A Very Merry Christmas with Gary Moffet and Laurie

On December 17th, 2014Gary Moffet and his dear friend and former band mate Laurie; joined myself and Sean McKeogh on k103.7fm.

It was an honor to have two of the cornerstones of Montreal music to not only play Christmas songs, to also discover some of the history of music in Montreal.

Merry Christmas everyone! Please listen below and enjoy …

Gary? Laurie?

 

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The Greatest Christmas Concert Extravaganza This Side of ..well , Christmas! Band for Baskets Number Nine .. Number Nine .. Number Nine ..

What does the average person spend ten dollars on ?

Condoms? Sometimes. Candy? Sometimes. A pack of smokes? Sometimes. Feeding the needy? Seldom …

Seems a trifle selfish doesn’t it?

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This Sunday at Calistoga Grill marks the ninth anniversary of Bands for Baskets. An all day event which provides music for an admission price of ten dollars. This money, 100% goes to help buy food baskets for the unfortunate.

Seems a trifle unselfish doesn’t it?

Please listen as the event is explained with a little help from some friends.

 

Visit Bands for Baskets Right Here!

 

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Alex Pangman; Breathing ‘ New ‘ Life Into Life …

Alex Pangman may have seven lives left …

How else can you describe a young lady who has survived two double lung transplants. How else?

New. That’s how …

Pangman’s lungs were so scarred from lung issues from a young age, young adulthood  has proved harrowing to say the least. One rejected pair of lungs later, Alex is back with a new album and feeling better than ever before. Singing better than ever before …

Please listen as Alex explains the medical problem, her excitement over the greats of Jazz and Swing and … her new album ...

New!

 

Visit Alex Here!

Organ and Tissue Donation – Ontario

Organ and Tissue Donation – Quebec

Organ and Tissue Donation – Canada

 

Donate Here!
Donate Here!

 

Johnny Beaudine; History of Chicago Blues – Part Two

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

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

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

Buddy Guy and Rick Keene
Buddy Guy and Rick Keene

 

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

Johnny?

 

Buy Tics Here!
Buy Tics Here!

 

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Ask Dave the Bartender; Episode Six

The man sees every type of person born under a bad sign …

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He has cleaned up under every type of condition imaginable. He is the unpaid psychiatrist of the world. The listener. The guru of gossip.

He is also the man who has listened to every song played on every jukebox this side of Foreigner.

He is Dave the Bartender …

 

Email any question to Rickkeene2@gmail.com

 

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Print This and Save!

 

Click on Image to Buy Tickets
Click on Image to Buy Tickets

 

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Rick Michel; A Stunning Homage to Frank Sinatra!

Rick Michel is coming to Montreal …

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A treat for fans of the old school entertainment world.

Rick started his career as a comedian and quickly established himself as one of the great impersonators. Among the greats  Rick has learned and worked with –  Rich Little and Don Rickles.

Quite the career and quite the Sinatra homage he is travelling around with. Complete with Sinatra’s backing band and producer – Rick’s show Saturday June 21st at The Rialto Theatre will be a memory for the ages.

Take it away Rick …

 

 

Visit Rick Michel Here!

 

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Hear  my interview with Tyler Stewart from The Barenaked Ladies Here!

Trevor Payne Raises Money for Cancer

The Cedars Cancer Institute is pleased to announce that celebrated Montreal musician Trevor W. Payne, C.M. will spearhead a new men’s cancer fund in support of the Cedars Best Care for Life Campaign of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC).

Prostate cancer kills more men every year than any other form of cancer. It will afflict one in eight men in their lifetimes, striking approximately 22,300 men this year alone. I am ever so thankful to the MUHC, Dr. Armen Aprikian and his team and to Cedars CanSupport for getting me through the difficult diagnosis of prostate cancer. I am giving back in gratefulness and partnering with Cedars to make sure other men get the care they need too.” Trevor W. Payne, C.M.

Cedars’ Trevor W. Payne Fund for Men’s Cancer has been created as a means for Payne to give back to the medical team and MUHC where he was successfully treated for prostate cancer in 2009. As spokesperson for the newly-conceived initiative, Payne will help Cedars create awareness in the community of the risk factors, signs, symptoms and treatment of prostate cancer with a focus on the benefits of early detection as well as the psychosocial aspects of coping with the disease. Another goal of hte initiative is to speak out abour men’s cancers in general and make wute men get the care they need – whatever form of cancer they have.

Jeff Shamie, Director General of The Cedars Cancer Institure proudly reports “The Cedars Cancer Institute has secured the acquisition of a most important cutting-edge medical tool in prostate cancers for the MUHC – the da Vinci surgical robot – a $2.9 million gift to the hospital’s Cancer Care Mission.”

“We are ecstatic that Trevor, through his compassion for cancer patients and his notoriety will help Cedars champion the cause of men with cancer and promote awareness among men of all ages.”

To make a donation to the Trevor W. Payne Men’s Cancer Awareness Fundplease click here. 

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Trevor Payne

On Wednesday evening in the Oscar Peterson Hall at Concordia University, a fundraiser was held to benefit Trevor Payne’s Men’s Cancer foundation.

The evening got under way, fittingly – as Payne’s Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir took the stage. Take the stage they did …

Enter stage right. Enter stage left.

Dressed in angelic white gowns garnished with red, the singers entered from the rear and marched enthusiastically down the aisles and towards the stage. Clapping, singing and dancing to ‘Highway to Heaven.’

The song could not be confused with Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ for two reasons. One – this path was in the fast lane compared to the slower stair route and two – Payne arranged the song and gave full credit to the Rev. Alex Bradford. Unlike Page and Plant pilfering their song. By the time the choir arrived on stage, the snow outside – a mere memory in the audience’s mind …

The traditional chant arranged by William S Dawson; ‘ Ezekiel Saw the Wheel‘ – featured soloist Victor Craig. A moving biblical soul – grabbing tune which had the backing choir in full tilt. Gospel has a way of making the most ardent sinner’s monkey disappear from a back heavy with guilt. Payne’s Gospel Choir eased the pain. If only for an evening …

Jerry Mercer ( seated right )
Jerry Mercer ( seated right )

“It is Well with my Soul’, a traditional chant arranged by Payne – continued the journey of hope and faith. A fundraiser was taking place with numerous cancer survivors in attendance including Payne and former April Wine drummer Jerry Mercer. Mercer was on stage, to the right, playing the conga throughout the evening. Mercer was sitting as he has done throughout his musical career. The only time he did not, was shortly following his surgery to deal with prostate cancer when he was still banging the skins with April Wine.

Mercer at one point in his life, was despondent and spiritually drained. He recorded a couple of Gospel albums with his good friend Bevin and has been a very spiritual man his entire life. Payne and Mercer go way back. The latter playing drums in Payne’s ‘Triangle’ in the late sixties. Having Mercer on stage – a rightful blessing in disguise.

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What ensued is something which etched itself in a mind for an eternity.

Twelve year old pianist; Daniel Clarke Bouchard, took the stage and completed an awe inspiring Sonata No.47 in B Minor. A tune composed by Franz Josef Haydn.

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Never mind the kid is only twelve. Never mind the kid is a talent beyond belief. What happened during his time in front of a crowd which included another cancer survivor – former Quebec Premiere Lucien Bouchard, was enough to lay dormant an omnipresent  political disruption. Music transcends everything and it is a proven fact – children raised around music cultivate into more successful adults on so many levels. Daniel Bouchard not only the proof – the reason as well …

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Then – the Devil entered the room.

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Rock n Roll – at one time,considered the Devil’s music. Cadillac Music took the stage and delivered some ‘old time’ rock with their renditions of ‘ Mustang Sally'( Rice) , Runaway’ ( Shannon, Cook ) and ‘Twist and Shout’ (Medley, Russell). Four of the band’ s members ( friends since High School), are also cancer survivors. You would never know it. Not the hardest songs to play nor were these guys the Beatles. If courage and passion counted – Cadillac Music were the Beatles …

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It arrives in different places and is seen through different eyes in different ways. Ekspresyon Dance Troupe are beautiful to the blind. A magnificently – choreographed act which leap across the stage in costumes bright with energy. “Yanvalou’ was performed. ‘Yanvalou’ – is a dance performed in honor of the Rada division of the Vodou pantheon in Haiti. Utilizing an undulating spine in evocative of the serpent-god, Dambala. The dance  has several variations. Yanvalou debut (upright), Yanvalou dos bas (crouching), Yanvalou z’epaules (a “shoulder dance”).

Ekspresyon carried out all three and the crowd was at a loss for words. Opting instead for a standing ovation upon completion. Ovations which delivered the same message which pianist Bouchard graciously donated from under his Christmas tree.

Old – time rockers; John McGale, Breen Leboeuf ( Offenbach) and Jerry Mercer( April Wine) – had huge footprints to follow.

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The trio, aptly named The Buzz Band – took the stage and if the audience had their way, would have kept it and brought it home. With almost 120 years experience between them musically, the ‘trois amigos’ delivered a three song set which arrived with trepidation and departed with the strongest ovation of the evening.

“Hell on High Heels’ ( a McGale composition), ‘Mes Blues’ ( a Leboeuf, Boulet, Huet song) and ‘ Jammin’ at the Juke Joint ( McGale) proved that old dogs do not need to be taught new tricks. Mercer (playing Conga in the middle) – flanked by LeBoeuf ( Bass ) on his left and McGale ( Acoustic) on his right. There was so much substance in the songs. So much heart – felt passion for music, the message hit hard and the audience truly understood. LeBoeuf’s vocals on the moving “Mes Blues’ was mesmerizing and McGale’s guitar playing unequaled in Quebec. The only negative was Mercer did not sing ‘Georgia’ and McGale’s flute stayed in his pocket. No problem – there is always next year …!

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Payne and his Gospel Choir  reclaimed their stage to end the evening.

