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If you had asked me on this date in 2003, when I was a few weeks away from marking the eleventh anniversary of this publication’s genesis, what I would be doing exactly 14 years henceforth, I highly doubt I would have answered “writing about the 15th edition of the Winterfolk Festival of course!”
Yet here I am doing exactly that, having written every one of its incarnations since the original cover article in to-nite #288 about its debut weekend with about 100 performers on six stages at venues in the College and Spadina Ave. downtown.
[Paid subscribers who are registered as members of the website can access the article as a high-res jpg in the Vault section.]
Like me and this publication, over those years the festival has had its ups and downs and has had to reinvent a few aspects of itself in order to keep going. It’s moved locations three times (from downtown to Broadview and Danforth, then back downtown for a couple of years in a hotel of all places, then back to its present environs on Danforth) and made other innovations and switched between being ticket and grant supported then back, for example.
But also like this publication, Winterfolk, now Winterfolk Blues & Roots Festival (originally it was “Winterfolk, The Great Roots Music Festival” as you can see in the logo included on the 2003 cover story) has remained essentially true to its original vision of, to quote the article quoting executive director and founder Brian Gladstone back then, “showcasing top Roots talent along side obscure up-and-coming artists in the middle of winter.”
Although it changed its name to include the “Blues” descriptor several years ago now, in truth it has always included a lot of Blues as well —as the lineup for the inaugural weekend demonstrates, with Jack de Keyzer, Raoul & The Big Time, Michael Pickett and other certified Blues acts prominently featured.
It’s interesting that we intially made much of the fact that the festival had no government grants, since a few years after its inception it did indeed begin receiving largesse from various government groups and for a while was able to be a free festival in consequence. But nowadays, with those sources largely dried up, the festival is once again dependent on donations it receives as well as fundraisers throughout the year and, of course, ticket sales, which are still extraordinarily inexpensively priced.
Interestingly, many of the names who appeared at the very first edition of the event (which in those days took place on the first weekend of February from Jan. 31-Feb. 2) are performing this weekend as well.
Gladstone, of course, as well as Lynn Harrison, Peter Verity, Noah Zacharin, Tony Quarrington and Wendell Ferguson have all appeared every year in one form or another, while other veterans of the event, such as Sebastian Agnello, Laura Fernandez and Glen Hornblast, have probably been on board since the second year or third at latest and continue to be featured annually.
This year, in addition to all the usual amazing showcases of established great and undiscovered budding talents, there are three album releases taking place as part of the festival, which takes place on six stages in five rooms and involves over 150 artists.
Tonight’s is the first disc release event, as David McLachlan holds a celebration for his Traveling Truthfully disc, about which we wrote extensively last month, at Terri O’s bar (185 Danforth) from 9-11.
On Saturday from 8-9 in the same room, Harpin’ Norm Lucien releases his brand new album The World’s Strongest Man, about which we’ll tell you more tomorrow. And Sunday we’ll give you more details about an interesting disc recorded last summer ago by a throng of talented artists that honours super-versatile multi-talented songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Tony Quarrington —as we described at the time, the stellar cast of 15 performers each did one of his tunes for the new Songs of Tony Quarrington album, being released on Sunday from 3-7 at Black Swan Tavern’s upper level showcase room.
There’s a kazillion other great shows happening throughout the weekend, as you can see on the full schedule on the festival website. It all kicks off tonight at 7 p.m. of five of the six stages being employed this year, and full details are below prior to the main listings.
-Gary 17, TorontoMoon.ca
Winterfolk XV Schedule for Friday, February 17, 2017
|Black Swan Tavern (2nd Floor) 154 Danforth||Black Swan Tavern (Main Floor) 154 Danforth||Mambo Lounge 120 Danforth||Dora Keogh Irish Pub 141 Danforth||Terri O’s Sports Bar 185 Danforth||Globe Bistro (2nd Floor) 124 Danforth|
|7||Friday Night Dig Yer Roots
8:00 David Essig
9:00 Jon Brooks
10:00 The Small Glories
Doors open at 7:00 Music starts at 8:00 Come early for best seating. $15.00 Advance $20.00 door.
|Sebastian Agnello||Songwriters Up Close
Doors open at 7:00 Music starts at 8:00 Come early for dinner & best seating
|Friday Night Latino & Swingin’ Jazz at Dora’s
Doors open at 7:00 Music starts at 8:00 Come earlyfor best seating
|8||Tom Leighton||Glen Hornblast||Laura Fernandez||D’arcy Wickham||8|
|9||Brian Gladstone & Friends||Suzanne Jarvie||Louis Simao Duo||David McLachlan CD release for his new album‘ Travelling Truthfully’||9|
|10||David Storey||Peter Verity||Lily Frost and Her Kelvinators||10|
|11||Sue & Dwight||Jerome Tucker Band||Blair Packham||Denielle Bassels||Onion Honey||11|
SHOW LISTINGS for Friday, February 17, 2017
For KEY to listings codes and schemata see note at end of shows list.
