See how Ember Swift is spending her summer vacation tonight | 170804Fr | Shows for Friday, August 04, 2021

Ember Swift -2017 promo shot


Every year about this time for the past several, Ontario-born songwriter Ember Swift returns home from her residence in China to connect with family and enjoy some cottage time —and of course to perform a few gigs.  Tonight that includes a new album celebration at Hugh’s Room, an event which of course I’m excited about given my long history of being a fan of this dynamic, groundbreaking artist.

I’ve written on many occasions about Swift’s amazingly inventive music, which is somewhat challenging at times but always rewardingly interesting, insightful and memorable once the dust settles and the substance clarifies.

While not all of the old articles I’ve published are available, one 2002 cover story in Issue #254 of my to-nite magazine does stand out.  Published on April 24 of that year, it details how Swift, still living in TO at the time and just returned from one of her many tours of Australia (where she’s huge!) was joining three members of Barenaked Ladies and several other high profile acts for a concert to raise funds for a political cause.  With the Canadian government still reeling from the paranoia engendered by the “9/11” terrorist attacks in the U.S. the previous September, the concert was to raise funds for a watchdog organization focused on preserving rights of free speech and dissent. (Hope it’s still around —we’re probably gonna need it!)

to-nite #254, Wed April 24-Tues April 30, 2022 -Ember Swift Cover -‘Ember burns to defend right to dissent’

Titled “Ember burns to defend right to dissent,” the best part of the article to me is that it also somewhat charmingly describes how and why I came to be a follower of her music upon first seeing her perform at an open stage Laura Hubert was running at Cameron House in 1996. (Hey, that’s over 20 years ago!)  [Paid subscribers to who have registered with the site can read the full piece as high-res jpgs in our Vault section.]

A to-nite cover article I wrote a couple of years later about release of her 2004 album Disarming is unfortunately currently not accessible in our files; but if we’re ever able to make it so, reading it would explain why that disc cemented my regard for Swift as a world-class artist.

In 2010, after she’d moved to Beijing, China, we noted in her first Toronto Moon Magazine cover article (to-nite had been rechristened the previous year but was still a hard copy publication) in Issue #030 for April 1-7 of that year, the release show for her album Lentic at The Rivoli during one of her visits back in the TO area.  [Paid subscribers to who have registered with the site can read the article as a high-res jpg in our Vault section.]

Toronto Moon 030, 100401, April 1, 2022 - Page 01

On September 03, 2021 we wrote about her TO celebration for release of another album, 11:11, the eleventh in a catalogue that has now, with tonight’s release of the new Sticks and Stones work, grown to an even dozen —all recorded and issued through her own Few’ll Ignite Sound label she started very early in her career.  (She’s also pretty savvy when it comes to the business end of things.)  [Paid subscribers to who have registered with the site can read the article as a high-res jpg in our Vault section.]

In the summer of 2013 after she’d been in China a few years, gotten married, had a baby, started two popular blogs, and was back to visit in July, we published an advance look at Swift’s July 19 appearance at Free Times Café on a double bill with another adventurous composer, Arlene Bishop.

‘Sticks & Stones album cover art

This evening at 8:30 in the happily now fully resurrected room at 2261 Dundas St. West, Swift will show a whole new dimension of herself according to the promo on her website and that of the club.

Now an experienced mother (her oldest child, Echo, is now 6), she’s found a yet another realm to explore, music involving/for both adults and kids, and can be expected to have approached the subject with her typically uncompromising, intelligent and witty mental lens.

The disc is divided into three parts, songs for adults, songs for kids and songs for adults with kids.  The bumpf from the promo says it “marks an important transition in Ember’s identity form not just an impressive musical and literary artist, but also a proud parent.”

170520 Support the MoonIt also reflects the mingling of her genetic, geographical and spiritual loci, which have evolved since she married Echo’s dad, a native resident of China, subsequently learned Mandarin and began immersing herself in other aspects of Chinese culture, including its music.  Accordingly, there are also influences of various Asian strains stirred into a melange with and perhaps somewhat modulating her previously uber-diverse menageries of styles, methods and experimental musical maelstroms.  Growth and experimenting never end with Swift, it seems.  Talk about eclectic … there oughtta be a picture of her next to the word in the dictionary!

Cover for tonight’s show is $20 and you can also check out some tracks she’s posted on her website.

