Trevor Menear
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Trevor Menear


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"Album Press Release"



Santa Monica, CA (July 1, 2008) – Trevor Menear’s debut album, Introducing Trevor Menear will be released by Shangri-La Music digitally on July 15, 2008 and the CD version on august 1, exclusively through the CIMS retail network (Coalition of Independent Music Stores), it was announced today. The Chicago-based rock guitarist is also scheduled to perform several hometown shows throughout the summer.

Menear, 23 is winning over fans and critics, alike, with a talent well beyond his age. A born musician, he picked up the guitar at the early age of 10 and has been playing festivals since he was a kid, jamming with the likes of Jonny Winter, Sugar Blue, Ted Nugent, Buckwheat Zydeco and many other notable musicians. At the age of 13, he was one of the youngest musicians to play the House of Blues in his hometown of Chicago.

“We’re thrilled to be working with such a gifted young artist,” says Jeff Ayeroff, Co-president of Shangri-La Music. “Trevor embodies the type of inventive musicians we are looking forward to helping develop and expand their careers.”

Menear’s songwriting, guitar playing and producing talents attracted a number of well known guests for this CD debut including Greg Leisz (Joni Mitchell, kd lang) on pedal steel guitar, Rami Jaffee (Wallflowers, Foo Fighters) on organ, David Leach (Ben Harper) on percussion, Tony Llorens (B.B. King, Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughan) on organ and vocals from C.C. White (Ryan Adams) and Grammy-winner Grey DeLisle.

“It was a pleasure to play on Trevor’s new album. He plays with the inspiration and sensitivity of someone far beyond his years,” says Llorens. “I have worked with Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan and can therefore say that Trevor is following in their footsteps.”

Grey DeLisle also spoke to Menear’s talent in saying, “Trevor’s strong point of view and clarity of vision are qualities that most artists struggle a lifetime to establish.”

While Introducing Trevor Menear is his debut album of original material, Menear recently gained attention with his cover of John Lennon’s “John Sinclair” on Warner Bros. Records’ Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. The track, with a retro sound recorded on 78 rpm acetate with a 1930’s resonator guitar, appears on the American Express and iTunes digital box set editions of the compilation. Menear also won over crowds at this year’s SXSW Music Festival in Austin, TX with multiple showcase appearances and guest spots with soul artist Chris Pierce.

Journalists worldwide are also taking note of Menear’s guitar skills. CrossRoads Magazine in France raved, “At 21, his playing is on par with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Johnny Lang at the height of their glory.”

In a review of Menear’s live show, the Grand Rapids Press praised his “extraordinary guitar work and voice that belies his age.” The paper went on to say Menear is “on the cusp of something big.”

Trevor Menear will kick off the album release with both solo acoustic and full band shows throughout Chicago this summer and will be returning to Michigan on August 2nd where he will take the stage as part of Grand Haven’s annual Coast Guard Festival. He will also appear as a guest on the WGN 720 Chicago radio show Sunday Papers with Rick Kogan on July 27.

Trevor Menear Tour Dates:

7/2 Underground Lounge Chicago, IL Solo Acoustic Show
7/23 Underground Lounge Chicago, IL Full Band Show
8/2 Coast Guard Festival Grand Haven, MI Full Band Show
8/4 The Elbo Room Chicago, IL Full Band Show

About Shangri-La Music:
Headed by Jeff Ayeroff, former Co-Chairman of Virgin Records America, Co-President of The Work Group and Vice Chairman of Warner Brothers Records, and his longtime Rock the Vote partner Jon Rubin, Shangri-La Music is a new joint venture with Shangri-La Entertainment. Along with Trevor Menear, early signings to the label include UK rock band The Duke Spirit and Parisian rock quartet Neimo.

More information on Trevor Menear is available at or

Publicity Contact:
Maureen O’Connor Joe Schneider
Rogers & Cowan Rogers & Cowan
(310) 854-8116 (310) 854-8140

Mathieu Bitton
Candy Tangerine Productions
(310) 999-3865

- Rogers & Cowan

"Label, artists share mojo: Steve Bing's Shangri-La sets sights on music biz"

Newcomer Shangri-La, with veteran Jeff Ayeroff, has different ideas about the music industry.

By Chris Lee, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
April 8, 2008

Millionaire Steve Bing is getting into the music business.

Looking to expand the holdings of his Shangri-La Entertainment -- the feature film production company behind Martin Scorsese's Rolling Stones documentary "Shine a Light," among other projects -- Bing has recruited one of the music industry's heavy hitters, Jeff Ayeroff, to guide his new Santa Monica-based boutique record label, Shangri-La Music, to success.

To be sure, the music industry is anything but a happy-go-lucky place to work these days -- with plummeting sales, major label consolidations and corporate layoffs compounding the pressures of an already cut-throat creative culture.

