Gordon’s eclectic gang suited to capture diversity of Robbie Burns | TorontoMoon.ca 170125We | Shows for Wed. Jan. 25, 2017

Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room is ready for Burns Day -PROMO


Although many people perhaps regard Robbie Burns (aka Rabbie Burns to some) as a somewhat esoteric writer of Scottish poesy and while others may know that he was also the composer of “Auld Lang Syne,” perhaps few appreciate just how diverse was the talent of the 18th century Scottish icon.

For Burns, who lived from 1759 to 1796 (just 37 when he died) was also the composer of hundreds of songs, some adapted from old Scottish Folk songs that he collected —much as today some may have collections of old 78 rpm records.  To one series of music publications the “Ploughman Poet” contributed over 200 original compositions and wrote over 100 sets of original lyrics to old Scottish melodies for another, among a multitude of musical works.

In addition to writing poetry in Scottish, he also penned (quite literally!) verse and prose in various dialects, some more accessible to English readers than others, and in addition actually published a number of treatises on political and social affairs in what would be regarded as standard English.  His sympathy for the ideals of the French Revolution and English social reform expressed in some of these tracts landed him in hot water with many who had formerly supported him, but doesn’t seem to have bothered modern day Scots, who in 2009 voted him the “Greatest Scot Ever.”

However, it’ll be pretty much just about haggis, bagpipes and kilts at most celebrations of Robbie Burns Day taking place today and this evening at several restaurants and bars, such as Dora Keogh for example, which go “Scot for the day” much as many others adopt the paraphernalia of Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day.

But while you can you can expect to see all that at Free Times Café starting at 9 p.m., there’ll also be a whole lot more,  as the loosely-knit music collective known as Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room celebrates Burns Day with its own eclectic style that in many ways might be closer the spirit of the original “Bard of Ayrshire.”

Apparently the group is comprised of ten players utilizing a variety of instruments that regularly do include bagpipes —along with fiddle, mandolin, pedal steel, flute, sax and of course percussion, bass and guitars.

Of the ten players, nine are also band leader/singers according to Wayne Neon Smith, who chips in on vocals, guitar, sax and flute as the moment calls for it.  Every time they get together —normally one Sunday evening a month at the Free Times— each member has proposed a song in advance from a wide range of genres and which the others are expected to have learned and help perform.

The concert/jam/rehearsal style event “makes for an interesting adventure each time,” Smith says.

“You stretch yourself musically and have a whole heck of a lot of fun.”

It’s been going on for 13 years and in fact the group just celebrated its Triskaidekennial anniversary at Free Times on January 15.  Tonight’s show is an annual extra and will mark the beginning of their 14th year, Smith says.

There’s no cover for this extravaganza, which should include a very diverse lot of interesting material.  But considering the band takes up about a third of the seats in the small back room in the club at 320 College St., you’ll want to get there early.

-Gary 17, TorontoMoon.ca

SHOW LISTINGS for Wednesday, January 25, 2022

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6-8> Alison Young & Marie Goudy @ 120 Diner, 120 Church St., TO ~Jazz; $10-20/pwyc

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

6:30> Nathan Hiltz Trio @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz; $

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

7> Comhaltas Irish Slow Session @ Tranzac Club (Tiki Room), 292 Brunswick Ave. TO ~folk dancing

8> Lukas Graham; Hein Cooper @ Rebel, 11 Polson St., TO

7> Plaid & The Bee @ Velvet Underground, 508 Queen St. W., TO

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

7:30 (sign-up at 7)> The Bridge on “Beginnings” open stage on “Beginnings” theme and between-set showcase music, poetry, etc.; hosted by Lynn Harrison @ Imperial Pub, 54 Dundas St. E., TO

7:30> Randy Gagne; David Jager @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave. TO ~piano players

7:30> Ensemble Polaris presents “Viking in Uncharted Waters” @ Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave., TO ~Scandinavian/Canadian/Russian songs; $25

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

**8 (7 p.m. sign-up)> open stage with 9 p.m. feature by Dark Cloud @ Fat Albert’s, 25 Cecil St. (Steelworkers Hall), TO ~songwriters

*8> open mic with host Jay Pollock & feature Chris Caddell @ Touché Martini Bar, 669 College St., TO

8> The Budds; The Mustard Junkies; Shy Harry Chris Gostling & The Tempo (album release for Breath, Blood & Tempo) @ Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W., TO ~indie; $

8-10:30> Dan Dwoskin solo @ Jazz Bistro, 251 Victoria St., TO ~Pop songwriter; $10

9> Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room featuring Wayne Neon Smith celebrating 13th anniversary party @ Free Times Cafe, 320 College St., TO ~eclectic Roots/Pop 161110-support-the-moon

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

9-1> open jam with Wednesday’s Child feat. Johnny Bootz Hutt @ Lola, 40 Kensington Ave., TO

