Tag Archives: Sean Kelly

Sean Kelly Live Tonight!

Tonight at 7pm we will be talking to this guy on the right Mr. Sean Kelly who is one busy fella but has made some time for us to ask him a bunch of questions.

A classically trained guitarist(with four classical guitar records out) Sean currently is plugged in and playing with artists diverse such as Nelly Furtado, Gilby Clarke as well being a full time member in Coney Hatch and Lee Aaron

Sean has also written a best selling book “Metal On Ice” and is currently writing a second book which we will dig into.

He’s also a music teacher in the Catholic School Board so for him to make time for us is pretty special.

Dude is very busy….

Join us at 7pm on Mike Lebrain YouTube channel.

Thunder Bay Arena Rocks Top 10 Studio Albums 2020

Thank goodness for music. Here’s what I thought was cool in the year 2020. If anything check out some of my picks as you may find some stuff here that will make you wanna crank it to 11!

Here are my Top 10 Studio Albums/Songs for the year 2020!

Here We Go…

#10-Tbone: Lebrain Train– So my pal Tbone bored out of his noggin at “Castle Del Erickson” one night decided to monkey around with all the gadgets on his iPhone (Garageband) and recorded a theme song for Ladano’s Stream. Safe to say he has managed to do in 2 minutes that bands like “Poison” and “Warrant” have not been able to muster up since 1990 and that’s writing a catchy tune! Click the video above and by the way my favorite part of the video comes in at one minute and thirty-five-second mark.

#9-Trapper: Bye Bye Mon Cowboy/Illegal/Winterlong– Guitarist Sean Kelly continues to show his work ethic as not only does Sean play the 6 string in acts like Coney Hatch, Rough Trade but along with vocalist Emn Gryner and their band Trapper released a mini EP featuring a couple of French cover tunes (Illegal/Bye Bye Mon Cowboy) Not only that but Trapper a few weeks back also released an original tune called “Winterlong” that leaves us wanting a full on-length release of originals! Bring it on Sean!

#8-Ozzy Osbourne: Ordinary Man– People bitch and moan about Ozzy using autotune and doing this and that but want do you want. No Ozzy records? People would complain about that. In saying that “Ordinary Man” is a decent spin. Some rockers, some ballads, and other than the last two songs which are not my deal it’s a good album. Kudos to Andrew Watts for co-writing and playing some good guitar.

#7-Kim Mitchell: The Big Fantasize– Kim well into his 60s has released a cool summertime chill-out record called “The Big Fantasize”. If you’re looking for “Lagar And Ale” type Kim rock keep on walking but if your willing to listen to a dude who has earned his right to do the rock he wants to do you may like what Akimbo is doing here!

#6-Whitesnake: The Rock Album- I’m not big on compilation albums but this one intrigued me as 10 of the 16 tracks featured I had never heard. So for that David Coverdale makes my list and it always helps when an album opens with John Sykes and his musical guitar muscle of “Still of the Night.” Plus the fact that there are zippo ballads on “The Rock Album” also helps the cause!

#5-Big Sugar: Eternity NowGordie Johnson released the long-awaited “Eternity Now” which went straight in at Number 1 on the iTunes sales charts. No mean feat as Big Sugar lays down the law on epic guitar tracks like “The Better It Gets” and Alex Lifeson makes an appearance on the title track. Gordie is one fine guitarist!

#4-Harem Scarem: Change The WorldPete and Harry do what they do best and that is delivering huge hard rock slabs of pure melodic metal. “Change The World” came out right before the world took a dump yet these guys stepped up with a batch of hard rock delight.  “The Death of Me is hands down one of my fav rock tracks of the year. Give this one a spin or a stream and tell Harry and Pete that dEke’s sent ya!

#3-Vandenberg:2020- Holy moly, Adrian Vandenberg enlists a great vocalist in Ronnie Romero, and between the two of them easily have made the list here as Vandenberg has rocked up a batch of great tracks. “Freight Train” is a bonafide winner and Adrian lays down the law on his guitar throughout the 2020 album. I’m glad he has rebooted Vandenberg. 

