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A gentle soul with a somewhat reserved, unassuming demeanour, Derek Currie never became a household name or top-billed attraction at high-profile live music shows, but some of those who have achieved that status can be counted among his fans.
Derek, who passed away in September after a lengthy illness, was a regular at many open stages over the years, including the ones I hosted from 2008 and 2012, at one of which, in April of 2009, he did a stellar feature set that was one of the best attended of my open mic events ever, featuring a total of 24 other performers, many of them friends and fans of the soulful songwriter.
In addition to spellbinding us with originals like “Stranger Than Love” and occasional covers in solo mode, Currie also performed at some of the events as a backing player with other Country-oriented artists like The McDales, The Curries and Don Lewis, and during his feature set night at California Pub also appeared with his sister, Sheilah for a set of her tunes.
He sort of dropped off my radar in 2011, however, after coming out to one of my events in April of that year to perform and give me a copy of his delightful debut and only album, Careless Wind. Although in person Derek always struck me as somewhat withdrawn, on the album he wore his heart on his sleeve, particularly when it comes to expressing feelings of unrequited love and angst over doomed romances.
His deep baritone voice verging on bass, combined with a playful musical sensibility that spanned old-timey Country and Folk/Roots genres, are ably expressed on the disc, which contains a number of catchy and some very poignant tracks intermixed.
A lovely video of one of the tunes, “Many Times Many Places” has been posted on YouTube and is a charming rendition of his talents along with some very nice visual work.
I’m not sure exactly when it was that he began ailing, though apparently he will ill for some time before passing but he did continue for some time to appear regularly at the weekly Wed. open stage at Fat Albert’s, of which he had been a longstanding participant. In fact he did feature sets there back on both February 5 and October 29 of 2014, TorontoMoon.ca archives show —an indication as to just how highly he was regarded there.
After he passed away for too young (tomorrow would have been his 59th birthday) on September 10 last year, Derek’s family, spearheaded by sister Catherine, established a GoFundMe page in order to raise money not to cover costs of his funeral or promote his music, but rather to purchase sound equipment for the volunteer-run non-profit gathering that takes place in the Steelworkers Hall at 25 Cecil St. off College south of Spadina (across the street from Grossman’s Tavern).
So far $2,835 has been raised (of a total goal of $10,000) to help out the songwriters’ mecca, and while the giving sort of stalled at the beginning of winter a few donations continue to trickle in, including a small gift that was made to Derek’s sister Sheilah at a song circle just last week.
I’d expect that the total will grow after tonight’s special event, as this week’s edition of the Fat’s hootenanny features Sheilah as the feature artist headlining a Derek Currie Memorial show that will include several other talents performing some of his tunes.
I would just make one small suggestion to Sheilah, Catherine and to the Fat’s organizers. While a very thoughtful and touching obituary notice still appears online on the Toronto Star’s legacy.com site, it appears that the Guest Book, where friends and family can make comments and share their memories, while still appearing there (with sadly only five entries) is now “expired,” meaning new comments cannot be added.
The cost to restore it isn’t a lot: $39.99 for a year or $89.99 to keep it live forever. I don’t imagine anyone would object if some of the funds raised for Fat’s in Derek’s name were to be applied to reactivating it. For our part, once we’re able to activate the Musical Legacies Online Museum website project Derek will most certainly be one of the artists who will be included. But in the meantime, perhaps restoring the existing legacy.com Guest Book is something that attendees at tonight’s special show can address.
-Gary 17, TorontoMoon.ca
SHOW LISTINGS for Wednesday, February 15, 2017
For KEY to listings codes and schemata see note at end of shows list.
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ON AIR / ONLINE
*6-8pm> The Rock-A-Round with Slim Tim @ www.rockabilly-radio.net ~ Rockabilly tracks (from UK, repeat show from previous Friday)
416 – TORONTO CENTRAL
6-8> Laura Hubert Duo with Tania Gill @ 120 Diner, 120 Church St. ~Jazz; $10-20/pwyc
6> Golden Country Classics @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W.
6-8> Robert Scott @ Jazz Bistro, 251 Victoria St. ~Jazz piano; 0$
6:30> The A/C Unit @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $
*7> Jim Heineman Trio @ Nawlins, 299 King St. W. ~Jazz
7> Devildriver; Death Angel; Winds of Plague; The Agonist; Azreal @ Phoenix Concert Theatre, 410 Sherbourne St. ~Heavy Metal; $28+
*7-10> Blues jam with Mark Stafford & Ken Yoshioka @ Alleycatz, 2409 Yonge St.
