Larry Leishman CD

Read More about Larry Leishman recent Traynor Tribute at The Opera House on Oct 11 was posted on You Tube today.
It features Bobby Kris wailing the blues … Stormy Monday Blues to be precise.
With guitarist and buddy Larry Leishman alongside … and keyboards by David Chester.
Bobby Kris, who now sings with Burrows And Company, was a prominent classic r’n b singer
in Toronto in the 1960’s … in the days when Peter Traynor held sway as the amp repairman at the original location of Long And McQuade on Yonge Street.
Kris and the band he fronted then, The Imperials, released a version of Burt Bacharach’s Walk On By on Columbia Records in 1965 … a successful hit in Canada at the time.
Many other musicians from the period appeared at the tribute concert to provide some support for Peter Traynor, who is suffering from degenerative spinal disease and other health issues.
Including …
Jon Finley And The Checkmates, Robbie Lane, George Olliver, Shawn And Jay Jackson, Steve Ambrose, Danny Marks, Dean McTaggart And The Alpha Beats, Walter Zwol, C.J. Feeney … now Lee Van Clear, along with guitarist Fred Keeler and The Cameo Blues Band
The concert raised approximately $4000 for Peter Traynor.
Soon a video of the whole show will be available … again with a view to support Mr. Traynor.

When the senior’s crowd and all those golden girls get a look at this video … and there are a lot more of them than there are tweenies … it will be Justin Beeber look out joked Kris!

Bobby Kris now.....is available on iTunes

Heartbreak Hotel is available on iTunes


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Bobby Kris

BOBBY KRIS NOW - CD Notes

SONGS: all from the CD Bobby Kris Now … recorded in 1998
Walk On By, I’ll Go Crazy, She Moves Me, Lovers Question and Raining Fire

RECORDED AT: Band tracks at Lydian Sound in Markham
Vocals at Sam Reid’s boathouse studio on The Holland River … literally
RECORDING QUALITY: finished product … now available on iTunes
PRODUCED BY: Sam Reid DATE: sometime in 1998
ENGINEERED BY: Scott Campbell MIXED BY: the legendary Mike Jones

GUITAR: Larry Leishman
BASS: Dennis Pendrith
ORGAN: Dennis Keldie … also PIANO on Lovers Question
DRUMS: Mark Kelso
PIANO: Bob Burrows aka Club Hand Bob … on Raining Fire only
TENOR SAXES: Steve Kennedy and Mike Sartor
ALTO SAX: Steve Collins … also the arranger on all but Lovers Question
TROMBONE: Jim Beck
FLUGELHORN AND TRUMPET: Ricky Waychesko
VOCALS: Bobby Kris

This is clearly the best band I have ever sung with in my life! … some of the best players in the country … or anywhere for that matter … with a five piece horn section to boot!
This session came together in the strangest of ways.
I was teaching at the time, not singing at all … and received a retroactive pay equity settlement.
My financial advisor said … you have way too much money this year … we have to lose it somehow.
I replied … How about farming? … No you have already lost all you’re allowed to doing that.
How about the music business? … That sounds good! he said... and the project was born.
So we … my wife and I … went out and hired the best producer we could find … Sam Reid.
And Sam did one very fine job on this project from start to finish … a wonderful experience.
Sam had been a friend for a long time … used to manage a local band he was in at 15 years old.
Before he went on to become the keyboard player and co-writer of all the big hits for Glass Tiger.
Sam had a lot of experience in the studio … and great ears for this kind of music as it turned out.
So he and I assembled the band … and what a band it was!

Mark Kelso … the youngest guy on the session … was playing drums for Holly Cole at the time.
Dennis Keldie was and remains one of the hottest Hammond players in Toronto.
Dennis Pendrith was an old band mate actually … later indirectly introduced him to Bruce Cockburn.
Then he went on to play all over Canada and beyond for many years with Murray McLaughlin.
Steve Kennedy was and remains an icon in blues and jazz music in Canada … one of the best sax players on the planet … and an idol of mine for many years at the original Blue Note Club in the 60’s.
He brought along a buddy of his, Ricky Waychesko … a wonderful trumpet player.
Larry Leishman … originally a member of the classic Toronto band The Checkmates … is one of my longest standing musical buddies … and one of the best r’nb and blues guitarists in the country.
Jim Beck and Mike Sartor were horn players I had met more recently in a local band … The Butanes.
And the late Steve Collins played for a long time and did arrangements for George Olliver.

One more note of special interest about this recording … the sound engineer Scott Campbell was a former student of mine in Grade 6 at Whitchurch Highlands PS … and he got into the business as a result of the student rock bands we played in together back at that school … where he stumbled across a mixing board and fell in love with the whole thing.
Later Scott went on to Fanshaw College to learn the craft professionally.
And he has indeed learned it very well … today he is a partner and senior recording engineer in a very highly regarded and well established recording facility in downtown Toronto.
One of those very sweet moments in life … and especially as a teacher.
Will that circle be unbroken? … well life certainly came full circle here.

Every Day I Have The Blues

SONG: Every Day I Have The Blues
WRITER: B. B. King

MUSICIANS: The Jack DeKeyzer Band with …
GUITAR: Jack DeKeyzer
HAMMOND B3: The Groove Doctor
SAX: Rick Thornton
Don’t know the names of the drummer or bass player.
Same bass player who has played with Jack for years.

LOCATION: Uxbridge Music Hall, Uxbridge ON
DATE: June 2012
Recorded live off the board onto an 8 track digital recorder.
Mixed thereafter by David Chester at Chalet Studios, Claremont ON
No new overdubs added to original recording at music hall.

This was a sweet experience … at the Uxbridge Folk ‘N Blues Fest.
Jack invited me to sit in during the intermission between sets.
I said I would love to do that …. What should we do … how about Every Day I Have The Blues.
Good choice for something like that because it’s pretty straight ahead to play.
Yet it’s still lots of fun for me … have always loved the way B. B. King sings this tune.
It’s so fat and laid back and sweet to sing … and I seldom get to sing it.
Jack probably play the song every other night … but he was inspiring here … great solos.
And The Groove Doctor showed us why we love Hammond B3’s so much.
And he got to do it on the real McCoy too … with Leslie Cabinet and everything.
It was a blast … wish I got to do that more often.

