ABC Songwriters' Circle
|Addresse||54 The Esplanade|
|At||The Amsterdam Bicycle Club|
|County||Canada @ (CA)|
54 The Esplanade
The Amsterdam Bicycle Club
Canada @ (CA)
The Amsterdam Bicycle Club will feature live original songwriters who will be performing their songs and sharing with the audience the thoughts, feelings and processes that led to their creation. Audience questions are welcome too. Come down to the ABC every Tuesday (excluding December 26, January 2 and 9) for a special one-of-a-kind event. ____________________________________________________________ Show #12 Bill Simms Bill Simms is an artist who can be thought of as a musical chameleon, due to the stylistic breadth of his music. You can see him one night performing jazz standards at a local restaurant and the next night wailing dirty rock and roll songs in a dive bar, serenading the patrons of a songwriter’s circle, or spitting mad rhymes at a house party.
The fact of the matter is, Bill loves all music that’s written with conviction and high quality. He has taken the stage with successful Canadian acts such as Sarah Beatty, The Heavy Horses, Unidentified Funk Object, Mallory Johnson, Denis Parker among others, and performed with jazz combos, musical theatre pit orchestras as well as leading his own bands. Bill’s folk/roots songs have something for everyone, with subjects as diverse as love, longing, adultery, death and even UFOs, and are sure to make you hoot, holler, belly laugh and maybe even shed a tear. Hugh Wilson Hugh Wilson is a Nova Scotian musician based out of Toronto. He has spent the past ten years actively involved in a variety of projects such as Red Falcon / White Lightning, David Hustler & the Trustworthy, The Danger Bees and his primary project, Big Name Actors.
Bridging the gap between the early nineties scenes of Seattle and Halifax, his dynamically charged songs are catchy and upbeat, but with an abrasive dark side giving them a uniquely grungey power-pop sound. Julie Long Julie Long is a songwriter, singer and musician who has been playing the piano for most of her life. Coming from a very musical family, she has been influenced by many musical genres including pop, rock, classical, jazz and blues. She believes in the healing power of music and strives to write songs that uplift and inspire her listeners. She has performed with many Toronto musicians including some performers who have graced the ABC Songwriters’ Circle’s stage. ____________________________________________________________ Show #11 The Pretty - Finbar Conlon Finbar Conlon, who goes by the stage name The Pretty.
His songs combine solid grooves with introspective lyrics, tinged with cryptic imagery and sometimes bitter commentary, that lead you to down somber paths or unpredictably veer off into surprisingly humorous directions. Finbar regularly performs around the city at open mics or busking on the streets. He has a number of recordings which can be heard, and seen, on Soundcloud and YouTube. ICEVAN - Kevan Maddison Musician, painter, seamster, writer and sometimes actor, Kevan Maddison lives for the arts. In his teens, he saved up and bought an Ovation guitar and a Fender Squire bass. Over the years, he learned his instrument with the focused goal of developing his own sound. By 2013, he felt ready to write his material and in 2016 he released his first cd EH. His songs celebrate the originality and non-conformity of the staunchly individual, and through stripped down arrangement and sparse but well-chosen lyrics the joy within the mundane.
Kevan has yet to meet a pair of Converse sneakers he does not care to mismatch. Dr. Jingles Dr. Jingles is Lawrie Ingles, likely Toronto’s busiest sideman. He performs with any number of bands at any given time, including Elton Rohn, David Storey, Tristan Avakian, Y’allman Brothers, Not the Boss of Me, Billy Johl, Hidden Stash, Soozie Schlanger, Wavelength and Tyler Ellis & the Eddy Line, playing almost as many different instruments. Lawrie enjoys the company of other musicians and is an enthusiastic supporter of both established and upcoming acts. His songs are clever, often full of wit (puns ARE the greatest form of humour) yet still touching and insightful. He performs them solo, and as part of the duo the Soul Maître Ds. ____________________________________________________________ Show #10 From a young high school athlete to a lost college student, to a songwriter and now a full time performing one-man-band, Kevin Foster is a living example of hard work, persistence and dedication.
