The Riverdale Kid will lasso your ears at my April 7 open stage
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The Riverdale Kid will lasso your ears at my April 7 open stage
It's April and we're well into Spring just keep telling yourself that and don't look outside! OK, it's supposed to be chilly and we might even see some snow tomorrow night, but in California it's gonna be snug and will probably feel pretty hot when The Riverdale Kid takes to the stage to do his feature set around 10:30 as part of Week 16 at my open stage.
Those of you who get to-nite delivered to your email inboxes via subscription have already read my cover article about the Kid (aka Fernando Curcione) in last week's issue, so I'll just sum up the gist of it by saying this melodic Pop Rock songwriter has a true gift for writing radio-friendly tunes. His `Adventures of The Riverdale Kid' album released last year is a tour de force of fine tunes enabled by some of the GTA's finest accompanying musicians. I'm not sure who he'll have with him for his April 7 feature, but even if he ends up doing it solo his performance power is such that you will find yourself easily caught up in a whirlwind of toe-tapping fun.
Last week we were treated to an absolutely wonderful feature set by the duo Taffy, i.e. Ellen Carol and Colleen Costello, playing a cavalcade of their individual songs and a few they've written together as well as a captivating cover of Peter Verity's "North Ontario". They also co-opted mandolin player Patty O'Dell, making her debut at the event, and singer-songwriter Shawn Sage, chipping in some accompanying harmonica to create a real band feel.
We had started out at 9:00 and were honoured to have acclaimed Roots picker Steve Raiken on his first visit to the event sharing some enchanting, captivating fingerstyle guitar playing that was of a caliber that compares with anything Bruce Cockburn has done. Dave Cassels, also making his debut here, got up next and was highly entertaining. Hopefully he'll be back again soon!
Once again we were pleased to welcome back Allan Moffat, who did some sensitive tunes about killing dragons and a shipwreck (I know it sounds odd, but that's what they were) as well as an original he wrote for his wife, "You Make Me A Better Man" that I'll look forward to hearing again. Pete Otis, our event "Ironman" (he's the only person aside from me to attend each week since the inception) paved the way for the feature set by doing some songs that he claims are depressing but that got a good response from the crowd I find them thoughtful, not downers, and will encourage him to play more original stuff. (Hopefully he'll also do some of these songs on Friday April 17, when he teams up with Peter Verity to do the opening set for the showcase by my duo The Forecasters as we kick off the new Friday night live music series at the club!)
Following the feature we had another couple of duos in the house to keep the energy level high. Derek Atherton and Kathy Taler, who did the feature in Week 11, returned to share a lively set of covers of tunes by the likes of The Eagles and a melodic version of "Angel From Montgomery". Next we once again welcomed The McDales, who wove their usual spell of delight over the room, incorporating Patty O'Dell and Shawn Sage into a fun-filled set of Herb's originals.
Shawn stayed up to perform solo and did mostly covers of friends' songs this night including one of Colleen Costello's tunes. Nice touch! Fine strummer John Daly was persuaded to get up next (it took a bit because he wasn't in the best of moods, he'd said) but once on stage he lit up the room and really enjoyed himself which was evident when he launched into a Donovan cover tune!
Two young newcomers who identified themselves as Mark (bass) and Tom (vocals) and who said they were members of a band, got up to do some moody, dark originals and then got singer Carla Dees up to lighten the mood by backing her on "Summertime". By now it was 1:30 but there was still time to get Steve Morrison up for a set and he took full advantage by co-opting John Daly and Shawn to back him on one following a strong repertoire of solo tunes. We wrapped up with Pete Otis and Carla getting back up on stage together and taking us till sometime around 2:15. Quite an adventure this night was!
On the mp3 thingy I played Peter Verity's "Cuttin' Down", "Blue As I Can Get" and "Mystic Caravan"; "A Place Called Heaven" by Shawn Sage before he arrived; "Baddest Of The Bad" by Soles Mojo; Ric Proctor's "Since We Were Young"; "In Toronto" by Steve-Paul Simms; "The Fools Are In Love" from The Kings; "White Liberals On Reggae" by Sebastian Agnello (my sisters, both teachers, tell me they like that song because it makes them think of their own social circle); and from the Toronto Fingerstyle Guitar Association's compilation disc both Mark Sepic's "Flame" and "Feather Fingers" from D'Arcy Wickham.
We didn't have Stuart Wilson from big-fixmusic.com with us for this show as he had a previous engagement (damn I would have liked to have recorded that Taffy set!) but he'll be back on the board for the April 7 show. He records your set (unless you don't want him to) and will send you a free mp3 sample so you can decide if you want to pick up the entire set on a cd from him for just $20. What a deal!
I'm also hopeful that we'll also have the new PA the club is renting from Long & McQuade Musical Instruments set up for this show. Thanks to that company, too, for its ongoing support of my event through the loan of a beautiful six-string we use as the house guitar. L&M rocks!
If you're coming out this week there's no need to sign up early just let me know when you're there and I'll get you on the list. It now starts about 9 and runs till past 1:30, with the feature set taking place around 10:30. A house guitar and small keyboard are available for performers, there's two good mics and of course I'll be spinning tunes by local and Canadian singer-songwriters and bands between live performances.
You'll also want to check out the menu here the food is home-made by Danny and Jeanette and they're family-sized portions too. There are several draughts on tap and a fully stocked liquor and wine bar.
Getting to California is a breeze and there's a small parking lot for five or six vehicles behind it, while street parking is free after 9 p.m. on both sides of Pape. Several buses run by frequently, including the Mortimer bus (#62) between Broadview and Main stations and, north from Pape Station, the Thorncliffe Park (#81) and Don Mills (#25) buses and after 1 a.m. the Don Mills 303 bus runs all night between Steeles and Queen and stops on Pape right out front of the club's entrance at 914 Pape Avenue on the corner of Pape and Mortimer a few blocks north of Danforth Ave.