-Gary 17,

SHOW LISTINGS for Friday, August 04, 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 with guest singer Laura Hubert @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $

4:30> Jay Douglas; Ammoye @ Roy Thomson Hall patio, 60 Simcoe St.~ Soul, Reggae, Funk; 0$

5:30-10> Vanvonvan; The Johnnys; Candy Apple Jazz Band @ 955 Lake Shore W. ~Pop, Hip-Hop, Jazz; free

*5:30-8>Bill Wood with Chris Bennett @ Graffiti’s, 170 Baldwin St. ~Rock/Folk/ Blues

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

*5:30> Jazz Generation @ Imperial Pub, 54 Dundas St. E. ~Jazz

6-9> First Fridays with Hold The Bus featuring Rebecca Campbell with Kevin Jeffrey @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave. ~classic Rock and Roll/Rockabilly

6> Lucas Stagg Group @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W. ~Roots-Rock

6-8> Maggie Keough & Sebastian Ellis @ 120 Diner, 120 Church St. ~Jazz; $10-20/pwyc

6:30> Boogaloo Squad @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz;

7> Fleet Foxex; Sandy (Alex G) @ Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St. ~Pop, Rock; $39.50-59.50

7> Nazareth @ The Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave. ~Rock; $36.50-$45.50

7> Cold As Life; Twin Rivals; Total X War; Burdizzo; Night Stalker; Gazm; Hostages; Born Without Hope; Canadian Shield @ Hard Luck Bar, 772 Dundas St. W. ~Hard core Punk; $10

7> Decian Mckenna @ Mod Club, 722 College St. ~Rock. $16

7:30-11> “Island Soul Festival”: Super L & Levitasyon; Ki & The Band; J’ouvert Rhythms @ Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Key W. ~Soul

7:30> Starfires @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave. ~Jazz

7:30-9> Boris Brott & The National Academy Orchestra of Canada; Emily D’Angelo & Kerson Leong @ Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. ~Classical, Experimental: $20-80

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

8> The Northern; The Parallel @ Sneaky Dee’s, 431 College St. ~indie

8-11> Zaki Ibraham @ Yonge-Dundas Square, 1 Dundas St. E. ~indie

8> Godstopper; Alpha Strategy; Humanities; Deliluh @ The Polish Combatants Hall, 206 Beverly St. ~Punk, Metal, Rock; $10

8> Michelle Branch @ Phoenix Concert Theatre, 410 Sherbourne St. ~Rock; $30

8> John Muirhead, Greg Smith & special guests. ~songwriter showcase; $5

?*8-11:30> open stage with Lil Steve Piette Band @ Toronto Island Marina, Centre Island

*8:30-12:30> All Star Band feat. Joe Bowden & Brooke Blackburn @ N’awlin’s, 299 King St. W. ~Blues; $10

8:30> Blakdenim; Chihiro and the Blue Notes; Zenn-La @ Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor St. W. ~Rock, Blues

8:45> Lese Majesty; Mayraki, Rvnners; UFO; Shame Agent @ Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W. ~ Rock; $10

9> Full Bore Blues Duo @ Basso Blues Room, 320 Queen St. E. ~Blues/R&B

9> Alexis Baro @ Poetry Jazz Café, 224 Augusta Ave. ~Jazz Poetry

9> Soul Skank @ Handlebar, 159 Augusta Ave. ~Funk, Soul; $5

9> Ed Smith and the Even Squares @ The Queen’s Legs, 286 Eglinton Ave. W. ~Country

9> Lisa Marie Kruchak @ Graffiti’s, 170 Baldwin St. ~Folk, Rock

9> Mark T Band @ Drums N Flats, 1980 Avenue Rd. ~Rock/Top 40; 0$

9> Sly Why @ Cameron House (rear), 408 Queen St. W.

9> Green Day & Blink Tribute @ Stop, Drop & Roll, 300 College St.

9-11:30> Nick Maclean Quartet @ Jazz Bistro, 251 Victoria St. ~Jazz; $15

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

9:45> Dave Young 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> The Del Fi’s @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen Street W.

10> Metronome Chomsky @ C’est What, 67 Front St. E.

10> George Westerholm, Swinging Pussycats, Buzz Deluxe @ Cherry Cola’s, 200 Bathurst St. ~Rockabilly; $5

10> Cut A Rug; Vibrant Matter @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave.

