140509Fr Shows - Blues heaven tonight as two stellar artists release new albums



Blues heaven tonight as two stellar artists release new albums


Anyone who doubts that the Blues and/or the cd album format are still going strong would be hard-pressed to explain two events taking place tonight in TO.

Howard Willett -from 'Blue Smoke' cd

Howard Willett -from ‘Blue Smoke’ cd

Two stellar Blues artists, veteran harmonica ace and songwriter Howard Willett and rousing singer/harmonica player Raoul Bhaneja, are releasing new albums.

Willett, the co-founder of blue-Country/Swing band the Bebop Cowboys and a much admired and sought after harp accompanist, unveils his first solo album, Blue Smoke, in a little room on Clinton Ave. that many people have probably forgotten about: Monarch Tavern (not to be confused with Monarchs Pub in the Delta Eaton Hotel) at 12 Clinton St. a stone’s throw south of College St.

Produced by Ray Montford, Willett’s “solo” album also includes contributions from artists such as Denis Pendrith, Steve Briggs, Jesse Barksdale, Drew Jerecka, Chris Gale and more, most of whom can be expected to be on hand for the 8 p.m. launch. Tickets are $15 advance but the Facebook event for the show doesn’t state how much it’ll be at the door.

Raoul Bhaneja -promo

Raoul Bhaneja -promo

Meanwhile not far away at Hugh’s Room on Dundas W. just south of Bloor St., multi-talented actor, singer and songwriter and harpman Raoul Bhaneja unveils his new Hollywood Blvd disc with his Raoul and The Big Time band, with special guest singer Curtis Salgado.

It’s been 16 years since Raoul first appeared on the scene and I began writing about him and the band, which quickly took the local Blues scene by storm, winning the Maple Blues award for Best New Artist in 1999. But with Raoul also being a very busy actor (you’ll definitely recognize his face if you go to tonight’s 8:30 show, for which you’ll pay $35 at the door), the band, while releasing four previous albums, has seemed to me to be sort of off and on the radar over the years.  Hopefully the release of the new disc, and the seeming reference to his other career in the title, indicates that this high-energy performer intends to focus more on the music in the years to come. Either way, the album is sure to be another winner.

-Gary 17,


Listings preceded by an asterisk (*) are repeating weekly events. 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 and include a live link to their websites where applicable. Advertisers’ listings are in larger type, include live link to website and also have ad icon included in listings.

CMW= Canadian Music Week $/wristband admission charge. Full CMW listings at:

 *4-6> Hogtown Syncopators @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz

*5-8> Kensington Kitchen Party with host Kevin Jollimore of Sin City Boys & guest musicians @ Graffiti’s, 170 Baldwin St., TO ~Pop Rock with heart

*5-7> open mic with The Foolish Things @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO ~original Pop

*5-7> Ronnie Hayward Trio @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E.. TO E. ~Blues/Roots

5-8> Doc. Barrister Jazz Band@ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West

5:30> Rick & Gailie @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough

6-4> CMW: David Celia; Patrick Brealey; Whitney Rose; Fraser Melvin Blues Band @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO; $/wristband

6:30> Sara Dell @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz

7-4> CMW: Jeremy Loops; Michael Cassidy; The Loodies; Little Suns; Future History; The Seasons; Graydon James & The Young Novelists @ Cameron House (rear), 408 Queen St. W., TO; $/wristband

7:30> Giampalo Scatozza, Bret Higgins, Neil Brathwaite @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO ~Jazz

8> Whatever Sticks featuring Sue Martin @ Earl Of Whitchurch, 6204 Main St., Stouffville ~Pop Rock

8-4> CMW: Overseas; The Black Lullaby; King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard; White Hill; Public Animal; You Am I; Shawn Brady & The Electric Blood Band (2 a.m.); Silent Movie type @ The Hideout, 484 Queen St. W., TO ~indie Rock

