Pete Otis legacy lives on in McKenna’s Swan show today | 190324Su | Shows for Sunday, March 24, 2022

Pete Otis presents Honouring Our Own poster to Mike McKenna in 2012-GARY 17

Pete Otis presents Honouring Our Own poster to Mike McKenna in 2012-GARY 17


“Bittersweet” is an inadequate description of the nostalgic cascade of jumbled emotions evoked by looking back seven years from the occasion of today’s tribute to Pete Otis being staged by Mike McKenna and his Slidewinder band at Black Swan.

It was in mid April of 2012 that Pete, then still a relative unknown among the music community that would come to cherish both his personality and music (to say nothing of his prowess at staging memorable landmark concerts involving greats of today and the past 50 years) put on one of his legendary Honouring Our Own tribute shows for none other than Mike McKenna.

It’s impossible to overstate how important was Pete (who passed away January 5 after collapsing at the New Year’s Eve show he staged at Swan with today’s band) to the revival of McKenna’s career.  Ten years ago the iconic six-stringer, credited with practically inventing and certainly with popularizing modern electric slide Blues-Rock guitar while part of his seminal McKenna-Mendelson Mainline band in the ‘60s, was basically languishing on the sidelines of the scene after a series of setbacks and disappointments.

Pete, who remembered McKenna from watching him on stage and learning show technique while he was a 16-year old dishwasher at Yorkville’s Purple Onion club, resolved to change that —and so he did, profoundly.

Beginning with a 2012-13 New Year’s Eve show at which he convinced McKenna to perform tunes from the famous Stink album that made him and the MMM revered in Blues circles, Otis began putting on a wide assortment of shows featuring his old friend.  The dozens of concerts include annual New Year’s Eve shows, McKenna birthday bashes, the HOO show in 2012, bringing him to El Mocambo for two Purple Onion Reunion shows as well as back to Yorkville for a revival show at Heliconian Hall and, since September of 2017 of course, the 23-show Blues & Boogie Party (aka originally Hosers Blues Nights) series at the Swan that has become a destination monthly event for a legion of fans of Toronto Sound music.

Mike McKenna HOO concert with Scott Cushnie & Michael Keys in 2012 -GARY 17

Mike McKenna HOO concert with Scott Cushnie & Michael Keys in 2012 -GARY 17

But it’s not just Pete Otis who is no longer with us from that 2012 HOO show that basically made today and forthcoming McKenna events possible.  One of the photos I took shows McKenna with elements of the current band on stage along with two keyboard players, both of whom passed away in the last year. As we reported the time, Scott “Professor Piano” Cushnie died sometime last autumn after apparently collapsing on the street during a rainstorm and “Michael Keys” Dowson finally succumbed to cancer on May 17.

With so many of those who were fundamental to the success of the past ten years now gone (there are additional names from other Otis-organized shows who’ve also shuffled off the mortal coil) it’s hard not to feel a sense of sadness along with the happiness of seeing today’s show go ahead.

The 4-8 show in the room at 154 Danforth Ave. is “dedicated to the memory of Pete Otis” but it doesn’t appear that there’s any formal ceremony planned to honour him.  Nevertheless, memories of Pete are bound to be prominent in minds and on tongues, and his spirit and legacy, will still be very much in evidence.

“I’m sure it’s going to be emotional,” observed another longtime Otis friend, songwriter/broadcaster Paul Cross, in an email chat yesterday.

After all, it will be the first time that this musical crew —which in addition to McKenna’s band (featuring Hap Roderman on bass, Tom Robertson on guitar and Rob Kirkpatrick on the kit) also includes other performers who appeared at the NYE show, such as singer Debbie Fleming, songwriter Pat Little and harp player Jay Moonah— will have been together in the room since the fateful events of December 31.  (Singer Johnny Wright, whom Pete long wanted to book as a guest, is also featured today.)

