Posts tagged ‘Rick Keene music scene’

Rick Keene Music Scene – Big Wreck Celebrates Twenty Years with a Bang!

It was more like a large crash.

Like most ‘ big wrecks’, people are curious. They stop, look , listen and move one. Luckily for the band Big Wreck, the majority of the punters stayed at the Corona Theatre in Montreal Saturday night.

Big fans of the band helped Big Wreck celebrate twenty years since the debut of their first album; In Loving Memory Of. By no means was the gathering a wake.

Commencing with Look What I Found from the debut album – the love affair between audience and band was mutual and energizing. The post – Grunge / Alternative rock band with duel citizenship realistically appreciative of a Canadian audience.

After all, without Canada , Big Wreck may have been hauled off to the junkyard by now.

Listening to That Song , Ill Advice and How Would You Know – the first thing which grabs the guitar strings is bandleader Ian Thornley’s vocal power. Rarely does an artist in Rock possess such depth.

Chris Cornell of Soundgarden had it and Thornley is not far behind. Complimented by the Gord Sinclair-ish Brian Doherty on guitar, Big Wreck’s sound is unique within the sameness. Distinctively Big Wreck with enough nuances to nurture creativity . To breed solid guitar.

While Thornley and Doherty trade jabs and riffs , McMillan ( bass) and Keeping ( drums) maintain the base. Nailing the foundation with a rythym section as solid as the leaning Tower of Pisa. Swaying enough to add swing into a genre sometimes criticized for monotanous behavior. Sloppy enough to add the danger.

By the time The Oaf ended things and Albatross started them up again in the encore , Big Wreck and the crowd were as one. Albatross a giant sing a long / lovefest essential to the lifeline of a Rock band. Injections of crowd participation both nurturing and an indication of possessing a damn good song.

Two entities intertwined like, well – a large crash.


Rick Keene Music Scene – Country Music Star Tim Hicks Set to Invade Quebec !

Country music has replaced the ‘roll’ in Rock n Roll.

Chuck Berry, Ray Charles and the Rolling Stones. Three of the biggest names in music, all bred with a foundation of Country music in their souls.

Tim Hicks of Niagara Falls Canada is on the brink of super-stardom.

In a music world where Country music is more energetic and more pure Rock n Roll than Rock n Roll, Hicks is carrying on the tradition with jaw- dropping live shows and riffs which are memorable. Platinum singles , Canadian lore and a spirit void of weakness. Tim Hicks is the future of Canadian music.

Please listen below to my chat with Tim.



Click on the link below to buy tickets to his Quebec gigs, shows which will make history.

Visit Tim Here !

Rick Keene Music Scene – Former Genesis Guitarist Steve Hackett Discusses New Album , Old Friends and A Scary World. Part One and Two

Montreal is a Genesis hub.

Along with bands such as Styx and Supertramp, Genesis were received and applauded in Montreal before the world embraced their talents. Consisting of Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett – Genesis served up a decade of classic music. Prog Rock. Cutting  age material that remains ahead of it’s time.

Steve Hackett , the former guitarist, feels the love  for his former band every time he is in town. Show after show are sellouts and the level of his performances  never cease to amaze.

Wolflight ( released in 2015 ) was the reason for Steve’s last trip to Montreal and in 2018 – another two albums are behind the jaunt to La Belle Province.

Please listen below to PART ONE and PART TWO of my chat and discover things both new and old.

Steve ? What’s Up ?





Visit Steve Here !



Rick Keene Music Scene – Former Genesis Guitarist Steve Hackett Discusses New Album , Old Friends and A Scary World. 

Montreal is a Genesis hub.

Along with bands such as Styx and Supertramp, Genesis were received and applauded in Montreal before the world embraced their talents. Consisting of Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett – Genesis served up a decade of classic music. Prog Rock. Cutting  age material that remains ahead of it’s time.

Steve Hackett , the former guitarist, feels the love  for his former band every time he is in town. Show after show are sellouts and the level of his performances  never cease to amaze.

