Concert Review; Garland Jeffreys Falls ‘Head Over Heels’ For Montreal !

Someone should not  tell Garland Jeffreys he is seventy-three years old.

If he ‘realizes it’he may start acting the part. 

The legend was in town last night at Club Soda along with a backing band who not only complimented Jeffreys; they were the icing on the guitar case.

Two songs into a very lengthy two set show, Jeffreys ( as he is known to do) – walked into the crowd. Jeffreys (as he is not known to do), stepped on an errant duffle bag. The sack, truthfully – not part of the act. Abandoned like an empty beer case – the bag became Jeffreys’ sole Nemesis among the loving fan base that packed Club Soda.

Garland went head first onto the floor.

 ‘That’s Rock n Roll baby !’

On his feet, back on stage – the fall never happened. In true professionalism, Jeffreys never missed a beat and never mentioned the incident, the bag or the unknown culprit. An insight into Jeffreys’ staying power of almost fifty years on stage. A testament to the man’s character.

 Brian Justin “JJ” Jordan (guitar) , Charly Roth – keys, Brian Stanley ( bass) and Tom Curiano (drums)  were the thieves on this night. Looting, pillaging the souls in the audience. Raping the songs and making them their own. Taking everything they had and delivering perfection within Rock, Pop, Reggae and Balladry. Curiano in particular, the ringleader – the co-ordinator of music bliss. 

Including songs from the new album; ’14 Steps to Harlem’ – Jeffreys and his band traveled the catalog of covers and original tunes in a well oiled rusty car. No gimmicks, no light showno fuss. ‘Coney Island Winter’ to the title track on the new disc  ’14 Steps to Harlem’.  From ‘?and the Mysterians’ ’96 Tears’ to ‘The Beatles’ ‘Help’ . Vintage playing by vintage guys. Vintage vocals by a vintage singer. The type of show every musician should attend to learn their craft. Garland Jeffreys and his band; top notch entertainment and top notch talent.

Within Garland Jeffreys and his fine line between partying on stage to singing – Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground are prominent. Lyrically, poetically and musically. That New York state of mind. 

Reed’s ‘I’m Waiting for the Man’ – eloquently displayed in a slightly rockier version,  gathering speed as the tune progressed. A heartfelt homage to Jeffrey old Syracuse pal.

Jeffreys is all New York. The attitude – front and center in his lyrics and his between song banter. No shyness in telling audience members to shut up when he is talking. Jeffeys is a Brooklyn – ite through and through. 

Showstoppers  included ‘Spanish Town’ , ‘Dylan’s ‘She Belongs To Me’, ‘Reggae on Broadway’ and his big hit ‘Wild in the Streets’. Genres which make up the essence of music today. Latin flavors, Folk / Country, Reggae / Funk and Rock / Punk.  

Someone should tell Jeffreys and his band of merry-men they delivered the goods. That way – they may act the part sooner than later in Montreal. 

 

 

Strangers in the Night – Aug.25th

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene.com – What’s Going On Musically in Montreal ?

Bored? 

No need to sit around and do nothing. No need to listen to music on your ghetto blaster. Wake up the neighbors and call the kids! Or – better still, have the kids wake the neighbors with loud music !

Please have a listen below to some shows that are coming up. Listen to what interviews are coming up. Hear some fantastic tunes that have already come up !

Montreal is pretty cool that way !

Talk soon !

 

 

Strangers in the Night – Aug.25th

 

 

 

‘Too Many Cooks’ Down to One; Richard D ‘Anjou Delivers the Best Quebec Rock Album of the Year

 ‘Too Many Cooks’ spoil the broth …

Unless of course you are talking about ‘the band’. 

‘Too Many Cooks’ exploded onto the Quebec scene in 1986 and their rise was meteoric. Mesmerizing. Monumental. 

Fast forward to 2017, the band is no longer a working unit and Richard D’Anjou has been out of the music spotlight for ten plus years. The former ‘addict’ and current sober Father has returned with an album that could well be the best Rock album from Quebec this year.

Please listen below to my chat with Richard as we discuss ‘Too Many Cooks’, his thought process and the new album.

Hear some great tracks too! 

Richard? What’s Up?

 

 

CD Launch Monday April 10th

5 a 7

 Petit Campus

Visit Richard Here !

 

Listen below to upcoming shows in Montreal !

