Tommy Rocker tuning up for Sat. benefit set by hosting yet another jam tonight | 160610Fr | Shows for Friday, June 10, 2022

Tommy Rocker at Fox Junction 150701, a

Tommy Rocker -Gary 17


Is it just a coincidence that Tommy Rocker, the often over-the-top Scarborough Rock singer who’s become known nowadays for hosting jams, somewhat reminds me in his look and stage persona of a fellow named Donn Woods who was very prominent on the live music scene for a couple of decades?

Like bass player/singer Woods, Tommy’s long, expressive hair, somewhat imposing physique and audacious stage presence makes him a sort of larger-than-life fellow, a real character who stands out in a crowd and never seems to turn off.

Also like Donn had done for several years before dropping out of sight about seven or eight years ago, Tommy has basically evolved into making a profession out of hosting jams.

He currently does just two a week, both in Scarborough: every Saturday night with a full band at Centro Pizza on Kingston Rd. and Sundays acoustically with John Robbie as The Tall Boyz at Coco’s on Eglinton Avenue East.

But at times he’s hosted as many as four regular jams in a week and even when he does get a showcase gig, he usually ends up turning it into a night populated by a lot of special guests drawn from the regulars at his participatory events.

Tomorrow night in fact, Tommy’s doing a showcase set at Birchmount Tavern as part of what looks to be an awesome event to raise money for the Fort McMurray fire victims.  Hosted by the local Rough & Ready Country-Rock band (featuring singing drummer Mike Eby), the 12-act lineup for the 12-hour 1:30-1:30 event includes a lot of other impressive local groups such as Frank Wilks & The Freedom Express, Confidential Sources fronted by Alana Truda Edwards, Ric Roc’s Rock Hard Classics, Al Reilly’s Catalyst and Valerie & The Dream Catcher to name a few.

Although I wouldn’t expect Tommy to be inviting up guests for his 45-minute 5 p.m. set at this particular event, it’s interesting to note that his backing players for this performance (like Woods’s Scavenger outfit, Tommy’s band has had a somewhat amorphous lineup changing from gig to gig and month to month) will include the rhythm section of the band that hosts that club’s Thursday jam, at which he’s recently done a couple of stints as a guest host.

Tonight’s 9:30 p.m. gig with a group he’s calling The Gizmos, however, will basically, after an introductory set, be a full-on jam night as he returns to Karla’s Roadhouse at 4630 Kingston Rd. in Scarborough’s West Hill area.  That’s also the room where he really polished his hosting chops after, three years ago this week, starting what was for some time a very successful regular jam and which basically kicked off this new career arc for him.

Despite some superficial similarities between Tommy and Woods, however, I’m happy to say that Tommy, unlike Woods and despite his sometimes outrageous stage persona, in actuality is not an egomaniac.  In fact, as many local players and others well know, he’s a down-to-earth but sensitive, caring guy who’s happiest when others are enjoying the opportunity to shine in the spotlight he’s provided.

And it’s not like he needs others to fill in gaps in his show: his own energetic, honed and highly entertaining singing can easily keep an audience engaged all night, and the players he employs are all skilled, many of them veterans of the scene who enjoy the unpredictability of his lively demeanour and respect the passion and dedication he brings to every show.

SHOW LISTINGS for Friday, June 10, 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 type, highlighted, 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> Shawn Brady @ Hemingway’s, 142 Cumberland St., TO ~acoustic Pop

*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, Kim Cadilla on bass & guest musicians @ Graffiti’s, 170 Baldwin St., TO ~Pop Rock with heart

*5-7> The Friends of Hugh Oliver @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO ~Folk

*5:30> Jazz Generation; Melissa Smeets @ Imperial Pub, 54 Dundas St. E., TO ~Jazz

6> David Celia @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO ~indie Pop

6-8> Music Can Heal showcase @ 120 Diner, 120 Church St., TO ~Jazz; $10/pwyc

6:30> The Jive Bombers @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz; $

