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Under the Lights

The Journeymen part 2

Last week, we introduced you to “The Journeymen”, a relatively new group out of the Okanagan.  Actually, a new-veteran group!  This quintet of seasoned musicians represent forty plus years of Western Canadian Rock!—and will take you through the bulk of that great time at any one of their shows.

“The Journeymen” are Mick Cretney, Brian Anderson, John Anderson, Mike Holmes, and John Karroll.  The lead vocalist for the group: Mick Cretney also plays guitar, but he started off as a Bass player.  Apart from lending his unique vocal style to the group, Mick keeps his ‘singles act’ chugging along, appearing at various venues in the Kelowna area.  When he is with ‘The Journeymen’, he just lets loose, creating a vocal sensation surrounded by the pulsating Rock n’ Blues that this group churns out.  A true trooper, Bassist Brian Anderson has been playing this instrument for forty or so years.  Again a fixture on the local music scene, Brian actually sold his long fiery red hair to buy his first bass when he was eighteen!  Over the years his hair grew back, and his bass-playing skills grew just as quickly!  Serving in several bands, Brian also played with ‘Union Street’, the ‘Blues Tribe’ and pounded the four strings for ’Doug And The Slugs’!  Oh!, did I mention, ‘The Journeymen’ offer up three part harmonies?—well they do, and Brian is one part of the three.

When you finally get to see this dynamic group, and you are wondering about those flourishes of keys, look no further than to John Anderson!  John has a progressive style, and not only with the keyboards, but also the flute!  The combination drives this group to the higher echelons of British-style Progressive Rock, bringing back memories of stellar performances from that genre’s finest Artists.

 The man that brings the Rock n’ Roll soul to the group is none other than well known Saxophonist, Mike Holmes!-and he plays it right!  Mike was a staple on the Vancouver Rock scene for many years, and served time in the stellar ‘R&B Allstars’.  Around the valley, he played with Mick in ‘Blue Healers’.  Yes this group has soul, a musical soul that shows on each and every song!  The one that drives that soul, and those progressive stylings is the master time keeper; John Karroll.  John’s drumming can be heard on the Hard Rock/Progressive Rock offerings of one of Western Canada’s finest groups of the late ‘70’s—“The Karroll Brothers”.  John has made Kelowna his home for many years, and like his fellow band-mates, is well known in the valley’s Music Scene.  All members of ‘The Journeymen’ are multi-instrumentalists, and with Brian and John Anderson adding to the vocal range, and Brian adding violin—these five ‘journeymen’ create a rich tapestry of sound that can be breathtaking at times!  All five may be veteran musicians, but all five still have the energy of twenty year olds, and their passion for music—both singularly and collectively is worn on their sleeves.

   Currently the group are working on Original material, and recording some—with the aim to release in 2015!  So, not only can Okanagan’s “The Journeymen” take you on a magical musical ride through the seventies, eighties and nineties—they can offer up some cutting edge, tasteful 21st Century Rock as well!  And so they will:  Not only are the lads busy with writing and recording, they are preparing for a New Year’s bash that will propel you in to the year 2015!  It is not too early to book your evening out, and why not take the ride with ‘The Journeymen’!!

Just as “The Journeymen” are set to take the valley by storm, “Three Lions” did just that on the British Isles!  A forceful Blues-Rock group that made their debut last year, proving that new and younger musicians can rock with the best, and that there are still many music lovers out there that want to hear this driving, energetic sound—the group’s front man is proving it all over again!  Nigel Bailey, like his group—seems to have come out of nowhere.  That soulful, bluesy voice and the heartfelt song writing style cannot be held back!  Nigel is about to release his first Solo Recording!!  With the “Three Lions” album still charting, we can expect to hear more of “Long Way Down” in the months to come!

I had the pleasure to interview Nigel for Melodic Rock, and that conversation will be in the magazine’s next issue.  For now, here is a review of Nigel’s first solo offering, and the music video of his lead off single:  Enjoy!

