Rick Keene Music Scene – StringKatz; Putting The ‘Classic’ Back In Classic Rock

Many Rock n Roll musicians are classically trained …

Lawrence Gowan of Styx immediately comes to mind which is ironic since StringKatz, a quartet of stringed instruments, just recorded Gowan’s A Criminal Mind on their new CD.

Music imitating music or music imitating music?

StringKatz are on to something. Rock music is historically ripe in beautiful harmonies and chords. Even Andrew Loog Oldham, the Rolling Stones’ first manager stated famously the Stones’ music can easily be put to orchestral arrangements. How many times have you heard The Beatles’ tunes in elevator music mode?

Please listen below to my chat with Helga Dathe and Marie – Claude Martel. They are the two violinists in StringKatz. Hear some great tunes as well !

Helga? Marie – Claude? What’s up?

Visit StringKatz here !

Rick Keene Music Scene – The Damn Truth Deliver The Damn Truth !

It is a lot of fun watching a seed grow

For the fans of Rock n Roll in Montreal – watching The Damn Truth emerge from seedlings in the garden of Montreal music has been – thus far, satisfactory. Yet in the immortal words of one of Rock music’s founding fathers; “I can’t get no …”

Lee-La Baum

Obtaining ‘satisfaction’ as a Rock outfit is beyond reach if you take your craft seriously. Perfection is striven for yet always just out of a finger’s touch. That is the ingredient which separates bands with success and those without. Constantly working hard.

Montreal’s The Damn Truth have had more success in the Montreal Rock n Roll scene than anyone in the past five years. Touring with ZZ Top and opening for Styx – just two achievements reached. Working with top level producers and engineers; a couple more pats on the back. The latest notch in their guitar straps? Touring Quebec with the critically acclaimed band The Sheepdogs.

Tom Shemerr

In 2012, the CD Dear in The Headlights was released. It was the beginning of numerous radio appearances and live shows which introduced the band to Montreal and eventually; the world. It was the beginning of introducing Lee -La Baum’s infectious energy and chameleon-like vocals. It was the start of showcasing Tom Shemerr’s raw piercing guitar riffs and groundbreaking solos. Drummer Dave Traina’s hard driving beats and unique rhythms a la Bonham. Newcomer PY Letellier on bass – grounds it all in slightly sloppy, groovy vehicule. All in all, the city of Montreal was introduced to a talented Rock outfit with an endless amount of work ethic and hunger.

Shemerr, Baum

Fast forward to MTelus on a cold January evening 2019 – nothing has changed onstage. The Damn Truth still perform as if it was their very first show and their musical life ( career) depended on the outcome. Success has not reached the ears of the band. If it has, then their love and passion for what they do – easily dismisses the accolades as a monkey dismisses a fly.

Lee-La Baum

Whether pounding out tunes such as I Want You (He’s a Lightweight) or Kinda Awkward from their rookie CD to new tracks off their 2016 album Devlish Folk – one thing remains the same; the fans’ reaction.

Dave Traina

There is something in the air when The Damn Truth play their hometown. It is beyond hometown support and /or love. It is beyond great tunes. It is superior to a Rock show. What The Damn Truth bring to the stage (aside from energy) is honesty. Integrity oozes through their sweat and into the first row. From there, like an epidemic – it is passed throughout the venue. The most jaded of music fans cannot dodge the bite of the band’s vicious and truthful fangs.

In this day and age of auto-tune, loops and programmed music, The Damn Truth are throwbacks to an era when music mattered more than the money. The days like the Fillmore West when the East Coast Blues, Funk and Country guys met and blended with the California music scene. The days (and nights) when those musicians talked about creativity and making great music. The days when bands played for the fans from the heart.

An audience cannot be fooled. An audience knows when a performer is real or calling it in. An audience knows authenticity. The Damn Truth are the real deal and that is why the audiences grow larger and larger at The Damn Truth shows.

The audiences cannot get satisfaction.

Visit The Damn Truth Here !

Photos courtesy of Ron Roxtar

Stay Tuned for my Sheepdogs Review !

Visit Smoke Meat Pete Here!