 

Strangers in the Night – Aug.25th

 

 

What’s Going On in Montreal Musically?

Bored? 

No need to sit around and do nothing. No need to listen to music on your ghetto blaster. Wake up the neighbors and call the kids! Or – better still, have the kids wake the neighbors with loud music !

Please have a listen below to some shows that are coming up. Listen to what interviews are coming up. Hear some fantastic tunes that have already come up !

Montreal is pretty cool that way !

Talk soon !

 

Strangers in the Night – Aug.25th

 

 

Jordan Officer; Paying Homage to Chuck Berry with Words and Chords

Jordan Officer has hit his stride …

With two Blues albums behind him, Jordan Officer has officially passed ‘hump day’.

All that lay ahead is weekend after weekend of fun as he digs further and further into the roots of Blues, Country and Rock music. Jordan is on an interesting journey and one that may not be as complete without the influence of Chuck Berry as Jordan records his third Blues album.

Please listen below as Jordan explains Chuck’s influence on not only his guitar playing – Rock n’ Roll guitar playing as well …

and 

Find out his thought process thus far in the recording of his first two albums.

Jordan? What’s Up?

 

Visit Jordan Here and Get Tickets For Thursday April 6th !

 

 

Bryan Ferry in Montreal – An Education in Musicality

If  music could be bottled  – Bryan Ferry and his band would be the proper vintage …

Ferry and his band of merry men and women were at Theatre St. Denis last night and it was a lesson in musicality. Wisdom of notes, melodies and spaces were relayed through the sold out venue like candy on a well lit street on Halloween.

‘Slave to Love’ off of the 1985 album ‘Boys and Girls’ set the tone of intricacy. Perfection obtained early on. A ‘live’ studio version of the song was carried out in all it’s haunting and dark glory. Ferry’s voice – frozen in time along with the romantic visions the song conjures up.

It was obvious the night would be special …

The difference between the players in a Bryan Ferry  band and the local up-and-coming group at the corner is the ability to grow on stage. Mistakes are non existent yet status quo is not accepted. Pushing to the limit and reaching to ‘get it right ‘. ‘Get it better’. That is what separates professionals from the rest.

Ferry’s orchestra astonishing in their craft. Brilliant in the light. Magical in the darkness of Ferry’s songwriting.

In Montreal last evening, a tag team mentality took place. Keyboards to guitar. Violin to saxophone. Drums to harmonica. The silvery baton called music was relayed through a race of ballads, funk and rock. At the finish line lay an appreciation from the punters . Those in attendance, awed from the display of creativity within a formula.

Bryan Ferry has visions. The former front man of Roxy Music lives on a planet similar to that of the late David Bowie. Earthlings cannot perform or write the songs that dance in the moonlight. ‘Humans’ simply do not walk the paths divided by red waters and blue trees. Ferry’s landscape is uniquely his own. Covered by skies of emotion that evoke thoughts.

‘Avonmore‘ to the pensive ‘Tara’. The story of Ferry’s life narrated by so many authors. The vitriolic Jacob Quistgaard on guitar. His soloing and ability to convey fills at the right moment – second to none. Melodic, brutal and feathery. ‘Quist’, the ultimate conveyor for truth and a perfect ‘sideman’ to Ferry’s keyboard with blistering solos and soothing ebbs.

As in the Dave Mathews Band, a Bryan Ferry show is set apart by violins and saxophone. Enter Australia’s Lucy Wilkins (violin) and the talented Jorja Chalmers on sax. The pair placing emphasis on feelings. Their emotions and wistfulness are parlayed like clouds over a hot summer sunset. Their instruments – the bookmarks in a Ferry catalog ripe for dreams.

Just as melancholia is about to set the tone and sleep attempts to invade the perimeter through billowy lyrics and grounded melodies – Michel Pelo and Jimmy Sims (drum, bass) say ‘funk you’ !

Rock bands from today could grab a drum stick and write down lessons learned from Ferry’s men. The difference between Rock 2017 and Rock pre 2000 is the swing. The roll. The motion of serendipity. The ‘movement ‘in Rock n Roll. 

