Rick Keene Music Scene – Montreal Jazz Festival Preview For Your Listening Pleasure

Let’s get ready to rumble ! Er … rumba …?

The Jazz Festival of Montreal, the largest of it’s kind and celebrating it’s fortieth anniversary – gets underway officially today !

Have a listen below to some of the artists that will be performing !

Visit The Jazz Festival Here !

Visit Smoke Meat Pete Here

Lisa Fischer Brings a Smile to Montreal

 The star of 20 Feet to Stardom was twenty feet away. So – it seemed …

The former back-up singer for The Rolling Stones ( just one of many acts Lisa Fischer has enhanced), was at Maison Symphonique in Montreal Saturday night with her band; Grand Baton.

What a band it was …

In a day and age of auto tune and auto – ‘everything else’, Lisa and her mates displayed real sounds in real time. Commencing with a cover of Amy Grant’s ‘ Breath of Heaven’, Lisa’s vocals filled the room with sounds that were otherworldly.

Combining angelic sweetness with Ella – viscosity, Lisa and her band Grand Baton; JC Maillard (guitars, keys), Aidan Carroll (Bass) and Thierry Arpino ( Drums) ,upped the ante in a musical world filled with bluffs.

The trio of musicians adding and subtracting vocals through their instruments. Endorsing Fischer with a mutual admiration and in turn, adorning La Maison Symphonique with golden trinkets. Songs we thought we knew …

‘Rock n Roll’ ( Page, Plant) has been heard millions of times around the world by each Rock fan individually. Multiply that by billions of people, it is one of the most globally popular Rock songs in history. On Saturday night, Lisa and the band made it instantaneously unrecognizable. No small feat. No wrong turns. No stone unturned.

The beauty of a Lisa Fischer / Grand Baton show lays in the telling of stories. Each song such as ‘Rock n Roll’ – explored profoundly. Nuances, melodies, structures, chords and lyrics. Explored in their entirety by the performers before the group hits the stage. Impeccable research and rehearsals take place in order for the songs such as David Bowie’s ‘I’m Afraid of Americans’, Little Willie John’s ‘Fever’  and The Stones’ ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash‘ to shine like Super Novas in a universe filled with falling stars. Each song performed the way they were probably penned before record companies and radio got involved. Before big money got involved.

Each cover retaining moments of ‘face’recognition. A chorus, connotation of a lyric or a riff. The remaining ingredients  – like improvised Jazz with every genre added for the perfect blend. The perfect adventure. The perfect storm.

Rarely does there exist a vocalist whose power is not in need of microphone. A singer who can have the microphone ’20 feet away ‘ and still send shock-waves to the rear of a venue. Reverberating throughout – tickling the souls and toying with the senses. Elvis Presley did it and in 2016 – Lisa Fischer is carrying the vocal  ‘Grand Baton’ around the world.

In music, there are four types of musicians. Fair, good, great and exceptional.

There are also the musicians who have followed the steps and not betrayed their craft. Able, willing and curious to understand where all levels of musicianship comes from. Understanding the principles of the soul through global voyages. The real origins of music are not stationary.

Saturday night, in a day and age of uncertainty in all aspects of life including music, Lisa Fischer and Grand Baton gave Montreal shelter. War – after all, may be just a shot away and Lisa proudly reminded the crowd of the ‘global’ stage from where she came …

A blessed musical education.


 Next Showcase for The League of Rock Montreal is

Wed. November 16th at

Calistoga Grill Pte Caire

See You There !


Visit The League of Rock Here!




 Visit Evenko Here !


Visit The Hi – Fins Here !



The League of Rock Montreal – Speeding Towards Showcase Number Two on November 16th !

They have come a long way …


 It is make or break time. 


Following a month of rehearsals, The League of Rock Montreal and the four ‘brand spanking new bands’, introduced themselves to the rockin’ world on November 2nd at McKibbons Pointe Claire.

 It was an opportunity for each member of each band to recognize their place in the world of music. There are no room for egos if improvement is on the list as ‘things to do’. Any working entity must place aside personal and technical prowess in order for grooves to take           place. For unity to conquer…


On Wednesday, Nov. 9th – it was back to basics at Studio Musico Pratik in Verdun. 


An occasion for ‘tails between legs’ or ‘heads up high’ to convene, reassess and imply the foibles and fables of lore into the next rung on the Rock n Roll ladder. Nuances which may have intervened with success the week before. Battles within an individual, hauntingly placed inside the treasure chest of stalemates in the ultimate game of melodic chess.


Working together like Bees in a hive, each part of each sum – striving to be heard so a sound so unique, so distinct, will be achieved and mastered.

Gary Johnston, the CEO of The League of Rock Montreal. A bass player with so many experiences within his weathered fingers; coaching – egging his students into an area they thought they knew. A place as foreign as foreigners are to an ancient place. The zone. The temple of  … completeness.


The eyes of the musicians have changed in the past few weeks. Imagery replaced with concrete. Strawberry Fields nourished by the Salt of the Earth.


Playing live will do that. The energy gained by both punters and performers as magical and educational as a stint at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

 Confidence gained and confidence lost as musicians learn about themselves, their band-mates and the song. A tune which may be overhauled to match the limit of the music highway. No speeding tickets allowed on the Highway to Hell.


It’s go time … !

Walking on water is much different than tiptoeing on water lilies. The scenery underwater is beautiful yet the sky seems brighter when the instruments are stuck in the mud. The bottom feeders not as attractive as the pulsating ceiling lights.


General George S. Patton once forced himself to eat oranges while staring at maggots consuming oranges.

Force feeding courage so the moments of bliss will never be to complacent. Instilling a discipline as profound as the roots of music to a conductor of Jazz. Pain induces fame. Injury to the soul increases stamina. Misery loves the company of a live music crowd.

The lady and men of The League of Rock Montreal have witnessed the other side of the Camel’s hump. They have climbed the hills of uncertainty.

As they slide towards the ravine of their next public appearance, their luggage is lighter. The baggage newer. The vision brighter.  Hard work  pays off with Golden Rings ….



Next Showcase for The League of Rock Montreal is

Wed. November 16th at

Calistoga Grill Pte Claire

See You There !


Visit The League of Rock Here!




 Visit Evenko Here !


Visit The Hi – Fins Here !



The Stones Have The Blues – Part Three. Hear Two New Blues Songs Here!

  Legend has it …


Robert Johnson sold his soul at The Crossroads to the Devil in exchange for Blues superiority.  As time goes on, it appears someone else sold their souls and the Devil must have gotten a hell of a lot in return.


The Rolling Stones, created and led by Brian Jones – were originally a Blues Band. Schooled by Johnson, Elmore James, Muddy Waters and a variety of characters from America, the Stones are credited with re-introducing the Blues back from where it came. Mississippi and Chicago. The birthplace and the cradle.

Elvis Presley acted Black and the crowds loved it. The Stones were Black and the crowds have not left after fifty-four years !


Please listen below to some Blues tracks from the Rolling Stones in advance of their first full Blues album in fifty – four years !

The album, Blue and Lonesome is out in stores on Dec. 2nd

Listen to two new tracks from

The Rolling Stones Here !




Next Showcase for The League of Rock Montreal is

Wed. November 16th at

Calistoga Grill Pte Claire

See You There !


Visit The League of Rock Here!



 Visit Evenko Here !


Visit The Hi – Fins Here !