 

Bailey Long Way Down
Frontiers Records:

I'm not sure if we can take this!  First we had the first rate debut of “Three Lions” and now the stellar debut of that group’s front man: Nigel Bailey with “Bailey: Long Way Down”!!   Opening with ‘Feed The Flames’, this debut will be a force to be reckoned with.  Showcasing not only his powerful voice and guitar playing—his song writing and composition is surpassing the scales!  “In The Name Of The King” is epic in proportion and will serve as Nigel’s lead-off single & video.  If you were blown away by the “Three Lions” material—you will be floored by ‘Long Way Down’.  This album is loaded with hard British Rock and melodies thick and lush---plus a vocal range that simply amazes.  Nigel shows musical emotion on each and every track.  “Dirty Little Secret” works on so many levels, showcasing this humble musician’s high degree of song smithing.  Continuing to show his immense Talents, “Long Way Down” is full of riff-driven guitar work fuelled by heart and soul!  This whole collection is driven by heart and soul—Nigel has so much music in him it is obviously hard to contain!  Nigel Bailey is on the verge of becoming a major Talent & Musical force in the finest tradition of British Hard Rock!  For ‘Bailey’-yes the debut is called “Long Way Down”—the music?—it is nothing but up! up! up!


Under The Lights

Upcoming Club/Concert Highlights:

The Blue Gator:  Hank Stallion:  Nov. 13th  The Goods:  Nov. 14th & Nov. 15th

Doc Willoughby’s:   One Bad Son  with The Lazys:   Nov. 14th

The Max Nightclub (Vernon):   One Bad Son & The Lazys:   November 15th

Longhorn Pub (Vernon):  Sunday Night Jam—all musicians welcome!—Hosted by-Rick Zip & The Wheelhouse Band:  

O'Flannigan's Pub:   (Live Music every Tuesday with Riaz and Friends)  Jimmy LeGuilloux Band:  Nov. 14th & 15th   Radio Lifeline:  Nov. 21st & Nov. 22nd

Notable Concerts:    

  Prospera  Place:    The Tragically Hip:  Feb. 7th 2015

Kelowna Community Theatre:   Black Label Society:  Dec. 30th  

South Okanagan Events Centre:  John Fogerty:   November 27th 

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The Journeymen - Part 1

By definition: Journeyman: 

A person who has served an apprenticeship at a trade or handicraft and is certified to work at it-- any experienced, competent performer.

So now Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Okanagan’s own Journeymen…

“The Journeymen” are Mick Cretney, Brian Anderson, John Anderson, Mike Holmes, and John Karroll.  Familiar names in the local music scene, but familiar names on the National music scene as well!

They have all served as ‘Journey-man’ throughout their extensive music careers, in all aspects of the music business—with one outstanding Talent—they are wicked musicians!!

 From “The Blue Healers” we have Guitarist, Mick Cretney, Bassist Brian Anderson was the original four stringer for ‘Doug & the Slugs’…and Keyboardist/Flutist John Anderson has performed for many years and cut his teeth in “Union Street”.  Saxophonist Mike Holmes is an inspired musician out of the Vancouver music scene and you may know him from the “R&B Allstars”—a virtual ‘who’s who’ musical force, and laying down that pulsating foundation is John Karroll on the drums—best known for his work with the “Karroll Brothers”, one of Western Canada’s top hard rock groups of the 70’s and 80’s.

 All five members are multi-instrumentalists, and have a passion for performing and playing—as well as song writing.

“The Journeymen” are an awesome musical quintet, and each wears his influences on his sleeve…collectively, this group will take you on an exhilarating journey through the rock music of the ‘70’s, 80’s, and 90’s…with stellar performances and mixing in brand new Original material from all five!

Why did they get together, well—they realized that if they combined all of their Talent and their Love of playing—something special should happen!  And did it?—Certainly, these five seasoned veterans can still create magic and they do each time they set foot on a stage!