#2-AC/DC: Power Up– The world needed an AC/DC album and boy did they deliver. I can honestly say I can listen to “Power Up” front to back without skipping tracks. Angus was smart to bring the old crew back and they blasted out an album of what they do best. Power this album Up!

#1-Storm Force: Age of Fear- Patrick, Dennis, Mike, and Greg known as Storm Force put out the magnificent “Age of Fear” this past January, and then the world hit the skids. “Age of Fear” is my Number 1 for the year 2020 as this release is chock full of superb musicianship, soaring vocals, and crafty lyrics along with very solid production(Darius Szczepaniak). A top-notch release that covers all the bases of the Hard Rock spectrum.  If you goggle around on the web all the reviews have been stellar for this band so it’s not just me spouting off.  Check out “Age of Fear”  an appropriately named release if there ever was one in the year 2020!

Check Back Friday for my Top 10 Live Albums of 2020!

 

Coney Hatch Live Stream- Saturday Oct 3rd 2020

What better way to self isolate next Saturday night at home (Oct 3rd, 2020) but still being able to hang out with four Canadian fella’s…

Those four fella’s are the one and only “Coney Hatch”!

If you are a reader at this site you already know that the Hatch carved out a niche in my listening habits at a very young age back in 1982. Fast forward 38 years as  Andy Curran, Carl Dixon, Dave ‘Thumper’ Ketchum, and Sean Kelly are still bringing it live.

Trust me on that last sentence as I caught Coney when they finally made their appearance here in Thunder Bay last year(first time back here since 1985) and they were beyond awesome!

So what the boys are doing is a full out Livestream concert on Nugs TV for $9.99!

What a deal! It’s easy to order and what a great way to support live music as we know there hasn’t been much live music at all. Click the link below!

https://nugs.tv/live-webcasts/5,1367/Coney-Hatch-10-2020-El-Mocambo-Toronto-4K-ON.html

Better yet a double live Coney Hatch album is going to be recorded at this show and released which takes place at the famous El Mocambo in Toronto.

Anyone out there ever heard of that place called the El Mo?

You can preorder the live album, and if you are wondering I did indeed pull the trigger and pay for it as I have been bugging Sean Kelly for about 3 years now asking him when is the Coney live album dropping?

Well, it’s dropping right to my doorstep at some point! Can’t wait! Click below to order up some vinyl!

https://coneyhatchstore.myshopify.com

If anything this supports live music and musicians so if you are looking for something to watch, click Coney, and hang around by the “Monkey Bars.”

In other words “Catch The Hatch”

You will not be disappointed!

 

Trapper: ILLEGAL/ Bye Bye Mon Cowboy (2020)

What could be a better way than to start a new work week than do a Double Trapper Review with the one and only Mikey Ladano! Click the link below for a great read!

REVIEW: Trapper – “Illégal” / “Bye bye mon cowboy” (2020 single)

 

Growing up in Northwestern Ontario I learned very on early at a young age about hunting and fishing as that’s a big recreational activity here around Thunder Bay. There are thousands of lakes and hundreds of miles of bush to hunt and fish in.

My Grandfather was a huge Hunter/Fisherman so much so he never called himself a hunter or fisherman. My Grandpa referred to himself as a Trapper!

Another kind of Trapper is the band that hails also from Ontario that was formed a few years back by Sean Kelly,  Tim Timleck, Jordan Kern, Emm, and Frank Gryner.

Trapper has steadily been gaining momentum for a few years now as they supported Def Leppard a few years back in Eastern Canada as well as the members of Trapper are very talented in there own right.

Sean Kelly is a monster on the  6 string! Sean, who not only in the past has fronted his own band Crash Kelly has also released a couple of classical albums as well having recorded and played with such acts and artists as Coney Hatch, Gilby Clarke, Helix, Lee Aaron, Alan Frew, and many others. Sean also wrote the classic book Metal On Ice that chronicles a ton of bands touring our fair country.