Hard Times

SONG: Hard Times
WRITER: Ray Charles

VOCAL ARTIST: Bobby Kris

MUSICIANS: The Bobby Kris Live Band 1998
Regulars included …
TENOR SAX: Steve Kennedy, Mike Sartor
TROMBONE: Jim Beck
TRUMPET: Ricky Waychesko, Andy Gravitis
GUITAR: Larry Leishman
DRUMS: Al Cross
KEYBOARDS: Wayne Kelso
BACKGROUND VOCALS: Gord MacBain, Judy Burrows

LOCATION: The Roman Palace Banquet Hall in The Tannery, Newmarket Ontario
Recorded live off the PA Board … no studio work or editing

DATE: Sometime in 1998 after the release of the Bobby Kris Now CD

Always loved this Ray Charles song.
Nice tenor work by Steve Kennedy and lovely guitar solo by Leishman.

I wonder Who

SONG: I Wonder Who

VOCAL ARTIST: Larry Leishman

MUSICIANS: The Bobby Kris Live Band 1998
Regulars included …
TENOR SAX: Steve Kennedy, Mike Sartor
TROMBONE: Jim Beck
TRUMPET: Ricky Waychesko, Andy Gravitis
GUITAR: Larry Leishman
DRUMS: Al Cross
KEYBOARDS: Wayne Kelso
BACKGROUND VOCALS: Gord MacBain, Judy Burrows

LOCATION: The Roman Palace Banquet Hall in The Tannery, Newmarket Ontario
Recorded live off the PA Board … no studio work or editing

DATE: Sometime in 1998 after the release of the Bobby Kris Now CD

This song is a wonderful example of how much Larry Leishman loved to sing.
The more he sang the better he got at it … and this song suits him to a T.
Whenever I have played live the band always goes out and plays an instrumental first.
And then sometimes someone else in the band sings a tune … like what happened here.
I was always pushing Leish to sing more but he remained rather shy about it til the end.
And something else to celebrate here … the incredible keyboard solo by Wayne Kelso.
I don’t know for sure who was drumming here … probably Al Cross … really great work too.
Frankly we lost our shirts trying to promote and float a 9 piece live horn band.
But we sure had a lot of fun doing it!

I'll Go Crazy 1989

I’LL GO CRAZY 1998

One of my favourite James Brown songs … heard it first on Live At The Appollo.
Wasn’t a big fan of James for the most part … but I love this tune.
Only saw him live once … at the old Mimicambo roller skating rink on The Lakeshore.
We played there frequently back in the old days … cool spot to play as people roller skated.
He was fine … if you like to watch somebody throw a lot of cufflinks into the audience.
Or put on an innumerable parade of melodramatic false endings shrouded in a cape.
The man certainly could move on stage … surely he inspired many of Michael Jackson’s moves.
But when it came to the music, he couldn’t hold a candle to folks like Ray Charles or Bobby Bland.
However, nobody was better at that black rooster struttin’ his stuff approach to life!
And clearly there is a time and place for that sort of thing.

Lovers Question

LOVERS QUESTION 1998

This song got added to the CD at the last minute … with no preparation at all.
I frequently use this tune as a warm up song … the older I get the more I have to warm up!
And I have always loved it since I first heard the original as a kid by Clyde McFatter.
So I was warming up to sing on the session when I started doing this tune.
Then I thought, I have some pretty talented people around here at the moment.
Why not take a run at this and see what happens … and this is what happened.
Dennis Pendrith’s bass work is spot on as it always is.
This kind of thing was Mark Kelso’s bread and butter, working with Holly Cole at the time.
And Dennis Keldie just came up a wonderful performance on the piano.
We lucked out and had a lot of fun.

Raining Fire

SONG: Raining Fire 1985

WRITER: Bob Burrows
PUBLISHED BY: Out Of The Wilderness Publishing DATE: 1985

RECORDED AT: Farm House
RECORDING QUALITY: Initial Exploratory Demo
ENGINEERED AND MIXED BY: Joey Stewart

GUITAR: Mark Boadway
BASS: Wayne Davis
ORGAN: Jim Oskirko
SYNTHESIZER: Sam Reid
DRUMS: Gord MacBain
PIANO: Bob Burrows aka Club Hand Bob
VOCALS: Bob Burrows

This is the original demo for Raining Fire recorded in the farm house session in 1985.
We later came back and took another run at the song in 1998.
This recording includes many players from The Imperials in days gone by.
Along with two young guys I had met while managing a local heavy band called The End.
Mark Boadway … who was 13 or 14 when I first heard him play … on a Les Paul guitar.
And Sam Reid sat in on synthesizer … to emulate horns and such.
The recording was engineered by a guy who did the live sound for The End … Joey Stewart.
He was a wild and crazy guy … but he had great ears.
The recording set up in the house was a hoot … the “studio” was the living room … which was all covered in day glo painted eggflats glued to the walls to cut down on reverb … and the “control booth” was in the bedroom at the other end of the house.
From time to time we had to stop because the wind was rattling the large glass windows.
Even though we had them covered and deadened with sleeping bags, they still rattled!
I wrote the song about acid rain at the time … it could be about a much broader focus than that.
I sent it in to The Acid Rain Coalition c/o their head lobbyist Michael Pearly.
As a gift and something that they might be able to use to advance the cause.
To my utter dismay, they didn’t even have the courtesy to acknowledge that they had received it!
I can understand that they may have gotten a lot of stuff from people.
And that they might not have liked it or thought it could be useful in any way … no problem.
But to not even bother to say thank you for submitting it at all is inexcusable bullshit.

Raining Fire 1998

RAINING FIRE 1998

This song was written about the environment … acid rain in particular at the time.
But it could apply to a much broader focus as well … because we continue to rape the planet.
And we don’t show much indication of stopping doing that any time soon.
The horn arrangement here again is exquisite.
And so is the masterful guitar work of the late Larry Leishman.
The solo on this recording is one of my very favourite guitar solos.
It is sweet and clean … and as Larry said it just flies.
He was really thrilled and gratified by this solo and by Sam’s production and said so.
But what really drives this recording is the wonderful drumming of Mark Kelso.
Interesting to note about that … all the great little accents Mark plays in sync with the horns were actually recorded the day before the horns came in … he was reading the horn charts!
It is also the only song on the CD that includes a performance by Club Hand Bob on piano.
You have to listen hard but it is back in there.
We added it after the others had played … Sam thought something was still missing.
I wrote this tune on the piano … obviously … and had banged it out a lot at home.
So I was ready to bash away … and I had a lot of fun doing it.
Thank goodness for modern corrective technology however!

