12 years after Downham debut, Donkey gets a nod at Axis | TorontoMoon.ca 170705We | Shows for Wednesday July 05, 2021

Alex Radeff in psychedelic Pop mode -GARY 17


Like many talented musicians we’ve written about in the past 25 years, Pop-Rock songwriter Alex Radeff has struggled over the years to keep his artistic drive alive while rumbling through low-paying day employment and dealing with a variety of life issues such as ill family members.

But survive he has done and along the way has also issued several recorded products —some of them, as we noted previously, highly acclaimed (such as his 2003 disc Nodding At The Universe) and most recently his delightfully retro-Pop Furthermore which we raved about last year.  And at this point as of this month at least, his enduring persistence seems to be starting to pay off a little.

Yesterday afternoon Radeff began a weekly 12-3 solo residency at True Love Café, a new room at 290 Dundas St. E. at Sherbourne in the Cabbagetown area, where he’ll be offering luncheon guests “songs from the ‘20s to the present plus experiments,” he says.

And starting tonight the latest version of his 3-piece Donkey band takes to the stage for a new weekly Wednesday 8-12 residency at well established Axis Gallery & Grill in the Junction area.  You can expect to hear classic Rock covers along with his own tunes —which iconic TO promoter the late Gino Empry described as “wonderfully inventive” — at the no-cover shows in the room at 3048 Dundas St. West.

Axis has been home to many great artists since, as we related previously, it opened shortly after the 2000 Toronto municipal election in which local residents voted to finally end the area’s “dry” status.  Although it ain’t quite what it used to be, it continues to be a “home” room for Juno Blues Album of the Year winner Julian Fauth, who, has for many, many years now appeared there every Saturday and Sunday for brunch shows, also doing occasional Friday or Saturday night showcases with a band, as we’ve also noted before.

A now-legendary Tuesday night jam that [as I reported at the time in my to-nite magazine forerunner to this publication] was started exactly 12 years ago tonight, on July 5, 2005, by nowadays acclaimed songwriter/producer Derek Downham, ended up becoming a veritable forge of fine musical talents over an eleven-year run.  In addition to nurturing now-veteran players like Fauth and Downham (as well as attracting, of course, as we told you over four years ago, already-seasoned “the Mayor of The Junction” Dave McManus) the event fostered talents like fast-rising Country/Blues star Samantha Martin and others now of note.  It was indeed the crucible in the formation of what has become a very, very hot Junction/Roncesvalles live music scene.

But sadly the Axis jam was peremptorily and unceremoniously canned just over a year ago, as we reported then, due either to “noise complaints” or alleged rudeness by members of the house band (which had taken over from Downham at some point) towards some regular patrons (two versions of why were floating around Facebook at the time).  The club has also become very laggard at promoting its live music —its website has been dysfunctional for many moons now and there’s still, as morning breaks, nothing on its Facebook page about tonight’s show or any live music in July at all; even when it does deign to share its information it has lately been only in the form of sloppy, sometimes unreadable photographs of a calendar scrawled on a chalkboard.

Nevertheless, this room still has its history, that magnificent “three trees patio,” staff who are efficient and hip without being supercilious as well as decent grub and a very interesting selection of brews on tap.  And there’s no cover charge for the live entertainment.

So whatever my complaints about the place’s lack of promotional acumen, that’s no reason you shouldn’t get out there tonight and check out a songwriter who’s most deserving of your ears and whose recorded product, if you snag one while you’re there, I guarantee you’ll be glad to own.

-Gary 17, TorontoMoon.ca

SHOW LISTINGS for Wednesday, July 05, 2021

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*6-8pm> The Rock-A-Round with Slim Tim @ www.rockabilly-radio.net ~ Rockabilly tracks (from UK, repeat show from previous Friday)


5> Gordon Shawcross & Burke Carroll @ Graffiti’s, 170 Baldwin St.

6-8> Perlhaze @ 120 Diner, 120 Church St. ~Jazz; $10-20/pwyc

6> Golden Country Rutledge @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W. ~Country

6:30> Ted Warren’s Broadview @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $

*7> Jim Heineman Trio @ Nawlins, 299 King St. W. ~Jazz

*7-10> Blues jam with Mark Stafford & Ken Yoshioka @ Alleycatz, 2409 Yonge St.

