Posts Tagged ‘girls’

Top Ten Moments from the Red Light Sainst Cuba Tour 2011

Thursday, March 31st, 2011
As we go through all the media from the Cuba Tour….The hours of video, the hundreds of photo’s and recordings, it is becoming very obvious that capturing, documenting and communicating the RLS Cuba gig is gonna take much more time than anticipated…and it’s gonna be hard to wittle down the moments, the performances and experiences, and still be at least half accurate and honest in expressing what they meant to us musically and otherwise.                            
 So what is the most eloquant, practical way to present large amounts of information in a modern and relatable format?  
 Why a concentrated ”late-night”  style Top Ten List of course! 
 …Hey, it’s a start. 
 1. Headlining Cuerda Viva Fest:                                                          

 This show ranks as one of the wildest shows RLS has ever had. On the Friday night of the Fest, we were the last band on a night of  a dozen acts…lots of metal-head Cuban rocker kids. It was a good crowd and an incredible venue.  Big as a football field and big production. The stage looked like “the Oscars in 1979″ – johnny.                                                              

Cuban Rock-Kids rush the stage during Cuerda Viva Fest.

  At one point during the show, at the end of  “Slander” , the kids just lost it and started pouring on stage. For a moment, I think every RLS member thought we were about to be “torn to bits”, but to our “adrenalyzed content”, they started moshing and dancing and interacting with the band. Security wrangled them off, but they rushed the stage again during “Hustler”. It was a fuckin’ blast!!!!  The night ended with injuries, blood and broken guitars…success in our books!                                        


As part of the tour, we were booked to host some seminars for Cuban musicians. Havana had a tropical rain that night so the crowd was pretty intimate, and what started as a few questions and clumsy bits of advice (along with Humbe and Cesar on translation detail) very quickly turned into a great jam.                  

Red Light Saints with members of Tesis-DeMenta, Cuba-Libre and others, after a wicked cross-cultural jam.

  We started off doing a few RLS tunes and then let loose on some tunes from the Cuban bands. Sounds cheesy, but it was a moment when language and cultural walls just crumbled and music became the communicator and was translating every word perfectly. We jammed with members of Tesis-DeMenta, Cuba Libre and Ivan, who would end up playing several shows on Guitar with RLS. It was a real “musical brotherhood” experience.                                  

 3. Performing for the kids at The Oncology Hospital                                                        

 I think if you ask any member of the band, this will rank number one as the most memorable and meaningful moment of the whole Tour.                

RLS taking pics after performing at the Oncology Hospital in Havana. We recieved much more than we gave.

 As part of  the Tour, we had planned to gather donations and perform for the Kids at the Oncology Hospital in Havana. We thought it was a good way to give back and do something special during our time in Cuba, but none of us really expected that those amazingly brave and happy little kids and they’re families, would completely inspire and change us.                                             

We arrived at the hospital with a load of toys, games and school supplies and laid them on the table in a common room.The kids started wandering in with their moms and dads, followed by the nurses and some staff. After a quick introduction and a few laughs at the expense of our humorous grasp of Spanish, we did a short set of acoustic songs. Everyone ended up singing the “na na’s” at the end of “Friendship Song” and chanting “Cuba/Canada”. There were smiles all over the room…the kids…the band…it was a very special moment for RLS. It reminded us of what’s important. RLS left the Hospital pretty quiet and a little “misty-eyed”.    
 4. The Concert at Maxim Rock:                   

 At least one bandmember will not rank this as his best moment. This was our first “big concert” in Havana’s prime rock club and Johnny was just floored by a bad hamburger the night before. Sick as a dog with food poisoning (bound to happen to someone). He couldn’t even make sound-check. 

Rippin' it Up at Maxim Rock. First big Cuba show for RLS!

