It’s not like Peter Mathieson has never been in the spotlight before. Back in the glory days of Canadian live Roots Pop music (we’re talking the 70s into the 80s), Mathieson was an illustrious songwriter whose 1977 tune “Yonge Street”, for example, was covered by the artist Raffi on his album Good Luck Boy. [See a video tribute to the song as performed by a Mathieson fan, Thomas Sarantos, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWpRjPWaqJc].
I first met Peter when he came out to one of my open stages at Hirut on a Sunday afternoon, where he still often shows up to attend the event now hosted by Nicola Vaughan 3-6 or later. He refused to take the stage the first couple of times he came out, stating he was “just here to watch and listen” because “I haven’t played in years and I’m way too rusty to get up.”
On his third or fourth visit that all changed after three or four beers. And his first time on the stage he did fumble a bit, but promised to come back another time after practicing a little. True to his word he did and was much more relaxed and accomplished, and every time thereafter he sounded smoother and more confident. But even when he was up for his first couple of awkward sets listeners could tell there was something special about this performer and songwriter.
Peter’s tunes draw you in with an earnest suppleness and, like the aforementioned “Yonge Street”, are lyrically pithy and memorable. That’s why Mena Hardy, who now hosts a lovely 3-7 open stage at a new room, du Café, at 885 O’Connor Ave. in East York, has invited him to do the feature set for her third week there on Sat. June 29.
The café is a unique, non-licensed spot that has a full menu that uses no dairy and almost no sugar in its concoctions yet somehow produces scrumptious food that is way underpriced. A great place to be on a Saturday afternoon!