I’ve known Rick Zolkower, AKA “Mr. Rick” for nearly the entire 25-plus years that I’ve been covering the TO and area live music scene, but when I first met him in Kensington Market he was better known for his photography skills than for playing tunes.
In those days, when people used actual cameras that required film to be developed and at least a rudimentary knowledge of how light works to set aperture settings and exposure times, he was much sought after by many of the Roots players I knew for his acumen at capturing wonderful portrait images of the players.
These days Mr. Rick, with a variety of combos such as Mr. Rick’s Tin Pan Alley Band, Mr. Rick’s Rukusjuice, Mr. Rick and the Biscuits, Mr. Rick’s Duo and as just plain ol’ Mr. Rick, is nearly ubiquitous on the Roots and Blues scenes, performing at least a couple of gigs every week it seems in a variety of clubs known for differing styles of music.
His niche is performing old-time acoustic Blues/Country tunes from the Tin Pan Alley era and thereabouts, which at the time they were written were simply the Pop music of the day before radio came along to transform what we thought of as popular music.
The style is often described as “Americana” but he also writes original material (for which the Biscuits band seems to be his name of choice) and in tagging his Cocktails & Cornbread album calls the style “skillet fried Roots” while for his Whole Grain disc he adds the phrase “with a greasy swing.” So should that stuff be called “Canadiana” maybe?
Between his original tunes and covers of the vintage material, over the years he’s become a fixture on the local Roots, Blues and Jazz scenes, as well as netting regular festival gigs.
An annual slot at the Winterfolk Blues & Roots Festival for many years plus ongoing appearances downtown in rooms like The Rex, Trinity Common (and for last week’s TD Toronto Jazz Festival) and frequent gigs in the west end at The Local, The Hole In The Wall and Gate 403 among others, plus in east-TO in rooms like Relish and Castro’s to name a couple, have made him familiar to a wide range of audiences.
He’s got two shows happening today as a matter of fact, doing a 3:30-6:30 appearance with his “Tin Pan Alley Band at The Rex on Queen a block west of University, then from 9-12 with his “Tin Pan Jazz Band” at The Local on Roncesvalles Avenue.
I’m not sure what the cover charge situation is at the Rex for the Sunday afternoon shows but suspect it won’t be much, while there’s no entry fee at The Local.
-Gary 17, TorontoMoon.ca
SHOW LISTINGS for Sunday, July 09, 2021
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ON AIR / ONLINE
*3-5am> The Rock-A-Round with Slim Tim @ www.rockabilly-radio.net ~ Rockabilly tracks (from UK, repeat of Fri show, also runs Wednesdays 6-8am)
5-8> “Across The Universe” with Ken Stowar on CIUT 89.5 FM
*6, 7, 10 & 11am; 5 & 7 pm> “Sunday Morning Soul” with Johnny Max @ www.sundaymorningsoul.com ~Blues
9am> “The Hoose Radio Show” Wee Dan Hoose @ http://www.bluesandrootsradio.com/ ~ artist interviews and tracks
416 – TORONTO CENTRAL
11am-2pm> Lorie Wolf for Jewish brunch buffet @ Free Times Café, 320 College St. ; $5 (music only)
*11am-2> The Mercenaries @ Drake One Fifty, 150 York St. ~retro Rock/Soul
noon-3> Excelsior Dixieland Jazz Band @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz
1> Toronto Improvisers Orchestra @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave. ~improvisational Jazz/Pop
3:30-6:30> Mr. Rick’s Tin Pan Alley @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~old-time Jazz/Blues; $
*4-7> Michael Brennan @ Graffiti’s, 170 Baldwin St. TO ~East Coast Rock/Blues Roots
*4:30-8> New Orleans Connection All Stars & guests @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave. ~New Orleans Jazz
4:30-7:30> Mark Sepic @ The Local Gest, 424 Parliament St. ~eclectic songwriter multi-instrumentalist /looping Jazz-Pop creations
5> “More Songs & Poems” with Robert Priest & Max Layton with guests The Kite Flyers (Peter Lafferty & Sarah Sorrow) & house band featuring Ed Roth & David Hines @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave. ~music & poetry
6-7:30> 4Skör @ 120 Diner, 120 Church St. ~Jazz; $10/pwyc
*6-9> open mic with Eddy Culjak @ Fox & Fiddle Wellesley, 27 Wellesley St.
