Archive for Toronto Music

One For The Foxes

Sunday, April 19, 2020 | 8:30PM

One For The Foxes
Advance $20 / Door $25 *

Dave Curley, Tadhg Ó Meachair & Joanna Hyde form an exciting and dynamic transatlantic trio that presents a rousing blend of Irish and American folk music, having already won over audiences on both sides of the ocean. The group is made up of Dublin’s Tadhg Ó Meachair (Goitse), Galway’s Dave Curley (SLIDE) and Denver, Colorado’s Joanna Hyde (The Hydes), and features a mix of Irish and American folk music and song – both traditional and newly- composed – presented in an energetic and engaging manner. Their performances strike a tasteful balance between the stories found in ballads across both sides of the Atlantic and the respective instrumental music traditions of these places. Award-winning instrumentalists each in their own right, Dave, Tadhg & Joanna take a unique twist on the diverse strengths of their individual backgrounds, weaving between traditional melodies, their own compositions, and songs from the broader folk canon. The results are highly personalised and thrilling in their daring and forthright grasp of the material. Through a shared deep-rooted passion for Irish traditional music, this trio highlights the vital role of Irish traditional music as an origin of many American folk musics, and explores how those styles can interact with one another in a manner both eclectic and grounded.

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Marcia Ball with Tommy Castro & The Painkillers

Wednesday, April 8, 2020 | 8:30PM

Marcia Ball with Tommy Castro & The Painkillers
Advance $65 / Door $70 *

Tommy Castro and the Painkillers
Whether he’s squeezing out the deepest blues or playing the funkiest soul grooves, legendary blues and soul giant Tommy Castro knows how to ignite a crowd. Over the course of his still-unfolding career, the guitarist, vocalist and songwriter has released 15 albums ranging from horn-fueled soul and R&B to piping hot blues to fiery rock ‘n’ roll. He’s performed all over the world, earning countless fans with his legendary, sweat-drenched, exhilarating live shows. Castro’s band, The Painkillers—bassist Randy McDonald, drummer Bowen Brown and keyboardist Michael Emerson—have now been playing together over four years. After hundreds of live shows, they have coalesced into one of the telepathically tightest units Castro has ever assembled, making them one of the most in-demand live roots music acts performing today. Billboard says the band plays “irresistible contemporary blues-rock” with “street-level grit and soul.”

website: www.tommycastro.com/

Marcia Ball
Marcia Ball, the 2018 Texas State Musician Of The Year, has won worldwide fame and countless fans for her ability to ignite a full-scale roadhouse rhythm and blues party every time she takes the stage. Her rollicking Texas boogies, swampy New Orleans ballads and groove-laden Gulf Coast blues have made her a one-of-a-kind favorite with music lovers all over the world.

With Shine Bright, Ball set out to, in her words, “Make the best Marcia Ball record I could make.” In doing so, she has put together the most musically substantial, hopeful and uplifting set of songs of her five-decade career. Produced by Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) and recorded in Texas and Louisiana, Shine Bright contains twelve songs (including nine originals), ranging from the title track’s rousing appeal for public and private acts of courage to the upbeat call to action of Pots And Pans, a song inspired by renowned Texas political writer and humorist Molly Ivins. From the humorous advice of Life Of The Party to the poignantly optimistic World Full Of Love, the intensity of Ball’s conviction never wavers while, simultaneously, the fun never stops. Shine Bright is exactly the album Ball set out to make.

website: www.marciaball.com

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An Evening for Jack with Paul Reddick 

Thursday, March 26, 2020 | 8:30PM

An Evening for Jack with Paul Reddick 
Advance $25 / Door $30 *

Doors: 6:00PM
Performance: 8:30PM

On November 19, 2018, my husband, Jack, died of cancer. He has been most of my life for the past nine years and during the last four months of his battle, he was my entire life.

I want part of my recovery to involve real action. Part of that action will come through awareness campaigns to draw attention to legislative failures on the topic of medically-assisted suicide, and another will be through fundraising for cancer. It is on this second actionable course that I am presenting a performance by Canadiana blues legend, Paul Reddick.

