performer, a headliner on their own. Each musician – masters at their craft and then some. Magical as performers, mystifying as a unit.

Drummer Rayford GriffinWally Minko (keys), Keith Jones (Bass) and Jamie Glaser (guitar) placed the doubters in attendance at ease at Theatre St Denis.

Early on,  within One in the Rhythm of Hope, A for Aria and Yes favourite Owner of a Lonely Heart – the stage was set as Ponty and Anderson introduced their talents. Ponty, the Jaco Pastorius of the violin, piercing the air and replacing lead guitar with his soul grabbing chords. Anderson, the elfin removed from a fairy tale of years gone by. His unmistakable voice recalling Yes while reaching out to Mr. Cairo.

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Listening With Me, Time and a Word (Yes) and Infinite Mirage . Three tunes which bridged the gap. Sustaining the concreteness within the art. If anyone at this point stood out, drummer Griffin was the man.  Power and finesse combined with Jazz -induced rhythms. Griffin was the engine. The motor that roared all on all cylinders. All night. Tight.

Anderson Ponty Band--0114The Anderson – Ponty Band is a hybrid of creative forces. Combining remakes of Yes songs, Ponty tunes and new collaborations. It is a perfect blend of Prog Rock, Jazz Fusion and – a lot mixed in between. The band channeling Donny and Marie Osmond with a little bit Country and a little bit Rock n Roll.

Soul Eternal perhaps Anderson’s defining song of the evening. Anderson is as artistic as a soul can be. Introducing the song and singing it with enough conviction to steal souls, resuscitate and give them flight. Anderson cut from the same cloth as the boys from Genesis. Schooled in Fairy Tales and channeling it into music and lyrics.

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Jig – the Ponty tune, made everyone in attendance give careful consideration that Ponty just may be Quebecoise. The Acadian – French connection up front and personal as Ponty and his violin stole the spotlight and hearts of the crowd. A musical hump day within a show accelerating towards the weekend.

New New World and especially New Country ( Ponty), showcased guitar and songwriting. Elegant, precise and astute. Somehow, within the structure of such a tight group lay the songwriting. A magnifying glass can easily weed through the rough and get to the roots of music.

Anderson Ponty Band--0161Hidden between and within songs such as Never Ever (Anderson), Wonderous Stories (Yes) and Long Distance Runaround (Yes), were gems. Solo following solo. Pieces of art painted on top of pieces of art. Picasso on Mozart – Mozart on Picasso. Treat after treat flipped to Pavlov’s dogs musing in the audience. The punters were hungry and promptly fed a juicy piece of steak.

Rayford Griffin laid down an enormous drum solo. 

Enormous may be an understatement. Gigant – enormous may be reaching. 


The man who has worked with Ponty, Stanley Clarke, Michael Jackson and everyone noteworthy within music, laid down his law. Physics. Gravity. However labelled – it was a lesson in hard -hitting. Rayford’s Pop / Funk / Jazz background shining through in a different way. Not a Rock drum solo a la Bonham. Not a monster solo a la Peart. A solo a la Griffin. Unique, his own and proper for the Anderson – Ponty Band.

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Enigmatic Ocean, Part II – calmed the storm brought on by Griffin. Ponty’s salvation if you will. Soothing the nerves and calming the souls saved by Anderson. And You and I ( Yes) rekindled the 1970’s. Allowing Ponty and Keyboardist Minko to rest before battling it out in a beautiful duet / duel. Taunting, stabbing and sparring while teasing, satisfying and provoking. A moment in time between two musicians. A moment in time between artists and a crowd.


The quintessential Yes tune. Ending the show. Anderson prompting the crowd onto their feet and dance with one of the only danceable numbers of the evening. A virgin among whores …

Setting the stage and audience for an earth shattering ovation. Passion on it’s feet, celebrating and recommending a performance as professional as it was. As they come …

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Remembering Molecules and Soon finished it off. Sadly for the punters. Thankfully for the band.

Expanding the amount of energy into a relatively short time period, exhausting for Anderson and Ponty. Two wily old veterans making a statement. Tossing their musical gloves into a ring filled with younger opponents and rivals.