But to hear it from Shangri-La's co-founders Ayeroff and John Rubin, job one isn't focusing on the bottom line. It's schmoozing with performers, giving face time to artists and devoting, gulp, personal attention to creative marketing plans for acts on its roster -- basically an inversion of the prevailing major label M.O.

"It sounds perverse in this town," Rubin said recently at Shangri-La's airy offices. "We want to do work we are proud of with artists we care about and actually want to spend time with."

Ayeroff, looking less like a label boss than some off-duty Hells Angel, with his long white goatee and dressed in black, added: "Part of the deal is an economic relationship, but we're interested in a true partnership. We sit on the same side of the table with the artist."

Exhibit A: The Duke Spirit.

In 2006, just weeks into the British indie rock buzz band's first U.S. tour, its van was burglarized and all its equipment was stolen. Worse still, at a moment when acclaim for the Duke Spirit was reaching critical mass, the group's record label, Polydor, dropped the ball -- it failed to so much as distribute the London-based quintet's debut album, "Cuts Across the Land," in cities where the band was playing.

"We felt like we were marooned," recalled vocalist Liela Moss.

Cut to 2008. Newly signed to Shangri-La Music, the Duke Spirit is enjoying the best reviews of its career with its second album, "Neptune" (released on iTunes in mid-January and in stores today). The group's moodily propulsive single "The Step and the Walk" was the No. 1-most-played song on Indie 103.1 last month.

Reached by phone as the group was leaving Brighton, England, Moss sounded effusive about Shangri-La Music and the positive mojo that has come of signing with the label after misfires with imprints such as Polydor, City Rockers and You Are Here Records.

"All five of us feel galvanized," she said. "We wanted to surround ourselves with people that have absolute faith in us. And everyone at this label has energy, parity and faith."

Moss added: "They were incredibly honest, which is brilliant -- and in this industry, a complete surprise."

The "boutique" imprint, which boasts about a dozen employees, is signing all of its acts to so-called 360 deals in which the label shares a portion of an artist's revenue streams -- typically, its touring and merchandise profits as well as digital branding rights -- instead of simply cashing in on music sales.

In recent months, such deals have become popular with top-tier, multi-platinum-selling acts such asMadonna, U2 (both of which signed groundbreaking contracts with the concert promoter Live Nation) and the Pussycat Dolls. Though not new -- Robbie Williams signed a similar contract with EMI in 2002 -- until now 360 deals have mainly been the province of established performers with dedicated fan bases, not developing artists like the Duke Spirit.

As part of the deal, Shangri-La must take responsibility for performers' artistic development in ways not commonly associated with record labels.

"While we don't supplant a manager, we have to think like one while also thinking like a record label," Ayeroff said. "We have a vested interest in developing a brand. It's the idea of helping someone create an aesthetic identity that's memorable, desirable, seductive."

The start-up represents a push into uncharted territory for music industry vet Ayeroff -- the onetime creative "czar" of Warner Bros. Records and co-founder of two previous labels, Virgin America and the Work Group.

Working with Bing and Rubin, Ayeroff's plan is to groom new artists as well as revitalize legacy acts, including Jerry Lee Lewis.

Countering conventional wisdom about the music industry, Ayeroff said: "The sky isn't falling. Stock prices for major record companies are falling. We have opportunities."

Again, he cites the Duke Spirit. With its brooding, guitar-laden sound, the group has been compared to post-punk stalwarts such as My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth. Duke Spirit's frontwoman Moss is often mentioned in the same breath as Grace Slick and Chrissie Hynde.

"Here are four good-looking boys and a charismatic lead singer who can command the stage," Ayeroff said. "You look at what was done with them before and you say to yourself, 'These guys were not well served.' "

The strategy is for the Duke Spirit to kick off a tour this month (it lands in Los Angeles on May 13) and to aggressively market to fans via the Internet -- to release, say, a live EP before the album's initial popularity begins to wane. Or to bypass album production and digitally distribute two- and three-song suites of new music whenever the band goes into the studio.

"Ultimately, it's about serving artists who in turn serve fans," Rubin said of Shangri-La's largely unknown three-act roster -- French alt-pop rock group Neimo and singer-songwriter Trevor Menear.

"I don't think anyone can say what the record business is -- they can say what it was. Us? We're not stuck in anything formulaic," Ayeroff added. - Los Angeles Times

"Trevor Menear opening for Jonny Lang at Tulip Time"

By Melinda Newman
Holland Sentinel contributor

Holland, MI —On his self-titled debut, Trevor Menear conjures up images of his musical heroes Stevie Ray Vaughan and Duane Allman, while creating his own accessible blues pop hybrid. While this CD will be most people’s first exposure to the Chicago-based guitarist/singer, many have already discovered him through his participation on Warner Bros. Records’ “Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur,” where he sits in the company of such giants as Green Day and U2. His cover of John Lennon’s “John Sinclair” was one of six exclusive bonus tracks selected for the American Express edition of the CD.