Names of subscribers appear in bold, are underlined and, where applicable, include a live link to their websites. For Subscription details visit
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*11am-1pm> The Rock-A-Round with Slim Tim @ www.rockabilly-radio.net ~ Rockabilly tracks (from UK, repeats Sundays 3-5am & Wednesdays 6-8am)
416 – TORONTO CENTRAL
*3-7> acoustic jam with John Hutt @ Lola, 40 Kensington Ave.
*4-6> Hogtown Syncopators @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $
*5-8> Matt Glen and Bob @ Graffiti’s, 170 Baldwin St.
*5-7> The Friends of Hugh Oliver @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave. ~Folk
*5:30> Jazz Generation; Melissa Smeets @ Imperial Pub, 54 Dundas St. E. ~Jazz
6-9> Ms Debbie & The Don Valley Stompers @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave. ~Rockabilly/Blues
6> Kelly Prescott @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W.
6-8> LJ Folk with Stu Harrison on keys @ 120 Diner, 120 Church St. ~Jazz singer; $10-20/pwyc
6> Horcrux; North Shore; Past The Verge; Relapse @ Sneaky Dee’s, 431 College St. ~indie
6:30> Messiah Carey @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $
8> Tove Lo; Phoebe Ryan @ Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St.
8> Big Wreck; Ascot Royals @ Phoenix Concert Theatre, 410 Sherbourne St. ~contemporary; $
8> Art of Time Ensemble @ Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Key W. ~concert of Jazz & Classical composers; $25-$64
8> International Poetry Slam: Burlington vs Rochester @ May Café, 876 Dundas St. W.
7:30> “Girls Rock Camp showcase” with Jennifer Castle; Deep Waters @ Tranzac Club (Main Hall), 292 Brunswick Ave.
*8:30-12:30> All Star Band feat. Joe Bowden & Brooke Blackburn @ Nawlin’s, 299 King St. W. TO ~Blues
8:30> The Dromedaries @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave.
8:30> Towers; Bamboo; Hole Lotta Love; Canadian Shield @ Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor St. W. ~indie; $10
9> Bill Wood and The Woodies @ Graffiti’s, 170 Baldwin St. ~Roots Rock
9> Voodoo Walters @ Lola, 40 Kensington Ave. ~Blues
9> Wannabee @ Mod Club, 722 College St. ~Spice Girls tribute; $25
9> Mineta video release party with guests Black Absinthe @ Cherry Cola’s, 200 Bathurst St. ~indie; $
9> Matt N Dave @ Drums N Flats, 1980 Avenue Rd. ~Rock/Top 40; 0$
9> Unidentified Funk Object; Bass Line; Sneak Eazy @ Cameron House (rear), 408 Queen St. W. ~indie; $
9> SKETCH album release with guests @ Bovine Sex Club, 542 Queen St. W. ~indie Punk; $7
9> Dwayne Gretzky @ Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W. ~cover Rock; $20
9> Grizzlie; Killer Virgins; Pretty @ Stop, Drop & Roll, 300 College St. ~indie
9> Sure; Canyun; Wave of Terror; Flying Buttress @ Hard Luck Bar, 772 Dundas St. W. ~indie; $
9-11:30> Roberto Occhipinti Quartet @ Jazz Bistro, 251 Victoria St. ~Jazz; $
9> Jammers Waffle House; ARK; more @ The Cavern Bar, 76 Church St. ~indie; $
9:30> Material Men @ Seven44, 744 Mount Pleasant Rd. ~80s revue
9:30> Lady Kane @ Alleycatz, 2409 Yonge St. ~Funk/Soul/R&B; $10
9:45> Dave Young Quintet @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $
9:45> Shane Phillips @ Reservoir Lounge, 52 Wellington St. E. ~Jump Blues/R&B; $
10> Dave Murphy Band @ Orbit Room, 480 College St. TO ~Rock/Funk/R&B; $
10> Rage @ Coalition, 282 Augusta Ave.
