Archive for Soul

Ken Whiteley’s Gospel Brunch

Sunday, November 17, 2019 | 2:00pm

Ken Whiteley Gospel Brunch
$25 Advance / $30 Door *

Doors: 12:30pm
Brunch: 1:00pm
Performance: 2:00pm

Once you have experienced a Gospel Brunch with Ken Whiteley, you will want to savour more. Whiteley, one of Canada’s most respected roots musicians and recording producers, always presents an open-ended range of musical styles and forms of spiritual expression at these Sunday afternoon Gospel sessions.

Artists TBA

* All-you-can-eat brunch ($20) not included in ticket price
* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Etta James Tribute

Thursday, October 24, 2019 | 8:30pm

Etta James Tribute
$40 Advance / $45 Door

PRESENTED BY
BluesIn’ Toronto

HOSTED BY
Danny Marks

FEATURING VOCALISTS
Crystal Shawanda
Cheryl Lescom
Quisha Wint
Miss Emily
Shahi Teruko

Few female R&B stars enjoyed the kind of consistent acclaim Etta James received throughout a career that spanned six decades; the celebrated producer Jerry Wexler once called her “the greatest of all modern blues singers,” and she recorded a number of enduring hits, including “At Last,” “Tell Mama,” “I’d Rather Go Blind,” and “All I Could Do Was Cry.” At the same time, despite possessing one of the most powerful voices in music, James only belatedly gained the attention of the mainstream audience, appearing rarely on the pop charts despite scoring 30 R&B hits, and she lived a rough-and-tumble life that could have inspired a dozen soap operas, battling drug addiction and bad relationships while outrunning a variety of health and legal problems.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

The Jitters

Saturday, September 28, 2019 | 8:30PM

The Jitters
Advance $25.00 / Door: $30.00 *

Always fun, funny, irreverent and rockin’, The Jitters return to Hugh’s Room Live after an 18-month absence. Snarky, sarcastic, the pop-rockers may not look like they did in their heyday but they deliver a great evening of laughs and catchy songs.

The Jitters (singer Blair Packham, guitarist Danny Levy and bassist Matthew Greenberg) originally formed in 1981. They recorded with super-producer Bob Ezrin, made an independent video in 1984 for the song “Take Me As I Am” and eventually got a record deal with Capitol-EMI Music of Canada. Along the way, they picked up David Quinton Steinberg on drums (who has been the driving force behind the band’s latter-day reunions). In 1986, The Jitters opened for Huey Lewis and the News at the Canadian National Exhibition, tied for third place in Q107’s Homegrown Contest with the song “Last of the Red Hot Fools.” They opened for The Kinks, The Byrds, Kim Mitchell, Rik Emmett, and in 1988, they played support for Heart on their UK tour, ending the tour with three sold-out nights at Wembley Arena. Nominated for a Juno Award that spring, the Jitters flogged their debut album across Canada, and then began writing for their second album with producer Jules Shear.

With a total of 5 Top 20 hits in Canada to their credit, the Jitters are enjoying playing together again, and looking forward to the release of the Universal Music best-of compilation which will include two new songs.

Youtube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sgWpUuaDRM

* Advertised pricing excludes pricing and fees

Matchedash Parish CD Release

Monday, September 23, 2019 | 8:00pm

Matchedash Parish CD Release
$25 Advance / $30 Door
Every ticket purchase includes a FREE copy of the debut self-titled album

Matt Weidinger and Lance Anderson have formed the Matchedash Parish with 12 of the country’s top blues and roots music artists. It is a powerhouse soul and gospel/roots show guaranteed to bring the house down.

Juno award-winning producer Lance Anderson (leader of Mariposa’s An Evening of Blues and Gospel and The Last Waltz – the hit closer of Mariposa Folk Festival 2017) has brought together another wonderful roster of BLUES ALL STARS, but this time to perform original songs and masterful arrangements some of the greatest soul and gospel tunes. Along with Kitchener phenom Matt Weidinger and and three background singers led by the amazing vocalist Quisha Wint, and featuring Michelle White and Jill Zahdeh. Matchedash Parish will create a tent revival atmosphere with this ‘congregation’ of talent.

Backed by a nine-piece band including two drummers: Memphis born Shamakah Ali (Al Green, The Barkays) and Ben Rollo (Lucky Peterson, Danny Michel), percussionist Art Avalos (Manteca), horns Gene Hardy, sax (Bourbon Tabernacle Choir), William Sperandei, trumpet (Harry Connick Jr., Colin James), Hammond organ, piano, mandolin (Weidinger), piano, accordion (Anderson), guitarist Mackenzie Jordan, (Jackets) and on bass Mark Mcintyre. The rhythm this group creates is a freight train that will pick you up and drop you down in the swamplands of the south.