‘Yes God is Real’ ( Kenneth Morris), featured soloist Dayhana Maria Santos. ‘ I Said I Wasn’t Gonna Tell Nobody’ ( Rev. Alez Bradford) featured Santos and Gordon. The two songs energized a crowd who were not willing to leave the theatre. By the time Payne’s arrangement of ‘Babethandaza’ was being carried out and everyone who had performed took the stage for a curtain call – a love-in was taking place. On stage and off stage. Smiles were contagious and that was something good. Joy spread from performer to performer like a happy baton in a relay race of life.

Races end. Payne’s fundraiser cannot.

Too many folks need help in fighting the terrible disease known as cancer.

On an evening in the Oscar Peterson Hall at Concordia University, sometime in 2014 , a fundraiser will be held to help Trevor Payne’s Men’s Cancer foundation. See you there !

Jim Henman Still Has That ‘Same Old Feeling ‘ …

It has been a long time since Jim Henman recruited Myles Goodwyn to play in a band which became known as April Wine

new_cover_All these years later, Mr. Henman – a pioneer in Canadian music, has a new album and it is a return to his roots. All the music he loved growing up – returns to haunt the musician along with his many fans. Thank the Lord – Henman has a great memory.

The Singing Brakeman”, Jimmie Rodgers and ragtime guitarist/singer Blind Blake layered the roots for Jim Henman.

‘Same Old Feeling’ was released in 2012. A  collection of his many loves. It is a treasure of tunes which makes every listener  feel at home …

Track One; ‘ Slow Down’ – is a song Jim loved as a kid but always enjoyed playing more as  a country blues tune. Originally written by Larry Williams and recorded by The Beatles among many others, the opening chords of Jim’s version, all of three seconds, proves Henman is a likeable fellow. This song and this type of music can do that to a fellow or woman. The chorus sets the hay straight in the back of the truck and Henman, as the driver, ensures just the proper amount of bumps are hit at the beginning of this joyous ride. Country blues are not meant to sound smooth – live or recorded. Henman’s lifetime experience is aware and delivers it on cue.

‘You Can Have My Heart‘ – the second song, delivers Henman’s heart right on a golden platter via Hank Williams. “This is my Hank song.” says Henman. “Not to sound vain but I can picture Hank singing this.”

The song is a gentle introduction to Henman’s songwriting prowess that commenced along with Myles Goodwyn’s back in the mid – sixties with Woodie’s Termites. “It feels good and it’s a true story for me.” Admits Henman. In this day and age where television shows, movies and music seem to pump out hatred by the minute, it is easy to forget that great songs contain stories. Great songs contain melodies which provoke whistling. This Henman gem does just that …

The title track; ‘Same Old Feeling’ is a remarkable song and a play on words … or feelings. Henman has carried this song with him for forty years. He started writing it in a cottage, completed the process many years later in a cottage and guess what? The song is about a cottage … go figure? Henman finds the finished product happy and laid – back. He had a good time writing it and hopes a listener will as well. No doubt as once more Jim provides comfort. Jim enables us to ‘walk in the warm, warm rain’ and not get wet.

‘Could be Heaven’ – according to David and Ritchie Henman’s cousin – brings out his ‘old rock n roll’ self. Written in ten minutes – Jim loves the solo and the end of the song which bookends the fifties – style guitar riff to start the song. Reminiscent of  old April Wine songs … Coincidence? Nothing complicated – just old-time rock n roll. The kind of stuff that got the Silver Beatles hoppin’!

‘Thats The Way It Goes’ is a tune about a beach.  A sandy piece of land which is close to where Henman resides. Martinique  is the name of the beach and ‘Baboo’ is the name of the cat. A combination which makes a great tune.   A tasteful, delightful romp led by John Appleby’s mandolin playing and followed by Jim’s next – door – neighbor – style vocals. Great songs lead to whistling. This song includes whistling. A great song to listen to by the water while your feet dangle in nostalgia.

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Ritchie, David and Jim Henman

‘That’s All I Got’ is Jim Henman’s autobiographical song. It is important to listen to the words on this song which could have been easily recorded by The Band. It reels the details of Henman’s rise to fame with April Wine and his ‘would be ‘ demise if he had stuck around to watch it destroy him. A musical sense throughout the song dictates happiness yet a skylight remains open for a feeling of doom to chase the Halifax native along.

‘Walk Right In’
“It feels like this song has always been in my head.” says Henman of the Gus Cannon tune “I have played it for years at home .. I like this feel and what Charlie Phillips did in the solos … Love it! Chuck Buckett on drums really did it for me when he added his  drum ideas!”

‘I Don’t Have No Blues’ was written 15 years ago by Henman and wrote itself according to Jim. His appreciation of John Sebastian‘s songwriting comes out in this tune. Jim is telling us “I don’t have no blues’ and we kinda believe him. “It’s a blues tune that is not a blues tune ..” Says Henman. Whatever it is – it is a toe tapping acoustic number ripe with a century of artists’ souls and acoustic playing which gently stokes a flame long ago extinguished by hip hop and rap.

The last track is not final.

‘Shame Shame Boogie’ is a fictitious song about a guy in Waverly where Jim lived as a teen. A small town story and a tale which could be about ‘many people’ concludes Henman. The club they ( many people) went to was named Creeque Alley in Dartmouth, N.S . “For anyone who knows what I mean by Shame Shame Boogie …. they get it!” Adds Jim. ” The audience loved to sing along with the chorus .. I love it when that happens!’

Henman is doing a full band version of this song with a certain Myles Goodwyn on electric guitar. It will be released as a single. It is due out in a few months.

Hmmm … Myles and Henman playing together once again! I bet they get that “Same old feeling!’

http://jimhenman.com/

©rickkeene

The Greatest Soundtrack Ever ?

Music is what makes movies.

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Some would argue it is the other way around. Without words and actors to act out the words, there would be no place to inject the sounds of musical artists and their compositions. A painting requires a canvas.

Film and music have a long relationship. The most memorable images embedded on film have been equally matched by unforgettable soundtracks.

Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpieces would not be the same without Bernard Hermann‘s musical score. Watch The Birds, Psycho and especially Vertigo. Hermann had an uncanny ability to create ebbs and flows, climatic and anti-climatic incantations which properly paralyzed the emotions of Jimmy Stewart, Tippi Hedren and Janet Leigh. The funny thing? No one remembers the music let alone the name of the composer of the thematic tunes.

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Therein lies the beauty of such a wonderful marriage. Like a hockey coach explaining his defenceman’s elite play; ‘ If I did not notice him – he’s doing his job!’ The less the ears are bothered – the better a film is …

Perhaps the greatest soundtrack of all time arrives directly from 1996. When music is able to captivate the psyche of a director as well as the silent and not so silent musings taking place within a character, it is an indication of such an intense concentration of the written script –  blood, sweat and tears leave an indelible blood splatter on the audience’s soul ..

The soundtrack from the movie Trainspotting does just that.

1. Lust For Life – Iggy Pop
2. Deep Blue Day – Brian Eno
3. Trainspotting – Primal Scream
4. Atomic – Sleeper
5. Temptation – New Order
6. Nightclubbing – Iggy Pop
7. Sing – Blur
8. Perfect Day – Lou Reed
9. Mile End – Pulp
10. For What You Dream Of – Bedrock Featuring KYO
11. 2:1 – Elastica
12. A Final Hit – Elastica
13. Born Slippy – Underworld
14. Closet Romantic – Damon Albarn

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First – the film …

In 1999, Trainspotting was ranked in the 10th spot by the British Film Institute (BFI) in its list of Top 100 British films of all time, while in 2004 the magazine Total Film named it the fourth greatest British film of all time. Several filmmakers and film critics voted it the best British film in the last 25 years.

In 2004, the film was voted the best Scottish film of all time by the public in a poll for The List magazine.It has also been recognized as an important piece of culture and film during the 1990s British cultural tour de force known as Cool Britannia.

Now – take away the music …

Same film? Lucky if the movie reaches the top 1000!

iggy-faceIggy Pop’s Lust for Life introduces the viewer to the antics of heroin addicted friends whose lives spiral into a decadent rabbit hole. The song, with it’s upbeat drums and potentially satanic words are sung by a man who has rightly been in the same predicament as the film’s stars. The ironic happiness completely balances the depressing nature of the plot and allows a complete turning of the senses. A flip-flop of unbearable ugliness framed with a rosy virtuoso performance by Mr. Pop. Art does not imitate the song – or does it? David Bowie co- wrote the song. Life imitates art …

Brian Eno promptly takes the drug – induced baton and runs with it. Slowly and surely. The song; ‘ Deep Blue Sea, is an insightful look into the recesses of minds which are affected by not only the heroin – the reality of the boy’s lives. Their existence interwoven with madness brought on by their sheer introspective views of a society riddled with politics which has left the spirit of a generation downtrodden with despair. An ocean is deep – Eno’s rendition; profound …

Primal Scream are a band from Glasgow, Scotland who loved the drug-induced lifestyle for many years. Primal Scream are responsible for the song Trainspotting. It is a melody penned and performed by a bunch of musicians who could identify with the torment the characters in the film are enduring. Many moods strive when listening to the song and anyone who has dipped into the genetic pool of LSD or any type of mind  altering drug can attest to – rather quickly. It tempts the listener with hope then disturbingly removes that hope as a child may displace a chair as a practical joke for an adult about to sit. Funny if no one is hurt – not so funny if paralysis takes place. A perfect analogy for a film which leaves the viewer wondering if crying or laughing is appropriate.

‘Atomic’ by the group Sleeper sounds like the theme for a television show where surfers provide fodder for a criminal investigation. Initially – the song seems out of a place on a soundtrack captivated by sadness. Akin to Pop and Bowie ‘s lust – ‘ Atomic’ allows a vehicle of hope to ride the rails of a roller coaster. On drugs – life is great yet something follows with a sense of doom. The guitar riff is the doom while the golden voice provided by singer Louise Wener is the rainbow underneath the pot of gold. ‘Atomic’ is an original song penned by Blondie. Deborah Harry refused the original to be used so Sleeper recorded their own version. Beautiful like Wener herself ..

