Every know and then, as each generation of music goes by, we can
certainly look back and pick keys figures that drove that generations music
forward. 25 years from now I am certain that one of the names mentioned, when
referring to the great blues rock artists of that generation, will be Trevor
At only 21, when he released his critically acclaimed debut
"Introducing Trevor Menear", he has already shown us that his future
is bright and that he has earned the right to start carrying one of the many
torches that will guide blues rock forward for many years to come.
"Introducing Trevor Menear" has it all from hard driving straight
ahead power blues, to softly flowing hypnotic ballads, examples being the big
hits "Suffer To Be Simple" and "Forgot About The Man", as
well the slower moving tunes such as "Remember Charlotte" and
"Day In The Drench", which not only showcase his great vocals but also
his inherent talent at song writing.
Debut albums can really be a treat and
"Introducing Trevor Menear" is certainly one of those examples.
A highly recommended album that will surely please all... Trevor
Menear is a HUGE HUGE Talent...
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
“The next guitar legend on the verge of
“Extraordinary guitar work and voice that belies his age...on the cusp of
something big.”—THE GRAND RAPIDS PRESS
"An entire generation of true music afficianados have been longing for Trevor Menear." CROSSROADS MAGAZINE
"At 21, his playing is on par with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jonny Lang at the height of their glory." CROSSROADS MAGAZINE
1. Forgot About The Man
2. Suffer To Be Simple
3. Fool's Afternoon
4. Reason To Leave
6. Day In The Drench
7. Remember Charlotte
8. The Cloud
9. Arms Of Your Love
11. Hey Train
12. Last Bag
14. Monk's Intermission
About Trevor Menear
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 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, Allman and Ray Charles, 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 Frank 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 thought it would be great to
find the right person and just leave for a little while.”
Similarly, “Suffer to the Simple” was born out of a real-life situation. The
blues shuffler is “about bouncing around the west suburbs of Chicago and being
raised under these conservative values and then living in the city completely on
your own, paying your own bills,” he says. “That’s a completely different
Menear’s keen sense of observation anchors the lyrics, while his guitar
playing causes the melodies to soar. “I think there’s a song for everybody
on the record,” he says. “I didn’t do that intentionally, it’s just the
way it came out. I just had the pure intention of reaching people.”
As much as he loves the album, Menear is eager to take it to his fans and is
planning a series of U.S. residencies, followed by European touring. “More
than anything, I want to play live as much as possible. I love playing off the
energy of the people, the anticipation of the gig and branching out more with
extended solos and improvising.”