New Rory Cummings album is a life-line in the time stream | 171020Fr | Shows for Friday, October 20, 2021

Rory Cummings -GARY 17

Rory Cummings -GARY 17


As powerfully true as is the premise of the title track (“Rescued You”) of the new Rory Cummings album being released tonight, had I been asked I would have chosen for the disc’s title another of the 18-songs cornucopia from this collection.

But no, as some longtime readers may suppose, it is not the lead-off tune remake of “This Is Just All Right” that is the track I have in mind, even though this has long been my favourite Cummings song dating back to hearing the original version recorded with his Redhill Road Band a couple of decades ago.  In fact, I just might have a new favourite tune from multi-instrumentalist Rory’s large and impressive catalogue of thoughtful, catchy compositions.

“Time Flies” is a meditative, philosophical and poignant yet still very accessible tune about how moments become decades, of how time slides on by while we, preoccupied with the fun and challenges of the present, aren’t paying attention to the larger rhythms of life.

It’s a theme that recurs throughout the disc, on both the aforementioned title track and the kickoff tune as well as in another longtime Cummings hit, “Honey Harbour”, which rebooted here gets a more soulful treatment while still retaining the musical pace and appeal of the original.

Album cover art for 'Rescued You' by Rory Cummings

Album cover art for Rescued You by Rory Cummings

It also infuses, whether explicitly or by implication, tunes such as “Twenty Years” about the evolutions of a relationship, “The Moon and the Stars” (about someone suddenly dumped by a longtime mate) and the final number, “When The Dream Is Gone” about the ultimate unsatisfactory emptiness of the lifelong chasing of success.  It even comes through as a lynchpin of the theme of “Now It’s Just Fun Fun Fun,” a swinging dance tune about a performer’s changing relationship with music and the timeless quality of some of the tunes that inspired him to the craft.  The lasting powers of old memories is also referenced elsewhere, for example in “On Beausoleil” about unexpectedly meeting the love of your life one day.

The power of passing time is certainly not a new theme for Rory, as I noted in an article earlier this year about just that and I’ve raved many times over the past few years about what a puissant and iconic tune “This Is Just All Right” is.  And while I was a little thrown off the first time I heard this new version of his heartwarming ballad about the glories of enduring love and how it forms a bulwark against the ravages of time, I realized early in the second listen that it, like some of the other re-dos on the disc, is in some ways more of the song it was meant to be than was the sonically busier version he recorded with his earlier band.

On this new version with his Rory Cummings Band credited as the artist on the dustjacket, and on the title track “Rescued You”, the 2017 renditions have less fullness about them but a lot more of Cummings’s inner voice as singer and songwriter.  It was only on this version of “Honey Harbour” (another of my longtime favourite Redhill Road/RCB tunes (co-written, btw, with longtime former RHR bandmate Ralph de Jonge) that I really understood the pathos of that song —the original is just so melodically rich and musically dazzling that it actually, I now realize, overshadowed the real message of the tune about the sense of a life being wasted.

Perhaps that sense is what motivated Rory to do the new versions of songs that were already established hits that should have been on radio for many years now and are dangerously enchanting ear worms as far as I and his large longtime fan base is concerned.

But the new takes aren’t totally a re-invention of the songs —many of the same instruments are employed, including Rory performing on  harmonica, mandolin, bass, glockenspiel and percussion as well as the acoustic six-string— but the mix gives more prominence to his voice.

That voice, while perhaps not quite as strong and unerring as it was a decade ago, has, however, developed depths and subtleties more befitting a matured, poised songwriter with urgent messages to share and not afraid to show the passion and pain that underlies them.  That’s much aided by his gift for simple but resonant lyrics that reach through the surface and plum the inner depths of this genial but complicated artist.

I won’t go on about the album’s many other attractions, some of them recently written, others tunes long-buried and resurrected.  They include the contemplative numbers, which also address lost love, bad love and hard times, but also there are some good-times romps/bar rockers and lively love ballads here.