 Johnny arrived at Maxim late. Moments before going on stage, he was in the back puking his brains out. But he stood up, wiped his mouth off and rocked it like a pro!!! This was Cuba’s first “real” look at Red Light Saints and we put on a heavy, “big performance” set that really made an impression with the audience. We had people running afterwards taking pictures and hugging us. Saying they “loved the show” and how “the energy and power is so different from the record”. It made us feel welcomed and like we weren’t just a novelty or a “freak-show of foreigners” coming to play rock music in Cuba. “Things were gonna be alright”!                             

Except for Johnny who was hustled off stage and sent back to the Hotel to snuggle up with a bottle of Pepto!      

 5. Recording at Egrem Studios:

Humbe thought it would be a good idea to visit the biggest recording studio in all of Cuba. This was Egrem Studios, where he had recorded several albums previously.

Recording "live off the floor" at Egrem Studios...literally!!!

After getting a little tour of the place (and man was it a huge joint!!!)  and a few of Humbe’s nostalgic tales from days past, we listened to a few tracks the producer was working on. This place had one of the best collections of vintage recording gear I’ve ever seen with these antique Reel-to-Reels and rickety processors, and a sprawling Amek console that stretched the length of the control room.                          

 We talked the Studio into letting us record an “off the floor”,  roots version of “Father and Son” while we shot some footage. We got two takes of the recording and some great footage in this very impressive studio.                                           

 6. Interview with Juanito Camacho:                                                           

Red Light Saints on the Juanito Camacho radio show.

 All we can say about Juanito Camacho is, he is one of those characters you don’t forget. He has been in the Rock/Radio business as long as anyone, is a veritable encyclopedia of music knowledge and has a million stories. He has a widely recognized program on Cuban radio and is a respected figure in the scene. This was our first radio interview in Cuba. It was an hour long and  it was a real discussion as opposed to “How did you get your name”?…Who are your influences”?

We talked about the state of the music industry in Canada and Cuba, Cuba’s historical relationship with well known figures in Rock. They played a few RLS tunes off the new album and talked about how we felt about being musicians…not about fashion or viral video’s…but about music.                                                           

 A month earlier, Juanito caught wind that Jimmy Page was in Havana, so like a “special agent” of Rock n’ Roll, he tracked him down, cornered him and coaxed the elusive Jimmy Page into an interview. Juanito Camacho has a charm that can catch you off guard and speak without inhibition.                                                            

 7. Concert At Bertold Bretch Theatre with Sintesis:                                                           

 On our last night in Cuba, we played a show with a legendary Cuban rock-fusion band called Sintesis. This band has been playing a mix of Rock/Jazz/Funk with African music for over 35 years in Cuba, and is a very well known and popular band. That was a real honor for us.  Their sound was incredible.                                                        

A great set at Bertold Bretch Theatre, playing after legendary Cuban band, Sintesis - Had to cut 2 songs from our set to make our flight.

At this point we were all exhausted from the busy week and hadn’t slept in about 24 hours. Everyone was a bit on edge and cranky This was also an audience that had come to see Sintesis and we weren’t sure how they were going to take us.                                                          

 It actually turned into one of the most relaxed and fun shows we played in Cuba. The vibe was great, the audience loved what we were bringing to the place and we had a circus of musicians come join us on stage. Some expected, some were not, but it was an amazing show. The highlight was a 15 minute version of “The Monk” with an extended guitar “wank-off” with several great guitarists. On stage that night was Ivan (our Cuban 2nd guitarist), Andres on violin, Patricio Malo jumped up for some vocals, the guitarist from Sintesis snatched Johnny’s guitar for a while and of course Cesar on vox and ryths. We had to cut our set 2 songs short and run off stage in order to make our plane home…close call!                                                                

  8. Radio Habana and the “museum” of Cuban Music:                                                                   

Carlos had the important job of transferring all this historical Cuban music (all on vinyl) into digital format for the generations to come

 At this point we had done quite a few radio interview in Cuba, so the novelty had worn off a bit. We showed up at Radio Progresso and had 2 back to back interviews scheduled. This is government run radio, so we got in shit for snapping pictures, but still managed to snag a few photos of the Anti-capitalism, Down with Bacardi, Viva Fidel-type posters all over the walls. The interview went predictably well, but it was the 2 hours afterwards that really stood out.                                                          