Anderson – Ponty. Coming out victorious.


Visit Anderson – Ponty Here !


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Fitting since – it is his story …

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‘Mudcrutch’ was the name of the original band.

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

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


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

” I won’t back down …’

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

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

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

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers saved Rock n Roll.

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

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

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

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

Poetic license for their own pain.

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

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

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

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

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




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The 2016 Edition of The Montreal International Jazz Festival

37th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

Tickets on sale this Friday, April 29, at noon
Exclusive pre-sale for Spectra Newsletter subscribers:
Wednesday, April 27 and Thursday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.!
(free subscription at


Montreal, Tuesday April 26, 2016 — It’s an indoor program that combines quality, abundance and diversity! The 37th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, presented by TD in collaboration with Rio Tinto from June 29 to July9, welcomes 175 indoor concerts spread over 15 series.
From the most intimate showrooms to the most prestigious concert halls, Montreal is ready to welcome a vast array of major musical names: young stars on the rise—Joey Alexandre, Ala.ni,Taylor McFerrin, Tal Wilkenfeld, to name just a few—artists at the peak of their plentiful powers like Melody Gardot, Rufus Wainwright, Ms.Lauryn Hill and Brian Wilson, and jazz legends including Chick Corea, Marcus Miller and Steve Coleman.
And there will be two very special moments this year from artists who have been with the Festival since its inception and are now bidding us farewell:Oliver Jones and Guy Nadon, who’ve written their very own chapters in Festival history!
All in all, there will be 11 days and nights of celebration at the crossroads of continents and genres, a brilliantly colourful musical voyage that promises to be equally eclectic and joyous!


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Opening concert: Melody Gardot. Opening act: Lisa Simone – June 29 & 30, 7:30 p.m., Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA – Every Festival visit by Melody Gardot is an event in itself… An absolute revelation when she appeared on the jazz scene in 2008, the American singer-guitarist- pianist and songwriter returns with her magnificent voice, her incredible charisma, a new album, Currency of Man, and her unique ability to hold sway over an entire room from the moment she takes the stage. To say we can’t wait is an understatement… Presented by CBC/Radio-Canada
Closing concert: Preservation Hall Jazz Band July 9, 8 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve — Taking their name from the famed New Orleans venue where they formed, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band has become the “authorized” ambassador of the music–and they’ve taken the message to almost every country in the world, keeping the tradition alive. A Preservation Hall Jazz Band concert is a trip to the very deepest roots of jazz. Presented by CBC/Radio-Canada


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Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts
At 7:30 p.m., the prestigious Événements spéciaux TDseries welcomes some of the biggest names playing this edition of the Festival. In addition to the opening concert starring Melody Gardot:July 2 and 3 / Rufus Wainwright presents two magisterial evenings with full orchestra: Symphonic visual concerts conceived around his opera Prima Donna and his greatest hits.July 4 / Exclusively at 8:30 p.m., a frenzied funk celebration with the legendary Kool & The Gang.July 5 and 6/ The grand dame of R&B, Ms. Lauryn Hill returns to the Festival after 14 years.July 7 / To mark the 50th anniversary of the Beach Boys’ most legendary album, Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin recreate the most magical nights of the ’60s with the songs of Pet Sounds, performed onstage one final time.July 9 / The series concludes with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, cut from the same superior cloth as his former Britpop band, Oasis.
Series presented in collaboration with ICI Musique, CBCMusic.ca, La Presse+,Rouge FM, Boom FM, Virgin 96 and CHOM