Rory Cummings Trio with Jim Bird & Wayne Allison @ Relish in 2013 -GARY 17

Rory Cummings Trio with Jim Bird & Wayne Allison @ Relish in 2013 -GARY 17

The collection, recorded and self-produced starting five years ago as a diy project then finally again in a small Toronto studio with Gord Richardson engineering, also benefits from the talents of the Cummings’s longtime musical associates Wayne Allison on drums and super-versatile Jim Bird on bass and vocal harmonies, while Graham Saywell also chips in some guitar and keyboards, Bart Nameth plays piano on two tracks and Mary Stewart sings harmony on one.

Tonight’s release at the club at 292 Brunswick Ave. kicks off at 8 ($10 doors at 7) with a set featuring Rory as part of Martian Bros., a Country-Rock group he also performs with, followed by RCB doing the album and a wrap-up set about another of his Folk-Rock projects I’ve been a fan of for years, One Shot Band.

The title track, btw, is about how music “Rescued You” as a young man lifting you/him from oblivion and mindlessness and setting him on a journey that would last a lifetime.  But as the album also notes, “Time Flies” and there’s no better time than this evening to take a tour of the many dimensions of this dynamic and deserving artist while he’s still in his prime.

-Gary 17, [email protected]

SHOW LISTINGS for Friday, October 20, 2021

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*11am-1pm> The Rock-A-Round with Slim Tim @ ~ Rockabilly tracks (from UK, repeats Sundays 3-5am & Wednesdays 6-8am)


*3-7> acoustic jam with John Hutt @ Lola, 40 Kensington Ave.

*4-6> Hogtown Syncopators @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $

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

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

6-8> Robert Scott @ Jazz Bistro, 251 Victoria St. ~solo piano Jazz; $

6-8> Sue & Dwight @ 120 Diner, 120 Church St. ~Folk; $10-20/pwyc

6:30> Lester McLean Trio @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $

7> Rory Cummings Band recording release show for Rescued You; guests The Martian Bros.; One Shot Band & guests @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave.

7 (second show at 11)> Change of Heart; Garbageface @ Rivoli, 334 Queen St. W.  ~original Rock/Pop; $



7:30> Toronto Symphony Orchestra @ Roy Thomson Hall patio, 60 Simcoe St. ~tribute to Maureen Forrester; $

7:30> Rebecca Hennessy; Sarah Jerrom; Teri Parker; Ken McDonald @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave.

8> Khachaturian Trio @ Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. ~Classical; $

8> Patrick Brealey @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen Street W.  ~Country

8> Ian White @ Free Times Café, 320 College St. ~songwriter; $5

8:30> Souls In Shine @ The Cavern Bar, 76 Church St.  ~original Rock/Pop; $

Basso 171015*8:30-12:30> All Star Band feat. Joe Bowden & Brooke Blackburn @ N’awlin’s, 299 King St. W. TO ~Blues

8:30> Cults @ Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor St. W.

9> The Blues Miners @ Basso Blues Room, 320 Queen St. E. ~Blues/R&B; $0

9> The Glorious Sons @ Phoenix Concert Theatre, 410 Sherbourne St. ~Roots-Rock; $

9> Mark T Band @ Drums N Flats, 1980 Avenue Rd. ~tribute to Jerry Garcia

9> Jeff Beadle; Leriche @ Cameron House (rear), 408 Queen St. W. ~songwriters; $

9> Hollerado; Calpurnia; Little Junior @ Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W.

9> The Mahones @ Cherry Cola’s, 200 Bathurst St. ~original Rock/Pop; $

9> The Apex; The Man and His Machine; Reliever; Ancress; Robot @ Coalition, 282 Augusta Ave. ~Metal/Grunge/Hard-core; $

9-11:30> Alison Young Quintet @ Jazz Bistro, 251 Victoria St. ~Jazz; $

9> Exporer; Ghosted; Somersaulter; The Hysterics @ Bovine Sex Club, 542 Queen St. W.

9:30> Lady Kane @ Alleycatz, 2409 Yonge St. ~Funk/Soul/R&B; $10

9:45> Mark Eisenman Quintet @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $

9:45> Dee Dee & The Dirty Martinis @ Reservoir Lounge, 52 Wellington St. E. ~60s R&B 7-piece; $

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

10> Freeman Dre & The Kitchen Party @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen Street W. ~Roots-Rock

10> Thunderfunk recording release for Felix’s Belt @ C’est What, 67 Front St. E. ~original Funk

10> Black Coffee @ Maison Mercer, 15 Mercer St.

