Ginger spices up rooms across Ontario with her multi-genre talents
Is there a venue anywhere in the GTA —or Ontario, for that matter— regardless of what genre of music it normally gravitates towards, where dynamo singer and songwriter Ginger St. James wouldn’t be able to convincingly dominate the room from its stage?From what I’ve seen in person and heard second-hand of this award-winning, versatile diva’s recent shows, I rather doubt it.
When I first met her, at Grossman’s Tavern, she was sitting in singing with a Blues-Country band in which her TO mentor Terry Wilkins was playing bass. That was just over five years ago now in June 2009, when she’d just begun making the move from her native Hamilton, where she’d already pretty much hit the top doing burlesque-tinged risqué cabaret Blues/Jazz performances and taking her hometown by storm, winning Entertainer Of The Year and other honours at the Steel City’s music awards.
I’ve seen her subsequently with other Blues outfits, such as Jerome Godboo and Jack de Keyzer, showing her Roots skills doing originals on an acoustic guitar and, of course, singing Rockabilly/Country with a rip-roaring, sassy style somewhat reminiscent of Lori Yates but with more oomph and sexuality –which is saying something!
Remarkably, she’s continued to keep a toe in each of several genres, including Jazz, and has been a whirlwind of performing energy doing various styles of gigs all across Ontario during the past couple of years, including, as I told you last April, recording a live album at Oakville’s eclectic Moonshine Café and appearing at Winterfolk this year.
She can be smooth, sultry and classy as a movie star at one show, then get down raunchy, slimy, roll-in-the-mud like a trailer park girl the next. And from what I’ve been reading, sometimes she’ll do both at the same show!
Tonight she’s featured in a room that suits her diverse personas and talents well: informal, hip and musically savvy Dakota Tavern on Ossington Ave. at Dundas St. West, where she’ll appear with her own Rockabilly band starting at 9 p.m. Don’t expect your average Country Rock performance however; when Ginger takes to the stage all bets are off —along with who knows what else?!
-Gary 17, www.torontomoon.ca
LISTINGS for Wednesday, August 06, 2021:
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> The Mediterranean Stars @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E.. TO East ~Jazz
5-8> Robert Chapman Jazz Band @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Blues
6> Emma Lee @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO
6:30> Ernesto Cervini Group @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz
*7-11> open jam with Wayne Buttery Band @ The Beacon, 146 45th St., Wasaga Beach
7> Edward & The white house @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough
*8-12> Girls Night Out Jazz singers jam with Lisa Particelli, Peter Hill et al @ Chalkers, 247 Marlee Ave., TO North-West
*8-1> open jam with Wednesday’s Child feat. Johnny Bootz Hutt @ Lola, 40 Kensington Ave., TO
8> Melissa Lauren Quartet @ Monarchs Pub (Eaton Chelsea Hotel), 33 Gerrard St. W., TO ~Jazz
8> acoustic jam with 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
8-1> Steve Poltz @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville ~California songwriter of The Rugburns; $20
*8-11> open mic @ Frank’s Pasta, 426 King St. E., Cobourg
8:30> Julia Tymes @ Free Times Cafe, 320 College St., TO ~songwriter; $6
8:30> JAZZ.FM91 World Music Festival 2014 – Turkey Minor Empire @ Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., TO West ~world Jazz; $35
*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
9-12> Blues Night with Julian Fauth & guests @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~original Juno-winning Blues
*9> jam with David Grunsky & friends @ Melange, 172 Main St., TO East ~Rock/Blues
*9> The Phil & John Show feat. Phil Naro @ Molly Bloom’s Waterloo, 170 University Ave., Waterloo ~acoustic Pop Rock
9> Whitebrow @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Folk
9-12> Kaia Kater @ Bar Radio, 615 College St., TO ~songwriter; pwyc
9> Lady Luck @ The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Ave., TO West
*9> open mic with Sean Barker @ Monarch Tavern, 12 Clinton St., TO
9> Ginger St. James @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., TO West ~Cabaret Rockabilly/Blues
*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> Frank Z @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa ~Blues
*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> Saxy Sady & The It’s Not Just Jazz Cats @ Apollonia, 1504 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Jazz/Pop
9:30> Mike Milligan Trio @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz
*9:30-2> jam with Live Animals @ The Unicorn, 175 Eglinton Ave. E., TO North
9:30> The Carson Freeman Diversion @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Pop Rock
10> Tim Bradford @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO
10> Peter O’Neill @ 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> The Blue Moon Marquee @ The Red Garnet, 231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough ~
10:30> The Undercovers @ The Hideout, 484 Queen St. W., TO ~indie Rock
*10:30> The LMT Connection & special guest Paige Armstrong @ Orbit Room, 580 College St. TO ~Funk/R&B; $10
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