Two chances to see unpredictable genius Michael Keith today | 180114Su | Shows for Sun. Jan. 14, 2018

Michael Keith in 2015 -GARY 17


It’s been a while since I’ve written about uniquely versatile and inventive songwriter Michael Keith, a talent whom I actually first encountered —and was immediately impressed by— way back in 1992 when I began this magazine project as’s “grandfather” publication The Open Season monthly digest about open mics in TO.

Back then, as I described in July of 2014 in a somewhat comprehensive article about his artistic journey, he was an energetic Blues-Rock electric guitar player who had performed for years with various road bands and settled in the Parkdale/Junction of west TO area before it was hip to do so. (This was in the days when a plethora of starving musicians who could only afford the then-downmarket hovels available in that part of town were in abundance in that area, leading eventually to its emergence as the hip new scene to be part of and eventually today’s gentrification —which, ironically, is now driving artists away due to the high rents.)

Over the years, as I also described in the article about Keith’s artistic complexity, he has evolved into an adventurous explorer of international sounds and instruments, incorporating a variety of exotic themes into a musical stew that’s a fusion of Blues, Roots, Rock, eastern and Asian influences.  At least that’s what he was doing last time I saw him perform —this restless quester could be doing something completely different these days for all I know and that would hardly be surprising.  As far as I’m concerned this fellow is a musical genius and rather than try to predict what he may be up to, it’s more sensible just to watch and be awed.

If you’re curious you’ve got two opportunities today to find out for yourself what he’s up to.  From 7-9 p.m. he has a headline set at TO’s Tranzac Club in the Southern Comfort Room.  (And if you go to the venue at 292 Brunswick Ave. in the Annex area a little earlier, at 5 p.m., you can also get your appetite for interesting sounds whet at this month’s edition of Max Layton’s “More Songs & Poems” two-hour stint in the same room —about which I’ve also written several times, most recently in December.)

After finishing his Tranzac set Keith will hustle over the Spadina Ave., where he’s one of the two guests in the house band for this week’s installment of  Bill Hedefine’s Sunday night jam at Grossman’s.  The jam (which Hedefine has been involved with for over 30 years) each week sees the ageless drummer bring in a different guitarist and bass player to form the hosting trio.

As regular readers will know, the tradition of a guest bassist began in 2008 after Paul McNamara, who was the bass player for the late Brian Cober in The Nationals, died suddenly.  Not wanting to replace his longtime musical companion, Cober started bringing in a guest bassist each week and after Cober himself sadly passed away in December 2016, Bill decided to keep the concept alive by adding a weekly guest guitarist to the mix, who tonight is Keith.

The jam in the once infamous but now venerable room at 379 Spadina Ave., one of the longest running —if not the longest running— weekly affairs anywhere locally, kicks off around 10.   There’s no cover and while Blues and Blues-Rock are the predominant theme, all styles and configurations are always welcome by versatile and eclectic Hedefine.

-Gary 17,
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SHOW LISTINGS for Sunday, January 14, 2022

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*3-5am> The Rock-A-Round with Slim Tim @ ~ Rockabilly tracks (from UK, repeat of Fri show, also runs Wednesdays 6-8am)

4> “Georgian Bay Roots” official show of Summerfolk Festival @ CFOS AM 560 (simulcast on

5-8> “Across The Universe” with Ken Stowar on CIUT 89.5 FM

*6, 7, 10 & 11am; 5 & 7 pm> “Sunday Morning Soul” with Johnny Max @ ~Blues

7-8>  Canuck Indie Hour @ www.Q108KingstonIndie ~tracks from Canadian songwriters (repeats Wed. at 3 pm)

9am> “The Hoose Radio Show” Wee Dan Hoose @ ~ artist interviews and tracks

9pm-midnight> 60s, 70s Soul, Jazz & Funk Cape Town/UK LIVE on FM Radio & Online Worldwide @


11am-2pm> Nina Shapilsky for Jewish brunch buffet @ Free Times Café, 320 College St. ; $5 (music only)

*11am-2> The Mercenaries @ Drake One Fifty, 150 York St. ~retro R&B/Soul/Funk; $0

noon-3> Excelsior Dixieland Jazz Band @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz

1> Toronto Improvisers Orchestra @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave.

3-5> Ayal Senior @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave.

