Don’t expect aging Rockers to ever give up on catching the dream
\ SCARBOROUGH \
In his rather charming song “Old Rockers Never Die”, Folk artist Brian Gladstone sings about a village he happened upon in Wales while doing a gig across the pond where, the song claims, older musicians have gathered to “retire” and enjoy playing in peace, if not quiet. But while the rustic retreat may indeed have more than its share of former performers who’ve left the stage, most of the ones I know in the GTA will probably have to be carried off in a box before they’ll give up putting on shows!
And while none of the members of the current incarnation of Valerie & The Dreamcatchers that appears tonight at Scarborough’s new Fox & Crown are really what you’d call old, they certainly have been in the music game a long time. And most of them have kept finding ways to reinvent themselves in a relentless pursuit of the dream of having their talents properly acknowledged.
Valerie is the local queen of musical metamorphosis. She started out performing in the early 80s when she was the late Buzz Shearman’s wife, singing backup vocals for the MOXY Rock band he fronted. In the 90s she moved into the Country realm, cutting an album and writing several songs in the genre, sliding Jazz as the millennium dawned and recording more new material. Later that decade she began exploring Adult-Contemporary Rock, in which mode she also recorded new material, including the album Catch the World that was released at Hugh’s Room in 2010.
With The Dreamcatchers she combines elements of all of those styles as well as some original concept material that endeavours to open eyes to the world. The title track for her Spirited Lady album that she released with that band last year is a powerful song about a young girl’s journey that she also produced as a very moving video.
Shearman has a tendency to sort of come and go on the scene (perhaps she has a cocoon somewhere in which her transmogrifications take place!) but it looks like she’s seriously endeavouring to go for it now with the new Dreamcatchers lineup. It includes veteran multi-instrumentalists Frank Wilks (handling bass and vocals here) and Tony Oldland (on the six-string and vocals).
I’ve written about the multiple talents (singer, guitars/keyboards, songwriter, playwright, actor) of Wilks many times over the years and Oldland is also quite versatile, giving an extra dimension of “heft” to a band by playing keys and strings sometimes in the same song.
Although, unlike Wilks, Oldland has worked a day job for the past 30 years, he’s always kept his hand in as part of various groups of differing styles dating back to Toast and Jam at Bar None in the early 90s and including stints with Kevin Huckell’s Plaza Ratz, with Rockers Cloud 9 (as lead singer) and Domino Show Band out of Keswick. Now, having just retired from the day job, he tells me he’s ready to start focusing on his music and raring to go.
He and the rest of this aptly named 5-piece dreamcatching crew will be doing just that tonight, offering a slew of popular covers along with Shearman’s originals starting at 9:30 in the room at 646 Danforth Rd. near St. Clair Avenue. Don’t bother trying to stop them!
-Gary 17, www.torontomoon.ca
SHOW LISTINGS for Friday, September 26, 2021:
Listings preceded by an asterisk (*) are repeating weekly events. (Double asterisk indicates repeating event with different hosts/guest/etc.). 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.
Names of subscribers appear in bold, are underlined and, where applicable, include a live link to their websites. Advertisers’ listings are in larger type, include live link to website and also have ad icon included in listings.
