Showcase tonight like a mini-Winterfolk show
Reprinted from Toronto Moon Magazine – An open stage or jam can be successful because of a variety of factors that make it particularly appealing to the performers who participate and audiences who regularly support the event.
Some events rely upon the personality or skills of the host, others depend on the appeal of the venue, still others attract adherents because of the particular genre or style of music that’s encouraged and yet others are basically local affairs, mostly drawing people from a particular neighbourhood.
An event that combines many of those factors and has been a roaring success since debuting some 18 months ago, Dr. B’s Acoustic Medicine Show at Free Times Café Saturday afternoons features a popular, talented host, a room a lot of people want to play, a specific focus on Roots/Blues music and takes place in a busy downtown area.
But so popular is this event that it also draws a lot of people from outside of the Toronto area, artists whom Folk songwriter, ace fingerpicker and host Brian Gladstone refers to as “the out of towners” and who travel from places as far afield as Brampton, Uxbridge and even Stratford to take part.
Tonight at the 7:30-10:30 p.m. second installment of his “Best of Dr. B’s Acoustic Medicine Show” series, also taking place in the cozy back room of the club at 320 College St., the focus is on some superb talents who travel fair distances to take part in the Saturday afternoon open stage.
Songwriter David Storey calls Uxbridge home but is a regular participant at the Saturday shows and other open stages, where he often performs tunes from his recent Coming Home album, which, as we’ve previously noted, is a tour de force of soulful ballads.
Mark Yan and Barry Mulcahy are Brampton residents who perform as a Roots-Pop duo doing originals and covers in various locations in the north GTA but who are also getting pretty well known in TO through frequent shows at Black Swan Tavern and their regular appearances at Gladstone’s open mic.
A veteran performer who recently has been making appearances and doing features and hosting at various open stage events across town, and who has an album release coming up this month, Kirk Felix will also be on tonight’s bill, along with Scarborough ex-pat and now Stratford area resident Sharron Katz (who’ll be accompanied by east-TO resident Steve Raiken) and Sean Peever, whom I believe now lives in Mississauga.
As founder and director of the annual Winterfolk Festival, host Gladstone (who will likely also do a few tunes to kick things off) is well acquainted with artists from all over the country. And with all these out-of-town Roots talents congregating together in one evening, tonight’s get-together has all the makings of a mini-Winterfolk show!
-Gary 17, TorontoMoon.ca