Jack De Keyzer Silver Blues

How better to celebrate 25 years as a published songwriter than to throw a party and invite your loyal fans. Yet this local hero — in true de Keyser style — took this opportunity to revisit his entire catalogue of music to present something different live than you might hear in a typical de Keyser show. As things turned out, this is a live record that rivals the best live album you own. This year’s Guitarist of the Year (Maple Blues Award) proves — in no uncertain terms — why he is one of Canada’s top live acts, bolstered here by a crack rhythm and horn section, and the killer keyboards of Martin Aucoin. Bluesman, yes, but Jack’s calling card marries his rockabilly past with his love for soul/jazz and the more sophisticated guitar teachings of Grant Green and Kenny Burrell. His vocals, too, have evolved and his love of Marvin Gaye bears out on tracks such as "That’s the Way.” His recasting of the Bop Cats’ "Dressed to Kill” (one of the best tracks on the album) underlines his gifts as both composer and arranger. But the shining star amidst the tightness of this band is Jack’s guitar — his signature tone and dazzling leads giving the faithful exactly what they want to hear and then some. Jack starts there and Silver Blues is a picture-perfect snapshot of just how far this showman can take you. And what a way to go! (Blue Star)