Matt Weidnger: http://mattweidinger.com
Quisha Wint: http://www.quishawint.com
Lance Anderson: http://makeitrealrecords.com

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees

Monkey House

Monday, July 22, 2019 | 8:30pm

Monkey House
Advance $25.00 / Door: $30.00

Sophisticated musicianship, imaginative lyrics, and a flair for melody are signatures of the sound of Monkey House, a sound that has earned the group serious critical acclaim, peer respect, and a steadily expanding international following.

Those characteristics are again evident on Friday, set for release on ALMA Records July 26, 2019. It is the fifth full-length release from the L.A./Toronto combo that has just celebrated the notable milestone of 25 years of playing together. That rare longevity has resulted in an invaluable empathy in the musical interactions of the core members: singer/songwriter/keyboardist Don Breithaupt, drummer Mark Kelso, bassist Pat Kilbride, and guitarist Justin Abedin.

Monkey House founder Breithaupt explains: “Because I’ve been working with Justin, Pat and Mark for so long, I have such a good feel for what they do well. I can play to their strengths, I can take a polaroid of something in my studio and have a pretty good idea of how it’ll pan out when the band sinks its teeth into it.”

Also contributing prominently to Friday is the elite Toronto horn section of William Sperandei, Vern Dorge, John Johnson, William Carn and Tony Carlucci, as well as percussionist Art Avalos.

Adding to the comfort level in the studio for the recording of Friday was the return of the team of co-producer Peter Cardinali and engineer John ‘Beetle’ Bailey, reprising their roles from previous Monkey House records. Cardinali also plays bass on four tracks.

All but two of the tracks on Friday are solo Don Breithaupt compositions. He co-wrote  “Say It For The Last Time,” with Chris Smith (ex-Regatta) and Guido Luciani, while “Book Of Liars” is a cover of a song by Steely Dan’s Walter Becker. “As a lifelong Steely Dan fan, Walter’s death hit me hard,” says Don. “I thought it’d be a nice gesture to do one of his.”

Breithaupt is a prolific songwriter who collaborates regularly with such acclaimed songsmiths as Marc Jordan, Jay Graydon, and (his NYC-based brother) Jeff Breithaupt. He explains that the stress on solo compositions on Friday “had to do with getting songs that felt like they belonged together. When they are coming from multiple sources, it’s harder to make them all feel integrated.”

The generous 12-song collection certainly does sound cohesive, while possessing enough musical twists and turns to keep things interesting. Don terms Friday “an album that may be more rhythmically-based than any of the previous ones. For the last album [2016’s Left], I made a concerted effort to write each song at the piano. With this one, I was often looping rhythms and playing along with grooves, even on the first day of writing. When you have a rhythm going, it gives everything momentum.”

“A couple of songs here show more of an ’80s influence from bands like The Police and XTC. It still sounds like Monkey House, but it’s fun to stir in a couple of extra ingredients each time and see how they mix in. If you’re thinking of Friday on a compass, it has moved a few degrees towards R&B, soul and blues as opposed to some songs on earlier albums that were more poppy or Beatles-derived.”

As has become the norm on Monkey House records, Friday features some notable guests. Guitarist Drew Zingg (Boz Scaggs) and trumpeter Michael Leonhart (Steely Dan) have guested on previous albums and make tasteful contributions here, as does Snarky Puppy guitarist Mark Lettieri. Ground Up artist Lucy Woodward (Rod Stewart) adds background vocals throughout, while famed vocal quartet The Manhattan Transfer add their magic to the choruses of “The Jazz Life.”

Don explains, “I’m proud to say The Manhattan Transfer have been big fans of Monkey House for a while. Their presence is a major vote of confidence for me, as I’ve loved their stuff since the seventies. It’s hard to mistake the sound of those four incredible voices together.”

One song sure to provoke discussion is “10,000 Hours,” described by Don as “a winking spoof” of Malcolm Gladwell’s famed maxim. “You have to do the right stuff, not just put in the time,” he stresses. The tune features both funk and Latin feels, with Lettieri soloing in both styles.

Don notes, “I have a tradition of having at least one poppy, quirky, outlier track on an album. This time, it’s ‘(I Wanna Ride) Shotgun,’ which is designed to be fun and funky and stick in people’s heads.” It’s a tune as warm and breezy as a Malibu drive in a vintage convertible.

Equally catchy is “I’ll Drive, You Chill,” an engaging tale of a woman leaving her “pet-friendly pharmacy” life plan behind as she takes to the road in search of adventure with a total stranger. The song vividly showcases Breithaupt’s skill in creating intriguing characters and narratives.

