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Temperatures are expected to be bitterly cold this weekend starting tonight and all through Saturday and Sunday. But fortunately for Roots music fans, there’s a now-14-year-old remedy at hand as the annual Winterfolk Blues and Roots Festival runs throughout that period in four warm Danforth Avenue rooms just east of Broadview Ave.
Although it was already pretty darn cold out last night, that didn’t stop many of the artists, volunteers and media types who will be thronging the rooms to see acts on five stages from coming out to pack the Black Swan Tavern (the festival’s main venue with shows all weekend on two stages) for the festival launch party, which featured three live acts, refreshments and an awful lot of hugging.
The list of talents is too long —and deep— to do justice to it by any verbal pre-event descriptive hype but suffice it to say that many of the over 100 acts performing are among the cream of the crop of the Roots world along with many stellar Blues artists, all mingled in with the usual surprises delivered by first-time performers whom one day you’ll be able to brag about seeing as they made their debuts at the event.
A couple of highlights include the return to the stage, finally (tonight at Mambo Lounge at 10, Saturday night at Black Swan and Sunday at Dora Keogh) of Howard Gladstone, a powerfully soulful political Folk songwriter (and brother of festival founder and director Brian Gladstone) who had been sidelined for the past nearly two years after a medical episode in April 2014. Others will be a performance by David Storey of his brilliant debut album Coming Home released last summer (at Terri O’s with his trio Saturday at 9); Nicole Coward’s live internet broadcast of a 3-5 set Saturday at the Swan; the SongTown showcase Sunday 5-7 at Dora Keogh and two other Valentines Day multi-artist shows unfortunately up against each other in the 1 p.m. slot: Glen Hornblast’s two-hour Nashville Bound songwriters-in-the-round presentation (upstairs at the Swan) and at Dora Keogh Lynn Harrison’s special 3-hour edition of The Bridge series with a theme of “The Earth”.
There are also open stages on Saturday and Sunday afternoons at Mambo Lounge (with Mark Yan hosting the Valentines one) for which you don’t even need to have the $15 wristband that gets you admission to all the weekend’s shows except four special “ticketed” concerts (two of which are already sold out). Of course these are just a very few of many great highlights —you can see the full daily schedule in our listings [below] and over the weekend, or by visiting www.winterfolk.com and going to the schedule page.
Hopefully sale of the wristbands will be brisk despite the temperatures —and in fact I’d suggest that huddling up with fellow fans of great songwriting is exactly the right prescription for dealing with this sort of weather!
Speaking at the launch event last night director Gladstone mentioned, as he had previously to me in response to a query, that “this year has been a particularly difficult one for putting together the festival,” as government grants that used to support it —and for several years allowed it to not charge an admission at all— have gradually been whittled away.
The Canada Council, which used to be a big supporter and used to enable to festival to also run Family Day shows as part of its offerings, cancelled its festival-funding program a few years ago, Gladstone noted in response to my questions. And this year, he added, “the City of Toronto turned us down for the first time in 10 years,” while the local BIA, while helping with promotions, provides no funding for the budget to pay featured artists.
This year attendance by fans (and fellow artists, even if they’re not performing at it this year) is more important than ever, whatever the weather. Which makes this Valentines/Family Day weekend a particularly excellent time to get out and show this festival —and the musical community that has evolved from it over fourteen years— some family-style love and support.
P.S. -Brian Gladstone also commented in his remarks at the launch party that Roots artists “need to get themselves out there more, to do more to let people know about all the talent in this community.” We couldn’t agree more and would not-so-humbly suggest that one way to do that is to support the ONLY publication that writes about the GTA live music community every day, published by someone who’s been covering and promoting the scene for 24 years as of this spring. The way to do that is to get a subscription.
SHOW LISTINGS for Friday, February 12, 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.
