Rick Keene Music Scene – Six Songs You Can’t Say on Televison ( or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Benny Hill ).

George Carlin knew the deal. Somehow he knew how the rich control the media and in return – the media control the masses. 

Disguised as a ‘news story’ – the real goal is to send patrons to an establishment or buy a product. Anyone who ‘helps’ – gets free ‘meals’.

Same thing with music. 

Buy advertising and just like that, your music is on the playlist. Have a cousin who works for the media outlet? Next thing you know – headlining a major festival is on the itinerary.

 

 

Please listen below to six  songs that will never be heard on the rad … er … television.

Unless …. 

 

 

Visit The Zombies here !

The Zombies will be in Montreal April 1st ! 

Buy Tickets Here ! 

 

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Anthony Gomes; Giving Back Through Music and Actions ! Part Two.

 The Blues will get ya all the time !

Singer / songwriter and guitarist Anthony Gomes had a revelation at Sam the Record Man in Toronto. The Blues got him and got him bad …

Fast forward to 2017 and The Blues world would not be the same. Combining all elements of The Blues, Anthony is a true scholar of the music which ‘heals’. A lesson Anthony learned from life experience. 

Please listen below as Anthony educates us on The Blues and provides examples of what happens when a student ‘listens’. 

In Part Two – Anthony explains his take on Chuck Berry, The Stones and his Top Ten Guitarists !

Anthony? What’s up?

 

 

Visit Anthony Here !

Click Here for the May 25th Show in Montreal !

 

 

Visit The Zombies here !

The Zombies will be in Montreal April 1st ! 

Buy Tickets Here ! 

 

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Anthony Gomes; Giving Back Through Music and Actions !

The Blues will get ya all the time !

Singer / songwriter and guitarist Anthony Gomes had a revelation at Sam the Record Man in Toronto. The Blues got him and got him bad …

Fast forward to 2017 and The Blues world would not be the same. Combining all elements of The Blues, Anthony is a true scholar of the music which ‘heals’. A lesson Anthony learned from life experience. 

Please listen below as Anthony educates us on The Blues and provides examples of what happens when a student ‘listens’. 

Stay tuned for Part Two – Anthony explains his involvement in an upcoming Montreal gig that gives back to a mental health establishment. Something that is dear to Gomes’ own heart !

Anthony? What’s up?

 

Visit Anthony Here !

Correction – Anthony will not be part of Jazz Festival. Apologies.


Click Here for the May 25th Show !

 

 

Visit The Zombies here !

The Zombies will be in Montreal April 1st ! 

Buy Tickets Here ! 

 

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Rick Keene and Sarah Slean … ‘Metaphysics’

Sarah Slean is keen …

Not only is she excited about her new disc, she is also excited about her new life. 

Following a period of self-reflection, Sarah has arrived at a couple of conclusions. Discoveries that may – or may not, include the film My Cousin Vinny. 

Say what?

Please listen below as Sarah speaks of the new album and hear some great new tunes from the album Metaphysics ! 

Thanks for listening …

 

Visit Sarah Here !

 

Visit The Zombies here !

The Zombies will be in Montreal April 1st ! 

Buy Tickets Here ! 

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – ‘Gonna Go Way Out, Way Out ( That’s Where the Fun Is !)

 Montrealers – just like The Flintstones …  rock !

 

Although The Way-Outs are not coming to Montreal – many artists are !

Please listen below to some of the shows, some great tunes and where you can buy tickets !

 

Ian Janes is opening up for Matt Anderson on March 30th @L’Astral

Click Here for Tics !

Visit Ian Janes Here !

*Listen below to previous interview with The Zombies bassist Chris White !

 

Visit The Zombies here !

The Zombies will be in Montreal April 1st ! 

Buy Tickets Here ! 

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Ian Janes; Crafting Songs The East Coast Kinda Way …

Ian Janes comes from Nova Scotia. His songs? More universal than that.

Combining an eclectic range of influences which he received as gifts from his Mom in the house growing up – Ian is on the brink of a brilliant career.

Please listen below as Ian explains everything you need to know about his influences, his songwriting process and thoughts on Ray Charles . An enormous influence. 

Ian? What’s Up?

 

Ian is opening up for Matt Anderson on March 30th @L’Astral !

Click Here for Tics !

Visit Ian Janes Here !

 

*Listen below to previous interview with The Zombies bassist Chris White !