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Lawrence Gowan is Poised To Conquer Quebec. Again !

Quebec loves their Prog Rock guys and the Prog Rock guys love Quebec.

Gowan

It is hard to say exactly when Quebec’s love affair with Gowan began. It is not hard to say however why it started in the first place.

Quebec audiences historically love the oddballs. The creative spirits who demonstrate something that Quebecers (especially Francophones) love to see.

Passion. 

Artistically, men like Chris de Burgh and Peter Gabriel conquered Quebec  passionately with their art. Gowan is no different. 

Please listen below to my chat with Gowan as he is on the verge of ‘attacking’ Quebec once more. It won’t be the last time as relationships this profound – tend to last eternally.

Gowan? What’s up?

 

Visit Gowan Here!

 

 

 

 

Visit Smoke Meat Pete Here!

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene – ‘Survivorman’ Les Stroud Places Enviromental Consciousness Into His Music

Living with nature opens the mind.

Best known as Survivorman in the extremely popular TV docu-series, Les Stroud has always had an affinity for music.

His latest release Bittern Lake is an example of how earthy sounds can touch the soul and inspire people to change. Combining poignant lyrics with even more poignant musicianship, Stroud and his mates kidnap listeners into their world.

Please listen below to my chat with Les and discover tunes to expand your education and decrease ignorance.

Les? What’s up?

Visit Les Here !

Rick Keene Music Scene – Will Evankovich; Keeping The Guess Who Fresh in The Past

Writing, playing and producing – not easy to do while keeping an album fluid.

 

Guitarist / songwriter and producer Will Evankovich juggles all duties while keeping an eye to the future and with the past.

Say what?

The Guess Who have a catalog of hits dating back to the sixties and Will’s ( and the band’s) job was too keep the new songs current while fitting them into the highly recognizable hits of days gone by.

 

 

Please listen below to my chat with Will about many things and hear the first two singles from the upcoming disc; ‘THE FUTURE IS WHAT IT USED TO BE

Will? What’s up?

 

Visit The Guess Who Here !

 

 

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene; Harry Manx Talks New Album ‘Faith Lift’. Part Two

 Harry Manx enjoys seeing things fresh.

The big picture. The whole deal is what Harry listened to when he returned to his back catalog  and revisited some of his own songs. Different times in life can evoke different feelings.

Harry decided to rework or re-chart some of the ‘ancient’ tunes and add them to a string section. Or – add the string section to the tunes. Either way, a ‘Faith Lift’ is what occurred on his latest album.

Please listen below to my chat with Harry. We talk about a couple of guitarists, The Blues and the new album ‘Faith Lift’.

 

 Thanks for listening. Chat soon …

Part One

 

 

Part Two 

 

 

Visit Harry Here !

 

Harry Manx

 

 

 

 


Rick Keene Music Scene; Harry Manx Talks Blues and New Album ‘Faith Lift’. Part One

 Harry Manx enjoys seeing things fresh.

The big picture. The whole deal is what Harry listened to when he returned to his back catalog  and revisited some of his own songs. Different times in life can evoke different feelings.

Harry decided to rework or re-chart some of the ‘ancient’ tunes and add them to a string section. Or – add the string section to the tunes. Either way, a ‘Faith Lift’ is what occurred on his latest album.

Please listen below to my chat with Harry. We talk about a couple of guitarists, The Blues and the new album ‘Faith Lift’.

 

 Thanks for listening. Chat soon …

Stay tuned for Part Two.

 

Visit Harry Here !

Harry Manx

 

 

 

 


Rick Keene Music Scene; Bryan Ferry’s Guitarist, Canada’s Guitarist and Some ‘News’ .

Once North Korea and The United States finish blowing us all up – what will be left ?

Music …

 

 

One way or another, tunes will remain.

Maybe recordings played on a generator- hooked- up -to -a- CD player will navigate the puffs of radiation circling the globe. Perhaps, mutants will create rhythm by banging each other on the side of their heads in an effort to ‘have some fun …’ A new breed of ‘Metal Heads’. 

