Posts tagged ‘Rick Keene music journalist’

Rick Keene Music Scene Concert Review; John Carpenter Goes All Christine on Montreal !


What comes first? The chicken or the film score?

Which inspires which? Does the music push the story line onto a different path or does the plot dictate the creativity within the music?

Last evening at MTelus in Montreal, it was difficult to figure that out. John Carpenter, the director of such legendary films as Halloween and They Live, graced the stage conducting the scores of the films he was also involved with writing musically. The chicken on stage with the eggs behind him full-screen.

Here is the thing. Aside from it being very cool that both the director and soundtrack creator was live playing music while his films played behind him, determining if one minus the other would be cool is the dilemma.

Sitting in the audience, eyes closed, what you have is an immensely talented band playing high octane tunes. Extending the visual darkness throughout – would enough great music  warrant the feedback Carpenter received with the visuals?

Halloween, Escape from LA, They Live and all the other themes from his movies are part of a puzzle. The music to fans conjures up the visuals and the memories of when they saw the movies to begin with. Remember where you were when Halloween hit you? The shock and the fear wrapping it’s bloody hand around your pulse? That music is associated with those feelings and without it – would the tune be in the Billboard Top 100?

Laurie’s Theme may have been in the Top 100 without a film. That song along with the others such as Christine Attacks ( from the film Christine) and Escape From New York Main Title – stand very eerily on their own. The new Sacred Bones album, Anthology (Movie Themes 1974-1988), is a collection of newly recorded versions of his most iconic movie music.Live on stage; powerful, intense and pulverizing to say the least. Hair-on-the-back-of-the-neck kinda tunes. The soundtrack for a soon to released home movie titled; Don’t Leave your Girlfriend Alone at MTelus.

Full credit goes to the players in Carpenter’s orchestra.

John is on synthesizer, his son Cody is on the main synth, Scott Seiver on drums, John Spiker bass, John Konesky guitars , Dave Davies’ ( The Kinks) son Daniel (Carpenter’s Godson) also joins the fray. Electronica never sounded so good.

Carpenter himself is focusing all his talent toward making music these days and if his stage presence is any indication, the 69 year old master is having a blast. Dressed in black and leading the band like a Bela Lugosi figure, Carpenter is in full demonic form. True to his films, the black humor may be involved with the ever present gum in the mouth – just to jeep things grounded.

“Have a safe drive home but be careful – Christine is out there !”

Visit John Here !


Please listen below to some shows coming your way !



Visit Evenko Here !





Rick Keene Music Scene – Top Ten Rolling Stones Tracks?


Keef and Grandson On Tour 2017


Here at Rick Keene Music Scene – rarely do my personal tastes mix with business.

Once in a while , the Stones are featured but most of the time , this forum is to promote new music through interviews and let you know what’s happening or what shows just happened.

To narrow down ten songs from a catalog over four hundred deep is impossible. Or – is it ?


Here now are my choices ( no particular  order) for the Top Ten Tracks by The Rolling Stones. Agree or disagree ? 


10. Fingerprint File

This track off the 1974  album It’s Only Rock n Roll sums up everything about the decadent 70s and mixes many styles into one. Funk and Rock through a great guitar solo by Mick Taylor and Jagger’s mystique / sex appeal humming along to Wyman’s too cool bass line. Just listening you can almost see the sequined jump suit on Jagger’s back with Billy Preston dancing beside him. A track that could just as well be named ‘1975’. Rumor has it that it is cocaine going up Mick’s nose near the end as the tune sniffs to a close.

9. Respectable

The Sex Pistols called the Stones dinosaurs in 1977. The Bad Boys of Rock responded with one of their best albums. 1978’s Some Girls kicked the Pistols and the entire Punk movement in the teeth. Respectable takes the term Garage Band to other worlds. As raw as meat at a butcher shop, the song is angry. The energy in all instruments pouring out the amps as Mick scares you into believing everything he sings.  No tricks, no shadows. Punk Rock on display by the original punks. Whatever happened to those Sex Pistols ? 