10> Freeman Dre & The Kitchen Party @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen Street W. ~original Roots-Rock
10> Thunderfunk @ C’est What, 67 Front St. E.
10> Vivienne Wilder @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave.
10> New Grease Revival @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave.
11> City Love Selections @ Amsterdam Bicycle Club, 54 The Esplanade
416 – TORONTO EAST
*5-7> The Straight 8s @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E. ~rootsy Rockabilly
7-9> Andrea Nixon @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave. ~Country/Folk songwriter; 0$
7> Japandroids; Craig Finn & The Uptown Controllers @ The Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave. ~contemporary original; $
7:30-10:30> improvisational drum jam @ LucSculpture Studios, 663 Greenwood Ave. ~$5 donation
9> David McLachlan album release for Traveling Truthfully @ Terri O’s, 185 Danforth Ave. ~Roots/part of Winterfolk XV; $
9:30> James Clark Institute @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave. ~songwriter; 0$
9:30> The Pint of No Return @ Linsmore Tavern, 1298 Danforth Ave. ~Celtic Rock; $5
9:30> Blues jam with Mike Sedgewick Band @ The Peppery Cat, 1953 Queen St. E. ~Pop Rock
10:30> Candice Sand Band @ Bier Markt Don Mills, 7 O’Neill Rd. ~Pop Rock
416 – TORONTO ETOBICOKE
7:30> Terry Clarke Trio @ Old Mill Inn, 21 Old Mill Rd. ~Jazz; min table charge
8> Screamin’ Evil Blues Band @ Roseto Café, 238 Brown’s Line, Etobicoke ~Rock
8> Wishing Well Sanctuary fundraiser with Dawn Valley; Chainfall; Howl Said The Wolves; This! Is A Crisis; Chasing Shadows; Dylan Murray @ The Rockpile, 5555 Dundas St. W. ~$10+
9> Soul Funkshun featuring Dave Girdlestone on guitar @ Timothy’s Pub, 344 Brown’s Line ~Pop Rock/Top 40; $
9> Bad Dogs @ Blue Goose Tavern, 1 Blue Goose Rd. ~Pop Rock/Top 40
10-2> Straight Shooter @ Southside Johnny’s, 3653 Lake Shore Blvd. W. ~classic Rock; 0$
10> The Heat @ Bier Markt Etobicoke, 199 North Queen St. ~Pop Rock
416 – TORONTO SCARBOROUGH
9:30> Denis Martel @ Stone Cottage Pub, 3750 Kingston Rd. ~Pop Rock
9:30> jam with Jonny Starke @ The Loaded Dog, 1921 Lawrence Ave. E.
416 – TORONTO WEST
5-7> Steve Gleason @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave. ~songwriter
5-8> Sam Broverman @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Jazz
7> Old-Time music showcase with various buskers @ The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Ave.
7:30> Enzo Boldrini Duo @ Brazen Head Pub, 165 East Liberty St. ~Pop Rock
7:30> Max Sennit Trio @ Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W. ~Jazz; 0$
7:30> Tops; Diana Vallens; Chandra for “Wavelength Music Festival” @ The Garrison, 1197 Dundas St. W.
8> Tim Darcy @ Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. W.
8> Black Atlass; Overwerk @ The Great Hall, 1087 Queen St. W. ~contemporary; $
8-10> Zimzum Jazz Band @ Gladstone Hotel Lounge, 1214 Queen St. W. ~Jazz
8-10> Mark Fewer & Daniel Janke album launch for Celestial Blue @ Gallery 345, 345 Sorauren Ave. ~piano/violin duo; $20
8-11> Bard From The Club; Chronicles Dub Trio @ Junction City Music Hall, 2907 Dundas St. W. ~$10
8:30> Alonso @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W.
9-2> Jazz Money @ Gladstone Hotel Ballroom, 1214 Queen St. W. ~Jazz
9-1> Tob Hughes’s Big Three @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Jazz
9> Ginger St. James; Luau or Die @ Cadillac Lounge, 1296 Queen St. W. ~Rockabilly/Surf on two stages; $
9> Bad Channels; Yi; Mr. Joy @ Smiling Buddha, 961 College St. ~indie; $
9> Pamela White & Friends @ Dave’s On St. Clair, 730 St. Clair Ave. W. ~acoustic Pop
9> Bad Luck Woman & Her Misfortunes @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave. ~New Orleans Blues
9> Chislain’s live piano karaoke with Simpsons (tv show) songs theme @ Holy Oak Café, 1241 Bloor St. W.
