I’m going to throw this out as a challenge to see if anyone will correct me: I have it on good authority (Bill Heffernan of Gate 403 fame) that Fat Alberts Coffeehouse is the longest running open stage in North America. Starting out in a church basement in 1967, this weekly open stage has been at the United Steelworkers Union Building on Cecil Street for about 10 years now. Some of the musicians in attendance had stories to tell of the event as it unfolded over 30 years ago which added personal perspective to the club’s longevity.
All levels are welcome and all genres (including classical guitar, blues, spoken word, covers, original tunes). The atmosphere is relaxed and supportive. Tony, on sound, and Mary, our MC, made sure everything moves along quickly & smoothly, with minimal down time between performers. In addition to vocal mics and instrument plug-ins, there is also a keyboard for performers to use. Part way through the evening there is a half hour feature set. This week’s feature performer was Glen Hornblast who entertained us with stories and original tunes.
[Fat Albert’s Coffee House, 25 Cecil Street, Toronto; every Wednesday 8-11pm, sign up after 7:00; $2 cover, coffee & tea available]