8. Sweet Virginia 

Atop many critic’s list of the best double albums of all time , 1972’s Exile on Main Street is filled with the Blues and Country music. Gram Parsons influence side by side with Willie Dixon. Sweet Virginia sounds as if the boys were on the porch and started playing for the joy of it. Mick’s pure personality shines on harp while Keith is just a Country boy at his  side. As with a few Stones’ tracks , the entire sound is energy held back within a groove. One of few bands that can harness and release magic at the same time. Welcome to Chemistry 101.

7. Street Fighting Man

In 1968 – the Stones released one of their masterpieces. Beggars Banquet was served to the masses and it contained the roots of music. It also teased with what the Stones were to become. The song Street Fighting Man ( along with Sympathy for The Devil) showcased the manic drive which would become a staple for the ‘rocky’ Stones. The building of foreplay before the orgasm and continuing while the cigarette was still burning. Combining feedback through a cassette player and amplified to it’s fullest – to this day, in concert, it’s the tune that gets the heart pumping and the sweat poured into the drinks.

6. Love is Strong

In 1994, following a reunion of sorts – the Stones entered the studio minus their original bassist Bill Wyman. With Miles Davis alumni Darryl Jones  in tow, the overproduced sound of 1989’s Steel Wheels was gone. For the first time in over a decade, the album sounded like Mick and Keith locked in a room. The song Love is Strong contains a maturity not heard from before. It’s as if thirty years of bouncing about landed on their feet. A Blues tune yet it was a Stones Blues tune. No mimicking, no flattery by example – the tune was the first original Stones’ Blues song. Forceful guitars and forceful harmonica combined with Watts’ ( as usual ) crisp snare. The Stones became a ‘confident’ band once again within Love is Strong.

5. Too Tough

Say what? There are far greater Stones’ songs than this gem off 1983’s Undercover album you say? Listen again – wont ya? Raw riffs and the Stones signature sloppiness rarely caught in studio. Add a transition from bridge to chorus that is two songs in one along with a youthful Jagger surrendering to a woman? As I said – listen again won’t ya?

4. Tumbling Dice

Exile on main Street is unique in the fact there were no real ‘hits’ on the album. Therein lies the beauty of the disc as it was made for making music. The tune Tumbling Dice with it’s stinging, creeping changes and harnessed energy released in a rhythm so solid- could very well be on of the greatest songs ever written by anyone. You gotta roll me ..

3.  Memory Motel

In 1976 the Stones kinda shocked everyone by sipping into the Reggae / Dance genre. For the fans of the band it was no surprise because Keith had taken up residence in Jamaica and was hanging with the likes of Peter Tosh. The album Black and Blue ( the first with Ron Wood) also contained one of Jagger/ Richards purest ballads. Piano-led ( Keith writes a lot on piano), the song is framed devilishly by Keef’s raunchy (slightly out of tune harmonies). A studio version (vocally) of The Glimmer Twins live. Once again – two tunes in one as the chorus sings the lyrics to sleep.

2. Midnight Rambler

In the words of Keith Richards, if there was one song that could be considered the best example of his and Mick’s taste in music and songwriting skills – Midnight Rambler gets the call. The tune mirrors the transformation in real life of the stones evolving from a blues band into a Rock n Roll outfit. It also displays the transformation of the band as young punks to grown up creatures of the night. Of Richards from rebellious teen to drug addict. Of Jagger from sexual deviant to dangerous. No matter the year, once the Stones play Midnight Rambler live – you know they are starting to get serious.

1. Paint it Black

In 1966 while The Beatles were sending lollipops in the air, the Stones were focusing on reality.

In a false world for the weak, only hand holding went on in Strawberry Fields. In the real world, there was someone with a match waiting in the burnt out building next door. Mental illness, anguish, despair and depression are as much part of reality as lovemaking in the golden wheat. Not only did the Stones identify with the real people lyrically, they solidified themselves as precursors to bands like Black Sabbath and the evil mentality of Heavy Metal. Charlie arrives within the tune just as Keith enters Hell. Mick’s drawl – his initial exorcism.  The Stones may have made a deal at the Crossroads and painted them black. The Devil’s gift? No colors anymore for anyone.

*Honorable mentions

Gimme Shelter, Satisfaction, Jumpin Jack Flash, Honky Tonk Woman and three hundred others.