8-4> CMW: Alexandre Desilets; Cub Sport; The High Dials, Mia Dyson, Jr. Gone Wild; Papi @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., TO West ~$/wristband

8> CMW: Lovely Quinces; Elliot Maginot; more @ Free Times Café, 320 College St., TO ~$/wristband

*8-1> karaoke @ RCL #312, 112 Hunt St., Ajax

8> Crowe @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville ~indie; $10

8:30> Raoul and the Big Time album release for Hollywood Blvd with special guest Curtis Salgado @ Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., TO West ~Blues; $35/-

Linsmore 1405069> Tim Bovaconti Band @ Linsmore Tavern, 1298 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Pop Rock

9-1> Amanda Rose Band featuring Dave Girdlestone of Soul Funkshun @ Hogan’s Pub, 12998 Keele St., King City ~Rock/R&B

9-1> Danielle Bassels Jazz Band @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Jazz

9-1> Gator James Band @ Monarchs Pub in Eaton Chelsea Hotel, 33 Gerrard St. W., TO ~Rock/R&B

9-1> Howard Willet cd launch for Blue Smoke @ Monarch Tavern, 12 Clinton St., TO ~Blues; $15

*9-1> Frank Cosentino Band @ Karla’s Roadhouse, 4630 Kingston Rd., Scarborough ~rockin’ Blues

9-1> ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) fundraiser in honour of Bill Quinn with several acts @ Legends On The Queensway, 1184 The Queensway, Etobicoke South ~Pop; $10 donation

9> Stevie Ray Vaughan Experience @ Blue Goose Tavern, 1 Blue Goose Rd., Etobicoke South ~SRV tribute

9> HEADSTOCK @ Scruffy’s Irish Pub, 30 Eglinton Ave. W., Mississauga ~Rock

9-1> Last Chance @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St., Oshawa

9> Colin Amey Band @ The Corral, 433 Simcoe St. S., Oshawa ~Country

*9:30> David Macmichael & Chris Mills @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave., TO East ~alt Pop originals and covers

9:30> Greyhound Riders; 10:30> Jessica Blake @ C’est What, 67 Front St. E., TO ~Folk Rock; $10

9:30> Johnny Max & The Heart Attacks @ Timothy’s Pub, 344 Brown’s Line, Etob. S. ~R&B

9:30> Black Sabbath @ Seven44, 744 Mount Pleasant Blvd., TO North ~Ozzy tribute; $

9:30> Greg Wyard @ Stone Cottage Pub, 3750 Kingston Rd., Scarborough ~Pop Rock

9:30> Fourlines @ The Harp, 55 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Pop Rock/Top 40 ~Pop/Top 40

9:30> Diane Ryder Band @ Jake’s Boathouse Brampton, 59 First Gulf Rd., Brampton ~Pop Rock

9:30> Freedom Train @ Gator Ted’s, 1505 Guelph Line, Burlington

9:30> Soul Shakers @ Black Swan Pub Burlington, 4040 Palladium Way, Burlington

9:30> Tim Hebert & Borderline @ Gladstone Tavern, 1385 Main St. E., Hamilton

9:30> Toynia Bosch Band @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough

9:45> Oz Noy Group with Will Lee & Anton Fig @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~NYC Jazz

Southside 14050610-2> Tamin’ Thunder @ Southside Johnny’s, 3653 Lakeshore Blvd. W., Etobicoke South ~R&B/Rock/Dance

10-2> Phil & John Plugged In feat. Phil Naro @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Pop Rock

10> Fifteen Stone featuring Darrell McNeill @ Oscar’s Roadhouse, 1785 Queen St. E., Bramp. ~classic Rock

10> Dave Murphy Band @ Orbit Room, 480 College St. TO ~Rock/R&B/Pop; $10

10> Heavy Ethics @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO

10:30> The Ramblin’ Band @ The Dickens, 423 Elizabeth St., Burlington ~Pop Rock

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