Wolflight ( released in 2015 ) was the reason for Steve’s last trip to Montreal and in 2018 – another two albums are behind the jaunt to La Belle Province.

Please listen below to PART ONE of my chat and discover things both new and old.

Steve ? What’s Up ?



Visit Steve Here !



Rick Keene Music Scene – Santa Claus’ Top Ten Favorite Songs …

There is a lot of time to kill at the North Pole. After all, Christmas comes once a year !


Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves like to bop. They like to Rock and they like to Roll. Sometimes they groove to R&B, often they dance …

Here are Santa’s Top Ten Favorite Tunes!

10. Condidering he’s the only guy who doesn’t receive gifts year after year,it’s no wonder Santa Claus has Sympathy for the Devil. 

The Rolling Stones


9. In 1983, Santa’s GPS broke. Yes, that’s right, Rudolph’s nose wasn’t so bright that Christmas Eve. Since then, Santa plays Road to Nowhere very loud in the stables the night before Christmas Eve to remind the Red nosed critter to check his batteries. 

Talking Heads


8. Each year, Santa is afraid of crashing and never returning to see Mrs. Claus in her sexy red satin negligee. So, before he leaves, Let’s Get It On is the song of choice in the bedroom of the Claus’ ( wink, wink, nudge, nudge). 

Marvin Gaye


7. Because there is a lot of sitting around up North, Santa tends to put on the pounds. Stuff his face a little too often with Mrs. Claus’ delicious Apple Pies. To stay in shape, once a week, Santa hits the gym and sweats off pounds to the beat of  YMCA.

The Village People.


6. During the off-season, Santa, the Elves and reindeer enjoy billiards. More often than not, bets are placed on trick shots as Roadhouse Blues frames the not-so-friendly environment.  

The Doors


5. Every music fan has a guilty pleasure and Santa is no different. When he is able, Santa sneaks off into the closet, plugs his earphones into his iPad and sways to the vibes of Seasons in the Sun

Terry Jacks


4. As a child, Santa loved listening to his Mom and Dad’s music. Some of it he outgrew but a lot stayed deep within his soul. For that reason, Santa insists that Candy Man is played every-time he walks into the toy factory. 

Sammy Davies Jr


3. Santa had a hard time with the next song. The singer goes against everything St. Nick represents yet it is one of Santa’s favorite tunes to get him pumped for delivering presents. To make sure he does not cross lines, Santa now only hums Rock n Roll Part One in his head as he mounts the sled.

Gary Glitter 


2. Santa sometimes survives near disasters. Flying around the world in under twenty four hours can be perilous. Ever since he flew over Chernobyl on that fateful eve, Purple Rain has a special meaning to him. 



And Santa’s number one favorite song ?


1.  Heroes – David Bowie. 



It’s A Charlie …er …Rick Keene Music Scene Christmas !

Christmas comes once a year boys and girls ! Unless your name happens to be Christmas and you are … um … never mind.


‘Tis the season to be jolly as they say and there is no better way to get into the Holiday Spirits ( and spirit) than listening to Christmas tunes !

Please listen below to some great Christmas tunes and a few surprises if you are naughty or nice …






Rick Keene Music Scene; The Lyric Theatre Singers Add Purity to Christmas 

Since their inception in 1990, the Lyric Theatre Singers have entertained Montrealers young and old. Christmas is special. Especially a candlelight version.

Bob Bachelor

Forced to move from the familiar surroundings of Tudor Hall ( renovations are taking place), the Lyric Singers took up residence over the weekend at Loyola Chapel on the Concordia University campus. Bigger venue means more exposure for a group that deserves it. More tickets sold means more funds to not only keep the group intact, to increase the already firm legacy that exists.

Peter Colantonio

A Candlelight Christmas, constructed and directed by musical director Bob Bachelor – is mystical in many ways. Combining old school Christmas favorites with Bachelor’s intriguing arrangements; the concert is borrowed but new. Traditional sounds engulf the ears yet the ups and downs of tunes from around the world turn the show into a magic carpet ride. The valleys hung by the choir with care. 

