Jack de Keyzer
RD's BBQ and Blues - Toronto, Ontario
by Joe Curtis
Photography © 2003 by Ray Stiles, all rights reserved.
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award"|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation
Jack de Keyzer and his incredible blues band played palatial (but surprisingly comfortable and down-to-earth) RD's BBQ and Blues at 14 Duncan St. (in the heart of downtown Toronto's dance club district at University and Queen St.) on Saturday, October 19, 2002. Every time guitarist de Keyzer and his rousing, enjoyable band perform, is likened to a Toronto Blues Summit. (replace "Toronto" with any other location in the world, and the meaning is equally as valid.) The quality of execution on each and every tune is treated the same way a master craftsman creates a beautiful and long-lasting work of art. The audience, whether long-time fans or visitors to the blues genre, are captivated by the de Keyzer charm and talent.
The dance floor was packed most of the time, with happy party-goers getting in tune with their bluesy souls. Jack's guitar solos were a transfiguration of blues heaven through his strat on each and every note he played. His backup band were some of the crème de la crème of blues musicians in Canada. de Keyzer mainstay, Tony Ajo was kickin' ass on the skins all night long. His percussive intuition really got the blues beats going with energy and good taste. Al Duffy was playing bass that night, thumpin' 'n pumpin' out the bottom end of this superb band's performance, through three glorious sets of the finest blues, R & B inspired blues, country-inspired blues and straight-ahead good old
fashioned 50's rock 'n roll. The variations in form and style were all from the heart, which is the very reason Jack's fans have been coming to see his band in one form or another for decades.
Having had dinner before I arrived, I was too full to be able to enjoy anything from RD's tantalizing and varied BBQ menu. On a previous occasion the rib eye steak I had, melted in my mouth. The great BBQ'd flavor lingered in my mouth for hours … the memory of it lingers on! One thing I and the rest of the lucky audience, including co-owner Grant
Cobb did eat up, appetite or not, was the low-cal mouthwatering blues from Jack's great band. Whether slow blues with inspired leads to die to hear, to up tempo straight-ahead raw drivin' blues, rock-a-billy and R & B tunes, Jack's strat ruled! Manager Neil Wilner, and the attractive girls serving thirsty customers, seemed enthralled by the band's repertoire too! When everybody's getting off on fantastic, well-played tunes, that rare combination really adds to the already magical atmosphere in a club or club/restaurant. That's what makes RD's a very special experience which patrons. staff and bands alike want to come back to again and again!
RD's BBQ and Blues
14 Duncan St.
Jack de Keyzer
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