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It was great to see big-voiced Roots/Country songwriter Murray Powell getting back into fine form at his set earlier this year as a feature guest at the weekly M-Factor Mondays showcase hosted by Elana Harte at Old Nick Pub on Danforth Ave. a spit east of Broadview Avenue.
As we told you the day of that show, he’d been laid up for a while after an accident in a subway station last autumn —while platforms do have studded floor sections warning folks who are blind where the edge is, it’s not impossible for visually challenged folks like Murray to be confused by the sounds and in fact another non-sighted musician, David Rosenfeld, had also suffered a similar mishap earlier in the year.
With strong recuperative powers, however, Powell wasn’t showing any ill effects from the incident —and neither was Rosenfeld, who was in the audience and joined Murray in hamming it up for my camera portrait of them as the “new duo The Subway Surfers” after Powell’s set.With at least four guide dogs accompanying audience members, Powell, who himself makes do with a cane or the helpful arms of friends and fans, delivered a rousing set that contained several new ballads, at least one of which has strong hit potential.
“Grandpa’s Pickup Truck” is a lively tune about a world now long gone in which kids could ride in the back of their grandfather’s pickup truck without seatbelts or worries, an image that certainly resonated with me and that speaks to the sense of security and rootedness that strong family ties can give a child.
Other tunes like “Keep It Simple Sweetheart (KISS)”, “Wish I Could Be Lovin’ You”, and “Back On My Feet Again” are part of his catalogue of often touching, sometimes provocative originals that get to the essence of matters of the heart, social mores and life’s vicissitudes. But he’s also got a clutch of cover singalongs like “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” that keep the audience engaged and Powell also has developed a charming and entertaining stage patter, with his between-tune comments and even full-on jokes (ask him to tell you about the Scots man and the fly in his beer!) being a strong component of his set.
Murray Powell has truly evolved into an entertainer as well as a songwriter and time seemed to fly by while he was on stage for the January set. Speaking of which, I’m not sure exactly when he’ll be taking to the stage in the front of the room at 123 Danforth tonight, because although he was on at 9 last time there are two features tonight —an act called Copper Crown also performs.
The no-cover evenings begin at 7:30 and before the features there’s usually a set with host Harte and her Rootsabilly band that includes versatile guitarist Lucio Agostini and which I imagine tonight will have some strong message songs in the wake of the Orlando incident. It’s definitely going to be worth getting there in time to catch that too.
-Gary 17, TorontoMoon.ca
SHOW LISTINGS for Monday, June 13, 2021
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
4:30-6:30> Song Creation Series: “Get Unstuck With Your Songwriting” with Signe Miranda @ Free Times Café, 320 College St., TO
6:30> Ken McDonald Quartet @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz; $
7> Mike Evin; Liam Titcomb @ Ph08, 388 Richmond St. W., Suite PH08, TO ~Roots songwriters; $20 or pwyc space permitting
*7-10> open stage with Brad Scott @ Lola, 40 Kensington Ave., TO
**7:30-1 (sign-up starts at 7)> open stage with host Michael Burton @ Free Times Café, 320 College St., TO
7:30> Happy Hour with Chris Banks @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO
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
8:40> Eagulls; The Effens; Several Futures @ Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W., TO ~indie; $14.50
**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 with host Mark Villamor at Amsterdam Bicycle Club, 54 The Esplanade, TO
9:30> China’s Lawrence Ku featuring David Braid @ 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 hosts Dave Lang & John Sladek @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO
10:30> Big Otter Creek @ The Hideout, 484 Queen St. W., TO ~indie Rock
416 - TORONTO EAST
7-10> Smokey Folk @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave., Toronto East ~young Bluegrass
*8-12> Riverboat Mondays acoustic open stage jam with Julian Taylor & Tyler Ellis @ Dora Keogh, 141 Danforth Ave. TO East
8:30-10:30> Big Rude Jake @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E., TO East ~Blues
*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 & Rick Anderson host Rock jam @ Rockpile, 5555 Dundas St. W., Etobicoke
416 – TORONTO SCARBOROUGH
*8-11> open stage @ McGradie’s, 2167 Victoria Park Ave., Scarborough
8:30 (signup starts at 8)> open mic with Kevin Ker @ The Loaded Dog, 1921 Lawrence Ave. E., Scarborough
9> Uke jam/workshop @ Stone Cottage Pub, 3750 Kingston Rd., Scarborough ~Pop Rock
416 – TORONTO WEST
5-8> Byung-gul Jung Jazz Band @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Jazz
7> Chris Platt Trio @ The Emmet Ray, 924 College St., TO West ~Jazz
*8> Ken Yoshioka @ On Cue Billiards, 349 Jane St., TO West ~Blues
8:30> Robb Cappelletto @ The Emmet Ray, 924 College St., TO West ~Jazz
8:30> Raleighl L.T. Leif & The Keys @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W., TO West ~originals
9> Geoff Willinham @ The Roncy, 390 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West
9> SMUT; Trim Hoggs; Dott @ Smiling Buddha, 961 College St., TO West ~indie
*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> Chris Staig Trio @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~indie Rock
*10> open mic with Richard McCarthy & feature @ The Hole In The Wall , 2867 Dundas St. W., TO West
*7> Rick & Gailie @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough
10> Max Marshall @ The Garnet, 231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough
*8-12> open stage @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa
9> Kilmore; Van Dammaged; Mad City; Gargantuans @ The Atria, 59 King St. E., Oshawa ~East Coat & local original Rock; $6
*10> L&M Jam with host Emerson Ireland @ The Thirsty Monk, 21 Celina St., Oshawa
9:25-1:05> jam/open stage with backline @ Sneakers Uptown, 18025 Yonge St., Newmarket
*7-10> open mic with Chris Partland @ The Purple Heather, 3600 Dundas St. W., Burlington
**8-12> BBQ & jam night with Mimico Bill @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville; ($8.95 with BBQ dinner special starts at 6)
*9:30-1> jam with Tom Barlow @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit
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