7:30> Quadraped @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave. TO
**8 (7 p.m. sign-up)> open stage with 9 p.m. with feature by Sheilah Currie memorializing Derek Currie @ Fat Albert’s, 25 Cecil St. (Steelworkers Hall) ~songwriters
*8> open mic with host Jay Pollock & feature @ Touché Martini Bar, 669 College St.
8-10:30> Dan Dwoskin solo @ Jazz Bistro, 251 Victoria St. ~Pop songwriter; $10
8> Sue & Dwight & Friends @ Free Times Cafe, 320 College St. ~Folk singalong; $15
8> Jan Lisiecki @ Roy Thompson Hall, 60 Simcoe St. ~Classical: Schumann; $33.75+
9> The Digs @ Reservoir Lounge, 52 Wellington St. E. ~Funk/Jazz/neo-Soul; $
9> Alex Calder; Lina Tullgreen; Ducks Unlimited @ Silver Dollar, 486 Spadina Ave. ~indie; $9.50
*9-1> open jam with Wednesday’s Child feat. Johnny Bootz Hutt @ Lola, 40 Kensington Ave.
*9-12> open mic with Jeff Kahl @ Libertarian House, 235 Queen St. E.
*9 (signup at 8:30)> open mic with Alan Carter @ Lowdown, 276 Augusta Ave.
*9-2> What’s Poppin’ indie jam @ Sneaky Dee’s, 431 College St.
9:30> Mark Godfrey Quartet @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $
10> Oxford Blue & Friends @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W. ~Country Rock/Soul
10> Josh Cole Quartet @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave. TO ~Jazz
10-2> Blues-Rock jam with Al Webster Band @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave. TO
*10:30> The LMT Connection @ Orbit Room, 580 College St. TO ~Funk/R&B; $10
416 – TORONTO EAST
7> Andy Black; William Control; Palaye Royal @ Opera House, 735 Queen St. E. ~touring act; $31.50
*7:30-10:30> The BTBs @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave. ~Jazz; 0$
8:30-10:30> Mediterranean Stars @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E. ~Baltic/Mediterranean Folk-Jazz
9> karaoke with Vance McCullough @ Firkin On Danforth, 2057 Danforth Ave.
*9:30> open stage with Nicola Vaughan @ Black Swan (downstairs), 154 Danforth Ave.
416 – TORONTO ETOBICOKE
7:30> Havana Nights @ Old Mill, 21 Old Mill Rd. (Home Smith Bar, minimum table charge) ~Jazz
8-1> Jenn & Jeremy @ Timothy’s Pub, 344 Brown’s Line ~Pop duo
9-12> Space Jazz jam with singer Meagan Luchko & guitarist Kevin Bolger & band with weekly guest Brian O’Kane @ Placebo Space, 2877 Lake Shore Blvd. W. ~Jazz; $5/pwyc
416 – TORONTO WEST
5-8> Stella Jurgen & Jazz Plazma @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Jazz
7> “The Love Hangover” with duets featuring Beverly Taft, Kyp Harness, Shelby Lamb, Ted Hawkins, Lilly Mason, Chloe Watkinson, more @ Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W. ~Pop love songs; $15
7:30> Dylan Hennessey; Lucid Movement; Braden; Little Foot Long Foot @ The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Ave. ~songwriters
*8> MFA open mic @ Remix Lounge, 1305 Dundas St. W.
*8-11> Fraser/Daley @ Inter Steer, 357 Roncesvalles Ave. ~original Rootsy Blues
8-12> Brian Sasaki & The Scuffed Souls @ Junction City Music Hall, 2907 Dundas St. W.