 

 

In the meantime, please listen below to some of the things coming up in Montreal as well as on Rick Keene Music Scene.com . Hear some new tracks and relive the past with some oldies but goodies.

Thanks for listening. Chat soon …

 

 

 


Rick Keene Music Scene – Music To Do The Sunday Crossword Puzzle

What to do on a Sunday?

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Open the curtains, make a cup of coffee, grab the paper and do the Sunday Crossword Puzzle.

It is – a no brainer!

Oh – don’t forget to listen to some great tunes! Right here on Rick Keene Music Scene !

Thanks !

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Buy Tickets for A Magical Musical Evening to Combat Prostate Cancer Here !

 

Visit Procure Here !

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Happening with Jazz All Year Round Series and in Montreal !

As usual …

Lots coming in Montreal !

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The Jazz All Year Round Series is in full flight, Evenko has their usual fine acts and the Holiday season approaches with concerts, shows and fund raising efforts.

Please listen below to some of the upcoming events, some great tunes and information to help the less fortunate and the sick.

Thanks for listening! Talk soon …

 

Visit Rocky Dawuni Here !

Listen to my Interview with Rocky Here!

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Check out Bands for Baskets Here!

 

Buy Tickets for A Magical Musical Evening to Combat Prostate Cancer Here !

 

Visit Procure Here !

 

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Meet Lawrence Gowan and His Alter Ego; Gowan. Part One and Two

Lawrence Gowan has an alter ego.

Or – perhaps, Gowan has an alter ego. Either way, this pair of artists are blessed with talent.

Blessed with talent and a love for life.

 

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The front-man for Styx since 1999 and one of the most successful solo artists in Canadian history, is all set for another chapter in both Styx’ history and his own solo career.

Please listen below as Lawrence Gowan and Gowan explain …

Stay tuned for Part Two very shortly.

Thanks for listening !

 

 

 

Visit Styxworld Here

Visit Gowan Here

 

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Click Here!
Click Here!

Click Here!
Click Here!

 

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What’s Happening on Rick Keene Music Scene

Lots coming up …

 

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Have a listen to some of the artists I will be interviewing as well as some shows coming to Montreal

Talk soon …

 

*Apologies Styx is touring with Def Leppard not Journey. My mistake.

 

Click Here!
Click Here!

 

Click Here!
Click Here!

 

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Click Here
Click Here

 

Rick Keene Music Scene Presents; Styx, Foreigner and Don Felder – ‘Soundtrack of Summer’ Special. Featuring a New Version of Hotel California with Mick Jones!

It’s gonna be fun …!

Lawrence Gowan
Lawrence Gowan and Rick Keene

Seldom do bands hook up that are headliners on their own.  Imagine. Styx, Foreigner and Don Felder – together on tour!

Crystal Ball, JukeBox Hero and Hotel California in one night!That’s just three songs! A night to remember. A night to attend …

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Listen as Tommy Shaw, Kelly Hansen and Don Felder talk about the tour, the songs and each other. Also included in this special exclusive show – a brand new version of Hotel California with Tommy Shaw, Kelly Hansen, Don Felder and Mick Jones. Re-worked for an instant classic of another time.

Thanks to Lawrence Gowan and Terry Gibson.

Boys? Tell us about this amazing tour!

 

 

This special is also possible because of Strangers in the Night 10.

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Starlight Children’s Foundation Quebec is pleased to announce the
return of their 10th annual Strangers In The Night Charity Gourmet Gala on Saturday June 14th, 2014 at the Fairview Centre, Pointe-Claire (Parking Area #32).

The evening, presented by Delmar International, will be a fusion of food and entertainment – headlined by three-time Grammy Award winning musical group

The Pointer Sisters.

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The evening will begin at 5:00 p.m., with 75 of Montreal’s top food vendors dishing out their signature plates, giving the 5000+ guests a chance to tantalize their palates before dancing under the stars to musical performances by: The Pointer SistersBoogiewonderband, BacktraxxPersuasionMeg SmithSammie LibmanDJ Whitey, and special appearance by DJ TB1.

