Kyp Harness brings trenchant Folk to The Local tonight, Dora Friday
\TO WEST/TO EAST\
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been a fan of TO edgy-Folk songwriter Kyp Harness for about 20 years now, since first hearing him in the early 90s at the kickoff press conference for the very first North By Northeast Festival. (Too bad that these days they don’t have more gems like him in their lineup.)
Harness isn’t the most musical performer you’ll ever hear but his lyrics are absolutely, astonishingly brilliant laying out society’s shortcomings and flaws in simple and direct terms with a rhyming pattern and beat that, like his voice is highly reminiscent of early Bob Dylan.
The music is catchy enough, however, to do the job of making his sometimes acidic observations go down a little easier and in fact some of his tunes —as heard on ten albums, including last year’s Can A Poor Man Get A Fair Trial?— are catchy and have earworm qualities, though it’s mostly because of the words.
Obviously I’m not the only one to feel that way since, as I reported in March of last year, several highly respected local artists, including Bobby Wiseman, Laura Repo and Michelle Rumball, gathered together at a special show to pay tribute to this unique talent by performing covers of his songs.
Despite the somewhat jaundiced nature of his tunes, however, Harness is an amiable, personable fellow off stage (though with a shit disturber’s glint never far from his eyes) and is also a very gifted writer of satirical newspaper pieces —a few of which I was privileged to publish last year. I also felt honoured to book him a solo show at Linsmore Tavern in East York last year as well as have him to do a feature at the open stage I was then holding there.
This week, however, it appears he’ll have some musical accompaniment as he does shows at The Local (396 Roncesvalles near Howard Park, tonight at 9) and Dora Keogh (141 Danforth Ave., 9 p.m. Friday) with an aptly named backing combo: The Chemical Valley Cowboys, which, judging by the promo posters, will consist of a keyboard player and a fiddler.
You can watch them perform the soundtrack score to society’s self-immolation at either or both shows for no cover, but do bring some extra bucks because you’ll definitely want to pick up one of Harness’s recorded offerings.
-Gary 17, www.torontomoon.ca
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*6-9> Julian Fauth solo @ Sauce, 1376 Danforth Ave., TO East ~original Blues piano
6-8> Roots N’ Branches @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E.,TO East ~Roots
6> Golden Country Classics with Doug Paisley & Al Tuck @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO
6:30> Arbuckle @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz
*6:30-11> The Woodshed jam with Don Niblett & Frank Zochodne @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa
7> Motel Raphael @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., TO West
7> Earl Wilfong @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough
7:30-9:30> Tom Eastland @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave., TO East ~songwriter
7:30> SpeakerFace @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick St., TO
8> Toronto Folksingers Club @ Tranzac Club (Tiki Room), 292 Brunswick St., TO
8-11> Danny Marks & Alec Fraser Blues Night @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Blues
8-12> Kate Todd @ Monarchs Pub in Eaton Chelsea Hotel, 33 Gerrard St. W., TO ~songwriter
*8> open stage with host Iain Leslie @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville; $2
8> Sean Hully Jazz Group @ The Red Garnet, 231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough ~Jazz
8:30> Bianca Bernardi release party @ Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., TO West ~songwriter; $18/-
*8:30> Django Jam @ Dominion On Queen, 500 Queen St. E., TO ~Django Jazz
8:30> Kash & Yan @ Free Times Café, 320 College St., TO ~original Roots
*8:45> Tyler Yarema & His Rhythm @ Reservoir Lounge, 52 Wellington St. E., TO ~Jazz/Blues
*8:45> open mic with Matt Zadkovich @ Culchainn’s Irish Pub, 158 Queen St. S., Streetsville-Mississauga
**9> open mic with host Jody Ferrer & 10 p.m. feature by Andre Kalu (BLAXPUNX) @ Groove Bar, 1952 Danforth Ave., TO East
*9-1> karaoke with Randy Petrie @ King’s Belly, 429 Donlands Ave., TO East
*9> open mic with host Nikki Lemonbeat @ Kitch, 229 Geary Ave., TO West
9> Kyp Harness & The Chemical Valley Cowboys @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~original Folk with bite
9-12> David Gavin Baxter & Kara Lea Manovich @ Bar Radio, 615 College St., TO ~Country; pwyc
**9> Ababe Music presents Joe Nuttal; Marta Pacek; Celebration Army; Darcy Windover @ The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Ave., TO West ~indie showcase
*9> open mic with Manny D, Andy Earle & Dave Breckels @ Big Chris BBQ, 17380 Yonge St., Newmarket
9:30> Nicola Vaughan hosts jam @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave., TO
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*9:30> karaoke with The English Rose & The Mad Scotsman @ The Fossil & Haggis, 790 Military Trail, Scarborough
*9:30-2> karaoke with Krista Frank @ Legends, 774 Danforth Ave., TO East
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*9:30> jam with Derek Downham @ Axis, 3048 Dundas St. W., TO West ~eclectic
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*10-2> The Sattalites @ Orbit Room, 580 College St., TO ~orig. & cover Reggae/Funk
10> Nick Fraser Presents @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick St., TO
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*10-11> Nik Beat’s Howl radio show @ CIUT 89.5 FM, ~spoken word & music
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