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Théâtre Maisonneuve, Place des Arts
In addition to the closing concert, at 8 p.m., Grands Concerts Rio Tinto series welcomes exceptional artists from all musical horizons:June 29 / The finest jazz singer of this decade: Gregory Porter.June 30 / Renowned Japanese piano virtuoso Hiromi, preceded by incredible harpist Edmar Castaneda.July 1 / An absolute fireworks display of major jazz names: the Blue Note 75 band, assembling Robert Glasper, Lionel Loueke, Ambrose Akinmusire, Marcus Strickland, Derrick Hodge and Kendrick Scott.July 2 / Welcoming back legendary bluesman Taj Mahal.July 3 / The golden girl of jazz: American singer Stacey Kent.
July 4 / The daring Joe Jackson and his eclectic, delectable repertoire.
July 6 / Legendary bassist Marcus Miller and his new project at the crossroads of Africa and America, Afrodeezia.
July 7 / The spectacular Volcan Trio starring Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Horacio “el Negro” Hernandez and Armando Gola. The evening opens with talented young saxophonist Melissa Aldana.
July 8 / American Brandi Carlile brings her pop sounds to Montreal for the first time.
Series presented in collaboration with ICI Musique, CBCMusic.ca, 98,5 FM and CJAD 800 AM


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Maison symphonique de Montréal
A concert hall with exceptional acoustics, the perfect venue to showcase Festival à la Maison symphonique Turkish Airlines series at 7 p.m.June 30 / The illustrious Wynton Marsalis heads the equally famed Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra(concert presented by Radio-classique). July 1 / One of our own Legends of the Festival, Chick Corea, in a trio with the supremely gifted Christian McBride and Brian Blade.July 3 / They’ve taken soul and salvation around the world: the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir with their 10th album, I’ll Take You There.July5 / An all-string double bill: astonishing Hawaiian ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro and Australian fingerpicking master Tommy Emmanuel.July / Famed Canadian jazz vocalist Emilie-Claire Barlow goes symphonic for the first time in Montreal.
July 7 / The farewell concert of one of the elemental figures in this Festival’s history: the great Oliver Jones, in a double bill, opening with his trio, then performing with the Orchestre national de jazz de Montréal.
July 9 / The 8th edition of our now-famous Battle of the Bands, with the Glenn Miller Orchestra facing off “against” the Cab Calloway Orchestra.
Series presented in collaboration with The Montreal Gazette, CJAD 800 AM andRouge FM


Théâtre du Nouveau Monde
At 8 p.m., the Nouveau monde series spotlights the ladies of music:June 30 to July2 / Violinist Angèle Dubeau and her ensemble La Pietà offer us one final opportunity to experience the album Ludovico Einaudi: portrait, Félix winner for Classical Album of the Year.July 6 to 8 / The Wainwright Sisters—Martha and Lucy—invite us on a trip through the nursery rhymes of their childhood with the mysterious Songs in the Dark.July 9 / Florence K brings the deeply human and literary experience of her book Buena Vida to the stage. Series presented in collaboration with MusiMax and Virgin 96




