With Rich Graham’s Help We Won’t Miss New Orleans


Richard A. Graham drums and vocals

Kamloops is a long way from New Orleans, but the sounds that emanated from the Crescent City has seeped up the Mississippi, beyond St. Louis and into most forms of popular music. Local drummer/vocalist Richard Graham seems to have made it his duty to keep New Orleans music and songs from the southern USA that have its influences, alive. On August 29th Graham and his cohorts covered many of the classics of the genre and added some lesser known but fabulous tunes for good measure.

Jon Treichel guitars and background vocals, Neil Brun electric bass

“Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans,” (Louis Armstrong), Come By Me (Harry Connick, Jr.), “You Never Can Tell” (Chuck Berry from St. Louis) all remind us of New Orleans. Graham’s musical tour borrowed heavily from Georgia’s Ray Charles with “I Got A Woman,” and “Hallelujah I Love Her So.” His voice really suits this great man’s music. Rich and the Backbeats also played some tunes from the Great American Songbook like “On the Street Where You Live,” “Imagination,” and “Route 66.” Graham got to use brushes on some of these and he can really paint a picture on the kit. The Backbeats consist of Jon Treichel on lead guitar, Neil Brun on electric bass, Alexander Ward on keyboard and Graham How on trumpet.

Alexander Ward keyboard, Graham How trumpet

The show was well paced and arranged so that this talented bunch got to play many solos and the knowledgeable crowd applauded after each solo. Guitarist Jon Treichel treated the audience to a bit of slide during “I’ve Got a Woman,”and Graham How seems to be able to make his trumpet sound like the clarinet and other reed instruments at times. Ward’s keyboard organ solo on “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans” was great! Brun played his usual steady beats and got to strut his stuff on some of the funkier songs such as “Making Amends.” It was a great night for music from the Deep South at Riverside Park and many shuffled and danced their way to their cars, knowing the New Orleans tradition was safe for another year.

Richard Graham’s Backbeats