\ TO EAST \
Blame it all on Bluegrass! For it was Bluegrass bands, particularly The Dixie Flyers, that first got me going to bars regularly to listen to live music when I was barely more than a pup in my mid-twenties living in London, Ontario.
The Flyers and various other offshoots and combos of similar ilk were regularly featured at a couple of bars on Talbot Street in downtown London, specifically The Blue Boot and The Firehall. Both of them were buzzing with excitement nightly in the age before AIDS but after the contraceptive pill, so the dancing that regularly ensued as these uproarious groups and cheap beer weaved their spell, led often to a lot more than kissing.
Such memories came flooding back this summer as I finally checked out a band I’ve been curious about for some time: Smokey Folk, which despite the confusing name actually is a four-piece Bluegrass combo of guys mostly about the same age as I was when I was captured forever by the magic of live music in a bar —except they’re the ones doing the capturing!
Playing all covers of standards (and taking some requests) about heart-break, tragedy, drinking, dancing and getting laid, this energetic band clearly loves the music they’re presenting on guitar, banjo, dobro and stand-up bass using no amplification other than a couple of instrument mics and requiring no drummer to beat up a storm of excitement.
With dynamic three-part harmonies and the front three taking turns on lead vocals, Smokey Folk is a squall of high-energy sonic delight that performs usually one Monday a month, including tonight, at east-TO’s primo seven-days live music room, Relish on Danforth Ave. a block east of Woodbine.
Enjoying a set that seemed to fly by of this dynamic and familiar music seemed to shave years off my soul’s crust. It also felt gratifying to see young people of today be caught up in the enchantment and invigoration that such tunes still create even after so many decades. (I suspect the music on today’s charts will not fare so well in another 40 years.)
I didn’t catch the guys’ names (except for the banjo player Matt) though they mentioned when we chatted briefly that they do have a social media presence on Facebook and Instagram. [Too bad they’re not subscribers to this publication to motivate me to provide a link to them and to flesh out their profile.]
The shows run 7-10 in the room at 2152 Danforth Ave. and as usual here there’s no cover; but there is a tip jar to help make it more worthwhile for the players.
-Gary 17, TorontoMoon.ca
SHOW LISTINGS for Monday, October 16, 2021
For KEY to listings codes and schemata see note at end of shows list.
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7-8> “Acoustic Workshop” with host Heather Fielding @ CIUT 89.5 FM broadcast and online
416 – TORONTO CENTRAL
5-10> Carol McCartney @ The Berkley Bicycle Club, 504 Jarvis St. ~Jazz; $
6> Heavy On The Willie @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W. ~Country
6:30> U of T Jazz Ensembles @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $
**7-1 (sign-up at 7, show starts 7:30)> open stage with host Wayne “Neon” Smith @ Free Times Café, 320 College St.
*7-10> open stage with Brad Scott @ Lola, 40 Kensington Ave.
7:30-10:30> Martin Loomer & His Orange Devils Orchestra @ Monarch Tavern, 12 Clinton St. ~14-piece Swing Jazz-Pop
*8> Music City North open mic with host Don Myers @ Rose & Crown, 2335 Yonge St.
8> Ukulele jam @ Tranzac Club (Main Hall), 292 Brunswick Ave.
8> Kesha @ Rebel, 11 Polson St.
8:40> Ocean Buddha; Pin Up Band @ Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W. ~indie; $0
**9-1:30> jam with guest host Empires New Clothes @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave.
9> Bill Nace; Twig Harper; John Olson; Not The Wind, Not The Flag; Dandy Dusted @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave. ~Jazz
8> Arshina Prya D music video shoot @ Revival, 783 College St. ~Bengali dance songwriter
*9:30> open mic @ Amsterdam Bicycle Club, 54 The Esplanade
9:30> Sarang Kulkami’s Octokats recording release for Playboy Swings @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $
10> Jordan John @ The Orbit Room, 580 College St. ~R&B/Blues; $
10> Quique Escamilla @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W.
10-2> Dan Gagnon & Jake Saenz @ The Hideout, 423 College St.