I have already raised nearly $7000 towards the Rexall OneWalk to Conquer Cancer, well on my way to the $10,000 target I set for myself. If you’ve contributed, thank you. If you’d like to contribute or join the team, please join us at Hugh’s Room Live for a night to remember.

Jack would have been absolutely thrilled. He was a huge fan of Paul’s and indeed it was Paul’s album, Ride the One, that we played as Jack died. 

For this charitable performance, I invite everyone to spend an evening with me to honour Jack’s memory and contribute to a good cause. The evening will include both a performance Paul Reddick and a talk presented by Dr. Andrea Bezjak, a professor in the Departments of Radiation Oncology and Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto.

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Coco Montoya and Ronnie Baker Brooks 

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Coco Montoya and Ronnie Baker Brooks 
Advance $40 / Door $45 *

Doors: 6:00PM
Performance: 8:30PM

Coco Montoya
Henry “Coco” Montoya was born in Santa Monica, California, on October 2, 1951, and raised in a working class family. Growing up, Coco immersed himself in his parents’ record collection. He listened to big band jazz, salsa, doo-wop and rock ‘n’ roll. His first love was drums; he acquired a kit at age 11. He got a guitar two years later. “I’m sure the Beatles had something to do with this,” Montoya recalls. “I wanted to make notes as well as beats.” But guitar was his secondary instrument. Montoya turned his love of drumming into his profession, playing in a number of area rock bands while still in his teens and eventually becoming an in-demand drummer.

Today, with his latest solo album, Coming In Hot, Coco Montoya again turns the burners to high and cooks from start to finish. Still an indefatigable road warrior, Montoya continues to tour virtually nonstop, bringing audiences to their feet from New York to New Orleans to Chicago to San Francisco. Across the globe, he’s performed in countries including Australia, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, England, Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Mexico, Ecuador, Italy, Poland, Russia, the Czech Republic and Canada. According to Living Blues, “Montoya is a show-stopper…heartfelt singing and merciless guitar with a wicked icy burn…he swings like a jazz man and stings like the Iceman, Albert Collins. He is one of the truly gifted blues artists of his generation.”

Ronnie Baker Brooks
On the first day recording Times Have Changed – the eleven-track album from Chicago bluesman Ronnie Baker Brooks that brings a sound so big it could topple a Louisiana juke joint – industry-revered album producer and drummer Steve Jordan told Brooks to put his pedalboard back in the van. For the first time in his professional life, Brooks, the son of Texas and Chicago blues legend Lonnie “Guitar Jr.” Brooks, would plug a Gibson into TKTK amp and rip it straight from there.

“Back to the basics. The pedals get in the way of your tone – your natural tone. Any distortion I had came straight out of the amp.” Brooks remembers from the Times sessions. “It was almost like going to college, or grad school. It was definitely an education.”

“My whole intention, when I started with Golddigger and up through this one, was to be authentic enough for the older generation but have something that the younger generation could latch onto,” says Brooks. “I try to be that bridge. With Take Me Witcha, I’ve got a rapper on that. On The Torch we went with Al Kapone. He’s a bridge. He’s a bridge from blues to hip-hop. With music, it all comes from the heart. It comes from the heart and from the soul. In blues, it doesn’t matter what you’re talking about, it definitely relates.

“That was my intention on this record: to build that bridge.”

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A Man Called Wrycraft Presents a Tribute to Bruce Cockburn

Friday, March 20, 2020 | 8:30PM

A Man Called Wrycraft Presents a Tribute to Bruce Cockburn
Artists TBA
Advance $25 / Door $30 *

Few recording artists are as creative and prolific as Bruce Cockburn. Since his self-titled debut in 1970, the Canadian singer-songwriter has issued a steady stream of acclaimed albums every couple of years. But that output suddenly ran dry in 2011 following the release of Small Source of Comfort. There were good reasons for the drought. For one thing, Cockburn became a father again with the birth of his daughter Iona. Then there was the publication of his 2014 memoir Rumours of Glory.

“I didn’t write any songs until after the book was published because all my creative energy had gone into three years of writing it,” Cockburn explains, from his home in San Francisco. “There was simply nothing left to write songs with. As soon as the book was put to bed, I started asking myself whether I was ever going to be a songwriter again.”