Temptation is tempting throughout the movie. It is the demons wrapped within the demons. New Order, the English Band which developed from Joy Division, are responsible for the song which introduces sanity to a film. The band members influenced heavily by David Bowie so their appearance in the shower scene – no coincidence. Originally released in 1982 – this song has become the band’s most popular song and the one they perform most often live. Thanks to the movies …

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Iggy Pop and David Bowie reunite once more for the song ‘Nightclubbing’.

The beauty of this song is the music. Lyrically shallow yet immense in it’s ability to place the most casual pedestrian into the wonderful world of hitting the clubs and all the characters which inherit the booze.

“Nightclubbing’ has been recorded numerous times over the years. Grace Jones performs one of the better – known versions which keeps along the same porous path that Bowie and Pop initially created. A lane carved by …?

The great thing about the soundtrack for the film Trainspotting is the underlying theme. Every track contains a virus. A sickness acting like an umbrella filled with holes. Sad songs contain happiness and happy songs – filled with sadness. It is as if every song is performed by the same artist. As if every tune has been written by the same person. The songs all derive from a generation fixated on melancholy.

Track seven; ‘Sing’ – is performed by the band Blur. A piano pushes this boat into a sea of uncertainty. Once more with that feeling of gloom as the motor. The pain evolves into a caged animal waiting to be released. Captivity is not conducive to happiness and Blur are able to recreate the feeling easily. Every time freedom seems imminent – a rising drum beat is subdued like a dog owner pulling back on a leash. A reflective pause once more. An ingredient to a thinking man’s film.

Melancholia  may be Lou Reed’s middle name.

Just a perfect day
you made me forget myself
I thought I was
someone else, someone good

“Perfect Day’ is the perfect song for a perfect drug related movie. Lou Reed is the perfect choice to sing it. A haunting melody provides the backdrop for a poem which could have been written by a college freshman in a first time love affair. A piano provides sunshine. The lyrics put and end to that! Reap what you sow as Reed has done in a song released post- Velvet Underground on Reed’s second solo offering. Once more – the movie recreated a song into a mammoth person, place and thing

Even drug users enjoy an outing to a circus. The Ferris Wheels that go round and round in their heads cannot copy a real time wheel a couple of hundred feet in the air.

Pulp creates the feeling in the song; ‘Mile End’.

It is all bells and whistles. Cotton Candy replaces heroin if – for only a brief moment. Pulp, a band whose lead singer – Jarvis Cocker, once interrupted Micheal Jackson’s performance at the Brit Awards in protest, also became more popular via film thanks to the song ‘Mile End’. Propelling the band to a higher echelon. The tune provides the film with a fresh breath of air not containing anything remotely concurrent with dope. Although Jarvis may disagree.

‘For What You Dream Of’ , performed by Bedrock feat. KYO is the most interesting track on the Trainspotting album. It is uniquely a ride. A trip. A journey through so many levels – passports may be required. Highs so high and lows so low. The type of arrangement which defies a label. It is both a techno – track and  a disco track in one. The primal drum beats are straight out of a tribe’s repertoire and the singing … so divine …! Makes heroin seem unnecessary …

The band Elastika are responsible for the next two tracks. ‘2:1’ and ‘A Final Hit.’ Much like the movie characters, this band was filled with controversy. Mainly accused of plagiarism in their career by the band Wire. The song ‘2:1’ contains an indication of rock in the forum of a great guitar riff followed closely by Justine Frischmann’s sweet vocals. Yes – the malaise continues to keep within the schematics of the underground feel of the film. Yes – the happiness attempts to escape the brooding. ‘A Final Hit’ is an instrumental funeral march and one of the final ‘hits’ of a band whose story  was completed in 1999.

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Underworld

Underworld, a techno – drum filled duo, add their biggest hit; ‘Born Slippy’ into the mix. It is a song which relies heavily on beats. If Ecstasy was on the menu – these guys probably devoured it along with a copy of the ‘How to’ guide. ‘ Born Slippy’ is the perfect rave song. Imagine the lights, the noise, the people and the craziness that ensues in a dance club. On heroin – this takes place in the head. Underworld just lets a little oxygen in once in a while …

Damon Albarn, lead singer of the band Blur, finalizes the soundtrack of trainspotting. What a finale it is …

How can a definition define definition? How can the song be classified?

‘Closet Romantic’ is a whimsical farce. Once again dipping into the circus gene pool. The song has parts Beatles – parts The Beach Boys integrated into a walk in panic / needle park. Apparently – the lads fighting the heroin addiction within the film always manage to discover the theme park within their conscience. A voice – over narrates a tale complete with the clown from the Stephen King novel IT.

Movies are what make music …

Trainspotting can be rented at Pointe Claire Video …(See Link on top of the home page )

Up Close and Intimate with Jonas and Corey …

Corey Diabo and Jonas Tomalty of Jonas and the Massive Attraction will be playing an acoustic concert at Draft Picks Sports Bistro in Kahnawake.

The show will take place on Thursday, January 31 at 8 p.m. and is presented by VIP Poker. Tickets are $45 each and are available are on sale now at Draft Picks, which is located on Route 138 next to VIP Poker.

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Jonas and the Massive Attraction just wrapped up their Big Slice Tour, which brought them across Canada and to Europe, with stops in Germany, Denmark, Austria and Switzerland. The band has been touring for their latest album Big Slice for the past two years.

Diabo and Tomalty are currently playing several acoustic shows as a part of a 2013 Unplugged Tour.

For more information and tickets call Draft Picks at 450-638-7529.

GregH@kahnawakenews.com

Lennon’s Stepsister? A Canadian and Talented …

Kicking off the new year with a bang seems like the only appropriate thing to do after closing 2012 with such wild success.

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Having just returned from her European tour with a dizzying number of interviews and features (incl. Rolling Stone, Die Zeit), Chloe Charles is perfectly poised for her home turf celebration of “Break The Balance” at Toronto hub, The Revival, Feb 13th.

A mere two years ago, this young singer-songwriter and self-taught guitarist released her debut EP, Little Green Bud – a fitting title, too, as it set the tone for a fully blossoming career that’s about to go off the scales with Break The Balance.  Since Little Green Bud, music critics and fans alike have been scurrying to put into words what it is that Chloe does. She’s that spellbindingly different.

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Julian Lennon and John Charles

Best of luck with that.

The press have likened Chloe to everyone from Björk to Billie Holiday, Amy Winehouse to Adele, and Alicia Keys to Joni Mitchell. While this reflects her unfathomable range, it goes a long way towards describing why this singing sorceress’ musical magic defies any and all straitjackets of classification.

Fans, presenters and media around the world have responded warmly to this one-of-a-kind voice, offering Chloe 300 shows across 8 countries in only 2 years, features in (German versions of) Rolling Stone and Elle, the cover of International Musician magazine, the Harbourfront’s Soundclash Award, CBC feature on Here & Now (Song of the Week), an invitation to join the Guild Guitar family, and showcases at SXSW, NXNE, CMW and Folk Alliance.

Weaned on an early childhood in the lush, dense woods of Ontario, the beauty and its uninterrupted silence forged her relationship with sound and the art of listening.

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In her teens, Chloe’s father married into a musical dynasty when he became the husband of Cynthia and stepfather of Julian Lennon. Becoming Lennon’s stepsister provided Chloe with an uncommon picture of the world and the place of celebrity within it, while cementing her desire to create and follow her own muse.

Her discovery of classical guitar just a few short years ago fuelled a love for all things stringed and resonant, plotting a roadmap for a territory inhabited by cello, violin and bass  – each song a mini-symphonic stopping point.  Here, her penchant for orchestral soul pop and jazz – and a blend of many influences in-between – could happily co-exist within a timeless and ethereal soundscape.

So, who would dare produce the debut CD of this transcendent force field? No less than Duane Lundy (Ben Sollee, Vandaveer) shared the reins with Charles on the development of Break The Balance while Peter Moore (Cowboy Junkies, Willie P. Bennett) handled some of the mastering.

aThe lead and hallmark track, “Business”, dedicated to everyone going through an identity crisis, sets an edgy pace for this inaugural, full-length release. Voice becomes instrument against an upbeat collision of strings, percussion and powerful chorus – the uniqueness of which serves the narrative perfectly – love is ours, just as we are.

On “My Child”– a soft, delicate number relying on the harp effect from her classical guitar, Chloe takes the lovely melody and wraps words around it like a motherly blanket.

From the title track’s poignant testament to love, to “Soldier”, which turns the meaning of bravery on its head, Chloe asks us to look at life from a fresh perspective.

And this is only a taste of Break The Balance’s 12-song menu.  Indeed, if the response to her appetizer of an EP is any indication, Break The Balance is bound to tip things even further in her favor.

Listen here!

http://www.chloecharles.com/music

Visit her site!

 http://www.chloecharles.com

Chloe Charles CD Release
 Singing sorceress weaves musical magic with new CD, “Break The Balance”

WHEN:                     Wed Feb 13, 8:00-9:30pm

WHERE:                  The Revival, 783 College St, Toronto

TIX:                         $15 advance http://guestli.st/142446  or  $20 door

INFO:                       
416-535-7888  http:www.revivalbar.com

The Blushing Brides – You Get What You Need …

Love is strongcbb1
And you’re so sweet
You make me hard
You make me weak …

Calistoga Grill. Inside –  dark. Outside – smokey.

The smell of anticipation loomed within the drinks. The ultimate party cover band‘s members lounging outside with the smokers. Before playing the ultimate cover music. No fancy clothes – no fancy attitudes.

Be my little baby for a while.
Won’t you be my little baby for a while?

Lead singer Maurice Raymond and guitarist Paul Martin, aka Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, clones in appearance and spirit. Danger oozes from their pores.

