Monarchs show a test for James Sloan’s stage presence skill
As many a Roots performer discovered during the weekly open stages held on the big stage inside Monarchs Pub at the Eaton Chelsea Hotel by Brian Gladstone a couple of years ago —and even during the two editions of the Winterfolk Festival held in the facility in 2012 and ‘13— endeavouring to capture and hold the attention of the crowd there can be a little intimidating.
It’s a big, fancy room and naturally there are also televisions to compete with, though mercifully the only ones broadcasting are arrayed behind the bar, nowhere near the pro-caliber stage with pretty good sound and very good lighting. But there’s no question that an unpredictable mixed bag of hotel guests and people there for the live music Tuesdays through Fridays expect a show.
Enter (tonight at 8 p.m., for no cover charge) one James Sloan, a passionate writer of story songs about Canada and everyday life who, while engaging enough, requires focused listening to fully appreciate.
Although he’s a highly adept and versatile guitar player (and a superb accompanist) he tends to downplay that whilst performing his own tunes in favour of emphasizing the lyrical component. You might not hear much in the way of jaw-dropping licks and riffs, but what you will enjoy is well-rounded, expertly crafted songs that engage and remain with you.
Also, as I wrote in March after a previous appearance at Monarchs, Sloan certainly has upped his stage presence game over the past year. And tonight he’ll also have some help galvanizing the crowd as longtime musical accomplice (and fine songwriter in his own right) Harpin’ Norm Lucien will also be on hand to huff and puff some additional energy into things.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised, too, to see some of Sloan’s other musical friends also come out, both to support their buddy’s show and quite possibly to help fill in the gaps when he takes a break and/or be called up to join in on a couple of numbers.
There’s no cover for the show at the pub near the front door of the hotel at 33 Gerrard St. West a stone’s throw from Yonge St.
-Gary 17, www.torontomoon.ca
LISTINGS for Tuesday, August 19, 2021:
Listings preceded by an asterisk (*) are repeating weekly events. (Double asterisk indicates repeating event with different hosts/guest/etc.). 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.
Names of subscribers appear in bold, are underlined and, where applicable, include a live link to their websites. Advertisers’ listings are in larger type, include live link to website and also have ad icon included in listings.
3 (and 6)> Melvin Colacino Band @ CNE Midway Stage, Canadian National Exhibition Grounds, Lakeshore Blvd. West, TO ~Rock
*6-9> Julian Fauth solo @ Sauce, 1376 Danforth Ave., TO East ~original Blues piano
6> C & C Surf Factory @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO
6:30> Julia Cleveland Quartet @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz
*6:30-11> The Woodshed jam with Don Niblett & Frank Zochodne @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa
7> Poetry & Music night with author Bob MacKenzie; more @ Queen Gallery, 373 Queen St. W., TO
7> Wylie Harold @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough
7:30-9:30> The Fixin’s @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Jazz
7:30> Grannis Bea @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick St., TO
7:30 (and 11)> Sugar Heat @ CNE Midway Stage, Canadian National Exhibition Grounds, Lakeshore Blvd., TO West ~Rock
7:30> Christopher Cross; (Ash & Bloom opening) @ CNE Bandshell, Canadian National Exhibition Grounds, Lakeshore Blvd., TO West ~Rock
8-11> Danny Marks & Alec Fraser Blues Night @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Blues
8> David Baxter & Friends @ Dora Keogh, 141 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Rootsy Pop/Blues
8-12> James Sloan @ Monarchs Pub in Eaton Chelsea Hotel, 33 Gerrard St. W., TO ~Roots songwriter
8> Midnight Ramblers @ El Mocambo, 464 Spadina Ave., TO ~Stones tribute; $10
*8> open stage with host Iain Leslie @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville; $2
*8:30> Django Jam @ Dominion On Queen, 500 Queen St. E., TO ~Django Jazz
8:30> Rebecca Reeves; Angèle Menard; Emily Coulston @ Free Times Café, 320 College St., TO ~songwriters
*8:45> Tyler Yarema & His Rhythm @ Reservoir Lounge, 52 Wellington St. E., TO ~Jazz/Blues
*8:45> open mic with Matt Zadkovich @ Culchainn’s Irish Pub, 158 Queen St. S., Streetsville-Mississauga
**9> open mic with host Jody Ferrer & 10 p.m. feature by tba @ Groove Bar, 1952 Danforth Ave., TO East
*9-1> karaoke with Randy Petrie @ King’s Belly, 429 Donlands Ave., TO East
*9> open mic with host Nikki Lemonbeat @ Kitch, 229 Geary Ave., TO West
9> Tich Maredza Trio @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Zimbabwean Roots
9> Sun K with Kirty @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., TO West
9-12> David Gavin Baxter & Kara Lea Manovich @ Bar Radio, 615 College St., TO ~Country/pwyc
**9> Ababe Music presents David Hustler; Sarah Sidd; The Coyote Kids; Little Boxer @ The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Ave., TO West ~indie showcase
*9> open mic with Manny D, Andy Earle & Dave Breckels @ Big Chris BBQ, 17380 Yonge St., Newmarket
9:30> Nicola Vaughan hosts jam @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave., TO
*9:30> The Phil & John Show feat. Phil Naro @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~acoustic Pop Rock
*9:30-2> karaoke with Krista Frank @ Legends, 774 Danforth Ave., TO East
*9:30> Peter Verity @ Black Swan, 154 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Folk Roots
9:30> Patrick Ballantyne @ C’est What, 67 Front St. E., TO ~pwyc
*9:30-12> open stage hosted by Jennifer Brewer @ The Old Nick, 123 Danforth Ave., TO East
9:30> Stefan Bauer with Nancy Walker @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz
*9:30> jam with Derek Downham @ Axis, 3048 Dundas St. W., TO West ~eclectic
*10-2> The Sattalites @ Orbit Room, 580 College St., TO ~orig. & cover Reggae/Funk
10> The Ken McDonald Quartet & guests @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick St., TO ~Jazz
10> Sinners Choir @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO
*10-11> Nik Beat’s Howl radio show with guest poet Bob MacKenzie @ CIUT 89.5 FM, ~spoken word & music
*10-2> Marshall Dane Trio @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~New Country/Pop
10> David J. Bird & Friends @ The Red Garnet, 231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough ~
10:30> The World Is Yours acoustic duo @ The Hideout, 484 Queen St. W., TO ~indie Rock
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