She Moves Me 1985

SONG: She Moves Me 1985

WRITER: Bob Burrows
PUBLISHED BY: Out Of The Wilderness Publishing DATE: 1985

RECORDED AT: Farm House
RECORDING QUALITY: Initial Exploratory Demo
ENGINEERED AND MIXED BY: Joey Stewart

GUITAR: Mark Boadway
BASS: Wayne Davis
ORGAN: Jim Oskirko
DRUMS: Gord MacBain
TROMBONE: Tom Baker
PIANO: Bob Burrows aka Club Hand Bob
VOCALS: Bob Burrows
BACKGROUND VOCALS: Lynda Addison

This is the original demo for She Moves Me recorded in the farm house session in 1985.
We later came back and took another run at the song in 1998.
This recording includes many players from The Imperials in days gone by.
Along with a young guitar player I had met while managing a local heavy band called The End.
Mark Boadway … who was 13 or 14 when I first heard him play … on a Les Paul guitar.
The recording was engineered by a guy who did the live sound for The End … Joey Stewart.
He was a wild and crazy guy … but he had great ears.
The recording set up in the house was a hoot … the “studio” was the living room … which was all covered in day glo painted eggflats glued to the walls to cut down on reverb … and the “control booth” was in the bedroom at the other end of the house.
From time to time we had to stop because the wind was rattling the large glass windows.
Even though we had them covered and deadened with sleeping bags, they still rattled!
The reason I wrote the song is self evident and it may well be the best song I have ever written.
Really like this version but the one we did in 98 was a step or two up the ladder from this.
Have placed it just before the ’98 rendition so you could see where it came from.
And where we took the idea from there.
Most interesting story here is the wonderful eclectic trombone solo by Tom Baker.
Tom was once a neighbor of mine who normally performs in the world of classical music.
He is the Director of The Uxbridge Chamber Choir and works on other projects in that milieu.
He is a well known classical composer … and he plays at a piano bar in Uxbridge regularly.
However, as a younger musician looking for work he played trombone for a while with a Toronto r’n b horn band called The Majestics … so I asked him to sit in here.
He didn’t have a trombone at the time so I picked one up for him at Cosmo Music.
I worked there then and the mixing board and other stuff we were using came from Cosmo too.
It was a good trombone but not a top of the line model which seemed to disappoint Tom some.
Tom fancies himself to be quite the musician … and of course he is.
But he hadn’t played with The Majestics … or the instrument … in many years.
When he took a run at the solo he wasn’t satisfied with it … and neither were we.
Some parts were okay but others didn’t work so well.
After explaining that he hadn’t played trombone for a long time and that his lip was out of shape we encouraged him to try the solo again … which he did … with the same result.
Some good moments here and there but …
Now he was getting a little despondent and I wasn’t sure he would try again.
So we listened to the first take again … still not quite up to par … but okay.
And then we listened to the second take … same thing … and Tom was clearly crestfallen.
Then I said … play them both at the same time … which we did … and it was wonderful!
Sounds like two drunken hippos kind of wandering through the middle of the song!
They call and answer each other, stumble over each other in a way you could never plan out
I just fell in love with it immediately … and that’s what’s on this track.
One of those lovely sweet accidents in the studio … wish there were more of them.
Of course at that point Tom went home thrilled with himself … as were we!
Hope you enjoy.

She Moves Me 1998

SHE MOVES ME 1998

This is probably the best song I have ever written.
We have paired it with the demo of the same song made in 1985.
So you might have some idea where it came from.
Song was written a few years before that earlier demo.
Steve Collins’ horn arrangement on this recording is superb.
Love the flugelhorn solo here by Ricky Waychesko … and the story that goes with it.
We were recording all the horn work on a Sunday afternoon and we had been at it for a while.
Ricky’s solo was one of the last things we got to.
We had been warned that if he headed out for a beer break we were done for the day.
And we was getting kind of ansi … maybe he’d just slip out for a little break and be right back?
But we convinced him to hang in there for just a couple more takes and kept looking for the prize.
Steve Kennedy was working with him and encouraging him … a wonderful mentoring experience.
Ricky kept going at it until suddenly Sam lit up like a Cheshire cat after one take … both thumbs up!
We ran it back and gave it a listen … are we okay I asked … he beamed from ear to ear.
And that’s what you listening to here … one fine piece of playing.
What Ricky didn’t know was that I had brought in a quart of Heineken and stashed it in a fridge.
So I hustled back and grabbed it and encountered him just as he was throwing on his jacket.
I handed him the cold one and said thank you so much for your wonderful work and for hanging in.
He then exclaimed … Oh man, thank you! … and he kissed me right on the face!
It was a great afternoon.

Walk On By 1965

SONG: Walk On By 1965 version on Columbia Records

WRITER: Bacharach: David
PRODUCER: Stan Klees
RECORDED AT: RCA Studio Toronto DATE: some time in 1965
RECORDING QUALITY: released commercially across Canada on Columbia Records
ENGINEERED BY: probably George Semkiw

GUITAR: Gene Martynec
BASS: David Konvalinka
ORGAN: Marty Fisher
DRUMS: Gord MacBain
TENOR SAXES: Gerry Shymanski and Rick Loth
VOCALS: Bobby Kris