*9 (signup at 8:30)> open mic with Alan Carter @ Lowdown, 276 Augusta Ave., TO

9> Growing Fins; Sinai Vessel; Terry Green; Nanette @ The Central, 603 Markham St., TO ~indie Rock; $8

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

9:30> David Hutchinson @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz; $

10> Jerry Leger & The Situation @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO ~Roots-Rock

10> RIP drummer Jaki Liebezeit (listening session) with DJ Ron Wolf @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave. TO

10-2> Blues-Rock jam with Al Webster Band @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave. TO

*10:30> The LMT Connection @ Orbit Room, 580 College St. TO ~Funk/R&B; $10


7-10> Topher & The Outliers for Barnstormer beer tasting @ Local 1794, 1794 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Jazz; 0$

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

8> “Improvised Creations” @ The Only Café, 972 Danforth Ave., TO East

8> Scarborough Pipes and Drums for Robbie Burns Night @ Dora Keogh, 141 Danforth Ave., TO East; 0$

8> The Throwdown @ Linsmore Tavern, 1298 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Funk/acid Jazz/Soul; 0$

8:30-10:30> Tracey Gallant with Ted Quinlan @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E., TO East ~Jazz/Soul/R&B

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


7:30> Mysteriously Yours dinner theatre presents “Murder By The Books” @ Old Mill, 21 Old Mill Rd. (Home Smith Bar, minimum table charge)

8-1> Phil & John @ Timothy’s Pub, 344 Brown’s Line, Etobicoke South ~acoustic Pop; $

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


7> Ukulele Sessions jam @ Scarboro Music, 1051 Kingston Rd., Scarborough ~0$


5-8> Stella Jurgen & Jazz Plazma @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Jazz

*7:30> Carrie Chesnutt & guests tba @ Cadillac Lounge, 1296 Queen St. W., TO West ~Jazz/Soul; 0$

7:30> Hilario Duran @ Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W., TO West ~Latin Jazz

8> “Folk/Roots Writers in the Round” with host Gillian Nicola and songwriters Winona Wilde. Benjamin Dakota Rogers, Claire Coupland @ The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Ave., TO West ~original Roots; $10/pwyc

8> The Naïve ep release for Saw The Sun; openers Pete Casey & The Vikkies @ The Piston, 937 Bloor St. W., TO West  ~indie; $10 includes disc

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

8-12> AVH; Rum Fit Mosey; Tyler Hisler; Alonso @ Junction City Music Hall, 2907 Dundas St. W., TO West ~acoustic Pop

**8:30-10:30> Hump Night Blues with Dave McManus, George Baumann, Cleave Anderson + special guests Full Bore Blues @ On Cue Billiards, 349 Jane St., TO West ~Blues

8:30> “Piano Fest” with Karl Bechmann; Simeon Abbott @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W., TO West ~piano songwriters; $12

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

9> Killer Party Killer @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., TO West ~$10

9> Peter Boyd & Noah Zacharin @ The Emmet Ray, 924 College St., TO West ~songwriters; pwyc

9> Mike Murley & Reg Schwager @ Mezzetta, 681 St. Clair Ave. W., TO West ~Jazz

9> Sean Conway @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Rockabilly Roots

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


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

7> Lofi Mind @ Rhapsody Barrel Bar, 179 King St. W., Kitchener ~acoustic Pop

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

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

8> T.I.; guests Robbie G & Dave Alexander; openers SlitVizion; The Hive Mind Collective @ Guelph Concert Theatre, 166 Wyndham St. N., Guelph ~$55

*8:30-11:30> The Gaes @ Churchill Arms, 355 Erb St. W., Waterloo ~Celtic

9-2> Skye Wallace; Andrew Phelan @ Dstrct, 10 Wyndham St. (main floor), Guelph ~

9> jam with Mike Meacher & Nathan Bulla @ Argyle Arms, 210 King St. E., Cambridge

10> Scott Cairns @ Doogie & Pablo’s, 37 Wyndham St. N., Guelph

*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

8-12> Trent University student bands @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough

9> PPM Trio @ The Spill, 414 George St. N., Peterborough ~Jazz originals & covers

10> Orit “Little Birdie” Shimoni @ The Garnet, 231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough ~Roots songwriter

905 EAST

7> Bruce Hughes @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa

*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


*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> 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

*9:30> open mic with The Villagers @ Main’s Mansion, 144 Main St., Markham

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


*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> The Astromen; Joel Cumby; The Highway 9 Project @ This Ain’t Hollywood, 345 James St. N., Hamilton ~indie

*8> Brad James @ Thirsty Cactus, 2 King St. E., Dundas ~Country

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

*9:30-12> Pat Maloney and Oxford Blue @ Zyla’s, 299 James St. N., Hamilton ~original Pop; pwyc

*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

*8> open mic with Jim Italiano @ Club 54, 3345 Harvester Rd., Burlington

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

9-1> Jeremy & Jenn @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Rock/Pop; $

9-1> Shelley Budd hosts “A Songwriters Place” with various artists @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville ~songwriters; $5

*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.

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