You thought you were a clever girl
Giving up your social whirl
But you can’t come back and be the first in line, oh no
You’re obsolete my baby
My poor old-fashioned baby
I said baby, baby, baby you’re out of time

James Green on lead. Blues seeping through his every lick and flick of his dreadlocked hair. Cheekiness. Attitude and life experiences. Comfortable amid the lights and the darkness …

cbb9I watched you suffer a dull aching pain
Now you decided to show me the same
No sweeping exits or off stage lines
Could make me feel bitter or treat you unkind

The crowd. Restless. The men – cynical. The women – wet. The men – jealous. The women – living out fantasies in their minds. Sex, drugs and rock n roll instead of kids, mortgages and mini-vans. The swagger of the band hits the stage … The swagger of the music hits the stage like a shot of one hundred year old whiskey going down … smooth …

Did you hear about the Midnight Rambler?
He’ll leave his footprints up and down your hall
Did you hear about the Midnight Rambler?
Did you see me make my midnight call

The first song started the dance. The swaying. The gyrating to match Raymond’s words and drummer  Sascha Tukatsch’s motions. Sexiness from above – sexiness from below. A melting pot overflowing with lust and desire. The dance continued …

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I was raised by a toothless bearded hag ..I was schooled with a strap right across my back …

The Brides the villains, the patrons – victims. Seduction in the form of foreplay. Crescendos obtaining higher platforms of musical orgasms. Hand – clenching feelings provided by the blues. The devil’s music. Danger at every step – overstepping boundaries which the patrons instill on their children ..

If I could stick a knife in my heart
Suicide right on stage
Would it be enough for your teenage lust
Would it help to ease the pain? Ease your brain?

Just one show. Two sets of  rhythmic adultery. Layered in the proper theft of a soul caged like a animal with instincts so sublime. Passion. Passion and more sultry glances and demonic bass via Matt Greenberg. Wicked tempos silhouetted by tenderness disguised with a scowl.

cbb4I’ll never be your beast of burden
So let’s go home and draw the curtains
Music on the radio
Come on baby make sweet love to me

Ladies and gentlemen …

The Blushing Brides

Steve Hill; King of the Mountain

Some people are born to bake cakes. For others – mechanics may be their thing. Steve Hill of Trois Rivieres, is meant to play guitar …

steve_hill_a_9112011_600At Club Soda on Saturday night, in a concert dubbed ‘A Return to Montreal‘ – Hill proved once more why he is considered to be one of the best blues guitarists in North America. How about one of the best blues guitarists period!

” The tour has be great so far …” Says Hill following his two hour performance. ” Everywhere I have played it’s been sold out and my solo performance is getting approval.”

Hill is referring to his latest album; Steve Hill Solo Recordings Volume One. A disc which was released this past summer and is a homage to the great blues artists such as Muddy Waters, Elmore James and Robert Johnson. From the moment the blonde-haired guitarist steps on stage and takes his place behind a bass drum and a high-hat, it is clear. This is the way the Blues are supposed to be played. This is the way Steve Hill is supposed to play …

Once upon a time – Muddy Waters plugged his guitar into an amp and commenced playing on the street in front of his girlfriend’s place. It was fierce, it was unique and it garnered attention from the many passerby on the way to work or play. Now – people gather at a club in Montreal to listen to the same fierceness and uniqueness that Hill provides.

It comes from original compositions such as ‘King of the World’, ‘About Phase’ and ‘Ever Changing World’. Within these songs are a young Robert Johnson and Elmore James. Angry riffs sustaining the music which was at one time the tunes  of the oppressed and underprivileged. Anthems to freedom.

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Hill is a presence on stage. The way he plays his guitar with conviction. Alone, with no backing band to fill in the gaps. Nobody to supply security as is the case in many groups. If Hill makes a mistake – it would resonate around the room like a weasel attempting to escape a box without holes. Maybe that is what  makes Hill so good. Perfection arrives through a self -induced musical coma. A trance which few can match and no player can play along with. Charlie Parker, the great Jazz player was in that zone for much of the time as was Miles Davis.

Steve Hill is the same type of player.

“The first set was okay.” Says Hill. “The second set I really felt it all come together. I can see myself start to gain momentum.”

‘Preachin Blues’ – the Robert Johnson song, was one of the second half songs. Following a brief introduction where Hill asks the crowd if they are aware  of the fabled artist who sold his soul at the ‘crossroads’ and if not, they should be because Johnson’s songs have been covered by the Stones, Zeppelin and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Hill then proceeds to play a slide guitar which boggles the mind and ears.His fingers as fast as a mouse scurrying along a vinyl record. Watching this talent within a five foot radius, ‘shrinks’ even the greatest cover band player into a self-induced inferiority complex they may never come out of …

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Members of the audience who are witnessing tunes such as ‘Got To Be Strong’ and ‘Coming Back to You’ for the first time will have sore eyes in the aftermath of a show. Their eyes widen like crop circles in the making. Each second Hill does something magically with his guitars. Each song delivering a ‘How did he do that?’ moment. A ‘shake the head’ anthology primed for Ripley’s Believe It or Not segment.

Hill and his ‘non-band’ have a couple of shows left before Xmas and then he is settling down to enjoy the holidays before hitting the studio to record a new album. Steve Hill Solo Recordings Volume Two? Nothing is certain except …

Steve Hill is meant to play guitar …

One Road; On the Path to Stardom

One road usually goes two ways …

East – West or North – South. For the duo, One Road … North is the direction they’re headed following their debut album.

For Tracy and Mike, two men fulfilling a vacant prophecy from the days of their youth, the opening song just doesn’t complete the void – the tune overflows into music heaven …

‘Ride On’ does not sound like a debut song on a debut album. Instead – the maturity of decades rebounds through the inner ear with mountains of pleasure. The song should be a staple on every music station with a taste for good old fashioned balladry, lyricism and keynote guitar playing. Really, the song is that good and better than veteran groups such as Kiss could only dream of in their twilight years …

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If there is a problem with track two – or, for that matter, the remainder of the album … it’s the simple matter of attempting to reach a bar set extremely high by the first song. It’s not easy living up to your past successes, especially if they are recent.

Track two delivers the same maturity combined with a sound distinctive yet dangerous. If Bon Jovi is to your liking – ‘Change is gonna Come’ is right up your alley. Mike delivers a guitar solo which could make Sambora call …

The thing that sets One Road apart from many musicians, is the realism provided by Tracy’s lyrics. They are profound. Tracy sings and writes from the heart.

The track ‘On my Way’ is a prime example. Tracy admits he has made mistakes in his life. He also admits his love for the woman who has stood behind him. Add Mike’s equally spirit- driven riffs on guitar, a ‘last call’ song at any local watering hole. A final dance before a night of romance …

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‘You Gotta Live’ tells a tale. A story about anyone’s neighbor and the mundane aspects of life. Advice is given between hard riffs and soft chords. Words of wisdom to live life to the fullest.

How do bikers dispel manners? Through music of course …

Exactly what ‘Raise a Glass’ does. ‘Good old memories’ giving thanks to the relationship between the pair of friends. Once more, Tracy’s lyrics providing fodder for thought. Supplying immense pleasure to make a listener smile. Everyone has or has had the connection which takes place in the song. If not – through the song, it is possible.

Harmonica and subdued guitars start off the second best song on the disc. Once more, Bon Jovi comes to mind in ‘End of the Road’. A common theme is found through the album. Hope, inspiration and lessons. Life lessons are at the forefront and it is a good thing.

‘Long Way to Go’ is an extension of ‘End of the Road’. Instead of having two songs, the duo should have combined the best elements of the pair of songs, tossed them into a blender and released one interesting song instead of a filler which ‘Long Way’ is …

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‘Blue Skies’ commences a party. Complete with a ‘Honky Tonk Woman’ drum beat to get things going. The song is an anthem in a One Road concert. Mike’s catchy riffs sometimes channel ZZ Top on this tune. The tune gets the foot stomping and the vocal chords primed to sing along. This tune was needed and delivered by the novice songwriters.

Tracy could be a Hells Angels version of Rod Stewart or Bryan Adams. The raspiness of his voice, the cigarette – drenched range perfect for ‘One More Day’. Sadly, the lyrics are tired on this song. Been there – done that. A listener may forgive due to Mike’s great guitar and a very catchy chorus …

‘Lady Luck’ thankfully picks up the pace and alters the mindset which was in danger of getting weighed down in melancholy. A combination of blues/ country/ Southern Rock make the pair of rookies once more sound like pros. This would be a great song live. Especially as the song ends. One word about Lady Luck according to Tracy; bitch!

The disc ends with a ‘Screwdriver’. A celebration of an album completed. The kind of song which makes you want a drink while listening. Amother anthem for the bikers of the world. Picture pool cues, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jack Daniels and chicks leaning on Mike’s guitar …

That’s the band – One Road …

Listen Here!

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Music Quotes and Stop Crooks from Selling Stolen Guitars …!

‘The aim and final reason of all music should be nothing else but the Glory of God and the refreshment of the spirit .’ ~Johann Sebastian Bach

”If I’m going to hell – I am going there playing piano …’ ~Jerry Lee Lewis

‘Hell is full of musical amateurs …’ ~George Bernard Shaw

‘We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on it’s way out …’ ~ Decca Recording Company on rejecting the Beatles

‘Our Sweetest Songs are those that tell the saddest thought’ ~Percy Bysshe Shelley

‘The high note is not the only thing …’ ~Placido Domingo

‘Music is a wonderful opiate, if you don’t take it too seriously.’~ Henry Miller

‘Music is the art of thinking – with sounds …’ ~ Victor Hugo

‘Do you know what the loudest noise in the world is, man? The loudest noise in the world is silence …’~ Thelonious Monk

VERY IMPORTANT – PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK AND WATCH THE VIDEO! DON’T LET THIEVES GET AWAY WITH THIS!

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The Runner Up is …

To finish second is pretty good …

To arrive number two out of 1,400 is more than pretty good – it’s outstanding!

Meet the band White Mariah.

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A group of young men who are in the middle of recording their first full length cd. A disc which will arrive in the New Year …

The song, which won them a claim to second prize ( a compressor and plug-ins from  from Chris Lord -Ange and Waves) – is called ‘Out Alive’.