“The fact that there’s a show at all is another bit of the Pete Otis legacy,” Cross added, noting that McKenna is expected to be doing shows at Swan twice a month over the next while, Cross added, both with Slidewinder and a new band, The Rockin’ Redcoats, which debuts April 21.

“I think Pete would pleasantly surprised —tickled, even— to see that Mike has started to arrange events on his own now,” Cross added. “So something good that Pete did to benefit someone…is being preserved and perpetuated by that someone.”

Indeed that will make today’s gathering, despite the sadness of loss that is also bound to be present, a fitting and uplifting tribute to Pete Otis.

-By Gary 17,
[email protected] * [email protected]

When Death Comes 1707

SHOW LISTINGS for Sunday, March 24, 2022

Listings are organized by area in which the shows occur and within each area field shows are listed chronologically. For KEY to listings codes and schemata see note at end of shows list.

Names of subscribers appear in bold, are underlined and, where applicable, include a live link to their Home or Event url.
Advertisers’ listings are in larger, highlighted type, include live link to website and also have ad icon included in listings.  FOR AD INFO VISIT:


*3-5am> The Rock-A-Round with Slim Tim @ ~ Rockabilly tracks (from UK, repeat of Fri show, also runs Wednesdays 6-8am)

11:30am> Carmen Toth live @ ~acoustic Pop covers & originals

12:30> Carmen Toth reprise of 2:30 show @ ~acoustic Pop covers & originals

*6, 7, 10 & 11am; 5 & 7 pm> “Sunday Morning Soul” with Johnny Max @ ~Blues

9am> “The Hoose Radio Show” Wee Dan Hoose @ ~ artist interviews and tracks

4> “Georgian Bay Roots” official show of Summerfolk Festival @ CFOS AM 560 (simulcast on  ~music & songwriter interviews

5-8> “Across The Universe” with Ken Stowar on CIUT 89.5 FM

9pm-midnight> 60s, 70s Soul, Jazz & Funk Cape Town/UK LIVE on FM Radio & Online Worldwide @

9-10> Soundbath Sundays with Jesse Buck & Friends @


416 – TORONTO CENTRAL -Broadview/Bayview to Ossington

Noon-3> Hart House Jazz Ensemble @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz

1> Songwriters Meetup @ Tranzac Club (Tiki Room), 292 Brunswick Ave. ~music & poetry; pwyc

1> Annex Academy and Studio 307 student showcases @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave.

2:30> MacMillan Singers and Women’s Chamber Choir with the UTSO Strings @ Edward Johnson Building, 80 Queen’s Park Crescent

3-5> Michael Laderoute with Rob Fenton @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave. ~original Roots

3-7> David Hines @ Lola, 40 Kensington Ave. ~smooth Rock/Pop covers & originals

3> Grand Slam/Esprit Orchestra @ Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. ~Classical: cello concert; $

3:30-6:30> Dr. Nick & The Rollercoasters @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Blues; $

3:30-5:30> Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir, James Gilchrist (tenor), Stephan Macleod (bass-baritone), Hannah Morrison (soprano), Terry Wey (countertenor), Tyler Duncan (baritone), and members of the Toronto Children’s Chorus @ Trinity St. Paul’s Centre, 487 Bloor St. W. ~Classical; $

4> Nerissa Bradley @ Poetry Jazz Café, 224 Augusta Ave.

**4-7> Big Groove rhythm section with guests Emily Burgess & Jesse Whiteley @ Alleycatz, 2409 Yonge St. ~Blues/R&B

*4:30-8> New Orleans Connection All Stars & guests @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave. ~New Orleans Jazz

5> Steve Paul Simms 3 with guest John Jackson @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave. ~Roots-Rock

5-8> George Olliver & Gangbuster @ Mount Pleasant Rose, 744 Mount Pleasant Rd. ~vintage R&B/Rock/Soul; $15

6-7:30> Ryan G. Hinds & Spencer Hari @ 120 Diner, 120 Church St. ~Jazz; $20

7-10> Flamenco Sundays with Shirlita Pili @ Drom Taberna, 458 Queen St. W.