This is our first … and only … “big hit” on Columbia Records … released in Canada in 1965.
The recording features the classic line up of Bobby Kris And The Imperials … the r’n b band.
A photo of this particular version of the group is on the Bio Page … standing along a wall.
Our agent later said … That’s a great shot of Casa Loma … where the hell is the band?
In my view, this was the best rendition of the band we ever had back in the day.
We were a classic r’n b band then … with two horns and some very nice silk ‘n wool suits.
It was almost an accident that we recorded this song … we loved it and played it all the time.
But our management was looking for something more like The Beatles and the British bands.
We sort of snuck this tune into the session … and it turned out to be the most successful.
It was actually the B side, on the back of a piece of crap Martynec and I wrote … Travellin’ Bag.
Thank goodness a DJ somewhere turned the record over and started playing this tune instead.
We recorded 4 songs completely in 3 hours one afternoon at RCA Studios in east end Toronto.
The session was produced by Stan Klees who didn’t have a clue what he was doing but who knew?
We were under a lot of pressure to not make any mistakes … no digital comping back then, just tape.
And you can certainly hear that in my rather defensive singing performance.
But all in all it came out well … and was very well received all across Canada.
It was one of the first recordings by a Toronto band to crack the iconic CHUM Chart.
At a time before there was any such thing as Canadian content regulations.
The recording on the jukebox is actually taken off air from 740 AM … Zoomer Radio.
And the introduction to the song is by a DJ there … Robbie Lane … who back in the day fronted a another very successful Toronto r’n b band called Robbie Lane And The Disciples.
They were several steps up the ladder from us at the time … appreciate his kind remarks.
Hope you enjoy … this recording put Bobby Kris And The Imperials on the map in Canada.

Walk On By 1998

WALK ON BY 1998

Still not entirely sure why I chose to record this song again … maybe as a touchstone of some kind.
Hadn’t sung the tune for a very long time … and to be frank I am getting kind of tired of the whole Bobby Kris thing … but it certainly isn’t emulative or imitative of what we did in 1965 or of the original recording by Dionne Warwick … in fact it is a very different walk down that musical path.
And in retrospect that is most gratifying, because it demonstrates something rather important.
Hopefully as we all walk through life we learn something about what we do.
While I am very proud of our recording in 1965 … and always will be in that context and perspective … there is simply no comparison that can be made between these two recordings.
This version of this wonderful song is so superior in every possible way … as it should be.
It hangs … as many of the songs on this CD did … on the exquisite arrangement by Steve Collins.
Interesting to note that the intro section is 13 bars long … which is most unusual … yet it sounds completely natural … and even normal!
And something else that needs to be said … about the vocals in particular … and the wonders of modern technology … the digital world and what is called “comping”.
Some call it cheating … but that is utter nonsense.
Singing in the studio is an entirely different beast than singing live.
There is no audience to inspire you … to connect with or bounce off … just you and a microphone.
In the “good old days” you were stuck with whatever came out of your mouth … forever.
You could use take number one … or take number two … but if there was anything about either one of those that wasn’t spot on, then you just had to live with that … or start cutting the tape!
As a result, you tended to perform defensively … hoping to not make a mistake … as I did in ’65.
Which is all very good of course … but certainly doesn’t represent your best effort either.
When you sing live, you just go for it … nobody cares particularly about this little detail or that.
It’s the spirit of the performance as a whole that carries the day … and remains in people’s hearts.
When we did this recording in ’98, digital comping was fully available and on the table.
And Sam was and is a master of this wonderful craft.
As a vocalist, this process liberates you … it frees you to go for broke every time you sing the tune.
Because you know that, if you didn’t quite get what you were after on one take, you probably will get it on one of the others … and then Sam will just cut and paste it into place.
We just took all the bed band tracks back to his boathouse recording studio one lovely spring day.
Relaxed together … sang all the songs on the CD … took a break, had a bite, drank some white wine.
And then did that over and over … about four times throughout the day as I recall.
Then Sam later assembled a final product at his leisure thereafter … and ran it by me for review.
He then tweaked a few details here and there … and voila, we were there.
Watching Sam work on this was an amazing experience … like a sound surgeon of some kind.
And it does indeed represent the best aspects of how I sing the tune … as I might do it live.
One particularly gratifying detail about the vocal track is that the entire ending is from one take.
Later we took the final tracks of all the songs … with the vocals … to the legendary Mike Jones.
One of the very best mixing engineers in the country … we were lucky to get him through Sam.
And again he did a remarkable job of mixing this whole session from start to finish.
Lastly, putting aside anything to do with the performances, the technical work on this recording by all three of those folks … Scott, Sam and Mike … was and is truly outstanding work.
There is a depth and richness to the sound on this CD that is most uncommon and that you will never ever hope to hear if you listen to the recording as an mp3!
I know people who actually take this CD with them to the audio store when they are buying new equipment to make sure it is up to snuff … now that’s a real tribute to the quality of the work here.
Hope you enjoy … it was one wonderful ride.

You Don't Know Like I Know

SONG: You Don’t Know Like I Know

VOCAL ARTIST: Bobby Kris with Gord MacBain

MUSICIANS: The Bobby Kris Live Band 1998
Regulars included …
TENOR SAX: Steve Kennedy, Mike Sartor
TROMBONE: Jim Beck
TRUMPET: Ricky Waychesko, Andy Gravitis
GUITAR: Larry Leishman
DRUMS: Al Cross
KEYBOARDS: Wayne Kelso
BACKGROUND VOCALS: Gord MacBain, Judy Burrows

LOCATION: The Roman Palace Banquet Hall in The Tannery, Newmarket Ontario
Recorded live off the PA Board … no studio work or editing

DATE: Sometime in 1998 after the release of the Bobby Kris Now CD

This was one of my favourite Sam And Dave tunes.
I have used it as an opening song for a set many times.
Kind of gets the juices flowing and is a fun song to sing … especially with Gord.
We sang this song together hundreds of times as kids in Bobby Kris And The Imperials.
My late wife Judy joins in with background parts as well.
Judy loved to sing but had only done church choir and other classical experiences.
She always wanted to sing rock ‘n roll so this was her big chance to do that.
She loved putting on the black tights and the leather high heel boots and letting loose.
Behind the scenes she was the band mother, librarian, paymaster … running the outfit!
No surprise to any female readers I’m sure.

