dinsdag 16 april 2019

John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives live, Q-Bus Leiden. Friday 12 April 2019

Photo: Wo.
Older and greyer we've become in the five years John Paul Keith did not release a new record or played in the Q-Bus, that small but oh so sympathetic venue in Leiden. With fond memories of a great rock and roll show I went there once again for an evening full of good time music, played by three fantastic musicians.

The One Four Fives is a transient ensemble. This year bass player Matthew Wilson and drummer Donny Banks make up the band. Both sang some fantastic harmonies as well. At the front of the show is guitar player extraordinaire and singer John Paul Keith. His music is 100% nostalgic. He writes originals, but all based on specific kinds of music from the rock and roll era and U.S. pop of the pre-The Beatles boom. So one minute the roof threatens to collapse while three minutes later the protective layer of all my teeth threatens to explode due to the sugarcoated Pat Boone version of rock and roll that comes by.

Photo: Wo.
What amazes me, is the ease with which the trio plays all the different sub-genres of rock and roll and even pure country by way of a song written for a side project of Keith called Motel Mirrors. The guitar sound goes from a soft stroke, to a country twang to a rock growl. All comes by when appropriate.

Several songs invite singing along to, even at first listen. On stage there simply is not a bad song among them. Even the sugarcoating of 'Miracle Drug' is perfectly alright, making me want to sing 'Love Letters In The Sand' or 'Bernadine'. In the mix of songs presented to us in a high tempo it is simply a beautiful point of rest, before the next rock song is unleashed. Listening to how the songs are built up, looking at fingers fly on the frets, seeing all the different techniques of playing all is added to the overall joy of being present at a show that celebrates the joy of playing rock and roll music.

Photo: Wo.
To top it off a strong rock cover of 'Lucille' was played, while the show ended with a authentic cover of Roy Orbison's 'Pretty Woman', a song I loved playing and even more singing the harmony part with my previous band. These two versions of songs show the extremes where John Paul Keith finds his inspiration and recreates a world that is no longer to be found except on record and some tapes from tv show of the 50s and early 60s. Ricky Nelson, Roy Orbison, Pat Boone, Johnny Cash, Peggy Lee, Little Richard, even Ten Years After, etc., etc., all have found a place in the music of John Paul Keith. Artists that for the most part are not among us any more.

What finally needs mentioning is that John Paul Keith has made the guitar styles of all those guitar players behind the singers of the 1956 - 1964 era his own and then some because of the modern technique that is at his disposal. A small click with his boot gives us another subtle or stark sonic effect. Within a song up to four styles in soloing can come by. Basically leaving me in awe of his technique. There are really only two styles of the youth music at the time he does not venture into, Chuck Berry style rock and roll and electric blues. The rest is more than covered by this fantastic live artist. A splendid time was guaranteed for all at the Q-Bus.


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