A Festival also means Get Up and Dance! Look no further than Rythmes SiriusXM series at 8:30 p.m. for proof!June 29 / The singer some have called the Nina Simone of the post-grunge era: Cat Powersolo.July 1 / An electronica trio from Marseille, Chinese Man, with opening Poirier and his Migration Sound sytem.July 2 / Dazzling Mexican songstress Lila Downs.July 3 / German artist Pantha Du Prince plunges us into the psyche-minimalist ambience of The Triad.July 4 / This trombonist-trumpeter lights up a night like no one else:Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue.
July 5 / He’s as wild as he is creative: extraordinary rapper Danny Brown.
July 6 / Indie-folk western adventures from the magical Lord Huron, with brilliant opener Son Little.
July 7 / An all-folk double bill with talented Swedish artist The Tallest Man on Earthand poignant Canadian artist Basia Bulat.
Series presented in collaboration with MusiquePlus, CKOI 96,9, Virgin 96 and CHOM
Club Soda
At 6 p.m.,Couleurs SAQ series invites you to a musical world tour:June 30 / Sparkling Brazilian singer Céu and the fierce rhythms of her latest release,Tropix.July 1 / Susie Arioli makes the flowers bloom with her most recent celebration of an album, Spring.July 2 / Ian Kelly brings the melodic folk of his storied album, Superfolk.July 3 / The daring Térez Montcalmtakes on the repertoires of Prévert, Nougaro and Trenet.July 4  / Get ready to get happy listening to the lovely songs of Gabriella.
July 5 / The young bassist everyone is talking about: Australian Tal Wilkenfeld.
July 6 / The dazzling Jay-Jay Johanson and his repertoire of otherworldly music.
July 7 / One of the loveliest discoveries of the last edition of the Festival: Ala.ni.
July 8 / The incomparable voice of Betty Bonifassi, in a contemporary re-reading of the music of Alan Lomax.
July 9 / Oklahoma singer-guitarist JD McPherson, dedicated to reviving the glory days of rock’n’roll.
Series presented in collaboration with Rouge FM, CJAD 800 AM and CIBL 101,5 Radio-Montréal
At 10 p.m., the party continues! Les Nuits Heinekenseries takes over Club Soda for a musical nightcap:
June 29 / A fiercely independent, dazzling group: Beirut’s Mashrou’ Leila and their rebel alt-pop.
June 30 / The triumphant return of DJ Champion et ses G-Strings, with a new album, Best Seller!
July 1 / It’s a debut Festival visit in hip-hop mode for Terrace Martin.
July / A night of divine madness with the founding members of The Sugarhill Gang and Grandmaster’s Furious Five, MelleMel and Scorpio, launching an old school hip-hop bash!
July / A ride on the wild side of Canadian blues-rock with the Paul DesLauriers Band, launching their new album!
July 5 / A brilliant cellist between jazz, electro-pop-rock and post-punk, Jeanne Added.
July 6 / First solo visit by one of the leading artists in contemporary R&B: Bilal.
July 7 / It’s a fiesta fired up by the wildest of Acadian duos: Radio Radio and their album Light the Sky.
July 8 / A rare Festival pleasure: Swedish trio Peter Bjorn and John, who had the entire world whistling along to their smash hit Young Folks.
July 9 / A lovely musical nightcap with the silky harmonies of Boy & Bear, preceded by the newest local buzz band, Motel Raphaël.
Series presented in collaboration with CISM 89,3 FM and NIGHTLIFE.CA


Florence K - Interview Here

Ludger-Duvernay Theatre, Monument-National
A 8 p.m., get ready for a series of 100% high-calibre jazz: Jazz Beat Hyatt Regency Montréal.June 30 / The series opens with famed saxophonist Chris Potter.July 1 / Next, it’s fast-rising young (12 year old!) phenomenon Joey Alexander with his trio.July 2 / It’s a pleasure to welcome back brilliant Israeli double bassist Avishai Cohen and his trioafter last year’s concert was cancelled.July 3 / Renowned Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen, accompanied bySimin Tander and Jarle Vespestad, presents his latest release, Hymns and Visions. July 4 / A pair of musical expeditionaries, Renaud Garcia-Fons andDorantes, bring their shared passion for flamenco to life.
July 5 / A very happy reunion with major grand saxophonist Steve Coleman and his project Five Elements.
July 6 / A special visit by a legendary jazz fusion group: Larry Coryell’s Eleventh House accompanied by Randy Brecker and Alphonse Mouzon.
July 7 / Prolific virtuoso organist Joey DeFrancesco brings us his new album, Trip Mode.
July 8 / The renowned Erik Truffaz Quartet brings in an African-accented album:Doni Doni.  
Series presented in collaboration with CBCMusic.ca
Dr. Oliver Jones