10> Saxx-Acote Duet @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave. ~art Pop

10-4> The Disco Rebels @ The Hideout, 423 College St.

10> Blush @ Bier Markt King, 600 King St. W. ~Pop Rock

10> Frankenfoo @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave. ~Hallowe’en themed Ska; $0


*5-7> The Straight 8s @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E. ~rootsy Rockabilly

7-9> Evan Desaultnier Trio @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave. ~Jazz; 0$

7:30-10:30> improvisational drum jam @ LucSculpture Studios, 663 Greenwood Ave. ~$5 donation

8> Ian Bluestone @ The Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave.

9> Citizen; Sorority Noise; Great Grandpa @ Opera House, 735 Queen St. E.

9:30> Kid Cajun @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave. ~Zydeco Blues; 0$

9:30> Twelve 32 @ The Duke Live, 1225 Queen St. E. ~Pop Rock

*9:30-1:30> Blues jam with Mike Sedgewick Band @ Salty Dog, 1890 Queen St. E.

9:30> Soul Maitre D’s @ The Beach House, 1953 Queen St. E. ~Roots-Rock

9:30> Tony “Wild T” Springer & The Spirit @ Linsmore Tavern, 1298 Danforth Ave.  ~original Blues; $

10:30> The Better Half @ Bier Markt Don Mills, 7 O’Neill Rd. ~Pop Rock


Southside 17100157:30> The Two Tenors @ Old Mill Inn, 21 Old Mill Rd. ~Jazz; min table charge

8> CODA; House of Lords @ The Rockpile, 5555 Dundas St. W. ~tribute to Led Zeppelin

9> Backroad Bound @ Blue Goose Tavern, 1 Blue Goose Rd. ~Pop Rock/Top 40

9:30> Freedom Train @ Timothy’s Pub, 344 Brown’s Line ~Pop Rock/Top 40; $

10-2> Taxi @ Southside Johnny’s, 3653 Lake Shore Blvd. W. ~Rock/Top 40 covers; 0$

10> Charlie The Kid @ Bier Markt Etobicoke, 199 North Queen St. ~Pop Rock


8:30> Copy Machine @ Smilin’ Jack’s, 3482 Lawrence Ave. E.

9:30> Rock Gods featuring James Alcock on vocals @ McGradie’s, 2167 Victoria Park Ave. ~classic Rock


5-7> Gunner & Smith @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave. ~original Country Rock

5-8> Sam Broverman @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Jazz

6> May Cheung @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W.  ~songwriter

*7-10> Les Petits Nouveaux @ La Rev, 2848 Dundas St. W. ~nu-Jazz trio

7:30-8:30> Daniel Barnes & Girma Woldemichael @ Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W. ~Jazz; 0$

8> Shigeto @ The Garrison, 1197 Dundas St. W.

8> The Rizdales @ Cadillac Lounge, 1296 Queen St. W.

8> Badbadnotgood; Charlotte Day Wilson; River Tibert @ The Great Hall, 1087 Queen St. W.

8> Toast & Jam String Band @ Dovercourt House, 805 Dovercourt Ave. ~Country hoedown

8> Will Black @ Smiling Buddha, 961 College St. ~original Rock/Pop; $

8> Genevieve Marentette @ Gallery 345, 345 Sorauren Ave. ~Jazz

8:30> Sigrun Stella @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W.  ~songwriter; $

9-1> Tiffany Hanus Jazz Band @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Jazz

9> Brendt Thomas Diablo @ Dave’s On St. Clair, 730 St. Clair Ave. W. ~acoustic Pop covers & originals

9> Bad Luck Woman & Her Misfortunes @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave. ~New Orleans Blues

9:30> The Reposadists & guest singer @ Reposado, 135 Ossington Ave. ~Jazz

10-2> Big Tobacco & The Pickers @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave. ~original & cover authentic Country; $

10> A Little Rambunctious @ Alchemy, 890 College St. ~Jazz

10> Parkside Drive @ 3030 Dundas, 3030 Dundas St. W. ~Rock/Top 40 covers


Nooon-2> Mark Yan @ Ray’s 3rd Generation Bistro, Alton, 1475 Queen St. W. ~acoustic Pop covers & originals; $0