Shelagh Hannigan

Winter cold and ice not your thing ? Spend a moment in Africa with the rhythms of  Photo ni fun Oluwa ( Glory to God in the Highest ). The world renown choral composer Rosephanye Powell contributes to the Candlelight Christmas with the perfect upbeat appetizer to the feast to come. Complete with the Lyric Singers framing the audience and intertwining their baritones and altos – the concert is immediately set apart from most.

Bachelor constructed this version of Christmas with diversity in mind. All the trouble in the world requires an understanding of diversity more than ever.

Ben Kwong

Calypso , Celtic , Gospel, Pop and Chanukah. All represented throughout the show with acute renditions both traditional and rearranged by Bachelor. The sways in moods range from tearful to joyous. Heartfelt to thoughtful. The singers complimenting the musicians and vice versa with a oneness.

Laurie -Ann Jean-Baptiste, the soloist in Sweet Little Jesus Boy ( Altos and Sopranos accompanied) , renders a vocal performance so incredible, so beautiful – the bar was set high for the remaining tunes. Luckily, the other soloists (Katherine Fournier, David Cchiv, Tarik Azgoui ) not only maintained the level of talent, they tweaked and pulled it in different directions. The glove fit the hand. The fingerprints stayed on the souls.

Laurie-Ann Jean-Baptiste

A Candlelight Christmas would not be complete without the Christmas everyone knows.

Rudolph the Red- Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Zat You, Santa Claus? , Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Enough of the tv / film commercial hits to raise the ears of the children in attendance. The older folks smiling with Christmas’ past.

Too often in Christmas shows , boredom arrives with the all-too-familiar hymns and carols. Cool at first with the attention span waning later on. A Candlelight Christmas manages to spark the tinder of melancholy. Igniting the imagination and the kid at heart simultaneously.

Christmas for The Lyric Theatre Singers’ audiences ? Special.

Visit The Lyric Theatre Singers Here 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Dr. Trevor Payne Exits The Montreal  Jubilation Gospel Choir 

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.

 A standard misquote from the first chapter of the Book of Job.

 Dec.3rd 2017, Dr. Trevor Payne’s final appearance as head of The Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir left no room for misquotes. Perfection was perceived by everyone with the possible exception of Dr. Payne himself. Perfection never obtained by the artists themselves.

Dr. Trevor Payne

For thirty – five years ( officially ), the good doctor has guided the Gospel Choir to unimaginable heights ( performing for Nelson Mandela ) and equally unimaginable anxieties. The choir was his child. His offspring . His legacy. His love. His life’s work. His calling.

Putting all the above aside to move on to different projects privately is difficult. Saying goodbye publicly is immense. Ensuring the final performance is not marred by emotions – inconceivable.

Dr. Payne reading good wishes before the show.

 On stage , in rehearsals at Place des Arts, the emotions were in check. The run-through of vocals , music and timing as smooth as the top of Dr. Payne’s head. Good natured ribbing , laughter and smiles framed the always professional choir as they focused on the task at hand. The ‘well oiled’ machine almost didn’t need Dr. Payne. The ‘well oiled’ machine is Dr. Payne. The machine is – ‘ well oiled ‘.

Payne directing the choir.

One by one , the choir and musicians take turn performing as part of a sound. Each person listening attentively to the words of Dr. Payne. Not often and not irrationally do the instructions flow. Calmly the music is stopped and the singing is hushed. Like a Father lovingly teaching – Dr. Payne repairs or introduces observations to make the choir the best they can be.

‘People may teach what they know, but they reproduce who they are’. – John.C.Maxwell

As each of the soldiers of God ( soloists ) took turns rehearsing , Payne conducted but mostly exuded admiration toward his pupils. Hugs were given either before , during and after each performance. Rehearsals give the opportunity where ‘the show’ does not.