Le Balcon
The piano takes centre stage in a brand-new ebony-and-ivory-coloured series: the Piano soloseries at 6 p.m.June 30 and July 1 / Montreal classical pianist Jean-Michel Blais presents his debut album, Voici II.July 2 and 3 / A cosmic, oneiric musical voyage under the Aurora Borealis with Roman Zavada.July 4 / A voyage as playful and fantastical as it is sensitive and intimate: Martin Lizotte and his Pianolitudes.July 5, 6 and 7 / Montreal pianist Alexandra Stréliski transports her audience to a dreamlike, cinematic world.July 8 and 9 / Pianist-composer Jade Berg presents an intimate, acoustic version of the debut album by Flying Hórses.
Le Gesù
At 6 p.m., the famed Invitation TD series gets innovative (again): in addition to the host musicians inviting guests to present a different concert every evening, the series launches a new tribute concept this year.June 30 to July 2 / Brilliant New Orleans trumpeter Christian Scott kicks things off with songs from his 5th album,Christian aTunde Adjuah, before welcoming daring guitarist Charlie Hunter, and spellbinding singer Lizz Wright.July 3 to 5 / Renowned pianist Kenny Barron takes over with a first concert alongside scintillating Benin guitarist Lionel Loueke, followed by concerts with dazzling flautist Elena Pinderhughes, and closing his series with his trio.July 6 to 8 / The late, lamented Chet Baker is the subject of the tribute concerts in this series. First, Stéphane Belmondo brings us his wonderful recent album Love for Chet; next, Montreal trumpeter and–for this occasion–singer Ron Di Lauro offers his homage; and finally, brilliant and innovative José James closes things out accompanied by Takuya Kuroda.Series presented in collaboration withThe Montreal GazetteAt 10:30 p.m., the Jazz dans la nuit series welcomes nighthawk jazzophiles.
June 30 / Virtuoso Israeli pianist Shai Maestro unveils a 2nd album.
July 1 / Incredible guitar virtuoso Charlie Hunter and his trio roll out new album, Let the Bells Ring On.
July 2 / Charismatic virtuoso saxophonist James Carter unleashes Django Unchained, a tribute to Django Reinhardt, accompanied by his Organ trio.
July 3 / Former Snarky Puppy member Cory Henry presents The Revival, his recent album, grooving between vintage gospel and Stevie Wonder.
July 4 / A cosmic musical voyage with the apocalyptic space-funk of The Comet Is Coming.
July 5 / Pianist Fred Hersch unveils the incredible range of his talent solo.
July 6 / François Bourassa, Jean Beaudet and Marianne Trudel pay tribute to the man who helped launch the free jazz revolution in the early ’60s: Montreal pianist Paul Bley.
July 7 / A jazz summit at the generational crossroads with the brilliant Vijay Iyer and the legendary Wadada Leo Smith.
July 9 / The excellent Aaron Parks arrives with his trio and new pieces from an album due on ECM.
Series presented in collaboration with Espace Musique and CBCMusic.ca


At 6 p.m., the TD Jazz d’ici La Presse+series hosts a collection of brilliant local talents.June 30 / The farewell concert by Festival emeritus, the “Roi du Drum,”Guy Nadon.July 1 / The elemental Lorraine Desmarais with her Big Band and a rug-cutting project: Danses Danzas Dances.July 2 / Welcome Misc, the new name of the Trio Jérôme Beaulieu.July 3 / A fabulous Festival first: mother-daughter duoKaren Young and Coral Egan.July 4 / Michel Donato plays godfather to the local scene, welcoming 6 young talents for a series of duets.
July 5 / The daring Frédéric Alarie meets Scott LaFaro’s double bass for a timeless musical encounter.
July 6 / Renowned harmonica wiz Guy Bélanger kicks off the evening in acoustic mode.
July 7 / Our very own Queen of the Blues Dawn Tyler Watson delivers a high-wattage concert with Ben Racine.
July 8 / Jacques Kuba Séguin invites us into his Litania Projekt with Quatuor Bozzini.
July 9 / 2014-2015 Jazz Radio Canada Discovery Emie R Roussel trio closes out the run.
Series presented in collaboration with ICI Musique
At 9 p.m., the evening continues with Le Club series and its top-flight guests:
June 30 / Completely wild New York trio Moon Hooch.
July 1 / Japanese trumpeter Takuya Kuroda and a sound blending hip-hop, bop and soul.
July 2 / Franco-American singer Cyrille Aimée and her groovy new opus: Let’s Get Lost.
July 4 / A DJ-keyboardist at the crossroads of soul, R&B, hip-hop, jazz, funk and techno: Taylor McFerrin.
July 5 / Norwegian festival Punkt heads into the Festival to present Nils Petter Molvær solo and the Eivind Aarset band with Jan Bang, followed by a live remix by DJs Erik Honoré and Stian Balducci.
July 6 / Guy Bélanger keeps the evening going in electric mode.
July 7 / Star guitarist Nir Felder presents his new album Golden Age.
July 8 / A luxurious musical voyage with NEeMA and her album Painting My Wall Gold.
July 9 / Young phenom Gabriel Garzón-Montano makes his first Festival visit.
Series presented in collaboration with Stingray Musique and CIBL 101,5 Radio-Montréal


