Shoppers can now chill out to spicy Country-Pop of Kirsten Jones
Many people, particularly working musicians, have noted that bars have become a very problematic staging ground for live music in recent years. Pay scales have plummeted while other factors (lack of proper stage set-ups, audiences hypnotized by goliath tvs showing sports, little or zero promotion and frequently an attitude of disrespect towards players from management) have combined to both reduce the market for talented players and to make participation in it a lot less pleasant than it used to be.
But, as the memes tell you, quite often when one door closes another does indeed open. And in the case of live music shows over the past few years, new venues —such as house concerts, coffee shops and, more recently, shopping malls/restaurants— are starting to emerge. In all three of those instances the benefits of performing in such circumstances are often better pay, more reasonable hours and more appreciative audiences.
Venues such as The Shops At Don Mills and, more recently, Richtree Restaurant near the Queen St. entrance in downtown TO’s Eaton Centre, are now offering live musical entertainment at least one evening a week —and in the case of the latter venue (which is also licensed) they’ve snagged a giant talent wrapped in an attractive, stimulating package in Country songwriter and acoustic Pop performer Kirsten Jones, who appears there every Thursday 5-8.
A three-time finalist in the International Songwriting Competition for tunes from her album The Mad Mile (and third-place finisher in 2010) as well as 2011 nominee for Country Artist of The Year by the Canadian Country Music Awards, Jones has an interesting mix of delicate sensibilities bound up with rodeo rope’em boisterousness that makes her sound vulnerable and formidably empowered at the same time.
Songs like “Bittersweet Grand Canyon” (which was also featured on her earlier Drive-In Movie album), “There’s A Right Way” and “I Don’t Wanna Live Like This” have received a ton of airplay on Country radio and been hailed by critics, including this one. Another tune from MM that I really like, which she performed live last month while guesting at Relish with Clela Errington, is “You’re Not Coming By”, which explores the complex love-hate relationship of an abandoned child with a parent.
I’m not normally big on going to malls, but for you potential shoes-dress-suit-summerwear-electronics purchasers out there, the prospect of being able to have a bite while enjoying this engaging and exciting artist has got to be a pretty good excuse to go on a shopping excursion if ever there were one!
-Gary 17, www.torontomoon.ca
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, are underlined and, where applicable, include a live link to their websites. Advertisers’ listings are in larger type, include live link to website and also have ad icon included in listings.
*5-8> Kirsten Jones @ Richtree Restaurant, Eaton Centre (14 Queen St. West), TO ~Country originals & Pop covers
*5-8> Jerry Leger & The Situation @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E.. TO East ~Folk-Rock/Country
5-8> G Street Trio @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Jazz
*5-8> Nelson Denis @ Frank’s Pasta, 42 King Street E., Cobourg ~eclectic mix (Folk, Jazz, soft Rock, Latin)
6> Darren Eedens @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO
6:30> Kevin Quain @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~moody Blues
7-9> Girl Meets Bear @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave., TO East ~alt-Rock
7> Sophia Perlman @ Reservoir Lounge, 52 Wellington St. E., TO ~Jazz
7> fundraiser for Toronto Poetry Slam @ Supermarket, 268 Augusta Ave., TO
*7> open mic with Derek Mok @ Kensington Lodge, 21 Kensington Ave., TO
7> Elmer Ferrer Band @ Timothy’s Pub, 344 Brown’s Line, Etobicoke South ~Pop Rock
*7:30-9:30> Bluegrass Thursdays with Houndstooth @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO
*7:30> open stage with Rob Phillips and Chelsey Bennett Band @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough ~Jazz Blues
*7:30-12> open mic with K.M. Smith @ Molly Bloom’s Guelph, 91 Wyndham St. N., Guelph
*8-12> jam with Tommy Rocker Band @ Karla’s Roadhouse, 4630 Kingston Rd., Scarborough
*8> open mic with Anthony Abbatangeli & Ken Foster @ DeSotos, 1079 St. Clair Ave. W., TO West
8-12> Freedom Train @ Lake Affect, 1 Port St., Port Credit ~Rock/Top 40
8-12> Enzo @ Fionn MacCool’s Ajax, 32 Kingston Rd. E. Ajax ~Pop
*8-12> open mic & jam @ Black Swan Pub Burlington, 4040 Palladium Way, Burlington
*8-11:30> Christopher Plock & Stevie G @ Mulligan’s Pub, 2458 Dundas St. W., Mississauga ~Blues/Jazz/R&B
*8-11> open mic with Sandy MacDonald @ Williamsburg Arms, 1187 Fischer Hallman Rd., Kitchener
8> Beers For Queers @ The Red Garnet, 231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough ~
8:30> John Gorka @ Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., TO West ~songwriter; $25/-
8:30> Hank’s Aluminum Siding + Manic To Panic @ Free Times Café, 320 College St. TO ~songwriters
8:30> Nathan Rogers @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St. Oakville ~Roots; $10
9> Paige Armstrong @ Linsmore Tavern, 1298 Danforth Ave., TO East ~solo Blues-Rock
*9> jam with Ted Rusk @ The Sauble Dunes, 11 Southampton Parkway, Sauble Beach
*9-1:30> open stage with Jay Pennell @ Dave’s On St. Clair, 730 St. Clair West, TO West ~eclectic
9-12> Tiffany Hanus Band @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Jazz
9-12> Kristine Schmitt & Her Special Powers @ Bar Radio, 615 College St., TO ~Bluegrass; pwyc
9> Jordan Faye & The Grey Owls @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~neo-Bluegrass
9-1> The 24th Street Wailers @ Monarchs Pub (Eaton Chelsea Hotel), 33 Gerrard St. W., TO ~Blues
9> Gas Station Cowboys @ Legends On The Queensway, 1184 The Queensway, Etobicoke South ~Country
9> Graydon James & The Young Novelists + Red Moon Road @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., TO West
*9> jam @ The Wee Pub, 371 Wilson Rd. South, Oshawa
9> Linda Wright @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa
*9-2> karaoke with Joe @ Tudor Rose, 700 Harwood Ave. S., Ajax
*9:30-2> Skip Tracer @ Southside Johnny’s, 3653 Lakeshore Blvd., Etobicoke South ~Rock/Pop
*9:30> karaoke with The English Rose & The Mad Scotsman @ Coyote Jack’s, 64 Harwood Ave. S., Ajax
*9:30> karaoke with Kiki @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave., TO East
9:30> Seamus Blake with Kirk MacDonald @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz
9:30> The Speck Brothers @ Black Dog Pub, 87 Island Rd., Scarb. ~Pop Rock
9:30> Glenn Groves @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Pop Rock
*9:30> jam with Jack B Nimble @ Abbey Road Pub, 3200 Erin Mills Parkway, Mississauga
*9:45> Robin Banks @ Reservoir Lounge, 52 Wellington St. E., TO ~Jazz/Blues
10> Gold Complex @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO ~Hip-Hop
10> The Rucksack Willies @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO ~Roots-Rock
10> tba @ Orbit Room, 480 College St. TO ~
10> The Tonkas @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Blues
*10> Salt & Pepper karaoke with Josh & Danish @ St. Louis Ajax. 11 Harwood Ave. S., Ajax
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