7:30> “The Clueless Dead” @ Tranzac Club (Main Hall), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO ~theatrical

8> Dave Tufford and Skeets Mesquita @ Graffiti’s, 170 Baldwin St., TO

8:30> Kennedy Station @ Free Times Café, 320 College St., TO

8:30> Nick Maclean Quarter featuring Bornwman Ali @ May Café, 876 Dundas St. W., TO ~Jazz

*8:30-12:30> All Star Band feat. Joe Bowden & Brooke Blackburn @ Nawlin’s, 299 King St. W. TO ~Blues

9> Tanika Charles; The Main Ingredient; The Academy @ Rivoli, 332 Queen St. W., TO ~ $20

9> Big Racket @ Drums N Flats, 1980 Avenue Rd., TO North ~Rock/Top 40

9> Northcote; Jordan Klassen; Josiah & The Bonnevilles @ Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W., TO ~indie; $15

9> Bernie Senensky Quintet @ Jazz Bistro, 251 Victoria St., TO ~Jazz tribute to Moe Koffman; $

9:30> Knyte; Audio Insurgency @ The Cavern Bar, 76 Church St., TO

9:30> Jee Jee Band @ Seven44, 744 Mount Pleasant Rd., TO North

9:30> James King @ Alleycatz, 2409 Yonge St., TO North ~Funk/Soul/R&B; $10

9:45> Jeff King’s Catalyst @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz; $

9:45> Dee Dee & The Dirty Martinis @ Reservoir Lounge, 52 Wellington St. E., TO ~60s R&B; $

10-1:30> Donkey feat. Alex Radeff @ The Queen’s Legs, 286 Eglinton Ave. W., TO North ~Rock/Pop & further

10> Dave Murphy Band @ Orbit Room, 480 College St. TO ~Rock/Funk/R&B; $

10> Melvin-Colacino Blues Band @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen Street West, TO

10> Milkman and The 2% @ Bier Markt Esplanade, 58 The Esplanade, TO ~Pop Rock

10> The Jayhawks; Will Kidman; Michelle McAdory @ Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor St. W., TO ~$39.50

10> Reid Henry Band @ Bier Markt King, 600 King St., West, TO ~Pop Rock

10:30> Camp Combo @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave., TO

10:30> Lawnie Wallace; The North @ The Hideout, 484 Queen St. W., TO ~indie Rock


5-7> The Straight 8s @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E., TO East

6-8> Bossa Tres @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Romantic Jazz/Pop

*9-12> Angie Gunn @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Country/Roots originals & covers

*9> open mic with Matt & Mike @ The Grover Pub, 676 Kingston Rd., TO East

9> The Circumstantialists @ Dora Keogh, 141 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Rock/Top 40

9:30> Mercuri Project @ Murphy’s Law, 1702 Queen St. E., TO East ~Pop Rock

9:30> Bad Luck @ Linsmore Tavern, 1298 Danforth Ave., TO East ~tribute to Social Distortion ~American Punk; $10

10> Michael Danckert Duo @ An Sibin Pub, 709 Queen St. E., TO East ~Pop Rock

10:30> Daniella Watters @ Bier Markt Don Mills, 7 O’Neill Rd., TO East ~Pop Rock


7:30> Pat Collins @ Old Mill Inn, 21 Old Mill Rd., Etobicoke ~Jazz; min table charge

8> Carl Veyheyen Band @ The Rockpile, 5555 Dundas St. W., Etobicoke ~

9> Fried Angels @ Blue Goose Tavern, 1 Blue Goose Rd., Etobicoke South ~Pop Rock/Top 40

9:30> Fool’s Paradise @ Timothy’s Pub, 344 Brown’s Line, Etobicoke South ~Pop Rock/Top 40; $

9:30> Frank Cosentino for 1st year club anniversary party @ Refinery Public House, 3039 Lake Shore Blvd. W., Etobicoke ~Blues