Savoy du Métropolis
The smallest venue of the Festival, the most intimate of series: Concerts intimes at7 p.m.June 29 and 30 / Raw emotion with Ontario artist Royal Wood.July 1 and 2 / The authentic indie-folk of John Jacob Magistery and their debut album Phantom i.July 3 to 5 / A luminous and ethereal pop universe that promises to be utterly spellbinding: Shyre.July 6 and 7 / A double bill uniting Men I Trust and Ghostly Kisses, from funky electronica to gauzy pop. July 8 and 9 / Eight-headed beastBellflower present their 2nd album, The Season Spell, fusing wind instruments, soaring jazz and alt-folk.
Series presented in collaboration with CISM 89,3 FM


Le Bateau-Mouche, Old Port of Montreal
A musical cruise: the Croisière Jazz, boarding at 6:30 p.m., returning at 10 p.m.June 29 to July 1 — The composer, singer, guitarist and percussionist musically transports us to the sunny world of his native country, Brazil. Reservations required: 514 849-9952, 1 800 361-9952 or bateaumouche.ca.


  • Place des Arts and Maison symphonique de Montréal: 175 St. Catherine Street West; 514 842-2112, 1 866 842‑2112 or placedesarts.com
  • Métropolis and Savoy: 59 St. Catherine Street East; ticketmaster.ca, or 1 855 790-1245 — metropolismontreal.ca
  • L’Astral (Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan): 305 St. Catherine Street West; ticketmaster.ca or 1 855 790-1245 — sallelastral.com
  • Club Soda: 1225 St. Lawrence Boulevard; 514 286-1010 or clubsoda.ca
  • Gesù: 1200 De Bleury Street; 514 861-4036; admission.com or 1 855 790-1245 — legesu.com
  • Théâtre du Nouveau Monde: 84 St. Catherine Street West; 514 866-8668 ortnm.qc.ca
  • Bateau-Mouche au Vieux-Port de Montréal: 55 St. Paul Street West; 514 849-9952 or 1 800 361-9952 — bateaumouche.ca
  • Monument-National: 1182 St. Lawrence Boulevard; 514 871-2224;admission.com or 1 866 844-2172 —  monumentnational.com
    • Le Balcon: 463 St. Catherine Street West, 514 528-9766 or 1 888 528-9766, lebalcon.ca

The 37th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal will be held from June 29 to July 9, 2016. Complete programming for free outdoor concerts and activities will be announced this coming June 7.

Pick up the free official brochure of all indoor concerts in concert venues, most CD and bookstores, from major downtown merchants and shops, and tourism info centers in Montreal, and as of late April, in the SAQ outlets of Greater Montreal.



Juno Award Winner Steve Hill Talks Volumes!

 Steve Hill has come a long way …


Starting with his Solo Recordings Volume One out of necessity, Steve’s one-man band mentality has become the talk of the country. 


Please listen below as Steve talks about his latest offering Solo Recordings Volume Three, his new-found success and his guitars of choice.


Thanks for listening ! Talk soon !


Steve shows



Buy Tickets Here !
Buy Tickets Here !




Lisa Fischer – A Montreal Experience …

Anyone at the Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre on Saturday night in Montreal was – twenty feet from a star.


No – the star in question was not Keith Richards.

The star in question was Lisa Fischer and although she may owe a certain amount of her fame to Richards and the rest of The Rolling Stones, her fame has been earned by sheer talent. A once-in-a-lifetime voice has earned Fischer a place beside musicians like Richards, Sting, Luther Vandross and Nine Inch Nails. To name a few.