 We had been spending our time with Carlos and Pancho, 2 of the engineers at Radio Habana with a combined total of about 60 years between them at the station. They led us to the lower floors of the station where they keep all the archives of of Cuban music shelved on vinyl. There was a wall to wall history of all the greatest music from Cuba…all on vinyls dating back to the 40′s. All the most important music and influential artists lived on these shelves. Some of them had even recorded in the basement of that very studio.   We were given an unforgettable lesson in Cuban music, politics and history and when the conversation turned to Benny More (one of the biggest music legends to come from Cuba and one of the only ”big names” we knew). Carlos was so excited to share tales of when Benny More recorded at Radio Habana and after disappearing for a few minutes, came back with an 6 disc box-set of More’s music as a gift for the band. This visit to Radio Habana was a valuable gift by any standard and really expanded our view of why music is such a large and important part of Cuban life. And why they are proud of their rich artistic  history.                                   

 9.  Day at Santa Maria Beach:                                                       

Cesar and Red Light Saints at Santa Maria Beach...the ocean, the sun and too many Bucaneros

 This was as close to being on vacation as it got for RLS.  Our days and nights were filled with music related stuff, but on the Sunday before we left, we headed down to Santa Maria Beach. It’s not Cuba’s best known beach…it wasn’t even a particularly hot day (kinda windy actually), but for a bunch of scruffy musicians coming out of a Canadian winter…it was pretty much Utopia.                       

The water was warm, the beers were only a peso and we just sat there and got sunburned and reflected on the week we just had. We certainly had mixed feelings about going home. Cuba had been very good to us. Our second “District”.                        

10.Saturday Night at The Cuerda Viva Awards:                       

That’s right! Red Light Saints are an award winning band now!   
The 2nd night of Cuerda Viva was quite a bit bigger than the festival in population and scale. It was an Awards Ceremony for music and arts…similar to say…The Junos, except more acrobats, more belly-dancers, more horns, more dancing girls…It was all  glittery and sparkly.  All the pretty people and industry big-shots were there. Cuban music stars and the “up and comers” …and us. 

Red Light Saints back-stage at the Cuerda Viva Awards with head-honcho Mayito Masvidal.

There were 24 act that night and we were the 23rd. Before performing “Friendship Song” in front of thousands of people, I noticed Humberto standing to the left of the stage with a man who had a well manicured beard and looked important. He was giving him something and people were clapping. The rest of us kinda shuffled over to Humberto, gave him a pat on the back and tried not to look confused. In the circus back-stage, all the “non spanish” speaking members of the band had failed to realize, that the long monologue that the bearded man was giving before our performance wasn’t just an introduction to Red Light Saints. We were being given an award for International Band. The whole Cuerda Viva Awards Ceremony was played on National Television after we left Cuba.               




Red Light Saints Return from a Wildly Successful Cuba Tour

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

 Red Light Saints are Back from their Cuba Tour 2011 and it couldn’t have gone any better. It was incredible !!! We did everything we set out to do and all kinds of things we never expected. Our time in Cuba was filled with the most amazing experiences, crazy shows, good friends, non-stop hustling, powerful moments, great musicians, new fans, laughs, broken guitars….and Bucaneros!!!

We have a load of media to go through, and we can’t wait to share it with all our fans and friends…as a start here is a quick little “photo tour” of our time in Cuba…Red Light Saints…Pinga!!!!

Red Light Saints and a Cuban Classic 

Rockin Cuerda Viva Fest!!!


         RLS at Egrem Studios after recording a roots version Of “Father and Son”. This is the biggest studio in Cuba with an awesome collection of vintage gear.



 Viva Cuba!!!…The National Hotel at Malecon.


Early Morning Interview at Radio Taino…”Speak in short sentences”!!!


               Red Light Saints in Cathedral Square in Old Havana.


Tearin’ in Up at Maxim Rock…Johnny’s sick as a dog, but soldiers on. 