Emm Gryner fronts a 3 piece act Trent Severn as well Emm was part of David Bowie’s live backing band and has been a 3 time Juno nominated artist!

Frank Gryner is a talented videographer as Tony has made videos for Def Leppard and recently for Alice Cooper (Don’t Stop is the new Coop song and the video is brilliant by the way)

Tim Timleck has drummed for Carole Pope, Trent Severn, and others.

Talented Folks, I would add!

If you follow Trapper through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram you know that they have released a couple of Rockin new cover versions of some classic Québecois Rock from the 80s.

The first track is Illegal (originally done by Corbeau) which is a great song(wicked Bass guitar work as well) and features a stellar vocal by Gryner who if I was to compare Emm vocally to has that Benetar/Patty Symth vibe in her vocal. Kelly dials up a fantastic solo and this proves what a talented cat the man is and why so many acts/artists want to work with Sean. He is the real deal.

 

Bye Bye Mon Cowboy the second track starts with some driving cowbell courtesy of Tim Timleck who pushes the song forward with his fantastic drumming. This song has that late  80s early 90s Aerosmith feel by that I mean the use of horns in the chorus. Bye Bye Bye Mon Cowboy was a single by Canadian artist Mitsou as she was played lots on MuchMusic TV back in the day.

Kudos to Trapper for putting out two killer tracks yet issuing them both vocally in French!
Even though I don’t speak or understand French as a language the music here performed by Trapper has them speaking to me in the language that I’m familiar with and that’s …

ROCK!

You can buy these two tracks on iTunes for real cheap and it supports local talent!  Itunes also has the 5 song EP that Trapper released back in 2015 called Go For The Throat-EP.

I hope there is a full-length original Trapper album in the works from these folks!

 

 

 

Thunder Bay Arena Rocks Top 10 Music Picks for 2019!

This year I thought I would post my Best of Lists a little early. When I think back to the last 12 months of music it was the year of massive reissues of bands like R.E.M/STP/Whitesnake with 2 Reissues!!/Sloan/Def Leppard/Skid Row and the list goes on and on.

BUT …

Some bands and artists put out some new cool quality stuff so hopefully, you may check out some of these acts and artists to see what I dug in the year 2019. Feel free to post your picks in the comments below!

Here we GO!

1-Tom Keifer-RISE: Well looky, looky here. Is it 1989? No way folk’s it’s 2019 and who saw this coming? Tom Keifer shakes it and doesn’t break it as he delivers a solid blast of  CinderRock over 11 tracks that fuse all the old school elements of Cinderella while cementing a future in a really cool current sound that I hope the Keiferband will continue to follow. My favorite release this year, Congrats Tom! You have no idea who the Hell I am but I dig your album.

2-Big Wreck- …but for the sun: Guitar wizard Ian Thornley is back in a big way Folk’s as he cranked up the amps and cuts loose over the 12 tracks on this album.  Ian’s singing/guitaring and writing on this album is phenomenal as well as the two other fellas who helped him out on this as well! Kudos to Dave MacMillian and Chuck Keepling. Locomotive is one unbelievable track!

3-Rival Sons- Feral Roots: Rival Sons basically took over crap rock radio in Thunder Bay with the single Do Your Worst and on this album, the band, and producer Dave Cobb stepped up and kicked down the walls on this opus. Big Loud Fuzz Guitar Rock! How about the drums on Back In The Woods!

4-Carl Dixon- Unbroken: You want a straight-ahead hard rock album with a throwback sound to the roaring ’80s with some fantastic catchy driven rock. Than Unbroken is for you! 11 songs in the Hard Rock AOR spectrum that are pure Gold! Carl’s the definition of Rock n Roll survivor!

5-Jared James Nichols-Black Magic: Jared showed up one night this past April here in Thunder Bay opening for John5 and sizzled mine and Tbone’s brains into mush! JJN is a must-see live as he nails that heavy blues power trio format to a T. This guy is that good live and Black Magic is a stellar album that features all the fine trimmings that Mr. Nichols possess. Watch for this dude in 2020!