The Grammy Award winning singer and one of the featured artists in the documentary ‘ Twenty Feet to Stardom’, displayed her talents in front of a packed audience. Conveying an angelic presence to a crowd whose attention lay focused. These days – it is rare when an audience is not disrespectful to a performer. Lisa Fischer is special.

Backed by her backing band Grand Baton, Miss Fischer carried everyone on a trip. Vessels of rhythms, beats, arrangements and melodic masterpieces within a potpourri of Jazz, R&B, Soul, Rock, Pop and World Music transported souls far away from Hades. No leaks. No Mishaps. No prisoners. No problem for Fischer.


Commencing with the Amy Grant song ‘Breath of Heaven’, everyone who had only heard Lisa singing Gimme Shelter with Mick Jagger realized the depth. Like a billowy cloud floating carelessly through a spring air, Fischer’s vocals – hard and soft. Contrasting styles. An entire vocal lesson within one Gospel inspired tune (hymn?).

Eric Bibb’s ‘Don’t Ever Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down’ came next and never left. Instead, setting the tone for the rest of the evening. Lisa Fischer arrived within the song as it morphed into Peggy Lee’s Fever. Elvis and Madonna have covered Fever. Thousands of artists have covered Fever. No one has covered Fever as unique as Fischer. Especially when the calmness of her version evolved into the classic Zeppelin tune; ‘Rock and Roll.’ Fischer and Grand Baton know how to rock. Now – Montreal is aware that Fischer knows how to rock outside of The Stones. A heart-pounding rendition with a hint of Rock and a touch of Soul.

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‘How Can I Ease the Pain’ – her Grammy Winning song, brought everyone back down to earth. Goose bump kinda -stuff. Hair-on-the-back-of-the-neck kinda stuff. Fischer demonstrated why – in 1991, the Grammy was awarded, for once, to the right person. A stunning beautifully written song sung with a healing power. A pin could have been dropped into an empty well equipped with microphones in China and it would have been heard in Montreal at The Corona. Fischer commands that attention. Fischer has earned that respect.

‘Miss You’, from The Stones’ Some Girls album came next.

Fischer, once more placing her own spin on things with a fusion of Jazz and R&B. After all – who knows Miss You better than Fischer? Since 1989, Fischer has ‘walked in central park’ and ‘sang after dark’ as The Stones’ back-up singer. At The Corona, Lisa made the Stones miss her more than she missed them. Piercing vocals shadowed by darkness. It was a gas, gas, gas!


Jumpin’ Jack Flash filled a Stones’ fan’s pallette. Briefly. Once more – Grand Baton and Fischer making it their own. Compared to Jagger’s menace, Fischer’s vocals hidden from the drivin’ rain. Sheltered under rainbow – colored mushrooms with an occasional bounce into a higher stratosphere. The Jagger / Richards’ composition fresher in Fischer’s hands. Richer.

The thing about Miss Fischer, given her star-studded pals and place within the music business, is her lack of pretentiousness. As humble as a bookworm on a date with a cheerleader, Fischer’s personae as a lead vocalist somewhat sophomore-ish. Almost shy. A relief within the usual diva mentality of the majority of female Pop singers.

The late Robert Palmer was present and accounted for on Saturday evening.

Lisa and the band offering a stirring rendition of ‘Addicted to Love’. Not quite like the video version of Palmer’s hit. Once again – Fischer placing the tune into another worldly dimension complete with a haunting bass line, acoustic bliss and a slower more haunting beat. A perfect set-up for what appears to be Lisa’s signature tune.


What would a Fischer concert be without Gimme Shelter?

The song which placed her on the musical map on a grand scale. Her moment in the sun with The Rolling Stones in every show. Although somewhat expected by Stones’ fans, Fischer once more altered the tune like a ball of Playdoh. Sculpting, shaping and forming the encore tune into something different.Something breath-taking. Something memorable. A souvenir to be placed into a photo album. Pressed between pages of a musical era.

One that is commencing for Lisa Fischer …

**Due to camera malfunction, no pics from Saturday’s concert are available. Apologies.

Listen to Lisa Here!