Burrows And Company

Be My Lady

SONG: Be My Lady

WRITER: Bob Burrows
PUBLISHED BY: Out Of The Wilderness Publishing DATE: 1985

RECORDED AT: Farm House
RECORDING QUALITY: Initial Exploratory Demo
ENGINEERED AND MIXED BY: Joey Stewart

GUITAR: Mark Boadway
BASS: Wayne Davis
ORGAN: Jim Oskirko
DRUMS: Gord MacBain
PEDAL STEEL: Al Brisco
PIANO: Bob Burrows aka Club Hand Bob
VOCALS: Bob Burrows
BACKGROUND VOCALS: Lynda Addison

This song definitely has a country edge to it.
Song is about a woman who I wanted to be my lady obviously … she said no by the way!
We eventually lived together for a while but things just didn’t work out well.
We did have a lot of fun in the bedroom together though!
A lot of guys on this session from the old Bobby Kris And The Imperials days again.
Exceptions to that … young guitarist Mark Boadway and Al Brisco on pedal steel.
Thing that stands out most here is the pedal steel playing by Al Brisco … a real master.
I worked with Al at the time at Cosmo Music … he was in charge of the pedal steel dept.
He organized a pedal steel convention at one point … brought in players from all over North America and it was an incredible display of talent on the instrument.
I was The Emperor Of Rentals at Cosmo … until I got fired by the lunatic who ran the place.
Anyway, Al’s work here is just exquisite … as it always is.
He later played with us on Heartbreak Hotel in 2011.
Lovely background singing here as well by drummer Gord MacBain.
And by a former student of mine … Lynda Addison.

Dreams

SONG: Dreams
ARTIST: Larry Leishman

This is a lovely instrumental track I got from Larry Leishman.
I got quite a few over the years and always looked forward to what he would come up with next.
He sent me a lot of songs with vocals on them as well.
He loved to sing and he was getting better at it all the time.
Came up with some interesting concepts around staggered background vocals that worked well.
Kind of reminded me of Ry Cooder vocally … his approach was similar somehow.
Again asked him if I could put this track on my jukebox too … no problem.
This man was a very fine guitarist as this file clearly demonstrates.
Sweet and dreamy … just like the title says.

Gonna Do It Right

SONG: Gonna Do It Right

WRITER: Bob Burrows
PUBLISHED BY: Out Of The Wilderness Publishing DATE: 1985

RECORDED AT: Farm House
RECORDING QUALITY: Initial Exploratory Demo
ENGINEERED AND MIXED BY: Joey Stewart

GUITAR: Mark Boadway
BASS: Wayne Davis
DRUMS: Gord MacBain
PEDAL STEEL: Al Brisco
FENDER RHODES: Bob Burrows aka Club Hand Bob
VOCALS: Bob Burrows
BACKGROUND VOCALS: Lynda Addison, Gord MacBain, Bob Burrows

Wrote this song while I was on a solo camping trip.
It came to me as I was cruising down a river in my 16 foot cedar strip canoe with my 2hp outboard.
I was heading out towards the lake to do some pickerel fishing on a lovely sunny day.
When all of a sudden this song came tumbling into my head out of the sky.
The problem was that I had no way to record it or anything like that … for days!
So I sang it to myself over and over … until I came out of the bush and found a tape recorder!
Some great pedal steel on this recording … by Al Brisco who is a very fine player and a gentleman.
Al has played with some of the biggest names in Canadian Music and is sought after for sessions.
We worked together for a few months at Cosmo Music … in the real old days of the store.
He was in charge of the pedal steel department … I was The Emperor Of Rentals.
I was shown the door after a few months … thank goodness … that place was crazy!
It’s full of musicians and ex musicians behind the counter … all of whom have some kind of scam on.
The main reason I was working there was for access to equipment I needed for recording.
Everybody else had some kind of ulterior motive happening too.
And after all they were all musicians … so what do you think might be going on … it probably was.
And the folks in front of the counter run anywhere from some skinhead with swastikas all over banging his head on the counter, to some prissy teacher with a copy of Oklahoma under his arm.
Al runs his own pedal steel company now and players beat a path to his door from all over the country.
The topic of this song speaks for itself … in the title.
I could never understand why people want to “turn down the lights” in those special moments.
Hell I’m all for turning on every light in the place so I can see what’s going on! … and why not?
Maybe bring in a video camera for that matter.
Sex is a wonderful gift from the Creator … the best kind of play there is.
Times like that are far too few and definitely something to celebrate … not hide in the dark.
Don’t know why some people are so embarrassed and timid about sex.
Sort of picture people banging their draft mugs on the table for this one … a beer hall ballad.
Feels like a good party song to me … so let’s turn up the lights … and have a good time!

Heartbreak Hotel

SONG: Heartbreak Hotel

WRITER: Mae Boren Axton, Tommy Durden and Elvis Presley
DATE RECORDED: June 2011

RECORDED AT: Chalet Studios, Claremont ON
RECORDING QUALITY: finished product
ENGINEERED BY: Theo Postumus with assistance from David Chester
PRODUCED BY: Sam Reid and Bob Burrows

MUSICIANS …
GUITAR: Larry Leishman
STAND UP BASS: Dennis Pendrith
DRUMS: Jim Casson
PEDAL STEEL: Al Brisco
PIANO: Bob Burrows aka Club Hand Bob
VOCALS: Bob Burrows
FLUGELHORN: David Ivany
TENOR HORN: Megan Smith
BARITONE HORN: Jeremy Smith