3:30-6:30> Red Hot Ramble @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $

*4-7> Michael Brennan @ Graffiti’s, 170 Baldwin St. TO ~East Coast Rock/Blues Roots

8> Luan Phung Group @ Poetry Jazz Café, 224 Augusta Ave. ~Jazz

*4:30-8> New Orleans Connection All Stars & guests Michael Keith & Justin Snikkar @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave. ~New Orleans Jazz

4:30-7:30> Mark Sepic @ The Local Gest, 424 Parliament St. ~Jazz/Classical/original looping songwriter; $0

5> “More Songs & Poems” with Robert Priest & Max Layton with guest Rob Greenway & house band featuring Ed Roth & David Hines @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave. ~music & poetry; $0

6-7:30> “Post Tour Sorta Dealing” @ 120 Diner, 120 Church St. ~musical theatre; $10/pwyc

6> Zdob [si] Zdub @ Mod Club, 722 College St. ~original Rap/Hip-Hop; $100

*7-1> Freefall Sundays open stage (2 songs each -signup @ 7 or pre-sign online) @ The Supermarket, 268 Augusta St.

7-9:30> Caro @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Surf ‘n’  Soul; $

7-10> The Rhythmaturgically Syncopated Social Hour Jazz jam @ Tranzac Lounge (Tiki Room), 292 Brunswick Ave.

*7-10> Brooke Blackburn @ Nawlins, 299 King St. W. TO ~Blues/Jazz/R&B

7:15-10:30> “Kammerkinzert” @ Betty Oliphant Theatre, 404 Jarvis St. ~Classical; $

7-9> Michael Keith @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave. ~songwriter

*7:30> set by Fresh Mistake followed by open mic (sign up starts at 7:45) @ The Cavern Bar, 76 Church St.

7:30> LARK Ensemble @ Corkin Gallery, 7 Tank House Lane ~Classical; $35

8> Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room with Wayne “Neon” Smith & many more @ Free Times Café, 320 College St. ~eclectic song sharing; 0$

8> Sheresha; Soon Come; more @ Poetry Jazz Café, 224 Augusta Ave. ~spoken word & music showcase

8> The Double Cuts @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W. ~Country

8> open mic with feature Brian Passmore @ The Paddock, 178 Bathurst St.

8> Blackalicious @ Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor St. W.

8:30-10> Thomas Ciolfi & Aubrey Wilson @ 120 Diner, 120 Church St. ~Pop Jazz silly love songs; $20/pwyc

9:30> Barry Romberg Group @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $

*10> Horshack feat. Chris Caddell @ Orbit Room, 580 College St. ~Bluesy contemporary & classic Rock

10> Lina Allemano Four @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave. ~original Jazz

10> Harvey Cameron & The Cowboy Poets @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W.

10-2> Pat Wright @ The Hideout, 423 College St. ~acoustic Pop covers & originals

**10> Blues jam with Bill Hedefine & guests @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave.


11am-2pm> Chris McHardy DUo for Jazz brunch @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave. ~acoustic Pop covers & originals; 0$

2> School of Rock Markham student showcase @ The Opera House, 735 Queen St. E. ~tributes; $10

*3-6> open mic with Nicola Vaughan @ Hirut, 2050 Danforth Ave.

3:30> The Two Fours @ Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave. ~Rock/Top 40 covers

4> Fraser & Daley @ Castro’s Lounge, 2116 Queen St. E. ~Rootsy Blues originals & covers

*4:30-8:30> Rock/Blues jam with William A. Miller & The Black Bear All Stars @ Black Bear Pub, 1125 OConnor Drive

7-9> R. Shelley @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave. ~songwriter; 0$

5-8:30> Hogtown Country @ The Duke Live, 1225 Queen St. E. ~Country Rock; $0

7-11> The Legendary Castaways @ Linsmore Tavern, 1298 Danforth Ave ~R&B/Blues; 0$

*9-1> jam with the Stir It Up Band featuring David Macmichael @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave.


4-7:30> BG Rhythm Section featuring Gary Kendall + guests Jerome Godboo & Eric Schenkman @ Blue Goose Tavern, 1 Blue Goose Rd. ~Blues/R&B

5-9> David Love Band also featuring Darrell McNeill @ Timothy’s Pub, 344 Browns Line ~ 60s dance Pop Rock

5:30> Talking In Our Sleep; Pioneer Anomaly; Down The Void; King Catalyst; Church on Sunday @ The Rockpile, 5555 Dundas St. W. ~contemporary Rock; $15

7-10> Live-stream showcase with Neseha @ Mimico Pub, 349 Royal York Blvd. ~acoustic Pop covers & originals


*7-11> open jam with host Tom @ McGradie’s, 2167 Victoria Park Ave.


