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

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

APRIL 2: Six new COVID-19 deaths: provincial health officer

Thousands of ‘PPE’ donated in Surrey, where one care home is ‘preparing for the worst’

SafeCare BC’s Operation Protect drive involves drop-off dates in Guildford

Psychologist’s advice on parenting in the pandemic

SFU psychology prof Dr. Tanya Broesch, with expertise in child development, discusses short and long-term impacts COVID-19 pandemic is having on children and parents alike

‘Shocking decision’: Surrey soccer club won’t offer refunds to 350 teams for cancelled tourney

Registration fees would top $171K for Surrey Mayor’s Cup, called off due to COVID-19

Bayside rugby director makes pitch for season shift

Andy Blackburn suggests COVID-19 cancellation could be impetus for BC Rugby change

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Advocates sound alarm over COVID-19 limiting access to contraceptives, abortion

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle

Abbotsford man who tries to start gas-station fight gets sprayed with gasoline

Suspect returns with knife and throws it at victim, but is quickly arrested by police

Abbotsford family of 5 who was stuck in Vietnam is now back home

Janzen family sends ‘huge and heartfelt’ thank you to everyone who helped

Most Read

l -->