A Wed. Roncesvalles stroll in June may feel like time travel
One of the things that attracts so many artistic types to live in the west end of Toronto in areas like the Junction and south-east of it around Roncesvalles Ave. and Parkdale, I’m certain —even if they’re not consciously aware of it themselves— is that with relatively low-rise building profiles and architecture from earlier times, it feels very human-scale there.
People have more reality when they’re not dwarfed by mega-rise condos, office buildings, blaring billboards that blink and wink and the sweeping megalomania of expressway ramps and too-fast roadways. Indeed, strolling along Dundas St. West through the Junction or along Roncesvalles Ave. of an early evening can feel very much like you’re in an long-gone, simpler time.
And if you should happen to venture along Roncesvalles south of Howard Park any Wednesday this month, and if it’s nice out and the windows of the shops and bars are open, you may find the illusion completed by the style of music emanating from both sides of the street.
I’ve already told you about how Juno-winning Blues songwriter Julian Fauth is now back at Gate 403 doing a weekly night on Wednesdays, so you may not be too shocked to hear the strains of his passionate, soulful and often exquisitely painful old-style Blues eerily reminiscent of the first few decades of the previous century, even though it’s all original stuff written in the past ten years.
But now, every Wednesday in June the club directly across the street, known as The Local, is offering something not too different according to the description of the music presented by The Vaudevillian on the club’s website. Apparently this performer (I’ll assume it’s a guy, but there’s no real reason I couldn’t be wrong about that) does “1920s Blues”. That’s an era that you don’t commonly hear covered by most of the acts that call themselves “Blues” these days.
This was a time a decade before the invention of the electric guitar (hell, it was less than a lifetime after the invention of any electrical devices, including lamps!) and basically the era in which The Blues was first emerging. It was the decade of Charlie Patton, Willie Brown, Son House and Robert Johnson, author of arguably the seminal Blues tune, “Cross Road Blues”.
I’m assuming that The Vaudevillian performs on an acoustic guitar (though I suppose with a name like that there could be tuba in there too, or maybe even a player piano) and while Fauth also performs powerfully on the six-string, his barrelhouse songs lend themselves to the tinkling of ivories and Gate 403 has a real piano that probably owns him like a magnet. With ol’ time Blues guitar on one side and on piano and the other, it should weave quite a convincing portrait of what you’d find if you were to time-travel back 80 or so years.
You have to wonder what out-of-towners visiting the area for the first time would think about our entertainment biz and culture in general if they were to make that stroll and be taken unawares by the time-transcending melodies streaming out of both places. Upon looking around at the longstanding modest-scale buildings along the strip, the unpretentious signage and storefronts, hearing those strains to boot they might well conclude that here in Toronto we’re still partying like it’s 1929!
-Gary 17, www.torontomoon.ca
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Noon> Free lunchtime Jazz with tba @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz
*5-8> The Mediterranean Stars @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E., TO East ~Jazz
5-8> Little Sound Trio @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Jazz
6> Belle Regards @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO
6:30> Payadora @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Tango
7> The Good Lovelies @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., TO West ~fem. Country Trio
*7-11> open jam with Wayne Buttery Band @ The Beacon, 146 45th St., Wasaga Beach
7> Chicken Pot Pie @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough
*7:30-10:30> Peter Griffin & BTBs @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Jazz
7:30> “Wicked Wednesdays” with host Jean Baptiste De Collier and sets by Dylan Hennessy; Katie DuTemple; Marcus walker; Arch Rockefeller @ Graffiti’s, 170 Baldwin St., TO ~songwriters; pwyc ($5,000,000,000 suggested)
