140613Fr Shows - Pricey Durham West Blues Fest has lots of Blues, not so much Durham

140613 Friday June 13 header


Pricey Durham West Blues Fest has lots of Blues, not so much Durham


Three things stand out to me as I look at the website for the new Durham West Blues Fest , a three-day event starting tonight and running all day tomorrow and Sunday afternoon in the Annandale Golf & Country Club in Ajax.

First and foremost is that it’s got a pretty great lineup of acclaimed Blues acts performing. Secondly, it’s rather expensive to attend. And thirdly, it doesn’t have much representation of Durham Blues players.

Maybe harmonica player and character-raconteur Steven C. Barr is retired or dead and buried by now (he moved out that way over a decade ago but hasn’t been heard from in a while that I know of) but Howard Ross and his Full Count Blues Band certainly are not. Neither is Uxbridge-area resident Johnny Cox, who just released a new album that’s getting some notice. Nor is PRJ, a group that’s a staple of the lineup at the Simcoe Blues and Jazz Club in Oshawa that offers a lot of Blues. So why at least one of these acts is not on the bill surprises me, especially given that the organizers also run the Music By The Bay concert series and formerly brought live music into the Waterfront Bistro in Pickering before it had a change of policy or owners.

Jack de Keyzer -17

Jack de Keyzer -17

The festival does include Jack de Keyzer, who’s a been a Durham fixture for many years, hosting a Saturday afternoon workshop. But so far as I can tell that’s about it for featured local talents, although the website says there will be a Sunday 3:30-6:30 finale event in which “Local musicians band together in a festival wrap up jam,” but with no further details provided.)

Other feature attractions include Fathead on the Friday night, JW-Jones and Downchild Blues Band as part of a 4-band bill on Saturday night and Chris Whiteley & Diana Braithwaite on Sunday afternoon, as well as Saturday afternoon workshops with Mark Bird Stafford and Carlos del Junco.

To take in everything will cost you a whopping $150, but you can attend individual sessions for less: $35 for the shows tonight or Sunday, $75 for Saturday night and $10 each for the afternoon workshops.

It’s also worth noting that the festival, while it does have some credibility because the organizers have an established track record in bringing excellent music to the area, isn’t affiliated with any of the Blues or other music organizations in Durham. There’s been some confusion about that, as many assumed the Durham Regional Music Society might be sponsoring it. A speokesman for the organization said it has had several enquiries about the event and had to issue a statement clarifying that it has no involvement.

Regardless of the geographical pedigree of the featured acts or the affiliations of the organizers, it certainly looks to be an impressive lineup and a delightful experience for anyone that can afford it.  For full schedule details see our daily show listings and for more information about the event and how to get to it visit its website at

-Gary 17,


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 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.

NXNE = North By Northeast festival show; wb= wristband admittance

*Noon> free Jazz show @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz

*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> tba @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~

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

6> David Celia @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO ~Roots-Pop

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

7-9> The Polka Dogs @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., TO West

7> Showcase Thirteen with 13 bands including James Clark Institute, Erika Weryy, Garage Baby, Arlene Paculan, Sol Sol @ The Assembly Hall, 1 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Dr., Etobicoke South

7:30> Dan Gaucher presents @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO

7:30> Queen’s Players present “Orange Is The New Burgundy” @ Tranzac Club (Main Hall), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO ~comedy theatre; $

7:30> Timeless for Uxbridge Youth Centre fundraiser @ Andy’s Coffee House Café, 40 Toronto St., Uxbridge; $8/-

8-12> Chris Smith @ Ember Hot Stove, 3039 Lakeshore Blvd. W., Etobicoke South ~acoustic Pop

8-12> Durham West Blues Fest with Lisa Hutchinson Band (8); Fathead (9:30) @ Annandale Golf & Country Club, 221 Church Street S., Ajax ~Blues; $35

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

8> The Neil Young’uns @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville ~Neil Young tribute; $10

8:30> Lodan @ Free Times Café, 320 College St., TO ~acoustic duo

8:30> Patrick Brealey’s Roy Orbison tribute with @ Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., TO West ~tribute; $22.50/-

Linsmore 1406099> David Baxter & The Regulars @ Linsmore Tavern, 1298 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Roots-Rock

