This week we had Sean Kelly on the LeBrain Train. In order to highlight one of his many fun works, here is his version of “The Warrior” performed by Trapper with Emm Gryner on lead vocals. The classic Scandal cover features a great guitar solo — a “composition within a composition” as Sean might say. Check it some Trapper!
It’s a LeBrain/Superdekes two-fer! Check out his Trapper review by clicking here.
Trapper are a Canadian supergroup who gained a bit of extra attention when they got to open for Def Leppard. Sean Kelly (guitar), Emm Gryner (vocals/bass), Frank Gryner (bass/guitar) and Tim Timleck (drums) impressed everyone with their version of “Illégal” by Corbeau on the concert stage. Their only EP sold out long ago, but now Trapper are back with a studio version of “Illégal”. The two-track iTunes single is backed by a surprising cover: “Bye bye mon cowboy” by Mitsou. Two Canadian covers, both in French…ballsy move for a single!
“Illégal” has a beautifully chunky riff, and Kelly captures that with a nice crunchy guitar tone. Emm Gryner’s lead vocal is to die for, squealing in all the right parts, shouting it out loud, and delivering the goods. She has depth, grit, power — the whole package. The drums are huge. When you hear it you’ll be wondering where this song has been your whole life. And that’s all before you hit the guitar solo, a treat in itself, like something from a classic Bon Jovi track that you never heard before.
Now I’ll be honest about something here. As a snobbish rock fan in the 1980s, I hated “Bye bye mon cowboy”. It was on MuchMusic all the time and I grew weary of Mitsou. But I like Trapper’s version! I am pretty sure Mitsou didn’t have this much guitar. Transformed into a rock song, “Bye bye mon cowboy” works! The groove is perfect and Emm’s delivery is just right. Big rock hooks, while still retaining everything important about the original.
As for that guitar crunch? Sean Kelly says “Can’t beat a Les Paul and a Marshall! (Actually the Headrush Plexi amp simulator.)” There you have it, players!
I wholeheartedly endorse Trapper’s “Illégal” and “Bye bye mon cowboy” for your patio this summer. I knew this was going to be good, but I didn’t expect to like “Bye bye mon cowboy” as much as I do. They rocked it up, put it in my ballpark, and I’m pumping my fists to Mitsou! Grab ’em on iTunes today, and cross your fingers and hope Trapper have more music coming in the future.
GETTING MORE TALE #743: A Shout-Out to Sean Kelly
When it’s warranted, I like to use the Getting More Tale banner to include tributes to helpful individuals. This goes as far back as Record Store Tales. These chapters are mini-stories wrapped in a thank-you…or vice-versa.
So let’s go back to the beginning for a moment. Ever since I first launched this site in 2012, I’ve been talking about my insanely cool VHS library and how badly I wanted to show it to you. Now I’m doing that (as you’re all painfully aware by the lack of review content), and it has been enjoyable, rewarding work! Long hours, but well spent. Reliving old memories, hearing forgotten songs, and seeing those MuchMusic VJ faces from ages past…watching these old tapes is something I try to do a little bit every day.
But I’m not doing this just for me. If I was just looking for “hits” or “views” I would just make endless lists of things. That seems to be the kind of content people click these days. I’m doing this for history, both personal and general. I think these old rock star interviews and clips are historically interesting. For you, and for posterity, I think it’s important to get the details as right as possible. I can usually nail down a rough date of recording, and the names of all the people involved.
Usually. This is where Sean Kelly comes in.
Sean Kelly is the Canadian axeman behind Metal On Ice (the book and album). He’s currently playing with Lee Aaron, Trapper, and I can’t keep track of them all! I have his #1 Classical Guitar Album. He has been a regular on Helix CDs over the past decade. He’s played with Nelly Furtado, and of course his own band Crash Kelly! Superdekes interviewed him last year, and there’s no question: the guy knows his rock! (According to the Superdekes interview, Sean and I have something in common: the first rock album we bought was Metal Health by Quiet Riot.)
As I’ve been going through my tapes, I’ve been taking screen shots (like these below) to tease social media. Sometimes I’ll post a challenge: “Name all the people in the picture”. Sean Kelly has a 100% score!
Yeah that’s right. Sean Kelly has yet to get any wrong, and I’ve posted some challenging ones. Only Uncle Meat has come close to Mr. Kelly. (Meat is at about a 99% or so.)
But where Mr. Kelly has helped me out was identifying some of the MuchMusic personalities. As I said, I want to get the details of these videos right for historical purposes. Any time I needed help figuring out who the interviewer was, Sean knew it, and usually got it within five minutes! And it’s funny too. The names “Ziggy Lorenc” and “Lance Chilton” were on the tip of my tongue, but he just knew them right away.
I guess that’s why he’s the professional!
The guy is a virtual encyclopedia of rock. He identified some of the artists just by the instruments they were wielding. He’s also a super talented player and writer, and a helpful friendly chap too!
I really appreciate Sean’s assistance getting the details for the VHS Archives right. Check out the track I currently cannot get enough of: Trapper’s cover of “Illégal” by Corbeau. Trapper is a supergroup consisting of Emm Gryner, Frank Gryner and Tim Timleck. This song rocks! Enjoy.