 Big Chad and Lil’ Dan 


Humbe Doing some Busking in Old Havana 

                        RLS played for the kids at The Oncology Hospital.

         This was a very memorable and meaningful moment for the band.


                                                   Heading of to a gig


Kids Rush the Stage at Cuerda Viva…For a moment, we thought they were gonnna rip us to shreds!  One of the wildest shows we ever played…stuff got broke!!!


Traditional Cuban Lunch with a Local Family…The Yucca, Rice and Beans and Grilled Pork…Best eats we had the whole trip, hands down. Thanks Igor (y familia:)!!!

Doing a workshop with Cuban Musicians at the Maxim Rock. Ended up being a great big cross cultural jam…No Translation Necessary!

Radio Interview with Juanito Camacho at Radio Ciudad Habana. This guy was awesome. A month earlier, he was interviewing Jimmy Page…

Jammin with the locals at Malecon by the seaside…someone has had too many Bucaneros!!!

             Outside the Cuerda Viva Venue.



           A little mid-flight band business.


Another one bites the Dust…This Love/Hate relationship with Guitars is getting to be an expensive Habit…We had only been in Cuba 4 days!!!

Red Light Saints walking the alleys of Old Havana.

And we’re off…Adios Canada!

Monday, March 7th, 2011

At some “gawd-awful” hour in the morning, Red Light Saints are gonna wake up and meet at their usual rehearsal spot downtown.

It will be dark, it will be cold…and more than likely, RLS will be sipping a Timmy’s beverage, with the last remanence of sleep lingering in their bodies and minds.

Danny will take the lead on loading the Van  for the drive to Montreal (as per usual) . With the skill and precision of a Tetris champ , he will stack every piece of luggage, equipment and “carry-on” in the back of the Caravan and still have enough space for 5 weary musicians to huddle together and listen to the CBC in mono.

In Montreal, we reverse the packing process and load our goods on rickety, squeaky airport dollies…mine, I’m sure will have a wonkey wheel (…I always get that one!!) At this point, fully awake and anticipating some sweet tropical weather after last night’s generous dump of snow… Canada’s parting gift to RLS…I didn’t even bother shovelling the driveway today.

We have a little “parking lot celebration” as we leave our heavy coats and boots in Johnny’s van…won’t be needing those for a bit. We do the “airport shuffle”!!!

We check in….we wait… and probably wait some more. We don’t mind…Usually we’d be working by now :)

We’ll probably get some funny looks with all the gear we got….we are obviously not going on a vacation to play ”No Woman, No Cry”  around a campfire with some buddies and some beers…

By rock standards, its a pretty tight and compact load…but for airport standards…it raises some eyebrows.

All approved and officialized, we see our luggage and guitars slowly plodding away on the conveyor, through the little black rubber  flaps and into the care of complete strangers, who you hope and pray know the difference between Havana and Alabama…

I can live without deodorant, toothpaste, socks, my copy of “The music lesson” by Victor Wooten, my flip flops, my mp3 player (with my vocal warm-ups), my favorite shirt and possibly my Tums (though probably not…)…but, please…por favor…make sure my Fender f-75 acoustic lands safely in Havana and into my ever-loving arms….

Feeling slightly helpless, but much lighter…I’m imagining that RLS will scramble for a last minute Timmy’s again… partially cause we’ll miss the familiar mediocrity of a double double from “Timmy Hoe’s”…and partially ’cause that’s what Canadians do when their bored…it’s like a localized nervous tick or something.

Tickets in hand, they start calling gates and shuffling tourists in floral prints and knee-shorts on to the plane, hoping to shed a little stress…a little pastiness off their winterized complexions…to get warm and lounge about the beach with peach coloured slushy, girlish drinks.

