A Blues and Motown Living Legend, “Best Album of theYear” Juno Award in 2016
October 25, 2017

    An absolute hit with every patron of Viree Blues who had the chance to discover him on his previous performances, the accomplishments of this old-stager on North America’s music stage surely make him one of the most illustrious artists to have performed on the stage of Viree Blues.   An ex-member of the band The Chairmen of the Board, he’s been a collaborator with, among others, The Beatles, Jimmy Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, B.B King, James Brown and Smokey Robinson!   Millions of albums sold, performances on Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show, on England’s The Top Of The Pops, multiple awards and nominations to the Juno’s, the Maple Blues Awards and a 2nd place against 83 of the world’s top performers in the solo/duo category, at the 27th edition of “The Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge” in Memphis, Tennessee.   After overcoming cancer in 2013, Harrison Kennedy is back in better shape than ever for a presentation of nothing less than three new albums completed in four years only!   “Soulscape” (end of 2013) and the all new “This is from here” (November 2014), which was awarded a Juno for “Best Blues Album of the Year” in 2016 and the very last “Who U Tellin?” from last May.

    A real friend and one of B.B.King’s favourites bluesmen, good-natured wise man and a real encyclopedia on two legs, this frontierless bluesman with his inspired primeval blues, sings with an exceptional “soul” voice, deep and haunting.  Served with a music that he calls Mungumbo or JuJu music, his Blues harmonizes Detroit Soul, Southern Gospel, Latin Shuffle and African World roots.   All this is performed by the brilliant, fully accomplished artist who plays beautifully the guitar, the harmonica, the washboard, the rhythmic spoons and the kazoo! ...   On the whole, this urban poet storyteller with his wide-ranging culture and humanity that transpire in his music and songs, all that make each meeting with Harrison Kennedy an unforgettable moment.

    A proud Canadian, born in “Hammer Town” (Hamilton, Ontario), Harrison Kennedy became highly successful toward the end of the ‘60s, when, with The Chairmen Of The Board, a Rhythm'n'Blues band highly popular with Motown fans of Detroit as well as of the whole of North America, a leading band of the “soul” revolution that sold millions of albums under the  Holland-Dozier-Holland label.   Rather disenchanted by the siren song of the recording industry and by the start of the disco trend, Harrison Kennedy then comes back to the basics, to the more intimate music with his guitar for companion.   He spends his time with the music that he’s always been playing, the Blues;  the expression of his most ancient cultural roots, where he tells stories that are present and eternal, borrowing from the major afro-american music styles.   His innate sense for melodies makes use of every trick to spice up his art, be it by adding salad bowls or more simply snapping his fingers in association with his sensuous guitar playing ...   Now wiser than instinctive, Harrison Kennedy is a man we can easily get friendly with, not only through his music but also through his personality.   His experience has been enriched with various collaborations, but also through musical research that reaches to the misery of the slaves, to the cotton fields and to the forced exile to more welcoming places ...   All these elements are carried through his discography, all works that, while close one to the others, still fit very well with the themes inherent to the Blues.

    The last three albums of Harrison Kennedy, “Soulscape”, “This is from here” and “Who U Tellin?” refer, as he says, to another part of him, more than before inspired by his musical heritage.   He is not talking here of his hectic youth as a musician but rather of his childhood with his family in Rogersville Tennessee, in New Orleans and in Detroit when, as he was saying, at this young age, the long trips to visit people who were talking strange!   But for that too, nothing is ordinary when talking about the great Harrisson Kennedy!   With a little research and discussion, we get to figure out that Harrison is referring to his uncle, the legendary Jackie Washington, and to family friends who came to his home for dinner: Lonnie Johnson, Duke Ellington, Dakota Staton and Billie Holiday. (trust us, you want to google this!).   And this makes works of exception add to the History of the Blues by Harrison Kennedy!

    After this summary, is there anything to add? ... come discover this mythic personality with a communicative musicality that drives to beg to hear a Blues, a Rythm'N'Blues or a Gospel that are all very worth the detour.   A journey through time, in a small Chicago bar with this soft poetic pen composer, a XXIst century troubadour who uses his stories and his humour to reconcile the Blues with the progression of time.   Some Blues, Real Traditional Blues, 100% pure.   A cosy concert, with Jesse O’Brien on keyboard (Colin James, Cowboy Junkies) and Cris Caddell on guitar, the Blues and Motown Living Legend Harrison Kennedy at the 25th edition of Viree Blues Moosehead, Wednesday, October 25th 2015, around 8h00 p.m., at the famous Bar Le Petit Chicago, 50 Promenade du Portage, in the Old Hull sector.   A super break in the middle of the work week to revive our energy!   Tickets are now on sale at: www.vireeblues.ca and will also be available at the door for only 20$.   You can also take advantage of our profitable, practical and so pleasant Supper & Show package at Outaouais’ #1 restaurant according to  TripAdvisor, Chez Fatima (www.chezfatima.ca), with it’s excellent and generous morocan cuisine, just one block from Le Petit Chicago, which will also reserve your place at the show by making reservations at 819-771-7568.   In the meantime, you can find supplementary information on ou guests by visiting:  www.harrisonkennedy.ca .   You should also visit our own web site which provides you links to all of our guests sites and lots of other interesting information at:  www.vireeblues.ca .   For inquiries, please do get in touch with us at: info@vireeblues.ca .  Be sure to get all the most recent information on this show by taking part in the facebook event for this show at: www.facebook.com/events/2015455398689598/ and please do join and “love” us on our facebook page at: www.facebook.com/vireeblues .