10-2> Hot Machine @ Southside Johnny’s, 3653 Lake Shore Blvd. W., Etobicoke South ~classic Rock

10> Wasted Measures @ Bier Markt Etobicoke, 199 North Queen St., Etobicoke ~Pop Rock


9:30> The Gizmos feat. Tommy Rocker host jam @ Karla’s Roadhouse, 4630 Kingston Rd., Scarborough

9:30> Greg Cave @ Stone Cottage Pub, 3750 Kingston Rd., Scarborough ~Pop Rock


5-7> Nichol Robertson @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~instrumental Country

5-8> Vienna D’Amato Hall Trio @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Jazz

7-9> C&C Surf Factory @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., TO W.

7:30> Claire Coupland & Band @ The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Ave., TO West

7:30> Fiction @ Brazen Head Pub, 165 East Liberty St., TO West ~Pop Rock

6:30> Toto Berriel with Pablo Cardenas & band for Lulaworld Festival @ Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W., TO West ~Afro-Cuban Fusion

8> Angela Saini; Brooklyn Doran @ The Drake Underground, 1150 Queen St. W., TO West ~songwriters

8:30> Cheesy 70s Soft Rock tribute with many artists @ Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., TO West ~$30

9-1> Jerry Quintyne Band @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Jazz

9> Communism; Isla Craig; Marine Dreams @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W., TO West ~indie; $12

9> Pkew Pkew Pkew album release; Junior Battles; Bond Girls @ Smiling Buddha, 961 College St., TO West

9> Soul Time!; The Love Addicts & djs @ Junction City Music Hall, 2907 Dundas St. W., TO West ~$10

9> Diamond Joes @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Honkytonk

9:30> Don Stevenson @ Amico’s Pizza, 1648 Queen St. W., TO West ~Roots/Blues songwriter

9:30> Roberto Linares Brown with guest Roicel Riveron for Lulaworld Festival @ Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W., TO West ~Latin

9:30> Freeman Dre & The Kitchen Party @ Fat City Blues, 890 College St., TO West ~original Roots-Rock

10-2> Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., TO W. ~Blues

10> Roberto Linares Brown with guest Roicel Riveron @ Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W., TO West ~Cuban Salsa; $15


8> Annihilator; Razor @ Maxwell’s, 35 University Ave. E., Waterloo ~Hard Rock; $

8:30> Jenny Howes Duo @ Fionn MacCool’s Kitchener, 4287 King St. E., Kitchener ~Pop

9> Blaine Bomberry Band @ Brando’s Beach House, 135 Market St., Brantford  ~Blues

9:30> North of 49 @ Fionn MacCool’s Orangeville, 75 Fourth Ave., Orangeville ~Pop


5:30> Rick & Gailie @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough

8-11:45> Even Steven @ Harbour Street Fish Bar, 10 Keith Ave., Collingwood ~

8:30> Lindsay Barr @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough

9> Jerome Tucker Band @ The Huron Club, 94 Pine St., Collingwood ~Blues

9> Death By Carl; Legal Till 11; The Canadians @ The Spill, 414 George St. N., Peterborough ~eclectic Punk/Hard Rock

9:30> The Weber Brothers @ Red Dog Tavern, 189 Hunter St. W., Peterborough

9:30> Jack DeKeyzer @ Sticky Fingers Dunlop, 150 Dunlop St. W., Barrie ~Blues; $5

905 EAST

9-1> Wallace Harley @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa

9> Jack Connolly & The Gas Station Cowboys @ The Corral, 433 Simcoe St. S., Oshawa ~Country

*9:30> Karaoke with Rob MacArthur & Lorraine @ Royal Canadian Legion #322, 112 Hunt St., Ajax

9:30> Taxi @ The Edge, 250 Bayly St., Ajax ~Rock/Funk

10-2> Big Band @ Whisky John’s, 843 King St. W., Oshawa


8:30> Judy Belanger and Northern Stars @ King Richard’s Pub, 15570 Yonge St., Aurora ~Pop Rock