9:30> Tanya Philopovich @ Axis, 3048 Dundas St. W. ~Jazz/Blues
9:30> Big Rude Jake @ Fat City Blues, 890 College St. ~Blues
10-2> Mama Motown and her Bad Decisions @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave. ~Motown covers; $10
10> Papiosco Y Los Ritmicos @ Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W. ~Cuban Salsa; $15
10> Mr. Rick @ The Hole In The Wall, 2867 Dundas St. W. ~Roots
6> Tri-Charity gala for 3 local charities featuring Freedom Train @ Whistle Bear Golf Club, 1613 Dickie Settlement Road, Cambridge ~dance Rock; $150 includes dinner
6:30> acoustic performer @ Ernie’s Roadhouse, 7 Queen St. W., Cambridge
7-11> Jeff Shows @ The Rabbid Fox, 56 Beech Ave., Cambridge
7:30> CityWide Panic; Vintage Playground; Contgroversial Sharks @ Maxwell’s, 35 University Ave. E., Waterloo ~local indie; $10
8> Eschaton; Ylang Ylang @ Silence, 46 Essex St., Guelph ~experimental Noise; $10/pwyx
8> Grand River Blues Camp featuring John McKinley @ Lancaster Smokehouse, 574 Lancaster St. W., Kitchener
8:30> Alex Price @ Fionn MacCool’s Kitchener, 4287 King St. E., Kitchener ~Pop
8:30> Jeff Daniels Group @ The Jazz Room, 59 King St. N., Waterloo ~Jazz; $18
8:30> Old School @ Fionn MacCool’s Orangeville, 75 Fourth Ave., Orangeville ~Pop
9> Die Hexe; Into The Fray; Mayfield @ Jimmy Jazz, 52 Macdonell St., Guelph ~indie; 0$
*9-2> jam night @ The Cave, 105 Shade St., Cambridge
9> Lucas Stagg Band @ Rhapsody Barrel Bar, 179 King St. W., Kitchener ~Rockabilly
9> Delmar Junction @ Brando’s Beach House, 135 Market St., Brantford
9:30> Carlos Morgan @ The Albion Hotel, 49 Norfolk St., Guelph ~R&B/Soul/Reggae; $10
9:30> County Dufferin Line @ The Tipsy Toad, 171 Broadway Ave., Orangeville
10-1> Mark Oliver; Manolo; Shep X Ferrow @ Dstrct, 10 Wydham St. N., Guelph ~indie; $15
10> Felicia McMinn Band @ Zander’s, 190 King George Rd., Brantford
5> Rick & Gailie @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough
8-11:45> Tony “Wild T” Springer Band @ Harbour Street Fish Bar, 10 Keith Ave., Collingwood ~rockin’ Blues
8:30> Rob Phillips Band @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough ~Jazz/Blues
9> Broken Harmony; Atlas Murray; Taylor Kirkwood @ The Spill, 414 George St. N., Peterborough ~indie
9:30> Jon Knight & Soulstack @ Sticky Fingers Dunlop, 150 Dunlop St. W., Barrie ~Blues
10> Weed & Cobras; Rock MP3 @ The Garnet, 231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough ~indie Rock
*8-12> Karaoke with Rob MacArthur & Lorraine @ Royal Canadian Legion #322, 112 Hunt St., Ajax
9-1> Three For All Rob @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa
9> Dean James @ The Corral, 433 Simcoe St. S., Oshawa ~Country
9> Deuce @ Tartan Tavern, 555 Rossland Rd. E., Oshawa ~Pop Rock
9> Crown Lands; Double Experience; Cleopatrick @ The Moustache Club, 15 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa ~indie Rock;
9:30> Tamin’ Thunder @ The Edge, 250 Bayly St., Ajax ~Rock/R&B/Dance
10-2> Two For The Show @ Whisky John’s, 843 King St. W., Oshawa ~Pop Rock
10-2> Baz Littlerock Band @ Ganaraska Hotel, 30 Ontario St., Port Hope
7> Sean Bourke @ Muddy Water Hotel, 25 Main St. W., Beeton ~solo Country songwriter
8> Bill Craig @ Shepherd’s Crook, 86 Main St. S., Georgetown