Just remember, that being multi-instrumentalists, “The Journeymen” can and do create a musical atmosphere that is second to none, pushing the boundaries of Rock and Blues and then some!  Veterans yes, but “The Journeymen” are also a fresh new face on the Okanagan music scene, and have aspirations to go even further!  A group to watch and listen, a group that is about to make an impact upon the Recording Scene as well—So, Ladies And Gentlemen—we give you “The Journeymen”!!


Under The Lights

Upcoming Club/Concert Highlights:

The Blue Gator:  The Zamboni Brothers:  Nov. 6th    Bluesfoot:  Nov. 7th    Poppa Dawg:   Nov. 8th   Hank Stallion:  Nov. 13th  The Goods:  Nov. 14th & Nov. 15th

Doc Willoughby’s:   One Bad Son  with The Lazys:   Nov. 14th

Fernando’s Pub:  Floyd Meets Brown:  Nov. 8th  Motel Raphael:  Nov. 10th

The Max Nightclub (Vernon):   One Bad Son & The Lazys:   November 15th

Longhorn Pub (Vernon):  Sunday Night Jam—all musicians welcome!—Hosted by-Rick Zip & The Wheelhouse Band:  

O'Flannigan's Pub:   (Live Music every Tuesday with Riaz and Friends)    Papa Wheely:   Nov. 7th & 8th    Jimmy LeGuilloux Band:  Nov. 14th & 15th  Radio Lifeline:  Nov. 21st & Nov. 22nd

Whiskey Jack’s Pub:   Jimmy LeGuilloux Band:   Nov. 7th & Nov. 8th

Notable Concerts:  

(The Journeymen pt.2—next week along with Nigel Bailey!)

Prospera  Place:    The Tragically Hip:  Feb. 7th 2015

Kelowna Community Theatre:   Black Label Society:  Dec. 30th  

South Okanagan Events Centre:  John Fogerty:   November 27th 

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Music Is An Endless River

I guess because the Bell still rings loudly in my ear, I was totally taken aback at the realisation that Pink Floyd’s impending new release marks their first in twenty years!  Yes, almost a generation has grown up during the time between the new material from this iconic group of musicians.  Just to put it in perspective-for me mostly-my son was twelve, and my daughter was ten…now, of course, they are grown and a successful young man and woman.  I remember my daughter loving “The Division Bell”; it will be very interesting in getting her thoughts on the new “The Endless River” album, due out in November.

The fifteenth album from one of the most creative and surreal groups on the planet, “The Endless River”  features compositions written during the same period that “The Division Bell” sessions were happening, and Richard Wright can be heard loud and clear!  This, then, is a fitting tribute to the legendary keyboardist, whom will be missed-but his Talents live on.  Richard, of course, was a founding member of this three generation spanned group—a group that pushed the musical envelope on each and every release…and there is no reason why we cannot expect the same here!  “The Endless River” will make November 2014 a very remarkable time in the annals of Rock Music!                         

Another long standing Progressive Rock group continues to prove that being a Rock musician is not about age-but about Attitude and Talent.  Yes are releasing a brand new live DVD/CD package entitled “Like It Is—Yes At The Bristol Hippodrome”!!  Actually there are two new live releases from this stellar outfit…already out is “Heaven And Earth” and this new one—the aforementioned “Like It Is…”, which is taken from their recent Spring/Summer tour performing two complete albums from their past!  Finally in their entirety we can here and see the group perform the following albums:  “The Yes Album” (1971) and “Going For The One” (1977)!!  So get ready for some classic “Yes” in December…December 9th to be exact.

