What’s Happening in Montreal and The Greatest Half Hour of Music!

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Lots going on in the city.

Lots of tunes, fun times and finally … warmth !

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Please listen below to several upcoming concert announcements, what’s coming on Rick Keene Music Scene and several great songs - new and old.

What better way to start off your weekend?

Click on The Montreal International Jazz Festival logo as well as Evenko to discover and buy tickets to a whole bunch of great shows in and around Montréal.

Talk soon …

 

 

 

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Cristie Healey; Remembering Jeff …

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Jeff Healey was one of a kind …

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There were many guitarists better than him. He was better than many guitarists. The one thing that set Jeff apart was something many do not have.

Courage.

 

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Courage to obtain goals. One thing which made Jeff  the man whose legacy will remain forever. Because of courage.

Please listen below as Cristie Healey – Jeff’s widow, talks about her husband in a way only a best friend could.

Cristie?

 

 

Visit Jeff Healey Here !

Visit Daisy’s Eye Cancer Fund Here!

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Celebrate Jeff Healey’s Birthday; Buy a Limited Edition Print and Give to Daisy’s Eye Cancer Fund – Part One

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Photographer James St Laurent is doing his part.

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On March 2nd 2008, Canada and the world lost a great human being. Jeff Healey passed away on that date and the universe lost a piece of it’s orchestra.

Jeff’s legacy lives on. 

His music, his family and now a couple of prints taken by James St Laurent – providing the tools necessary to ensure a better quality of life is guaranteed for everyone.

Please listen below. In part one – James St Laurent talks about his meetings with Jeff and what will happen if you buy a print of Jeff in a familiar concert setting. In Part two – Cristie Healey, Jeff’s widow, speaks of her husbands’ legacy and some memories and thoughts shared to her by Jeff.

Thanks for listening! Talk soon …

 

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Visit Daisy’s Eye Cancer Fund Here !

 

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Robi Botos; Good Things Come To Those Who Wait .​.​.

Jazz pianist Robi Botos has come a long way.

Literally.

This Hungarian refugee, currently living in Toronto, had a dream. To play music and make people happy. He arrived in Canada with family in tow and – following tutelages with the likes of Oscar Peterson, his dream is closer than before.

Please listen as Robi explains mostly everything.

Robi?

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Oliver Charles – A Very Talented Musician …

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He comes from a musical family.

His Father, Brother and Sister all possess musical chops. Oliver – as a solo artist, is taking the knowledge passed on by his Dad and attempting to take it to another level.

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So far … So good …!

Please listen below as Oliver talks about his music and a gig tonight to launch his latest single.

Oliver?


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Take ‘The Park Avenue Sobriety Test’ with Joel Plaskett

The East Coast music scene is alive and well.

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Thanks in part to Nova Scotia native Joel Plaskett. His latest offering; The Park Avenue Sobriety Test – is an attempt at capturing that ‘ live on the floor ‘ feeling so prominent in music today.

A feel good record with Socan Songwriter of the Year winner Moe Kenney  adding her own backing vocals. An element of the disc which really brings it alive.

Please listen as Joel explains many things – including his roots in Folk music.

Joel?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under the ‘ZZ’ Top; Montreal Concert Review

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If whiskey, cars and ladies are the three most favorite things in your life – ZZ Top is the band to rock out to …

The trio who benefited  more  from the age of Friday Night Videos than any other Blues and Rock formation in history – proved once and for all;

Top coat, top hat,
And I don’t worry coz my wallet’s fat.
Black shades, white gloves,
Lookin’ sharp lookin’ for love.
They come runnin’ just as fast as they can
‘Cause every girl crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man.

It was not just the girls who came runnin’ to the Bell Center last night. Bikers, Suburban teen boys, husbands and at least one nine year old boy  – all present and accounted for in an arena filled with Southern-styled Blues.

FRANK LEE BEARD, JOE MICHAEL ( Dusty) HILL and  BILLY F GIBBONS –  the only trio in music more popular than Rush, set the tone early.

Gibbon’s instantly recognizable guitar riffs combined with Hill’s equilibrium ( bass ) and Beard’s somewhat maniacal and steady metronome ( drums), aroused an already aroused fan base. Thanks to opening act, The Ben Miller Band ( another powerhouse trio), those in attendance were primed to rock.

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‘Got Me Under Pressure’, ‘Waitin’ for The Bus’ and ‘Jesus Just left for Chicago’ started the evening off. A perfecta to introduce what ZZ Top is all about to the novices ( TEN YEAR OLD BOY?) in the crowd. The three tunes – a summation of the group’s sound  over the years. Greasy Blues, commercial Blues and Rock Blues.

ZZ Top has done it all.