His father, noted Midwestern broadcaster Kevin Matthews, bought Menear his own guitar when he was 10. Having mastered playing by ear after taking piano lessons at 4, Menear learned quickly, and fronted his first band Moon Bubble while he was in fourth grade.

Moon Bubble gave way to Stormy Monday, and with a little help from the drummer’s bartending brother, the band was the opener of choice for blues bands playing at Chicago nightspot Joe’s, as well as for a number of national acts including Ted Nugent, Johnny Winter and Night Ranger. Even though underage, Menear pursued club gigs with a passion.

Now older, and with an album under his belt, Menear is opening for even bigger names, including Jonny Lang. See him at Lang’s Tulip Time show, Saturday, May 3.

- Holland Sentinel

"Trevor Menear On Fast Track To Stardom"

August 30, 2007 (WLS) -- Trevor Menear, a 22 year old suburban musician is apparently on the fast-track to stardom. He's among more than 50 big-name musicians to perform on a special-edition CD to raise funds for Darfur. Menear recorded John Sinclair written by John Lennon for Instant Karma: The amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. Yoko Ono generously granted rights to John Lennon's entire solo songbook to Amnesty International, the world's largest grassroots human rights organization, to use as the centerpiece of this project and to inspire a new generation of human rights activists. Musical artists, including U2, Christina Aguilera, Lenny Kravitz, Green Day, Ben Harper, Josh Groben and Aerosmith, have joined this international effort that combines John Lennon music, technology, and human rights activism.

The double disc album is available in stores and at iTunes. American Express offers a bonus CD with 6-tracks.. Trevor's song appears on both. The track has a very unusual sound because of the way Trevor produced it. The song was recorded using a machine from the 30s, an antique Meissner 9-1065 78 rpm record lathe. The machine records directly to a vinyl record. Trevor is also featured, playing lead guitar, on Rocky Dawuni's "Well Well Well" on the iTunes version.

Trevor been playing guitar since he was 10 and has been with his current band for about 2 years now. According to his bio on My Space, Trevor moved from Michigan to the Chicago area with his family when he was a toddler. His father is Kevin Matthews, a popular radio personality, but Trevor did not exploit his father's celebrity. He made the decision to do it on his own and at his own pace and very seriously studied his craft.

From the time he was a young boy, Trevor played all over Chicago. He appeared at blues festivals, jammed on with the likes of Ted Nugent, Johnny Winter, Sugar Blue, and many notable musicians. At 13, he was the youngest musician ever to play Chicago's blues Mecca, The House of Blues.

After being offered three music scholarships, Trevor attended the University of Tennessee. While attending UT, his song "Got it All Figured Out" became a national finalist for the John Lennon Award. Heavily influenced by the masters of blues, jazz, rock, and fusion, Trevor's compositions, arrangements, and performance are mature beyond his years. Comparisons to Rock legends are very common, yet uncanny for this young singer-songwriter and multi- instrumentalist. "At 21," says France's CrossRoads magazine, "his playing is on par with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jonny Lang at the height of their glory." The Grand Rapids Press agreed to, saying "Extraordinary guitar work and voice that belies his age."

Trevor recently finished his first full-length self-titled album, which will be released worldwide later this year or in early 2008. Songs include "Reason To Leave," "Fool's Afternoon," "Suffer To Be Simple," "The Cloud," "Bug," "Remember Charlotte,"

For more information, visit and

The band is:

Trevor Menear - guitars/lead vocals
Eitan Bernstein - keyboards
Charlie Dresser - drums
Jeremy Johnston - bass
- ABC News

"De La Difficulté D'être Simple"

Rencontre avec TREVOR MENEAR
Mai 2007

De la difficulté d’être simple

C’est à l’occasion de la sortie aux Etats-Unis de son premier album « Suffer to be simple », enregistré avec la crème des musiciens de Los Angeles, que j’ai rencontré Trevor Menear, l’un des nouveaux jeunes prodiges de la guitare blues rock, dont le jeu rappelle de façon troublante les grandes heures de Stevie Ray Vaughan ou Jonny Lang.
Difficile de croire à de telles promesses tant l’héritage semble lourd à porter. Et pourtant… Trevor Menear semble être ce messie que toute une génération de mélomanes en mal de relève semblait attendre depuis bien longtemps. Ecce Homo !

1. Qu’est ce qu’on ressent à quelques semaines de la sortie de ton premier véritable album ?
Il me tarde. Je suis super excité ! C’est un véritablement changement à bien des égards… J’y ai consacré beaucoup plus de temps par rapport à mon premier Ep, qui était plutôt un assemblage de maquettes. Quand je réécoute les deux disques, je me rends compte que c’est la nuit et le jour. Maintenant je n’ai qu’une envie c’est que cet album sorte pour que je puisse aller le défendre sur scène. Ca fait deux mois qu’il est terminé et j’en peux plus. Ca a été les deux plus longs mois de toute la vie (rires).