‘Take a Chance with Me’, ‘Avalon’, ‘Do the Strand’ and Lennon’s ‘Jealous Guy‘ – parts of a machine. A well – oiled display of genres within genres. A roller coaster of extreme heights and abyss’ covered in shadowy graves. David Bowie’s influence omnipresent within Ferry’s vocals and delivery. ‘Do the Strand’ a perfect example of the Bowie / Glam rock period from whence it came. Rocky Horror Picture Show kinda stuff glued into the upholstery of popular music.

Bryan Ferry cannot be bottled. That’s what makes him so vintage.

Please listen below to Bryan Ferry Live !

 

Visit Bryan Ferry Here !

 

The Zombies – ‘Not Scary’ At All in Montreal …

The world missed out on a Zombie Apocalypse.

Long before the current trend of Zombie – mania invaded Hollywood ( The White House?) there were some very ‘ fab’ lads from England on the brink of invading the continent of North America. Along with the likes of The Animals, The Kinks and The Who – the Zombies were a Pop / Rock band from England.

Like The Rolling Stones and The Beatles before – The Zombies landed on North American soil and gave both Canadians and Americans  a taste of their tunes before heading back to England. Unlike the Stones and The Beatles , The Zombies broke up and the second tour of North America in the sixties never happened. 

Following the release of their album ‘Odessey and Oracle’, The Zombies were dead.

The Zombies 2017

In Montreal on a day meant for fools – The Zombies returned with a new song from their latest album ” Still Have That Hunger ‘on The Billboard Top 100.

I Want You Back Again’ made Montreal realize what the music world missed out on for almost twenty years.

Original Zombies – Argent, White, Grundy and Blunstone

The song ‘I Want You Back Again’ ( originally released in 1965)  set the tone of the evening. Blunstone explaining how Tom Petty’s cover was both an honor and motivation to re-do the old tune.

 ‘Moving On’  (also from the  new album and on Billboard Top 100) displayed the connection The Zombies and all British Invasion bands had with American Blues. An upbeat ‘swampy’ number filled with funky beats and a lethal guitar solo by Tom Tooney.  Blunstone’s vocals seemingly  more powerful than in the sixties.

‘The stage was set and the band was playing …’

Blunstone

‘ Edge of the Rainbow’ – also from the new album, once more put forth Blunstone on full display. Colin, at one point on the current tour, hospitalized with a virus – showed no ‘ill’ effects from his brush with a hospital bed. In fact – Argent ( keyboards,vocals), Rodford (bass,vocals), Toomey (guitar,vocals) and Rodford Jr (drums) all played music like a bunch of twenty – year – olds. Proving music is indeed the elixir of youth for both the performers and the mostly ‘over-fifty’ folks in attendance at Le Nationale. 

Rod Argent

The Zombies, in their original formation, followed the vein of The Beach Boys. Harmonies were and continue to be the cornerstone of The Zombies’ sound. Commencing in 1961 with Paul Atkinson (guitar), Rod Argent (keys),  Hugh Grundy (drums) , Colin Blunstone (vocals) and Paul Arnold (bass) – the ‘choir’ in the boys was upfront and personal.

On Saturday evening in Montreal –  two songs which placed The Zombies into music history, started the ‘fete’. Tell Her No’ and ‘She’s Not There’ injected nostalgia and ‘sixties’ life into the venue. The only thing missing were Airey, Atkinson and Austin Powers (aka Mike Meyers).  

Hugh Grundy

‘I Love You’ (1965)  is perhaps the earliest example of how harmonies were such a huge part of  the Zombies’ sound and a precursor to the band’s ‘Pet Sounds’; Odessey and Oracle.  The tune, a reverse gear into the late fifties ‘backseat make-out sessions’ which were so profound in American culture. Saturday evening was The Zombies way of placing ‘less is more’ in the consciousness of the public and wannabe musicians.

Blunstone and White

The second half of the show (following a brief intermission) was the piece de resistance for Zombie fans. Imagine being able to see and hear The Beatles performing Sgt. Peppers live? For Zombieers, bliss was obtained.

Four of The Zombies involved in the recording of Odessey and Oracle – front, center and everywhere as the album was played out in full.  Grundy, Blunstone, Argent and White – older versions of their younger brilliance. Harmonizing and painting their ‘Oracle’ onto the seats, the walls and floors of Le Nationale. It was a genuine Odessey into the past with a whimsical shadow-y question and subsequent response looming above …

What if The Zombies had not broken up in 1969? Quite simply, the world in 2017 would be ‘less dead’ .