Sharon Othello ( Highway to Heaven Medley ), Genevieve Bikond Nkoma ( He’s a Shelter ), Mary Manon Meresier ( Joyful, Joyful) and Janique Montreuil ( Changed ) – a few of the members embracing the musings and admiration from Dr. Trevor Payne.

Alexandre Paquette ( bass) looking on

Soundchecks can be a difficult affair for the most seasoned performers. To be in tune , in sync and in ‘ motion ‘ – often requires the spirit to be as one. Larger groups of musicians can be more obscure at unity in the beginning of ‘ practice’. Not the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir.

Once the notes commence , with very few exceptions , does the engine stop. The train starts rolling and the conductor likes it that way. The battery shovels the coal. The guitars and horns provide the food. The choir are the whistles echoing across the valley signalling the Glory Train is strong.

Right before showtime , Dr. Trevor Payne was nervous. Former choir members from as far away as Spain in attendance. Memories present and counted for.

Adulations from Dr. Oliver Jones and Jazz Festival co – founder Andre Menard (among many ) greeting Payne onscreen in a video montage praising and congratulating the ‘ master ‘ on a career which is legendary. A career unmatched in the Montreal and perhaps global gospel community. Verbal imagery for a job not only well done – above and beyond what was necessary.

All the way from Deep River ( arr. Roy Ringwald) to the Calypso Christmas Medley ( arr. Dr. Trevor Payne ), the final performance under Dr. Payne was brilliant. Payne himself , displaying no signs of emotion except for talking about his Mom and Dad. His Father, explained Payne, carrying bags at Windsor Station to put food on the table , a roof over the head and enough money aside so Trevor could take piano lessons.

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away

Thank you Dr. Trevor Payne

Visit The Montreal Jubilation Choir Here 



Rick Keene Music Scene – The Lyric Theatre Singers; Lighting Up Christmas with Class

The world is a mess.

With everything that is happening around the world these days, The Lyric Theatre Singers are literally – to the rescue.

Their Christmas themed show; Candlelight Christmas, a welcome relief from the noise all around us. Silence among thieves. Calm in a global storm.


Please listen below to my chat with the musical director of The Lyric Theatre Singers; Bob Bachelor. He explains everything and – a little bit more.

Bob? What’s up?



Visit The Lyric Theatre Singers Here 




Top Ten Reasons to Attend Bands for Baskets 2017



Visit Bands for Baskets Here !


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Missing Children’s Network Click Here

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Diana Krall Reminds Montreal of All That is Good

A good concert is an occasion to make new friends. You leave the venue satisfied. The soul filled with goodness.

Diana Krall and her four piece ensemble did just that.


Exploring and paying homage to the likes of Cole Porter, Tom Waits and Bob Dylan, Diana reminded everyone why music was created and how diverse the beauty may be.

Commencing with the tune Deed I Do, the punters quite aware the evening would be a treat. Rarely does such talent grace Place des Arts all at once. Rarely does such grace inhabit the talent all at once. Anthony Wilson (guitar), Robert Hurst ( Bass), Karriem Riggins (drums) and Stuart Duncan (violin) displayed such touch on their respective instruments. Such finesse. Such magnificence. They were so good, at times, Krall could be seen watching and listening in awe. When ‘ the boss’ is happy the product must be good.

The Turn up the Quiet Tour is named after Diana’s new album. Following a long excursion overseas, Krall is back on home turf and Montreal – according to Krall, ‘feels like home’. 

The Montreal International Jazz Festival was one of the most important building blocks in Krall’s steps to Juno and Grammy Awards. Last night, the love affair was evident with a few people yelling out ‘ we love you Diana’. Krall shouting back ‘ I love you too’. One fan even managed to alter the encore. ‘S’Wonderful – the brilliant Ira and George Gershwin ballad replacing the scheduled song as an audience request.


