David McLachlan’s Roots have sprouted Country in full bloom | TorontoMoon.ca 170123Mo | Shows for Mon. Jan. 23, 2017

David McLachlan @ Dora Keogh, 2017 -GARY 17

As he prepares to celebrate, at next month’s Winterfolk Blues & Roots Festival, the formal release of his third full album, Traveling Truthfully —which signifies his emergence as a fully-fledged Country songwriter— David McLachlan has been tuning up his performance chops with regular appearances at the “Riverboat Mondays” open stage hosted by Julian Taylor and Tyler Ellis at Dora Keogh.

I expect he’ll be there at some point again this evening for the 9-1 weekly cavalcade of superior talents on the tidy little stage in the room at 141 Danforth Ave.  But it may not be in time to catch Taylor’s traditional opening set of Funk/Pop originals, since David has another engagement of his own a little earlier on.

The suave and personable crooner-guitarist and composer is the guest tonight of host Heather Fielding for her weekly “Acoustic Workshop” show on CIUT 89.5 FM.  He’ll be live on air (and online) 7-8 p.m. doing a few tunes and talking about the new disc, being officially released on the Fri. Feb. 17 kickoff evening for Winterfolk XV.

The new albums sounds to me like the bursting out of the Country butterfly from the chrysalis of his evolution from a Folk artist à la Gordon Lightfoot through Country-Roots and into a full blown Nashville-ready sound.

On his 2003 debut cd, Can’t Close A Blind Eye, McLachlan has a more Roots-Folk-Lightfoot sort of sensibility —the song “Massey Hall” in more than one way resonates with the presence of the chin-singing icon— which is perhaps understandable since he had the likes of David Bradstreet playing guitar for him on the twelve-pack record.  There are also however, some touches of Roots-Rock with a Country tinge, especially in the title track, and the presence of Carl Kessee on bass and Jason Fowler on dobro and slide guitar sort of hints at what was to come.

A dozen years later there’s still a lot of the Roots crooner on 2015’s ten-tune Not A Through Street, but there’s a lot more of a Country thread mixed in, and indeed the disc is described as “Country Folk” genre on its cd baby listing.  The pace is a little picked up too, as both the leading track, “This Fair Land,” and finale number, “Beam Me Up,” each demonstrate.

David McLachlan, ‘Traveling Truthfully’ cover art

Now, however, on Traveling Truthfully, the Country-Rock sound, despite a rather sentimental (and to my mind somewhat cryptic) title track, is much more in evidence and a lot more polished too. Along with drums and bass, the sound is helped out by two keyboardists and a pair of steel guitar players as well as twin electric six-stringers and an acoustic strummer to boot.

I suppose I could have seen this coming, given the fact that last spring we told you about David’s participation in a Nashville Songwriters Association International “Tin Pan North” showcase, and certainly the transition is now complete.

This collection sizzles in the right places and has a radio-friendly sound that’s sophisticated and smooth.  I can easily imagine hearing tunes like “Pony Up To The Bar” or “Run On The Wild Side” coming out of the cab of a Dodge RAM while hanging out in the back at a tailgate party.

Indeed, while there are no truck songs on this disc, even some of the titles (“Country Life,” “Letter From The East,” “Down Here in Nashville”) bespeak rustic themes and lines like “missing you in Colorado” and “on my mind like a train upon its track” evoke the big-sky life.  Even the cover art, a sepia-toned Larry McCarthy photo of McLachlan sitting on the steps of a very old railway car, oozes Country nostalgia.

There’s also a hidden gem in here that has all the right elements to be a Texas mating/booty call song.  “Love Will Find You There” is upbeat, heartfelt and catchy, though I wish it had a sexier title.  Another standout is “Call For Me,” which evokes John Denver at his height yet is distinctly original.  McLachlan’s simple, sometimes reedy, other times energetically lilting or earnest but always genuine voice is in clear command of these and all the tunes on the entire disc.

It perhaps shouldn’t be surprising to learn that the album was recorded in Nashville —by veteran guitarist Larry Beaird at his eponymous studio, which has also done extensive recording work for household names like Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood and Lady Antebellum.

Although the official release isn’t until February you may just be able to pry a copy of the new album from David if you see him at Dora after his radio show —and do get it signed!  If you can’t make it out then you can also catch up with him this coming Thursday 6-8 p.m., when he is part of a multi-act showcase at Mount Pleasant Library (599 Mount Pleasant Rd.) for the latest installment of its monthly “Urban Folk Art Salon”.

I’d expect for that show, btw, he will most certainly play a tune he wrote many years ago about the closing of the Mount Pleasant streetcar line, “One Last Ride,” which appeared on his 2015 disc and was the first song he ever had played on the radio.  The betting on this side of the saloon is that it won’t be his last.

-Gary 17, TorontoMoon.ca

SHOW LISTINGS for Monday, January 23, 2022

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*6> “Underplayed and Underpaid” interviews and performances by Guelph area bands on CFRU 93.3 broadcast and online.