*7-1> Freefall Sundays open stage (2 songs each -signup @ 7 or pre-sign online) @ The Supermarket, 268 Augusta St.
7> 3TiR @ Tranzac Club (Main Hall), 292 Brunswick Ave. ~Celtic trio
7> open mic @ Cherry Cola’s, 200 Bathurst St.
7> Jessica Stuart Few @ Barbara Hall Park, 519 Church St. ~original & cover Pop; $0
7> Bob Wegner @ C’est What, 69 Front St. E.
7-9:30> Hannah Barstow Trio @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $
*7-10> Brooke Blackburn @ Nawlins, 299 King St. W. TO ~Blues/Jazz/R&B
7:30> Diane Roblin, Glen Hall, Brandon Valdivia @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave. ~Jazz
7:30> Introtyl; Single Bullet Theory @ Hard Luck Bar, TO Central, 812 Dundas St. W. ~indie; $
8> The Out Of Towners @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W.
8-10> Joiya & Jake Feeney @ Scadding Court Community Centre, 707 Dundas St. W. ~songwriters; $0
9-12> Sound Track Of The City Festival wrap: The Treetops; 9 Lives and Counting @ The Hideout, 423 College St. ~eclectic indie; $/wristband
*8> jam/open mic with backline & host band Meg and the Scene @ The Antler Room, 146 Front St. W.
*8> open mic with Carlos @ The Cavern Bar, 76 Church St.
*8-12> The Honour Roll with REMY trio @ May Café, 876 Dundas St. W. ~freestyle Hip Hop; 0$
9> Root Down Trio @ Trinity Common, 303 Augusta Ave. ~Roots-Rock
8:30-10> Mimi Adams & Pete Johnston @ 120 Diner, 120 Church St. ~Jazz; $10/pwyc
9:30> Dan Faulk @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W. ~Jazz; $
*10> Horshack feat. Chris Caddell @ Orbit Room, 580 College St. ~Bluesy contemporary & classic Rock
10> The Lina Allemano Four @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave. ~Jazz
10> Vitus Wight @ Amsterdam Bicycle Club, 54 The Esplanade
10> Conor Gains Band @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W. ~original Blues
10-2> Meghan Parnell Duo @ The Hideout, 423 College St.
**10> Blues jam with Bill Hedefine & guests @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave.
416 – TORONTO EAST
11am-2pm> Lisa Kruchak & Micheil Grey for Jazz brunch @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave. ~Jazz; 0$
Noon-8pm> various acts including Bracket of Nigeria, X Maleya from Cameroon, Mi Casa of South Africa, Gabacho Maroc from Morocco, Dicko Fils from Burkina Faso, and Ammoye of Jamaica for Afrofest Festival @ Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen St. E.
2-4> Music In the Park with AHI @ Kew Gardens, 2075 Queen St. E.
*3-6> open mic with Nicola Vaughan @ Hirut, 2050 Danforth Ave.
4> Fraser & Daley @ Castro’s Lounge, 2116 Queen St. E. ~~original Rootsy Blues
*4:30-8:30> Rock/Blues jam with William A. Miller’s Black Bear All-Stars @ Black Bear Pub, 1125 O’Connor Drive
5-7> Cadre @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave. ~Roots-Rock; 0$
7-11> John Findlay Band @ Linsmore Tavern, 1298 Danforth Ave ~R&B/Blues; 0$
8> Soul Stew @ Dora Keogh, 141 Danforth Ave. ~Funk/R&B/Soul
*9-1> jam with the Stir It Up Band featuring David Macmichael @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave.
4-8> Country/Roots-Rock jam with Nighthawk @ Lakeshore Moose Lodge, 3753 Lake Shore Blvd. W.
5-9> Lost Patients @ Timothy’s Pub, 344 Brown’s Line ~Pop Rock
8> Adelitas Way; Manafest; The Black Moods; Anchored @ The Rockpile, 5555 Dundas St. W. ~indie; $
*10-2> jam with Rebecca Matiesen & Phoenix @ Southside Johnny’s, 3653 Lake Shore Blvd. W.
