Cody Chestnutt Review – Montreal International Jazz Festival 2014

Who is Cody Chestnutt?

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Easy. Put Marvin Gaye, Barry White, Lionel Ritchie and practically every other R and B singer from the 1970’s into a blender, add some influence by The Roots and – TA DA! A Cody Chestnutt shake.

Shake? The audience at Club Soda did just that!

If anything, the man who just flew in from L.A – was a ball of energy. Mind you – that energy did dissipate once in a blue while in songs such as ‘Up in the Tree House‘. A tune Cody introduced comically as ‘going from the tree house to the crack house’.

_MG_9979The song; a Monkee-ish / Mamas and Papas / Turtles melody depicting a sentimental side to the energetic Chestnutt. A dreamy trip into the psyche of psychedelia. It was a welcome break to a concert which to that point was deliciously repetitive.

Rock, Funk, Hip Hop and Blues. Singular, accumulative or blended by genre one at a time – Chestnutt and his tight – loose band of gypsies enticed smiles from the get-go. Easy to see why The Roots chose his song ‘The Seed’ to do on their album; Phrenology,

‘That’s Still Mama’  channeled Gaye to a rhythmic ‘T’. Complete with horns and Geoffrey Gaines’ demonic bass holding Chestnutt to the ground level, Cody showcased his voice. A query to fans as Chestnutt cannot be stereotyped into a genre. At times the tune bordered on ‘Shaft’ and could well be the soundtrack to a 70’s cop show. Nothing wrong with that. No thing wrong with Joel Johnson’guitar licks either.

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‘Under the Spell of the Handout’placed the keyboards in full throttle as Cody and his mates sped along with drummer Stephen Fryson keeping the pedal to the metal at a fanatic pace.

‘Love is More Than a Wedding Day‘ gave everyone a reason to smile. A summer song which the audience participated in by singing the chorus ‘ I Believe in Love’ or more to the point ” I Believe’.

That is the beauty of a Chestnutt show. Non threatening. A huge love-in. A simple reminder of why music was invented in the first place. More times than not; the audience joining in whether by Chestnutt’s demand or on their choice..

‘Gunpowder on the Letter’ a throwback to the Blues blending into Rock n Roll. A song suited for a Little Richard – Jerry Lee Lewis album. ‘Thank You‘ – perhaps exactly that. Another copy of the songs of days gone by. Sung elegantly and heartfelt by Cody and his backing vocals.

The steal of the show was Alvin Giles on keyboards. Tinkering softly or providing a piano- based rhythm a la boogie woogie on the R and B gems: the show void without him.

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In short – Chestnutt followed up a very successful appearance at the PoP Montreal Festival last year with a return to Montreal at this year’s Jazz Festival. A fact not foreign to Cody himself as he said the word ‘Montreal’ or some variation thereof at least thirty times.

Yes Cody – Montreal realizes and appreciates your ability to decipher the city where you are playing. Montreal thanks you for coming and bringing the ‘real’ music ‘back’ with you.

Until next time …

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 Visit Cody Here!

 

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Hear My Interview with Myriam Here!

Myriam Phiro will be at

The House of Jazz

July 3rd 8:30pm

 

 

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You Can Call Me Ray … You Can Call Me Jay – Or you Can Call Me ‘Snooksta’; Part Two

Wednesday is the night to be downtown …

Why? That is the evening ‘Snooksta and the Gangstas’ take to the stage at The House of Jazz. They provide rhythm, Blues and Jazz.

Combined with a battery section of two old friends, a young and upcoming saxophone player and a beautiful pianist – the band leaves no one empty. Especially the house which George Durst built.

Leslie …? Wuz’ up …?

 

Visit Snooksta here!

 

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Who the Fudge are The Walkervilles?

Growing up next to a firing range – may make it easier for someone to mature as a person who shoots guns … Well, the same can be said for a bunch of guys who grew up across from one of the greatest musical towns in the world. Say hello to the Walkervilles …

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The Walkervilles are openng up for the Tedeschi-Trucks band on Monday Nov.18th at Metropolis in Montreal.

Visit their site here!

The Mother Jones Band! Greatest R and B Band in Montreal …!

Father and Son; Album Review

They say to play the blues well, one must go through hard times.

Tommy Falls and his son Derek, live with the memory of someone dear who lived and died through very hard times. Is it any wonder their inaugural album is so good …?

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Father and Son could be considered a throwback to a different time. An era that was simple.

Guitar, drums, bass and sax. The cornerstones of rhythm and blues. The cornerstones of all music. The cornerstones of the Mother Jones Band.

‘Hold on to your Love’, the opening track – opens the door and invites you in. A welcoming groove provided by the African coast’s Manu Pele. One of the most talented bass players currently playing in Montreal. Manu’s bass combined with drummer Dannick Tardif’s backing beat; the perfect grounding to Derek Falls’ guitar and vocals.

Father Tommy Falls, at the age of sixty – five – providing experienced licks to his son’s lead. The elder Falls providing musical and vocal assurance to ground his offspring in the past.

A past which is evident on all the tracks written by his son.

‘Runway’ and ‘Do me right’, the second and third songs are immediately catchy. Derek’s guitars both smooth and menacing. His voice; part Lenny Kravitz, part Prince and part almost every male who has sung under the Motown label – providing romantic lyrics.

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Joey Bolusi, aka Joey the Saxman – plays alto and tenor sax like they should be played on a blues record. Not in your face. More like a flick on the chin when you need it most.

Tommy’s Dad was a boxer and MP in the army when he went into a bar to have a drink. One thing led to another, and the African American was arrested by officers of La Surete de Quebec. Mr. Falls was found dead soon after of a ‘suicide’. A death caused by ‘ self – inflicted’ damage to his lungs after a self imposed ‘ beating ‘ at the hands of the police.

“My father was the nicest, gentlest man.” Says Tommy.” He didn’t start anything like they said he did …he wouldn’t hurt a fly outside of the ring!”

The Father and son’s pain is none more apparent than on the slow ballad ‘Hey Little Mary’. Derek’s voice achingly begging for love, his guitar doing everything in it’s power to help.Somehow,the younger Falls makes his Fender cry like a wounded heart. A dark room with dim lights – the perfect backdrop to this seduction of the senses.

His guitar sounding often like the late Roy Buchanan, another victim of a so – called suicide in his jail cell.

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‘Give it to You’,’Hold On’ and ’20 Below’ are also lovemaking tools. Candles the only thing missing to Derek’s quest for love. Lenny Kravitz’ voice perfectly channeled by Falls especially on 20 Below. A song reminiscent of ‘Winter’ by the Rolling Stones.

A warm feeling is what you get listening to the album. A perfect contrast to the coldness the father and son duo feel inside when they think of their Father and grandfather.

The one shortcoming of the band is the sometimes inability to take it to the next level. Derek Falls’ lack of experience at times, leaves an empty feeling. The listener’s crying for more. It’s not a bad thing and with time, an ingredient Falls will learn.

In a way, all three generations appear on the C.D.

Tommy, with his years of experience as a blues guitarist, Derek and his more modern heroes shining through – and the Grandfather; his pain reminding everyone why the blues were written.

For tough times …

The Mother Jones Band is playing at Calistoga Grill in Pointe Claire this Friday Night – do yourself a favour, check.them out!