Sunday, July 19, 2009

Beautiful music, beautiful people at Eight Bar for final Taffy show

It was an admixture of great music, good friends, good music and great friends at Eight Bar in downtown TO last night to bid adieu, at least officially, to the Taffy duo of Colleen Costello and Ellen Carol. Colleen is moving to B.C. in September and while the two talented ladies may wellcontinue to work on things together online (they already did that when Colleen moved to Hamilton Ontario for a few months) future live Taffy shows will be few and far between.

The girls had a three different bass players sit in with them, including Mitch Girio, who was the player of record for most of the night and did both of the first two sets. (See pic at right).

Jenn Wilson was also in the house and sat in for a couple of tunes (see pic left) as did Gerry LeBlanc (sorry no photo, I missed it!).

We'll miss you Colleen (that's her below) but our loss is B.C.'s gain fer sure!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fine Friday fun in TO's east end

I had an adventurous Friday night in East York and Scarborough on Friday July 17.

Started out at Danny Green's on Danforth, where Simon Genest and Lee Van Leer were hosting a one-off Friday jam. Wasn't too impressed with the club --it's upstairs from a locked and shuttered place and only has a small "open" sign in an upstairs window to indicate there's anything there at all. After going up a very bleak, unwelcoming set of stairs (naked light bulb, steps haven't been painted or repaired in 20 years) you come into a dowdy room with 9 pool tables (only one being used) a bar lit by V lamps, naked bulbs overhead and a small plywood stage next to a tv mindlessly showing the sports channel and further distracting from the band. It was hard to be impressed with the music in this environment and I couldn't wait to leave. But anyways, here is a pic of the group.

Walked a block or so west to Seanachai, where John Borra and Sam Ferrara were performing. It wasn't as busy as last week when Taxi Chain performed but still a decent crowd and if I ever want to go cougar hunting I know where to roam! I'm putting a pic of John and Sam to the right. My only real complaints here were the very lackadaisical service and the fact that the band stopped at 11:30 p.m.! They'd started at 9 so I figured for sure they'd play til midnite and having arrived at 11:15 and settled in for what should have been a good set's worth of tunes had to settle for just three.

No matter. I caught a ride from my buddy Steve up to Cactus Pete's, where Al Reilly and his Catalyst band were rockin' to a good-sized crowd. The club now has Rock on Fridays and still offers excellent Country bands Saturdays. I knew Al a little and had heard him sing so was happy to check out the group but wasn't prepared for who was in it: three guys I've been writing about for about 15 years since early on in the magazine's run: Steve Madden on guitar, Gary Cormier on second guitar and Chris Hume on bass! Drummer Dean Nichols more than held his own with this skilled and lively crew as the band ripped through AC/DC and Ozzy classics among some more mainstream tunes.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Great time with Druckfarben at Orbit Room

Had a great time last night at Orbit Room, where I ended up staying through all three sets of the fabulous Druckfarben band doing a stellar tour of Prog. Rock tunes encompassing Yes, Genesis, Foreigner, Jethro Tull, King Crimson and many more plus some new Prog. Rock originals! This band is a total experience folks!

Drummer Paul DeLong was in the audience and was prevailed upon to sit in for a couple of tunes, so naturally I grabbed the camera and snapped a couple of pics. including this one (that's bassist Peter Murray to the right). I was also absolutely jaw-droppingly awestruck by the incredible guitar word of Ed Bernard. Here's a pic of him in mid-flight --that's a guitar slide in his mouth, not a cigar!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

to-nite TNG (The Next Generation) continues to evolve

I'm going to be experimenting with using this blog as a way of showcasing what's in to-nite magazine TNG so that you can get an idea of what you'll be getting when you subscribe. It's just $39 for a year --52 issues-- to get the weekly jpgs (or pdf files, you choice) delivered to your inbox and each week scores of live music shows in the GTA are listed in that section of the magazine.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ok, the gun went off and the race is on. I can start blogging NOW!!!! So I am.

Seriously this space is going to have lots of cool stuff quite soon.

Not tonight though, 'cause I'm busy hosting my open stage at California, with Jo-Anne Park as the feature! Corner Pape and Mortimer in good ol' East York (fully renovated, reborn and now wonderful room owned by a lovely, hard working couple.