Bryan Adams, left, with Surrey-based musician Pat Chessell at Adams’ Warehouse Studios, where Chessell recorded music for his new album. (submitted photo)

MUSIC

New song but no gigs on St. Patrick’s Day for Surrey’s Pat Chessell

‘It’s really tough right now’ for working musicians due to COVID-19, says the ‘Like A Rock’ singer

St. Patrick’s Day is always a busy gig day for Pat Chessell, but not this year.

The Surrey-based musician, who plays a lively mix of Irish folk-rock songs, has had his St. Paddy’s Day performances cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, including both on the books for today (Tuesday). Also scrubbed was a sold-out show of his last Saturday night (March 14) at the Irish Club of White Rock, among several others on his calendar, now and into the future.

Among the busiest gigging musicians in Metro Vancouver, Chessell typically performs close to 200 shows a year, both solo and with a band.

“Everyone I know is saying it’s drying up everywhere, especially with the 50-person ban that came in,” Chessell said. “It’s really tough right now. But it’s funny because people have been contacting me trying to set up stuff for the summer, including some St. Paddy’s Day in July type of events, that kind of thing.”

(Story continues below video)

Also on the bright side, Chessell has a new song to boast in the form of “Like A Rock,” timed for release on, yes, St. Patrick’s Day.

He’s joined on the track by Aaron Chapman, a former member of the Real McKenzies and The Town Pants bands. In recent times Chapman has turned his attention to writing books about Vancouver history, including his Vancouver After Dark collection of stories chronicling “the wild history of a city’s nightlife.”

“Like A Rock” was written by Vancouver-based musician Robert Ford, who died in 2019. Ford, a founding member and leader of the trailblazing Celtic-rock band The Stoaters, had performed with both Chessell and Chapman in the past, and the pair recorded “Like A Rock” in tribute to their departed friend.

Turns out, a Stoaters concert was the first Chessell ever attended as a kid. “I was around 10 years old, I think, and my dad took me to see them at the WISE Hall (in Vancouver),” he recalled.

“Like A Rock,” released by the Stoaters in 1993, is a song Chessell has performed live over the years.

His new version also features music played by Steve Dawson, Nolan Murray (of Tiller’s Folly), Mike Michalkow, Nathanael Powell and Brendan Mooney.

The song is included on a forthcoming new album called The Road Not Taken, recorded at The Warehouse Studio in Gastown.

“It’s bit of a newer sound for me, with more of a rock edge,” Chessell noted.

• RELATED STORY, from 2018: Songs about soldiers from Surrey’s Pat Chessell, for Remembrance Day.

The Warehouse is owned by North Vancouver-raised rocker Bryan Adams, who dropped by during Chessell’s day of recording bed tracks in January.

“It was pretty cool, and kind of funny how he came in,” Chessell reported. “He and Nick Gilder knocked on the door and asked if it was OK for them to come in and listen, like they needed permission or something.… He’s a super down-to-earth guy, and asked about the album and all that.”

Other guest performers on the album include Geoff Kelly of Spirit of the West, Jordan Pritchett and Kevin Evans (Evans and Doherty, Liam Clancy). The Tim Renaud-produced The Road Not Taken, mixed and mastered by Vince Renaud at VR Sound, will be out at the end of April.

“The song (‘Like A Rock’) is a teaser for that,” Chessell noted.

On St. Patrick’s Day at 6 p.m. Pacific time, instead of playing a gig somewhere, Chessell plans a Facebook Live concert to feature “some originals as well as some #ClancyBrothers, @TheIrishRovers and #Dubliners favourites.”

Check it out below.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

CoronavirusLive music

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Surrey man facing charges related to child pornography

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

North Delta crime beat, week of June 21

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

Proposed White Rock waterfront zoning questioned by residents

Group says approval will create a precedent of increased height on West Beach

Cloverdale students make puzzles for care home residents

Students from Cloverdale’s Sunrise Ridge delivered gifts to seniors and thank you notes to first responders

COLUMN: Timing just right for raising minimum wage

Raising minimum wage will protect human life and reduce poverty, writes Garber Black

Missing Fraser Valley woman as not been in contact with family for several months

The RCMP are asking for the public’s help in locating 35-year-old Chantelle Chenier of Chilliwack

A list of charge rates or Crown referrals from police oversight bodies across Canada

Here are the rates of charges or referrals to the Crown from their most recent annual reports or online data

Rescuers halt Coquihalla River search due to darkness, after reports of person in river

No information to indicate a child is involved, RCMP state, after this information surfaced on social media

Man who rammed gate near Trudeau residence with truck faces multiple charges

The man, who police have not yet officially identified, will be charged with multiple offences

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Kelowna RCMP commander calls for more nurses during wellness checks after complaint

Southeast District Commander wants to increase Police and Crisis Team program

‘Tarantula moth’ spotted in broad daylight on Vancouver Island

Polyphemus moths are one of the largest insects in B.C.

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

Most Read