The story behind the making of this recording is explained in great detail on the Home Page.
Or maybe the way we have it set up better call it … The Homeless Page.
So I won’t repeat any of that now.
But what I would like to talk about for a minute is the playing here … it is immaculate.
Sam and I started the recording process by getting together at his studio to make a voice w/ keys demo.
So that all the musicians would have some idea what the overall approach or feel of the song was.
I went over there to show Sam what I had sort of roughed out on the piano, hadn’t touched it in years.
So that he could play it … he is a keyboard player after all … and then I could sing along.
But when I tried to show him what to do he turned and said …
I don’t know how to play that stuff … you play it! … my jaw dropped substantially … gulp!
All I can say is that Sam is a very patient man and thank goodness for modern corrective technology.
We eventually got through the playing part … took a lot longer than it should have!
So then I took a quick run at the vocals … went back and cleaned up a couple of spots.
And so we had our musicians demo done … time to send it out.
First guy I sent it to was Leishman … my right hand man on everything for the last ten years.
But especially for this particular song … felt that the guitar would play a pivotal role here.
Next day I get back an e mail from him saying that he had slapped something on the demo I sent him.
Would I have a listen to it and see if this was the kind of thing I was looking for.
So, wanting to really sit back and enjoy it, made myself a nice coffee, sat down and clicked the mouse.
What I heard blew me off my chair and literally had me in tears by the end of it.
It was one of the most powerful performances of that kind I had ever heard … and very moving.
If I had sent that demo to Eric Clapton I wouldn’t have gotten back anything that good.
Now the performance on this recording is not exactly the same … but it is just as powerful.
Larry had a wonderful way of always making something feel fresh when he played it.
He never did come at anything exactly the same which was always a great gift and a joy.
Larry also played harp on this track.
The work of Al Brisco on pedal steel is also exquisite and a great compliment to the guitar.
We weren’t exactly sure if the pedal steel would work here … whether it would be too much.
So we recorded Al after we had finished with everyone else.
And we didn’t feed him any of Larry’s guitar solos either so he would have lots of room to free play.
And then we would edit whatever we wanted later.
Well it didn’t only work, it worked in buckets!
When we recorded this we were mindful that we were playing the song for the homeless.
So we wanted to keep it dignified … yet it still needed to be derelict and off the rails.
And the guitar and pedal steel gave us the latter quality in spades.
And we picked up the more dignified aspects through Dennis on acoustic bass.
And the brush work washing the snare by Jim Crossan who was brought in just for that purpose.
The horns add a certain feeling of depth and grace when they come in, in the third verse.
And the horn arrangement by Duncan Hopkins was perfect for what we were after.
The piano track also helps to hold things down … and it remained the same one from the demo.
We never did have a chance to go back and work on that again … or on the vocal.
Both are still the same as what I sent to Larry at the start.
Lastly, Sam has great ears, a wonderful sense of taste and he is a joy to work with.
As Larry said, Sam doesn’t play this music at all but he sure understands it and hears it very well.
David Chester’s assistance was also very useful that day and his studio is a warm and charming place.
Theo did a great job for us behind the board … impressed Sam very much.
It was an afternoon I will cherish forever … and especially now that Larry has passed away.
In my mind this is one of his very finest performances on the Telecaster.
And one of the very best guitar performances I have ever heard.

Hoochie Coochie Man

SONG: Hoochie Coochie Man

WRITER: Muddy Waters aka McKinley Morganfield
DATE RECORDED: Summer 2008

RECORDED AT: Chalet Studios, Claremont ON
SlipOne Digital, Newmarket ON for some guitar and harp work with Larry

RECORDING QUALITY: exploratory demo
ENGINEERED BY: Scott Campbell with assistance from Theo Postumus and David Chester
MIXED BY: David Chester
PRODUCED BY: Bob Burrows

MUSICIANS …
GUITAR: Larry Leishman
HARP: Larry Leishman
HAMMOND B3: David Chester
BASS: Dennis Pendrith
DRUMS: Al Cross
VOCALS: Bob Burrows

We just got together for some fun one evening at David Chester’s studio near Claremont.
Originally I had been thinking of putting on an evening of music in order to raise money for my failing company… and when that fell through … first the fundraiser and then not too long thereafter the company … I thought well I have these guys booked to play … so why not play.
Do some stuff I had been singing on the couch and in the van for a while … with really good players.
Phoned David Chester up … his studio was open … so we went there and had a good time.
Turned out Al Cross and David were old friends who hadn’t seen each other for a while.
Leishman drove all the way down from North Bay to sit in.
At a later date, Larry dropped in to Sam Reid’s studio in Newmarket … SlipOne Digital.
There he took some more runs at the guitar track with his Telecaster.
The time before at Chalet Studios he had been playing a Strat … which was unusual for him.
So he wanted to go back to his Telecaster for a specific edge … and he got that big time!
His guitar work comes at you from all over the place.
He also overdubbed all the harmonica work … he loved to play harp.
And especially in this song where he always was trying to create musical tension.
It came for his love of Garth Hudson doing that in the performance with Muddy in The Last Waltz.
Except here Leish pulls off the same effect with the mouth organ.
At times there is a certain ragged raw beauty to Larry’s playing … sometimes he’s smooth as silk.
This is definitely the former of the two … he was a very soulful blues player.
And the other guys just caught this tune really well.
You can’t lose with Al Cross sitting behind the kit and Dennis Pendrith playing bass.
And David’s laid back lines on Hammond were right on the money.
A good time was had by all … hope you enjoy.

Radar Men From Mars

SONG: Radar Men From Mars
ARTIST: Larry Leishman

Larry Leishman shared this file with me … and it quickly became one of my favorites.
It’s Larry from one end to the other … wild, free, sweet and fiery.
He put this whole track together by himself.
Someone asked me what Larry was “on” when he did this.
I said he was “on” another planet.
I loved Radar Men so much I asked him if he would mind me putting it on my jukebox.
He said no problem … so there it is for all to enjoy.
No one played a bigger role in Burrows And Company projects than Larry.
Love to share his abundant talent with anyone who cares to listen.
We had a lot of fun making music together … I will miss him deeply.

So Pretty

SONG: So Pretty

WRITER: Bob Burrows
PUBLISHED BY: Out Of The Wilderness Publishing DATE: June 11, 2011

RECORDED AT: Chalet Studio Claremont ON DATE: June 24, 2011
RECORDING QUALITY: Initial Exploratory Demo
ENGINEERED AND MIXED BY: David Chester

GUITAR: Larry Leishman
BASS: Dennis Pendrith
ORGAN: David Chester
DRUMS: David’s computer
PIANO: Bob Burrows aka Club Hand Bob
VOCALS: Bob Burrows

The publishing date above would seem to indicate that I wrote this song recently.
But that isn’t entirely true … more accurately I rewrote it then.
For a while in 2011 I started playing some piano again … had been a while.
Well perhaps playing is too strong a term … more like banging on.
Don’t call me Club Hand Bob for nothing … I earn it every time I sit down at the keyboard!
Had my late wife’s stoic antique stand up serviced and tuned … as much as possible.
By Bob Penney … legendary piano tuner in Newmarket.
Bob had actually put it back together many moons ago.
When she moved in with me at the farm, my wife brought her piano … in boxes!
She had taken it apart to refinish the piano … but had no idea how to reassemble it.
How female is that … the piano has to look nice, whether you can play it or not.
I had met Bob as a school teacher … he tuned a lot of pianos for the Board.
Great guy … very quiet and humble … and very good at his work.
He had to fix school pianos all the time of course.
So he rebuilt the old beauty … once a working player piano.
I have the scrolls somewhere … the original programmed music!
Anyway was playing about on it one day when suddenly an old idea just came to my hands.
Like it was programmed in there … which indeed it was.
Only took a few minutes to remember a couple of parts … and there it was … a song.
Melody came back to me with the chords and all that.
Remembered that I also had written a whole set of lyrics for it many years ago … in the 80’s?
Actually went hunting for them in old files and such places … I am quite the pack rat.
But to no avail … so I just wrote them over again.
Certainly recalled what the song was about! … hard to forget something so wonderful!
And gradually some phrases started to come forward from somewhere back in my archives.
Amazing how our brains work … talk about retrieval from an ancient database!
So here it is … all rebuilt and ready for the road … hope you enjoy.
Obviously on the raunchy side of things … but that’s a lovely place to be from time to time.