Such doubt was new to the man who’s rarely been at a loss for words as he’s distilled political views, spiritual revelations and personal experiences into some of popular music’s most compelling songs. What spurred Cockburn back into songwriting was an invitation to contribute a song to a documentary film about the late, seminal Canadian poet Al Purdy and he was off to the races.

Bone On Bone, Cockburn’s 33rd album, arrives with 11 new songs, including “3 Al Purdys,” a brilliant, six-minute epic that pays tribute to Purdy’s poetry. Cockburn explains its genesis: “I went out and got Purdy’s collected works, which is an incredible book. Then I had this vision of a homeless guy who is obsessed with Purdy’s poetry, and he’s ranting it on the street. The song is written in the voice of that character. The chorus goes, ‘I’ll give you three Al Purdys for a twenty dollar bill.’ Here’s this grey-haired dude, coat tails flapping in the wind, being mistaken for the sort of addled ranters you run into on the street—except he’s not really ranting, he’s reciting Al Purdy. The spoken word parts of the track are excerpts from Purdy’s poems. After that, once the ice was broken, the songs just started coming.”

Cockburn, who won the inaugural People’s Voice Award at the Folk Alliance International conference in February 2019 and will be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in September, continues to find inspiration in the world around him and channel those ideas into songs. “My job is to try and trap the spirits of things in the scratches of pen on paper and the pulling of notes out of metal,” he once noted. More than forty years after embarking on his singer-songwriting career, Cockburn keeps kicking at the darkness so that it might bleed daylight.

Michael Wrycraft is a Juno-Award Winning graphic designer / art director / photographer who specializes in music. Join us for a night sharing songs and stories behind the irreplaceable Bruce Cockburn.

 

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BluesIn’ Toronto Presents a Tribute to Muddy + The Wolf

Thursday, March 19, 2020 | 8:30PM

BluesIn’ Toronto Presents a Tribute to Muddy + The Wolf
Featuring Eric Schenkman (of the Spin Doctors), Dan McKinnon, Chris Antonik, Dylan Wickens and Danny Marks (Host)
Advance $40 / Door $45 *

Doors: 6:00PM
Performance: 8:30PM

MUDDY WATERS wasn’t just a blues legend; he is an American icon. His time in history was before synthesizers and digital compositions, when music was raw. His music was the place a black sharecropper from the Mississippi could empty all of his pain, talent and intellect and make sure the world remembered his name.

HOWLIN’ WOLF was larger life in every respect. As an entertainer, as an individual, and as a bluesman, he was outsized, unpredictable, and always his own man. He was a great blues singer who possessed that quality of egocentric self-absorption that is the mark of the true showman. To many people this may seem contradictory, but Wolf proved that to its natural audience blues is not all pain and suffering, but is instead a kind of release.

Host and fan favourite guitarist DANNY MARKS, Maple Blues winner of Blues With a Feeling Award for Lifetime Achievement, was an iconic rocker from the 60s as a founding member of Edward Bear and an esteemed session musician throughout the 70s. He developed a cult following in the 80s known for music and  humor with a house band gig at Toronto’s famed Albert’s Hall. He hosted national TV show, Stormy Monday, was a star of CBC Radio’s hit series the Hum Line and released 2 original music CDs: Guitarchaeology and True, before paying tribute to Toronto’s R&B roots with Big Town Boy in 2005. In 2012 he returned to his roots with the award winning CD “A Friend In the Blues” and a starring turn as host of HiFi ’s celebrated TV series “Cities In Blue”. Well known as host of JAZZ FM’s Saturday night radio show, bluz.fm, Danny continues to perform in to delighted fans of the blues, roots and rock ‘n’ roll.

You may have seen ERIC SCHENKMAN, onstage before thousands of fans worldwide with the Spin Doctors. He is one of the band’s not-so-secret weapons — a vital songwriter and virtuoso guitarist who crafted the ‘90s band and co-wrote all five of their Top 100 hits. He also worked with Chico Hamilton, Carly Simon, Natalie Merchant, Noel Redding, Phoebe Snow and Corky Laing, among many other notable musicians.