10-2> Jeff Eager; Bonavista @ The Hideout, 423 College St. ~original Rock/Pop; $

10> Mike Billik Trio @ Bier Markt King, 600 King St. W. ~Pop Rock

10> Robowhore; Giv’r Danger; Dead Souls @ Bovine Sex Club, 542 Queen St. W. ~Rock, Punk, New Wave; $10

11> Felix & The Cats @ Amsterdam Bicycle Club, 54 The Esplanade ~original Rock/Pop


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

7-9> Lester McLean @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave. 0$

9:30> Geoff Marshall & The Mail Order Cowboys @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave. ~outlaw Country; 0$

9:30> Ayden Jacobs @ Linsmore Tavern, 1298 Danforth Ave. ~Hard Rock; ~$5

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


7:30> Danny Micerlain Trio @ Old Mill Inn, 21 Old Mill Rd. ~Jazz; min table charge

8> Glenn Smith and The Birthday Show @ The Rockpile, 5555 Dundas St. W. ~Rock. Bring your own cake

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

10-2> North of 49 @ Southside Johnny’s, 3653 Lake Shore Blvd. W. ~classic Rock, Country; 0$

10> Lauren Knowles Band @ Bier Markt Etobicoke, 199 North Queen St. ~Pop Rock


10-2> Rock Gods @ Karla’s Roadhouse, 4630 Kingston Rd. ~Hard Rock

9:30> The Addiction @ McGradies, 2017 Victoria Park Ave. ~Rock

9:30> Andrew Fetterly @ Stone Cottage Pub, 3750 Kingston Rd. ~Pop Rock


5-7> Michael Darcy @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Irish roots

5-8> Roberta Hunt Trio @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Jazz

6> Creature Speak; Dave Allen; Ada Dahli @ 1184 Bloor St. W.; $10; $8

6-9> Paul Reddick @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave. ~Blues, Roots; $10

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

7:30> Chris Strang Duo @ Brazen Head Pub, 165 East Liberty St. ~Pop Rock

7:30> Artie Roth @ Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W. ~Jazz; 15$

8> Mark Bratswaithe @ Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W. $10

8:30> Ember Swift @ Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W. alt-Folk-Pop originals ~$20

8:30> Creature Speak; Dave Allen; Ada Dahli @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W. ~original Rock, Blues; $10

10> Moon King @ The Baby G, 1608 Dundas St. W. ~indie; $ $10

9-1> Melissa Boyce @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Jazz

9> Fond Han; Eliza Niemi; Dove Lady; Benedicte @ Smiling Buddha, 961 College St. ~indie; $

9> Arthur Renwick @ Dave’s On St. Clair, 730 St. Clair Ave. W. ~songwriter

9> Big Smoke Bass @ Junction City Music Hall, 2907 Dundas St. W.

9> Joel Sheridan & Ian Sinclair @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Jazz, Experimental; $10

9:30> The Reposadists & guest singer @ Reposado, 135 Ossington Ave. ~Jazz; $10

10> Ken Yoshioka Trio featuring Dave McManus on bass @ The Hole In The Wall, 2867 Dundas St. W.

10-2> The Mercenaries @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave. ~Rock; $12


3-7> Jim Dyer @ Hespeler Village Market, Cambridge, 11 Tannery St. E.

7> Cameron & MacNeil @ Ernie’s Roadhouse, 7 Queen St. W., Cambridge ~acoustic Pop covers & originals

8> Piper Hayes & Carson Titchey-Thorpe @ Red Brick Café, 8 Douglas St., Guelph ~original Roots/Pop; $

8> 25th Annual Mill Race Festival of Traditional Folk Music with many acts on several stages including Arrowsmith:Robb Trio; Tio Chorinho; Yann Falquest & Pascal Gemme; Bourree a Trois; Scantily Plaid; Everlovin’ Jug Band; Great Village; Mu Mbana; Final Nine; Brian Crozier; Doug Watt; Onion Honey; The Tethera Quintet

8> John McKinley @ Lancaster Smokehouse, 574 Lancaster St. W., Kitchener

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

9> The Celebration Army @ Kiwi Gastropub, 47 Dickson St., Cambridge ~original Rock/Pop

9> Mike McDonald recording release for Play This @ The Boathouse, 97 Jubilee Drive, Kitchener ~original Blues-Rock; $20

9:30> 8 Second Ride @ Stampede Ranch, 226 Woodlawn Rd. W., Guelph ~Country

9:30> Romeo Sex Fighter @ Rhapsody Barrel Bar, 179 King St. W., Kitchener

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

10> Run With The Kittens @ Jimmy Jazz, 52 Macdonell St., Guelph ~original Rock/Pop; $


4> My Father’s Son for Sawdust City Music Festival @ Currie’s Music, 230 Muskoka St. S., Gravenhurst

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

5> Liz Stringer for Sawdust City Music Festival @ Oar & Paddle, 530 Muskoka Rd. N., Gavenhurst

6-10> Raoul & The Big Time @ Riverside Grill (Holiday Inn), 150 George St., Peterborough ~original Blues; $10

8:30> Classic Collective @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough

8:30> Honeymoon Phase @ The Huron Club, 94 Pine St., Collingwood

9> My Father’s Son; Zachary Lucky; NQ Arbuckle for Sawdust City Music Festival @ Sawdust City Brewing Co., 387 Muskoka Rd. N., Gravenhurst

9:30> Snak The Ripper & guests @ Red Dog Tavern, 189 Hunter St. W., Peterborough; $25

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

10> No More Sorrow @ Donaleigh’s Irish Public House, 28 Dunlop St. E., Barrie

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

9-1> Home Sensation @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa

9> Dean James Band @ The Corral, 433 Simcoe St. S., Oshawa ~Country

9> Professors of Funk @ The Moustache Club, 15 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa ~Funk

9:30> Marc Joseph Band @ The Edge, 250 Bayly St., Ajax ~Rock/Top 40 covers

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

10-2> The Quickshifters @ Ganaraska Hotel, 30 Ontario St., Port Hope ~Country Rock


6-9> “Music On Main” with 3 stages featuring Jonny Starkes; Soozi Schlanger; Carlo Bianchini @ 63-137 Main Street, Markham ~songwriters; $0

8> Larry Melton & Derick McGowan @ Shepherd’s Crook, 86 Main St. S., Georgetown ~acoustic Pop covers & originals

9> James Anthony & Terry Chisholm @ Spot 1, 289 Rutherford Rd. S., Brampton ~Blues-Rock; $

9> Hawk’s Nest Trio with Neil Cotton @ Wild Wing Georgetown, 371 Mountainview Rd. S., Georgetown ~Rockabilly/Country/Roots-Rock

9-12:30> Tony Silvestri @ Uncorked On Main, 72 Main St. S., Georgetown ~Rock/Top 40 covers

9> James Ashberry and the Rock & Blues Revue @ Time Out, 68 Main St., Georgetown ~Blues-Rock

9:30> Itchy & Scratchy @ 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

9:30> Adam’s Rib @ St. George Pub, 7 Main St. N., Georgetown ~Rock/Top 40 covers

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


Noon-1> Further The Lion @ Gore Park, King St. E. at John St. S., Hamilton

4-11> Festival of Friends with Josh Ross; The Redhill Valleys; Sacha; The Abrams; Terri Clark @ Gore Park, King St. E. at John St. S., Hamilton ~Country/Roots-Rock

6> Michael Maguire @ Rousseau House, 375 Wilson St. E., Ancaster

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

7> Jennifer Budd @ Cotton Factory, 270 Sherman Ave. N., Hamilton

8> Matt Paxton; Emma Van Dyk @ Staircase Bistro, 27 Dundurn St. N., Hamilton ~songwriters; $15

8> The McFlys @ Pub Fiction, 1242 Garner Rd. W., Ancaster ~80s Rock/Top 40

9> Martian Rebel; Normally Lethargic; Lazy Ass Destroyer; Kill No Albatross @ This Ain’t Hollywood, 345 James St. N., Hamilton ~Punk/Thrash; $5

9> North Atlantic Drift @ Rebel’s Rock, 537 King St. E., Hamilton ~Irish/East Coast; $5

9> Burning Spear; I Killed Laura Palmer @ The Casbah Lounge, 306 King St. W., Hamilton ~indie; $10

9> Adelaide; Mount Farewell; Fonfur; Holy Smokes @ Club Absinthe, 116 George St., Hamilton ~indie; $

9> D’Alves; Taplay @ Zyla’s, 299 James St. N., Hamilton

9:15> The Old Winos & guests Matt Keighan & Jeff Brown @ The Old Winery Restaurant, 2228 Niagara Stone Rd., Niagara-On-The-Lake

9:30> Nezqwik; Gechos; Robin Jupiter @ Corktown Pub, 175 Young St., Hamilton ~indie; $10/pwyc

9:30> The Dunlop Brothers @ Cat N Fiddle Hamilton, 174 John St., S., Hamilton

905 WEST

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

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

9> Neil McNaughton Band @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville ~original Roots-Rock/Country; $10

9> Duelling Pianos @ Dymond’s Social Kitchen, 4155 Fairview St., Burlington

9> Tim Park Trio @ Gator Ted’s, 1505 Guelph Line, Burlington ~Pop Rock

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

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

9:30> Fire When Ready @ Black Swan Pub Burlington, 4040 Palladium Way, Burlington ~Pop Rock

10-2> Big In Japan @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Rock/Top 40 covers

10> Bernadette Connors Band @ Bier Markt Mississauga, 55 City Centre Drive, Mississauga ~Pop Rock

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

10:30> Hot Machine @ 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