 

“Our tenth anniversary promises to be the best edition of Strangers In The Night yet. With our allstar lineup of celebrity performers and guests, Montrealers will have a chance to take part in a truly memorable, rewarding and inspirational evening,”

Larry DayFounder of Strangers In The Night.

 

Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada is part of Starlight’s global network, serving kids and families through partnerships with more than 130 healthcare facilities.

starlight

 

Over the past 30 yearsStarlight has become a leading global charity that partners with experts to improve the life and health of kids and families around the world. Collaborating with innovators in pediatric healthcare, entertainment and technology, Starlight provides a unique blend of family-centered programs and services from hospital to home. Starlight partners with more than 1,750 healthcare facilities and pediatric hospitals in AustraliaCanadaIsraelNew Zealand and the United Kingdom and the United States, serving millions of children every year.

 

 

 Please visit Starlight Children’s Foundation Here!

Visit their Facebook Page Here!

Check out This Youtube Video!

 

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Official Supplier of Strangers in the Night Wait Staff!

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene Presents; Styx, Foreigner and Don Felder – ‘Soundtrack of Summer’ Tour

Thanks to Lawrence Gowan of Styx – I am able to provide three special segments.

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Segments containing words and music from Tommy Shaw (Styx), Kelly Hansen ( Foreigner) and former Eagles’ member – Don Felder. Within these segments – hear the boys talk about their summer tour which began tonight in Kansas City …

foreigner
Foreigner

Part one is an introduction of the sounds of summer. Part two will contain a brand new version of Hotel California with Don Felder, Kelly Hansen, Tommy Shaw and Mick Jones of Foreigner on guitar.

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Amazing …!

Part Three contains more words and great tunes from Foreigner, Styx, The Eagles and Don Felder.

 

Please listen below to this great and exclusive special! Part One!

 

 

Tour Dates Right Here at Styxworld!

 

Special Thanks to Terry Gibson and …

 

strangers

This special is also possible because of Strangers in the Night 10.

Starlight Children’s Foundation Quebec is pleased to announce the
return of their 10th annual Strangers In The Night Charity Gourmet Gala on Saturday June 14th, 2014 at the Fairview Centre, Pointe-Claire (Parking Area #32). The evening, presented by Delmar
International, will be a fusion of food and entertainment – headlined by three-time Grammy Award winning musical group

The Pointer Sisters.

pointer

The evening will begin at 5:00 p.m., with 75 of Montreal’s top food vendors dishing out their signature plates, giving the 5000+ guests a chance to tantalize their palates before dancing under the stars to musical performances by: The Pointer Sisters, Boogiewonderband, BacktraxxPersuasion, Meg Smith, Sammie Libman, DJ Whitey, and special appearance by DJ TB1.

 

“Our tenth anniversary promises to be the best edition of Strangers In The Night yet. With our allstar lineup of celebrity performers and guests, Montrealers will have a chance to take part in a truly memorable, rewarding and inspirational evening,”

Larry Day, Founder of Strangers In The Night.

 

Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada is part of Starlight’s global network, serving kids and families through partnerships with more than 130 healthcare facilities.

 

Over the past 30 yearsStarlight has become a leading global charity that partners with experts to improve the life and health of kids and families around the world. Collaborating with innovators in pediatric healthcare, entertainment and technology, Starlight provides a unique blend of family-centered programs and services from hospital to home. Starlight partners with more than 1,750 healthcare facilities and pediatric hospitals in Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand and the United Kingdom and the United States, serving millions of children every year.

starlight

 

 

Please visit Starlight Children’s Foundation Here!

Visit their Facebook Page Here!

Check out This Youtube Video!

 

1384626959

 

Top Ten Reasons Why I – Lawrence Gowan, Joined Styx!

‘We’re gonna party like it’s 1999 …’

Prince may have been referring to a monumental decision on the part of two musical parties. Gowan and Styx. It was in that very same year – the two powerhouses combined to form a lethal unit. One of Canada’s most successful solo artists filling a void within a group who lost one of their members.