2. Peux tu nous en dire un peu plus sur la conception de ce nouvel album ?
Hé bien, au départ, j'ai commencé ce projet en maquettes, comme pour mon EP. Ce qui m’a poussé à aller très vite en studio, c’est indirectement mon batteur, Charlie Dresser qui partait dans le New Jersey. J’ai vite réservé un studio avant qu’il parte pour enregistrer mes nouvelles chansons. J’adore mon groupe et Charlie est un tueur (il à 18 ans !)… Et dire qu’au départ j’avais prévu d’enregistrer toutes les parties de batterie avec quelqu’un d’autre… J’ai ensuite enregistré tous les autres instruments, dont mes guitares et les voix une à une. Tout ça avec l’aide de Eitan Bernstein aux claviers. J’ai fais en sorte que chaque chanson ait son style propre. J’ai ensuite fait écouter ces premières prises à mon manager qui a adoré. Il m’a tout de suite proposé d’enregistrer quelques titres supplémentaires pour en faire un album. On a enregistré l’album dans un des meilleurs studios de Los Angeles. Mathieu, mon manager a ensuite appelé des copains musiciens pour jouer sur cet album :
Rami Jaffe (Wallflowers/Foo Fighters), Tony Llorens (Albert King, BB King, Stevie Ray Vaughan), les chanteuses CC WHite (Ryan Adams, Ben Harper) et Nailah Porter. Les cordes ont été jouées et arrangées par Stevie Blacke (Beck). Grey DeLisle chante en duo avec moi sur un titre, Chris Pierce joue de l'harmonica et fait les chœurs par ci par là. Greg Leisz (Joni Mitchell, KD Lang...), monstre sacré, est même venu jouer de la Pedal Steel. C’est Todd Burke, l’ingénieur du son de Ben Harper, qui a mixé tout ça… Quand je repense à tout ça, je me dis que j’ai eu une chance extraordinaire. Jamais je n’aurais imaginé pouvoir un jour enregistrer un aussi bel album avec des gens aussi mythiques…

3. Ta musique est bourrée d’influences. Blues, soul, rock, jazz. Le mélange est détonant mais comment le qualifier véritablement ? Et quels sont les artistes qui t’ont vraiment influencé ?
Ah, ça c’est la question qui tue (rires) ! C’est toujours difficile de répondre à ce genre de question. J’ai grandi en écoutant ce que mes parents écoutaient. Ma mère est une grosse fan du son Motown et mon père avait son propre groupe qui répétait au sous-sol de la maison. Ils reprenaient du Zappa, les Doors, les Beatles, Little Feat et quelques autres groupes de « classic rock ». Mais le blues est quelque chose qui m’a toujours naturellement attiré. Quand j’ai commencé à jouer de la guitare, je devais avoir 10 ans, j’écoutais alors tout ce que je pouvais me mettre sous la dent. Je suis un inconditionnel d’Hendrix, de Duane Allman et de Stevie Ray Vaughan. Pour moi, ces trois là représentent ce qui se fait de mieux en matière d’inspiration pour un guitariste comme moi. Je les ai beaucoup écouté et ils ont à leur façon influencé mon jeu de guitare. Mais j’ai toujours été à l’écoute de tout ce qui se faisait. Si je remonte encore plus loin dans mes souvenirs, je me souviens de « Nevermind »… Cet album de Nirvana m’avait bouleversé à l’époque. Je l’écoutais en douce, sans que mes parents n’en sachent jamais rien… Mais je me souviens avoir été complètement sidéré par les chansons de Kurt Cobain, ça ne s’entend peut-être pas mais il m’a beaucoup joué dans le fait que je devienne musicien. Je dois aussi beaucoup à des mecs comme Bernard Herman. Si tu écoutes attentivement les premières mesures de mon solo sur « Arms of your love », tu trouveras un hommage flagrant à la musique qu’il a écrite pour le film « Psychose » d’Alfred Hitchcock. Je lui ai aussi piqué pas mal de plans de sa musique pour « sueurs froides ». Mais pour être tout à fait honnête avec toi, mes influences changent régulièrement. Je suis admiratif de tous ces artistes qui évoluent, qui ne restent pas figés dans un style ou dans un son, qui font des choses différentes à chaque album. C’est le cas des Beatles, de Zappa, de Miles Davis. Mais quand il s’agit de songwriting, le blues est à la base de mon inspiration. Et je pense que cette façon de fonctionner me suivra tout au long de ma carrière.

