Montreal is one of Canada's strongholds of talent, and being able to find it any given month, week or evening in a number of venues is what gives the city its' reputation and heritage.
Any given week will give you a chance to be exposed to the vocal-stylings of one Mr. Kenny Dupree, a significant staple on the Quebec circuit, and an entertainer that can render you from a smile to a tear, simply by closing your eyes and opening your ears.
From Rock to Blues, to Funk (capital F) and pop, Kenny will have you dancing and singing along to songs you've known and cherished, to originals that can be found on his newest CD ("Going With The Flow").
Working along with a cast of Montreal's greatest players, or performing solo, Mr. Dupree is instantly recognizable both in stature and character (always open and smiling, cajoling with friends, patrons and fans), but in more-so by the power of his voice. Kenny is truly the Voice of Montreal (both as a product of Park Ex, and now a West-Island resident).
When he sings, you really do stop and listen, thus making him the Pied Piper of his domain.
Recently, we had a discussion and had a few answered questions just after another great show; they are as follows:
When did you first start playing & singing?
I remember singing along to Beatles` songs when I was in elementary school. The teacher would make us sing to develop a sense of melody. My first “real” show was an outdoor stage at a Canada Day Festival in 1984. My first paying gig in a bar was in 1987.
Who are your musical inspirations? What inspires you to do what you do?
Too many to mention….but here are a few: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Kiss, The Guess Who, April Wine, Otis Redding and Bad Company.
What kind of music do you listen to today?
I listen to classic rock, blues, r`n`b, etc. I hardly listen to the radio.
What embarrassing songs might I find on your ipod?
“Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree”` by Tony Orlando & Dawn
Where would you most like to perform? At some huge festival on some exotic island
Who would you most like to open for? Paul McCartney
Do you play any other instruments? Harmonica, guitar, drums, and percussion.
If you could dabble in another genre of music, what would it be? Reggae
What genre of music can't you stand to listen to? Any type of music that has no melody and no rhythm
What hidden talents do you have? I don`t know ……they`re hidden!
Do you enjoy writing music and/or lyrics? Yes
What was the 1st song you ever sang? I think it was ``Ob –la di – Ob –la-da`` by the Beatles
How did it make you feel? I guess it felt ok!
What do you like most about your profession? Playing in front of a great crowd
How was your childhood? Sometimes normal…sometimes interesting
Are you happy now? In general, yes!
If you could go back in time, what would you do differently? Finish High School. Period.
Who are your Heroes? Too many too mention, but from all walks of life.
Who do you have no respect for? People who don`t have any respect for others!
What do you do in your spare time? I go with the flow!
Do you do any volunteer work? I have in the past, and still do.
What’s the side of you that the public never sees? The lazy side, but you have to recharge the batteries somehow.
How hard do you push yourself? As much as I can, as often as possible.
What’s the “Magic” formula for Success? Accepting who you are, and being genuine.
31. What’s the 1st song you ever remember hearing? I don`t remember….it might have been a Beatles` song
What are you listening to lately?A variety of styles
What’s your favorite album by another artist? The `White Album` by the Beatles
Are there any songs you've done that you wish you hadn't? Yes
Is it possible to be out on the road and not eat any junk food? Possibility…yes. Probability…NO
People have the image that it’s non-stop partying out there. Is it true? Unfortunately, no!
What would you be doing if you weren't a Musician? I`d either be a hockey player, an astronomer or an investigator.
If you could get any Musician, Living or Dead, who would be in your “Dream Band”?
Jimi Hendrix, John Bonham, Paul Rodgers, Keith Richard, Ray Charles, and Paul McCartney.
How many songs in your home collection? I`ll get back to you on that in a couple of years
What's next? To continue writing songs, and go in the studio and record my next album
For YOU: What’s the meaning of LIFE? To live it and love it!
Do you believe there is intelligent life on Earth?
Yes….there are aliens living among us!
A Barbara Walters question. If you could be any animal…what animal would you be?
Do you have a favorite joke? Too many to mention, I'm an entertainer remember.
What do you see when you turn off the lights? Whatever`s in my head.
Concise, precise and natural. Real responses to subtle questions that give you but a taste of the man behind the music, the man behind the microphone. Kenny Dupree is an eagle amongst the songbirds of Montreal, and a voice to be reckoned with.
Always worth the price of admission, you just gotta get out and see him.