8:30> High Court County featuring Arie Papernick @ Goodtimes Café, 19080 Bathurst St., Newmarket ~Country
8:30> Therapy Seekers @ Lake Simcoe Arms, 21089 Dalton Rd., Jackson’s Point
9-12:30> Ambre McLean @ Uncorked On Main, 72 Main St. S., Georgetown ~songwriter
9:30> Table 69 @ Jake’s Boathouse Brampton, 59 First Gulf Rd., Brampton ~Pop Rock
9:30> Fat Tony Band @ Oscar’s Roadhouse, 1785 Queen St. E., Brampton ~Top 40/Rock
9:30> Blueprint @ Spot 1, 289 Rutherford Rd. S., Brampton
*9:30> open mic @ Big Daddy’s, 460 Elgin Mills Rd., E, Richmond Hill
10> Jen & The Jets @ Aw Shucks, 15230 Yonge St., Aurora ~Pop Rock
10> Matt Zaddy Trio @ St. George Pub, 7 Main St. N., Georgetown
6:30> East Coast Kitchen Party @ Corktown Pub, 175 Young St., Hamilton
7> Camp Oochigeas fundraiser with Godboogie; Jerry Johnson Band; Frank Cosentino; Steve Negus; more @ Bay City Music Hall, 50 Leander Drive, Hamilton ~Blues; $15
8> The Kirkendalls @ Artword Artbar, 15 Colbourne St., Hamilton ~Jump Blues
8> Cranked @ Pub Fiction, 1242 Garner Rd. W., Ancaster ~Rock/Top 40
10> Emblem; Batty von Bats @ Baltimore House, 43 King William St., Hamilton
9> Justin Sawicki @ Coach & Lantern, 384 Wilson St E., Ancaster~Rock/Top 40
9> Lava Dolls; Beautiful Nothing; Last Bullet @ This Ain’t Hollywood, 345 James St. N., Hamilton ~indie Rock; $?
9> Cheslea Crites @ Beaver & Bulldog Hamilton, 1400 Upper James St., Hamilton ~Country
9:15> The Old Winos & guests Kim & Frank Koren @ The Old Winery Restaurant, 2228 Niagara Stone Rd., Niagara-On-The-Lake
9:30> Soul Train @ Corktown Pub, 175 Young St., Hamilton
9:30> The Mighty Fish @ The Gladstone Hamilton, 1385 Main St. E., Hamilton
9:30> Groove Hammer @ Stonewalls Hamilton, 339 York Blvd., Hamilton ~Soul/Rock/R&B
9:30> Lance Eckensweiller @ Cat N Fiddle Hamilton, 174 John St., S., Hamilton
9:30> Moore Vince @ Doc Magilligan’s Irish Pub, 6400 Lundy’s Lane, Niagara Falls
10> Brothers Du Monde feat. Adam Cooke @ Gallagher’s Bar, 117 John St., Hamilton
*5> Adam Ostrosser & Joel Guenther @ Carrigan Arms, 2025 Upper Middle Rd., Burlington ~Pop
*6-9> Nolan Hubbard @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Pop Rock
9-11:30> Lost Boys feat. Gordon Deppe @ The Purple Heather, 3600 Dundas St. W., Burlington ~Pop Rock
9> Fry Truck @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville ~original Hard Folk; $10
9:30> The Grady Brothers @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Pop Rock/Top 40
9:30> Elyse Saunders @ The Franklin House, 263 Queen St. S., Streetsville ~Country Rock
9:30> Ballroom Babies @ Cuchulainn’s Irish Pub, 158 Queen St. S., Streetsville-Mississauga ~Pop Rock
9:30> Think Freud @ Boston Manor, 4460 Fairview Ave., Burlington ~Pink Floyd tribute; $
9:30> Trio @ Jersey’s Bar, 1450 Headon Rd., Burlington ~Rock/Top 40
9:30> Hellbent Rockers @ Black Swan Pub Burlington, 4040 Palladium Way, Burlington ~Pop Rock
10-2> Tomahawk Love @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~
10> Stella @ Bier Markt Mississauga, 55 City Centre Drive, Mississauga ~Pop Rock
10:15> Orangeman @ Failte, 201 City Centre Dr., Mississauga ~Pop Rock
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 by Gary “17” Webb-Proctor & TorontoMoon.ca. All Rights Reserved