4. Ton père est un DJ super connu à Chicago. Comment on arrive à se détacher de la renommée de ses parents pour se faire respecter en tant que musicien ?
Ca ne sera pas difficile vu que mon père est connu sous le nom de Kevin Matthews. Moi, j’ai toujours fait de la musique sous mon vrai nom, Trevor Menear. Je n’ai jamais ressenti la moindre pression venant de qui que ce soit à ce sujet. Il me sera donc facile de me faire un nom par moi-même, d’autant plus que mon père ne fait pas le même métier que moi, il travaille à la radio. Mais c’est vrai que les choses auraient été plus difficiles si on avaient été tous les deux musiciens…

5. Je sais que tu es encore en pourparler mais il semblerait que tu veuilles sortir ton album sur un label indé. Pourquoi ne pas avoir voulu signer avec un label plus important ? Par manque de proposition intéressante ailleurs ou par choix personnel, lié une certaine conception de la musique ?
Oui, tu as raison, je n’ai encore rien décidé. A ce stade, je suis toujours ouvert à toute proposition. J’ai envie de signer avec un label qui me donnerait les moyens de faire de la scène dans de bonnes conditions. Je signerai avec celui qui m’offrira le meilleur « tour support ». J’adore jouer live. Mes chansons prennent une toute autre dimension sur scène. Le disque n’est qu’un prétexte pour partir en tournée. Je pense qu’aujourd’hui, en l’état actuel du marché, ce sont les labels indé qui proposent ce genre de choses. Ils sont beaucoup plus flexibles et toujours au service de la musique avant toute autre chose. Ils offrent souvent une totale liberté aux artistes. Ca m’intéresse. Mais pour l’instant, je n’en sais rien du tout. On verra…

6. Tes chansons parlent de la vie, d’amour de tas de choses mais pas de politique alors que pas mal de tes compatriotes américains, au vu du gouvernement actuel, font l’inverse. J’en viens à la fonction d’un artiste et d’une chanson. Le rôle d’une chanson est-il de simplement « détendre » ou peut-elle et surtout doit elle intervenir dans la vie politique ?
Au départ, quand j’ai commence à travailler sur cet album, je n’avais pas du tout envie de me mêler de la vie politique. Le déclic s’est fait à la fin de mes études lorsque j’ai commencé à vivre seul, loin du cocon familial. Mes chansons sont des portraits de la vie quotidienne, la mienne et celle des autres. Je pense que le sens premier de mes chansons ne saute pas immédiatement à la figure des gens. Mes textes parlent simplement des gens que j’ai rencontré, des choses que j’ai vu, de certains rêves même. J'écris le plus souvent au beau milieu de la nuit. Si tu écoutes attentivement « Suffer to be simple », tu y verras le message un peu corrosif que j’adresse à la société Américaine, qui est très complexe et assez superficielle. Les gens sont obsédé par l’argent et les choses matérielles. « J’ai » donc « j’existe », très peu pour moi, merci… Mais il s’agit plus d’une chanson reportage qu’une chanson message. Je n’essaie pas de changer les gens, je décris juste ce que je vois…

7. Si je peux me permettre, ce qu’on retient de ton disque, ce ne sont pas les textes mais les formidables parties de guitare. Tu joues mais ton jeu n’a rien de démonstratif. Cette simplicité se retrouve dans le titre de ton disque :« Suffer to be simple »… C’est si difficile que ça d’être simple ?
J’ai juste fait en sorte que mon jeu serve les chansons au mieux, pas mon ego. Je n’ai jamais cherché à épater la galerie, ça ne m’intéresse pas. Je joue de façon très blues, donc très simple, émotionnellement… Mais je reconnais qu’il y a aussi des chansons que j’ai écrite pour que je puisse m’exprimer guitaristiquement, pour pousser mon jeu un peu plus loin, pour l’améliorer. C’était plus un challenge personnel qu’une réelle volonté de faire le malin. La chanson « Bug » en est le parfait exemple… Maintenant, est ce que c’est difficile de rester simple ? Euh… Je crois que ça l’est oui, surtout avec un album de cette qualité là (rires). Je vais pas commencer à passer en revue toutes les choses qu’on a faites et refaites en studio pour que ça sonne le mieux possible, sinon, on en a pour des heures (rires). C’est ça je crois être artiste. Etre artiste c’est toujours donner le meilleur de soi-même et aller au bout de soi-même, en cherchant à aller toujours plus loin dans le don de soi, au point d’atteindre la perfection. Je n’ai de cesse de réécouter ce disque et j’en suis super content…

8. Ton album sort sous ton nom mais tu aurais très bien pu écrire Trévor Menear Band tant on sent un groupe super soudé derrière toi… C’est important pour toi, cette notion de groupe ? Est-ce que le groupe intervient dans l’écriture de tes chansons ?
Oui, cette notion de groupe est très importante pour moi malgré le fait qu’aucun membre de mon groupe n’ait participé à l’écriture des chansons de cet album… Je suis arrivé en studio avec les chansons finies et une idée précises sur la façon dont je voulais qu’elles sonnent. Mais en live, ce sera différent puisque les chansons changent en fonction des endroits, des envies. Et en ce sens, le groupe apportera beaucoup. Et c’est ensemble qu’on fera évoluer ces chansons au fil des concerts… J’adore improviser et changer des choses. Cet album n’est que le point de départ vers d’autres directions. Mais on ne sait pas encore où tout ça va nous mener… Et ça, c’est excitant.