**8:30-10:30> Hump Night Blues with Dave McManus, George Baumann, Cleave Anderson + special guest David Craig @ On Cue Billiards, 349 Jane St. ~Blues
8:30> NEFE; Tara Kannangara @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W. ~songwriters; $10
**9-12> Blues Night with Julian Fauth & guests @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave. ~original Juno-winning Blues
9> Dan Ionescue & John MacMurchy @ Mezzetta, 681 St. Clair Ave. W. ~Jazz
9> Ben Sures @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Roots-Pop songwriter
9:30> Killer Party Killer @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave. ~Rock covers; $10
*10> Arthur Renwick @ The Hole In The Wall, 2867 Dundas St. W. ~original Roots/Blues
*10:30> Luke Vajsar @ Motel Bar, 1235 Queen St. W. ~Jazz
*6-8:30> ukulele jam @ Idea Exchange, 5 Tannery St. E., Cambridge
7:30> Celtic jam @ Penny Whistle, 2 Quebec St., Guelph
8-12> acoustic Bluegrass jam @ Anaf Club 344, 32 Gordon St., Guelph
8> Matt Weidinger Band @ Lancaster Smokehouse, 574 Lancaster St. W., Kitchener
*8:30-11:30> The Gaes @ Churchill Arms, 355 Erb St. W., Waterloo ~Celtic
?*9> jam with Mike Meacher & Nathan Bulla @ Argyle Arms, 210 King St. E., Cambridge
9:30> Elephant Stone; Walrus @ E-Bar, 41 Quebec St., Guelph ~ indie Hindie-sitar Rock/Folk-Pop Thrash; $12
10> Scott Cairns @ Doogie & Pablo’s, 37 Wyndham St. N., Guelph
*10> Mike Todd @ The Duke, 33 Erb St., Waterloo
*7-11> open jam with The Freacon Band @ The Beacon, 146 45th St., Wasaga Beach ~ Blues, Jazz; $5
8-12> Trent University student bands @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough
8-11> Bobby Dove with Bobby Watson @ The Spill, 414 George St. N., Peterborough ~Country/Roots originals
9> Ben & Anita @ The Garnet, 231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough
7> Bruce Gorrie @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa
8-12> open mic night @ Fionn MacCool’s Ajax, 32 Kingston Rd. E. Ajax
*8-11> open mic @ Frank’s Pasta, 426 King St. E., Cobourg
*8-10:30> open mic jam with Marty Hepburn @ Ganaraska Hotel, 30 Ontario St., Port Hope
9> open mic @ The Moustache Club, 15 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa
*10> Two For The Show @ Tartan Tavern, 555 Rossland Rd. E., Oshawa ~Pop Rock
*10> Emerson Ireland hosts open mic jam @ The Gryphon Pub, 114 Dundas St. E., Whitby
*7> open mic night with Tanya Joy Senior @ Col. McGrady’s Pub, 44 Brock St. W., Uxbridge
*8-12> open mic with Kevin Ker @ Unionville Arms, 189 Main St., Unionville
8> acoustic jam with Frank Logue @ Shepherd’s Crook, 86 Main St. S., Georgetown
*8:45> open mic jam with Matt Zady @ Magnums, 21 McMurchy Ave. N., Brampton
*9-1> open mic jam with Whiskey Birds @ Sweetz Lounge, 5289 Hwy 7, Woodbridge-Vaughan
*9:30> open mic with The Villagers @ Main’s Mansion, 144 Main St., Markham
*10-2> jam night with Switchbeat Trio @ Maguires, 284 Queen St. E., Brampton
*7:30> open mic with Brant Parker @ Donnelley’s Pub, 54 Front St., Thorold ~eclectic
**8-1> Boogie N Blues jam with Ian Andrews & Friends @ Corktown Pub, 175 Young St., Hamilton
8> Whitney Rose @ Mills Hardware, 95 King St. E., Hamilton ~Country
*8> Brad James @ Thirsty Cactus, 2 King St. E., Dundas ~Country
8> Terrie Petrie & band hosts Country Wednesdays @ Pub Fiction, 1242 Garner Rd. W., Ancaster ~Country
*8:30> Something Country @ The Endzone, 1900 King St. E., Hamilton ~Country
9> Singalong with Judy Marsales @ Coach & Lantern, 384 Wilson St E., Hamilton ~Rock/Top 40
9> open mic @ Lou Dawg’s, 116 George St., Hamilton
9:30> Adam Cooke & Adam Ostrosser @ Gallagher’s Bar, 69 Augusta St., Hamilton
*10> Jazz jam @ Cat N Fiddle Hamilton, 174 John St., S., Hamilton
*4:30> Adam Cooke @ SB Prime, 380 Brant St., Burlington
*7> open mic with Gillian Nicola @ Copper Kettle Waterdown, 312 Dundas St. E., Waterdown
*8> open mic with Jim Italiano @ Club 54, 3345 Harvester Rd., Burlington
*8:30> The Carson Freeman Diversion @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Pop Rock
9-1> Maxine Young & Christina Melanie @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Rock/Pop; $
9-1> Carlos Malia @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville ~$10
*9> open mic with Michael Zane @ Shakers Oakville, 589 Kerr St., Oakville
Listings are organized by area in which the shows occur and within each area field shows are listed chronologically.
Listings preceded by an asterisk (*) are repeating weekly events. (Double asterisk indicates repeating event with different hosts/guest/etc.). Events preceded by question mark (?) usually take place but have not been confirmed. Admission prices followed by a slash and minus (/-) after the amount indicates door charge with availability of cheaper rates for some purchases. /+ indicates stated price is minimum.
Copyright © 2017 Gary “17” Webb-Proctor & TorontoMoon.ca. All Rights Reserved