7:30> Troubleshooting & guests @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave. TO ~Jazz

7:30> Scott B & Yawn Temiseva @ Graffiti’s, 170 Baldwin St. ~songwriters

7:30-10> Sly Fox Scadding Court Community Centre, TO Central, 707 Dundas St. W. ~Funk/R&B/Soul; 0$

**8-12> Girls Night Out Jazz singers’ jam with Lisa Particelli, Peter Hill et al @ 120 Diner, 120 Church St. ~$10-20/pwyc

8> King Crimson @ Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St. ~60s Pop Rock icons; $70.50-129+

8> Lilim @ Bovine Sex Club, 542 Queen St. W. ~Metal/Grunge/Hard-core; $0

8> Wordspell @ Free Times Cafe, 320 College St.  ~spoken word

8:30> open mic @ H Bar, 859 Queen St. W.

9> The Digs @ Reservoir Lounge, 52 Wellington St. E. ~Funk/Jazz/neo-Soul; $

*9-2> What’s Poppin’ indie jam @ Sneaky Dee’s, 431 College St.

9> Graham Parker featuring Brinsley Schwarz; guests Bazil Donovan & Friends @ Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W. ~contemporary original; $

9-1> open mic with hosts Aberdeen Alley Cats @ The Boat, 158 Augusta Ave.

*9:30> After Funk @ Nightowl Toronto, 647 College St. ~Funk; 0$

9:30> Jake Robertson @ The Ballroom Bowl, 145 John St. ~acoustic Pop covers & originals; 0$

*9:30-2> The All Nighters open jam @ Lola, 40 Kensington Ave.

9:30> Vic Juris & Kirk MacDonald @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $

10> Melissa Payne @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W.

10> Josh Thorpe @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave. TO

*10-2> Blues-Rock jam with Eric Schenkman Band @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave. TO

*10:30> Sons of Rhythm @ Orbit Room, 580 College St. TO ~ R&B/Soul/Funk; $10

11-2> Don Campbell @ The Hideout, 423 College St.


6-9> Skydiggers @ East Lynn Park, 1949 Danforth Ave. ~Roots-Rock; 0$

*7:30-10:30> The BTBs @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave. ~Jazz; 0$

8> acoustic jam with Gary LaRocca @ The Only Café, 972 Danforth Ave.

8:30-10:30> Civil Wray @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E. ~songwriter

*9:30> open stage with Nicola Vaughan @ Black Swan Tavern (downstairs), 154 Danforth Ave.

9:30> Jesse Reynolds @ Black Swan ~original Rock/Pop; $?


8-1> Aimie Paige Duo @ Timothy’s Pub, 344 Brown’s Line

*9-1> open mic with Daniel Gagnon @ The Old Sod, 2936 Bloor St. W.

9-12> Space Jazz jam with singer Meagan Luchko & guitarist Kevin Bolger & band with weekly guest @ Placebo Space, 2877 Lake Shore Blvd. W. ~Jazz; $5/pwyc


5-8> Lisa Kruchak @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Jazz

*6:30-9> Carl Bray & guest @ Fat City Blues, 890 College St. ~solo piano

7-9> open mic with host Elspeth Tremblay @ Junction City Music Hall, 2907 Dundas St. W.

7:30> Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie @ Budweiser Stage, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W. ~contemporary original; $39.50-125+

8-12> Donkey featuring Alex Radeff @ Axis Gallery & Grill, 3048 Dundas St. W. ~Rock/Pop and further covers & originals; 0$

8> Madz & Luke @ Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. W.

8> The Deslondes @ The Garrison, 1197 Dundas St. W.

8> Msea featuring Mari-Carmela; Blunt Chunks; People of Omhouse; Leucrocuta @ The Piston, 937 Bloor St. W. ~original Rock/Pop; $10

8> Secret Stuff; Castlefield; High Signs; Grids @ Smiling Buddha, 961 College St. ~indie; $

*8> MFA open mic @ Remix Lounge, 1305 Dundas St. W.

8> Vaultry; Conversation; In Case We Crash; Weigh The Anchor @ Smiling Buddha (Stage 2), 961 College St. ~indie; $

*8-11> Fraser/Daley @ Inter Steer, 357 Roncesvalles Ave. ~original Rootsy Blues

8:30> Transcendental Express; Peirson Ross @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W. ~songwriters; $

8:30> Black Umfolosi @ Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W. ~Zimbabwean a cappella; $30

**9-12> Blues Night with Julian Fauth & guests @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave. ~original Juno-winning Blues

9> Mauno; Ghostkeeper; Germaphobes; more @ The Baby G, 1608 Dundas St. W. ~indie

9> Peter Boys & Noah Zacharin @ The Emmet Ray, 924 College St. ~original Roots; pwyc

9> Mick McKenzie Band & special guests @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave. ~Rock ‘n’ Roll; $10/$5 before 9

9> Ron Leary @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave. ~acoustic Pop covers & originals

9:30> Alan J’s East To West Cover Band @ Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W.