6:30> Drew Chester @ The Village Well, 19 Queen St. E., Cambridge

6:30> Vienna D’Amato Hall @ Grand River Brewing, 295 Ainslie St., Cambridge

8> Cameron and MacNeil @ Tanners Pub, 40 Eastern Ave., Acton

8-11> Highpark @ Silence, 46 Essex St., Guelph ~original Rock/Pop

8> The Grad River Blues Camp Jam with John McKinley @ Lancaster Smokehouse, 574 Lancaster St. W., Kitchener

8> Dan Beacock Group @ Registry Theatre, 122 Frederick St., Kitchener  ~tribute to 3 Kings of The Blues; $25

8:30> The Soul Patrol Jazz Group @ The Jazz Room, 59 King St. N., Waterloo ~Jazz; $16

8:30> Andrew Dunt @ Fionn MacCool’s Orangeville, 75 Fourth Ave., Orangeville ~solo Pop

9-2> The Lad Classic; Grand Format @ Dstrct, 10 Wydham St. N., Guelph

*9-2> jam night @ The Cave, 105 Shade St., Cambridge

9> Dylan Wickens; Spencer Mackenzie @ The Boathouse, 97 Jubilee Drive, Kitchener ~original Blues; $10

9:30> Counting Down The Hours @ Stampede Ranch, 226 Woodlawn Rd. W., Guelph ~Country

9:30> Dean James @ Stampede Corral, 248 Stirling Ave. S., Kitchener ~Country


8-11:45> Shane Cloutier Band @ Harbour Street Fish Bar, 10 Keith Ave., Collingwood

8:30> Rob Phillips Band @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough

8:30> Jacelyn Holmes Duo @ The Huron Club, 94 Pine St., Collingwood ~acoustic Pop covers & originals

9> Harbour; Rosewood Annie; Flight 97; more@ Foxx Lounge, 16 Dunlop St. W., Barrie ~indie; $?

*9-12> open mic @ Southside Pizza, 29 Lansdowne St. W., Peterborough ~$2

9> Doors+Fours; Peronicus; Inbred Fish; Wisker Ditch @ The Spill, 414 George St. N., Peterborough ~Metal vs. Punk; $5

9:30> Those Unmistakable 80s @ Sticky Fingers Dunlop, 150 Dunlop St. W., Barrie ~tribute to 80s hits

10> The High Drive @ Donaleigh’s Irish Public House, 28 Dunlop St. E., Barrie ~acoustic Pop covers & originals

10> The Pack AD @ Red Dog Tavern, 189 Hunter St. W., Peterborough

10> St. Homer; Scott Sommerville @ The Garnet, 231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough

10> Brian Haddlesey @ McThirsty’s Pint, 166 Charlotte St., Peterborough

905 EAST

*8-12> Karaoke with Rob MacArthur & Lorraine @ Royal Canadian Legion #322, 112 Hunt St., Ajax

8> The Trews @ The Music Hall, 39 King St. E., Oshawa ~original Rock/Pop; $

8-11> Chris Culgin @ The Cat & Fiddle Cobourg, 38 Covert St., Cobourg

9> Aeroforce @ Drums N Flats Ajax, 60 Randall Drive, Ajax ~tribute to Aerosmith; $

9-1> Jee Remedy @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa

9> Steel City @ The Corral, 433 Simcoe St. S., Oshawa ~Country

9> The Waves @ Fionn MacCool’s Oshawa, 214 Ritson Rd., Oshawa

9> Ripcordz; House of Haunt; The NSP; The Corporate Life; Nihilocero @ The Atria, 59 King St. E., Oshawa ~Metal/Grunge/Hard-core; $

9:30> Two For The Show @ The Edge, 250 Bayly St., Ajax ~Rock/Top 40 covers

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

10-2> Dave Mowatt Blues Band @ Ganaraska Hotel, 30 Ontario St., Port Hope ~Blues/R&B