416 - Toronto Central
*3-7> acoustic jam with John Hutt @ Lola, 40 Kensington Ave., TO
*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> Eli Pasic @ Jazz Bistro, 251 Victoria St., TO ~solo Blues piano
6-8> Hello Darlings @ 120 Diner, 120 Church St., TO ~Jazz; $10/pwyc
6:30> Victor Bateman Trio @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz; $
7-1> Winterfolk Festival @ 5 venues on Danforth Ave. west of Broadview: Admission to any and all non-ticketed shows is via festival wristband – available for $15 at all venues:
Black Swan Tavern (2nd Floor) 154 Danforth Ave
| Black Swan Tavern
120 Danforth Ave (the listening room) Terri O’s 185 Danforth Ave
Roots ‘N’ Grooves
8:00 – Urban Highlanders
9:00 – Annabelle Chvostek
10:00 – Joey Landreth
11:00 – DRUMHAND
Extraordinary solo singer-songwriters share powerful, heartfelt songs, alongside boisterous, exuberant and funky world-music groups plus some bagpipes for good measure.
Doors open 7:00
Artists will be available after the show to sign CDs.
|Sebastian Agnello||Glenn Marais||D’Arcy Wickham||Friday Night Jazz at Winterfolk
|Stars of The Black Swan Seb Agnello presents some of the greatest songwriters that have performed at this legendary venue.
Hour 1 – Stephen Court, Michael Bar, Darwin Bruce Hour 2 – Trevor Jones, Fernando J.C., Joanna Agnello
|Sharron Katz||Clela Errington||Laura Fernandez||8|
|9||Katherine Wheatley w/ Wendell Ferguson||Songs and Stories
Host Danny Marks is joined by Tony Quarrington and Ben Sures to play their tunes and spin their tales.
|Onion Honey||Howard Gladstone||Peter Verity||Moo’d Swing w/ guest Wendell Ferguson||
|11||Murder Murder||JoJo Worthington||Harpin’ Norm Lucien
|Whiskey Epiphany||Turbo Street Funk|
7> Hot Young Writers; The Horned; The Sole Pursuit @ Sneaky Dee’s, 431 College St., TO ~indie; $10
7:30> Paul Kolinsky & guests @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO
8> Patrick Brealey @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen Street West, TO ~Country
9> Born To Hand Jive Baby @ May Café, 876 Dundas St. W., TO
9> Gestures; Chris Tse; West of Indie; Tom Stratford @ Free Times Café, 320 College St., TO ~songwriters; $5
9> Nicemark @ Dominion Pub, 500 Queen St. E., TO ~cover Pop Rock
9> Stiletto Flats @ Drums N Flats, 1980 Avenue Rd., TO North ~classic Rock/Pop
9> Park Eddy album release @ Cameron House (rear), 408 Queen St. W., TO
9> Ready The Prince; Callfield & Me, You and Mack; @ Rivoli, 334 Queen St. W., TO ~indie Rock; $10
9> Bad Dad & The Pool Girls; Norhtern Riot; John and his Friends; Pipers @ The Cavern Bar, 76 Church St., TO
9> The John Alcorn Quartet @ Jazz Bistro, 251 Victoria St., TO ~Jazz love songs; $
9:30> Groove Marmalade @ Seven44, 744 Mount Pleasant Rd., TO North ~Rock/Top 40
9:30> Music City North Showcase with artists nobody can be bothered to name @ The Hideout, 484 Queen St. W., TO ~indie Rock
9:30> Nine Times Band @ Alleycatz, 2409 Yonge St., TO North ~Funk/Soul/R&B; $10
9:45> Marito Marques Group @ 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> Dave Murphy Band @ Orbit Room, 480 College St. TO ~Rock/Funk/R&B; $
10> Melvic Colacino Band @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen Street West, TO ~Blues
10> Sean Pinchin @ Hemingways, 142 Cumberland St., TO ~indie Roots-Rock
