New Monday jam at Roc’n Doc’s an exciting development for west-GTA players and fans

Kimberley Wetmore hosting @ Applejack's

Kimberley Wetmore hosting @ Applejack’s

There’s excellent news out of Port Credit in east Mississauga today as tonight sees the start of a new weekly Monday night jam being hosted by one of the most versatile and amenable of house bands around.

Kimberley Wetmore & Co., which features the hugely talented and very affable Dave Girdlestone on guitar (also tearing up stages of late with the Soul Funkshun band he’s a key part of), are hosts of the weekly affair, which in and of itself is a good reason to travel however far it takes to be part of this weekly shindig. It’s been a few years since I last attended one of her jams but I’ve been to several and whenever I have Kimberley has always been truly enthusiastic about welcoming players, whether they’re talented veterans who are members of high-profile groups enjoying a night off or young kids just starting out and trying out their chops on a pro stage for perhaps the first time. She even lets me get up to sing “Born To Be Wild” or “House Of The Rising Sun”!

The fact that the show also takes place at one of the GTA’s most music-friendly venues, Roc ‘n’ Doc’s at 105 Lakeshore Rd. E. in Port Credit, quite near the burg’s GO Station, is another huge plus. This seven-nights-a-week live music room has pretty good sound and a long history of supporting music, with a crowd of regulars who know good music and come there partly to find it nightly.

The new 10-2 affair is an innovative and welcome wrinkle in the calendar for the bar, which for seemingly forever has offered The Phil & John Show (as in Phil Naro and John Rogers) every Monday night. They are a hugely talented pair of players, to be sure, but having a jam takes things to another level. I don’t know if it was the club that decided to make a change or whether, as seems quite likely, Phil is just getting too busy with his many other projects to continue to commit to a weekly acoustic show.

The new weekly jam (which picks up on Kimberley & Co.’s longtime appearances once or twice a month at the club hosting a Thursday jam), also fills a big hole in the week for players west of Parkdale. While Tom Barlow does host a kind of open stage jam at nearby Harp Restaurant, it doesn’t, based on my information, have the kind of band vibe that Kimberley and her crew bring to the party, but is more of an acoustic affair.

And in any case, with both events happening so close together, it should pretty much guarantee that anyone who knows how to play any kind of instrument or can sing even one song from memory should end up finding their way to this little strip in Port Credit.

-Gary 17