Howard Gladstone’s ‘Hourglass’ is more than half full of gritty soul | 171005Th | Shows for Thursday, October 05, 2021

Howard Gladstone -promotional photo


There’s always been a pronounced intellectual bent to the songs of Howard Gladstone, who has in particular been outspoken about social injustices on many of the tracks of four albums previous to tonight’s release of Hourglass at Hugh’s Room in west TO.

On albums like Roots & Rain, The Breath In The Wind, Candles On The River and all the way back to his 2002 debut disc Sunflowers Light The Room, he has railed against social injustices such as marginalization of the poor and abuses of the justice system and his song may actually have played a role in helping to secure the eventual 2011 exoneration and freeing after 14 years of imprisonment of wrongly convicted Tammy Marquardt.

But with what kind of protest can the thinker and activist respond when confronted with adversity not of human agency but seemingly cast by the stars and perpetrated not against weak or marginalized victims but upon himself, a previously strong, effective and seemingly charmed achiever?

Cover art for ‘Hourglass’

Gladstone was forced to ponder exactly that, during several months of complete immobility and nearly two years of severely limited activity following surgery for the sudden onset of a case of spinal stenosis in April 2014,

Prior to having to cancel an April 2014 show after being basically paralyzed by the condition, he had been preparing to begin recording of a new album (that would eventually be this one) to follow up 2010’s highly regarded fourth album, Roots & Rain.

During a recovery that included learning to walk again without a cane, he seems to have been reminded all-too readily of his own mortality and that’s reflected here on several tunes that have themes of darkness and despair.  Yet there is also healing and hope contrasted with that sense of doom.  In the end neither theme dominates, but the two cling together as indeed they so often do in life.

On “Still Got So Long To Go” and “In the Moment” things get more philosophical, though not morose, and in tunes like “Granada Nights” and “The Road Is Me” (my favourite, for its upbeat, bright feel and lyrics) the mood is light, even playful.

But on “The Rider’s Song (Cordoba)”, a mournful, haunting first-person Latinesque ballad about the impending doom of a lone traveller, there are repeated references to Death waiting and watching its hapless victim.

“Seven Years To The Day,” which alludes to hurricane Katrina and another, Isaac, seven years later, seems to suggest that we are powerless —and perhaps even deserving— in the face of the larger forces around us, even if our social imbalances exacerbate the negative effects.

There are a lot of references to mortality and to its ironic pairing with the concept of freedom.  Perhaps it’s a reflection of ingrained “Jewish guilt” or maybe a chagrined resignation to our ultimate helpless in the face of chance, but in places, such as “In The Moment” and “When We Fall” and even on “The Road Is Me”, Gladstone seems to suggest that the price of having enjoyed great freedom for so much of his life is the retribution of kismet just waiting in the wings to lay you low.

Howard has always had an uncompromisingly gritty way of looking the world straight in the eye and here he does not flag in that regard, taking a hard but ultimately inspiring look at all we’re up against and still coming out believing that life is worth living and celebrating.

Through all the bright and dark moments, musically, this album is much richer than any of his previous releases.  The exquisite six-string accompaniment of guitar maestro Tony Quarrington (who also produced the disc, which was engineered and mastered by Peter J. Moore) is a large part of that, and it also benefits from the authoritatively sultry backup and in several places lead vocals of Spanish born Toronto Latin Jazz-Pop icon Laura Fernandez.

Fernandez will in fact do an 8:30 p.m. opening set of her tunes for tonight’s celebration in the room at 2261 Dundas St. West near Bloor St. and be part of Gladstone’s band that will also include Russ Boswell on stand-up bass and a percussionist.

The show, for which cover is just $20, will also be a celebration, btw, of the launch of the new SonicPeach record label by Gladstone and Ferndandez.  This will be not just any old indie record label but one that, with Gladstone’s affiliation with sonic technology, is recording in what is known as “hi resolution sound”, at a 192K/24 digital rate, which apparently is the new high-end standard for audiophiles.  This album, as well as being released on physical compact disc and vinyl, is also available for download purchase in, along with wav and mp3 formats, the new format, which is too big to be included on a tangible medium.

At Howard’s age the hourglass may be far more than half full for this sexagenarian songwriter, but it seems he has enough grit to keep it filling up for some time yet to come.

-Gary 17,

SHOW LISTINGS for Thursday, October 05, 2021

For KEY to listings codes and schemata see note at end of shows list.