7-9> I Spy @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W. ~Gypsy Jazz

*7-1> Freefall Sundays open stage (2 songs each -signup @ 7 or pre-sign online) @ Supermarket, 268 Augusta St.

7-9:30> Wire Circus @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $

7-10> Jazz United hosts jam @ Tranzac Club (Tiki Room), 292 Brunswick Ave.

*7-10> Brooke Blackburn @ Nawlins, 299 King St. W. ~Blues/Jazz/R&B

7> Zoe @ Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 190 Princes’ Blvd. ~contemporary original; $

7:30> Baker-Hess Duo with Olivia Shortt @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave.

7:30> Spiral Stairs; The Two Koreas @ Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W. ~indie; $

*7:45> open mic (sign up starts at 7:45) @ The Cavern Bar, 76 Church St.

8-11> Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room with Wayne Neon & many more @ Free Times Café, 320 College St. ~eclectic song sharing; 0$

8> Mike Celia; Marla & David Celia; Frank Nevada @ Rivoli, 334 Queen St. W. ~songwriters; $

8> The 19th Annual Banno Special with Chris Coole; Arnie Naiman; Brian Taheny; Chris Quinn  @ Tranzac Club (Main Hall), 292 Brunswick Ave. ~ol’ time/traditional Roots banjo

8> Lucifer; Spell; Future Now @ Velvet Underground, 508 Queen St. W. ~contemporary original; $

8:30-10> Three of A Kind @ 120 Diner, 120 Church St. ~Jazz/Country; $20

9> Green Girl; Terrible and the Horribles; Laurie @ Handlebar, 159 Augusta Ave.

9:30> Terra Hazelton “Farewell Toronto & 40th Birthday” @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $

*10> Horshack feat. Chris Caddell @ Orbit Room, 580 College St. ~Bluesy contemporary & classic Rock

10> FSG Trio @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave.

*10> Lauren Knowles & Greg Keyes @ Fynn’s of Temple Bar, 489 King St. W. ~Jazz

10> Big Rude Jake @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W. ~original Blues

10-2> Paul McCann @ The Hideout, 423 College St. ~acoustic Pop covers & originals

**10> Blues-Rock jam with Bill Hedefine & guests Voodoo Walters on guitar, Justin Snikkar on bass @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave.


416 – TORONTO EAST -Broadview/Bayview to Victoria Park

11am-2pm> Phillip Garcia for Jazz brunch @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave. ~Jazz; $0

*11am-1> Shane Pendergast @ Honest Weight, 2766 Dundas St. E. ~acoustic East Coast Roots-Rock covers & originals

**Noon-1> Lavender and Twang featuring David Shilman @ Might and Main, 126 Main St. ~acoustic Pop covers & originals

Noon-3> Linda Carone @ Bar Hop Session, 681 Danforth Ave. ~Jazz

*3-6> open mic with Nicola Vaughan @ Hirut Café, 2050 Danforth Ave.

4-8> Mike McKenna & Slidewinder with guests Debbie Fleming & Johnny Wright in memory of Pete Otis @ Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave. ~Blues/R&B; $10

4> Paul Reddick @ Sauce on Danforth, 1376 Danforth Ave. ~Blues/R&B covers; $0

4-7> In Line Six with members of The Straight Eights & Royal Crowns @ Salty Dog, 1980 Queen St. E. ~Rockabilly

4> Gypsy Rebels @ Castro’s Lounge, 2116 Queen St. E. ~Gypsy Jazz

*4:30-8:30> Rock/Blues jam with William A. Miller & The Black Bear All Stars @ Black Bear Pub, 1125 O’Connor Drive

5-8:30> Robbie Lane & The Disciples @ The Duke Live, 1225 Queen St. E. ~vintage Pop/R&B; $10