A ballad with an edge …

The type of song which sounds as if it is going in a direction heard many times before. Then – like a sparrow thrown off course by the winds of change, the tune discovers an identity all it’s own.

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It is non traditional in the sense that choruses and bridges don’t necessarily follow a conventional path. Something which Alexander ‘Wilson’ Sparber is quite proud of …

” Mathew Pryde – our singer, wrote the lyrics and the music for Out Alive..” Says ‘Wilson’. ” He had everything written and we went into the studio and recorded the song in one day. We have seven songs written and are recording them now.”

Alexander explains how the song was entered into the contest.

“There were 1,400 songs submitted online. People voted for the top twenty – five but you could only vote once from every Ip adress.”

He goes on …

“We were voted in and then Chris Lord -Ange chose the top three from there.
Lord – Ange is one of the top producers in the music business.” Says Wilson. “He has worked with Dave Mathews, Green Day and U2.

The band won top of the line software for their effort which – Wilson says nobody understands how to use it. It is best left for the producers …

The band’s next gig is on the 24th of November at a club named ‘L’Hemisphere Gauche . Tickets are $13.00 and it is worth every penny.

Especially if Blink 182, Sum 41 and Oasis are your cup of tea …

This type of music comes around twice in 1,400 years…

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Sass Jordan; Transplanted Montreal Girl Does Good – Part Two

Sass Jordan has been on her own since she was fourteen. If her fifteen year old daughter tries the same thing – God help her …

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” The world is a different place than the 1970’s.” Says Sass. ” I moved out, wanted to be a singer and I never thought about asking my parents if they agreed on my decision. We all had our own plans and just went about them. Today, it is much more dangerous and I would be very upset if my daughter did what I did.”

Jordan would not be upset if her daughter wanted to sing ( she is currently enrolled in theatre at school), she just would not want her to make the same mistakes as she did. Sass believes that being naive is something which only disappears with age and experience. Jordan’s own lack of knowledge – certainly did not help her plight at a young age.

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“I signed the worst record deal in the history of music …!” Laughs Jordan. “It was following my first record and I had just moved to L.A. Without going into details, let’s just say a lot more money was supposed to come my way. It didn’t!” Says the former denizen of Westmount,Qc.

Sass would be very calm and happy if her daughter became a physicist. It is a subject which interests the singer from S.U.N immensely and Jordan would love to see her only child immersed in the subject as profoundly as she is. If that were to happen and Sass’ child remained an actress as well, the younger Jordan would be an educated apple who has not fallen far from the family tree.

“I never thought of that …” Replies Sass. “My Mom was an actress and my Dad was a professor. I guess my daughter would become a perfect mixture of the two … That’s pretty cool !”

Sass’ parents split up around the same time she struck out on her own. Something Jordan’s daughter does not have to worry about …

“I met my husband Derek ( singer for the current formation of the Guess Who ) in 1995. “Says Jordan. “He was playing guitar in my band. We got married and had a baby right away. Both of us, being musicians – means we are always travelling at a moment’s notice. My daughter is used to it and Derek and I spend enough quality time together. We write songs and throw ideas back and forth.”

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Jordan says she never brought her daughter on tour since it is an expensive option. Instead – her offspring was left with Derek or a family member and according to Sass; she is so blessed to have such a beautiful – well rounded kid.

“Sheryl Crow and people like her are big enough to be able to afford nannies and trailers when they are touring.” Says Jordan. ” I’m nowhere near their status. Most musicians struggle to get by – much the same as most people.”

Never have the husband and wife duo been together artistically more then on Jordan’s last solo project in 2009. The album; ‘From Dusk ’til Dawn’ included Derek Sharp ( aka Mr. Jordan), as a co -writer, guitar player and producer. It was a disc which did not chart high and Jordan maintains a simple explanation.

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“Everything is digital these days and it’s easy to get lost out there. The internet makes things more accessIble and at the same time gives people a shorter attention span … I’m not making excuses, it is reality. There is good and bad in everything. The internet is no different.”

‘Different’ is something Sass experienced while living in L.A when she received a phone call from a fairly well known group of musicians …

It was 1997 and Alex Van Halen called. His brother Eddy, one of the greatest guitarists of all time, lived five minutes away and the pair of rockers invited Jordan over to ‘hang out ‘.

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“I felt at first as if I was in a Salvador Dali painting.”Admits Jordan reflectively. “Van Halen were my childhood heroes and suddenly I was singing in their studio! It was surreal …” Sass knew Van Halen’s soundman and the brothers had heard her sing. They wanted to meet her and it was around the time they were trying to find a replacement for Sammy Hagar.

” We were playing all sorts of songs and just fooling around musically.”Says Sass. ” I started to think I was there only to get them beer and cigarettes. They would always send me because they couldn’t go out without being mobbed.”

Then – Jordan started to piece things together …

“I wondered to myself … Are these guys thinking of having a female singer to front their band? The idea seemed completely ridiculous in concept but feasible … So I asked them straight out – are you guys auctioning me for Van Halen …?”

The brothers’ non – verbal response was enough to complete Jordan’s query …

“It was funny …” Laughs Sass. ” They were behind the mixing board and all I could see was their eyes and the top of their heads. When I asked the question, both their eyebrows shot up a couple of inches and then they looked at each other with shock in their eyes. I knew I was right!”

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Although extremely flattered, Jordan was not shy in offering her opinion on the matter …

” You gotta be fucking joking …?!’ I asked them. ‘Are you outta your minds? What are you thinking?!

The Van Halens would not admit to their master plan so Sass – later on, called up their manager and asked him what was going on …

“He says of course that’s what they are up to. They want a female singer!” Says Jordan. ” What did you tell them …? I asked. The manager agreed they were out of their fucking minds! We both thought they were nuts …” Laughs Sass.

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One thing Sass remembers fondly from those ‘sessions’ is the tenderness Eddy displayed when the ‘light brown – turned blonde’ – haired singer sang the song ‘Do What I Can’ from her album Present. That song reached number twenty on the Canadian charts in 1997.

” Every time without fail – he would start to cry. He did not try to hide it and he would ask me to sing it all the time … It was very touching for me.”

Alex Van Halen is also the person who has helped Sass out the most as far as career advice goes. The drummer informing Sass to stand up for what she wants and making her realize she had more power than she thought.

All these years later, Jordan’s opinion of the subject has changed. She now thinks a female vocalist in the band responsible for the hit songs ‘Running with the Devil’ and ‘Jump’, may have been an interesting and potentially good idea. Regardless if the vocalist had been her or not …

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The funniest and somewhat odd thing which has happened so far in Jordan’s career is her duet with Joe Cocker. Something which came about because Kevin Costner was listening to the radio.

“Costner co- starred with Whitney Houston in the movie; The Bodyguard.” Explains Sass. ” They already picked Cocker as one singer for the song ‘Trust in Me’ and they were on the lookout for someone to do the duet with him. Costner was driving in his car one day and he heard me on the radio. ‘That’s the voice I want’ he apparently said and boom ! Next thing – I’m in the studio singing my part …”

“Wait …! It gets better …!” Says Jordan.

“I do my part over a tape of his voice. I never met him but the song goes on to sell 27 million copies worldwide.” Sass continues.

“A couple of years later and I end up as his opening act on tour. We go around the country without meeting the man until – one day I decide enough is enough!” She laughs …

“We finally meet and I remind him of our duet. I told him what a big fan I was and continue to be. Do you know – he had no idea who I was!?” Says Jordan. “Twenty – seven million copies and he didn’t have a clue …”

That’s the music business for you …

———————-

Please stay tuned for part three.

Discover Sass’ thoughts behind her new band S.U.N and much more ….!

Ben ‘Racine’ – Roots Music is ‘One of a Kind’

‘Modus Operandi’ …

The mission or a song? Both for The Ben Racine Band on their debut album; One of a Kind.

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‘Modus Operandi’ is the third track on an album which has just been released through Iguane Records in Montreal. As with every other track on the disc – the standout is Racine’s voice. Not seeing who you are listening to may come as a surprise if Racine arrives for dinner one day …

On disc, he is a man of African descent standing on stage at the Apollo theatre in the fifties. He is a forefather of the blues vocally. A cutting edge player along the lines of Dixon, Wolf and Waters. Racine delivers.

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In person, Racine is a young version of Sinatra in attire and has enough of a backbone to carry the history of the blues on his back.

The song ; ‘Walking the Dog’ – a tune covered and coveted by any individual or group wanting to be part of a blues festival – is done so well by Racine and his men; its a wonder the crossroads are not their home adresses.

The title track features the band backing up Racine’s vocals and guitar riffs with a more than operable slant towards the heyday of Motown. ‘One of a Kind’ is the name of the album and a good description of Racine and what he does.

‘Early Times’ is a sax vehicle, ‘Moose’ Mousseau and Little Frankie Thiffault trade reeds with the best of the best. The song is so feel good – a devasting crime against a family member, the only thing to get a listener down.

‘Shake a Hand’ and ‘Bad L’iL Lady’ are throwback ballads a la Colin James. Nicky Estor keeps time with a high hat and crisp snare as Racine delivers riffs and vocals with conviction. Nothing new on these songs in the annals of blues history yet worth the effort to take in the professionalism provided.

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The test of the disc is to be available to stand against the sounds of The Brian Setzer Orchestra or Colin James Big Band. In fact a combination of the Stray Cats and James is a great example of the sound Ben Racine portrays to the audience.

Mission accomplished for these students of the game especially on the tune ‘Hot Grease’. The best interchange of beats, momentum and Kevin Mark’s deeply embedded bass lines. The best of the artillery packed in this young band’s arsenal.

A concert with these guys is a concert filled with sore feet and sweaty heads.

Get your dancin’ shoes on …

Listen to Ben Racine HERE

Zachary Richard ; Zydeco comes Home

Are stories your thing …?

If so – a Zachary Richard concert is the place to be. Historically, musically and most importantly; emotionally.

