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As I mentioned in a story about songwriter Murray Powell in October of last year, which was intended to promote a scheduled feature appearance at the M Factor Mondays show at Old Nick pub, the often stirringly inspiring and sometimes cleverly biting songwriter has spent “way too little time on stage over the past couple of years for [my] liking”.
As it turned out, the statement proved a bit prophetic, since Murray had to cancel the appearance after taking a tumble while waiting for a subway, leading to a hospital stay and period of recovery that’s kept him out of action since then –until now.
Fortunately, bouncing back from adversity is something of trademark for the barrel-chested baritone and authentic songwriter whose Country-Roots tunes, with clever lyrics that contain both wordplay and substance, are compelling as much for their backstory as their undeniable potency. Blind since birth, he became his school valedictorian and had a successful career as a mainstream office worker at a time when disabilities weren’t well accepted, but then he also had to deal with coming to terms with the tragic death of his daughter. He was able to do so large in part through creating the songs on his wonderful debut album Remedials, released in 2011, which includes a tune specifically dedicated to her.
Since then he’s continued to write songs from the heart, shaped by intelligence, and he’s been working on a new disc over the past year, he tells me, as well as rehearsing with various players, so hopefully it all means he’ll have something new by way of recorded product coming soon.
Certainly, as I mentioned when he did a 2014 feature at Old Nick, some of his more recent compositions are at least as record-worthy as tunes like his signature “Needle In A Haystack” love ditty that appears on the first album and as a video.
A case in point is a simple, from-the-heart autobiographical song, “My Home Town Napanee”, which you can hear on YouTube. Another example is his tribute to the late Robbie “Blues Butcher” Bellmore, “I Sure Wish Him Well”, which appears on our Featured Tracks page of the website.
Tonight Powell’s songwriting gift, as well as his smooth but strong and intimately compelling voice, will finally again be on display as one of the two feature acts at the no-cover M Factor showcase. The evening runs 7-11 in the club at 123 Danforth Ave., a spit east of Broadview, and Murray will take the spotlight for his set around 9 p.m.
-Gary 17, TorontoMoon.ca
SHOW LISTINGS for Monday, January 25, 2022
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.
Names of subscribers appear in bold, are underlined and, where applicable, include a live link to their websites. Advertisers’ listings are in larger highlighted type, include live link to website and also have ad icon included in listings.
On The Air / Online
416 - Toronto Central
6> tba @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO
6:30> U of T Jazz Ensembles @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz; $
*7> Balfolk Toronto @ May Café, 876 Dundas St. W., TO ~Folk music & dance
7:30> Chris Banks Happy Hour @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO
7:30> Hot Sauced Words @ C’est What, 67 Front St. E., TO ~poetry
7:30> Metro Big Band @ Seven44, 744 Mount Pleasant Road, TO North ~R&B/Swing
8> Ukulele jam @ Tranzac Lounge (Main Hall), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO
8:30> John MacLeod’s Rex Hotel Orchestra @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz; $
8:30> Alt Dot Comedy Lounge @ Rivoli, 334 Queen St. W., TO; $5
9> Mark Braithwait; Amy Tourlousse @ Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W., TO ~indie; no cover
**9-1:30> jam with No Band Required @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave., TO
*9?> open mic @ Lou Dawgs Ryerson, 76 Gerrard St. E., TO
*9:30> open mic night at Amsterdam Bicycle Club, 54 The Esplanade, TO
10> Jordan John @ The Orbit Room, 580 College St., TO ~R&B/Blues
*10> jam night hosted by Phill Hood & Jon McCann @ The Cage 292, 292 College St., TO
**10> open mic (2 songs; sign-up starts 8 p.m.) with host Yawd Sylvester @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO
10> tba @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO
10:30> Big Otter Creek Unplugged @ The Hideout, 484 Queen St. W., TO ~indie Rock
416 - Toronto East
**7:30> M Factor Mondays with host Elana Harte & feature Murray Powell (9-10 pm) & Carrie Williams @ The Old Nick, 123 Danforth Ave., TO East ~songwriters
8-11> tba @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave., Toronto East ~
8:30> Lotus Wight @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E., TO East ~Roots/Country
9> The Tom Waits Appreciation Congregation @ Linsmore Tavern, 1298 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Tom Waits covers; no charge
*9:30-2> Sebastian Agnello & friends @ Black Swan (ground floor), 154 Danforth Ave., TO East
416 – Toronto Etobicoke
*8-12> Al Reilly’s Catalyst also featuring Anthony Cee host Rock jam @ Rockpile, 5555 Dundas St. W., Etobicoke
416 – Toronto Scarborough
*8-11> open stage @ McGradie’s, 2167 Victoria Park Ave., Scarborough
*8> jam with Cameljoe @ Centro Pizza, 3408 Kingston Rd., Scarborough
9> Uke jam/workshop @ Stone Cottage Pub, 3750 Kingston Rd., Scarborough ~Pop Rock
416 – Toronto West
5-8> Mark Rainey Jazz Band @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Jazz
9> Geoff Willingham @ The Roncy, 390 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~acoustic
*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
9-1> Mr. Rick & Terry Wilkins @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Blues
*7> Rick & Gailie @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough
9> La Querelle; Molly Drag; Whatershed Hour; Good Anya; Stacey Green Jumps @ The Spill, 414 George St. N., Peterborough
*8-12> open stage @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa
*10> L&M Jam with host Emerson Ireland @ The Thirsty Monk, 21 Celina St., Oshawa
**8-12> BBQ & jam night with tba @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville; ($8.95 with BBQ dinner special starts at 6)
*8> open mic night @ Fionn MacCool’s Burlington, 2331 Appleby Line, Burlington
*9-12> jam hosted by Redder featuring Michelle Deneault @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore E., Port Credit
*9-1> jam with Tom Barlow @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit
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