*3-7> acoustic jam with John Hutt @ Lola, 40 Kensington Ave., TO
*4-6> Hogtown Syncopators @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz
*5-8> Kensington Kitchen Party with host Kevin Jollimore of Sin City Boys & guest musicians @ Graffiti’s, 170 Baldwin St., TO ~Pop Rock with heart
*5-7> open mic with The Foolish Things @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO ~original Pop
*5-7> Ronnie Hayward Trio @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E.. TO E. ~Blues/Roots
5:30-8> Brian Jantzi & The Lost Mariachis with opener Linda Lavender @ The Smiling Buddha, 961 College St., TO ~original Roots Pop
5:30> Rick & Gailie @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough
6> David Celia @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO ~indie Roots-Pop
6:30> Sara Dell @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz
7-9> Peter Case @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., TO West
7> Operation Groundswell @ Free Times Café, 320 College St., TO ~storytelling
7:30> Pram Trio @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO
8> Patrick Brealey @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen Street West, TO
8> David Henman & Friends @ Archtop Café, 56 Queen St. N., Bolton ~iconic original Pop
8> Kevin Breit & Mark Lalama @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville ~inventive fusion Jazz/Blues/Rock; $10
8:30> Chris Smither Still On The Levee album release @ Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., TO West ~songwriter; $30/-
9> Wee Tin Can for St. Practice Day ½ Way to St. Paddy’s Day party @ Linsmore Tavern, 1298 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Irish Rock
9> Grand reopening and renovation celebration party with several comedians and host Scott McCrickard @ Hirut, 2050 Danforth Ave., TO East ~comedy; $5
9> Sean McCann @ C’est What, 67 Front St. E., TO
9-1> Tiffany Hanus Band @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Jazz
9> Root Magic @ Dora Keogh, 141 Danforth Ave., TO East ~rockin’ Blues
9-1> Kindred Spirits @ Monarchs Pub in Eaton Chelsea Hotel, 33 Gerrard St. W., TO ~Soul
9> Aaron Tessis @ Blue Goose Tavern, 1 Blue Goose Rd., Etobicoke South
**9-1> Acoustic Affect with Alexander Quail, Carter Benkhe & guest tba @ Lake Affect, 1 Port St., Port Credit
9> Chase N Diesel @ The American House, 324 Dundas St. E., Waterdown ~Rock/Top 40
9-1> PRJ @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St., Oshawa
9> Kirsten Hawley Band @ The Corral, 433 Simcoe St. S., Oshawa ~Country
9:30> Valerie & The Dreamcatchers featuring Tony Oldland @ Fox & Crown, 646 Danforth Rd., Scarborough
9:30> Peterkin @ McGradie’s, 2167 Victoria Park Ave., Scarborough ~classic Rock/Top 40/Blues
9:30> United Soul Nations @ Timothy’s Pub, 344 Brown’s Line, Etobicoke South ~Pop Rock/Top 40
9:30> Weirdstone with guest Paris Black @ Maple Leaf House, 2749 Lakeshore Blvd. W., Etobicoke South ~jam-Rock
9:30> Hank Ward @ Stone Cottage Pub, 3750 Kingston Rd., Scarborough ~Pop Rock
9:30> Peter Lafferty @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Pop Rock/Top 40
9:30> Silk Tonic @ Jake’s Boathouse Brampton, 59 First Gulf Rd., Brampton ~Pop Rock
*9:30> open mic with @ Big Daddy’s, 460 Elgin Mills Rd., E, Richmond Hill
9:30> Chelsea Crites @ Shakers, 580 Kerr St., Oakville ~new Country
9:30> Ric Jacobs @ Gator Ted’s, 1505 Guelph Line, Burlington
9:30> Soulshaker @ Black Swan Pub Burlington, 4040 Palladium Way, Burlington ~Blues/R&B
9:30> Rob Phillips Band @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough
9:45> John Coltrane Tribute with Pat Labarberra @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz
9:45> Dee Dee & The Dirty Martinis @ Reservoir Lounge, 52 Wellington St. E., TO ~Jazz/Blues
10-2> Tommy Rocker’s Classic Rock Show @ Southside Johnny’s, 3653 Lakeshore Blvd. W., Etobicoke South ~classic Rock
10> Big Tobacco & The Pickers @ The Red Garnet, 231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough ~Country
10> Dave Murphy Band @ Orbit Room, 480 College St. TO ~Rock/Funk/R&B
10> J Swinnerton @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen Street West, TO
10> Alun Piggins & The Mr. Bean Dips @ The Hole In The Wall, 2867 Dundas St. W., TO West ~Roots-Pop/indie
10-2> Hellbound Hepcats @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., TO W.
10> Ryan Driver Sextet @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO ~Jazz
10-1> Winnie Brave @ Bar Radio, 615 College St., TO ~Folk; pwyc
10> Keep The Faith @ The Duke Live, 1225 Queen St. E., TO East ~Bon Jovi tribute
10-2> Side B Vibe @ Fionn MacCool’s Ajax, 36 Kingston Rd., E., Ajax ~Pop Rock/Top 40
10-2> Scully & The Crossbones @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~
10:30> tba @ The Hideout, 484 Queen St. W., TO ~indie Rock
10:30> CODA tribute to John Bonham @ Schuey’s, 1130 Martin Grove Rd., Etobicoke North ~Zeppelin tribute
10:30> Fiction @ The Dickens, 423 Elizabeth St., Burlington ~Pop Rock
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