10> Wolfgang Nessel & guests @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO
10:30> Lindsay Brohan @ Fionn MacCool’s Esplanade, 70 The Esplanade ~Pop Rock
11> Maps @ The Hideout, 484 Queen St. W., TO ~indie Rock
416 - Toronto East
5-7> The Straight 8s @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E., TO East
8> Don Naduriak @ Hirut Café, 2050 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Jazz
*?> open mic with Matt & Mike @ The Grover Pub, 676 Kingston Rd., TO East
*9:30> Clockwise @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave., TO East ~contemporary Pop Rock covers & originals
9:30> Wild T & The Spirit @ Linsmore Tavern, 1298 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Blues; $
416 – Toronto Etobicoke
8> Simply Benetar & Rikki Nicks @ The Rockpile, 5555 Dundas St. W., Etobicoke ~Pat Benetar & Stevie Nicks tribute; $15
9> Kickback @ Blue Goose Tavern, 1 Blue Goose Rd., Etobicoke South ~Pop Rock/Top 40
9:30> Material Men @ Timothy’s Pub, 344 Brown’s Line, Etobicoke South ~80s tribute; $
9:30> The Groove Hunters @ Refinery Public House, 3039 Lake Shore Blvd. W., Etobicoke ~
10-2> Clean Sl8 @ Southside Johnny’s, 3653 Lake Shore Blvd. W., Etobicoke South ~classic/contemporary Rock
416 – Toronto Scarborough
9> acoustic open jam with The Tall Boyz feat. Tommy Rocker @ West Hill Pizza, 4379 Kingston Rd., Scarborough
9:30> Peterkin @ McGradie’s, 2167 Victoria Park Ave., Scarborough ~classic Rock/Top 40
9:30> Greg Wyard @ Stone Cottage Pub, 3750 Kingston Rd., Scarborough ~Pop Rock
416 - Toronto West
5-8> Amber Leigh Jazz Trio @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Jazz
7> Christel Tochelle; Atom Martin; Yasmine Saint Stella @ The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Ave., TO West
7-9> Blake; Joe Pernice; more for Rethink Breast Cancer @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., TO W.
7:30> Strome-Danckert Trio @ Brazen Head Pub, 165 East Liberty St., TO West ~Pop Rock
7:30> Whitney Ross-Barris Trio @ Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W., TO West ~World Jazz; $
7:30> The Brown Acid album release with guests Darren Austin Hall; Trevor Cape and The Field; Henry Nozuka @ Remix Lounge, 1305 Dundas St. W., TO West ~
8-10> Donna Greenburg @ Humble Beginnings, 3109 Dundas St. W., TO West ~eclectic Roots/Pop/Jazz/Latin
8:30> Alfie Zappacosta album release @ Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., TO West ~iconic Pop songwriter; $49
9> Harmonies & Heartbreaks; The Young Novelists; The O’Pears @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W., TO West ~$
9> Devin Cuddy Band; Nick Teehan Band; Alex Mason Band @ Junction City Music Hall, 2907 Dundas St. W., TO West ~$10
9> Se’lah Genesis @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Urban
9> Benedicte; Mao Mao; Ted Kennedy; Jim Junior; Boybitch @ Holy Oak Café, 1241 Bloor St. W., TO West ~
9:30> Arthur Renwick @ Amico’s Pizza, 1648 Queen St. W., TO West ~Roots/Blues songwriter
9:30> Raoul & The Big Time @ Fat City Blues, 890 College St., TO West ~Blues; $5
10-1> Laura Hubert Band featuring Peter Hill @ Mezzrow’s, 1546 Queen St. W., TO West ~Pop Jazz with punch
10-2> Shane Murphy @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., TO W.
