Rick Keene Music Scene – Jeff Gunn’s ‘Sonic Tales’ A Must Listen for Every Guitar Player

Adding layers to a canvas sounds easy …

Every artist can add and subtract tones from their work of art. Experimenting and learning tones from around the world and ‘adjusting’ the canvas is an entirely different thing.

On Jeff Gunn’s latest offering ‘Sonic Tales’, exploration is the key. An entry into the sounds of an instrument Jeff has nurtured. Few guitar players have devoted so much time to not only growing themselves as players yet passing that knowledge on to other students.


Please listen below to my chat with Jeff and hear some great tunes from the album Sonic Tales.

Jeff? What’s up?

Visit Jeff Here !

Pssst! April Wine Rocks! (Just Between You and Me)

The year was 1981 …

Hockey’s New York Islanders won their second of what would become four Stanley Cups. Actress Natalie Wood died in what was an ‘apparent’ and questionable drowning. The film ‘Cannonball Run‘ – starring Burt Reynolds, was enticing people everywhere to race the world disregarding rules and general etiquette.

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On the music front – MTV began its sucessful run giving music another medium to display its wares. ‘Video Killed the Radio Star‘ by The Buggles; credited as the first video on a show which was the pre-cursor to shows such as ‘Friday Night Videos‘ and ultimately; ‘American Idol’.  Among the hoopla, a huge fact in the immense history of Canadian music took place. An overlooked fact – which then, made perfect sense …

A Canadian group by the name Of April Wine were exploding all over the airwaves. Their album; Nature of the Beast – not only sending classic songs like ‘ Just between You and Me‘, ‘Sign of the Gypsy Queen’ and ‘ Wanna Rock’ into living rooms everywhere – the disc  was the first April Wine album to reach platinum status internationally and it set the stage for the band to embark on a mammoth tour. A tour which etched lasting memories into the minds of their fans …

“Just Between You and Me” was a Top 10 hit in Canada and reached No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also gained a line in music history. Becoming the first song by a Canadian artist ever played on MTV.  A simple fact which – simply, cannot be altered by the sands of time …

Thirty-two years later, in a history which includes a split up, a re – acquaintance, the loss of a bass player due to lung cancer, various personal changes including the loss of the extremely popular Jerry Mercer on drums – the band ( Myles Goodwyn and April Wine) returned to Montreal. For many – it was as if they never left …

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One thing remains constant with April Wine. The songs …

Goodwyn’s songwriting ability remains timeless. Starting with ‘Fast Train’ from 1971 and ending with ‘Just Between You and Me’ from 1981 – everything in between: ‘Electric Jewels‘. Electric guitar solos. Electric lyrics which everyone seemed to know at The Virgin Corona Theater on a rainy Saturday night.

Elton John’s ‘Bad Side of the Moon’ and the group Hot Chocolate’s ‘ You Could Have Been a Lady’ ( two staples which helped to propel Wine into the upper levels of fame in the 70s ), commenced the party. Compared to new songs from bands such as The Sheepdogs and The Lumineers (songs which either distort melodies or lull the listener to sleep), April Wine reminded the audience what Rock n Roll is supposed to sound like. What Rock n Roll does sound like …

Myles Goodwyn and Brian Greenway‘s guitars, primed with oil from a different time. Juiced with the energy of a twenty-something version of themselves. Trading solos in 21st Century Schizoid Man, trading licks in ‘I like to Rock’ and trading smiles all night. Two partners in crime ensuring last night was ‘A Wonderful Time to Fall in Love’ with April Wine once more.

After all – how many bands, Canadian bands – especially in the 1970s, have been aw2asked to open for The Rolling Stones? Something which April Wine accomplished in 1977 following hits such as ‘Weeping Widow’, ‘Lady Run Lady Hide’ and ‘ Oowatanite”. The former a composition by the late Jimmy Clench and the latter – an encore staple for many years  – including last night.

A look around the Corona, a glance into the past. Seldom now – in an era where the youth have ‘seen everything and done that’ via the internet, do ‘air guitars’ and ‘air drums’ dominate the panoramic musical landscape. The crowd, predominantly of the Montreal Forum days and dotted with the Bell Center crowd, rockin’ in their seats. Singin’ and pounding their imaginary drums into submission.