And yet, another surprise—Canada’s own “Harem Scarem” has returned!  Six years in semi-retirement, the group are back and armed!  “Thirteen” is the name of their new record, and they are very excited about what is on it!  “Thirteen” contains brand new material, and comes to us from the enthusiastic reception “Harem Scarem” had on their International Tour of 2013.  The audience’s response to the group fuelled their excitement and encouraging signs motivated them to return to the studio!  Again an early December release and an AOR album that one can sink their heart in to!  “Harem Scarem”’s ‘Thirteen’!!!

Next week, we will take a look at the lead vocalist of new Blues-rock group “Three Lions”…whose debut is climbing ever upward, but Nigel Bailey has so much music in him, that he is releasing a solo album!  So, I hope you click back next week on “Under The Lights” for this and a story on Canada’s “The Journeymen”.

 

 


Under The Lights

Upcoming Club/Concert Highlights:

The Blue Gator:  The Zamboni Brothers:  Nov. 6th    Bluesfoot:  Nov. 7th    Poppa Dawg:   Nov. 8th   Hank Stallion:  Nov. 13th  The Goods:  Nov. 14th & Nov. 15th

Doc Willoughby’s:   One Bad Son  with The Lazys:   Nov. 14th

The Max Nightclub (Vernon):   One Bad Son & The Lazys:   November 15th

Longhorn Pub (Vernon):  Sunday Night Jam—all musicians welcome!—Hosted by-Rick Zip & The Wheelhouse Band:   

O'Flannigan's Pub:   (Live Music every Tuesday with Riaz and Friends)    Papa Wheely:   Nov. 7th & 8th    Jimmy LeGuilloux Band:  Nov. 14th & 15th

Whiskey Jack’s Pub:   Jimmy LeGuilloux Band:   Nov. 7th & Nov. 8th

Notable Concerts:    

 

Prospera  Place:    The Tragically Hip:  Feb. 7th 2015

Kelowna Community Theatre:   Black Label Society:  Dec. 30th  

South Okanagan Events Centre:  John Fogerty:   November 27th 

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Stereo Messiah

A very British quintet, “Vega” has been making inroads on the Melodic Rock scene in the UK since 2010…and changing it ever so slightly each time they release new material!  “Stereo Messiah” is the group’s third attempt, and is a powerful statement from the five.  Below are some thoughts from “Vega” singer Nick Workman…

 

Question: I would like to begin with the fact that “Stereo Messiah” was recorded quite intensely and quickly…a no nonsense approach! Any reason for this, or were you all just so full of music that it was bubbling over the top!?

Nick Workman: We were really prepared when we went in. We had demoed all of the songs at least twice so we knew what we had to do. Although we wrote “All Or Nothing” pretty much in the studio on day 1 between drum takes. We had a version of that song the week before we went in the studio but it wasn’t quite there. The night before we went in I came up with the chorus and the guys said “we have to do this”.

Q: Of course, your pre-production period must have been just as intense! How long were you guys writing this collection?

NW: We had been writing these songs for the last couple of years and narrowed it down from over 20 songs down to 17 or 18 and then down to 12. “Tears Never Dry”  was written before “Kiss of Life”  was released but it took 4 years for us to come back to that song to do it justice.

Q: How did “Vega” become involved with Joe Elliott?

NW: I managed to get myself into a football predictor league which just happens to include half of Def Leppard. Leppard and Joe are my biggest influence so it was a massive deal for me. Anyway, I came across “10 x Bigger Than Love”  on You-Tube and asked Joe about the song. He replied with its history and in the same email said VEGA should cover it. I think at the time he didn’t thought we wouldn’t do it, but there was no way we weren’t going to!

Q: He also sang with you Nick…what was that like?

NW: AMAZING!!!!! How many people get to sing with their biggest influence and the person they idolise??? I have the vocal track at home on my computer so I think I might have to make it my ringtone. Which will be great until he hears it on the Down n Outz tour in December. It may not go down well haha.

Q: As you and the band prepare for the release of this, your third effort.. Are you preparing to take to the road?