 

 

Stay tuned for some new tunes from The Zombies!

Visit The Zombies here !

The Zombies will be in Montreal April 1st ! 

Buy Tickets Here ! 

 

 

 

An Evening with Deep Blue; The Most Complete Band in Montreal!

Johnny Beaudine & DEEP BLUE

One of the most exciting nights on the Montreal jazz and blues scene can be found whenever Johnny Beaudine & Deep Blue take the stage with their smoking menu of Chicago style jazz, blues and soul fusion with touches of New Orleans funk.

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A veteran of some of the most famous and infamous south-side Chicago blues clubs,the young Beaudine was tutored by masters like Jr. Wells, James Cotton and A.C.Reed. Beaudine and the band have developed a repertoire that ranges from Chess records classics to New Orleans versions of Duke Ellington and updates of jazz classics from artists like Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis and Sonny Stitt.

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Johnny Beaudine and Deep Blue hold down the regular Monday night slot at Montreal’s legendary House of Jazz and have done so for over two years, drawing an audience of jazz and blues fans from the US, Japan, Singapore, Brazil, Australia, Europe and China.

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Johnny Beaudine on tenor & soprano sax, harmonica and vocals leads a band containing some of the most talented and experienced musicians in Montreal. Adept at sophisticated jazz, blues, ragtime and stride piano styles reminiscent of Fats Waller; Peter Mika’s piano generates a wall of sound that transforms any club into a concert hall.

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The great R&B veteran Ben Comeau plays electric bass. Ben’s sheer enjoyment of the music is a pleasure to behold as his bass smolders cool and smooth on the jazz numbers and cuts loose on the funky bluesier material.

Jeff Simons rounds things out on drums. His powerhouse drumming drives the band through his varied repertoire. Jeff is also an excellent vocalist and his renditions of Ray Charles’ hits – bring the house down!

Their Motto is “We Come to Play” and Deep Blue creates that authentic Chicago sensation every night they play.

Please listen below as Johnny and Peter talk about their band which uniquely blends Jazz, Blues and New Orleans Funk  into the only genuine unit of it’s kind in Montreal.

Johnny? Peter?

Visit the band here!

Click here for a House of Jazz Coupon!

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John Fogerty Review – Montreal 2014

What’s with these old guys anyways?

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

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

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

Yes – Woodtsock was that awesome!

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

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

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

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

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

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

He continued.

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

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

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

Just ask Suzie Q …

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

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

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

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

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

Next – back on track. 

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

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

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

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

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

The stretch run contained CCR at its filthiness …

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

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

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

Watch Fogerty Here !

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

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Donate Here!

 

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Montreal International Jazz Festival 2014 Preview; Susie Arioli – Part Deux

In part two of my interview with Susie Arioli – we discuss labels within music and in life. She also touches on her new album along with her show at the 2014 Montreal International Jazz Festival.

July 4th – Scene TD.

Two shows – 8pm and 10pm .

Be there or be carre …

Susie?

 

 

Visit Susie and the Jazz Festival Right Here!

 

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Grammy Nominee Wayne Wallace – PartTwo

In the second part of my interview with Mr. Wallace, we discuss many things including the importance a country like Cuba gives to music.

Wallace has worked with everyone from Ray Charles to Whitney Houston. He is an educator as well as a trombonist and has been nominated for six Grammys.

Wayne …?

 

Wayne Wallace – Grammy Award Nominee

Wayne Wallace has been around. That is an understatement.

A trombonist who has played with every legend possible in the music business. Hear his tales in part one of my interview. A very insightful look into the life of a soon-to-be legend himself.

Cheer for him on Sunday the 26th of January as he goes for a Grammy award for best Latin Jazz album.

Good luck Wayne !

Jerry Mercer- As The Years Go By; Part Two.

As my interview with Jerry Mercer goes on – the legendary drummer discusses the rudiments of drumming, his battle with cancer and how it brought him together with an old friend. His musical education continues as he educates us …

Please stay tuned as this interview will be in five parts ….

What I’d say ….?

 

Rod Argent and The Zombies. Rock History – Part Three

Breathe Out, Breathe In is The Zombies new album. Something which Rod Argent is proud of. He and Blunstone, according to Rod – have captured the sound of the Original group in the 1960’s. The spontaneity the band had which produced great songs …

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” I have produced a lot of records in my time and have been through the techniques of layering and one thing or another. We ( Blunstone and I ), had just finished playing live and I had just finished mixing the live tracks.”

