Month: July 2010

Venue: Tuesday night jam @ Delainey’s, Fergus ON

I have to confess that this venue is my sentimental favourite.  This jam (at its previous location) was the first place I played in public since my youth

On Tuesday nights the usual restaurant layout is rearranged into one long table surrounded by chairs for musicians. Listeners and friends sit in cozy booths or the remaining tables in the large, Mediterranean themed dining room.  Terry Golletz is the host for this acoustic open jam. Voice, guitar, banjo, fiddle, flute, mandolin, and accordion are among the instruments that come together here.  No stage, no sign-up – musicians take turns leading a song and this turn-taking moves around the room to include everyone.  Musicians and friends often come from Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, Orangeville and Cambridge.

The music mix is fairly eclectic: I have heard Ukrainian folk songs, Neil Young, Pink Floyd, fiddle tunes, original compositions, and Edith Piaf all on the same night.  Where else will you hear a Jimi Hendrix song played on the ukulele?  There is a wide range of musical proficiency.  Relative beginners or people resurrecting old musical skills play alongside seasoned performers.  The atmosphere is welcoming and supportive. This is not a quiet venue.  Restaurant patrons may be conversing, multiple instruments often join in on songs, so be prepared to sing out boldly!

Delainey’s has not always been the gathering place for Fergus musicians.  To learn more about the Old Copper Kettle and the founder of the Fergus Tuesday night jam check out my interview with Nonie Crete.

[NOTE: This venue is moving to The Creperie in Elora as of November 22, 2011; Delainey’s, 793 Tower Rd,  Fergus, every Tuesday 8 – 11 pm]

Venue: Molly Blooms, Guelph

This relatively new open stage (started 3-4 months ago) features original song writing, stepping into the gap left by Manhattan’s where the Songwriters Café used to take place on Monday evenings.  Not at all the same tone, it has attracted some of the regulars from that venue.  Hosting duties are shared by a few people, including Mo Kauffey (our host this week) and multi-instrumentalist Kevin Brown.

It took some asking around to find out how to be included on the list of performers – no sign up list, just need to locate the host for the evening and ask.  The venue is quite friendly but boisterous.  Musicians should come prepared to play something energetic enough to compete with the loud ambient bar sounds.  All are welcome to play and the line-up included polished performers as well as those having trouble not falling off the bar stool.  But the general feeling was that each person has something to share and was given the spotlight for three songs.

Thanks to those who made me feel welcome and even gave me the use of a guitar for a few songs!

[Molly Blooms no longer hosting songwriters on Monday nights – check out their weekend jam session. Molly Blooms, 91 Wyndham St N, Guelph, every Monday night, around 8:30-11:30 pm]