6-Page 38-Burning The Midnight Oil: These 4 young fella’s hail from my hometown Thunder Bay and this 5 song EP kicks serious ass. Page 38 came across my radar when they opened for and kicked to the curb ‘Cranky’ Anvil back in May of this year. I quickly scooped up the EP from iTunes as you should do as well! Love the tune Mama June! Click the video below and support our local Boy’s.

‘At Mama Junes, back door liquor store
She got what you want, couldn’t ask for more
Knock three times, 20 under the door, forget what you know
At Mama Junes, back door liquor store ‘

7-Whitesnake- Flesh and Blood: An album I had zero interest in until Ladano and John Snow got into my noggin about how good it was. They were right. Coverdale wrote a batch of tunes with Reb Beach and together they slid out 14 good rock tracks especially Hey You (You Make Me Rock) Plus add the two reissues this year of Slide It In and Slip of the Tongue.  Cov has been one busy dude! All hail the old guy!

8-Sammy Hagar & The Circle- The Space Between: Speaking of an old guy. Crazy to think that Sammy is 71 and has been doing the Rock thing for 5 Decades! That’s longevity in the truest sense. Sammy  with his good pal Micheal Anthony along with Vic Johnson and a drummer whose last name is Bonham released a pretty decent rock record in 2019. Concept album none the less about Greed and Corruption. Trust Fund Baby is a great track and as well the production on this album is old school sounding. No Polish and that’s a good thing.

9-Motley Crue- The Dirt: Never been big on soundtracks but The Dirt soundtrack interested me for some reason or maybe I was bored that week it came out. Dunno but when Tricky Sixx and Tommy muster up some new songs with Bob Rock I’m onboard. 4 new songs 3 of which are originals are ok but the cover tune of Madonna? Ummm. Whatever, still though when you dump a bunch of tracks off the first two albums (Too Fast For Love and Shout At The Devil) the sucker in me will always bite!

10-Sean Kelly-Touch Me: All round Great Canadian Fella Sean Kelly when not playing guitar/singing/songwriting in a bunch of bands (Coney Hatch/Alan Frew/Lee Aaron to name but a few) reactivated his old band Crash Kelly and put out a doozie of a track titled Touch Me which is a Glam Rockers delight. Think Cheap Trick mashed up with The Sweet.  This is Ear Candy. I think we need a full album, Mr. Kelly!

Check back here in a couple of days for another Best OF list with a twist!

10 Questions With….Sean Kelly

Sean Kelly is a top go to  Guitar Guy in the Rock Landscape known as Canada. Guitar for Hire some may say but read on about all the endeavours that Mr Kelly has been in and is currently involved with. Little more to it than the Guitar For Hire aspect I would say. 

Case in point. Sean has released two classical guitar  albums that have both charted in the Billboard Classical Album Charts. Being in and involved(songwriting etc) with various bands such as Crash Kelly/Trapper/Helix/Lee Aaron/ Honeymoon Suite/Carole Pope/Nelly Furtado well…I could keep going! Plus he’s a good buddy with an Guns N Roses guy! 

Just by his resume which you will discover when you read this interview is just how busy Sean is!

I would personally like to thank Sean for hopping on board and being a great sport at answering my fan boy questions…

Take it way Mr Kelly…

1-Hey Sean thanks for doing this! We have a connection and that would be the Long Way To Heaven Tour by Helix back in 1985. You caught the show in North Bay and myself here in Thunder Bay. Was that the show that spurred a young Kelly to pursue a career in music?

Yes it was! It was a double bill with Honeymoon Suite, and it was a total game changer, very inspiring! To think that I would be afforded the chance to work with both of these bands at some point in my life was unimaginable then, but it definitely instilled in me the belief that Canadian bands could compete in every way on the world stage. Both bands were on fire that night!