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9-10am> “The Bill King Show” with host Bill King & guests @ CIUT 89.5 FM ~Blues/Jazz

Noon-2> Blues on Rock Radio UK with Carolyn Fe

8> Ken Wallis show with tracks and interviews @


*5-8> Danny Blue @ Lola, 40 Kensington Ave. ~acoustic Pop

5> Steve Peconi @ Pogue Mahone,777 Bay St.

5> Caren @ LCBO, 600 King St. W. ~Rock/Top 40 covers/originals; $0

*5-9> open jam @ Steve’s Music, 415 Queen St. W.

6> Tequila Jay @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W.

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

6-8> Alison Young & Steve Amirault @ 120 Diner, 120 Church St. ~Jazz; $10-20/pwyc

6:30> Chris Wallace’s Many Names Quartet @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $

7> Alex Pangman Band featuring Peter Hill @ Reservoir Lounge, 52 Wellington St. E. ~Jazz/Blues; $

7> Jessica Speziale; R. Shelley; Mikalyn Hay @ Super Wonder Gallery, 876 Bloor St. West ~songwriters; $

7> Touche Amore; Single Mothers; Gouge Away @ Hard Luck Bar, 812 Dundas St. W. ~indie; $

*7:30-9:30> Bluegrass Thursdays with Houndstooth @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave.

*7:30> Sarah Jordan & Matt G @ Alleycatz, 2409 Yonge St. ~acoustic Top 40

*8-12> Memphis Mudcat featuring Brian Potts on bass @ Imperial Pub, 54 Dundas St. E. ~ R&B/Soul/Funk; $0

8> Toronto Symphony Orchestra @ Roy Thomson Hall, TO Central, 60 Simcoe St. ~tribute to John Williams; $

8> Set and Setting; Thisquietarmy; Respire; Pale Mare; As Above So Below @ Coalition, 282 Augusta Ave. ~Metal/Grunge/Hard-core; $

*8-12> Joe Bowden’s Nothin’ But The Blues @ N’awlin’s, 299 King St. W. TO ~Blues

8> Dan Taylor & Friends @ Graffiti’s, 170 Baldwin St.

8> Jeremiah Joseph & guests @ Sidestreet Bar, 768 Dundas St. W. ~acoustic Pop covers & originals; $0

8-12> Jeff Barnes & Noah Zacharin @ The Local Gest, 424 Parliament St. ~original Roots

8> My Own Deathbed; Ascending Consciousness; Skull Goblet; Hounskull; A World In Picture @ Cherry Cola’s, 200 Bathurst St. ~Metal/Grunge/Hard-core; $pwyc

8> Moses Sumney; Angelo De Augustine @ Mod Club, 722 College St.

8> Skylar Spence; Jonah Baseball; Eytan Tobin @ Velvet Underground, 508 Queen St. W.  ~indie; $

8> Devils Advocate; From Gemenmi; King’s Limit; Terminal Joy @ Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor St. W. ~indie; $

8> Love Wagon; Funny Funk @ Supermarket, 268 August Ave.  ~Funk/R&B; $5

8> Candice Sand @ East of Brunswick, 720 Spadina Ave. ~original Rock/Pop

8:30> Chris Lowry @ Free Times Café, 320 College St. TO  ~tribute to Tom Waits; $20

9> Chris Lord Ideal @ Lola, 40 Kensington Ave. ~original Blues

9> Circles with various artists @ Cameron House (rear), 408 Queen St. W.

9> Shafton Thomas Group @ Poetry Jazz Café, 224 Augusta Ave.

9-11:30> Louis Simäo Group @ Jazz Bistro, 251 Victoria St. ~Jazz; $

Basso 1710029> Opera Pub @ Amsterdam Bicycle Club, 54 The Esplanade

9> Mo Kenney @ Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W.

*9-1> Blackburn @ Jo Mamas, 317 King St. W. ~Blues

*9:30> jam with host band The Regulators @ College St. Bar, 574 College St.

9:30> Spin Cycle @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $

*9:45> Mary McKay @ Reservoir Lounge, 52 Wellington St. E. ~Jazz/Blues; $

10> Devin Cuddy @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W.

