Nelly Furtado Picked the Right Guy

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…and so did Helix, Coney Hatch, Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), Honeymoon Suite, Rough Trade, Doc Walker, Gilby Clarke (Guns N Roses), and Lee Aaron. ; and many many more.

As one of Canada’s most premier and sought out guitarists, Sean Kelly has carved himself out a blossoming career and I had the chance to speak with him recently.

Our original interview had to be rescheduled (by ME…imagine that) and Sean was very welcoming in my follow up request.

When we spoke via his home in Toronto, I could tell right away that he was very down to earth………….think of the what people say about Rudy Sarzo, John Corabie….that sort of kind of guy.

Anyway, aside from being a Married With Children guy, he’s also the guy that goes on stage in front of thousands of fans and plays the axe for a comfortable living. His style is quite versatile obviously as he has been in Nelly Furtado’s’ band which plays pop and radio music to playing hard rock with everyone from Helix to Coney Hatch to Lee Aaron.

Speaking of Nelly Furtado he told me, “we are great friends and she is such an amazing person and artist ; I would definitely work with her again if she calls”.

Sean is well educated and has a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Education degree from Nipissing University. On top of his list of influences, I was glad to hear that Randy Rhoads “is one of the reasons I studied classical guitar; I actually recorded Dee (RR) for a classical album I did many years ago for Universal (records) ” Jeff Beck, Mick Mars, and Eddie Van Halen round out some other reasons Sean first picked up the guitar.

Because of his natural talent, Sean has appeared on The Late Show With Conan O’Brien, The Today Show on NBC, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The View, MTV Awards, Billboard Awards, Canada AM, and the very first show he played with NF in Mexico was in front of over 150 000 people.

If that wasn’t enough, playing in front of an estimated 500 000 people at a festival in Poland would rank among his highlights which are numerous in Sean’s catalogue.

As you put one and one together, the sum equals a very busy guy with his family and career. Last year was especially busy as Sean was touring with Coney Hatch who he grew up being a fan of. Hatch were opening for British Lion (Steve Harris/Iron Maiden). Working and growing up being a fan of Maiden made working on the same bill as Harris even more special. Speaking of Steve; “he’s a great guy and it was a thrill hanging with him” Kelly also said that British Lion were great and even with the Steve Harris stamp on it, “it’s a totally different beast”!

Getting back to his work with Lee,…. Aaron and her band (Sean/Cody/Dave) will be playing three shows this week in Ontario so be sure to catch them if they are in your neck of the woods. The shows are Thurs (Ottawa/The Brass Monkey), Fri (Toronto/Rockpile), and Saturday night in Niagara Falls at the Seneca Queen Theatre.

Kelly had nothing but praise for his current employer: ” Lee Aaron is the best musician I’ve worked with …..bar none……..she is a forward facing artist and is always making new music and albums”

Live with Lee Aaron will have a mix of older stuff (Bodyrock/Metal Queen) and some of her newer compositions from Diamond Baby Blues (2018).

Always the opportunist to plug my shows, I asked Sean if he’d ever worked with the Killer Dwarfs (Soo Blaster/ April 27 /$24.50) Get your tickets NOW !!

Although Sean hasn’t worked directly with the Dwarfs, he has recorded with Russ Dwarf on the Metal On Ice soundtrack (redoing Keep The Spirit Alive) which was done in conjunction with Sean’s book Metal On Ice about tales of Canadian hard rockers.

Speaking of another Dwarf; I have worked with Gerry (Finn) quite a bit as we used to do corporate gigs and we had an act called The Guitar Throwdown. We’d dress up as rockers and the lawyers and bankers would try and stump us (song requests) and Gerry and I would race to see who got to the riff first (laughter)…yeah he is such a great guy and musician and has a great rock and roll spirit” Sean had to say of his longtime friend.

Summing things up, Sean is also generous with his time, having donated time and energy to numerous charities and good causes such as (TEMPO…Through Education and Entrepreneurship Music Provides Opportunity) but I guess you could have figured that one out. It didn’t take me long to sense it. Some research pulled up a quote by Sean and I think it pretty much sums up Mr Kelly.

” I practice the attitude of gratitude”

Thanks again, Sean !

Next UP….I will be interviewing former Dokken bassist and current Foreigner member Jeff Pilson.

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Ernest Skinner
Ernest Skinner was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie and attended Humber College after high school. He has a passion for other cultures and has travelled throughout Mexico and many South American countries. He has written many articles over the years that deal with events happening here in Sault Ste. Marie and around the globe. Ernest has interviewed many rock and roll musicians including, Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy.Dio.Whitesnake, Quiet Riot), Brad Gillis (Night Ranger). Adrian Vandenberg (Vandenberg, Whitesnake, Moonkings), Carlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot), David Ellefson (Megadeth), Sass Jordan, Lee Aaron, John Corabi (Motley Crue/Dead Daisies), Geoff Tate (Queensryche) Richie Faulkner (Judas Priest), Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Foreigner) and many more. Reading about ancient civilizations, world politics, and mysteries of the unknown are also defining factors that are his general makeup. Outside of being serious, he has a bright sense of humour that was moulded from shows like Seinfeld & The Simpsons. Ernest is a freelance writer.