9. On entend ma grande copine Grey DeLisle sur « Arms of your love ». Vous avez le même manager… Ca pourrait être une explication non ? Comment s’est faite la rencontre ?
Mon gars si tu savais à quel point j’adore la voix de Grey !!! La première fois que j’ai rencontré Mathieu, qui est aussi le manager de Grey, il m’a tout de suite filé en vinyle les deux albums qu’ils avaient réalisés ensemble (« Iron flowers » et « Graceful ghost »). J’ai été scotché. Je les ai écouté d’une traite, l’un après l’autre. J’ai toujours voulu enregistrer une chanson avec une fille, je n’avais juste pas la chanson qu’il fallai ni la voix qui irait avec (rires). C’est en studio, en entendant la chanson finie que je me suis dit que la voix de Grey ferait des merveilles sur le dernier couplet. La chanson y gagne beaucoup je trouve. Grey a une voix tellement fantastique que je m’en serai voulu de passer à côté de cette opportunité. J’en ai parlé à Mathieu qui a fait écouter la chanson à Grey qui l’a adoré et qui a tout de suite donné son accord.

10. Mathieu joue un grand rôle dans ta carrière. Comment l’as-tu rencontré et surtout comment en êtes-vous arrivé à bosser ensemble, lui qui est si occupé ?
Je l’ai rencontré par l’intermédiaire de mon ancien manager. C’est vrai que Mathieu Bitton et moi-même, nous sommes vraiment sur la même longueur d’onde. Nous avons la même conception de la musique et du business… On a toujours parlé d’une sortie de mon disque en vinyle, du fait qu’il pourrait y avoir plusieurs pochettes, des trucs dans le style tu vois… Il a commencé à s’impliquer vraiment beaucoup dans ce que je faisais et se dévoue corps et âme pour le packaging qui pour lui est quelque chose de très important… Mon ancien manager est devenu super jaloux de notre complicité. Je ne pouvais plus travailler avec un mec comme ça qui comprend rien à rien. J’ai horreur de ce genre de plans à la con. Je me suis alors séparé de mon ancien manager pour rejoindre Mathieu. C’est une des meilleures décisions que j’ai prise depuis longtemps même si ça a été un peu la zone pendant quelques temps… Je ne regrette rien…

11. Tes projets ? Une tournée ? Des collaborations ?
Les deux mon neveu (rires). Encore une fois, je suis pressé de partir sur la route avec le groupe et jouer autant que je le pourrais…
Je suis super fier d’avoir collaboré au projet qu’a lancé Warner Bros intitulé « Make some noise, save Darfur ». U2, Green Day, Ben Harper, Lenny Kravitz, REM, Aerosmith, Jack Johnson font également partie de l’affiche. Tu te rends compte ? J’ai mon nom au milieu de tous ces mecs… Je n’en reviens toujours pas. C’est un album tribute à John Lennon. Tout le fric sera reversé à Amnesty International pour aider les gens de Darfour au Soudan. Pour ma part, j’ai enregistré « John Sinclair » sur du matos datant des années 30. La Meissner, qui appartient à Todd Burke, grave directement sur des vinyles 78 tours! On a l'impression que la chanson sort d'un disque de Leadbelly (rires).
Sinon, pour les autres collaborations, je rêve de faire un disque avec un producteur comme John Brion. C'est un génie ce mec. J'adore les sons uniques qu'il crée en studio. Je suis grand fan de la BO de « Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind » qu'il a fait, ainsi que l'album « Largo » de Brad Mehldau. On parle d'utiliser certaines de mes chansons dans des grands films et dans des séries TV. Je te tiens au courant de toutes façons…

[Alexandre Cécilia] - CrossRoads Magazine, France

"Releasing a CD takes time -- ask Trevor Menear"

Sunday, July 27, 2008
By John Sinkevics
The Grand Rapids Press
Even in this fast-paced, Internet-happy, instant rewards universe, good musical wine takes time.

Award-winning Michigan jazz trio Organissimo began "getting sounds together" for its captivating new studio album, "Groovadelphia," back in early 2007.

By the time it officially comes out, in mid-August -- after recording, mixing, mastering, preparing cover artwork and CD manufacturing -- the band will have started work on a live album it plans to release next year.

Chicago guitarist Trevor Menear knows that feeling of delayed gratification, too.

Menear, 23, started laying down tracks for his bluesy debut album, "Introducing Trevor Menear," two years ago. Released digitally on the Internet just this month, the CD on the Shangri-La Music label officially gets released nationally on Friday.