**11-2> live Jazz brunch @ DeSoto’s, 1079 St. Clair Ave. W.

*noon-3> Julian Fauth & Ken Yoshioka @ Axis, 3048 Dundas St. W. ~Blues

* noon-3> The Cosmotones @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave. ~Bluegrass

1-4> Sarah Lounsbury with Mark Ritter & Wesley Collette-Taylor @ Opticianado, 2919 Dundas St. W.

4:30-9> “Girl Gang Cabarets” with Ivy Lea; Evangelia Kambites; Lunar Bloom; more+ open mic @ The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Ave. ~eclectic indie fem; $10

**5-8> John Borra & Sam Ferrara w. guest @ The Communist’s Daughter, 1149 Dundas St. W. ~Country

5-8> Rosalyn Dennet and Kielan Alpin @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave. ~old-time Country Roots

5-8> Firth Element @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Jazz

6> Monk’s Music @ The Emmet Ray, 924 College St. ~vibraphone Jazz; pwyc

6> Nimra Bandukwala; Dlaire Freeman-Fawcett; the Damzel more @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W. ~music & poetry

7> Gus Dapperton @ Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. W.

8> New Chance; Zoe; Invisible Out; Hexzuul @ Smiling Buddha Stage 1, 961 College St. ~indie Pop; $

8:30> Tayua; Shelagh Rose @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W. ~songwriters; $15

8:30> Dan Pitt Trio @ The Emmet Ray, 924 College St. ~Jazz; pwyc

9-1> Boogaloo Banzai @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Jazz

9> The Riverboat Band @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Country/Roots-Rock/Rockabilly

*9:30> The Mercenaries @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave. ~retro R&B/Soul/Funk; $0


1:15-3:15> Women Fiddlers Jam @ Button Factory Arts, 25 Regina St., Waterloo

2> Ginger St. James @ Lou Dawgs Waterloo, 80 King St. S., Waterloo ~Blues/Jazz

2-5> Lotus Wight @ TWB Cooperative, 300 Mill St., Kitchener ~Country/Roots-Rock

3> Anne Lindsay with Reid Jamieson Band @ E-Bar, 41 Quebec St. Guelph ~acoustic Pop covers & originals; pwyc

*3-7> acoustic open mic with Scott Rhodes @ The Pick and Shovel, 30 Water St., Cambridge

4-7> The Achromatics @ The Jazz Room, 59 King St. N., Waterloo

6:30-9:30> Tragedy Ann; Jake Feeney @ The Lost & Found Café, 45 West Mill S., Elora ~songwriters; $10

9:30> Romeo Sex Fighter @ Duke of Wellington, 33 Erb St. W. Waterloo

*10-2> open mic @ Jimmy Jazz, 52 Macdonnell St., Guelph


2-5> Joe Huron & Tim Moore + guest Lance Anderson @ Sticky Fingers, 150 Dunlop St. W., Barrie ~Jazz/Blues

*2-6> open mic @ RCL (Royal Canadian Legion) #103, 34 Bridge St. W., Campbellford

*2> open mic @ The Barn Co-operative, 121 Old Highway 26, Meaford

3> Odd Man Rush @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough

3-4:30> Ashley Moffat; Melissa Payne @ Whistle Stop Café, 141 Charlotte St., Peterborough ~songwriters; $0

905 EAST

4> Doug Libby @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa

4-6> poetry open mic @ Cork & Bean, 8 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa

4-7> Alicia Robicheau & Lonesome Sound @ Tartan Tavern, 555 Rossland Rd. E., Oshawa ~Bluegrass

6-10> Thomas Kovacs @ Irish Times, 1400 Bayly St., Pickering

6-10> open jam with Juggernaut @ The Edge Lounge, 250 Bayly St. W., Ajax

*6> Phlo @ Oasis Bar, 31 King St. E., Cobourg ~acoustic Pop covers & originals

**7-10> “Underground Sundays” with 3 bands @ Frank’s Pasta, 426 King St. E., Cobourg ~indie; $0

*8> Gibran & Matt “Smokey” Wildfong @ Harwood Blues, 7 Harwood Ave., Ajax ~Blues

*10> Another Round @ Tartan Tavern, 555 Rossland Rd. E., Oshawa ~Pop Rock


11am> Robert Lee Trio @ Lil’ Brew Hops, 209 Main St. S., Newmarket ~Jazz

1-5> The Burnt River Band + open mic @ RCL #419 (Port Perry Legion), 484 Bay St., Port Perry ~Country

*1:30-4:30> Blaine Burnie, Mark Thackway & friends @ Coach House Pub, 3 Felcher Boulevard, Stouffville ~acoustic Roots