416 - TORONTO EAST
7-10> Smokey Folk @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave. ~Bluegrass; 0$
7:30> “Revolution Mondays” with host The Opera Blue & guest feature Olivia Bartelli @ The Old Nick, 123 Danforth Ave. ~songwriters; 0$
8:30-10:30> Lotus Wight @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E. ~Country-Blues
*8:45-12> Riverboat Mondays acoustic open stage jam with Julian Taylor & Tyler Ellis @ Dora Keogh, 141 Danforth Ave.
*9-12> The Out of Towners @ Sauce on Danforth, 1376 Danforth Ave.
9-2> Tom Waits Appreciation Congregation @ Linsmore Tavern, 1298 Danforth Ave. ~Tom Waits tribute; 0$
*9:30-2> Sebastian Agnello & friends open stage @ Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave.; 0$
416 – TORONTO ETOBICOKE
*8-12> Al Reilly’s Catalyst host Rock jam @ Rockpile, 5555 Dundas St. W.
416 – TORONTO SCARBOROUGH
*8-11> open stage with Dan Walek @ McGradie’s, 2167 Victoria Park Ave.
*9-1> open jam with The Repairmen @ Newfoundlander Tavern, 472 Danforth
416 – TORONTO WEST
6> Gabrielle Papillon recording release for Keep The Fire; guest Catriona Sturton @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W. ~songwriters; $
7> Rob Cultton; Karen Ng; Nick Fraser @ The Emmet Ray, 924 College St. ~Jazz; pwyc
7-10> Tim Hamel Trio & guests @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Jazz
8> “Trampoline Hall” Amy Langstaff; Michael Dila; Andrea Vela Alarcon; Michael Solberg; Clapboard House @ The Garrison, 1197 Dundas St. W. ~Spoken word?; $6*8> open jam with The Pumpkinheadz @ The Wicket Pub, 1671 Bloor St. W.
8:30> Jasper Sloan Uip; David Newberry; Wooden Horsemen @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W. ~songwriters; $10
9> Jagguar @ Smiling Buddha basement, 961 College St. ~indie; $0
*9-1> Hamstrung Stringband @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Bluegrass
*9-1> eclectic open stage/jam with host Nelson Sobral @ The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Ave.
9:30> Jim Lewis Quartet @ The Emmet Ray, 924 College St. ~Jazz; pwyc
10> Parkside Drive @ Drake Hotel Lounge, 1150 Queen St. W. ~Rock/Top 40 covers & originals; $0
*10> open mic with host Liam Kearney @ The Hole In The Wall, 2867 Dundas St. W.
*5> open mic with Dennis Napper @ Rhapsody Barrel Bar, 179 King St. W., Kitchener
*8-12> open stage @ The Boathouse, 97 Jubilee Drive, Kitchener
9:30> Turk and the Hobbits @ Duke of Wellington, 33 Erb St. W., Waterloo
*7> Rick & Gailie @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough
7> ChiSeries Peterborough with readings by Dana Cameron; David Demchukm; Ian Riagers; Janette Palatana @ The Spill, 414 George St. N., Peterborough ~spoken word; pwyc
8-12> jam night with Rob Drake @ Sticky Fingers Dunlop, 199 Essa Rd.
9> Raleigh; Mary-Kate Edwards; St. Horner/Scott Somerville @ The Garnet, 231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough ~songwriters; $10
*8-11> open stage @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa
9:25-1:05> jam/open stage with backline @ Sneakers Uptown, 18025 Yonge St., Newmarket
6> Michael Wainwright & Rick Labrie @ Innsville, 1141 Highway 8, Stoney Creek
*8> The New Rebel Westerners @ Cat ‘n’ Fiddle, 174 John St. S., Hamilton ~Country
*7-10> open mic with Chris Partland @ 5 West Brewpub, 3600 Dundas St. W., Burlington
*7-10> The Dirty Pioneers @ Shoeless Joe’s Brant (patio), 1250 Brant St., Burlington ~Rock/Top 40 covers
**8-12> BBQ & jam night with Port Credit Review Band @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville; ($8.95 with BBQ dinner special starts at 6)
9> Fiddlestix Duet @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Pop Rock
*9:30-1> jam with Tom Barlow @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit
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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