10> Mike Sedgewick Band @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave.  ~Blues-Rock; $0

10-2> Jay Macedo; Hot Lips; The Commoners; Micronite Filters @ The Hideout, 423 College St. ~indie; $

10> Chicken & Waffles @ Bier Markt King, 600 King St., West ~Pop Rock

10> Chris Caddell @ Orbit Room, 480 College St. TO  ~Blues-Rock; $

10> Martian Crisis Unit; more @ Handlebar, 159 Augusta Ave. ~electronica band; $5

*10:30> Mike Barnes @ Pauper’s Pub, 539 Bloor St. W. ~acoustic Pop


7-9> Sean Ashby @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave. ~songwriter; 0$

7> Franklin Ave. Swingtet @ Hirut, 2050 Danforth Ave. ~Jazz

8> Wayne Neon Smith @ The Dock on Queen, 932 Queen St. E. ~Roots-Rock; $0

8-12> open mic with Amber Durette & Gary Edward Allen & feature by T.C. Folkpunk @ Legends, 774 Danforth Ave.

8> Lord Can You Hear Me @ The Shore Leave, 1775 Danforth Ave. ~Blues-Rock; $0

*8:30-10:30> Jerry Leger & The Situation @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E. ~Folk-Rock/Country

9> The Fairest and Best @ Linsmore Tavern, 1298 Danforth Ave. ~Rock/Top 40 covers; $0

9> In Between Sounds @ The Only Café, 972 Danforth Ave. ~electronica/noise

*9:30> open jam with host Kar Wong @ Sportsters, 1430 Danforth Ave.

*10-2> karaoke with Shane Taylor @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave.

*10-1> open jam with host Michael Villamor @ Breakwall, 1910 Queen St. E.

10:30> Lindsay Brohan @ Bier Markt Don Mills, 7 O’Neill Rd. ~Pop Rock


Southside 1710027-9> Ukulele night with Chris Wilson @ Montgomery’s Inn, 4709 Dundas St. W.

7:30> Wednesday 13; Eyes Set To Kill; Repulsur; Dawn Vally; The Ocean Cure; The Dead Sexy @ The Rockpile, 5555 Dundas St. W. ~Metal/Grunge/Hard-core; $

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

8> Eddy Culjak @ Bier Markt Etobicoke, 199 North Queen St. ~indie Pop Rock

8> Big In Japan @ Timothy’s Pub, 344 Brown’s Line ~Pop Rock

9:30> Bryan Tyrell @ The Old Sod, 2936 Bloor St. W. ~Pop

*10-2> Skip Tracer @ Southside Johnny’s, 3653 Lakeshore Blvd. ~Rock/Pop

10:15> open mic @ acebo Space, 2877 Lake Shore Blvd. W.


5:30> jam/karaoke night @ Blue Lagoon, 2532 Eglinton Ave. E.

*7-11> Frank Wilks & Dan Walek host open jam @ Tara Inn, 2365 Kingston Rd. ~acoustic Pop covers; 0$

8-12> jam night with Copy Machine @ The Birchmount, 462 Birchmount Rd.

9:30> Sil Simone @ Black Dog Pub, 87 Island Rd. ~Pop Rock


5-8> Roots and Branches @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Roots/Blues

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

7> Velvet Black; Jarek Hardy @ The Piston, 937 Bloor St. W.  ~songwriters; $10

*7:30> Marcus Walker Duo @ The Station, 2457 Bloor St. West ~Roots-Rock

8> Brick Grillins; Stevie Davis @ Smiling Buddha Stage 1, 961 College St. ~original Rap; $

8> Jimi Wasabe; Little Lotus @ Folly Brewpub, 928 College St. ~songwriters; $10

8> Joan Shelly; James Elkington @ Drake Hotel Lounge, 1150 Queen St. W. ~contemporary original; $

8> Bredren Version 15 @ The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Ave. ~indie; $

8> The Human Rights @ 3030 Dundas West, 3030 Dundas St. W. ~~Roots-Rock/Reggae; $10

*8> open mic @ Axis Gallery & Grill, 3048 Dundas St. W.

8:30> Howard Gladstone recording release for Hourglass & launch of SonicPeach record label; opening set by Laura Fernandez @ Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W. ~songwriter; $20

8:30> David Krystal @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W. ~Blues/R&B; $15

9> John Wyne Swingtet @ The Emmet Ray, 924 College St.

*9> open jam Wailers Restaurant, 725 St. Clair Ave. W.

*9-12> open mic night with Anthony Abbatangeli @ DeSoto’s, 1079 St. Clair Ave. W.

*9> open mic with Phil Hood @ The Roncy, 390 Roncesvalles Ave.

8> Cregydini; Francois Virot; Mazola @ Owl’s Club, 847 Dovercourt Rd. ~indie; $10

*9-1:30> open stage with Jay Pennell @ Dave’s On St. Clair, 730 St. Clair West ~eclectic

9-12> Darcy Windover Band @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Roots-Rock

9> Long Range Hustle; Tragedy Man @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave.