Turn Up the Quiet , the album, is a return to The Great American Songbook for Krall. A place where she discovered her talents and passion. Isn’t it Romantic, Blue Skies and Sunny Side of the Street were delightfully displayed live and the band took turns implementing their skills within each. Waits’ Temptation, as close to a Rock song as you’ll get in a Krall concert. A tad demonic with the stage lit up in Satan’s color. A rendition perfect to break the theme of the show yet keeping it within the boundaries of jazz. Within the boundaries of Waits.


All these years later, Canada’s favorite musical daughter is all grown up. Now a wife and Mother. Those life changing facts are essential to understanding a Krall concert. Mellow, relaxed and with that old Diana sneaking around just under the stage. Popping up every now and again. Playful with an attitude.


Wonder if the old Diana and the new one are friends? Judging by the return to Jazz standards they are.


Visit Diana Here !



Top Ten Reasons to Attend Bands for Baskets 2017



Visit Bands for Baskets Here !


Click on the links below to HELP FIND JESSE GALGANOV



Missing Children’s Network Click Here

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Emilie Claire Barlow; Basking in Quebec’s Winter

 Not everyone embraces Quebec winters. In fact , most don’t.

Emilie Claire Barlow is one person who loves Quebec winters. So much so, the Toronto native and Juno Award winner took up residence in Quebec. Not only that – she sings about it on her new disc.

A combination of English and French, the tracks are sure to give you frostbite ( in a good way).

Please listen below to my chat with Emilie and hear some tracks from the new album.

Talk soon.



Visit Emilie Here !


Top Ten Reasons to Attend Bands for Baskets 2017



Visit Bands for Baskets Here !


Click on the links below to HELP FIND JESSE GALGANOV



Missing Children’s Network Click Here

Facebook Page 


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 !



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Rick Keene Music Scene Concert Review; David Crosby Thrills Montreal

Imagine standing in front of John Lennon, dressed like … John Lennon?



Just one of the tales spun last night at Theatre Maisonneuve as David Crosby and his ‘friends’ put on a surprise ( not surprising ) show.

On the heels of an excellent album; Sky Trails, Crosby and his pals are knee deep into a tour of the same name. Montreal ( Canada) could become Crosby’s new home as David pointed out his displeasure with Trump ( the States) on numerous occasions. ” Can you change the weather?’ Crosby asked.

In My Dreams opened things up and with a slight frog in the throat, Crosby dispatched (along with the frog) any queries of his ability to sing / perform at the age of seventy- six. At times – hitting notes on cue and with the force of a much younger guitar player. Once he and his mates ( James Raymond on keys, Mai Agan on bass, Steve DiStanislao on drums, Jeff Pevar on guitar , Michelle Willis keyboards/vocals) kicked into second gear, it was obvious there would be no stopping to pee anytime soon on this musical road trip.



Crosby is so much part of history, there should be an entire chapter about him in the music dictionary. The Byrds, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and CPR. In fact, Crosby is in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame not once – twice. Heck, they don’t just let any Johnny B Goode in do they?

At Place des Arts last night, the song choices were a mixture of all his endeavors ( No Mr. Tambourine Man or Woodstock).

Morrison ( about Jim of the Doors) opened many punters eyes as the CPR tune showcased the talent within the band on just the second song of the night. Crosby’s CPR pal – Jeff Pevar, a beast on lead guitar. All night, his solos echoed with eerie precision the vibe of Crosby’s soul. Part Gilmour, part Clapton and all Pevar. The ‘best in the world’ according to Crosby and that’s saying quite a bit.



What brought life to the show was the rhythm section. Mai Agan (above) on bass and Steve DiStanislao on drums. The Pop in Agan’s grooves complimenting the human metronome in DiStanislao. Ebbing when asked and flowing with power when needed. Crosby’s ‘friends’ one of those ‘once – in – a – lifetime’ things. A chemistry that works and enhances each other in every nook and cranny. Crosby himself? The maestro. The magician conducting the notes. The legend.