*3-7> open stage with Kevin Ker @ The Earl Of Whitchurch, 6204 Main St., Stouffville

*3-7> Daniel Davies Band hosts jam @ C.J. Barley’s, 213 The Queensway S., Keswick

3-5> Isabel Neveu-Geene @ Second Wedge Brewing Co., 14 Victoria St. N., Uxbridge ~acoustic Pop covers & originals

*6-9:30> The Andy Earle Trio @ Big Daddy’s Newmarket, 446 Davis Drive, Newmarket ~Blues

*6-10> open mic with host Brian Wride @ Col. McGrady’s, 44 Brock St. W., Uxbridge

*7-10> Lynn McDonald @ Jester’s Court, 279 Queen St., Port Perry ~Pop/Jazz

*8> acoustic open mic with Kat Vhonda @ Wild Wing Newmarket, 340 Eagle Street, Newmarket

*9> King Henry’s open mic (sign-up starts 8:45) with host Ben Crosby @ King Henry’s Arms, 9301 Yonge St., Richmond Hill

*9-1> Band jam with The Bandits house band feat. Matt Groopie @ Archibald’s, 8950 Yonge St., Richmond Hill


*5> open mic with Crosstown Band @ Time Out, 68 Main St., Georgetown

*5:30-9:30> open jam with host band Faces For Radio & guest @ Crown and Anchor Pub, 389 Main St. N., Brampton

*9-1> jam @ Ivy Arms Pub, 201 Main Street E., Milton


12-3> Aaron David Trio @ Rust City Brewery, 27 King William St., Hamilton ~Jazz

2-5> Bobby Dove @ Lou Dawgs Hamilton, 116 George St., Hamilton ~Blues

*3> Brother Tom Finochio hosts kitchen party jam @ Rebel’s Rock, 537 King St. E., Hamilton

3-7> Crosstown Traffic @ Stonewalls, 339 York Blvd., Hamilton ~Blues/R&B; $0

*4> open mic with Neon Moon @ Moose Lodge, 1860 Barton St., Hamilton

4> Blues jam & show by Wayne Janus and the Backline @ Masque Wine Bar Hamilton, 13 Hess St. S. Hamilton

4:30-7:30> J.P. Riemens @ Cat ‘N’ Fiddle, 174 John St. S., Hamilton

7-11> Cootes Paradise (recording release) @ Corktown Pub, 175 Young St. E., Hamilton ~Roots-Rock; $20

7> Strummers Union Duo fundraiser for Choangioarcinoma cancer research @ Tracie’s Place, 592 Upper James St., Hamilton ~Roots-Rock; $10

8> The Kents (recording release for Within Waves); Huttch; more  @ Casbah Lounge, 306 King St. W., Hamilton ~original Rock/Pop; $

9-12> Adam Ostrosser & guest @ Cat ‘N’ Fiddle, 174 John St. S., Hamilton

9> open jam with Walker and Jamie @ The Pour House Hamilton, 1115 Fennell Ave. E., Hamilton

9> Shari Dunn & Jonny Kerr @ Lionshead Pub, 137 John St. S., Hamilton

*10> open mic with Kim Koren @ West End House, 151 Emerson St., Hamilton

10> Chris Chambers @ Augusta House, Hamilton, 17 Augusta St.

905 WEST

2-6> Shaylyn Band @ Carrigan Arms, 2025 Upper Middle Rd., Burlington ~Country

2-5> Lana Kameric @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville

*3-6> Chris Partland @ Cuchulainn’s Irish Pub, 158 Queen St. S., Streetsville-Mississauga ~Pop Rock

3:30> James Anthony @ Abbey Arms, 481 North Service Rd., Oakville ~Blues

**4-7:30> The Stew @ Mulligan’s, 2458 Dundas St. W., Mississauga ~R&B/Rock; $5

4-7> Glenn Groves @ 5 West Brewpub, 3600 Dundas St. W., Burlington ~Country

*4:30-8> Chuck Jackson’s All Stars @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Blues

*5> Sara Mills @ Max Resto Lounge, 2180 Itabashi Way, Burlington

6:30> The Kids Are Alright youth jam @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville

**8-12> The Nomads with guest @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Pop Rock

*8> open mic night with house band featuring Mike Shotton, Tim & Dave Johns @ Black Swan Burlington, 4040 Palladium Way, Burlington

*10:30> Strummers Union @ The Dickens, 423 Elizabeth St., Burlington


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 © 2018 by Gary “17” Webb-Proctor & All Rights Reserved