Dave the Bartender tends bar …
Good thing because bars need to be tended. Questions need to be tended also. Dave the Bartender tends to musical questions when he s not tending bar …
Confused yet? Hope so – that way Dave the Bartender will make perfect sense.
Dave ? The Bartender?
Joe Louis Walker had an opportunity most people do not …
Not only did Joe get to play with B. B. King – he also became friends with the Godfather of The Blues.
Playing on three albums with B.B. and heading up King’s band – affords Joe the right to pay homage to one of his idols.
Please listen below to part one of my interview with Joe.
Sisters can do weird things …
Sometimes, good things may happen. Such is the case with The BlueBell Sisters.
A trio of ladies (with a brother tossed into the mix) singing songs that people love. The entire act is a romp into the past with ties to Wanda Jackson, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis.
Add some infectious energy during live shows and voila !
Please listen as a Lisa Marie ( named after Elvis Presley’s daughter) discusses everything related to The BlueBell Sisters.
No … Hootie was not there …
It is easy to mix up bands from the past. Groups who – at one time in music history; ruled the airwaves.The Counting Crows were … one of ‘those’ bands.
At Metropolis on May 15th in Montreal, it was easy to forget.
Fourteen years had passed since Adam Duritz and company graced La Ville de Montreal with a mix of soul, R and B, Funk, Americana and Rock n Roll. Fourteen years is enough time for a ‘Crows’ ‘Love Child’ to grow up and commence listening to Kanye West rant about …er ..guys like The Counting Crows.
It took three songs for the next-to-capacity crowd at Metropolis to realize for sure – The Counting Crows were real and present.
Mr. Jones from 1983’s August and Everything After album awoke the senses and just like that – gas prices were affordable again. Music and tunes like ‘Jones’ can do that. Transcend people to places and times when things were happier. Imaginary or not – judging by the reaction to the song Mr. Jones; 1983 was a very happy time for everyone present.
Adam has put on a couple of pounds. It’s ‘normal’ as the soulful singer (and Van Morrison protege) with dreads larger than’ Le Gesu’ grows past middle age. At fifty ( and counting?), Duritz is well approaching the age of his idol as well. It’s also ‘normal’ for guitarist (since 1991) David Bryson to look like a Keith Richards’ wannabe. Par for the course of any music group who hit the road and tour for lengthy periods of time.
The evening started with Sullivan Street and Scarecrow. The sound was a little wonky as the volume took a while to catch the sound man’s ears but that was a blip in an almost two hour show.
The cool thing about A Counting Crows concert is Duritz loves to ad lib and keep the band on it’s toes. Mr. Jones ( in other words) unrecognizable to the passing music fan whose musical education consists of ad-filled corporate radio. The chorus can be complete then, just like that – a different person is hanging around Mr. Jones with a melody more tuned to a barroom.The entire concept harks back to the early days of Jazz and later – The Blues. Playing the same tunes over and over again on tour can create boredom musically and physiologically. Duritz nips any trouble in the bud with delicious results and sometimes lengthy tributes in the form of covers.
Another delicacy from a Crows’ show is the band. Seldom does any band incorporate two piano players and a banjo player. Guitarist Dan Vickrey grabbed the latter while Charlie Gillingham and Millard Powers controlled the former. Adam himself played a moving rendition of A Long December on the keys while the members of the seven piece band took turns switching instruments as the night went on.
For anyone who may think The Counting Crows are a band touring on Nostalgia – songs such as Elvis Went to Hollywood (off their LATEST 2014 ALBUM Somewhere Under Wonderland) fixed that. The millennium version of The Counting Crows deliver a more profound, thoughtful sound. Duritz teetering between wistful and commercial as any pro would. Banter was held to a minimum as if Adam was reluctantly forced into being a front-man. Duritz’ on stage persona, historically, has rotated between down right nasty and ghostly quiet. In Montreal, somewhere in between without the nastiness.
A Counting Crows concert is also known to be different. Eclectic due to the every changing set-lists. In Montreal – the band remained true to non form.
Several covers were tossed in including Joni Mitchell’s ‘Big Yellow Taxi’, ‘Start Again’ ( Teenage Fanclub), Kasey’s Anderson’s ‘Like Teenage Gravity’ and The Grateful Dead’s ‘ Friend of the Devil’. Drummer Jim Bogios did his own ‘covers’ all night while channeling Levon Helm’s style and adding enough funk to groove into one of the highlights; ‘Hangin’ Around’.
