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

Just Posted

‘Trauma equals addiction’ – why some seek solace in illicit substances

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Heritage rail to remain closed for both July and August

Fraser Valley Heritage Rail Society may open Cloverdale Station in September

Delta launches online engagement portal

“Let’s Talk Delta” offers variety of feedback methods including surveys, polls, forums and Q&A boards

Surrey council to consider a $150 FOI fee for attendance requests at city facilities

This is expected to come before council during tonight’s council meeting, on Monday July 13.

Story of ‘A Mother’s Journey to Adoption’ told in book by first-time Surrey author

In the 1990s, Raj Arneja and husband Gurpreet adopted two children in India

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

COVID-19 exposure on Vancouver flight

The Air Canada 8421 flight travelled from Kelowna to Vancouver on July 6

Double homicide investigation leads Vancouver police to Chilliwack

A VPD forensics unit was in Chilliwack Saturday collecting evidence connected to East Van murders

VIDEO: Former Abbotsford resident giving away $1,000

Langley native Alex Johnson creates elaborate treasure hunt to give away cash

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Most Read