7-9> Frank Sa @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave. ~ ; $0

7> Sharmoofers @ The Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave. ~contemporary original; $

7-11> Ian Andrews & The Smokin’ Scoundrels @ Linsmore Tavern, 1298 Danforth Ave ~R&B/Blues; 0$

7> Eucalyptus @ Hirut Café, 2050 Danforth Ave. ~Worldbeat Jazz; pwyc/$10 suggested

*9-1> jam with the Stir It Up Band featuring David Macmichael @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave. ~$0

Southside 190318c


2-4> James Clark; Dirt Farmer @ Village Vinyl Music Emporium, 2925 Lake Shore Blvd. W. ~songwriters; $0

3-7> Donnie Meeker & The Collective featuring Dave Girdlestone on guitar @ Dakota’s Sports Bar, 2814 Lake Shore Blvd. W. ~Blues/R&B

5-9> Kat House featuring Kathleen Lovett @ Timothy’s Pub, 344 Brown’s Line ~Pop Rock covers

*10-2> jam with Rebecca Matiesen & Phoenix @ Southside Johnny’s, 3653 Lake Shore Blvd. W.



*3-7> acoustic jam with hosts Dan Walek and Paul Evans @ Malone’s, 117 Ellesmere Ave.

8-12> Frank Cosentino Band @ The Newfoundlander Tavern, 472 Danforth Rd. ~Blues/R&B


416 – TORONTO WEST -Ossington to Etobicoke

**11-2> live Jazz brunch with Double A Jazz @ DeSoto’s, 1079 St. Clair Ave. W.

*11am-2:30> The Unseen Strangers @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave. ~Bluegrass

2> Ilona Beres @ Gallery 345, 345 Sorauren Ave. ~pianist; $

3-6> The Straight Eights @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave. ~Rockabilly; $

7:30-10:30> To The Fields; The Beat Club; Lucas Stagg @ The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Ave. ~mod Punk; $

*4-7> The Double Cuts @ Cadillac Lounge, 1296 Queen St. W. ~Country Swing; pwyc

5> Projecto Forrobodo @ Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W. ~Latin Jazz: Brazilian

**5-8> John Borra & Sam Ferrara w. guest @ The Communist’s Daughter, 1149 Dundas St. W. ~Country

5-8> Ivan Rosenberg & Adam Shier @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave. ~old-time Country Roots

6> Aidan Funston Trio @ The Emmet Ray, 924 College St. ~ Jazz; pwyc

6> Maya Killtron; Kari Van der Kloot; May Cheung @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W. ~songwriters; $

7> Mike Murley Trio @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave. ~Jazz; $

7-9> Altered By Mom @ Wenona Craft Beer Lodge basement, 1069 Bloor St. W. ~songwriters

8> Stella Donnelly; Faye Webster @ Drake Hotel Underground, 1150 Queen St. W. ~contemporary original; $

8-11> Meghan Gilhespy & Andy Slade Duo @ Alchemy, 890 College St. ~Jazz; $0

8> open mic @ Remix Lounge, 1305 Dundas St. W.

8> Chris Oday @ The Baby G, 1608 Dundas St. W. ~contemporary original R&B; $

8:30> Trevor Hogg Quartet @ The Emmet Ray, 924 College St. ~Jazz; pwyc

8:30> Don Stevenson presents “The Music of Moby Grape” @ Hugh’s Room Live, 2261 Dundas St. W. ~iconic 60s art Rock by original band member; $30

9> Letchi @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W. ~songwriters; $

9> Sugar Foot Jazz Band @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave.