Last night at L’Astral, as part of the Jazz All Year Long series, M. Richard of New Yorek, Louisiana – utilized numerous skills to pulverize a sold out crowd into submission. A happy submission …

‘Le Fou ‘ is Richard’s 20th studio album and on stage, surrounded by Nicolas Fiszman on bass, Eric Sauviant on guitar and Justin Allard on drums – the ‘ adopted’ Quebecer introduced his new disc to a welcoming, predominantly Francophone audience.

Wow!

Beginning with the first song of the night, ‘Laisse le Vent Souffle’ (Let the Storm Wind Blow) – Richard made sure the emotional gusts were captured by an audience obviously in love with the man.

The first set contained folksy songs which arrive from a profound place in the holder of three doctorate degrees’ heart.  Seldom do words flow from fountain of truths as is the case with M.Richard. The lyrics in songs such as ‘ La Chanson des Migrateurs’ ( The Migrant’s Song) and ‘Original ou Caribou’ ( Moose or Caribou ) transcend the plains of consciencness.

There are messages in each song and this singer (who just happens to be a published poet as well) – delivers notes of resistance and mankind’s craziness in such a manner, acceptance is not just a fact – it evolves into a way of life …

Musically, Richard strums the guitar, plays the harp and accordion. Musically, Zachary Richard and his backing band fly above most artists occupying the high levels of charted music. The Black Keys would be a great opening act for a foursome this divine.

And … M. Richard is funny to boot!

Following the first song and sweeping the band introductions out of the way, Richard explained that a lot of tunes the audience would be hearing – ‘they would not know’! ‘ Its okay …’ Continued Richard. ‘ We don’t know them either!’

With such ‘Socratic’ gems tossed into a salad bar containing pure Louisiana – based Zydeco fruits of love, Richard had the audience ‘alive and jumping’ in the second set.

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The songs ‘Sweet Sweet’,’ Clif’s Zydeco ‘ and ‘ Dancing at Double D’s’ – kicked even the most dormant moose into a mood reserved for an anxious child on Christmas morning. The ‘ slightly above middle – aged ‘ crowd stood , clapped and slapped in anticipation of every note arriving from a stage equipped with talent.

‘ You don’t know how this song ends ‘ Quipped the sixty – two year old songwriter right in the middle of a song. ‘ It’s okay – neither do we ..’

Just another element of humour which – along with the music, brought numerous smiles to the enthusiastic crowd. Numerous smiles and numerous standing ovations.

‘Most people think I am Quebecoise’ Stated one of the patriarchs of the Cajun sound from center stage. ‘ I am from Louisiana and was the only white boy growing up in my neighborhood. I remember cleaning the glass with my hand and looking through a window at all the Zydeco musicians playing Cajun music …’

As mentioned … Zachary Richard is a storyteller …

Watch Zachary Richard video here!

Old ( er ) Musicians Never Die – They Play with their Sons …

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The above photo was sent to me by Mr. Wayne Cullen.

Wayne – along with Ritchie Henman ( the original drummer in April Wine), were the two drummers in The Dudes, one of the best bands to play in Montreal in the 1970’s. The group included David Henman and Brian Greenway of past and future April Wine fame respectively.

Wayne is pictured above in his second appearance with a band called Livewire. It is the first time Wayne has played with his son Jeff, a bass player.

As tight a rhythm section you will find …

Please tune in at 5:15pm on k103.7fm to hear me discuss my week’s adventures … Thanks!

Sass Jordan; Transplanted Montreal Girl Does Good – Part One

Remember the band – The Pinups?

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A Montreal group which did the nightclub circuit in the late seventies – early eighties? Clubs such as the Maples, the Moustache and the Pioneer evolving into the band members’ second homes.

In that band was a female bass player who went on to become a Juno award winner and a multi- platinum selling artist. Her name is Sass Jordan and unlike many of her contemporaries, Jordan is still rockin’ at the top of her game …

The current forty- nine year old former resident of Westmount ,Qc and native of England – is embarking on a new journey with a bunch of guys. Men who aren’t exactly the type of musicians normally associated with Jordan. Then again, nothing has been ordinary in this raspy, sultry – voiced singer’s life.

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” I love life …!” Says Sass from her home in Hamilton, Ont., Canada. A place she has called home since 1997. A comfortable place where she lives with her fifteen year old daughter and her husband of sixteen years – Derek Sharp. Sharp is one of the most respected Canadian musicians on the circuit, having played with Alannah Myles, Pat Travers, Red Rider and the late Jeff Healey.

“It’s amazing how fast time goes …?!” Jordan asks almost in awe. ” When I was a judge on Canadian Idol, my daughter was five. Now, when the staff I worked with back then see her – they can’t believe it! I mean – hello? It’s 2012 …!”

Jordan was on that show for six years beginning in 2003. It was the second time she had been asked to judge a singing contest and if the money was not right – there was no way she would have done it.

“I received a call from my agent one year prior to the start of Idol. It was a similar show and they wanted to pay me something like $9,000.00 for months and months of work. The last thing I was interested in was judging a singing contest and to not really make money doing it was absurd.”

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Jordan says the music business is lucrative but not as lucrative as one thinks. With this in mind – Sass practically jumped out of her skin when the people from Idol came calling.

“Even though it was not my thing, I could not turn down the amount of money they offered me. It was a daunting task to sit there and watch so many singers sing a capella every day.. If not for the cast and crew – I would have gone insane”.

Jordan says the entire show is about making a television show and not necessarily about the singers. She does not condemn it and believes it is a great idea to bring people together.

” The whole thing was like ‘summer camp goes to the circus’ for my fellow judges, the crew and I. What is amazing about it is it galvanizes people. Young and old, black or white – everyone suddenly comes together to support a particular artist. It’s a social experiment which succeeds brilliantly.”

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Ironically for Jordan, an element of the show brought her back to her younger days on Burton Ave. in Westmount and an encounter at that time with a ‘brilliant’ young man.

” Some friends and I were at a club and we met this eighteen year old kid from England. He was down on his luck and he had no place to stay.” Sass says. “So we say – you can crash on the couch in my basement. Everytime he came into town he stayed in my basement.” Laughs Jordan.

That eighteen year old kid turned out to be Simon Fuller – the producer of Canadian Idol and the originator of the ‘Idol’ franchises including the extremely popular American Idol. Fuller also manages the Spice Girls, David and Victoria Beckham, Steven Tyler and Carrie Underwood to name a few. His company manages the Elvis Presley estate, Muhammad Ali’s business affairs and many other ventures including a partnership with Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony.

Sass received the job as a judge on Canadian Idol without either Fuller’s knowledge or Sass’. The pair were equally and pleasantly surprised to discover one another.

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Says Jordan.

“He is a very successful man and the funny thing is – even when he had nowhere to sleep, he would always tell us that one day he is going to be a prominent producer or manager. His journey is an amazing one!”

Sass herself knows something about incredible journeys having been on one since the age of eighteen. A ‘solo’ trip which started with the album ‘ Tell Someone’ in 1988.

“It was my only release on vinyl and casette” Laughs Jordan. ” It was all CDs after that!”

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A Juno award came next in 1989 for most promising female vocalist and a move to the U.S. followed in 1990. The daughter of an English actress and French professor then recorded Racine in 1992. That album sold 450,000 copies – 50,000 short of gold record status and it is something Sass does not think would have happened if she had not packed up and headed to the States.

” As a smart Canadian, moving South of the Border was the only choice if you wanted success. Especially in 1990. If you wanted a career it was the only thing to do.” She continues. ” We ( musicians) used to have a joke back then. We would say Canadian audiences would clap ‘north of the applause line’. It’s not like that anymore. Canadian audiences are much more enthusiastic than they once were. Not as polite …” Adds Sass with a laugh.

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Sucess started to come in bunches for the young woman who once sang back- up for the popular Quebec group ‘The Box.’ In 1992, the blonde – haired beauty recorded a duet with Joe Cocker for the film The Bodyguard starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. The song – ‘Trust in Me’, has sold more than 27million copies world wide.

Jordan has also played with or opened for the likes of Van Halen, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith and Alice Cooper.

So far, it has been a long journey since Sass played with her first band in High School. A group named Sweet Thunder. A trip which is taking a new direction with the band S.U.N ( Something Unto Nothing).

This new band’s destination is anyone’s guess. Especially since the guitarist in the band is better known as the drummer for the band Whitesnake and Foreigner.

Hey! Who says Sass Jordan is boring?

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Please stay tuned for part two.

Colin James in Concert

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Colin and I - PreShow

Suddenly – it was 1988.

Just like that, Colin James transported a mostly middle-aged audience to the days when mortgages were something their parents understood …

It was as effortless for the current British Columbian native as his guitar playing. Times may have changed yet James remains the same – physically and musically.

” It’s great to be back in Montreal!” Shouted James a quarter a way into his ‘Jazz All Year Round ‘ concert at Metropolis. “Unfortunately we are leaving right after the show so there will be no running up and down the mountain for me …! Which is what I do!”

With those words, an audience which to that point was undecided – broke down the barrier of uncertainty the way a first kiss would do on a first date …

There’s nothing fancy about a Colin James show. Straight bluesy rock n’ roll supplied by a backing band standard by blues standards. Bass, drums,keyboards and sax. Oh and guitars which delegate the ebbs and flows appropriately.

Interweaving old and new songs – James is all business in concert. No endless banter, no jumping into the audience – no frills … Just hard edged guitar solos performed by a man who has performed in every situation and with almost every guitar legend. It shows …

“Ok guys, let’s keep it simple!”James stated to his band moments before they hit the stage. It was a planned huddle which will take place practically five nights a week for the next little while.

Says James;

” We are awfully busy these days …, not much time to do anything for ourselves. It’s run, run, run right now …”

From new songs such as ‘Fool for You’ off his latest album; Fifteen, to older ones – ‘Five Long Years’ and ‘Why’d You Lie’, James delivers them all the same. Improbable vocals untarnished by sucess. Improbable vocals tarnished by the love of music …

The highlight of the night in most people’s views was a version of the classic Van Morrison song -‘Into the Mystic’. Hard to say if the song is that good or if James’ rendition catches fire. Somewhere in the middle lies the truth.