7-8> David McLachlan on “Acoustic Workshop” with host Heather Fielding @ CIUT 89.5 FM ~performance and chat about Winterfolk XV/Feb. 17 album release for Traveling Truthfully broadcast and online


6> Heavy On The Willie @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO

6:30> U of T Jazz Ensembles @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz; $

7-10> Maple Blues Awards gala with performances by Michael Kaeshammer, Paul DesLaurier Band, Tim Williams, Sugar Brown, Shakura S’Aida, Maple Blues Band and; after-show lobby jam with Jerome Godboo @ Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W., TO ~Blues; $35+

CLOSED TONIGHT FOR RENOVATIONS: **7-1 (sign-up at 7, show starts 7:30)> open stage with host tba @ Free Times Café, 320 College St., TO

*7-10> open stage with Brad Scott @ Lola, 40 Kensington Ave., TO

7:30> Chris Banks Happy Hour @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO

7:30> Wintergarten Orchestra @ Seven44, 744 Mount Pleasant Road, TO North ~R&B/Swing

8> Ukulele jam @ Tranzac Lounge (Main Hall), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO

8> The Lemon Twigs @ Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W., TO ~indie; $13.50

**9-1:30> jam with No Band Required @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave., TO161110-support-the-moon

9> Noble Oak; Plazas; Garbagio @ The Central, 603 Markham St., TO

9:30> Humber College Jazz Ensembles @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz; $

10> Jordan John @ The Orbit Room, 580 College St., TO ~R&B/Blues; $

**10> open mic (2 songs; sign-up starts 8 p.m.) with host tba @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO

10> Yonge Kings @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO

*10> live musical theatre open mic @ Statler’s, 487 Church St., TO

*10:30> open mic with host Mark Villamor at Amsterdam Bicycle Club, 54 The Esplanade, TO


7-9> Isabel and the Uncommons featuring Tony Quarrington on guitar @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave., Toronto East ~eclectic Pop/Jazz; 0$

7:30> Kyle Duffin; guest Brian Sakasi @ The Old Nick, 123 Danforth Ave., TO East ~songwriters; 0$

8:30-10:30> Bad Luck Woman and Her Misfortunes @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E., TO East ~Motown Blues

*8:45-12> Riverboat Mondays acoustic open stage jam with Julian Taylor & Tyler Ellis @ Dora Keogh, 141 Danforth Ave. TO East; 0$

*9-12> The Out of Towners @ Sauce on Danforth, 1376 Danforth Ave., TO East

9-2> Tom Waits Appreciation Congregation @ Linsmore Tavern, 1298 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Tom Waits tribute; 0$

*9:30-2> Sebastian Agnello & friends @ Black Swan (ground floor), 154 Danforth Ave., TO East; 0$


*8-12> Al Reilly’s Catalyst also featuring Anthony Cee & Rick Anderson host Rock jam @ Rockpile, 5555 Dundas St. W., Etobicoke


*8-11> open stage with Dan Walek @ McGradie’s, 2167 Victoria Park Ave., Scarborough

9> Uke jam/workshop @ Stone Cottage Pub, 3750 Kingston Rd., Scarborough


5-8> Ed Kopec @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Jazz piano solo

7> David Riddel @ The Emmet Ray, 924 College St., TO West ~Jazz/John Scofield tribute; pwyc

7> Jonathan Roy @ Drake Hotel Underground, 1150 Queen St. W., TO West ~Blues; $15

*7:30> Balfolk @ La Rev, 2848 Dundas St. W., TO West ~French Folk music & dance; $5-10/pwyc

*8-11> Ken Yoshioka @ On Cue Billiards, 349 Jane St., TO West ~Blues

8> ill Evans @ Dundas Video, 831 Dundas St. W., ~Hip Hop/Funk/Soul; 0?

8:30> “Piano Fest” night 1 of 7 with Michelle Willis; Mara Nesrallah @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W., TO West ~piano songwriters; $20

*9-1> Hamstrung Stringband @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Bluegrass

*9-1> eclectic open stage/jam with host Nelson Sobral @ The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Ave., TO West

*9> Parkside Drive @ Drake Hotel Lounge, 1150 Queen St. W., TO West ~Rock/Top 40; 0$

9-1> Tim Hamel Trio & guest @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Jazz

9:30> Trevor Giancola Quintet @ The Emmet Ray, 924 College St., TO West ~Jazz; pwyc

*10> open mic with Richard McCarthy & feature @ The Hole In The Wall, 2867 Dundas St. W., TO West


5> open mic @ Rhapsody Barrel Bar, 179 King St. W., Kitchener

7-11:30> open mic @ The Cornerstone, 1 Wyndham St. N., Guelph

*8-12> open stage @ The Boathouse, 97 Jubilee Drive, Kitchener

*8-2> Matt Weidinger @ Jimmy Jazz, 52 Macdonell St., Guelph ~acoustic originals & covers

9:30> Turk and the Hobbits @ Duke of Wellington, 33 Erb St. W., Waterloo


*7> Rick & Gailie @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough

9?> jam night with Rob Drake @ Sticky Fingers Dunlop, 199 Essa Rd.

10> Captain Cowboy and The Monkey Maker @ The Garnet, 231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough

905 EAST

*8-11> open stage @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa


9:25-1:05> jam/open stage with backline @ Sneakers Uptown, 18025 Yonge St., Newmarket


*8> The New Rebel Westerners @ Cat ‘n’ Fiddle, 174 John St. S., Hamilton ~Country

8> Abigail Lapell album launch with guests Matty Simpson; Justin Dunlop @ Casbah Lounge, 306 King St. W., Hamilton ~indie; $8/pwyc

11> Mary Simon @ Gallagher’s Bar, 69 Augusta St., Hamilton

905 WEST

*7-10> open mic with Chris Partland @ The Purple Heather, 3600 Dundas St. W., Burlington

**8-12> BBQ & jam night with Denise Fex @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville; ($8.95 with BBQ dinner special starts at 6)

*9-1> The Dedbeats @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Rock ‘n’ Roll

*9:30-1> jam with Tom Barlow @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit


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.

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