Love Larry’s guitar work here … as always.
David played some nice Hammond effects on this as well.
Funny story about the piano part.
Had written the song in the key of D many years ago and that’s the key my hands remembered.
Practiced playing it many times getting ready to record at Chalet.
But after I recorded the piano part at the studio we discovered that I sang the song in A!
Bit of a problem because I’m not the kind of guy who can play a song in several keys.
I’m lucky if I can play it at all … in any key … so big problem.
But due to the wonders of modern technology turns out that’s no problem at all.
David just told the part to play itself in the key of A instead … and it did!
Problem solved … for the time being … until we have to play it in person.
Guess I’d better start practicing it in A … or better still, hire a good piano player!

Think the tune has some real commercial potential.
Tried to pitch it to Victoria Secret!
You can’t even get to talk to a real human being at that outfit.
And check out their web site … just oozing in money … and lots of other things.
One thing I didn’t understand was their angel’s wings charity campaign.
I know it’s all for a good cause and all that but …
When I’m looking at a gorgeous young woman in some lovely skimpy lingerie
The last thing I want to see on her is a set of angel’s wings!
Devil’s horns maybe … but angel’s wings? … no thanks.
Oh well they have tons of money to burn on such ideas.
Their latest product video is directed by an Oscar winner!
Just thought they might like to use So Pretty to market their lovely wares.
All I wanted out of the deal was to be in the video.
Tried repeatedly to connect with them … by e mail … by phone.
Never spoke to a person in their company … just a switchboard service.
Got an e mail invitation from some robot.
But I was unwilling to send the song to some anonymous e mail address.
So my son said … what about Frederick’s of Hollywood?
Never heard of them … so I went Googling.
Doing research on this project has been quite inspiring I must say!!!
Got in touch … and got a response … from someone named Candice Valencia.
How California and Hollywood is that!?
Sent her a note telling her that I had a song that was a bit on the raunchy side of things
That Fredericks might find useful for marketing their sexy products.
She e mailed me back … pointing out that their products could hardly be considered raunchy.
And invited me visit their web site and see for myself … which I had already done!
But I didn’t mind having to go back and look again … just to make sure of course.
And somehow all those garter belts and thongs and mesh stockings still seemed kind of raunchy.
So I replied that I was withdrawing my invitation to listen to my song.
Since it didn’t match up to their lofty standards … or their idea of appropriate semantics.
And wondered if they were running a Sunday school or a lingerie company over there!
Guess I will just have to win the lottery, round up some gorgeous young women.
Buy them so lovely exquisite lingerie … and shoot a video myself.
Now there’s a project worth looking forward to!

Turn Me Loose

SONG: Turn Me Loose

WRITER: Bob Burrows
PUBLISHED BY: Out Of The Wilderness Publishing DATE: 1985

RECORDED AT: Farm House
RECORDING QUALITY: Initial Exploratory Demo
ENGINEERED AND MIXED BY: Joey Stewart

GUITAR: Mark Boadway
BASS: Wayne Davis
DRUMS: Gord MacBain
PEDAL STEEL: Al Brisco
FENDER RHODES: Bob Burrows aka Club Hand Bob
VOCALS: Bob Burrows
BACKGROUND VOCALS: Lynda Addison, Gord MacBain, Bob Burrows

I wrote this song for a school production of Peter Pan at Whitchurch Highlands PS..
The play was written by students and all the music was performed by students.
In this scene, Princess Tiger Lily has been captured by Captain Hook and his mob.
She sang this song while being tied to a rock … pleading with the old meanie to let her go.
As it turns out the song stands up very well on its own … aside from the context of the play.
In the production, Princess Tiger Lily was played by Lisa Addison … Lynda’s little sister.
The song was performed in 3 part harmony … with two other girls singing from the pit.
Both of those girls played Wendy alternately … Laura Summerfeldt and Cathy Merkley.
The pit band was led by as young guitarist named Chris Connolly.
Typical rock band set up … drums, bass, organ, guitar etc.
I had been working with all these kids for several years … and this was the culmination.
It was a great show … got standing ovations every night … we had lots of fun.
Hope you enjoy the tune.

Wasted Lives

SONG: Wasted Lives

WRITERS: Bob Burrows, Larry Leishman
PUBLISHED BY: Out Of The Wilderness Publishing DATE: May 8, 2011

RECORDED AT: Chalet Studio Claremont ON DATE: May 15 and August 9, 2011
RECORDING QUALITY: Rough Demo
ENGINEERED AND MIXED BY: David Chester

GUITAR: Larry Leishman
PIANO AND ORGAN: David Chester
KEYBOARD BASS: David Chester
DRUMS: David’s computer database
VOCALS: Bob Burrows

This song started with Larry.
He sent me a very soulful and mournful track he called Wasted Minds.
About some kid named Johnny who got shot … a victim of gang gun violence.
Very unusual topic for Larry to write about.
Usually it’s more about being told to hit the road by his woman.
Or vice versa … so this was really something new for him.
And it felt very fresh … a great idea for a song.
But I thought that it was something really personal to him as it was.
And not ready to put out there quite yet.
So I asked him if I could mess around with it … he said sure.

I put the song together very much with the framework he had created in mind.
It was still a story song … and covered many of the same bases as he did.
Changed the title and added in a bridge.
I actually wrote the piece with him in mind to sing it as well.
But he gracefully declined to do that eventually … which is too bad because he sings quite well.
And as you will hear, he plays guitar as good as the best of them.