9> Camp Combo @ Shameless Tiki Bar, 1378 Queen St. W. ~Roots-Rock; $0

9> Kellie Loder @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Newfoundland songwriter

10> Machine Girl; Tax Haven; Spin Cycle @ Smiling Buddha Stage 2, 961 College St. ~indie; $

10> JB Band @ T.O. Lounge, 1384 Queen St. W. ~Rock/Top 40 covers

10> Cody McMillan @ The Hole In The Wall, 2867 Dundas St. W.


*7-11> Lucas Stagg @ Argyle Arms, 210 King St. E., Cambridge ~Roots-Rock

7-9> Gwen Potter @ McDougall Cottage, 89 Grand Ave. S., Cambridge ~kitchen ceilidh

*7:30-12> open mic with K.M. Smith @ Molly Bloom’s Guelph, 91 Wyndham St. N., Guelph

8> Kenny Munshaw @ Easy Pour Wine Bar, 1660 Blair Rd., Cambridge

8> Rob Szabo @ Rhapsody Barrel Bar, 179 King St. W., Kitchener

*8> Jazz/Blues jam @ Hep Cats, 42 Erb St. E., Waterloo

*8:30> acoustic jam hosted by Mike Meacher & Vic Freitas @ Kiwi Gastropub, 47 Dickson St., Cambridge

*8:30-12:30> acoustic jam with Dennis Napper & Joe Lopez @ Fiddle & Firkin, 707 King St. E., Cambridge

9> King Roller @ The Boathouse, 97 Jubilee Drive, Kitchener

9> jam with Miss Jaye Baxter Band @ Black Wolf Smokehouse, 139 Broadway Ave., Orangeville

*9:30> Lucas Stagg @ The Black Badger, 55 Water St., Cambridge ~Roots-Rock

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

*10-2> Mike Something @ Royal Electric, 52 Macdonell St., Guelph ~acoustic Pop

10> “Expressions” launch party with Melissa Calavera; Locotek; more @ E-Bar, 41 Quebec St., Guelph ~electronic music; $0


6:30-10> Chuck Jackson & Tyler Yarema live recording & Georgian Triangle Humane Society benefit concert @ The Historic Gayety Theatre, 161 Hurontario St., Collingwood ~original Blues; $

7-11> Tamica Herod & The Harbour Street Band @ Harbour Street Fish Bar, 10 Keith Ave., Collingwood ~Blues

*7:30> Rob Phillips Jazz/Blues Trio and Marsala Likianchuk @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough

*8-11> Open mic @ George & Orange Taproom & Kitchen, 67 Orange St., Cobourg

8> Graham Playford @ The Huron Club, 94 Pine St., Collingwood  ~acoustic Pop covers & originals

*9> jam with Ted Rusk @ The Sauble Dunes, 11 Southampton Parkway, Sauble Beach

9-1> Nate Douglas Duo @ Donaleigh’s Irish Public House, 28 Dunlop St. E., Barrie

9> Dear Rabbit; Nathan Miller; Basement Dweller; Travis Sivart @ The Spill, 414 George St. N., Peterborough

10> Sarah DeCarlo; Lacey Hill @ The Garnet, 231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough

*10> Jan Schoute @ McThirsty’s Pint, 166 Charlotte St., Peterborough

905 EAST

*5-8> Nelson Denis @ Frank’s Pasta, 42 King Street E., Cobourg ~eclectic mix (Folk, Jazz, soft Rock, Latin)

*6-10> Sticks & Tones @ Fionn MacCool’s Oshawa, 214 Ritson Rd., Oshawa ~Rock/Top 40 covers

8-11> Mellow Dee & guest @ Rum Diaries, 368 Bayly St. W., Ajax ~soft groove Pop/R&B

8> Linda Wright @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa

*8-11> open mic night @ George & Orange Taproom, 67 Orange St., Cobourg

*?> jam with Darren Smith & Shayne Thomas @ The Corner Pocket, 45 Prince St., Oshawa

*9> jam @ The Wee Pub, 371 Wilson Rd. South, Oshawa

*9-2> open mic with Rich With Sin @ Gravity Lounge, 45 Prince St., Oshawa

9> Deuce @ Tartan Tavern, 555 Rossland Rd. E., Oshawa ~acoustic Pop covers & originals duo