Myles Goodwyn – Canadian Rock n Roll’s most underrated songwriter, vocally still in his early twenties. Astounding given his age and recent health issues a few years back. His appearance has changed – the voice as identifiable as ever. Greenway – the same bounce in his step as the days when he entertained Montreal with a band called The Dudes just prior to joining April Wine in the mid -seventies. The hair may be grayer for these two, the wrinkles as ordinary for anyone their age but there exists no wrinkles in the playing or the energy.

The year is 2013 ….

One Road or Une Rue …?

In a Quebec market which is bogged down in radio politics, One Road, after almost an entire year of charting and obtaining radio airplay everywhere in Canada – still cannot get their ‘Southern Rock‘ sound on the radio in Quebec ( k103.7fm excluded).

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“To say that our sound is ‘too country’ for a rock station and then play Lynyrd Skynyrd and even Mumford and Sons – well that is a little hard to believe.” Says Tracy. ” I know that at least three of our songs are just as good or better than the ‘Country Rock‘ that plays on stations in Montreal.”

Instead of getting mad or even – Tracy and Mike decided if you cannot beat them, bypass them. In other words; ‘When in Rome – sing in French!’

wpid-oneroad-rideon-18-205x210‘ We decided to release a song in French and tap into the French market.  It is called Forge. Why not we thought? So far – the song is very popular but now we have learned the French market is even smaller than the English one. ” Laughs Tracy. ” We just cant seem to catch a break in our hometown, it is frustrating!”

Forge ( the English version is named Glory),  tailor made for a movie or television soundtrack. Tracy’s brassiness as ‘in your face’ as ever and Mike’s guitar – haunting with every note ….

‘I got together with a friend of mine who speaks only French.”SaysTracy. “He helped me write the lyrics and Mike and I had already written the music. It was a smooth transition …”

One Road will be playing this upcoming Saturday, Aug. 24th in the first annual BBQ for the Palliative Care Center in Dorion. Their first album ‘Ride On’ will be played in it’s entirety as well as the new French song Forge.

‘It is for a really good cause and we do not make a cent.” Says Tracy. “Everyone should come down and hear One Road rock the house. Our CD is available for sale ( five dollars goes to the Palliative Care Center)  and you can bring your own booze and food. Start up the BBQ and listen to us sing. My four Choppers will be on display as well. All custom made bikes. Impressive – even  to me …

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The show starts at 7pm at 2890 Meunier. The park will be open all day starting at 2pm. Hamburgers, HotDogs, Soft Drinks and Water will be on hand.

Tickets are $15.00 on site and all proceeds go to the Palliative Care center.

Visit One Road’s site here …. 

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This Day in Music History

Some of your relatives may be celebrating a birthday today. Maybe you are … ?

You are not alone:

1917, Papa John Creech, violinist, Jefferson Airplane
1944, Gladys Knight, singer
1945, John Fogerty, guitar, vocals, Creedence Clearwater Revival
1949, Wendy O. Williams, singer, The Plasmatics

Also on this day;

1964, The BBC received over 8,000 postal applications for tickets for The Rolling Stones appearance on Juke Box Jury.

1966, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass went to #1 on the U.S. album chart with What Now My Love, setting a new American record with four albums in the U.S. Top 10

1966, Love appeared at the Whisky a Go Go in West Hollywood, California, supported by The Doors.

1973, Bassist Ronnie Lane left The Faces and went on to form Slim Chance.

1977, Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers played together for the first time when they performed as part of Mike Howlett’s band, Strontium 90, at the Circus Hippodrome, Paris.

1983, Actress and singer Irene Cara started a six-week run at #1 on the U.S. singles chart with “Flashdance… What a Feeling,” taken from the film Flashdance, and a #2 hit in the U.K.

1983, The four-day US Festival ’83 took place in California, featuring The Clash, U2, David Bowie, The Pretenders, Van Halen, Stray Cats, Men at Work, Judas Priest, Stevie Nicks, Willie Nelson, INXS, Joe Walsh, Motley Crue and Ozzy Osbourne. Over 750,000 fans attended the festival. For more on this story, see today’s This Day in Music Spotlight.

1995, Hootie and the Blowfish started a four-week run at #1 on the U.S. album charts with Cracked Rear View. The album went on to sell over 15 million copies.

2007, The Police kicked off their 152-show reunion tour at General Motors Place in Vancouver, Canada in front of 22,000 fans.

2009, Depeche Mode singer Dave Gahan had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in his bladder. The band, who were currently on a world tour, cancelled several shows because of the 47-year-old’s health problems.