The diehards in attendance, happy from the get-go. The passing fan who only listens to Classic Rock radio, ecstatic from song four.

The quatrieme ? ‘Gimme All Your Lovin’ – the song which arguably placed ZZ Top on the world  map preceded ‘I’m Bad I’m Nationwide’. The latter, a tune which ( along with Cheap Sunglasses) started Top’s rise to fame outside of Texas in the late seventies. ‘Gimme All Your Lovin’ almost a duplicate of the studio version while Gibbon’s vocals seemed to get lost like a needle in a haystack during I’m Bad I’m Nationwide …

The interplay / gimmickry of Hill and Gibbon’s shtick ( top hat, matching ( sharp?) suits and matching beards), has to make anyone smile. Rock and Roll / the Blues’ largest ( and first) costumed duo, hamming it up as only partners for forty plus years can. Gibbons pointed out the longevity factor during one of his very brief ‘in-between-song’ banters;

We have been here numerous times in forty years. Same three guys. Same three chords.

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‘Pincushion‘ – the number one single off of 1994’s Antennae ( the first ZZ top album to contain a song with the same name), was a bit of a let down. Lacking the chord changes and natural progression and creativity of  most ZZ Top hits, ‘Pincushionlive’ seemed more as a filler. Monotone music for the mindless masses. A let down career-wise as well. The final cog in the 1980’s ZZ Top money-making machine.

Two screens framed drummer Frank Beard through the evening. Two screens filled with moving pictures identifying the themes of each song played. Thankfully, for the man / woman in charge of choosing those images – ZZ Top’s repertoire contains mainly three themes. Whiskey, cars and ladies.

‘I Gotsta Get Paid’ – Top’s last and most recent hit off of the album ‘Futura’, made all the  ‘under twenty- year-olds’ at The Bell Center very happy. The lone song a newer generation can claim as their own was played perfectly by the trio from Texas. Gibbon’s riffs as distinctive as all of the the band’s top success stories. Gibbons – without a doubt, one of the great guitar players of our time.

Flyin’ High’, a cover of the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s‘Foxey Lady’ and a take on Muddy Waters’Catfish Blues was enough for the Blues purists in the house. ZZ Top, conscience or not – paying homage to their roots. Paying their dues to the Gods in the sky. ZZ Top were a Blues Band to begin with long before the long ( dusty) beards, the synthesizer sounds of the 80’s and the ‘flying through space cars’. Thankfully – they have retained that ability to play pure Blues. Thankfully  it was played out last night.

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The homestretch commenced with ‘Cheap Sunglasses’ off of the 1979 album Deguello. ‘Chartreuse’ensued and then the ‘big boys’ closed off the main part of the show. ‘Sharp Dressed Man’ and ‘Legs’. Two stratospheric songs from 1983’s gigantic album ‘Eliminator’. 

All the former teenagers from the 1980’s stood simultaneously and welcomed back their youth via ZZ Top. 

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band (inducted by Keith Richards no less) returned for an encore following the ubiquitous and frivolous ( you know they are coming back?) standing ovation. ZZ Top did not disappoint. Sorta …

‘La Grange’ ( every bar-band and biker’s favorite tune) was played. That’s the good news. The song was not played in it’s entirety, that’s the bad news. Instead of allowing drummer Frank Beard an opportunity of bringing himself and the audience into a mesmerizing groove, the band chose instead to enter into the song; ‘Sloppy Drunk Jam’. A great opportunity to display the skills of a pure Blues band – lost to an opportunity to jam. Fun for the crowd, sad for the fans.

The final song of the evening, played in it’s entirety? ‘Tush’.

The band’s signature song to many. The ultimate grab-a-Whiskey-grab-a-girl-listen-to-a-bar-band-play-a-song tune. The ultimate parting party song An obvious decision to leave the Bell Center ‘faithful’ – faithful to ZZ Top the next time they come.

An obvious decision to allow ZZ Top to be faithful to …

Whiskey, cars and ladies.

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Say ‘ Cello’ to Dom La Nena …

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Dom La Nena started playing Cello at the age of eight. The rest?

History as they say …

 

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Originally from Brazil and a current resident of France – Dom’s latest album is a foray into strange waters. For her.

Please listen below as Dom speaks of her latest project ‘Soyo’, her musical voyage thus far and her work with friend and fellow musician Piers Faccini.

Dom?

 

 

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

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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 !

 

 

 

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Mike and The Mechanics – A Cover Band ( Sort Of)

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These were not your Mother’s Mechanics …

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A legend took the stage last night at Place des Arts. Theatre Maisonneuve was the setting and the Eighties was the era …

No – the legend was not Paul Carrack. The original singer of Mike and The Mechanics ( the late Paul Young was the other original singer ) is on his own and has left the relative new guys; Andrew Roachford and Canadian Tim Howar to sing and – pick up the pieces.