Rick Keene Music Scene – David Myles; Real Love

Pop music ain’t what it used to be …



David Myles is doing something about it. Combining old school thoughts with new school riffs without duplicating anything. Easy right? Make people dance right?



Please listen below as David talks about the new album and how he came up with the idea to go backwards – musically. 



David? What’s up?



Visit David Here !




Visit The West Island Palliative Care Here !



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

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


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

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



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

Sheldon? What’s up?





Visit The West Island Palliative Care Here !



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

The city that never sleeps …

Montreal is always on the go. Running, jogging or walking to live music venues everywhere ! It’s a music lovers dream to be in Montreal !

Please listen below to some of the shows coming our way and find out what historical theater in Montreal changed names and has added wonderful stuff for your musical enjoyment !

Thanks for listening ! Talk soon !






Rick Keene Music Scene – Walking in the Dark with Rob Lutes

If you do not know the name Rob Lutes, shame on you …

There are songwriters and there are songwriters. The latter being students. Pupils of Dylan, Guthrie and all the Country and Blues’ artists who laid the foundation for all music.

Lutes is a form of all the above and with his seventh album ‘A Walk in the Dark’ – he has arrived at the summit. A pinnacle of everything he has leaned thus far.

It can only get better.

Please listen below to my chat with Rob about the new album and which artists influenced him immensely.

Rob? What’s up?



Visit Rob right here !





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

Sass Jordan is a one of a kind performer.




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


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


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

Sass? What’s up?



Please Visit Sass Here !





Rick Keene Music Scene – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band?

Sgt. Pepper ? Familiar ?



Chances are the guys above know him well.

It’s been fifty years since the four headed monster known as The Beatles recorded an album that forever changed popular music. ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ altered the way people sang, recorded and marketed their music. A feather in the Fab Four’s hat to be sure.


The San Francisco String Trio know Sgt. Pepper and they love him ! So much so – their album  “May I Introduce You‘ pays homage to The Beatles’ landmark album.

Please listen below to hear some new / old songs from the album. A disc that everyone hums along to at one point in their lives !

Thanks for listening ! Talk soon !


Listen below to my chat with Larry Day about Strangers in the Night 13 !





Visit Styx Here !

Visit Strangers in the Night Here !



Visit Jarrett Lobley Project Here !



Rick Keene Music Scene – Larry Day Talks Strangers in the Night 13!

Once upon a time, in a bar far far away …

Strangers in the Night – an idea born in the parking lot of a bar named The Firm, featured one band. The Boogie Wonder Band were the event’s initial entertainment and from that point on; founder Larry Day never looked back.


Fast forward twelve years and the 2017 edition is poised to be the biggest and best yet! More food, more space and one of the biggest selling bands of all time ! Strangers in the Night 13 is on a ‘Mission’ and the super-group Styx just happen to have a new album of the same name!


The album; The Mission has accomplished it’s mission. In 2017 – Styx is back on the Billboard 100 and they are landing in Quebec on August 25th.

Please listen below to my chat with founder Larry Day. He has been a big fan of Styx since the mid seventies. Discover his thoughts on Strangers in the Night 13 and find out what you need to know to attend what should be the biggest show ever in the West Island!

Thanks for listening ! Talk soon !

Larry? What’s up?



Listen below to my chat with Gowan! A member of Styx since 1999!




Visit Styx Here !

Visit Strangers in the Night Here !



Visit Jarrett Lobley Project Here !



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

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



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




Listen to my interview with Lawrence Gowan of Styx below !




Visit Styx Here !

Visit Strangers in the Night Here !



Visit Jarrett Lobley Project Here !


Rick Keene Music Scene – Lawrence Gowan of Styx Talks About The New Album; The Mission !

Ground control to Maj … Oops! Wrong space journey …

Styx has returned to Earth momentarily with their first new album in 14 years ! One can say they are on a ‘mission’. A trip to insert a seamless album into the vast and historic Styx catalog. A recording that will not ‘skip’ the pure sound of the band’s timeline on disc or live. 


The album; The Mission has accomplished it’s mission. In 2017 – Styx is back on the Billboard 100 and they are landing in Quebec in August.

