Susie Arioli; Montreal’s ‘Dearest Darlin’. Jazz Festival Review

Susie Arioli ain’t new to these parts …


From her humble beginnings jammin’ with The Stephen Barry Band to her meteoric rise with Jordan Officer, Susie has earned her place in Montrealers hearts.

Susie took her ‘ new ‘ act to the stage of Club Soda Friday evening as part of The Montreal International Jazz Festival. New meaning – sans Officer et avec Jim Bland. Arioli, along with her band, performing many songs from her new album entitled ‘ Spring’.


From the start with songs such as ‘ Mean to Me’,Caring Kind‘ and ‘Loverboy’, Susie’s fanbase were aware – Arioli still has those ‘golden chops’. They were also aware – Arioli still has the quit wit and realness which many artists lack at this stage of their careers. The non-fans, the newbies – getting a taste of that unique contrast Arioli possesses. Street-wise woman and elegance. A  refreshing persona ‘live’  and a voice alive with the sounds of music from yesteryear.

‘Time After Time’, ‘Me Myself and I’ and the pair of French songs ‘Je Bois’ and ‘Un Jour La Difference’ – distancing Susie from the Beyonces and Rhiannas of the world. FIJM-d3--081

In a music world filled with Pop songs, Rock songs and Country stars, Arioli sings and writes the songs that can make the whole world cry. Songs such as ‘ Husbands and Wives‘ can also make the Jazz Festival world laugh. Arioli asking the crowd before the start; ‘ Who here has fantasized about cheating?’ Guitarist Jim Bland – ‘cheatin on Susie’ with guitar work so  sensual, so easy – suddenly the entire room was fantasizing about cheating on someone. Arioli’s voice providing enough softness and juice to upend the atmosphere with sentimentality. Susie seems to choose these themes and classic melodies to deliver her passion for seduction then,  as quick as a Dean Martin drink, Arioli injects a ‘Spring’ into the steps of the night. The title track from Arioli’s latest offering and an original composition, a profound signal that Susie will be on the list, very soon – as one of this Country’s top songwriters as well.


Al Mclean on Saxophone, without taking anything away from the band, perhaps the most important cog in the wheel within Arioli’s setlist. King – soothing and ear-popping. Adding and removing with an ease associated with hours of practice. Hours of feel. A delight and compliment to the equally adept handwork of Bland on Guitar. Arioli’s go to guys …

FIJM-d3--032‘Dearest Darling’, the Bo Diddley cover from the album ‘Spring’ – giving life to the homestretch. A reserved beat provided by drummer Greg Ritchie. Restrained chaos allowing Arioli playfulness and fodder for the fans while Ritchie pushed and pulled them into a mesmerizing groove.

The entire set list – filled with glowing gems such as ‘Travelin’ Light‘, ‘Blue Skies’ and ‘Beyond the Sea’, donating range from Susie’s catalogue of originals and covers. Andy King on Trumpet combined with Paul Shrofel’s slick and tender fingers on keys, providing the canvas to one of Montreal’s greatest Jazz singers.

On this tour and at Club Soda, Arioli placing, for the first time – original compositions on the table. Blending deliciously with the standards Susie has become known for.

Safe to say – the elusive Juno Awards Susie has been nominated for are closer to her mantelpiece than before. Knowing Susie, once in her possession – those Junos will be part of the act, front and center as the butt of a joke.

Could it be any other way ?

Visit Susie Here !

Visit Jazz Festival Here !


Buy The Album Here !
Buy The Album Here !

Susie Arioli Live and It’s Not Yet ‘Spring’ …

Rarely does a golden voice come along …

th (6)

Susie Arioli happens to possess one of these shimmery tools. Lucky for Montreal !


Please listen below to my chat with Susie on the eve of her performance at THEATRE OUTREMONT. The first appearance in Montreal promoting her new album ‘Spring’.

The first on her new found path to …?




Visit Susie Here!






Michel Pagliaro is Back! Sorta …


 Michel Pagliaro is a legend in Quebec …



Anglophone artists, Francophone artists – any type of gender from a particular era in Montreal, unconsciously or consciously affected  by ‘Pag’.

Rarely do artists create such a vast songbook in a short period of time. Dylan, The Beatles, Elvis and Pag.



For this reason, it is only fitting, after all these years for a tribute album to be released. Eleven of Pagliaro’s songs performed by twelve artists. A brilliant CD package for immense listening pleasure.


Carl Bastien supervises  a disc long overdue. A void within the borders is now filled. Pag and Gerry Boulet can now walk hand in hand across the Plains of Abraham.

Please listen below to some tunes from Pag Revisited.


Visit Pag Here !







Hallowe’en Happenings in Montreal and Other Events That Go Bump in the Night


images (7)


Lots of scary stuff happening in and around Montreal this spooky weekend.

Please listen below to some of these events as well as directions to a complete Hallowe’en rundown.

Also listen to what else is happening in and around Montreal.

Talk soon.




Welcome to Montreal Emilie – Claire Barlow! It’s a ‘Clear Day’ …

Emilie – Claire Barlow loves Montreal.

So much so, she made a life altering decision and moved to the city to pursue her Juno Award winning musical career.


A life changing trip on board a Coast Guard ship in the Arctic also played into Emilie’s decision to change her life completely.

To enter her new life with a ‘clear day’ in mind …

Please listen below to my chat with Emilie about her new album and her new life in Montreal.



Part Two

Please Visit Emilie Here !

Thanks for listening ! Talk soon







What’s Happening in Montreal and on Rick Keene Music Scene

New York, New Jersey, New Guinea …

new tunes!

Plus – lots of upcoming shows in and around Montreal!


images (8) copy


Stop by every Sunday for a schedule of weekly and monthly shows and by clicking on the Evenko and Jazz Festival logos – a one stop shopping adventure to buy tickets too!

Only on Rick Keene Music Scene!

Thanks for listening ! Talk soon !












Montreal’s Jazz Sweetheart Susie Arioli – ‘Spring’ Is in the Air. Part Two


If there are not any subliminal messages within the title of Susie Arioli’s new album, there should be …

download (5)

Susie has recorded an album without Jordan Officer on guitar. A new beginning for Susie and the album title mirrors that rebirth.

In perfect Arioli fashion – the title track ‘stings’ with irony. Both sides of the human psyche duel for first class seats. A fitting sentiment for this three time Juno nominated singer who is stepping into the spotlight once more. This time – the lighting is delightfully different.

Please enjoy part two of my chat with Susie and hear some great tunes from her new album, including a great Bo Diddley song.

Say what?










images (1) copy