Menear even confessed he already has "pretty much finished up" songs for a second record.

That's partly because he decided to completely re-record his debut CD to "polish some things up," then mix and match tracks from the two recording sessions to create "a Frankenstein" compilation of sorts that delves into blues, rock, R&B and even singer-songwriter material.

"It's been a long time coming," he conceded in a phone interview from a Chicago studio where he was working on a cover of The Beatles' "I'm So Tired."

"(But) it's the best of both worlds on one record. It's definitely an interesting first record. It's all over the place. Everybody who's involved with it is very excited."

For good reason.

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Releasing a CD takes time -- ask Trevor Menear
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Menear, who has performed regularly in West Michigan, represents that rare combination of exemplary instrumental talent, wise-beyond-his-years songwriting and restrained yet powerful singing that gives his material a naturally soulful sheen.

There's the blistering rock-blues of "Forgot About the Man," the funky vibe of "Reason to Leave" and the acoustic guitar grace of "Monk's Intermission." It's an eclectic blend of styles that speaks to Menear's wide-ranging musical influences: Jimi Hendrix, Duane Allman, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Nirvana, The Beatles.

"Anything that I write is going to be blues-based," he said, though he's grown ever more interested in singer-songwriter music. "But I'm always trying to keep an ear out for different things ... for people taking roots music in a different direction. My tastes change monthly."

On Saturday, Menear will join fellow Chicago guitarist Dave Uhrich for the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival's climactic conclusion, playing the always-packed Grand Haven Eagles club beer tent. Fans can expect even more dynamic renditions of songs Menear and his band have played for years.

"It sounds a little bit different live, and more authentic," Menear suggested.

Growing up in Chicago, it's no surprise the son of WLAV-FM (96.9) morning show host Kevin Matthews would be rooted in the blues, even if his music really can't be pigeonholed "into one specific genre."

Indeed, Menear's diverse work already has popped up in a wide variety of places, from music for the cable TV show "Pinks" to landing a bonus track on Warner Bros. Records' "Instant Karma" tribute to John Lennon with an unusual rendition of the song "John Sinclair."

The experience has helped him take a mature approach to his solo debut, which has earned airplay on a Los Angeles radio station. The bottom line is he's not bothered that it has taken so long for his album to hit the streets, and not nervous about the reaction the CD might elicit from critics.

Instead, Menear and his band hope to "build a scene in Chicago" as a live act and possibly latch onto a national tour with another group.

"I've sat with the record so long, it's just part of the process of getting out there to play live," he said. "We're just going to get out and play as much as possible."

If you go

What: Trevor Menear concert

When: 9 p.m. Saturday

Where: Fraternal Order of Eagles beer tent, 20 N. Second St., in Grand Haven, as part of the Coast Guard Festival

Also performing: Guitarist Dave Uhrich

Admission: $5

Send e-mail to the author:
- The Grand Rapids Press By John Sinkevics

"Local Guitar Hero"

"Extraordinary guitar work and voice that belies his age...on the cusp of something big."

"CrossRoads quote 1"

"At 21, his playing is on par with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jonny Lang
at the height of their glory." - CROSSroads MAGAZINE, France

"New CDs from area musicians: Menear, Depree"

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Trevor Menear: Introducing Trevor Menear

The music: On his national debut, the youthful guitarist dramatically displays the breadth of his instrumental and vocal prowess, from inhabiting the blues-rock growl of "Forgot About the Man" to joining Grey DeLisle for the spare, slow-cooking beauty of "Arms of Your Love." At once eclectic, inviting and potent. Guests include Greg Leisz and David Leach.

Get it: Vertigo Music (starting Friday);

Information:, - / Everything Michigan

"SXSW Loves Chicago"

SXSW just released their full band list and the number of Chicago bands is really encouraging as far as supporting the national impact of our little scene. It's also a good indicator of just how genre-less Chicago is, since the bands range from punk, hip-hop, pop, math-rock, metal, and good ol' fashioned "college rock." It could haave easily been predicted that bands like OFFICE, The Redwalls, Sybris, and The 1900s were in, but big ups to local metal crew Bible Of The Devil and the overlooked and uncategorizable Tub Ring for being selected. And Yakuza? They picked the punk-jazz-metal of Yakuza? Awesome.We're shocked but pleased to see see Naked Raygun will be making a trek down to Austin, but we're really surprised to see Joan Of Arc heading South. Who knew they were still active?

There are a few head-scratchers -- who the hell is Trevor Menear?* -- but for the most part we're pleased to see the contingent heading to the festival is a strong one, and one truly made out of many of the best bands Chicago has to offer.

Check out the full list of bands making the trek after the jump.