9> open mic jam with Dezz & Carol @ King’s Key Pub, 89 King St. E., Bowmanville

*9:30> jam with Billick @ Harp & Crown, 300 Kingston Rd., Pickering

9:30> Sandman @ The Edge, 250 Bayly St. W., Ajax ~tribute to Metallica; $

*10> Karaoke with Rob MacArthur @ St. Louis Ajax, 11 Harwood Ave., Ajax


4-7> celebration of life for the late Bill Dalrymple @ Jake’s on Main, 202 Main St., Unionville

*6-8> Ben Hannah @ The Cellar, 78 Main St. S., Georgetown ~Jazz guitar; 0$

*6:30-10:30> jam with Faces for Radio @ Coasters, 55 Rutherford Rd. S., Brampton

7-10> open mic jam with house band Mr. Mad Trio @ Lake Simcoe Arms, 21089 Dalton Rd., Jacksons Point

7> Matt Powell and Domenic Bonaldo @ Uncorked On Main, 72 Main St. S., Georgetown ~acoustic Pop covers & originals

7:30-11> jam night @ Spot 1, 289 Rutherford Rd. S., Brampton

*7:30-11:30> jam with house band @ 52nd St. Tap & Grill, 30 Kennedy Rd., S., Brampton

8> Graham Nash @ Rose Theatre, 1 Theatre Lane, Brampton

*8> open mic with host Kevin Kerr @ The Duchess of Markham, 53 Main St. N., Markham

*8-11> Jam with Jayme Lynn Reed @ Offsides Sports Bar, 200 Simcoe Ave., Keswick

9> open mic (signup starts at 8:30) @ The Barrel, 2180 Steeles Ave. W. Vaughan

*9> open mic with The Almost Cool Band @ St. George Pub, 7 Main St. N., Georgetown

9:30?> Willin and Able @ Aw Shucks, 15474 Yonge St., Aurora

*10:30> jam with Gary White & Friends @ Bryden’s, 270 Main St. E., Milton


8> Deeps recording release for ep; guests Matt Simpson; Blind Mule @ This Ain’t Hollywood, 345 James St. N., Hamilton ~songwriter; $10

8> Carolyn Mark & Her New Best Friends; guests Jenny Whiteley, Alison Brown @ Casbah Lounge, 306 King St. W., Hamilton ~songwriters; $15

8:30> Chris Chambers @ Lou Dawg’s Hamilton, 116 George St., Hamilton

9> open jam with Tim Ninehouse and Mr. Jay @ George Hamilton Restaurant, Hamilton, 152 King St. W.

*9> jam with Hank & The Boys @ Tartan Toorie, 969 Fennell Ave. E., Hamilton

*9> open mic night with rotating hosts @ Coach & Lantern, 384 Wilson St E., Ancaster

10> Strummers Union @ The Pheasant Plucker, 20 Augusta St., Hamilton

10> Riddim Riders Unplugges @ Cat N Fiddle Hamilton, 174 John St., S., Hamilton ~acoustic Pop covers & originals

905 WEST

4:30> Adam Cooke @ SB Prime, 380 Brant St., Burlington

6:30> Rob Reed @ Cucci Ristorante, 119 Jones St., Bronte

*7> Fraser/Daley @ Anchor Bar Burlington, 2000 Appleby Line, Burlington ~original Rootsy Blues

7> Scott Whittington @ Max Resto Lounge, 2180 Itabashi Way, Burlington

*7-10> Clarke County @ Montana’s BBQ Mississauga, 5031 Hurontario St., Mississauga ~Country

*7-11> James Anthony Band @ 5 West Brewpub, 3600 Dundas St. W., Burlington

*7:30> Bluegrass jam @ RCL #551 Waterdown, 79 Hamilton St. N., Waterdown

8> Mike Ferfolia & Friends @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Rock/Top 40 covers & originals

8-11> Jay Linden; DW Rutter @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St. Oakville ~songwriters; $

8> Kent MacMillan @ Bronte Sports Kitchen, 2544 Speers Rd., Oakville

*8-12> jam hosted by The Personics @ Carrigan Arms, 2025 Upper Middle Rd., Burlington

*8> Celtic Night @ Fionn MacCool’s Burlington, 2331 Appleby Line

8:45> open mic with Matt Zady @ Failte, 201 City Centre Dr., Mississauga

9-1> Freedom Train @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Rock/Pop

*9:30> jam with Jack B Nimble @ Abbey Road Pub, 3200 Erin Mills Parkway, Mississauga

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

*10:30> The Killin’ Time Duo @ 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 Gary “17” Webb-Proctor & All Rights Reserved