NW: 100 %. People will be bored of us by the time we are done playing live for this record.  We have 14 dates in the UK for November/December, Hard Rock Hell is in the bag for 2015 and more is in the planning stages. Stay tuned.

Q: Where do you have you sights on? Of course the UK, are you going to North America as well?

NW: We would love to but it’s all down to time and money. We can’t afford to just go over there and play some shows. If someone can come up with a deal that works all round then we will be there. Maybe the odd festival would work. But you have to bear in mind that it ain’t cheap flying 6 blokes from England to the USA.

Q: Going back to the new record, I feel that it is more varied in content. It seems you have reached deeper than on previous releases. Is this a fair observation?

NW: I think so yes. There is maybe a little more light and shade than “What The Hell”. But we always try to take things forward with each record and don’t want to keep on repeating ourselves. John Mitchell was awesome and I hope he does the next album too. He offered a lot of idea’s to the whole process and was great to work with and bounce idea’s off. There was no real time limit to the recording. He said “when we are done we can stop”. That took the pressure off but we still did it in 2 weeks. John then mixed on and off over a couple of weeks.

 

Vega Stereo Messiah Frontiers Records
Review by: Bruce E.J. Atkinson

Celebrating their return to Frontiers, Britain’s premier Rockers, “Vega” release their third in “Stereo Messiah”.

A very deep, melodious and soulful effort—“Stereo Messiah” simply rocks!  These five Brits are certainly disciplined—only allowing themselves a fortnight to lay all twelve brand new songs down!  And what do we hear?  Twelve rollicking journeys that is as much driving as they are melodic!  Nick Workman’s vocals are top drawer—displaying his far-reaching range ever so effortlessly.  The guitar and keyboards are like liquid mercury flowing expressively over the organic rhythms solidly performed by Terry Martin, (bass) and Dan Chantrey, (drums).

Throughout “Stereo Messiah” we hear some very succulent riffs from six stringer Marcus Thurston and wave after wave of those Ivory produced notes which awash us marvelously!—thanks to one James Martin!

Each musical jewel on this record will thrust Vega’s live performances to epic levels!  “Gonna Need Some Love Tonight” will become a staple.  Actually, whatever the group decides to perform live from this album will be a genuine highlight of their live set!

“Stereo Messiah” is an astounding musical journey—a strapping statement from these five musicians from the Angel Isle!


Under The Lights

Upcoming Club/Concert Highlights:

The Blue Gator:  Zamboni Brothers:  Oct. 23rd & 24th & 25th

Checkers Bar & Grill:   Margit Sky Band:  Oct. 24th & Oct. 25th

Doc Willoughby’s:   Supersuckers:   Oct. 23rd 

Neighbours Pub:   Electric Freeway: Oct. 25th

Longhorn Pub (Vernon):  Sunday Night Jam—all musicians welcome!—Hosted by-Rick Zip & The Wheelhouse Band:  

O'Flannigan's Pub:   (Live Music every Tuesday with Riaz and Friends)    Jimmy LeGuilloux Band:   Oct. 24th & 25th

Notable Concerts:   

(We’ll be talking with the Journeymen in the near future—right here on “Under The Lights”!!)

 

Prospera  Place:    Sarah McLachlan:   Oct. 24th   

Kelowna Community Theatre:  Gordon Lightfoot:   Oct. 28th   Black Label Society:  Dec. 30th

South Okanagan Events Centre:  John Fogerty:   November 27th 

              

   …if you have a musical story or news and would like me to write something… drop me a line at:  [email protected]  and let’s celebrate Kelowna’s rich and varied music community together!!

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Read more Under the Lights articles

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About the Author

We call him the Professor of Rock: With a career in music, television and media arts spanning 30 years, Atkinson knows music. He's traveled as a professional musician and he loves Rock 'N Roll. He is a music journalist who writes internationally for Frontier Records' Melodic Rock magazine and he owns FBA International a multifaceted management, consulting, promotional entity.






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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.


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