*And will that question turn out to be our own version of the infamous "who's Garth Brooks?" -


-"John Sinclair" (John Lennon) on Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign To Save Darfur (Warner Bros. Records) as part of digital box set and AMEX Exclusive version.
-"John Sinclair" (John Lennon) VIDEO on Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign To Save Darfur (Warner Bros. Records)
-"Arms Of Your Love" featuring Grey DeLisle Single on Shangri-La Music
-Introducing Trevor Menear - Album release July 15, 2008 on Shangri-La Music

Guest performer on:
-Chris Pierce "Walking On The Earth" Pierce Records (guitar)
-Rocky Dawuni "Well Well Well" from Instant Karma. (Guitars)



Label: Shangri-La Music

It takes some people their whole lives to decide what they want to do. Trevor Menear figured it out by the time he was two.

That’s how old he was when his parents gave him a drum kit. He loved his little set, but found himself gravitating toward his father’s guitars. “I would pick them up and fool around, bend the strings,” Menear recalls.

Twenty-one years later, the Chicago-based guitar slinger hasn’t looked back. On his self-titled debut, he conjures up images of his musical heroes Jimi Hendrix and Duane Allman, while creating his own accessible blues pop hybrid. His expressive voice is bolstered by his plangent, nuanced guitar work that belies his young age. France’s CROSSroads magazine declares, “his playing is on par with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jonny Lang.”

While his Shangri-La Music/Warner ADA debut will be most people’s first exposure to Menear, many have already discovered him through his participation on Warner Bros. Records’ “Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur,” where he sits in the company of such giants as Green Day and U2. His cover of John Lennon’s “John Sinclair” was one of six exclusive bonus tracks selected for the American Express edition of the CD.

Although he noodled on his dad’s guitars as a toddler, it wasn’t until the ripe old age of 7 that he had his first musical epiphany, courtesy of Nirvana. “The day ‘Nevermind’ came out, my friend’s older brother bought it and he played ‘Smells like Teen Spirit’,” recalls Menear. “I just remember listening to that guitar and I was like, ‘I want to do that; I have got to learn to play the guitar’.”

Nirvana is part of a musical nexus for Menear that, not surprisingly, revolves around Hendrix, Vaughan and Allman, but also embraces Miles Davis, Frank Zappa and the Beatles. “They are all artists I really admire because they were always progressing,” he says. Currently in Menear’s CD player: the works of composer Bernard Herrmann, best known for scoring Hitchcock’s movies; the Flaming Lips and the White Stripes.

His father, noted Midwestern broadcaster Kevin Matthews, finally bought Menear his own guitar when he was 10. Having mastered playing by ear after taking piano lessons at 4, Menear learned guitar quickly. By the time he was in 4th grade, he fronted his first band Moon Bubble.

At home, music was a constant. His father played in a cover band and his mother was a former back-up singer. “My father’s band would rehearse in the basement. They were doing Zappa tunes, the Doors, Pink Floyd covers.”

Menear’s singular devotion to his craft caused a little parental concern. “I was in my room all the time, learning songs and practicing and my mom would be begging me to come down for dinner,” he remembers. “I was making her really angry because I would stay up there; that’s just the way it was.”

Moon Bubble gave way to Stormy Monday, as his burgeoning love of jazz and blues developed. “We started that band freshman year in high school,” Menear says. With a little help from the drummer’s bartending brother, the band was the opener of choice for blues bands playing at Chicago nightspot Joe’s, as well as for a number of national acts including Ted Nugent, Johnny Winter, Night Ranger and the Wooten Bros.

Even though underage, Menear pursued club gigs with a passion. “The rule was you had to pretty much finish your set and then leave,” he recalls. Menear played all over Chicago, including the vaunted House of Blues.

Offered three music scholarships, Menear left Chicago to study at the University of Tennessee, but after one semester he knew his real education lie in clubs, not the classroom. “There comes a point where your own music becomes so important to you, you’ll put it in front of anything else and I guess that’s what made me want to drop out,” he says. “So I started saving all this cash and selling guitars. I got a studio apartment in Chicago and did the whole starving artist thing.”

He also started writing the songs that would end up on his self-produced album. “I really couldn’t afford to hire a producer,” he says. “He kept adding layers until the beginning demos morphed into a polished, finished album. His talent attracted a number of well known guests, including Greg Leisz (Joni Mitchell, kd lang), Rami Jaffee (Wallflowers, Foo Fighters), David Leach (Ben Harper), Tony Llorens (B.B. King, Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughan) and Grammy®-winner Grey DeLisle.

First single, the organ-drenched, bluesy toe-tapper “Reason to Leave,” has its genesis in the time-honored tradition of boy meets girl. “I was out with some friends and this girl walked in that I ended up talking for a little bit. We were at a blues bar and I thought if I went home and got my guitar and sat in [with the band], she’d be impressed or something,” Menear says with a little laugh. “I went home, by the time I got back, she was gone.” When he wrote the song, however, the story ends differently. “I t