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Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Joel Kaiser at Grumpy's

Joel Kaiser at Grumpy's

On His Own | Jesse Creatchman

I caught a glimpse of a Montreal hobo outlaw last Saturday night. He was holding up Grumpy's Pub on Bishop St. downtown Montreal. The guitar pickin' Joel Kaiser, along with the thieving Lisa Bates on fiddle, stood on the stage of the small downstairs community of oddballs and outliers, singing the innocence out of all of us in hard country fashion.

Joel is a great country act in a town that's not too sure what's to make of itself musically, especially when it comes to country music. He certainly has made his presence known, fronting two successfully active bands, the five piece and wild Joel Kaiser & The Devil's Own and the grassy foursome, The Hobo Outlaws. This summer during a temporary "ralentissement" of both groups, he is releasing his worthy solo EP Better Than Debt. The album features a mixed bag of Montreal musicians often spotted busking for change or performing onstage for beer. Jason Lariviere is on the album. He's a killer banjo player and member of the of the Outlaws and the Devil's Own. Tyler Parent of the former Joe Henry & the Rocking Bones and four-string slapper is also featured on the EP.

Standing in the bar listening to the sometimes rock, often psycho, but always billy artist, hearing the seedy gritting voice of old experience reverberating out of a not-so-old individual, I wondered of the roads he's had to run down, the tracks he's had to cross, and the lonely desert nights he must have passed just to sing this painful, terribly awesome country music so damn well and tastefully. He's aware of his surrounding. Catch him any given Monday at the Wheel on Bob Fuller's Hillbilly Night and you'll be hearing sad and sweet ol' Hank Williams. Catch him on a saturday riot at Cafe Chaos and he tends to take a fashionable turn towards a rowdy Hank Williams Jr-esque.

Last Saturday night he was somewhere in between. It was a slow night for a weekendwith the Grumps. Maybe Bloodshot Bill at Divan Orange or the noise coming from Crescent St. kept some folks from coming to enjoy the act. An up-and-coming country artist out of Mtl with a bright future ahead of him. HERE is a link to a video I grabbed while I was there.

And THERE is a link to Joel Kaiser's ReverbNation webpage where you can have a listen to track off his new album. He'll be on tour this summer just south of the border and across the pond in Germany. Keep an eye out for him when he gets back.
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