416 – TORONTO SCARBOROUGH
*7-11> open jam with host Gtar Live @ McGradie’s, 2167 Victoria Park Ave.
416 – TORONTO WEST
**11-2> live Jazz brunch @ DeSoto’s, 1079 St. Clair Ave. W.
11-1:30> Jorge Maza & Pancho Galván @ Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W. ~Latin Jazz brunch
*noon-3> Julian Fauth & Ken Yoshioka @ Axis, 3048 Dundas St. W. ~Blues
* noon-3> The Cosmotones @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave. ~Bluegrass
**5-8> John Borra & Sam Ferrara w. guest @ The Communist’s Daughter, 1149 Dundas St. W. ~Country
5-8> Adam Shier & Ivan Rosenberg @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave. ~old-time Country Roots
5-8> Fifth Element @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave. ~Jazz
6> Monk’s Music @ The Emmet Ray, 924 College St. ~vibraphone Jazz; pwyc
7> “Call It Home” with Danez Smith; Aziza Barnes; Safia Elhillio; Nabila Lovelace @ Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. W. ~spoken word; $10
8:30> Nicholas Michaux; Lydia Persaud; Turner Cody @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W.
8:30> Dikembe; Somersaulter; Sedge; Sweet & Lowdown; more @ Smiling Buddha Stage 1, 961 College St. ~indie
8:30> Stefan Hegerat Quartet @ The Emmet Ray, 924 College St. ~Jazz; pwyc
9-12:30> The Ole Fashion @ Opera Bob’s, 1112 Dundas St. W. ~oldtime Country
9-1> Boogaloo Banzai @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave.
9> Mr. Rick’s Tin Pan Jazz Band @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave. ~old-time
9:30> Descemer Bueno @ Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W. ~Cuban songwriter: original Latin Jazz/Pop/Hip Hop; $
*10> The Mercenaries @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave. ~retro Rock/Soul; $10
10:30> Luke Vajsar @ Motel Bar, 1235 Queen St. W. ~Jazz
Noon-8:30> Kultrun World Music Festival with Luyos MC; Welcome Soleil; EKhaya; Ventantas; Vivalda; Gustavito; Tanghetto @ Victoria Park, 32 Dill St., Kitchener ~eclectic World musics
*3-7> acoustic open mic with Scott Rhodes @ The Pick and Shovel, 30 Water St., Cambridge
4> jam with host John Dickie @ The Boathouse, 97 Jubilee Drive, Kitchener
9> Anna Wiebe; Jane Blanchard; Bashu @ The Cornerstone, 1 Wyndham St. N., Guelph ~songwriters; $10/pwyc
9> Traditional English Music Folk Sessions @ The Brownestone Gastropub, 39 Queen St. E., Cambridge
*9-1> jam @ Ivy Arms Pub, 201 Main Street E., Milton
9:30> Romeo Sex Fighter @ Duke of Wellington, 33 Erb St. W. Waterloo
*10-2> open mic with Nathan Coles @ Jimmy Jazz, 52 Macdonnell St., Guelph
10am-11pm> 7> Mariposa Folk Festival with several stages including performances from various artists (online schedule “app” is completely unusable on desktop computer) @ Tudhope Park, 500 Atherley Rd., Orillia ~eclectic Roots; $?