The legend on stage last night was Mike, as in Mike Rutherford ; guitarist and bass player from Genesis. Mike amassed some ‘mechanics’ back in 1985 as a side ( a Supergroup) project from his ‘other’ band. What happened was Mike et al became a sugar free version of Asia ( another Supergoup from the 1980’s). Mike and The Mechanics even managed to grab a few commercial hits much to the surprise of everyone . Think post – Hackett Genesis and that is what Mike and The Mechanics sounded like.

Paul Carrack handled the ballads and Paul Young delivered the ‘rockers’ in the original line up.

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Howar and Rutherford

Fast forward to 2015 …

Andrew Roachford handles the ballads and Tim (where’s the ‘D’ in your last name dude?) Howar handles the ‘rockers’. Aside from the entire band change (Rutherford only original member)  – Mike and The Mechanics sounded the same. The Eighties can do that to music. 

Synthesizer-led songs complete with guitar riffs both hard and fitting – was the recipe for the eighties soup. Formulaic tunes transmitted via video to living rooms everywhere. A sound so indistinct – an entire generation of music became fodder for Karaoke machines. Heck – if John and Helen from down the street could sing ‘All I Need is a Miracle’ at the local Pub, replacing Carrack and Young – as difficult as finding an escort in Ottawa.

Last night it was hit and miss vocally. Roachford hit and Howar missed - mostly. 

Roachford sang professionally and appeared to be content in his own skin. Howar acted as if he was a contestant on The Voice and desperate to appease the judges. A heterosexual Adam Lambert if you will sans the decor of a rock star. No sir – Howar is as Canadian as a Timbit . He even borrowed Neil Young’s plaid shirt and unwashed jeans for the occasion.

Being Canadian may have been the problem. Perhaps Howar was trying too hard  to please the non Facebook Canadian audience and be ‘liked’. For the first half of the show – Howar appeared out of place among his band mates. Without the high pitches, Howar was like David Lee Roth. Not the young Roth with charm and charisma – Howar was more the arm swinging replica of the 2000’s Roth. Tim’s vocals thankfully hit stride half way through and his ‘stride’ on stage finally synced. Roth was gone.

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Roachford was the opposite. As cool as ‘Luke’ during a hot summer gunfight. Whether singing while playing keyboards or grooving back and forth on the stage – Roachford was the oil in the Mechanics’ car. Andrew added the soul to the tunes much the way Carrack did in the eighties. The Yin and the Yan were in place but Howar’s Yan took a while to grab root.

Mike Rutherford is a cross between John Cleese and Michael Gross from Family Ties. A grin on his face the entire show, ebbing and flowing with a feeling that ‘Mike knows something the rest of us do not.’ Reserved in his banter yet there is a Cleese waiting precociously close  to the surface. Waiting to pounce on anyone who falters the towers of Mike and The Mechanics.

Rutherford’s guitar playing ( including a short version of Purple Haze), not outstanding nor insufficient. The right playing for the right music. Rutherford played the same role in Genesis. Mike is a more subdued Hackett and very much rich in Genesis blood.

I Cant Dance and Turn It On Again were the Genesis picks of the soiree. Mike and The Mechanics’ original tunes paled in comparison to the impact songs of his Alma Mater.

‘Another Cup of Coffee’ was sung brilliantly by Roachford and backed up brilliantly by the Mechanics.’ The Living Years’ – that anthem of the eighties, cannot be done poorly. The lyrics and the sullen tone – enough to make Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett all cry while counting their millions. Roachford capturing Carrack’s vocal in perfection. Same can be said for Howar as he took the reigns for ‘All I Need is a Miracle’. Miracle is the Mechanics’ party song. The sing-a-long portion of the show. Surprisingly, the audience sang along but seemed quiet. Part trepidation, part wonderment – part thawing out following a hard winter for the over-forty punters in attendance.

‘Silent Running ( on Dangerous Ground )’set the tone for the evening as the opening number. In between, the band displayed more chops than allowed in an eighties’ song. ” Word of Mouth’ off of Roachford’s solo album, a soulful glimpse into one of the UK’s biggest stars of the 90’s.

Mike and The Mechanics played a lot of covers by Mike and The Mechanics and the band Roachford. 

Who better?

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Mike Goudreau – A Must Listen for The Blues and How to Make Money from Music!

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Every musician can relate. CDs are not selling as much anymore and the cost to put on gigs is high. The pay for the gigs seem to diminish with every  passing month.

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Mike Goudreau is no different.

With the help of the internet, Mike discovered a money – making vehicle for his endless repertoire.