Singer, guitarist, songwriter, bandleader and creator of Stone Free Tribute to Jimi Hendrix.  Canadian recording artist, DYLAN WICKENS, twenty years in to a career continues to reinvent and challenge himself.  Whether touring and recording with Dylan Wickens Band, his Hendrix tribute or the latest project, guitar and drums duo, Northern Social, he’s all in ; all the time. Wickens has performed with and/or opened shows for artists including Downchild Blues Band, Pat Travers, Sonny Landreth, Kevin Breit, David Wilcox, Serena Ryder, Shakura S’Aida, and the late Jeff Healey.  Having twice won the Toronto Blues Society New Talent Search, a nominee at The Maple Blues Awards, and with Nationally charted songs to his credit, he continues to create and blur the edges of the traditional blues sound ; never content to rely on tradition.

Toronto-based CHRIS ANTONIK was nominated for Best New Artist in 2011 at Canada’s Maple Blues Awards after the release of his debut album, and has since become one of Canada’s fastest-rising blues artists. Blending innovative, thoughtful songwriting with stunning blues guitar work, some music critics have drawn comparisons to Eric Clapton. In its 2010 year-end review, Chris was named the “future of the blues” by Canada’s Blues Underground Network. In 2013, Chris’ sophomore album Better for You was hailed by critics as “a masterpiece,” “the best Canadian blues-rock album of 2013,” and “the sound of someone taking the blues to a new place”. The album spent three weeks at #1 on DAWG FM (Canada’s only all blues FM station), attained significant airplay across Canada, the US and Europe, including on Sirius XM Bluesville, and was nominated for Best Blues Album by the German Record Critics’ Association. Oregon’s Cascade Blues Association called it “one of the finest releases from the Great White North in many a year.”

Toronto-based blues/rock guitarist DAN McKINNON has been working hard to establish himself as a Canadian Blues artist on the rise. Following the success of his debut full-length album As Sharp As Possible (2013 Canadian Blues Debut of the Year from the Blues Underground Network) and a year where he won the 2017 Toronto Blues Society’s Talent Search and the Amy Louie Grossman’s Music Scholarship, he is back with a brand new album The Cleaner, a ten-song collection of raucous, hard-hitting blues/rock that has pays homage to the music’s greats, all while keeping an eye on where blues can go in the years to come. Esteemed music blog Blues Rock Review once wrote, “With one great lick, a genre can don a new face, a new energy and excitement. Enter Toronto native Dan McKinnon…from the slow and soulful to the edgy solos that really bite, the road ahead knows no limits.”

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Tom Allen

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 | 8:30PM

Tom Allen
$30 Advance / $35 Door

“Beautifully punctuated… brought the songs to vivid life.” – Now Magazine

What happens when a poet, an author, a composer, his lover, and a book-loving stripper all move into the same house in quiet, wartime Brooklyn? Arguments, indulgence, infestation, questionable relationships of every description, a murder mystery, plenty of reasons for the neighbours to bang on the walls and, just possibly, some truly wonderful art. Join singers Patricia O’Callaghan and Bryce Kulak, harpist Lori Gemmell and storyteller Tom Allen for an evening in the house that once held WH Auden, Benjamin Britten, Carson McCullers and Gypsy Rose Lee – a potent mix of cabaret, social history, very juicy gossip, glorious music and all parts fun.

Tom Allen – narration & trombone
Lori Gemmell – harp
Bryce Kulak – piano & voice
Patricia O’Callaghan – voice

website: https://www.tomtomallen.com/welcome.html
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G00FSNNM2jM

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Alfie Zappacosta

Saturday, February 15, 2020 | 8:30pm

Alfie Zappacosta
Advance $50.00 / Door $55.00

Alfie Zappacosta is undeniably one of Canada’s premier songwriters and performers with chart topping hits and a recording and acting career that has spanned 40 years. He continues to evolve as an artist by “doing it his way”, an effort that has been rewarded with an impressive song catalogue and a discerning loyal fan base.

