First a musical pet peeve. Back in the late-sixties/early-seventies, MontrĂ©al and pretty much the rest of QuĂ©bec greeted a musical style with open arms while the rest of North America kept its head turned. It was the progressive sound of incredibly gifted bands like Genesis, Yes, King Crimson, Uriah Heep, Emerson Lake and Palmer. The existing bands today still sell out venues.
I remember seeing ELP a few years back and the room was filled with corporate dinosaurs tripping out to big Montreal Gold joints like they were kids again and for a good reason. Emerson played Bachâ€™s â€śToccata & Fugueâ€ť FROM THE OTHER SIDE of the keyboard and used his trademark knife to hold down keys on a B3 organ. Palmer isnâ€™t a drummer, heâ€™s a percussionist, he deserves such a title, and he elevates drums to a level that is unparalleled. At other concerts I witnessed guitar God Steve Howe perform and that was something that a guitar fan cannot deny nor forget: Howe is simply the best modern guitarist of our era. QuĂ©bĂ©coisâ€™ just fell in love with the sound, the atmosphere and MontrĂ©al quickly became the gateway of Progressive Rock music for North America.
The sound that flipped us out the most was the B3 organ and this is where my pet peeve comes in. Itâ€™s been 40 years of QuĂ©bec-based music that is snowed under with B3 organ music. Enough already! Find something else to make your music sound cool and nostalgic of the seventies. Enough with wanting those days back. As much as Iâ€™d love to travel back in time and see Led Zeppelin in concert during their salad days, itâ€™s just not gonna happen so this is a message to QuĂ©bec musicians and aspiring rock stars, give it up, for crying out loud, just give it up, itâ€™s over, itâ€™s been done and redone and re-chewed and spat out so many times in the past 40 years that it becomes an irritant. The B3 does not need to be present in every freaking single cut and released. This applies to Sam Roberts also.
Sam Roberts' new album, Chemical City has been released and heralded by some critics across Canada as the best album of the year. I donâ€™t know about that but I certainly wasnâ€™t impressed. Itâ€™s not bad, but itâ€™s not memorable either. This was my first foray in Sam Roberts land after hearing George from The Hour plug the album before interviewing Roberts. The little video snippet showed Sam rocking on stage and it gave a good impression. So I had to find out what the hype was all about.