If Hangin’ Around brought people to their feet, the lack of ‘Round Here’ kept them seated. Seldom does a band omit arguably one of their biggest three hits.
Seldom are bands fronted by guys like Adam Duritz.
All photos courtesy of James St Laurent Photography.
When the words ‘ All in the Family ‘ are bandied about – usually, it is a general term.
Not in Natalie Macmaster and Donnell Leahy’s case.
Along with six children who tour and ‘ learn ‘ with Mom and Dad, theirs truly is ‘ a family affair’ …
Please listen below as Donnell explains the new album with his wife ( their first) and how having the kids around is beneficial to their growth as people and musicians.
Dave the Bartender is not always at his post …
Sometimes – he can be found two blocks away sleeping in an alley. That’s neither here nor there…
Invisible sometimes but never void of musical knowledge –
Dave the Bartender answers your musical questions with his usual flare …
Dave? The Bartender?
May 16th at Le Pionnier!
Rockin’ for Chloe!
Remember the name Devon Coyote …
A trio from Kelowna B.C.
Three guys who will knock your socks off in every way possible. Name a genre and chances are somewhere within their music – that sound will come out.
In the midst of a three month tour – Devon Coyote are a force to be taken seriously in the Canadian Music Scene.
Devon? What’s up?
The Ben Racine Band are playing at the Tremblant Blues Festival this summer. They earned it.
‘A Grand New Brew’ is their latest and second offering in CD form. Capturing the sound of Chicago and New Orleans’ Blues combined with a little Funkiness – the disc is a planned love affair between guitar and horns.
Please listen below as Ben Racine explains the lethal combination.
Tune in Thursday at 6:15pm to k103.7fm to win tickets to see The Counting Crows !
Laila Biali is a Jazz pianist …
Her talent has led her into a world most would dream of …
Sting, Paula Cole and Suzanne Vega’s worlds.
Now – following a new turn in her career – Laila is releasing something different.
Jazz will return yet for now – A Radiance Project is the flavor of the day.
Visit Laila Here!
Lots to do, as usual,
in Montreal …
Most Importantly is a Fundraiser for Baby Chloe !
Please listen below to what’s coming on Rick Keene Music Scene as well as in Montreal in the next few days.
Beirut kicks off the Festival!
Montreal, Tuesday, May 5, 2015 — As the perfect kick-off for its 36th edition, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, presented by TD in collaboration with Rio Tinto Alcan, invites fans to the free Rio Tinto Alcan Grand Opening Concert with wonderful American group Beirut on Friday, June 26 at 9:30 p.m., on the TD Stage of the Place des Festivals!
It’s the highly anticipated return of Zach Condon and his band, who energized a packed Métropolis for two evenings in their last performances here in 2012! To celebrate the opening of this 36th edition, Beirut presents an unprecedented concert launching their new tour here. The globe-trotting music of Beirut draws inspiration from Eastern Europe and the Balkans, but also nods to the Mexican coast, French culture and North American pop, thanks to rich and gorgeously varied instrumentation featuring trumpet, accordion, ukulele, cello and more. Beirut creates the sound of an imaginary world where folk musics from everywhere cross paths and converse in every language and rhythm. In other words, it’s world music that invents an entirely new aural landscape with perfectly obscure borders, a land of discovery where everyone feels perfectly at home. The sun never sets on Beirut’s musical empire!
The entire free outdoor program of concerts and activities of the 36th edition of the Festival will be unveiled on June 2.
The 36th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal will be held from Friday, June 26 to Sunday, July 5, 2015.
Rocky Dawuni has rubbed shoulders with a few ‘ stars’ …
Bono, Peter Gabriel and Stevie Wonder.
A trio of musicians who apply their popularity for the good of humankind.
Now – Ghana native Rocky Dawuni can be added to that select group.
Please listen below and discover why …?
Johnny Beaudine & DEEP BLUE
One of the most exciting nights on the Montreal jazz and blues scene can be found whenever Johnny Beaudine & Deep Blue take the stage with their smoking menu of Chicago style jazz, blues and soul fusion with touches of New Orleans funk.
A veteran of some of the most famous and infamous south-side Chicago blues clubs,the young Beaudine was tutored by masters like Jr. Wells, James Cotton and A.C.Reed. Beaudine and the band have developed a repertoire that ranges from Chess records classics to New Orleans versions of Duke Ellington and updates of jazz classics from artists like Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis and Sonny Stitt.
Johnny Beaudine and Deep Blue hold down the regular Monday night slot at Montreal’s legendary House of Jazz and have done so for over two years, drawing an audience of jazz and blues fans from the US, Japan, Singapore, Brazil, Australia, Europe and China.