9> The Happy Pals @ C’est What, 67 Front St. E., TO ~New Orleans Jazz; pwyc

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

9> Tim Bovaconti Big Band @ Dora Keogh, 141 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Pop Rock

9> Wrest Trio @ Tranzac Club (Tiki Room), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO

9> Treeline with Shaela Miller @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Country Roots

9-1> Kristen Anzelc Band @ Monarchs Pub in Eaton Chelsea Hotel, 33 Gerrard St. W., TO ~Pop Rock

9> NXNE: Pistol Packing Groove; Simple Damned Device @ Tattoo, 567 Queen St. W. TO; $10/wb

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

9-1> Stevie Ray Vaughan Experience @ Legends On The Queensway, 1184 The Queensway, Etobicoke South ~SRV tirubte; $5

9> The Swinging Blackjacks @ Blue Goose Tavern, 1 Blue Goose Rd., Etobicoke South ~Rockabilly

9> Blakk Zakk Attakk’s Blizzard of Oz Experience @ MVP Sports Lounge, 1325 Eglinton Ave. E., Mississauga ~Ozzie tribute

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

9> Jevon Rudder Band @ The Corral, 433 Simcoe St. S., Oshawa ~Country

9-1> Colin Amey @ Oscar’s Roadhouse, 1785 Queen St. E., Bramp. ~Country Rock

9> Grainne Ryan & Cora Westrman @ The Earl Of Whitchurch, 6204 Main St., Stouffville ~Roots

9:30> Laura Hubert Band feat. Peter Hill @ Mezzrow’s, 1546 Queen St. W., TO West ~Pop Jazz with punch

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

9:30> Black Jack benefit for Steve Madden with Tommy Rocker, Sean Duggan, Dan Walek & many more @ McGradie’s, 2167 Victoria Park Ave., Scarb. ~classic Rock/Top 40

9:30> Al Reilly’s Catalyst @ Maple Leaf House, 2749 Lake Shore Blvd. W., Etobicoke South ~classic Rock

9:30> Lost Boys @ Timothy’s Pub, 344 Brown’s Line, Etob. S. ~Rock

9:30> CODA @ Seven44, 744 Mount Pleasant Blvd., TO North ~Led Zeppelin tribute; $

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

9:30> Scully & The Crossbones @ Jake’s Boathouse Brampton, 59 First Gulf Rd., Brampton ~Pop Rock

9:30> Johnny & Los @ Shakers, 580 Kerr St., Oakville ~

9:30> Big Daddy’s open mic @ The Falcon & Firkin, 10300 Yonge St., Richmond Hill

9:30> Tim Park Trio @ Gator Ted’s, 1505 Guelph Line, Burlington

9:30> tba @ Gladstone Tavern, 1385 Main St. E., Hamilton

9:30> Gunslingers @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough

9:45> Jeff King’s Catalyst @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz

9:45> Dee Dee & The Dirty Martinis @ Reservoir Lounge, 52 WellinSouthside 140609gton St. E., TO ~Jazz/Blues

10-2> Freedom Train @ Southside Johnny’s, 3653 Lakeshore Blvd. W., Etobicoke South ~classic Rock

10-1> Plaza Ratz feat. Kevin Huckell @ Centro Pizza, 3406 Kingston Rd., Scarborough

10> Soul Stew @ Orbit Room, 480 College St. TO ~Soul/R&B

10> Fraser Melvin Blues Band @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen Street West, TO

10-2> Lucas Stagg Band @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., TO W. ~Roots-Rock; $

10> CD Onofrio and Rod Stanish @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO

10-2> Taxi @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Rock/Top 40

10> Tamin’ Thunder @ Fionn MacCool’s Ajax, 36 Kingston Rd. E., Ajax ~Rock/R&B/Dance

10> Construction & Decunstruction; Jon McKiel; AWA @ The Red Garnet, 231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough

10> The Sarcastic Onions @ Sidelines, 991 King St. E., Cambridge ~Rock

10> Must Stash Hat @ Molly Bloom’s Collingwood, 29 Simcoe St., Collingwood ~indie Pop Rock

10:30> The Soul Kicks @ The Hideout, 484 Queen St. W., TO ~indie Rock

10:30> Stinky & The Hot Rodz @ The Dickens, 423 Elizabeth St., Burlington ~Pop Rock

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