Expect a crowd for celebration of 5 years of Sebastian’s open mic tonight | TorontoMoon.ca 160808Mo | Shows for Monday, August 08, 2021

A group of talented musicians attending Sebastian Agnello’s open stage received Winterfolk t-shirts one Monday in 2013. Left to right: Harpin’ Norm Lucien, club server Henke; Brian Gladstone; Herb Dale; Mark Denington; Brian Jantzi; Pete Otis. -GARY 17


As we told you most recently just last month, the Monday night open mic at Black Swan Tavern has become a local institution in east TO —and tonight it hits a milestone fitting for an event now so well established, celebrating five years.

Host Sebastian Agnello is something of an institution himself, having been a full-time performer on the TO and Canadian music scene since the middle 1964, when, as a guitarist of just 12 years of age, he started a combo that became the nucleus of The Lords of London, a seminal band in which he went on to play bass and then keyboards —and which was the first Canadian group to hit the number one spot on the CHUM-AM Top 40 charts.

(People in their twenties, thirties and early forties probably can’t really appreciate the significance of the Lords’ accomplishment, in part because with the plethora of internet “music charts” in a gazillion genres and locations practically everyone hits number one somewhere at some point if they keep producing product.  But back in 1967, when the Lords’ “Cornflakes and Ice Cream” hit the top of the CHUM chart there were only a few radio station charts by which to judge a recording’s popularity —and they included musics of all styles and origins.  Since Canadian bands were in those days also assumed by djs and the industry to be far inferior to their U.S. and British cousins —and there were no CanCon regulations or music grant programs— they thus received really no support, making the Lords’ ascendancy all the more significantly remarkable and helping to open the door for the plethora of homegrown bands who have gone on to stardom since.)

Sebastian Agnello -Gary 17

Sebastian Agnello -Gary 17

Sebastian’s own odyssey to iconic status was just beginning, however.  After leaving the Lords following a creative dispute (he thought the music was going in too “bubblegum” a direction) he briefly fronted a new band, Spuff, but when that disbanded following contractual disputes (he didn’t want one) Agnello then pulled out of performing for a while to concentrate on studio session work and writing.

It was in 1971 that Seb, as he’s called by friends and fans, by then a scene veteran at 19 years-old, wrote a song that could arguably be called the first anthem of the “27 Club” —his ballad “Jimi, Janis and Allan” mourned the 1970 deaths at that age of three music giants: Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Canned Heat singer/composer Allan Wilson.  That led to him getting another record deal and while none of those really worked out, leading him to start his own recording company, Turtle Shell Music, through which he has been prolific and able to make a living from music.

As detailed in our July article and previously, and on Seb’s own website, in addition to playing with many influential bands through the ‘70s and creating controversy and excitement on the Queen Street West scene with his SCAB combo in the ‘80s, he has gone on to record over a dozen albums of Country, Protest and Rock/Blues eclectic originals —with more in the works.

I wouldn’t expect to hear much from Seb tonight, however.  Though he usually does a tune or two between open stage guest performer sets, there’s likely to be a big turnout of players on hand to help commemorate the five-year milestone.  Many nights he gets a strong turnout of high-level talents and I would expect that to certainly be the case this evening.

It all begins at 9:30 in the cozy downstairs room at 154 Danforth Ave. and there’s no cover.  If you don’t already own one of Seb’s discs, btw, he usually has some for sale at gigs for just $5 apiece for full-length albums!

-Gary 17, TorontoMoon.ca

SHOW LISTINGS for Monday, August 08, 2021

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*8:30> Songbird Mondays with Nicole “Songbird” Coward online live @ http://www.streetjelly.com ~Roots/Folk


6> Guy & Ava; Jammer’s Waffle House; Morpheus Richards; Jackie Marr; Epitaph @ The Central, 603 Markham St., TO

6> Jon Brooks @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO ~Roots-Pop songwriter

6:30> Andrew Downing’s Otterville @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz; $

*7-10> open stage with Brad Scott @ Lola, 40 Kensington Ave., TO

**7:30-1 (sign-up starts at 7)> open stage with host Dylan Hennessy @ Free Times Café, 320 College St., TO

7:30> Chris Banks @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO

7:30> Megacity Swing Band @ Seven44, 744 Mount Pleasant Road, TO North ~R&B/Swing

8> Ukulele jam @ Tranzac Lounge (Main Hall), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO

**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> Kristin Fung Band @ 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> Mike Todd @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO

10:30> Big Otter Creek Unplugged @ The Hideout, 484 Queen St. W., TO ~indie Pop Rock/Country


4-6> Sugar Brown @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E., TO East

7-9> Sheila Soares, Eric Sl. Laurent & Jordan O’Connor @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave., Toronto East ~Jazz’ no cover

**7:30> M-Factor Mondays with host Elana Harte & Lucio Agostini with features by Kim Jarrett; Beautiful Salt (duo with Elana Harte & Kim Jarrett) @ The Old Nick, 123 Danforth Ave., TO East ~songwriters

*8-12> Riverboat Mondays acoustic open stage jam with Julian Taylor & Tyler Ellis @ Dora Keogh, 141 Danforth Ave. TO East

*9:30-2> Sebastian Agnello & friends @ Black Swan (ground floor), 154 Danforth Ave., TO East


*8-12> Al Reilly’s Catalyst also featuring Anthony Cee & Rick Anderson host Rock jam @ Rockpile, 5555 Dundas St. W., Etobicoke


*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


5-8> Chris Reid and Nina Richmond @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Jazz

7> Lead Bubbles @ The Emmet Ray, 924 College St., TO West ~improvisational Pop Jazz; pwyc

8> Landlady @ Smiling Buddha, 961 College St., TO West

8> Dott; Pony; Bueller; Inactivist @ Smiling Buddha (basement), 961 College St., TO West

*8> Ken Yoshioka @ On Cue Billiards, 349 Jane St., TO West ~Blues

8:30> Phil Dwyer Trio @ The Emmet Ray, 924 College St., TO West ~Jazz; pwyc

8:30> Collective Order album release for Volume One @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W., TO West ~original Jazz; $10

*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 ~Rootsabilly originals & covers

*10> open mic with Richard McCarthy & feature @ The Hole In The Wall, 2867 Dundas St. W., TO West


7-11:30> open mic @ The Cornerstone, 1 Wyndham St. N., Guelph


*7> Rick & Gailie @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough

8> Carpe Noctem @ The Spill, 414 George St. N., Peterborough

9?> jam night with Rob Drake @ Sticky Fingers Dunlop, 199 Essa Rd.

10> Mauno; Bart; Nick Ferrio @ The Garnet, 231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough

905 EAST

*8-12> open stage @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa

*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

905 WEST

*7-10> open mic with Chris Partland @ The Purple Heather, 3600 Dundas St. W., Burlington

**8-12> BBQ & jam night with Catherine Harrison @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville; ($8.95 with BBQ dinner special starts at 6)

*9-1> open mic with host trio @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit

*9:30-1> jam with Tom Barlow @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit

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