Johnny Beaudine on tenor & soprano sax, harmonica and vocals leads a band containing some of the most talented and experienced musicians in Montreal. Adept at sophisticated jazz, blues, ragtime and stride piano styles reminiscent of Fats Waller; Peter Mika’s piano generates a wall of sound that transforms any club into a concert hall.
The great R&B veteran Ben Comeau plays electric bass. Ben’s sheer enjoyment of the music is a pleasure to behold as his bass smolders cool and smooth on the jazz numbers and cuts loose on the funky bluesier material.
Jeff Simons rounds things out on drums. His powerhouse drumming drives the band through his varied repertoire. Jeff is also an excellent vocalist and his renditions of Ray Charles’ hits – bring the house down!
Their Motto is “We Come to Play” and Deep Blue creates that authentic Chicago sensation every night they play.
Please listen below as Johnny and Peter talk about their band which uniquely blends Jazz, Blues and New Orleans Funk into the only genuine unit of it’s kind in Montreal.
Visit the band here!
Not everyday someone comes along who cares …
It’s also rare when that person is in a position to do something about it.
When that person continues to do more and more for humanity – that’s when the word ‘ martyr ‘ comes into play.
Is Dr. Jarrett Lobley a martyr?
He is well on his way …
Please listen below as Jarrett explains his role as a physician, a humanitarian and a musician within the Jarrett Lobley Project. A group consisting of two Juno Award winners …
Ryan Battistuzzi (Juno Winner 2012 for Malajube) and Tim Doyle (Juno Award Winner 2008 for Mikey Dangerous, Sizzla, The Planet Smashers)
Ladies and gentlemen – “Better Days” are ahead!
100 % of album sales go to both charities!
‘Damn Right’ Buddy Guy was in Montreal Saturday night!
The 78 year old Blues legend made that clear from the get-go with his opening song; ‘Damn Right I Got the Blues’. There is no greater torch bearer for the Blues than Mr. Buddy Guy and he is not shy to point that out.
Currently on tour with his protege; Quinn Sullivan and ‘The Damn Right Blues Band’ – Guy is showing no signs of slowing down. Friday night in Toronto, Saturday in Montreal. Business as usual for a life-long musician.
Buddy Guy was picking cotton when he was fifteen years of age. Three years ago, he was performing in front of The President of The United States of America at The White House. In his own words – ‘ my greatest moment’.
For the above reasons, Guy’s use of profanity at a sold out Metropolis on the weekend towards an interrupting fan during one of Buddy’s ‘lessons ‘ / preaching of the Blues – entirely and righteously acceptable.
‘If you would shut the f*ck up …’ Buddy replied. ” You may learn something.’
Guy – in true Buddy Guy spirit, utilizes his status and guitar virtuosity as a history book. Being one of few remaining Blues artists who learned from the masters ( Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf, Junior Wells, Johnny Lee Hooker, etc ), Buddy is in a rare position. He can walk the talk and talk the walk.
Buddy Guy is now considered one of the masters.
Starting at Chess studios as a teenager, Guy ( or as Muddy Waters labeled him; Buddy ‘ Motherf*cking’ Guy), learned his craft through the school of hard knocks. Whether performing at clubs like Theresa’s in the South Side of Chicago ( where guns and guitars came hand in hand) or learning guitar from the Father of The Blues; B.B King – Buddy Guy has a piece of everything and everyone associated with The Blues in his inner core.
Saturday in Montreal – did it really matter what he played?
Blues standards “ Hoochie Couchie Man’, ‘ I Just Wanna Make Love To You’ and even Cream’s ‘Strange Brew’ took the musical spotlight. ‘Strange Brew’ on the heels of one of Guy’s history lessons as he explained to a boisterous and loving crowd how the British Invasion did not invent the Blues.
“Ever hear about this guy named Clapton?’ A young Buddy Guy was purportedly asked in the sixties. ” Hear about some one named Jimi Hendrix?” A seventies question.
” There’s this guy named Stevie Ray Vaughan …” An eighties demand.
On and on the questions have been raised to Buddy Guy for fifty years.
He responded Saturday night by playing a few minutes of classic tunes by the guitarists known by everyone ( see above) with a hint of sarcasm. In other words – ‘ you don’t know sh*t’.
Combining vintage Guy licks complete with vintage Guy theatrics (playing with teeth, behind the back, venturing into the crowd), the Grandfather of ten gave a performance for the ages. Age and / or having Quinn Sullivan on stage has curbed the length of the solos and complete songs. Preaching has replaced the licks a little.