1-4> Johnny Too Nice @ Huron Club, 94 Pine St., Collingwood
2-5> The Rick & Gailie Band @ Riverside Grill (Holiday Inn), 150 George St., Peterborough ~Pop/Top 40 covers
3> Christine Atrill Band @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough
*3-6> Chris Stapley & Earl Johnson @ Ridges Pub, 776 Liverpool Rd., Pickering ~acoustic Blues/Rock
*3:30-7:30> Jon McCann & JD Bass host jam @ West Shore, 893 Bayly Ave., Pickering
4> Colin and Bruce @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa
6-10> open jam with Juggernaut @ The Edge Lounge, 250 Bayly St. W., Ajax
*8> Gibran & Matt “Smokey” Wildfong @ Harwood Blues, 7 Harwood Ave., Ajax ~Blues
*10> Another Round @ Tartan Tavern, 555 Rossland Rd. E., Oshawa ~Pop Rock
**1-3> Joe & Frank with guest performer @ Lake Simcoe Arms, 21089 Dalton Rd., Jackson’s Point ~Jazz
*1:30-4:30> Blaine Burnie, Mark Thackway & friends @ Coach House Pub, 3 Felcher Boulevard, Stouffville ~acoustic Roots
*3-7> open stage with Kevin Ker @ The Earl Of Whitchurch, 6204 Main St., Stouffville
*3-7> Daniel Davies Band hosts jam @ C.J. Barley’s, 213 The Queensway S., Keswick
*5> open mic with Crosstown Band @ Time Out, 68 Main St., Georgetown
5> The Tradition @ Copper Kettle, 517 Main St., Georgetown ~Roots/Country/old-time
*5:30-9:30> open jam with host band Faces For Radio & guest @ Crown and Anchor Pub, 389 Main St. N., Brampton
*6-9:30> The Andy Earle Trio @ Big Daddy’s Newmarket, 446 Davis Drive, Newmarket ~Blues
*7-10> Lynn McDonald @ Jester’s Court, 279 Queen St., Port Perry ~Pop/Jazz
7:30> Eric Huang “Candlelit Church” sessions @ St. Alban’s, 537 Main St., Glen Williams-Georgetown ~Roots
*8> acoustic open mic with Kat Vhonda @ Wild Wing Newmarket, 340 Eagle Street, Newmarket
2-6> Bay City Blues Band & guest Michael Schatte @ Bay City Music Hall, 50 Leander Drive, Hamilton ~Blues; $7
*3> Brother Tom Finochio hosts kitchen party jam @ Rebel’s Rock, 537 King St. E., Hamilton
*4> open mic with Neon Moon @ Moose Lodge, 1860 Barton St., Hamilton
4:30-7:30> Roberts & Shea @ Cat ‘N’ Fiddle, 174 John St. S., Hamilton
*7> open mic @ The Wee Dram, 1831 Main St. W., Hamilton
8-11> Torero; The Hypochondriacs; The Handsome Devils @ Casbah Lounge, 306 King St. W., Hamilton ~Rockabilly/Country/Roots-Rock; $
9-12> Adam Ostrosser & guest @ Cat ‘N’ Fiddle, 174 John St. S., Hamilton
*10> open mic with Kim Koren @ West End Pub, 151 Emerson St., Hamilton
10> Chris Chambers @ Augusta House, Hamilton, 17 Augusta St.
2> Harte & Mazur featuring Elana Harte @ American House, 324 Dundas St. E., Waterdown ~songwriters; $0
2-6> Laura Mattsson @ Carrigan Arms, 2025 Upper Middle Rd., Burlington ~Country
?*2> open mic with John & Sheila Ludgate @ The Queen’s Head, 400 Brant St., Burlington
*3-6> Chris Partland @ Cuchulainn’s Irish Pub, 158 Queen St. S., Streetsville-Mississauga ~Pop Rock
3:30> James Anthony @ Abbey Arms, 481 North Service Rd., Oakville ~Blues
4-7> Glenn Groves @ The Purple Heather, 3600 Dundas St. W., Burlington ~Country
*4:30-8> Chuck Jackson’s All Stars @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Blues
**5:30-8:30> The Stew @ Mulligan’s, 2458 Dundas St. W., Mississauga ~R&B/Rock
6:30-10:30> Latintrain @ Port Credit Memorial Park, 20 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit-Mississauga ~eclectic Latin; 0$
**7-11> The Nomads with guest @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Pop Rock
*8> open mic night with house band featuring Mike Shotton, Tim & Dave Johns @ Black Swan Burlington, 4040 Palladium Way, Burlington
9-1> Derek Lathrop Duo @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Rock/Top 40 covers
*10:30> Adam Cooke & The Adams Family @ The Dickens, 423 Elizabeth St., Burlington
Listings are organized by area in which the shows occur and within each area field shows are listed chronologically.
Listings preceded by an asterisk (*) are repeating weekly events. (Double asterisk indicates repeating event with different hosts/guest/etc.). Events preceded by question mark (?) usually take place but have not been confirmed. 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.
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