Alfie Zappacosta decided on a music career in his teens and set his sights upon being a guitarist. When his vocal dexterity and song writing proficiency were uncovered by a publisher while writing for his first original band “Surrender”, events would be put in motion to champion Zappacosta (dropping his first name) as a solo artist and bring him to the world’s attention. “Start Again”, “Passion”, “When I Fall in Love Again” and “Nothing Can Stand In Your Way” became staples on Canadian adult contemporary radio and Zappacosta became a personified Rock Star.

In 1987, Walt Disney’s Danger Bay would bring Zappacosta an episode written specifically for him titled “Rock Star”. In the same year, he penned and sang “Overload” exclusively for the multi-platinum soundtrack “Dirty Dancing” and Loverboy would record Zappacosta’s “That’s Where The Money Goes” for their Wildside album. In 1988, he was awarded JUNOs for “Album of The Year’ and “Most Promising Artist”, an American Music Award for “Most Popular Album of The Year” and named the Canadian Publishers Music Association’s “Best Rock Star”.

Zappacosta’s distinctive baritone voice did not go unnoticed by artistic directors and in 1990, he was called to deliver his greatest challenge of his career – singing Andrew Lloyd Webber. Alfie’s portrayals of Christ in Jesus Christ Superstar and Che Guevara in Evita would bring a new audience and support his efforts to delineate his pop/rock image – a moniker that never reflected his authentic personality. The release of “Innocence Ballet” in 1996 would introduce Alfie Zappacosta (taking back his first name) and give center stage to his true rich vocals, his mastery at romance, his astute take on relationships and his advanced knowledge of music. Alfie is rewarded for his efforts with numerous award nominations in the Smooth Jazz genre and a performance with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra in 2005.

Zappacosta has polished his live concert performances exposing his sophisticated, intimate and intense personality. His performances deliver a blend of acoustic, jazz and pop music prompting the listener to engage soulfully.

And the hits that originally brought Zappacosta to the world’s attention? – Alfie hasn’t turned his back on any of these songs. You will hear them in his program performed the way they were originally written and meant to be heard.

website: https://zappacosta.ca/
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWL-xpYRATM

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Craig Cardiff

Friday, February 14, 2020 | 8:30pm

Craig Cardiff
$20 Advance / $25 Door *

Craig Cardiff is a Canadian singer-songwriter. Known throughout Canada, Craig is developing a following throughout North America and into Europe. With guitar in hand, Craig can turn any setting into an intimate affair. Infusing his music and lyrics with an uncompromising humanism rarely seen in today’s production-heavy climate.

Songwriter, troubadour, Craig Cardiff builds landscapes of sound using live digital loops, bringing the room to a hush. Edged, folk, beautiful, melancholy and left leaning, one song breaks your heart, and the next one puts it back together.

Craig makes it a point to keep the relationship with his fans personal, inviting and accepting any opportunity to make his audience as much a part of the performance as he is. Don’t be surprised if one day you find yourself enjoying one of Craig’s renowned performances from the comfort of your own living room.

website: http://www.craigcardiff.ca/
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5yl6tXdJIE&feature=youtu.be

 

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Red Zeppelin

Thursday, February 13, 2019 | 8:30PM
 
Red Zeppelin Toronto at Hugh’s Room Live
Advance $25 / Door $30
 
“You need coolin’, and baby… we’re not foolin!”
 
Red Zeppelin are BACK to rock the house at Hugh’s Room Live, humans. The day before that of Saint Valentine is indeed the Celebration Day for those who want to show All Of Their Love in the most Rock n’ Roll way possible.
 
Join Red Zeppelin for a night of some of the band’s most treasured love songs, along of course with all their well known classics and obscure favourites. Whether you’re a lifelong fan or need to experience it live for the first time, this is your show.
 
For years, Red Zeppelin have swung the hammer of the gods, wowing crowds across Canada with their passionate performances that play brilliant homage to the rock classics. Led by the fiery vocals of Joan Smith (Serena Ryder, Little Foot Long Foot, Joan Smith & the Jane Does), Red Zeppelin delivers an electrifying experience.
 
While the look may be a little different, the swagger and the song remains the same. Tickets available right now, rockers.
 
 
 
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