8> Jully Black @ Rose Theatre, 1 Theatre Lane, Brampton

8> Bob Gee and Ian Jarvie Duo @ Shepherd’s Crook, 86 Main St. S., Georgetown ~acoustic Pop covers & originals

8> Sophie Milman @ Flato Markham Theatre, 171 N. Town Centre Blvd., Markham ~Jazz singer

8:30> Rock Factory @ Time Out, 68 Main St., Georgetown ~Rock/Top 40 covers

8:30> Moon Dogs @ Lake Simcoe Arms, 21089 Dalton Rd., Jackson’s Point

9> George Olliver with James Anthony Band @ Spot 1, 289 Rutherford Rd. S., Brampton ~Blues/R&B

9-12:30> Stevie Gee & Jef Kearns Duo @ Uncorked On Main, 72 Main St. S., Georgetown ~acoustic Pop covers & originals

9:30> Space Club Foundation homecoming show with special guest Jake Chisholm @ St. George Pub, 7 Main St. N., Georgetown

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

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

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


6:30> East Coast Kitchen Party @ Corktown Pub, 175 Young St., Hamilton

8> Mike Almas Blues Band @ Artword Artbar, 15 Colbourne St., Hamilton  ~Blues/R&B; $10

8> Oh Geronimo; Kerouacs; FonFur @ Mills Hardware, 96 King St. E., Hamilton ~indie; $15

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

9> The Heartbroken @ This Ain’t Hollywood, 345 James St. N., Hamilton ~tribute to Tom Petty; $15

9> Adam’s Rib @ Augusta House, 17 Augusta St., Hamilton

9> Blind Mule @ Old Powerhouse, 21 Jones St., Hamilton/Stoney Creek

9> Carm Milliolto @ Vicar’s Vice, 2251 Rymal Rd. E., Hamilton/Stoney Creek

9> Brad James @ Different Strokes, 19 Elm St., Grimsby  ~Country

9:30> Pistol Packin’ Preachers; High Tide; Wild Night; The Barrel Rejects @ Corktown Pub, 175 Young St., Hamilton ~indie; $

9:30> Sylvrado @ The Gladstone Hamilton, 1385 Main St. E., Hamilton ~Country

9:30> The Liverpool 4 @ Stonewalls Hamilton, 339 York Blvd., Hamilton ~tribute to The Beatles; $10

9:30> The Corduroys @ Cat N Fiddle Hamilton, 174 John St., S., Hamilton ~Roots-Rock

11> Brothers du Monde @ Gallagher’s Bar, 117 John St., Hamilton

905 WEST

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

*6-9> Matt Zaddy @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Pop Rock

7-2am> showcases & jams for Folk Music Ontario Conference @ Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel, 5875 Airport Rd., Mississauga ~original Roots

7> The Bronte Brothers @ Bronte Sports Kitchen, 2544 Speers Rd., Oakville

7> Giordano Cattonar @ Max Resto Lounge, 2180 Itabashi Way, Burlington

7> Headin’ Home @ RCL (Royal Canadian Legion) #551 Waterdown, 79 Hamilton St. N., Waterdown

8> Fiddlestix @ 5 West Brewpub, 3600 Dundas St. W., Burlington ~fiddle Rock

9> Johnny Max Band @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville ~Blues/R&B; 10

9> Skip Tracer @ Gator Ted’s, 1505 Guelph Line, Burlington ~Pop Rock

9> Killin’ Time Duo @ The Queen’s Head, Burlington, 400 Brant St.

9:30> Barlow, Yeh, McNeil @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Pop Rock/Top 40

9:30> Bayani @ The Franklin House, 263 Queen St. S., Streetsville ~Pop Rock

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

9:30> Oakland Stroke @ Boston Manor, 4460 Fairview Ave., Burlington  ~tribute to Tower of Power

9:30> Dirty Pioneers @ Jersey’s Bar, 1450 Headon Rd., Burlington ~Rock/Top 40

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

10-2> Lauren Knowles Band @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit

10> James Valdez & Neovintage @ Bier Markt Mississauga, 55 City Centre Drive, Mississauga ~Pop Rock

10:15> Red Velvet @ Failte, 201 City Centre Dr., Mississauga ~Pop Rock

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


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 © 2017 by Gary “17” Webb-Proctor & All Rights Reserved