2-By recording/writing/performing with artists like Honeymoon Suite/Helix/Nelly Furtado and currently Lee Aaron how the hell do you find any downtime?

Haha, well…it helps that my career vocation is also my passion and hobby!  It can be a challenge to balance family life with my music pursuits, but I really try to make sure any time I have is not wasted on frivolous things. I derive my greatest pleasure in life out of the time I spend with my family, and making/enjoying music. Carve in a little time for staying healthy, and a balance can be achieved.

3-Speaking of which. According to Carl Dixon on Brent Jensen’s NSTS podcast your now playing guitar with the Mighty Coney Hatch. Those four Coney albums are classics. When you open those shows for Steve Harris’ British Lion any thought on recording the Coney Stuff live? If so could you please bug em to record it?

Let’s just say I’m all for it, and would love to see that happen. I can’t wait to hit the road with the Hatch, one of my all time fave bands!

4-The book that you wrote from a few years back “Metal On Ice” is great read in all things Canadian Metal/Hard Rock. Many great stories about all kinds of Canadian bands journeys across the Canadian Highways. Is there a followup in the works?

I’ve knocked around a few book ideas, and would love to do another one. However, my immediate future involves writing and recording new music, performing live, and working on some other music related projects. In other words, I’m having too much fun with my guitar to put it down to pick up a pen (or type)!

5- Gilby Clarke is a pal of yours. I know you have played Bass for Gilby and he has worked with you back in the Crash Kelly days as a producer. Any chance on doing some string bending together recording wise which I think would be fantastic! Just Saying!

I recently did a guitar clinic and charity gig with Gilby and Bumblefoot, and it was amazing to reconnect. I always welcome the opportunity to make music with Gilby, and while there is nothing planned, I’d be honoured to record with him at some point in the future.

6-Who would be on your bucket list to work/record with?

Oh man, so many! First off my head would be Alice Cooper, Heart, and Paul Rodgers…I’d love to write with Nikki Sixx…I recently did a few songs with Lita Ford and Dee Snider at Rock n Con in London, would love to write with both of them…The list is endless really! I just love working with people passionate about rock n roll music!

7-First album ever purchased?

Thriller by Michael Jackson….this was followed by Metal Health by Quiet Riot, Pyromania by Def Leppard, Stay Hungry by Twisted Sister and Shout at the Devil by Mötley Crüe…but yes, Thriller was the first!

8-If you had to go with 5 all time favourite albums(studio/live) what would they be?

This is an almost impossible question, and my list is ever changing….today,  let’s go with

1984 – Van Halen

Hysteria – Def Leppard

Appetite for Destruction – Guns N Roses

Billion Dollar Babies – Alice Cooper

Live and Dangerous – Thin Lizzy

*this could change in the next hour….haha!

9-Arena/Stadium show? What is hands down the best show you ever saw as a member of the audience?

It would have to be Van Halen, August 1986, 5150 tour at CNE Stadium with Loverboy and BTO….first time I ever heard the power of Eddie Van Halen live, life changing experience.

10-Feel Free to plug whatever you’re doing here currently! Thanks so much for doing this!

Still performing with the amazing Lee Aaron in support of the Diamond Baby Blues album (so proud to be a member of this incredible band,a real blessing in my life) heading out on the road this fall for some dates with the legendary Coney Hatch, Alan Frew from Glass Tiger, and also working on some brand new music from Crash Kelly (single to be released before Christmas!). I am working on some very cool projects with my pal Steve Gillis at Guitars for Vets, and am also writing with Brian Vollmer from Helix (we have some kicking new songs in the works!)….along with that I am teaching Vocal Music with the Toronto Catholic District School Board, and still doing workshops/mentoring for Canada’s Music Incubator.

Thanks for the great questions, all the best Derek!

Photo of Mr Kelly taken by Alan Zilkowsky.