Please listen below to my chat with Astronaut Lawrence Gowan. He has been part of the crew of Styx since 1999. Discover his thoughts on the new album and find out if the band will be partying like it’s 1999 in Quebec !

Thanks for listening ! Talk soon !




Visit Styx Here !

Visit Strangers in the Night Here !

Visit Nuits D’Afrique Here !

Visit Jarrett Lobley Project Here !


Rick Keene Music Scene – Festival International Nuits D’Afrique ; Putting Rhythm Into Context !

Festival International Nuits D’Afrique.

Be there !

In the 31st year – the Festival International Nuits D’Afrique is necessary. The ingredients; the pre -cursor to all popular music today. No African rhythms? No Jazz Festival. It is – that easy …

Please listen below to some tunes from some of the artists performing as well as information pertaining to the Festival !

Thanks for listening ! Talk soon !



Visit Nuits D’Afrique Here !



Visit Jarrett Lobley Project Here !





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

You can dance if you want to …

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

Say what? 

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

Ivan? What’s up?




Part Two



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


The Montreal International Jazz Festival 

Click Here for Tickets










Rick Keene Music Scene – What’s Going On ?

As usual – a lot going on …

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

Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir


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

Thank You !



Listen to my interview with Cliff Stevens Here !



Visit Cliff Here !


The Montreal International Jazz Festival 

Click Here for Tickets










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

Cliff Stevens’ hands aren’t slow.


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

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

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

Cliff? What’s Up?




Visit Cliff Here !


The Montreal International Jazz Festival 

Click Here for Tickets










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

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

Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir


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

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






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

Click Here for Tickets










Bonnie Raitt in Montreal – Like a Fine Wine …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit Bonnie Raitt Here !









Rick Keene Music Scene – Ask Dave the Bartender. Part Two.

Bartenders are a breed apart. That’s why they are kept behind wooden fences …

In Hog town, in Toronto – there is such a fellow. Banned from Montreal, tossed from his family – Dave the Bartender stands alone.

Secure in his thoughts and confident in his musical knowledge. Join me as I travel to Toronto and ask Dave the Bartender musical questions sent in by listeners of

Rick Keene Music Scene. 

Happy Birthday Dave the Bartender !

*Beautiful Goodbye by Anthony Gomes

Rick Keene Music Scene – Ask Dave the Bartender. Part One

Bartenders are a breed apart. That’s why they are kept behind wooden fences …

In Hog town, in Toronto – there is such a fellow. Banned from Montreal, tossed from his family – Dave the Bartender stands alone.

Secure in his thoughts and confident in his musical knowledge. Join me as I travel to Toronto and ask Dave the Bartender musical questions sent in by listeners of

Rick Keene Music Scene. 

Happy Birthday Dave the Bartender !

*Beautiful Goodbye by Anthony Gomes

Former Montreal Expos and Drummer Warren Cromartie Talks Baseball, Raines and RUSH ! Part One.

Warren Cromartie is a hero in Montreal for a couple of reasons …



Not only did the Florida native help the Montreal Expos win their first birth to the post season, he single-handily, in one sweeping motion, unified baseball with Canada.

Everyone who followed baseball in 1981 remembers when ‘Cro’ grabbed the Canadian flag in Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium and waved it for millions to understand that CANADA won a major league title. 

Before The Blue Jays and Joe Carter’s blast, there was Warren Cromartie, Gary Carter, Tim Raines and ‘The Hawk’. Not to mention a bevvy of players who endeared themselves to an entire generation of baseball fans in Montreal.


Warren Cromartie has since become a hero yet again as he heads up The Montreal Baseball Project. An organization intent on bringing professional baseball back to Montreal.

Cromartie’s second love is music. 

An accomplished drummer, ‘Cro’ has played with some pretty impressive musicians over the years and released an album in Japan. His ‘home away from home’ in Baseball and in music.

Please listen below to a great chat about Baseball, The Expos, Tim Raines and Rush.

Click on the link below to find out how you can help bring baseball back to Montreal !

Talk soon !


Visit The Montreal Baseball Project Here !


Thanks for all your support !

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to help me continue to promote musicians !

Thanks to George Durst of

The House of Jazz!


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