…sounds good to us, but put in daily Rock Concerts and T.V interviews and now your talking our language… (We ask johnny to change his floral prints and knee-shorts…he reluctantly agrees….no promises on the slushy girl drinks… )

On the plane, we strap in…read the survival card with all the happy little drowning/crashing people inflating the yellow donut around their neck…we listen to the Stewardess do her spiel,(…they haven’t changed that shit in 20 years…the airline industry needs new writers…badly!…I hear M Night Shyamalam is free…though a creepy surprise ending is usually not welcome at thousands of feet in the air…)

The Captain gives us his soothing monologue…something about ” it’s warm there…it’s a few hours away… enjoy something or another”…His name is Barry or something equally uninteresting and inconsequential.

…not listening…I’m busy filming passengers with my new  HD camera with my super zoom on…close ups on all their little nose crusties and neck wrinkles…soft-focus….now a star swipe….everyone looks like Mick Rourke in HD.

Buckled up and the plane bounces along the runway…the snow-scape is static and fleeting, with slight variations in the off white hues and bank-depth preceptions …it speeds up…it starts to blur…that anxious exciting feeling  of escape… a force pushes you into your seat…the wheels lift …stomach drops…things get small … your ears pop … feels good … like we’re going somewhere.

And we’re off…Adios Canada!

Hey Cuba… the Saints are coming!

Stay tuned for more…

Cuba Countdown -RLS Tour Schedule

Saturday, February 26th, 2011


So were now in a single digit countdown to Cuba, and as much as we’re calling this tour the “RLS Rock n’ Roll Springbreak” , there doesn’t seem like there will be much time for Jaggerbombs and bad Canadian suntans…The schedule is pretty full!

Not that we’re complaining – RLS are really stoked to have  a ridiculously loaded musical schedule…it’s not too often that rock n’ roll becomes a full time job…And, here in Ottawa, we couldn’t buy the type of media attention we’re getting in Cuba – Daily T.V. and radio appearances…press conferences…and more.

We also have some amazing shows lined up!

- We now have 2 slots at Cuerda Viva Fest – One on Friday and one on Saturday.

-A Concert at the legendaryMaxim Rock with a from France.

-A show at Bertold Bretch Theatre – this is a real “Theatre” with  a circular wrap-around stage. The audience is 360 degrees. We are playing with a legendary Cuban rock/world beat band (Sintesis).

We also have some cool stuff set up, like a jam with students at a music conservatory, hosting workshops for Cuban rock musicians and going down to Old Havana to busk on the street with a Traditional Cuban band (…this is gonna be awesome…and humbling…).

We’ll be sharing all this with you guys as we go, and there will be loads of video and photos to check out…we promise to bring back souveniers & strange tales!!!

So Here it is, the full Red Light Saints Cuba Tour 2011 Schedule

Monday March 7th:

A.M.- Leave Montreal to Havana

Noon- Arrive in Havana. Welcome Interview w/Culturales NTV

P.M.- Donation and Acoustic Show for Cultural Sociedad Jose Marti

Tuesday March 8th

A.M.- Interview w/ Juanito Camacho – Radio Ciudad

Noon- Lunch w/ Cuerda Viva Fest Organizers

P.M.-  RLS Workshop for bands from The Cuban Rock Agency

          – Interview w/ Cuba Tonight

Wednesday March 9th

A.M.- Interview w/ Juventud 2000 & Radio Rebelde

Noon-  T.V. appearance on Canal Habana

P.M.- tba

Thursday March 10th

A.M.- Press Conference @ Studio EGREM

Noon- Soundcheck Maxim Rock

P.M.- Concert @ Maxim Rock

Friday March 11th

A.M.- Jamming at music school – Conservatory Guillermo Tomas

Noon- Soundcheck for Cuerda Viva Fest

             – T.V. Interview w/ “23 y M”

P.M.- Cuerda Viva Fest

Saturday March 12th

A.M.- Busking w/ Traditional Cuban Band in Old Havana

Noon- Soundcheck for Cuerda Viva Fest

P.M.- Cuerda Viva Fest

Sunday March 13th

A.M.- Jamming/Video @ Santa Maria Beach

Noon- …hopefully still on the beach!

P.M.- Concert @ Bertold Bretch Theatre

Monday March 14th

A.M.- RLS return to Ottawa via Montreal.