7:30> Katie DuTemple and Friends @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave. TO
*8-12> Girls Night Out Jazz singers jam with Lisa Particelli, Peter Hill et al @ Chalkers, 247 Marlee Ave., TO North-West
*8> open jam with Juggernaut Jam Band featuring Andy Narsingh @ Rockpile East, 2878 Eglinton Ave. E., Scarborough
8> Jessica Blake @ Habit’s Gastropub, 928 College St., TO ~Roots-Pop songwriter; $10
8> “She’s Listening Toronto II” benefit for ovarian cancer research with Jessica Speziale; Melanie Peterson, Angela E. Saini; Kat Leonard; Hather Pirie @ Cameron House (rear), 408 Queen St. W., TO; donation $10
**8> open stage with 9 p.m. feature by Honey Novick @ Fat Albert’s, 25 Cecil St. (Steelworkers Hall), TO ~Roots
8> Scorpion Child; Persist @ CODA, 794 Bathurst St. TO ~original hard Rock/Metal; $
*8-1> open jam with Wednesday’s Child feat. Johnny Bootz Hutt @ Lola, 40 Kensington Ave., TO
8> Robin Banks Quartet @ Monarchs Pub (Eaton Chelsea Hotel), 33 Gerrard St. W., TO ~Jazz
8> open jam with host Gary LaRocca @ The Only Café, 972 Danforth Ave., TO East
*8-11> Fraser-Daley @ Inter Steer, 357 Roncesvalles Ave. TO West ~Roots/Blues
8-1> Marshall Dane @ Timothy’s Pub, 344 Brown’s Line, Etobicoke South ~Country Pop
8-1> Mississippi Bends feat. Mary Simon & Andrew Aldridge @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville ~Swampy Southern Rock
*8-12> all-ages jam with The Brand New Low & guest appearance by Dave Girdlestone @ Sixth Line Pub, 1500 Sixth Line, Oakville
*8-11> open mic @ Frank’s Pasta, 426 King St. E., Cobourg
8:30> Jake Feeney; Marc Desrocher @ Free Times Cafe, 320 College St., TO; songwriters; $6
8:30> Jimmy Bowskill & Carlos del Junco @ Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., TO West ~Blues; $25/-
*8:30> Crazy Strings host High Lonesome Wednesdays with opening acoustic act @ Silver Dollar 486 Spadina Ave., TO ~Bluegrass
*8:30> open mic with Jenn Fiorentino @ Earl Of Whitchurch, 6204 Main St., Stouffville
*8:30> Something Country @ The Endzone, 1900 King St. E., Hamilton ~Country
*8:45> Bradley & The Bouncers @ Reservoir Lounge, 52 Wellington St. E., TO ~Jazz/Blues/R&B
*9> open jam with Tommy Rocker’s Classic Rock show featuring Jim Cornell & members of Still Sunday @ The Loaded Dog, 1921 Lawrence St. E., Scarborough
9-12> Blues Night with Julian Fauth & guests @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~original Juno-winning Blues
9> The Vaudevillian @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~1920s Blues
9-12> Rye & Fairytales @ Bar Radio, 615 College St., TO ~Roots; pwyc
9> Jesse Landen; The Whole Entire Universe; Subject To Change @ The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Ave., TO West ~original Pop Rock
*9?> open mic with Skip @ The Queen’s Legs, 286 Eglinton Ave. W., TO North
*9?> open mic with Sean Barker @ Monarch Tavern, 12 Clinton St., TO
9> Lake Of Lions with Benjamin Reines & The Blood Machine Band @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., TO West ~
*9?> jam with Michael Zane @ Shakers, 580 Kerr St., Oakville
*9-12> jam with Damage Control @ St. Louis Bar & Grill Ajax, 11 Harwood Ave. S., Ajax
*9-1> open mic jam with Whiskey Birds @ Sweetz Lounge, 5289 Hwy 7, Woodbridge-Vaughan
*9:30> open stage with Nicola Vaughan @ Black Swan (downstairs), 154 Danforth Ave., TO East
9:30> Julien Dionne; Garage Baby @ C’est What, 67 Front St. E., TO ~comedy/variety; $10
*9:30-2> jam with Live Animals @ The Unicorn, 175 Eglinton Ave. E., TO North
9:45> Wednesdays Go Pop showcase with tba @ Supermarket, 268 Augusta Ave., TO ~indie
9:45> William Carn/Tara Davidson 9 @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz
10> Luke Bill @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO
10> Ben Harmann @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave. TO
*10-2> Blues-Rock jam with Bruce Domoney @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave. TO
*10-2> Paul & Curtis @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Rock/Pop
10:30> tba @ The Hideout, 484 Queen St. W., TO ~indie Rock
*10:30> The LMT Connection @ Orbit Room, 580 College St. TO ~Funk/R&B; $10
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