Tracks in the Dust, She’s Got to Be Somewhere, At The Edge, Laughing and right up to the title track of the new disc ( Sky Trails), the band increased the energy. Even the ballad Breathless ( a song penned by Crosby to his wife of forty years)  seemed on the edge of pouncing into the audience and devouring a diverse meal. Crosby the one (only?) lion tamer in the house. Nothing like a nod and wink to keep things in check. A very experienced nod and wink



Michelle Willis ( from Toronto) provided the backing vocals all evening as did the entire band as Crosby and Friends channeled the luscious harmonies of The Beach Boys and The Bee Gees. Musically, the album Sky Trails is very jazz oriented and  last night ( more than once) – the band sounded like a great Steely Dan jam. Showcasing guitar and drums while Crosby’s son ( James ) created harmonic and classic tinkles on the keys. Touches of the late Manzarek sprinkling the dust onto the night lights .

Aside from the delicious array of music, it was Crosby’s tales in between the main course which were more than appetizers. Jackson Browne forcing Crosby to finish a song during Crosby’s self professed Junkie phase. Crosby’s friendship with Beatle Harrison. Tales from the grave in the case of Harrison and yarns which could be very well be from Crosby.s own grave as the man has more lives than Keith Richards.

Imagine standing in front of John Lennon, dressed like … John Lennon?


Visit Crosby and Friends Here !


Please listen below to some shows coming your way !



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Rick Keene Music Scene – What’s Up Doc?

What’s coming to Montreal ?



As usual – quite a bit !

Please listen below to some things that are in need of your attention !



Visit Delfeayo Here !




  Visit Evenko Here !




Rick Keene Music Scene – Delfeayo Marsalis; ‘Live’ and Stunning on New Record

Aside from making ‘America Great Again’ – Delfeayo Marsalis is on a roll …

‘An Evening with Delfeayo Marsalis; Kalamazoo’ is Delfeayo’s newest offering and it combines Jazz standards with a few originals. All recorded in a live setting in the midst of a ten city tour.

Marsalis of the world famous and critically acclaimed Marsalis clan, is joined onstage by his Father. The family patriarch, Ellis, adds to the spontaneity and fun which makes any Delfeayo performance special.

Have a listen below to some of the tracks wont ya? Find out more about this outstanding musician and even more outstanding being.



Visit Delfeayo Here !




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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 – Andrea Ramolo Bares All in New Album


Baring the soul …


That’s exactly what the album Nuda is about.

One half of Scarlett Jane’s Andrea Ramolo needed time to reflect and get naked with her feelings. Combining new found musical partners with old school thoughts, Andrea evokes nurturing through music.

Please listen below as Andrea explains everything about her new disc.

Andrea? What’s up?



She will be in Montreal on November 8th.

   Buy Tickets Here

Check out her site here !



Hallowe’en is coming up ! Get spooked below!



  Visit Evenko Here !




Rick Keene Music Scene – Turn Out the Lights and Beware !


Once a year …

A frightening thing takes place. Something so terrifying, the little hair you have left on the top of your head turns white. Things go bump in the night. Chains rattle. Noises make you sit up in fright …

Turn out the lights, turn up your computer and listen below to the scariest half hour in Montreal !




 Visit Evenko Here !




Rick Keene Music Scene – Associating with An Associate. Full Interview

Guilty by association. No one knows that better than Alec McElcheran . Himself, also an associate.

Combining Blues and Rock – Alec ( Bass), Dan Legault (drums) and Alan Springer (guitar) form The Associates. A hard driving machine equipped with the tools required to make a stand in the Montreal music scene.

Please listen below to my chat with Alec as he discusses opening up for one of the most legendary bands in history and his thoughts on The Associates Volume One.

Alec? What’s up?




Visit The Associates Here !


Visit The Montreal Blues Society Here !



Visit Evenko Here !




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

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 Sheldon’s story. A great foray into the life of a fascinating man.

Sheldon? What’s up?









Visit The West Island Palliative Care Here !



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