9> Ron Fleming & The Kingfishers @ Fionn MacCool’s Newmarket, 17315 Leslie St., Newmarket ~Pop

9:30> Campfire Poets @ Jake’s Boathouse Brampton, 59 First Gulf Rd., Brampton ~Pop Rock

9:30> Dufferin County Line @ Oscar’s Roadhouse, 1785 Queen St. E., Brampton ~modern & classic Country

*9:30> open mic @ Big Daddy’s, 460 Elgin Mills Rd., E, Richmond Hill

10> MINT featuring Amanda Rose & Anthony Cee @ CJ Barleys, 213 The Queensway, Keswick ~Rock/Top 40

10> Pop Machine @ Aw Shucks, 15230 Yonge St., Aurora ~Pop Rock

905 – SOUTH

6-9> Tyler Gilbert; Rough & Tumble @ Homegrown Hamilton, 27 King William St. Hamilton ~Rock/Top 40

6:30> Ferguson Young with Liam McGlashon @ Corktown Pub, 175 Young St., Hamilton

8> Chris Wallace’s Many Names Trio @ Artword Artbar, 15 Colbourne St., Hamilton ~Jazz

8> Spencer MacKenzie album release @ Bay City Music Hall, 50 Leander Drive, Hamilton

8> Electrik @ Pub Fiction, 1242 Garner Rd. W., Ancaster ~Rock/Top 40

9> Chastity; Grey\\Water; Total Love; The Odes @ Homegrown Hamilton, 27 King William St. Hamilton ~eclectic original & cover Rock/Pop

9> John Otway with special guest Chris Birkett @ This Ain’t Hollywood, 345 James St. N., Hamilton

9:15> The Old Winos & guests Chris Staig & Shelley Coopersmith @ The Old Winery Restaurant, 2228 Niagara Stone Rd., Niagara-On-The-Lake

9:30> Riddum Riders @ Corktown Pub, 175 Young St., Hamilton ~indie; $

9:30> Birds of Bellwoods & guest @ Stonewalls Hamilton, 339 York Blvd., Hamilton

9:30> Maureen Brown Band @ The Golden Pheasant, 244 Ontario St., St. Catharines ~Blues

9:30> Ear Candy @ Doc Magilligan’s Irish Pub, 6400 Lundy’s Lane, Niagara Falls

905 WEST

*5> Adam Ostrosser & Joel Guenther @ Carrigan Arms, 2025 Upper Middle Rd., Burlington ~Pop

*6-9> Krista Blondin @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~ Blues/Jazz/Pop

8-11:30> Phil & John featuring Phil Naro @ The Purple Heather, 3600 Dundas St. W., Burlington ~acoustic Pop Rock duo

8> The Gary Kendall Band @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville ~Blues; $10

8-11:30> The Ballroom Babies @ The Purple Heather, 3600 Dundas St. W., Burlington

9> Fire When Ready @ Fionn MacCool’s Burlington, 2331 Appleby Line, Burlington ~Pop

9:30> Glenn Groves @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Honkytonk

9:30> LVCK @ Cuchulainn’s Irish Pub, 158 Queen St. S., Streetsville-Mississauga ~Pop Rock

9:30> Mike Stevenson @ Gator Ted’s, 1505 Guelph Line, Burlington ~Pop Rock

9:30> Keep The Faith @ Boston Manor, 4460 Fairview Ave., Burlington ~Bon Jovi tribute; $

9:30> Yesterday @ Black Swan Pub Burlington, 4040 Palladium Way, Burlington ~Pop Rock

10-2> Tom Barlow Band @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Rock/Top 40; $

10> The Gormley Brothers @ Bier Markt Mississauga, 55 City Centre Drive, Mississauga ~Pop Rock

10:15> The High Rollers @ Failte, 201 City Centre Dr., Mississauga ~Pop Rock

10:30> The Groovy Brothers @ The Dickens, 423 Elizabeth St., Burlington ~Pop Rock

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