Dennis DeYoung out – Lawrence Gowan in …

A transition eased by  Lawrence’s DeYoung-like vocals and his talent as an entertainer. A true match made in heaven. A true pairing of musical talents.

Please listen as Lawrence initiates what will be a reoccurring Top Ten List feature while at the same time – explaining his Top Ten Reasons for Joining Styx! Lawrence also explains an upcoming tour this summer. A jaunt across America featuring two other legendary acts.

Lawrence …?

Visit Styx Here!

 

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Company Example
Company Example

Band Example
Band Example

 

Great Canadian Rock Show Part Three

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Lennex, Santers, Mainline, Bravebelt, Klaatu …

Heard of these guys? Probably. You just do not know it.

Five Canadian bands who paved the way for guys like Bryan Adams and (sigh) Justin Bieber. Commercially – anyways. Bands who did not get their fair due airplay -wise and monetarily. Some did – most had a cup of coffee in the show but in those days, record companies led the corrupt way for most.

In part three, Ritchie Henman ( co-founder of April Wine), speaks about The Wackers from a front ( back?) seat view and Mitchell Field talks about Hellfield. A band who opened for The Cars at Maple Leaf Gardens.

Ready Ritchie? Mitchell? Alright fellas …let’s go ….!

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Styx; Making It Look Easy …

Remember the days when a Rock n Roll show was a Rock n Roll show?

In Montreal, ‘back in the day’, the anticipation could be felt hours before the show in Atwater Park. A green-space dotted with empty beer bottles, tossed – away ‘clips’ of joints and concert goers in various stages of sobriety.The only thing ‘straight’? The white line dividing East and West bound traffic on Atwater street itself …

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The festivities would easily carry over to The Montreal Forum once the doors of the fabled hockey shrine opened and invited people in. The atmosphere inside – a gathering of people wanting to have a good time. Frisbees, Beach Balls and a cloud of smoke shadowed the crowd on the floor while the folks in their seats – enjoyed  the entire scene with a grain of salt ( or a line of coke).

It was all about anticipation. Awaiting the band to come on. It was magical. No previews via Youtube of what the group looked like or sounded like the night before in ( insert name here),U.S.A. No Facebook pages with status updates from Jimmy Page or Humble Pie. No tweets from Tiny Tim. No nothing. That is what made a concert so exciting. ‘Live music’ from ‘live musicians’. The pinnacle of the music world performing the pinnacle of songs and the only place to witness it was live …

Last night, at The Olympia on Ste Catherine St. East – that anticipation was felt inside the venue. An excitement loomed overhead like the fog of marijuana smoke once did at the storied Forum.

There were two reasons for this. Most important,  Styx was ‘in the house’. Montreal audiences have a love affair with the band dating back to the days of ‘Sweet Madame Blue’. That song became a huge hit in Montreal before anywhere else in the world. That – combined with Montreal’s affection for prog-Rock bands such as Genesis, Yes and Marillion, gave the audience a ‘buzz’.

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The other principle reason for everyone getting their ‘undies in a bunch’ – is the city’s and the Province’s love affair with Lawrence Gowan. Starting with his appearances at Le Moustache (a club across the street from The Forum) and ending with his monstrous hits; ‘Strange Animal‘ and ‘Criminal Mind’ – Larry, Lawrence or Gowan is a household name in Montreal. Two acts – one heart. One love affair. Placing  Styx and him together? A combination worthy of anticipation. Peanut Butter and Jam. The ‘munchies’ for a crowd ‘stoned’ in nostalgia.

The excitement evolved into bliss with Gowan’s best Dennis DeYoung impersonation on the evening’s second song; Grand Illusion. The opening keyboards as obvious as Liberace’s penchant for all things non-female. The audience was hooked. Receiving what they came for and enjoying everything that came after.

“Fooling Yourself’ was no joke. Another tune from The Grand Illusion disc delivered with almost the same uniqueness of the studio version. Following a brief introduction of original guitarist – turned bassist; Chuck Panozzo, Gowan sent shivers down the spines of everyone with the opening words to ‘Lady’. The group’s hit from 1975. Many in attendance realizing it was that song which gave the opportunity for a slow dance back in high school. A song which has not only stood the test of time, a song  relevant more than ever in an era of disrespect towards …um …everyone.