Then again – Picasso paid for meals with doodles …
Highlights – ’74 Years Young’, ‘Skin Deep’, ‘Down Don’t Bother Me’, ‘Fever’, ‘Damn Right I Got the Blues
Low-lights – It’s Buddy Guy !
Emma Frank has her first full album out.
Debatable because the latest disc; ‘The People We Are Becoming’ – is the second album.
Please listen below as everything is explained.
Visit Emma Here!
Bob Walsh has been around.
The Bluesman has played with everyone in the Quebec Blues scene at one point in time.
Nanette Workman, Guy Belanger … the list goes on.
Please listen below as Bob talks abut the new disc, his recent health issues (including the replacement of his aorta) and his love of music.
Lots to do, as usual,
in Montreal …
Please listen below to what’s coming on Rick Keene Music Scene as well as in Montreal in the next few days.
ABBA and musicals – not exactly synonymous with one another.
Two of the Swedish group’s members ( along with Tim Rice) wrote a soundtrack which is beyond fabulous.
Please listen below as Producer Noelle Hannibal discusses this Saturday’s show. Hear some of the great tunes involved as well.
By JOHN AUSTEN
Special to Rick Keene Music Scene
Three names invariably come up in discussions about which Canadian rock group deserves the label ‘Best of All Time’. There are legitimate arguments to be made for the Guess Who, Bachman-Turner Overdrive and Rush – with a few pretenders sprinkled in for good measure. It’s no accident that Randy Bachman is a founder and major player in two of these three super groups.
The legendary guitarist brought his new Power Trio (plus 1) to a small but appreciative audience at Montreal’s Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre last Thursday night. The show came on the heels of Bachman’s new album release ‘ Heavy Blues’ which had dropped two days earlier. The album is a very strong release which features guitar solos from Neil Young, Peter Frampton, Joe Bonamassa, Robert Randolph and the late Jeff Healey.
While the Winnipeg native played a few excellent tracks from the new disc (Wild Texas Ride and Confessin’ to the Devil stand out), the evening belonged to the hits. Ah yes, the hits – those songs forever etched in our collective music memory, creating the soundtrack of our lives.
Roll these song titles off your tongue: These Eyes, American Woman, Undun, No Time, No Sugar Tonight, Shakin’ All Over, Takin’ Care of Business, You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, Let it Ride, Roll on Down the Highway, Lookin’ Out for #1… you get the idea.
He played them all with a fervour rarely seen by any musician nowadays – much less one who will turn 72 in September.
Bachman’s strength is in his superior guitar playing and song-writing ability. He’s never been a strong vocalist, but can you imagine a rock anthem like Takin’ Care of Business being sung by anyone else?
His new crackerjack band consists of Dale-Anne Brendon (drums), Montreal native Anna Ruddick (bass) and Brent Knudsen (vocals, guitar).
Brendon doesn’t just play the drums – she attacks them! Her prowess even caught the eye of The Who’s Pete Townshend during a 2013 theatrical performance of the rock opera Tommy in Stratford, Ont. He told Bachman, who was sitting next to him at the time, that she reminded him of The Who’s late great thrasher, Keith Moon. High praise indeed.
Highlights on this night included two of BTO’s softer ballads – Lookin’ Out for #1 and Blue Collar. Bachman’s stellar jazz-influenced guitar work and simple, but profound lyrics resonated with the aging, but appreciative audience.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night was having Montreal-based guitar god Steve Hill perform with him on stage for a few songs. The two traded riffs on Hill’s song The Collector, before launching into Bachman’s Heavy Blues (title track of his new album), American Woman and Takin’ Care of Business.
As the crowd stood and cheered, Bachman described Hill as the next Jeff Beck. Not too shabby.
One song that didn’t work was a rocked up version of the Guess Who classic Undun, which Bachman proudly introduced as sounding like Led Zeppelin. He explained that the original version wasn’t quite what he wanted because ex bandmate Burton Cummings insisted on playing a flute solo in it. Well, the new version was a mess. It didn’t really sound like Zep, and quite frankly it could have used Cummings’ flute and off-the-chart vocals.
However, that was simply a minor glitch in an evening of otherwise fantastic power rock and blues, interspersed with Bachman’s gifted storytelling. There’s something about seeing a rock concert with no laser light show, no background dancers, no explosions and no Autotune. What you got was a night of stripped down rock and roll, delivered to perfection by a Canadian icon – the way music is supposed to be played.
FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS.