Archive for Guitar

Jack de Keyzer

Saturday, April 13, 2018 | 8:30PM

Jack de Keyzer
$25 Advance / $30 Door

From the great city of Athens, Greece to Alert far north in the Arctic Circle, renowned guitarist and singer-songwriter, Jack de Keyzer, has taken his legendary blues performance around the world and back again. Jack is one of Canada’s most awarded and celebrated live performers and session guitarists. He has released more than ten records over his illustrious career and has played on hundreds of other recordings with artists ranging from Etta James and Ronnie Hawkins to Bo Diddley and Blue Rodeo. He is an astonishing live performer, soulful vocalist and world class songwriter, critically acclaimed by music writers and fellow musicians alike.

The finest blues guitarist in Canada.” – Jeff Healey

Jack has been a Juno Award nominee five times, winning twice for Blues Album of the Year. He has won seven Maple Blues Awards, taken home first place in the International Songwriting Competition and is the proud recipient of CBC’s Great Canadian Blues Award. Today, he can be found at some of the largest jazz and blues festivals around the world, including The Montreal Jazz FestThe Ottawa Blues FestivalBlues Sur Seine and Puerto Blues. With such impeccable credentials, we are of course very pleased to welcome back Jack de Keyzer to Hugh’s Room Live on April 13, 2019.

* please note that advertised prices exclude fees and tax.

Preston Reed

Preston Reed
$30 Advance / $35 Door

Friday, April 12, 2019 | 8:30pm

One of the most influential and innovative guitarists of the past quarter century, Preston Reed invented integrated percussive guitar playing in the late 1980’s, revolutionising the way the acoustic guitar is played and inspiring generations of musicians around the world ever since. Employing multi-voiced grooves, polyrhythmic percussion and story-telling compositions, Reed’s visionary approach fully exploits the breathtaking orchestral potential of the acoustic guitar.

Since 1979 Preston has released fifteen critically-acclaimed albums and performed on six continents. His long teaching experience includes The Swannanoa Gathering, where he taught Kaki King, his own week-long workshops in Scotland, attended by many over the years including Ed Sheeran, and his recent masterclass at Berklee College of Music. His 1994 instructional video, The Guitar Of Preston Reed: Expanding The Realm Of Acoustic Playing continues to set today’s and tomorrow’s top players on the path to developing their own musical voices on the instrument.

Hugh’s Room Live is elated to present this true master of the guitar on April 12, 2019 in what will surely be an inspiring performance.

Jeff Lang

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Jeff Lang
Advance $30 / Door $35 *

“Australian guitarist Jeff Lang weaves remarkably skilled blues guitar around his songs, effortlessly playing complicated parts but never at the expense of the songs themselves.”
The Onion

“Lang’s only reference point is himself, a unique singer-songwriter-guitarist who follows his own path”
Le Soleil, Quebec

Australian guitarist-songwriter-vocalist-producer, Jeff Lang has built a reputation for making startling music that is accomplished, intricate, gutsy, melodic and loaded with soul. Often taking unexpected turns, he has consistently inspired his audiences by creating a stylistically diverse catalog of over 25 albums.

As legions of journalists have written, Jeff is not one to be easily pegged, though in a general sense it’s fair to say he largely trades in roots-oriented rock; wider reaching in collaborations with the likes of roving guitar anthropologist Bob Brozman, American blues-rocker Chris Whitley, India’s desert-dwellers Maru Tarang and world music virtuosos Bobby Singh and Mamadou Diabate. Jeff’s work with the latter won the 2010 ARIA (Australia’s Grammy) for Best World Music Album, while he and Brozman took one home for Best Blues and Roots Music Album in 2002. Jeff received that same award on his own in 2012.

Jeff has mischievously called his music ‘Disturbed Folk.’ One writer referred to him as a “quiet achiever.” But the overall impression one has from observing Jeff’s lengthy career is that of a driven man who keeps his head down, playing and recording music as if his very life depends on it.

Outside of his homeland, Jeff has toured the UK, Europe, Japan, India, China, South Africa, New Zealand and Canada as well as concentrated work in the U.S., where he has played upwards of 300 shows, living there for 6 months at a time. He has appeared on prestigious American radio programs A Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage and Acoustic Café.
Jeff has shared stages with Bob Dylan, Dr. John, Richard Thompson, Bonnie Raitt, Ani Di Franco, Chris Whitley, Albert Collins, Loudon Wainwright III, Greg Brown, John Butler, AR Rahman and Bob Geldolf, among many others.

Jeff has delivered show-stopping performances at festivals all across the globe: The Dublin Blues Festival, Philadelphia Folk Festival, Quebec City Music Festival, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Winterhawk Bluegrass Festival, Fuji Rock, Glastonbury, Echo Park China, Ottawa BluesFest as well as on his home turf at Port Fairy, Woodford, Bluesfest Byron Bay and Womadelaide.

Jeff Lang’s unique musical vision easily finds a home in myriad settings, from large festival stages to the intimate, long-running Ann Arbor, Michigan club The Ark to the Sydney Opera House. Most importantly, Jeff Lang has achieved what is a rarity in the cluttered world of contemporary sounds: his own voice.

“Jeff Lang is, in my humble opinion, a national treasure, a truly gifted songwriter and an outstanding guitarist. He has been inspiration to countless Australian and internationally renowned roots artists and surely has a place in history as one of this generation’s finest. He has really touched me and musically, I had a kind of revelation…” –John Butler, John Butler Trio

Jeff will be coming to Hugh’s Room Live this February to showcase the strength of his new record and from across his career. Tickets available right now.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.

Don Ross: Louder Than Usual

Sunday, February 24, 2019 | 8:30PM

Don Ross: Louder Than Usual
Advance $45.00 / Door: $50.00

Canadian guitar legend, Don Ross, has been touring internationally for the last 30 years, bringing his trademark groove-based style to audiences in Canada, the USA, Europe, China, Japan, Korea, Russia, India and Australia in the process. His new project, Don Ross: Louder Than Usual, is a new collaborative unit that Don has started to achieve some of the arrangements of many of his tunes that, though they work well in the solo context, were actually conceived as working well with a full band.

The core of the band is a quartet consisting of Andrew Craig on keyboards, Jordan O’Connor on bass, Marito Marques on drums and Don Ross on guitar and vocals. The band got its start in 2018 when Don was invited to perform in ensemble at the Ottawa Jazz Festival. Their sold out show was very well received, and made the band eager to showcase further.

Don Ross was born and raised in Montreal to an Indigenous Canadian mother and a Scottish immigrant father. His bilingual, multicultural upbringing was, perhaps, one of the most quintessentially Canadian experiences one could hope for! He eventually graduated with a Music degree from Toronto’s York University, and then embarked on an award-winning solo composing, recording and performing career that has taken him to dozens of countries over the course of 18 CD releases. In addition to guitar, Don plays about a dozen other instruments, but is certainly well-known primarily for his groundbreaking work as a solo “fingerstyle” guitarist. His music shows affinity for the music that influenced him along the way, including the traditions of urban music (jazz, funk, R&B, soul), traditional music, world music, and 20th and 21st century composers, such as Steve Reich, Keith Jarrett and Pat Metheny.

Don Ross: Louder Than Usual is a quartet that can grow to a larger group with the inclusion of a four-piece horn section, led by luminary wind player and bandleader, Colleen Allen. The band consists primarily of Toronto-based musicians. Despite living on Canada’s East Coast, Don still considers Toronto (where he lived for many years) as his musical home, and from whose awesome talent pool he often chooses his collaborators. Given the realities and expenses of touring however, Don plans to form regional versions of Louder Than Usual in order to open up performance possibilities in other parts of the world.

* Advertised pricing excludes pricing and fees.

Don Ross

Friday, December 28, 2019 | 8:30pm

Don Ross: Louder Than Usual
Advance $45.00 / Door: $50.00

Don Ross began playing guitar virtually by accident.

There was always a lot of music around the house. Don’s dad is an operatically-trained singer. So, the Ross kids heard plenty of voice exercises around their Montreal home as well as classical music on the record player growing up (not to mention the occasional blast of the bagpipes when Don’s dad felt like waking up the neighbours with another musical skill he acquired growing up in Scotland!).

Don Ross was a very musical child, teaching himself some basic piano skills in his early years. But at the age of eight, when Don’s sister came home from boarding school with an old Stella acoustic guitar, he knew he had met his new best friend. Immediately recognizing the portability and “cool factor” of the guitar, Don and his older brother began teaching themselves tunes by the Beatles, Cream, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.

By the age of ten, Don Ross was playing less with a pick and more with his fingers. He was fascinated by the possibility of playing several lines at once: melody, middle voices, bass line. To achieve some of the musical ideas he had in mind, he started retuning the guitar to suit them, inventing new tunings that made things easier at first. But he also realized that he could expand the range of the instrument to make the low strings lower and the high strings higher. The possibilities seemed almost endless.

He began playing publicly (and for money) in his hometown of Montreal at the age of 15. Fortunately he looked old enough to drink by then and even played occasionally at some of the downtown pubs that featured live acoustic music! Around the same time he discovered the music of legendary Canadian singer/guitarist Bruce Cockburn. Don Ross was amazed that such an insightful lyricist could also be a tremendous guitarist. The musical future seemed very bright indeed. He was inspired to write his first strong instrumental tunes for solo guitar around this time.

Education
Don eventually studied Music at Toronto’s York University. Strangely enough, he didn’t focus on guitar but rather on composition, electronic music, and sound recording. Upon graduating, he had visions of being a composer of orchestral and electronic music or film scores..certainly not any delusions of playing solo guitar for a living. What changed his mind was seeing the success of musicians like Michael Hedges, Steve Reich and Keith Jarrett, player/composers who followed their musical intuitions wherever they led and who fell more into the category of “artist” rather than “guitarist” or “pianist.”

Take Off
After graduation, Don Ross decided that the best forum for what he did as a composer would be to perform his guitar music himself. In 1988, he won the U.S. National Fingerstyle Guitar Competition. This earned him a fair amount of media attention back home in Canada, and within days he was scouted to record for Toronto-based independent record label Duke Street Records. He recorded his debut for the label, Bearing Straight, which was released in 1989. Two more recordings for the label followed, 1990’s Don Ross and 1993’s Three Hands. Don then signed with Columbia/Sony and recorded three more CDs for that label: This Dragon Won’t Sleep in 1995, Wintertide in 1996 and Loaded. Leather. Moonroof in 1997. In the meantime, Don won the Fingerstyle competition in the USA for a second time in 1996. To this day, he is still the only player to have won the competition twice!

Signing with Narada Records in 1999, Don Ross released his first completely solo-guitar CD, Passion Session. Recorded in a series of overnight sessions in Berlin’s Passionskirche (The Church of the Passion), the CD has gone on to top many of the “all time best acoustic guitar recordings” lists in publications like Acoustic Guitar Magazine. Some of the compositions on Passion Session, such as “Michael, Michael, Michael,” “Klimbim,” and “Tight Trite Night” have become standards in world guitar repertoire. Huron Street (2001) and Robot Monster (2003) followed, showcasing the depth of Don’s compositional history as well as his ongoing interest in electronic music, through collaborations with Berlin composer Christoph Bendel.

A New Digital Era
With the collapse of the conventional recording industry in the early 21st century, Don entered into a new venture with Milwaukee-based CandyRat Records and its founder, Rob Poland. The move to a completely internet-based model of releasing recordings resulted in the first ever CandyRat CD, 2005’s Music for Vacuuming. CandyRat has gone on to release recordings by dozens of international artists, primarily guitarists and songwriters. YouTube exposure has helped all of the CandyRat artists, and made an international star of Don’s good friend Andy McKee. Other recent projects Don has released in collaboration with CandyRat are Live in Your Head (2006), the thing that came from somewhere (2008, with Andy McKee), his all-vocal CD Any Colour (2009), the solo guitar albums Breakfast for Dogs! (2010), Upright and Locked Position (2012), and PS15 as well as two performance DVDs: Don Ross Live and Live in Toronto (with Michael Manring and Andy McKee).

World
Don has toured regularly since 1989, across Canada, the USA, a dozen European countries, Japan, Taiwan, China, Australia, Russia and India. He has played with symphony orchestras in Canada and Germany, and collaborated live and on recording with Andy McKee, Canadian singer/guitarist Brooke Miller, & Toronto bassist Jordan O’Connor. He also composes scores for television, radio and film, and does production and recording engineering for a variety of other musicians. In addition to acoustic guitar, Don also plays electric guitar, slide dobro and lapsteel guitar, voice, piano, keyboards, bass guitar and drums. He has just started learning to play the Megatar, a Chapman-stick style instrument. At this point, Don admits that learning a new instrument from scratch at this point in his career is “humbling. I’m a rank amateur Stick player, and I still completely suck at it!”

Don Ross grew up in Montreal, has lived at various times in Ontario, Nova Scotia, the USA, China and Quebec, and now resides in Toronto.