As for the album’s title, Don explains, “As I was looking for a thread in the new material, I noticed the word Friday coming up in the lyrics. I thought, ‘This is our fifth album, and Friday is the fifth day of the week. That’s a nice tie-in.’ Plus, I was born on a Friday, and Friday is the ‘go out and enjoy’ night of the week.”

The ever-increasing audience for Monkey House music is gratifying for Breithaupt. “It means I have the luxury of putting the band at the top of my work pile, where it belongs,” he stresses. “I can put in the time and try to have every record outdo the last one.”

Monkey House has done exactly that with Friday, an album that rewards listening every day of the week.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees.

Brian Auger

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 | 8:30pm

Brian Auger
Advance: $30.00 / Doors: $35.00

The legendary Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express has returned. The famed B3 and keyboard player, has created a distinct voice that combines jazz, rock, soul and funk, that is clearly recognizable to his millions of fans. With over 20 albums to his name and lengthy stints on the RCA and Warner Bros. labels, Brian Auger has accumulated Grammy Nominations, 10 albums charting in Billboards Hot 100, a #1 single, and the title of “The Godfather of Acid Jazz”. Brian’s bands over the years have featured Rod Stewart, Long John Baldry, Julie Driscoll and even Jimi Hendrix. In addition, Brian has recorded with great luminaries as The Yardbirds, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Eric Burdon and Down To The Bone. The latest incarnation of the Oblivion Express is a family affair featuring Karma Auger on drums and Ali Auger on vocals, who live up to the Auger name and make the Oblivion Express smoke. Rave reviews and demands for return engagements follow this artist wherever he goes…

Don’t miss this one, folks. Tickets available right now until they’re gone.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.

Oakland Stroke: A Tribute to Tower of Power

Sunday, April 7, 2019 | 7:30PM

Oakland Stroke: A Tribute to Tower of Power
Advance $25.00 / Door $30.00 *

Experience the sound and soul of Tower Power along with their greatest horn hits of the 1970s as local supergroup, Oakland Stroke, takes the stage at Hugh’s Room Live April 7, 2019.

Based in Toronto, Canada, Oakland Stroke faithfully recreates the music of fabled Bay-Area soul band, Tower of Power. The ten-piece band is led by Lou Pomanti and Tony Carlucci. Expect to hear not only the biggest jams from Tower of Power, but other funky icons from that era, including Blood, Sweat and Tears, Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind and Fire.

Oakland Stroke is…

Lou Pomanti (organ)
Tony Carlucci (trumpet)
George St. Kitts/Jivaro Smith (vocals)
John Johnson tenor (sax)
Marc Rogers/Steve Lucas (bass)
John Findlay /Lou Bartolomucci (guitar)
Steve McDade/Chris Howells (trumpet)
John Panchyshyn (tenor sax, vocals)
Pol Coussee/Simon Wallis (baritone sax)
Steve Heathcote/Bryan Humphreys (drums)
Bernie Sandor (sound)

Jully Black

Saturday, March 23, 2019 | 8:30pm

Jully Black
Advance $45.00 / Door $50.00

Jully Black is a true Canadian Icon. Named as one of ‘The 25 Greatest Canadian Singers Ever’, (CBC Music) she has been dubbed ‘Canada’s Queen of R&B Soul’. As a platinum selling recording artist, her music career has yielded multiple singles reaching the Top 10 pop, R&B and dance music charts. She has taken home Juno and Gemini Awards, earned innumerable industry accolades and was hand selected to sing for the Queen of England.

With her powerhouse vocals, hilarious personality and love of people, Jully Black truly is every woman. Her passion for philanthropy has taken her from the shantytowns of Bangladesh to the villages of South Africa and all across Canada. As a woman of faith, she champions important causes and uses her career as a platform to celebrate and inspire the greatness that lies within each of us.

As a songwriter, Jully has written music that has touched the hearts of her fans and collaborated with industry heavyweights such as Sean Paul, Destiny’s Child, among many others. She has shared the stage with superstars such as The Black Eyed Peas, Kanye West, Celine Dion, Elton John and Etta James to name a few.

Jully is a major presence in the Canadian media and entertainment industry. As former host and correspondent for CTV’s etalk, Jully was chosen to interview global megastars such as Jay-Z, Oprah Winfrey, and former president Bill Clinton. She has also appeared in films, television and theatre.

With purpose driven ideals and boundless spiritual fortitude, she continues to refine and reinvent her artistry. A phenom in Canadian entertainment, lifestyle and public speaking arenas, she is co-founder and key note speaker for the renowned “Empowered In My Skin’ women’s empowerment summits, a Notable.ca award recipient, a vocal advocate for the LGBTQ+ communities and a WE Day ambassador.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.