10> Havana club @ Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W., TO West ~Cuban Salsa; $15
7:30> Harbour; Goldfinch; Romancer; Cedar @ Maxwell’s, 35 University Ave. E., Waterloo ~Pop Punk; $10
9> The Dirty Pioneers @ Brando’s Beach House, 135 Market St., Brantford ~Rock
9:30> Wasted Measures @ Fionn MacCool’s Orangeville, 75 Fourth Ave., Orangeville ~Pop
5:30> Rick & Gailie @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough
8:30> Lindsay Barr Band @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough
9:30> Charlotte and The Dirty Cowboys @ Sticky Fingers Dunlop, 150 Dunlop St. W., Barrie ~Country
10> Nunna Yobiz; Emay; garbageface @ The Garnet, 231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough ~Rap; $
9-1> Samurai Fly @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa
9> Colin Amey @ The Corral, 433 Simcoe St. S., Oshawa ~Country
9> KlutchFoot; Narcotic Suite; The Lamas @ The Atria, 59 King St. E., Oshawa
9> Olivia and The Creepy Crawlies @ The Moustache Club, 15 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa
*9:30> Karaoke with Rob MacArthur & Lorraine @ Royal Canadian Legion #322, 112 Hunt St., Ajax
9:30> 2 For The Show @ The Edge, 250 Bayly St., Ajax ~Pop ROck
10> Another Round @ Tartan Tavern, 555 Rossland Rd. E., Oshawa ~Pop Rock
10-2> Don Ballik and The Fog @ Fionn MacCool’s Ajax, 36 Kingston Rd., E., Ajax ~Pop Rock/Top 40
8:30> Steve Grisbrook’s Whatever Rocks Your Boat @ Lake Simcoe Arms, 21089 Dalton Rd., Jackson’s Point ~Pop Rock/Blues
9> Ron Fleming & The Kingfishers @ Fionn MacCool’s Newmarket, 17315 Leslie St., Newmarket ~Pop
9:30> The Nomads @ Jake’s Boathouse Brampton, 59 First Gulf Rd., Brampton ~Pop Rock
9:30> Stephen’s Garage @ Oscar’s Roadhouse, 1785 Queen St. E., Brampton ~Top 40/Rock
*9:30> open mic @ Big Daddy’s, 460 Elgin Mills Rd., E, Richmond Hill
10> Happy Pants @ Aw Shucks, 15230 Yonge St., Aurora ~Pop Rock
905 – South
6:30> Ferguson Young with James Ferris @ Corktown Pub, 175 Young St., Hamilton
9> Stanspheric; Grey Lands @ This Ain’t Hollywood, 345 James St. N., Hamilton
9:30> The Gutterdemons; The Vanishers @ The Casbah Lounge, 306 King St. W., Hamilton ~$10
9:30> Last Of Our Kind @ Corktown Pub, 175 Young St., Hamilton ~indie; $
10> The Postmen @ Doc Magilligan’s Irish Pub, 6400 Lundy’s Lane, Niagara Falls
*5> Adam Ostrosser & Joel Guenther @ Carrigan Arms, 2025 Upper Middle Rd., Burlington ~Pop
*6-9> Joe Rebello & Sil Simone @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Pop Rock/Blues
8> Beddrock @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville ~Rock; $10
9> Savage Soul @ Fionn MacCool’s Burlington, 2331 Appleby Line, Burlington ~Pop
9:30> Glenn Groves @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Pop Rock/Top 40
9:30> The Dukes @ The Franklin House, 263 Queen St. S., Streetsville ~Pop Rock
9:30> Joshua Piche @ Fionn MacCool’s Clarkson, 970 Southdown Rd., Mississauga ~Pop
9:30> Taxi @ Gator Ted’s, 1505 Guelph Line, Burlington ~Pop Rock/Funk
9:30> Now and Then @ Boston Manor, 4460 Fairview Ave., Burlington ~Pop Rock
10-2> Parkside Drive @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Pop Rock; $
10:15> The Chronicles @ Failte, 201 City Centre Dr., Mississauga ~dub trio
10:30> Tone Deaf @ The Dickens, 423 Elizabeth St., Burlington ~Pop Rock
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