Went over to Chalet and worked up the basic instrumental and vocal track with David.
Sent it off to Leishman … actually took quite a while to work up the courage to do that.
I began to wonder who the hell I thought I was anyway, rewriting the guy’s song!
And what if he didn’t like it at all?!
A couple of weeks after the piece was ready, finally sent it off to Larry biting my nails.
He loved it … and so did his wife.
So he laid down a lovely guitar track for it and sent it back.
David went back and put on some organ … and then mixed what we have.
So here it is …

When it was all done we were considering how we might put the song to good use.
Saw a piece about ex pat Canadian Barbara Davidson on the news.
She had just won a Pulitzer Prize for her photojournalistic essay on victims of gun violence.
Down in Los Angeles … for the L. A. Times.
So we got in touch with her … took a while to do that … almost a month.
Eventually got hold of her and sent her the song … but she had little interest.
Seemed that was all water under a bridge for her … she had moved on to other files.
And was turning her attention to winning a Pulitzer for something else at the time.
She suggested we network with local media.
Good idea … we tried that … like talking to a stone wall.
So we’re still looking around for a partner with access to a good database of images.
To create a moving video to address this obscene and terrible problem in our midst.
And something that is relatively new on the scene around here.
As compared to say Los Angeles or New York or any major American city.
Seems we have imported much more than The Super Bowl!
What is most discouraging is how we all seem ready to accept this new reality.
Like it makes sense somehow … just another item on the news every once in a while.
Another kid gets blown away in Jane Finch or Malvern … and now here’s the weather!
So if you have such access or know someone who has such a database please let us know.
We would be happy to contribute this song to any serious initiative related to this issue.
Combine this tune with a series of powerful and moving images related to this problem.
And it may cause people to step back and consider what is going on here.
And more importantly, perhaps motivate them to want to do something about it.
And no, Mr. Harper, we can’t just lock them up in some new jail.

Bob

Who Knows

SONG: Who Knows

WRITERS: Bob Burrows, Larry Leishman
PUBLISHED BY: Out Of The Wilderness Publishing DATE: Feb 15, 2011

RECORDED AT: Chalet Studio Claremont ON DATE: May 16, 2011
RECORDING QUALITY: Initial Exploratory Demo
ENGINEERED AND MIXED BY: David Chester
EDITS OF SAMPLE TRACK: Scott Campbell

TRACKS OF SAMPLES AND RIFFS: Larry Leishman
VOCALS: Bob Burrows

This song fell out of the sky one morning at 3 AM.
Was working away on something entirely different … some writing project.
And had this instrumental track playing Larry Leishman had sent me a while before.
Had heard it many times and really liked it.
And as Monty Python would say, this was something entirely different … for Larry.
Because he wasn’t playing guitar on it at all.
He was just screwing around with some samples on his computer and put this thing together.
Turns out he’s one funky bugger even doing that … when he doesn’t know what he’s doing!
So it was buzzing along in the background and suddenly I started hearing a melody line in there.
A little frustrating because every time I’d start to get into it he switched to something else.
The patterns on his track were irregular and all over the place.
But the more I listened the stronger the lines got.

So I stopped what I was doing and started to work on the song.
Started singing it away from the track so I could get it mapped out for lyrics.
Now the big puzzle was what to write about.
No idea at first … groping all over the place.
Finally came back to title Larry had put on the track he sent me … Who Knows.
Began rolling that around in my head.
Shortly thereafter the lines … Somebody tell me, How will we look them in the eye? …
sort of came out of nowhere … and we were off to the races.
Started thinking about David Suzuki and some of the things he said on a recent show.
About his concerns for the world we are leaving to our kids.
About how his children were more important to him than anything else.
And about how he felt that most of his life’s work had been in vain.
Occurred to me that everybody cares about their children.
Even the worst villains in history probably cared about their children.
Something we all have in common … no matter what.
Maybe another way to reach people about what we are doing to the planet?
Wrote one verse … it was 4 AM … went to bed … thought of the next verse … got up.
And continued doing that in cycle … up, back to bed - up, back to bed … until it was done.
The song seemed to just fall into place like it had always been there.
Just waiting somebody to wail it … and write it down.
But the problem was you couldn’t sing it to anything!
The original track was very irregular and unworkable as it was.
But there were sections of it that we could work with to build the required structure.
So I turned to an old friend … actually former student and techno sound wizard Scott Campbell.
And he was able to cut and paste the instrumental bed track together as required.
Amazing to watch and listen to this guy at work … seamless surgery going on.
If you have ever watched Canada’s Worst anything you have been listening to his work.
Took the finished instrumental track over to David Chester at Chalet Studio in Claremont.
Put on the headphones, sucked on a Meggezone or two and laid down the vocal track.
Great place to sing … looking out over the fields and at the sky.
When we were done, David mixed it.
Sent it back to Larry … he loved it.

We decided to offer it to David Suzuki as a gift and a tribute to his life’s work.
We sent it out to The Suzuki Foundation and were hoping to network with them.
We were thinking that we could build a video of environmental issues to accompany the song.
At this time that concept does not fit into their plans or their budget.
However, we are committed to forwarding any proceeds we ever manage to generate from this song to The Suzuki Foundation … though they shouldn’t be holding their breath!
So if anyone out there has access to a good database of images of environmental catastrophe OR
If anyone out there would like to invest in carrying this song forward to the next level …
Would be great to hire a real horn section and some real players …
Please get in touch!
Meanwhile if you would like to buy this tune as is … as a rough demo … it is available.
We will also include the track Larry sent me to show you where the song got started.
I did write a bridge for the song but we have never tried to use it or record it yet.
Hope you find the tune worthwhile and meaningful in some way.

Bob


Bob Burrows videosBurrows And Company
Features the jazzy / bluesy vocals of Bob Burrows aka Bobby Kris. Along with the exquisite contributions of his various musical associates.
It's all about the music

Welcome to over 3 decades of music showcased in these two juke boxs from my early recording years as Bobby Kris, to my current performances with Burrows And Company.

Please sit back and enjoy this sample of songs that hold special meaning to me and my associates - Bob Burrows

Burrows and Company Jukebox
Bobby Kris

Burrows And Company