Looking for some music to chase away the midwinter chill? Want to let a hibernating song out to see its shadow? Southern Ontario has a lot to offer – here is just a sampling (including two uke events):
Brantford Open Stage – Friday, February 1st @ 8 pm – 19 Holiday Drive, Brantford; Admission $4 (performers free)
Hamilton Folk Club – Tuesday, February 12 @ 8 pm – The Pheasant Plucker, 20 Augusta Street, Hamilton; Admission $4 – This will also mark the club’s 31st birthday!
Uke Club #2, Saturday, February 23 @ 1:15 pm – Long & McQuade in Guelph, 30 Arrow Road; Admission $6
*NEW* Open Mic at the Magnolia Café, hosted by Ian Reid – Tuesday, February 12 @7-9 pm; Admission $2 for non-performers (“pay or play”) – 88 Yarmouth Street, Guelph
Corktown Uke Jam – While the Dominion on Queen boasts a weekly uke jam, Wednesday, February 13 @8-11 pm is a special N’Awlins Theme Nite, Kevin Fox as host; Admission $5 – 500 Queen Street East, Toronto
Random Acts of Music at Schinbein’s Studio in Mitchell – Country/folk open mic & jam on Saturdays (1-4:30 pm) and Blues open mic & jam on Thursdays (7-10 pm) – 117 St. Andrew Street, Mitchell
Tuesday night acoustic jam (7-11 pm) in Elora is alive and well at the Café Creperie (no cover) – 40 Mill Street West, Elora
This week I met up with co-adventurers Trish and Marg in Brantford to check out the open stage I have heard so much about. Held in a meeting room of a Best Western, this venue looks more like a place you would attend a conference or AGM than a folk club, but it is quickly transformed when the lights go down and the music starts. To start the night off we were treated to a 3 song set by Al Parrish, member of the group Tanglefoot, now showcasing his solo material. Following Al were performers that spanned at least three generations and many genres. The B.O.S. website has a record of the all the open stage performers and the songs they played.
The Brantford Open Stage was launched January 2006; prior to that the Brantford Folk Club, hosted by Donald and Brenda McGeoch, had been on the scene for 23 years. The event is hosted by Dave Jensen who shares his guitar, his button accordion and his quick east coast sense of humour. There is a sign up sheet at the door and I was warned that the order in which you sign up has nothing to do with when Dave will call you to the stage.
The atmosphere is very welcoming, from the volunteers at the door to the host and sound folks, to the friendly audience and, as a bonus, the $4 cover is waived for performers.
[Brantford Open Stage, 19 Holiday Drive, Best Western/Brant Park Inn, last Friday of the month Sept – June, 8 pm – ?]