Argent goes on …

” When we were starting the tracks for the new record, I said to Colin – why don’t we re -visit the way we used to record. I don’t mean in an old-fashioned dated way, I meant more by laying the rhythm tracks first and going from there. That is the way we did it back then. Typically, we would record the rhythm for each track in three hours, then I would give Colin the piano and voice demos so he could learn it. After that, we would take a relaxing day putting the vocals on and then a third day we would work on the harmonies. That is typically how we would do it. Each track took about three days …”

One thing Argent did realize when he turned back Father Time, aside from the modern day equipment making thing easier, Rod also realized he had his own way of doing things …

” On the songs I wrote with The Zombies, in the early days, I realized that I would write the bass parts as part of the song. I did that on Breathe Out as well – giving the bass parts to Jim to play and he would play it the way I had written. In the old days it was an unusual way of doing things but it seemed to have worked ..”

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Argent, Blunstone, Jim and Steve Rodford and Tim Tooney – the current Zombies, also focused on the harmonies. Something which was crucial in the original group. Something which immediately jumps out when ‘Breathe Out, Breathe In’ is listened to.

“It was part of the criteria for this album.” Says Rod. ‘ We thought how great it was to do harmonies and let’s explore that again …! I have always loved doing harmonies and this band is so good live – we wanted to capture the freshness of the old days. If someone recognizes the ‘Zombie’ sound, it is because Colin and I are there and a lot of the same elements are there. I am glad if someone can tell it is The Zombies right away. That makes me feel good …!”

Rod Argent, by his own admission, does not listen to much of today’s music. Something he blames on ‘old age‘. Two bands which Argent has heard and thinks are great are The Kings of Leon and The Killers. Argent thinks what they do are interesting …

” I tend to listen to a variety of music as I always used to. I listen to a lot of Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans from the Jazz side of things. Time to time – I listen to Ray Charles, I tend to like things that are Blues oriented. Whether it be musically or vocally. A lot of the bands from the sixties would have those same habits and incorporated that into their music.  Not long ago I was speaking to John Steel from The Animals and he said when he was playing ‘House of the Rising Sun‘ on record, in his head he was playing ‘ Walk on Wild’ side by Jimmy Smith.”

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“Those rhythm and blues factors were often a starting point for the English bands but not as much anymore. I tend to like it when those feelings are still there. The Blues also has to be natural – they can’t be contrived …”

Argent once more thanks The Beatles for introducing him to the likes of Big Mama Thornton, Robert Johnson and Elmore James. Elvis, the ‘Fab Four’ and later – The Rolling Stones helped introduce a generation to the Blues …

The Zombies will be in Montreal on the 28th of February at Metropolis. According to Argent, the audience will hear all The Zombies’ hits from the past, five or six songs from Argent including ‘Hold Your Head Up’ and about five new songs from the record ‘Breathe Out, Breathe In.”

A show drenched in nostalgia with a hint of the future. In complete harmony of course …

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Just Between Jerry Mercer and Me

It may have been a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday. Do the days of the week matter when the phone rings and a Canadian rock legend is waiting on the other end of the call? The bruises linger from the self – inflicted pinching that took place on my right arm as I took the receiver from my ex and spoke to April Wine’s drummer.

I arrived at Mr. Mercer’s home the following day. A greeting ensued at the front door of a beautiful house located a hop, skip and drum roll from the Cajun Blues restaurant. Jerry introduced me to his current wife and his son Sean. His daughter (the server), was also hanging around and her and I laughed quietly with the irony of the circumstances that joined us together in this ‘after hours’ club.

Once the formalities were completed and I was cultured to the fact that Jerry`s daughter was studying piano and the son – a drummer just like Dad , Jerry and I moved from the kitchen and carved a path to the den. The scenario became a video in my mind, a picturesque view of the waterfront took center stage through the bay windows.

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 “I have an office… Gold records on the wall … Just leave a message – maybe I’ll call …”

Whether or not Mr. Mercer has, “accountants pay for it all …” (more of the songs’ lyrics ),  is something I do not know. It was of no interest to me and frankly – none of my business . What I do know – Mr. Mercer did call me back. I stood there. 

The hair on the back of my neck and on top of my

head along with all the tiny ones that guarded my scrotum –  were standing on guard. Shivers traveled the length of my body. Overcome with nostalgia and the sheer magnitude of what lay before me, my knees developed a mind of their own and searched the floor.