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‘Lights Out’ came next followed by ‘In the Wilderness‘, the latter also from The Grand Illusion. An album which the band has played in it’s entirety ( along with Pieces of Eight) on recent tours. ‘In the Wilderness’ should have stayed ‘In the Wilderness’. Following more known songs – ‘Wilderness’ set the tone back except for the die hard Styx fans. A nonsensical choice that every cover band can do in their sleep. Inappropriate unless the Grand Illusion album was played out fully (which it was not).

‘Sweet Madame Blue’ and ‘Crystal Ball’ continued the party with the entire audience singing along  to a pair of songs which (arguably) placed Styx on the Rock n Roll map. ‘Miss America’ returned the group to ‘Wilderness’ levels once more – somehow losing whatever melody it had on vinyl to outright distorted guitars in concert.

Gowan to the rescue …!

‘Criminal Mind’ elevated the band from it’s corny prison routine and introduced Gowan to the crowd as the solo artist they once knew. A haunting song which made it’s way around the room like a ghostly presence. A homecoming of sorts for the man who loved Montreal so much – he recorded an album in French.

‘Stephanie’, Gowan’s hit ‘en Francais’ – followed a respectful jaunt to the time when  Styx started to lose fans. ‘Too Much Time on Your Hands’ is great in concert and annoying anytime else. A crowd-  pleaser unless the crowd happens to contain prisoners with a penchant for Primus. A fluffy piece of music meant for …?

Once more – Gowan to the rescue…

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The funnest part of the evening had Gowan (alone) do a medley. A ‘montage’of great songs from the past starting with his own hit; Moonlight Desires‘. Roughly thirty seconds of the subsequent songs carried out – much to the joy of the crowd. ‘Sweet Dreams’ by The Eurythmics, ‘Changes’ by Bowie, ‘Tiny Dancer‘ by Elton John and’You Can’t Alway Get What You Want’ by the Rolling Stones. Each choice gaining sing-a-long status from the crowd with Gowan’s urging. The Stones’ ballad receiving the loudest and longest rendition. ‘Fat Bottom Girls‘ (Queen) and ‘Another Brick in the Wall ( Pink Floyd) led Gowan into the night’s biggest moment …

Come Sail Away.

The eruption, the sing-a-long, the joyous reaction and the memories- all in your face! An anthem delivered. A typical Styx ballad -turned rocker. The ORIGINAL Styx crowd pleaser done with so much heart – so much 70’s flavor – it was perfect as the final song of the show. Leaving the audience begging for an encore. ‘Renegade’ kept the fires burning long enough, hard enough for Styx to not be lumped in to the ‘nostalgia act’ category.

Oldie acts do not have the energy Styx generated last night.

Over- the – hill acts do not put on a Rock n Roll show …!

Highlight of the Night; No Mr. Roboto!

Lowlight; No Babe?

Related articles

Lawrence Gowan; ‘ I Would Have Been an Astronaut …’

Lawrence Gowan aka Gowan – is a ‘Scot‘ at heart ….

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Born in Scotland and transplanted to Ontario ( Scarborough) as a child, the writer of one of the best Canadian ballads of all time ( Criminal Mind), is a man well-traveled.

Whether mixing his first album in England at the very same place Lennon recorded Imagine or jamming’ with the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis and The Band for Ronnie Hawkins‘ birthday bash – this classically trained pianist is at a happy place right now. Being part of one of the top grossing touring acts in the past ten years – does that to a man …

Since ‘officially’ joining Styx in 1999 – Gowan is enjoying a combination of high-octane rock n roll via the band’s catalog along with his signature songs. A perfect fit for a man whose stage presence fills a void . A hole placed in Styx when Dennis DeYoung departed. A band-aid which became a permanent ‘scar’ ….

Gowan explains his experience, Styx’s ‘double fantasy’ and the group’s upcoming show in

Montreal on November 17 at L’Olympia Theater.

Please visit Gowan’s site here !

Visit Styx here!

L’Olympia