 

SONIC WAVES….Coney Hatch/Outta Hand

I was pumped when Toronto’s own Coney Hatch back in 1983 released Outta Hand! I had become and still am a huge fan boy of these guys and after all these years later I have not caught em live yet! What the hell,one of life’s mysterys I suppose but hey I can yap about em and yap is what I’m gonna do!

Like  I said 83 and here’s some new Coney……

Once again Carl,Dave,Andy and Steve drop down some good ol fashioned hard rock!

DONT SAY MAKE ME-Coney rips out of the gates and man the first thing you notice is how slick this albums is gonna sound. Gone is the raw sounding  of the debut and here comes some hard polish from Max Norman he of the two iconic Rhoads Album with Ozzy that Norman had produced! Carl Dixon nails it vocally and the rest of the Coneys are telling me the listener Don’t Say Make Me and there will be no pushing in Carl’s backyard! Snappy vocals,snappy guitar…..man as a 16 year old in 1983 this song slayed me and well in 014 it still does! Check out the vid below this year filmed in England! The boys still got it…..

SHAKE IT- Andy Curran drives the lead vocal on this one …Shake The Stick umm ok. The song has a cool vibe to it with some added percussion by Dave Ketchum. Steve Shelski rips on guitar but it’s a chill ripping and the one thing I can say about Shelski is that for a guitar guy thats making records in the 80s this dude did not over play his parts to the part of making the listener (moi) puke! I thank you sir for that!

FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING- the big debut single from Outta Hand and if you read Sean Kelly’s excellent book Metal On Ice you can read Carl’s own words on how this single was booted or dropped by there record company once Def Leppard released Pyromania. In other words Coney got dissed by record company politics and I think they may have never recovered from this! Record Company in the 80s= F*%kers!

SOME LIKE IT HOT-Andy once again at the mic and this has some cool cowbell and well Some Like It Hot. Andy I think may have spent some time in Arizona I myself back in 83 spent a lot of time reading Circus,Creem,Music Express and Kerrang in my bedroom wishing I was a cool rock bassist hanging in Arizona with some chicks while it’s hot! Cool song and like I said before it was cool that Coney had two co vocalists with Carl doing about 60% of the lead vocals with Andy doing the other 40% in other words Carl sings with cool laid back flair and he at times reminds me of if Lou Gramm had a full set of 24 hr rock balls whereas Andy comes from the Monkey Bars and snarls with his own cool set of pipes ….man I love these guys!

TOO FEEL THE FEELING AGAIN- wowzers Coney slams the breaks on and offer up a somewhat melodic piece of hard rock. Carl delivers a great vocal and you know what? If Mercury hadn’t screwed these guys around who knows this album was at least 3 tracks deep in singles whereas bands at the same time like Autograph got the company push and only had 1 single to push over 3 studio records! Like c’mon man!

TOO FAR GONE- I had said earlier that Carl can pull off a hard rock Lou Gramm and this track  he delivers this track and man the guitars just rock this song and Curran and Ketchum lay it down on the bottom end!  You don’t have to be a raging metal maniac playing  at hyper speed to be and sound super cool. This track proves it!

LOVE GAMES- Andy deals his high cards last it’s a game of chance high prized romance! And no this is not a ballad quite the opposite the chorus is kinda of a metal funky rhythm and wow the Coney boys can play any style. Metal Jazz I call it!

FALLEN ANGEL-drums and bass start this tune off in almost like a Radar Love kinda vibe but by the time Andy pipes the vocals that’s when the comparison ends to my ears anyways! Cool solo and the band just keeps chugging along.

MUSIC OF THE NIGHT- Carl ends the album with a mid tempoish rocker and the boys tell me that its ok to rock out at a little slower of a pace to end a album.

IN CONCLUSION- Outta Hand should have broke Coney wide open but like i said earlier read Sean Kelly’s excellent book Metal On Ice for Carl’s recall of it all. It’s too bad but i still supported  them and still do. It’s good to see them still rocking in 2014! Outta Hand was for me a shift in production as  this was a little more slick sounding with little more polish but hey there still rocking and for me that’s all that mattered! A solid follow up !