Life ‘s been good so far …

Glints of sunlight recoiled off the yellow discs that adorned the walls. I was the victim. I lay dying on the desert floor in a Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Western as the golden vultures with the names ‘I like to Rock’, ‘Just Between You and   Me’ and ‘Roller’ encircled me.

    “If nervousness and anxiety were to be the ailments that killed me – a death on Jerry Mercer’s floor was not necessarily a bad thing ” I thought silently.

Jerry motioned towards the sofa and we sat.

The ( then ) sixty – one year old could sense the three-year-old schoolchild that currently invaded his couch and he immediately put my senses at ease. He asked about my children. As any parent is aware – there is not a disaster in the world that the idea of offspring dancing through your mind, like angels on a cloud – cannot heal.

“So where do we start?” Jerry asked in a kind way once my tales of tots were completed.

“I thought you would know … “I responded with a nervous laugh. I was not convinced this was the proper time to inform Mercer that this was indeed – my inaugural biographical interview.

Where does one start? At his birth? In his parents’ bedroom …? Should we get them on the phone? Who knew?

“Why don’t we start with how you became a drummer?”The words escaped my mouth and the resonance eased my novice-batting stance. I was ready to step to the plate. The pine tar tossed aside.

 The only interview I had done to this point was never published. I was not over – whelmed during that one and the fact that the majority of my questions were about the Rolling Stones – had everything to do with it.

Annie Liebowitz, the famed photographer, was in town with a collection of her photos. They (the photos), were on display at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts and my journalistic mentor was kind enough to donate his press pass. He was well aware of my obsession with the ‘World’s Greatest Rock n Roll Band’ and Ms. Leibowitz had been the band’s official photographer for their historic 1972 and 1975   tour.

It is one thing to know a great deal about a subject and a completely different one when you are learning as you go. Not only that – with all due respect to Ms. Leibowitz,  she never ‘rocked my world’ with a ten minute drum solo’!

In the beginning …

Mercer began his tale as Yannique brought us refreshments. My borrowed tape recorder on full alert as the’ rocker’ informed me of his tribal beginnings in the art of percussion.

He started playing in a marching band when he was fourteen as an extracurricular activity. Once he completed school at Verdun high school, he commenced working at IBM and was set to indulge in a career with a growing company.Then, one afternoon, he heard something that altered his life and in the process – startled his parents.

  “I was listening to AM radio. My hit parade was the hip radio show back then . All of a sudden the Ray Charles’ song ‘What’d I Say ‘came on. I had never heard anything like it. I thought to myself ‘that cat has swing!’ I knew right then and there – I wanted to become a drummer!”

Mercer informed his parents of his decision and promptly quit his job to pursue music. His dad told him that it was like ‘jumping off a diving board into an empty pool ‘.Yet, in Jerry’s words; they were very supportive. ”They were Christian and very religious people. I could never have asked for a more loving environment to grow up in.”

Jerry then began his pursuit of all things music. He began studying all of the great drummers; Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa and Max Roach.

He would sneak into the Maurice Richard arena and crawl up on the catwalk to get a bird’s eye view of his idols as they came to town. High above – he would watch with precision as Krupa introduced his talents to Montreal. Buddy Rich would arrive the following week and make everyone’s (including Mercer) jaw drop to the concrete floor. The rafters were also the place that Mercer witnessed an up and coming talent ply his trade as an opening act for the Isley Brothers. It was a young Jimi Hendrix with Mitch Mitchell banging away on drums. Mitchell fast became another hero to the young Mercer.

“Music was much easier to get into back then.” Mercer continues.” You had four choices – Jazz, Pop, Rock or Country. These days there are so many different genres with each one having a sub – genre. I do not envy kids today. Even with all the advancements and the ability to self- record, it is such a difficult environment. “He goes on to say with a laugh.” Even the drugs today make it much scarier than my day.”

Mercer bought a small kit for fifty dollars that consisted of a snare, a high hat, a bass drum and one tom. He would play along to the songs he heard on the radio and whichever records he managed to purchase or get his hands on. He never learned to read music. He learned to play with the feel of the song and this prepared him for his first gigs. He met up and played with Trevor Payne and the Triangle.

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Thus began a long winding journey into the world of rock n roll that almost ended in suicide…

To be continued …