*9:30> Spy vs Spy vs Spy @ Reposado, 136 Ossington Ave. ~Jazz; 0$

*10> Tanya Philipovich & Lucas Stagg @ The Hole In The Wall, 2867 Dundas St. W. ~original Roots/Blues

*10:30> Luke Vajsar @ Motel Bar, 1235 Queen St. W. ~Jazz


*8am-1pm> buskers @ Cambridge Farmers’ Market, 40 Dickson St., Cambridge

*6-8:30> ukulele jam @ Idea Exchange, 5 Tannery St. E., Cambridge

*6-9> Dano & Jaye @ Ray’s Bistro, 1475 Queen St. W., Alton ~smooth Pop/Jazz

7> Madison Ing @ Arena Bar & Grill, 96 Gordon St., Guelph

7:30> Celtic Session @ Penny Whistle, 2 Quebec St., Guelph

8-11> Rob Moir @ Red Brick Café, 8 Douglas St., Guelph ~songwriter; $0/pwyc

8-12> acoustic jam @ Anaf Club 344, 32 Gordon St., Guelph

8-11> Sound of The Mountain; Ben Grossman; Baby Labour @ The Common Café, 18 Wilson St., Guelph

8> Ian Taylor hosts jam night @ Pops & Ruby’s Tap & Grill, 200 Preston Pkwy., Cambridge

8> Beth Moore & Sammy Duke @ Monigram Coffee Roasters, 16 Ainslie St. S., Cambridge

8> Blues jam @ Rhapsody Barrel Bar, 179 King St. W., Kitchener

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> Tim Louis @ Kiwi Gastropub, 47 Dickson St., Cambridge

*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> Jesse Cook @ Del Crary Park, 100 George St. N., Peterborough ~contemporary original; $; 0$

*8> open stage @ Dobro Restaurant, 287 George St. N., Peterborough

*8-11> Michael Bell @ The Lounge By Lignum, 442 George St. N., Peterborough

*9-12:30> Josh Morgan & Mike Francis @ Donaleigh’s Irish Public House, 28 Dunlop St. E., Barrie ~acoustic Pop covers & originals

9> Cody Watkins @ McThirsty’s Pin, 166 Charlotte St., Peterborough

9:30> Sean Hully @ The Garnet, 231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough ~$10/pwyc

905 EAST

7> Linda Wright @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa

*8> open stage and karaoke with Eddy Culjak @ Boston Pizza, 20 Taunton Rd., Whitby

*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


*6-9> Tone Dogs @ Symposium Café, Georgetown, 235 Guelph St. ~Blues-Rock

*7> open mic night with Tanya Joy Senior @ Col. McGrady’s Pub, 44 Brock St. W., Uxbridge

?*7> open mic with Matt Whittmann @ Red Door Gallery, 69 Main St. S., Georgetown

*8-12> open mic with Kevin Ker @ Unionville Arms, 189 Main St., Unionville

8-12> jam with Rebelljo Band featuring Dave Girdlestone of Soul Funkshun on guitar @ Fionn MacCool’s Brampton, 11 Ray Lawson Blvd. Brampton

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

*10-2> jam night with Switchbeat Trio @ Maguires, 284 Queen St. E., Brampton


12-1> Jude Johnson @ Gore Park, King St. E. at John St. S., Hamilton  ~original Blues; $0

7> Jeffrey Straker @ Artword Artbar, 15 Colbourne St., Hamilton ~songwriters; $10

7:30> open mic with Keith Toms @ Staircase Bistro, 27 Dundurn St. N., Hamilton

*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> Red Hill Valleys;; guests The Rifle and The Writer; Mississippi Bends Duo @ Casbah Lounge, 306 King St. W., Hamilton ~indie; $10

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 @ Gladstone Tavern, 1385 Main St. E., Hamilton

*9> open mic with Alfie Smith @ L’Etranger on James, 109 James St. N., Hamilton

*10> Jazz jam @ Cat N Fiddle Hamilton, 174 John St., S., Hamilton

10:30> Adam Cooke & Adam Ostrosser @ Gallagher’s Bar, 69 Augusta St., Hamilton

905 WEST

*4:30> Adam Cooke @ SB Prime, 380 Brant St., Burlington

*6-10> open mic with host Dan Walek @ Lucy’s Seafood Kitchen, 6905 Millcreek Dr., Mississauga

*7> open mic with Gillian Nicola @ Copper Kettle Waterdown, 312 Dundas St. E., Waterdown

7> Rob Reed @ Max Resto Lounge, 2180 Itabashi Way, Burlington

8> jam with The Grindstones @ American House, 324 Dundas St. E., Waterdown

*8:30> The Carson Freeman Diversion with guest @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Pop Jazz

9-1> Kevin Reid and the Dedbeats @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Rock/Pop; $

*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