Lennon’s ‘Jealous Guy’ was a lowpoint. A standard non -creative guitar riff afraid to go on its own. Lennon was a rhythm player and James could outduel the former Beatle easily. Instead – Colin stays true to the original on disc and unfortunately, in concert as well.

A new track from his latest disc, ‘I Need You Bad’, was played too early in the show. A gut wrenching riff was introduced to an audience just sitting after filling their cups. A tune which should have been played near the end or as an encore …

A performer should leave the audience wanting more. Not departing on a wanton note.

James is a young man. The future is ahead of him while the past burns brightly in the corridors of Canadian rock history. That is the message the forty seven year old should push. That is the message Colin James, a disciple of Stevie Ray Vaughn, did not.

Hence the lack of youngsters in the crowd.

Jackson with a Capital X

Right off the bat – any preconceived ideas about Jackson X wanting to knock Justin Bieber off his perch as Canada’s and the world’s number one young male singer are unwarranted.

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” I love what he does and I have a lot of respect for him.” Says Jackson X from his home in Oshawa. ” I think it is cool how he teaches young kids to love music. Six year olds will grow up performing and passing it along. It is so cool …!”

Not far removed from being a six year old himself – the fourteen year old is on the brink of a singing career which may place him as Canada’s next Bieber.

According to Jackson’s father, James Begley – the biggest surprise is who Jackson’s fanbase are …

” My son is a cute kid and I figured he would have a lot of young girls following him on Facebook. Funny – it is his peer group, the fourteen and fifteen year old boys who are diggin’ it. They send messages to Jackson telling him how cool his stuff is.”

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Begley is taking notice.

Jackson’s dad just happens to own the record company his song belongs to. Maximillion records was started a few months ago and Begley’s only priority is to sign young artists within the same age bracket as his son and who posess talent.

“I get a lot of calls everyday.” Says Begley. “Unfortunately I have not signed anyone yet but I do try to encourage the young artists who apply.”

Begley Sr. is an Elvis impersonator. A job which enables him to take care of his responsibilities as father of Jackson and a younger son who suffers from autism. A condition which makes Jackson smile for the right reason.

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“When we are in the car and two of my songs play ( Random Love and She Don’t Feel Me Anymore), my younger brother dances in his seat. It makes him so happy!”

Ironically, it was also in the car where Begley Sr. Iearned of Jackson’s ability to sing.

“Jackson came with me to gigs and one day we were driving home and he started to sing. He was about five years old and I thought ‘he has perfect pitch’.”

Jackson and his father started performing together and now it is a full time job promoting his young son. Dad owns the record company, manages, co- writes and performs with his son on all six tracks available for digital download on ITunes. Not that Jackson requires help in songwriting or playing. The teenager has written about one hundred songs and he can also play all instruments.

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Jackson’s influences range from Muse to the Black Keys. Influences which can be found on two of his first six songs released to the public. ‘Random Love’ and ‘She Don’t Feel me Anymore’.

‘Random Love is currently in rotation with six radio stations across Canada. A tune which conjurs up sounds of a Lady Gaga song although Jackson believes its all Muse. ‘She Don’t Feel me Anymore’ is a retro – eighties sound a la Black Keys. A catchy tune with a catchier chorus.

James parlays his experience on to his son. Begley started playing drums in high school and was into a thriving punk scene in Oshawa in the eighties. Begley is in awe of his prolific songwriting son.

“Jackson has written so many songs.”States Begley. ” His strongpoint is writing scores and soundtracks. He has a real feel for that type of thing.”

The father – son pairing are finishing the recording of three new tracks and along with the six already finished, the duo are in a hurry to complete the first cd. Something Begley is convinced will put his son on the map.

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In the meantime, the pair have a gig Saturday night as Elvis’ impersonators young and old. Jackson also does a great Richie Valens according to Dad.

That is when he is not
trying to be the next Justin Bieber …

Listen to Jackson X Here!

The Darling DeMaes.

Once upon a time …

There was a girl living in Oregon. Eugene,Oregon to be precise.

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It was a town filled with hippies. A real – peace and love kind of town. This young lady adored music. She played piano growing up for her Dad. A man who loved the Beatles and at the same time, was very proud of her daughter’s singing and keyboard playing. According to Tasha Cyr, so much so – her Father would inadvertently embarrass her by playing her songs to visiting guests …

At the age of seventeen, she moved back to Montreal with a new skill. A guitar playing skill. An acoustic guitar playing skill. This young lady brought her love of the Dave Mathews Band and John Mayer to university where she also became involved in theatre. Places such as Brutopia Pub and Grumpys – her new found Montreal venues where she was able to showcase her musical skills.

Meanwhile …

There was a young man, originally from Vancouver who was living in Asia teaching English. The young man spent a lot of his down time, writing songs with his acoustic guitar. His influences as a young man; Nirvana, BoyzIIMen,New Kids on the Block,Pearl Jam and the Beatles.

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Following his departure from South Korea, the man in question decided to broaden his horizons and instead of returning to his western roots – the aspiring writer and musician chose Quebec because of it’s flourishing artistic scene.

Frequenting places where music was played, places such as Brutopia and Grumpys, Erik Virtanen met other artists and formed a band.The Darling DeMaes.

The lady singer in the band at that time, one day received a gift. A pregnancy. A condition which eased the pain of the band letting her go. A mutual parting of ways during the recording of the group’s first cd ; A Users Guide to Raising the Dead ( Songs of Spring ).

The young lady who was embarrassed by her father so many years ago – met the young man who had written forty plus songs while living abroad. Tasha Cyr fell in love with Erik Virtanen because of his songwriting. Tasha also joined the current roster Trevor Lashmore, Marc Andre Mongrain, Stephan Jovanovich and Erik in the Darling DeMaes as a singer/ piano/ keyboard/ guitar player..

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Tasha and Erik are engaged to be married. Tasha, Erik and the rest of the group are finishing up the recording of their second cd.

It is titled; ‘Celebration’.

Not – once upon a time …

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Stay tuned for a review of the bands first album …

Martha Wainwright – Come Home to Mama

Martha Wainwright’s latest offering, Come Home To Mama will be released October 16, 2012 through MapleMusic Recordings.

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Produced with Yuka Honda of Cibo Matto, the album is a collection of 10 reflective songs that see Martha taking stock of her life.

With Come Home To Mama’s release just around the corner, Martha will be on the road to visit select cities in Canada. Martha will also be the musical guest on Late Night Jimmy Fallon, slated for December 14th!

Martha gives us her bravest album of all in Come Home to Mama. Deeply emotional and absolutely riveting, it contains Martha’s outpouring of responses to two of life’s utmost extremes: the loss of her mother, Kate, to cancer in January 2010, and the birth of her son, Arcangelo, just two-and-a-half months earlier in London, England.

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“His coming into life was at a very emotional time,” shares Martha; “I went into labour while onstage. He was born very premature, but because of his prematurity, he was able to meet my mother. His due date was actually the day that she died.”

The album includes one powerful cover of her mother’s work, Proserpina. The last song that Kate penned, she had performed it in a handful of settings, including The McGarrigle-Wainwright Christmas show, A Not So Silent Night held in December of 2009 at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

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Written with the tradition of McGarrigle family Christmas concerts expressly in mind, Martha’s version is sparse, haunting, and startlingly beautiful.

Martha’s Come Home To Mama is an engaging album. Enjoy the album, see Martha on tour!

5 November 2012 Montréal • Théâtre Corona

6 November 2012 Québec • Théâtre Petit Champlain

7 November 2012 Burnstown • Neat Coffee Shop

8 November  2012 Toronto • The Great Hall

Janis Joplin – Found Dead Oct.4 1970

On this day in 1970, Janis Joplin was found dead at the Landmark Hotel in Hollywood. A heroin overdose is suspected.

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In an interview I conducted with Jerry Mercer, the iconic drummer for the Triangle, Mashmaakan, April Wine and the Buzz Band – Mercer relayed this tale of a sad encounter with Janis Joplin …

Mercer and his band at the time – Mashmaakan, were part of a train tour which crossed Canada. It was called Festival Express and it carried the likes of the Grateful Dead, the Band, Mashmaakan, Ian and Sylvia, Janis Joplin and many more from city to city to play for adoring fans.

This tour took place in the summer of 1970. The summer before Joplin’s untimely death …

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According to Mercer, he and the rest of his mates, discovered a very drunk Joplin leaning against a chain- link fence after a show in one of the prairie provinces. It was pouring rain and Joplin – with a bottle of Southern Comfort in one hand and still dressed in her ‘stage clothes’, refused to budge unless her manager appeared. To no avail, Mercer was unsuccessful in his attempt to lure the singer out of the rain and into the waiting train. Everyone boarded and the train left. Joplin still awaiting the presence of her manager by the water – drenched fence.

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Upon arrival at the next stop, a plane was sent to pick up Joplin and fly her back in time for the next show. “It was very sad to see such a talent in that condition.” Said Mercer. “She seemed so lost and vulnerable …”

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Rest in peace Janis.

Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow to k103.7fm at 5:15pm and listen to me discuss Brie Nielson’s album launch, and play a sample track from Dany Rebel and the KGB
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Come on to the Kitchen Party!

An Irishman and Polishman walk into a kitchen …

Sounds like a joke doesn’t it? Sounds like two people doesn’t it?

In this case, the Polishman and the Irishman are the same person and the things that happened in the kitchen are no joke.

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Freeman Dre of Toronto,Ontario – explains the origins of the name of his group.

“I’m born and raised in Toronto, from Irish-Polish ancestry. The Kitchen Party name is pretty literal. We used to play in my kitchen to friends. Eventually we moved on to venues but the name stayed.”

