"Silver Screen Scoundrel’s performance was sensational
An impressive multi-sensory experience was enjoyed by everyone who attended
The Live Arts Committee sure knows how to pick fantastic entertainment.
If you weren’t able to attend the Silver Screen Scoundrels performance you really missed a great show.
Brandon Isaak and Keith Picot had the audience rolling with laughter with their candid humour and interaction.
They projected a selection of original, slap-stick silent films accompanied with an arrangement of story-telling songs and melodies.
The show alternated between the cinematic experience and pulling the spotlight back to themselves, where they mesmerized their audience with breathtaking skills on their instruments.
Isaak, considered the best acoustic blues performer in Canada with a Maple Blues Awards in 2014 for “Acoustic Artist Of The Year”. He played the drums, guitar and harmonica simultaneously while delivering buttery low-notes and growly lyrics and scats.
Picot’s mastery of his time-worn, stand-up bass was nothing short of incredible. Known as one of the finest bass players in the country, his performance was fluid, plucking and gliding the neck of the instrument with passionate finesse.
When he wasn’t doing that, he was sharing hilarious stories of the road while sipping water from a teacup.
The two have a contagious dynamic, and together they perform with a captivating effortlessness. It’s a show that shouldn’t be missed next time."
Oct. 27, 2017
"Silver Screen Scoundrels combine music, film
There are silver tongued devils. There are silver spoon heirs. But there are only two Silver Screen Scoundrels and they gad about together, that Brandon Isaak and Keith Picot.
Alone they are acclaimed musicians, mostly of the blues persuasion. Together their sum is greater than their parts. There are props, period clothing, sound effects, theatrical flourishes, a lot of instruments and singing, and there is film. The Silver Screen Scoundrels revive the black-and-white spirit of silent film, which dovetails into their propensity for dusty blues, jangly jazz, fizzy folk and kindling country. They are a modern portal back through time, down the telegraph wires of entertainment.
Their show is more than a tribute concert to a bygone era. It is a multimedia, multisensory mashup of movies on a screen that help tell the story of the music on the stage.
"It's the age-old thing of the piano player playing in front of the silent movie screen - the modern take on that," said Isaak. He and Picot spend as much time filming and editing little silent films as they do writing the songs, and the two art forms go together in concert.
"It's a pretty cool thing and people have been interested in this," said Isaak, who has numerous band and solo acts that have toured Canada and internationally over the years. This one has turned out to be extra special.
"We've got these little vignettes but we do lots of songs without movies, lots of swing, lots of original music. It's not all night with the movies," Isaak explained.
The emphasis is, after all, on the music and people get a lot of visual stimulation just watching how they crack off the tunes in their dexterous way. "We have guitar, bass, drums, harmonica, kazoo, whatever. Keith plays bass and I'm a one-man band. I tour around as a one-man-band, I'm used to taking care of business by myself, so it's icing on the cake to have Keith there with me. All of a sudden I've got a world-class partner. We can do so much together."
The piles of performances he's wracked up over the years is just the echoing sustain of notes played by generations before him. His father, Ed Isaak, was a full-time touring musician who worked with the likes of Loretta Lynn, Waylon Jennings, Doris Day and many other stars before settling into a busy and applauded career in the Yukon band The Canucks (aka Canucks Ltd).
Father discouraged son from the hard life of a troubadour, but the youngster was drawn to guitars and drums like a shark to chum and soon he was swimming in international waters.
"I played last week with him at the Yale. Pop is still rockin'. He doesn't do it as much as he used to, he's 83 or 84, but he's still gigging every week," Isaak said.
Picot is also someone who couldn't shake the creative urge. In spite of the challenges of the common performing artist in its natural nomadic habitat, he loves the way music moves him in spirit and in physical form.
"I play the bass fiddle for a living and I can't imagine ever not doing so," Picot said. "This living I mentioned is not a monetarily gigantic one but it does allow me a chance to feed my silent movie habit and live very happily with my wife, son and our dog and cats."
Picot and Isaak have played in Prince George numerous times before, together and apart, but rarely as the Silver Screen Scoundrels.
"It's a cool little city, it's got soul, the people support the music and the arts," Isaak said. "It's one of the cooler music cities in Canada if you ask me. It just works in that town."
One of their favourite traits about P.G. is the local venues' willingness to allow performers the freedom to play several shows. Some cities have a habit of only working on exclusivity deals, but a working musician can set up for a few days in this community and ply their trade in a number of cafes and pubs showrooms, which eases their travel pressures and ignites a wider audience in the long run."
FRANK PEEBLES / PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN
MARCH 2, 2017