P.M- Sleep!

RLS IN CUBA – Rock N’ Roll-er-coaster

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Hey Y’all

The logistics of setting up the Red Light Saints Cuba Tour 2011 has been a real roller-coaster.

Booking a tour is always an exercise in persistance, patience, and dedication, but as you can imagine, setting up a tour in Cuba is a bit trickier.

The distance,the language/cultural barrier,the lack of Internet access…

And you can never be 100%  on anything…such is Rock n’ Roll…and such is Cuba!

But we’ve had a great team working for us, to make sure that everything is organized when we land in Havana on March 7th.

So to them, RLS gives a huge Thanks/Gracias!

The Cuban Ministry of Arts and Culture have been wonderful to us,  helping us get the paperwork needed, sponsorships organized, and generally just cutting through the Red Tape (…Cuba’s gift wrapped in “Red Tape”…)

We’ve been working with an excellent Tour Manager, who has been doing a lot of the leg work for us and knocking on the right doors.

And, of course Humbe has been driving himself  “loco” to keep it all running smoothly…dotting I’s and crossing T’s.

Here is a video of Humbe on a recent RLS promotional tour in Cuba:

No Sleep For The Wicked – RLS bassist, Humbe, on Radio Havana promoting the Red Light Saints Cuba Tour 2011

This tour has only been announced in the last couple weeks, and while it is news to everyone else, we have been working at it for 6 months or so - phone calls, e-mails, official letters, promotional  trips to Cuba. … relentless… exhausting… totally exciting!

Most things are confirmed.

A few things are still up in the air.

And some great new prospects for RLS in Cuba on the horizon.

We will be releasing our full Tour schedule shortly.



Red Light Saints – Montreal, Up In Smoke.

Sunday, July 25th, 2010


A couple weeks ago RLS played a pretty cool show in Montreal at the Kosa Arts Centre. It was a pretty highbrow event (at least for your average beer swilling, shaggy haired Red Light Saint). The event was filled with many members of the Latin community in Montreal and beyond. There was a 5 course meal, open bar and…free Hand rolled Cuban Cigars, dispersed by 2 nice young ladies in some Brazillian Carnival get-up…The event was hilarious:)…

Chad celebrates the fine art of Hand Rolled Cuban Cigars with 2 new friends...About to play a set.

Humberto rocked a little Latin set in the cigar tent. Johnny, Dan and I were huffin back on enormous Cubans and sippin Gin & Caronas. All these Latin big-wig dudes were scrambling to get photos with the Cigar Girlz…laughin it up, with wafts of smoke hovering around us…

Showtime…The Red Light Saints played an acoutstic set, on this enormous stage at the arts center. There were 2 pianos, all our gear and the gear of the 8 piece Cuban band that followed us ( …a Grammy winning band, led by some incredible Woman pianist in a yellow dress and her bass/percussion playing husband, nicknamed – El Pulpo-  ”the Octopus”..they were amazing).

Red Light Saints Acoustic set up in Montreal

The show was set up all classy-like…with tableclothes and crystal. It looked like a wedding…or awards show.  We rocked  light, jazzed up versions of some of the Red Light Saints songs we do in our rock set. We did Virtual Life, 4 Ur Luv, Frienship Song…seemed to go over well…don’t think anyone was expecting it;).

We also did a Version of our new Acousto-Blues tune “Lullaby”, with Humbe slappin the bongo and bass, Danny holdin down multiple precussions, Johnny had his Banjo and slide guitar in action. It was a sick version…hope to have the vid up soon.

We ended with a punky cover of the Beatles classic, Elanor Rigby…We’ve been doing that lately. A rare cover for RLS. It usually ends in chaos and feedback, but came off decently on AcoustX…the whole show was some real intimate, tasteful Red Light Saints…Good job , lads!

We were totally pampered with hotel rooms, Breakfast, Cigars, Dancers, Music, Liquor, Fine Foods and Good People…

Damn Good time had by all I would say…