Those venues have been mostly in a musical triangle. New York, Montreal and Toronto. Three cities. One dream …

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In reality, Freeman Dre has become of one Toronto’s most talked about singer-songwriters. His fresh take on songwriting and Folk traditions have garnered the attention of crowds and critics around the world. His collective, Fedora Upside Down, are changing the landscape of Toronto’s downtown music scene. His band – ‘The Kitchen Party’  are a cult following in progress.

Freeman explains the phenomenon.

“The name of the band is a reference to a kitchen in a partied-out Queen West pad in Toronto where, only a few years ago, the group threw impromptu shows until crowds started to spill into the street. Despite the casual atmosphere of which they originated – onstage ‘Kitchen Party’ is tighter than a three day bender. ”

Freeman was voted best songwriter in NOW magazine’s 2010 reader’s poll and nominated again in 2012. His musical narratives immediately command attention. Narratives with many influences …

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“Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen along with less audible choices such as  Neil Young,  Howlin Wolf, Townes, Bruce Spingsteen, Hank Williams, Bon Scott and Handsome Ned.” I have tons more …” Explains Dre. ” I write the songs, sing them, and play guitar. This all started roughly about 4 years ago.”

Freeman takes one of Toronto’s most creatively- influenced neighborhoods
( Parkdale ) and spins the tales of the people who traverse the landscape on an average day. Stories which end up on his albums …

“Old Town is my second cd. The first is called “red door, second floor”. Adds Dre. ” My favorite tracks on Old Town are; ‘We All Fall Down’, ‘Laugh Yourself To Sleep’ and ‘Whatever it Takes’.”

He laughs.

“Probably because the recording of these songs went smoothly and they are all fun to perform.”

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” ‘Old Town’, is a self-produced 10-song effort recalling the idea of story-telling in songs. Following a loose conceptual arc, it’s an immigration story inspired by Freeman’s ownfamily history that is sure to leave a listener reminiscing for the old country and challenging the new.”

Kitchen Party, or the core of the band – is made up of Freeman, LonTron Silver (Lonny Knapp), Marlon Chaplin, Mookie Komatsu, and Terry Wilkins. On any given night, the group can have up to twelve people join the onstage party.

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“Especially when we include members of the fedora upside down collective (a 14 band collective started by me and the lemon bucket orkestra).” Adds Dre. “So the number of kitchen partiers varies really…”

Outside of music, Freeman attempts to avoid all forms of conventional employment.

“I pretty much eat, sleep, and dream music. My other obsession is hockey. I’m a avid follower and I used to be a decent player. I’m also a diehard sucker rooting for the Leafs.”

Sadly for Freeman Dre – that’s no joke either …

A Conversation with Brie Nielson

“I guess I write simple songs …”

It is no wonder. Brie Nielson, originally from Vancouver and a current Montrealer – comes from a simple place.

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“I grew up singing in church, loved musicals, acted and sang in them then started listening to old jazz singers in my teens.” Says Brie as she prepares for her Thursday night album launch at La Salla Rossa.” I didn’t grow up listening to “old” music, so I found it on my own – which was a big inspiration.”

Her album, the first in what should be a long and promising career – is entitled ‘Picture Show’. A title which earns a simple explanation from the sometime member of the Montreal- based band; The Unsettlers.

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“I wanted a throw back feel, and it really is a collection of snap shots- so Picture Show summed it up. Plus I’d already written the title track.”

The disc is, according to Nielson – a collection of her own personal stories along with the tales from those around her. People like her Mom and Dad. Brie still owns her Dad’s old 1940’s Gibson guitar and recalls how her parents used to have so much fun playing together.

“My mom has such a lovely voice ….” Says Nielson with pride.

The proverbial apple did not fall to far from the ‘singing tree’. Nielson’s voice carries A Picture Show onto another level, a level which was not reached in two weeks, according to this star in the making. The disc was recorded in about a year and Nielson explains the thought process behind her songwriting style.

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“I wrote all the songs on the cd except ‘Dress Me Up’ ( which was written by my good friend Steve Brockley).Songwriting is very random for me- I’m a busy person so I’m not very good at sitting down and writing songs on demand.”

Nielson continues.

“I usually wait until something pops into my head. A thought which turns into a tune while out walking. Then,  I will finally sit down and work on it. I wish I was more prolific but maybe someday I’ll slow down and actually make more time to write!”

Time is something which has altered Brie’s writing over the years. Wisdom will do that type of thing …

“Naturally with time and experience, you have more to write about and more maturity with which to write about.  I’ve been surrounded by awesome musicians for the last 5 yrs, so I have learned a lot from playing with and listening to them.”

Neilson’s long – term goal is to be able to live off of her art and have it received by appreciative people. ‘Art’  includes not only her music but painting as well. Meantime, her and bandmate David Simard – are hitting the road in November to support the album. A tour which will include Neilson’s hometown of Vancouver.

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“I would really like to one day record a kids album …” Concludes Brie as she thinks about being a kid once upon a time in Vancouver …

A simple time …

Come and listen to Brie as she launches her first full length cd on Thursday the 4th October at La Salla Rossa. Doors open at 8pm.

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Top Ten Reasons for Green Day’s Billy Joe Armstrong’s Meltdown

A music fan or someone who spends hours in front of YouTube or American television feeds is well aware by now …

Billy Joe Armstrong- the lead singer for the succesfuI band Green Day, turned into an ‘American idiot’ recently. He lost his composure on stage and in turn – deposited his rockin’ fanny into rehab.

In the words of the late, great Amy Winehouse … “No..no ..no ..!”

In any event, Rick Keene’s Music Scene was not fooled. A little investigative reporting uncovered the truth behind the singer’s rants …

Here are the top ten reasons Billy Joe lost his mind …

10. You try singing with bed bugs crawling in your pants!

9. Off to the left of the stage, Armstrong’s wife was holding a golf club and pointing to his cell phone. Rehab, a wise option …

8. ‘Just channeling the spirit of Sid Vicious …. gotta problem with that?’

7. A guy in the third row kept screaming ; “I love you Cher …!”

6. It ain’t easy being green! And blue and orange and purple and …

5. ‘For God sakes man …! Romney is running for president!’

4. ‘Sound check, backstage interviews, the show, hotels, planes, sit down and do kids’ homework and the next day do it all over again? Have you tried to do grade three calculus …?’

3. ‘Pete Townsend smashed guitars all the time! Nobody is on his case …?’

2. The leather pants of today provide more chaffing than their nineties predecessors …

And the number one reason for Billy Joe’s meltdown?

1. ‘Why should Bieber get all the hot young babes …?!’

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Two Bikers Looking for a Home

The last thing that comes to mind when a person arrives in the presence of Tracy is softness.

Tracy is a biker. Tracy is big.

Tracy could send small children running into the arms of their mothers. The kids would tremble yet the Moms just might fall in love …

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Tracy

Tracy is a lovable guy who cannot understand the way radio and record companies think.

“I went to a few radio stations in Montreal and Ottawa. According to some – my songs on the record are labeled country.” Says the man whose biceps are larger than a few countries.” Apparently the stations who play a rock format, do not think the group’s sound fits their format. It is crazy to me!”

Singer and songwriter Tracy does have a point.

Tune in any station who carry on under a ‘rock ‘ moniker and a listener will hear the melodies of Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Band and the Eagles. Tracy does not compare his band with these legendary groups yet if Southern Rock with it’s definite country ‘twang ‘ gets airplay – why not him …?

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Tracy and Mike

“Look …!” Says the man who wrote all the lyrics of the bands first album.” I don’t mind someone telling me that my music sucks and that is why it won’t be played. To say it sounds country – ish and they don’t play country- ish songs on the station is plain lying.”

These stations should sit up and take notice of these words. Tracy nor guitarist and partner Mike Pistilli are not the type of people you wanna get mad – especially for no reason.

The pair first met fifteen years ago. A duo working in the transport related industry. A common ground of music was introduced and the two men went their delegated ways. About a year ago, the two bikers met once more and decided to make a record.

“It was like when Keith Richards met Jagger at the train station …” Says Mike. “Things happen for a reason.”

Amazingly – a lot of things happened for reasons during the process of recording and filming the band’s first video. ‘Ride On’ is the title track on the album and it is also the first video. A ‘cinematic feat’ according to Tracy …

“A lot of things happened during filming. We kept missing a sunrise for a very important shot, the scene in the water was funny cause the camera guys were tip- toeing through icy water carefully trying not to fall.” Laughs Tracy. ” Then, the scene on the cliff scared the death of me. Mike was inches from the edge and if he fell – that would of been it!’

The song ‘Ride On’ is reminiscent of a band which has made it big on rock radio including the Montreal stations that nixed Tracy. Bon Jovi yes – Tracy and Mike …no!

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Tracy

“I write all the lyrics and Mike comes up with the guitar parts. He is an easy going, quiet guy. Very easy to get along with.”States Tracy of his partner. A guy who falls into the same early forty age bracket. ” From the time we met – we just see things the same way …”

Tracy, who lives off the western part of the island of Montreal and is a freight broker during the day – has invested a lot of money to realize his dream. He also has had a lot of help from his friends. A lot of them – new found ones.

“Many people have volunteered their time or have done things very cheap. I won’t forget them when things start to happen for us. That’s the way I am in business and life. You take care of your own …”

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Mike

One guy who Tracy won’t forget is Al Gravelle – the program director at k103.7fm in Kahnawake.

“I walked in there, as I did other stations and introduced myself and my record. Al loved it and told me that a goal of the station is to promote local music.” Tracy smiles. ” Next thIng – Mike and I were on the air and talking about our songs. ‘Ride On’ and others have been part of their playlist. K103.7 is the one station I have found that is doing this type of thing in Montreal.”

The gigs come next although Tracy is careful not to play to nobody.

“We want to generate a fan base. Our songs and name have to be circulated a bit first. Playing In front of seventy-five people can also hurt a band’s reputation”

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One wayTracy is planning to promote his tunes is a contest. The winner will appear in the second video which is about to begin filming. Remember, if you happen to win and meet Tracy …

First impressions can be deceiving!

In a nice way …

Visit One Road’s Web site and check out the video for the song Ride On