*10:30> The Mercenaries @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave. ~retro Rock/Soul/Funk; $0


519 EAST -Guelph, K-W & vicinity

2-5> Laura Swankey, Belinda Corpuz, Lieke Van Der Voort & Germaine Liu @ Silence, 46 Essex St., Guelph

2-6> open stage jam @ Busholme Inn, 156 Main St. (Hwy 24), Erin

*3-7> acoustic open mic with Scott Rhodes @ The Pick and Shovel, 30 Water St., Cambridge

*3:30-7> eclectic open stage with Eric and Andre @ Tavern on Grange, 259 Grange Rd., Guelph

4> Sean Pinchin (recording release for album) @ Rhapsody Barrel Bar, 170 King St. W., Kitchener ~songwriter; $?

6-9> Stan Chang & Eric Bruck @ Manhattan’s, 951 Gordon St., Guelph ~smooth Pop/Jazz

5> Jesse Parent live album recording with guests @ Rich Uncle Tavern, 45 King St. W., Kitchener ~songwriter; $30

9> Brendan O’Halloran @ McCabe’s Irish Pub, 9 Wyndham St. N., Guelph ~acoustic Pop covers & originals

9:30> Romeo Sex Fighter @ Duke of Wellington, 33 Erb St. W. Waterloo



1> “Road To Summerfolk” youth performer auditions @ CROW Bar & Variety, 18 Huron St., Collingwood

2> Corin Raymond & Mike T. Kerr @ The Garnet, 231 Hunter St., W., Peterborough ~songwriters; $20

*2-6> open mic @ RCL (Royal Canadian Legion) #103, 34 Bridge St. W., Campbellford

3-6> Washboard Hank @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough ~Roots-Rock

4> open jam with Mike Pulkinghorn @ Malone’s Pint House, 118 Bradford St., Barrie

6:30-9:30> Joe Bulger @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough

8> “The Musical Saw Playlist” with Charlie Petch @ The Garnet, 231 Hunter St., W., Peterborough ~musical saw performance; $0/pwyc

*8> open stage with Ryan Van Loon @ McThirsty’s Pint, 155 Charlotte St., Peterborough


905 EAST –Pickering to Cobourg

2-5> open mic @ Falcon Brewing Company, 30 Barr Rd., Ajax

*3> open jam with Jim Cornell & Kat Vhonda @ Fionn MacCool’s Bowmanville, 2350 Hwy #2, Bowmanville

4-6> eclectic open mic @ Cork & Bean, 8 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa

4:30> jam with Matt D @ Cocoa & Joe Café, 44 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa

*5> all-ages open mic with Justin Cooper @ Wing Addicts, 81 King St. E., Oshawa

*5:30> Phlo @ Oasis Bar, 31 King St. E., Cobourg ~acoustic Pop covers & originals

*6-10> open jam with Juggernaut @ The Edge Lounge, 250 Bayly St. W., Ajax

*6-9> open jam with Dino and the Dogs @ Colonel Mustard’s Port Perry, 15 Water St., Port Perry

*8> Gibran & Matt “Smokey” Wildfong @ Harwood Blues, 7 Harwood Ave., Ajax ~Blues

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


905 NORTH-EAST -east of Highway #400

*1-4> open mic with host Steffi Postol Goodfield @ Cosmo Music, 10 Via Renzo Dr., Richmond Hill

*3-7> Daniel Davies Band hosts jam @ C.J. Barley’s, 213 The Queensway S., Keswick

4> open jam @ Rouge River Brewing Company, 50 Bullock Dr., Markham

4> Tal Davidson, Daniel Korn, Jordan Mills, Sean Traczyk Quartet @ Rouge River Brewing Company, 50 Bullock Dr., Markham ~Jazz

7-9> open mic night with Tania Joy & Brian Wride @ The Second Wedge Brewing Co., 14 Victoria St. N., Uxbridge

*7-10> Lynn McDonald @ Jester’s Court, 279 Queen St., Port Perry ~Pop/Jazz

*9> King Henry’s open mic (sign-up starts 8:45) with host Shane Joseph @ King Henry’s Arms, 9301 Yonge St., Richmond Hill


905 NORTH-WEST -west of Highway #400

4> open mic with Manni Nalli Project @ Appalachian Public House, 68 Main St. N., Georgetown

