Jon & Lee & The Checkmates’ Bring It Down Front: 1960s-70s Musical Canadiana; Hear Where I’m Coming From?

Jon & Lee & The Checkmates made my tongue hang out of my ears.

Jon & Lee & The Checkmates' Music Still Raises The Hairs On The Back Of My Neck!

Jon & Lee & The Checkmates’ Music Still Raises The Hairs On The Back Of My Neck!

Their soulful vocals backed by a teeth grinding Hammond (organ) infused rhythm section sent me over the top! Only 13 or 14 years of age, I would sneak a peek into Toronto bars like the Friar’s Tavern to take in their monster sound whenever I could.

Photo: Courtesy Of Kenny Webber: Webber{Every} Wear Airbrushing

Bring It Down Front‘s in-six, rolls along without being really obvious; it kind of breathes naturally, and rounds itself out because of the bassist and drummer’s loose, non-regular interaction. When you add those rich vocals to the top of the mix, you get an emotional confection you just never get sick of tasting.

Personnel as determined: Michael Ferry (Lee Jackson) vocals; John (Jon) Finley vocals; Michael Fonfara piano, organ; Larry Leishman guitar; Peter Hodgson bass; Jeff Cutler drums.

*I have absorbed, inhaled and envisioned every note of this music; this music which has allowed my musical candle to burn incessantly for decades; a musical candle causing a burn that feels so GOOD; a hurt allowing me to create until I can’t. I gratefully acknowledge my Canadiana musical roots with this blog.


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