Please listen below as Mike discusses his new found fame, his work on Jay Sewall’s album Duets 1 and The Mike Goudreau Band’s new record.

Mike?

 

 

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Jay Sewall – Old School ( (With a Little Help from Some Friends

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Earning a Lys Blues Lifetime Achievement Award is nothing to sneeze at.

Earning a lifetime achievement award when life is just getting good, somewhat unfitting. Do they give away two lifetime achievement awards?

Jay Sewall is just getting started.

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Jay has a new album out which includes all of his musical friends he has accumulated over the years. A musical voyage back to the future.

Listen below as Jay talks about his album as well as his lifetime learning about the Blues, Folk, Country and ‘Roots’ music.

Jay?

 

 

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Ask Dave the Bartender; Dylan Sings Sinatra and Other of Life’s Mysteries

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Dave the Bartender takes time off to feed his dog sometimes. Dave the Bartender does not have a dog …

 

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That is why he has the time to ponder musical questions sent in by listeners of Rick Keene Music Scene.

Have a question? Send them to 

Rickkeene2@gmail.com

 

Dave? The Bartender?

 

*The opening sequence was done in parody. On International Women’s Day – we were pointing out how so many women use doors hitting them to cover up for their abusive partners. If a ‘ door ‘ hits you, go to the police!

 

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Juno Nominee for Aboriginal Album of the Year – Tomson Highway feat. Patricia Cano

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Tomson Highway is the proud son of legendary caribou hunter and world championship dogsled racer, Joe Highway, and artist-in-her-own-right (as bead-worker and quilt-maker extraordinaire), Pelagie Highway.

A full-blood Cree, he is a registered member of the Barren Lands First Nation, the village for which is called Brochet (pronounced “Bro-shay”) and which village is located in northern Manitoba where it meets Saskatchewan and what is now called Nunavut.

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Today, he writes novels, plays, and music for a living. Having studied music and English literature at the Universities of Manitoba (Winnipeg) and Western Ontario (London), as well as in England, he earned both his Bachelor of Music Honours (Piano Performance major, 1975) and the equivalent of a Bachelor of Arts (English major, 1976), both from “Western.”

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PATRICIA CANO is a Peruvian-Canadian singer-songwriter/actor born and raised in Sudbury, ON. In 2002, upon her graduation from the University College Drama Program (UofT), Patricia was invited to work with Ariane Mnouchkine’s company, Le Théâtre du Soleil, where she spent four years working alongside Jean Jacques Lemêtre, renowned ‘musicien du théâtre.’ She then lived seven months in Rio de Janeiro, collaborating with guitarist Carlos Bernardo, with whom she wrote and recorded her first album, “This is the New World” (2009).

In 2010/2011, Patricia was a member of the NAC’s English Theatre Company, performing in Peter Anderson’s NATIVITY, directed by Leah Cherniak, and in Michel Tremblay’s Greek chorus of SAINT CARMEN OF THE MAIN, directed by Peter Hinton. Of paramount significance is her long-standing working relationship with celebrated Cree playwright-author-composer, Tomson Highway

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Please listen below as Patricia Cano speaks highly of Tomson as well as the Juno nominated album.

 

 

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A Preview of Chris de Burgh’s New Album and What’s Coming .​.​.

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As for the Chris de Burgh …. he’s just doing his best …

 

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Chris de Burgh has certainly been around. From relative obscurity in the 1970’s globally to a global superstar in the 80’s, back to relative obscurity commercially in the new millennium.

de Burgh’s latest album is a masterpiece – musically.

In this a day and age of so many smoke and mirrors in the music industry, de Burgh’s latest body of work, sure to be lost in the iPod shuffle. A shame …

Starting with the title track, Hands of Man is part throwback with the sounds of Patricia the Stripper and part commercial with the sounds of Lady in Red. In between, it is just a very good record. Crisp production work brings de Burgh’s vocals and keyboards to the forefront.

Please listen to a preview of the album below. Please listen to some masterful tracks from the album Hands of Man, due out March 3rd, 2015.

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Kaki King; An Unforgettable Guitar Player!

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Multimedia and music. Good or bad?

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Friday night at Club Soda – check it out and make a decision.

Kaki King is just one of the latest guitar innovators and avant garde artists to come along. Combining unfounded guitar work with  lighting and visual effects, makes her unique.

How unique? Please listen to the conversation below and find out.

 

Kaki?

 

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Ask Dave the Bartender; What is the Best Single by an Actor or Actress?

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Sometimes – everyone is lost …

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Everyone with the exception of Dave the Bartender.

He is cool as a cucumber, hot as a dash of Tabasco and smoother than a fine, aged wine. Dave the Bartender hears everything, sees everything and passes this information along as best he can.

Or – does he?

Dave? The Bartender?

 

 

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