5:30-8:30> Carmen Spada & Friends @ J. Red & Co., 341 Main St., Brampton ~Jazz

*5:30-9:30> open jam with host band Faces For Radio & guest @ Crown and Anchor Pub, 389 Main St. N., Brampton

7:30> “Candlelit Church” sessions @ St. Alban’s, 537 Main St., Glen Williams-Georgetown ~Roots

*9-1> jam @ Ivy Arms Pub, 201 Main Street E., Milton


905 SOUTH -Hamilton & vicinity

2-3> Mr. Ben @ Shawn & Ed Brewery, 65 Hatt St., Dundas ~children’s music; $0

*3> Brother Tom Finochio hosts kitchen party jam @ Rebel’s Rock, 537 King St. E., Hamilton

3-7> Big John @ Stonewalls, 339 York Blvd., Hamilton ~Blues/R&B; $0

3-7> The Fallout; Reckless Upstarts; Lee Reed; Union Thugs; Bring The War Home @ This Ain’t Hollywood, 345 James St. N., Hamilton ~eclectic indie; $6

4:30-7:30> Alfie Smith  @ Cat ‘N’ Fiddle, 174 John St. S., Hamilton ~original Blues

5-9> Tree Of Stars mental health support/awareness group fundraiser with The Mirror Cull; Ashley Bell; Megan Bevilacqua; Michelle Lindfield; Innersha; Laura Keating; Sara Wilkinson; Mary Kovacs; Ryan Lunn; Andrew Brethour; Robin Jupiter @ Tracie’s Place, 592 Upper James St., Hamilton

5> Blues jam & show by Wayne Janus and the Backline @ Masque Wine Bar Hamilton, 13 Hess St. S. Hamilton

9-12> Adam Ostrosser & guest @ Cat ‘N’ Fiddle, 174 John St. S., Hamilton

9> open jam with Walker and Jamie @ The Pour House Hamilton, 1115 Fennell Ave. E., Hamilton

9> Athanese; Summerly; Ace of Wands @ Doors Taco Joint, 56 Hess St. S., Hamilton ~contemporary original; $

9> Shari Dunn & Jonny Kerr @ Lionshead Pub, 137 John St. S., Hamilton

*10> open mic with Kim Koren @ West End House, 151 Emerson St., Hamilton


905 WEST -southern Peel, Halton

*10:30am-3> Mike Maguire @ Pepperwood Bistro, 1455 Lakeshore Rd., Burlington ~Jazz

2-5> Dave Rave and Hailee Rose @ Black Bull Mountainside, 2475 Mountainside Drive, Burlington ~acoustic Pop covers & originals

2-6> Harold McIntyre @ Carrigan Arms, 2025 Upper Middle Rd., Burlington ~Country

*3-6> Chris Partland @ Cuchulainn’s Irish Pub, 158 Queen St. S., Streetsville-Mississauga ~Pop Rock

*3> Kitchen Party Ceilidh @ The Slye Fox, 4057 New St., Burlington

*4-7:30> The Stew @ Mulligan’s, 2458 Dundas St. W., Mississauga ~R&B/Rock; $5

*4:30-8> Chuck Jackson’s All Stars @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit-Mississauga ~Blues

*5> Sara Mills @ Max Resto Lounge, 2180 Itabashi Way, Burlington

*7-12> Tony Paglia & Co. @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit-Mississauga ~Pop Rock/Blues; $0

*9-12> open jam with Mike Shotton & house band @ Black Swan Burlington, 4040 Palladium Way, Burlington

10> Brad Sumak & Mike Olivieri @ The Dickens, 423 Elizabeth St., Burlington ~acoustic Pop covers & originals



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 purchasers (eg.: seniors, students, members, kids, etc).  /+ indicates stated price is minimum.

-Copyright © 2019 by Gary “17” Webb-Proctor & All Rights Reserved