Against all odds, with a late start to his career, he is still pushing to be the best performer and songwriter he can be. Kevin has shared the stage with many great Canadian acts, heavily touring Southern Ontario, and appearing on numerous television and radio shows, and partnering with other musicians to form country covers band the Fumblin’ Tumbleweeds, and original duet Hammers and Nails with Sarah Fazackerley. He is deeply committed to putting in the time to build a true following, and has been playing extensively since the release of his 2014 solo EP, “The Lost Songs” and "Live @ Atlas Studios" in 2016. David Madras is a songwriter, singer, and instrumentalist. His three favourite genres are folk, pop, and Anderson Paak, all of which he loves equally. An avid pianist, you can often find him at a keyboard of sorts. He also has dabbled in music for theatre, writing the music for a Toronto Fringe show with a really long title, and playing piano for improv groups. His debut album “Early Bird Special” is basically finished and awaiting release (look for a lead single in January, probably). David Storey’s songs contain the musical gems that have made him so many fans: wry wit and penetrating insights about life’s changes, characters and passions humorously and powerfully delivered. An early musical career saw him get airplay, rave reviews and award nominations for his Roots-Rock songs, which were compared to John Prine and Steve Earl. After leaving music to raise a family for 20 years, he helmed award-winning videos and tv specials for the likes of Tom Cochrane and Stompin’ Tom and Anne Murray, then in the field of comedy, developing, producing and directing the hit television show and movie “Corner Gas” before coming back to music, his first love, in 2011. ____________________________________________________________ Show #9 David Israelson, Paula Keast, Lilly Mason David Israelson has maintained a lifelong involvement in music. He mines his extensive world experience to inspire his songs, which rarely allow themselves to be pigeon-holed into one simple category. Whether sensitive and rich in imagery, or adroitly cutting at the cynicism of our times, David’s songs remain musically approachable and ultimately memorable. When not playing guitar, or exploring a new instrument that piques his interest, David contributes regularly to publications in Canada and abroad, and is a published author. Paula Keast is a singer/guitarist, playing both acoustic and electric guitar. She writes all of her songs, which boldly and frankly explore the frailties of the human heart and soul. Paula recently had the opportunity to get into the studio with Toronto's own hip-hop/rap producer "STRETCH" and create her full length electronic/rock album entitled "Crazy Beautiful" which can now be purchased on iTunes, and is available in streaming on AppleMusic, Spotify, Google Play, Soundcloud Pandora and others. She has performed at the historical Gladstone Hotel, The Rivoli, and the Opera House to name a few. Lilly Mason is a Vancouver-born, Toronto-based versatile soul/indie/pop singer, songwriter and instrumentalist. Raised on a diverse mix of jazz, soul and psychedelic rock and influenced by Latin rhythms from her years of living in Mexico, she instinctively blends these into her folk inspired songwriting. Lilly has had an active involvement in the Toronto scene, since singing with York University music graduates in Funk/Soul quintet The Breakdown. After performing solo and in various groups across Canada and throughout the Unites States, Lilly has found her own voice in the world of soul/folk. Her songs, some performed in fluent Spanish, shine a light on relationships and celebrate the sometimes fleeting joys of existence. ____________________________________________________________ Show #8 Mark Martyre, Linda Lavender, Jordan Paul Mark Martyre's prolific songwriting has produced 5 full-length studio albums since 2012: Down, Record (2012), London (2013), Red Letters (2014), Bluebird (2016), and Rivers (2017), as well as several live records, and bootlegs. His music, sung with a wryness perfect for storytelling, has garnered critical acclaim and attention both nationally and internationally, and has earned him “Best Songwriter” and “Album of the Year” nominations. In 2016, Mark also published a collection of his lyrics, spanning his music between 2012-2016., and has had several poems published in online journals and literary magazines. Linda Lavender sings with a distinctive voice, relaxed presence and a West Coast vibe. Her songs, steeped in a Canadian backdrop of vinyl stores and vacant lots, robberies and road trips, fist fights and friendships, tell a bigger story about life, love, loss and a quest for truth. Her melodies, subtly humorous lyrics, and facility on an array of instruments carry the listener past distinctions of country/bluegrass/folk/pop and jazz. Linda's love of ensemble playing and spontaneous musical collaboration can be heard in The Linda Lavender Band, Lavender & The Shark, and Lavender & Twang. She hosts a monthly open stage, The Lazy Cat Café, and the annual Mariposa Open Stage. Jordan Paul is an unstoppable force of fluid emotion. Equipped with a voice that leaves audiences breathless, his live show is a must-see. A clever songwriter and multi-instrumentalist at only 24, Paul has a ghostly style all his own. Citing Nina Simone, Dylan Thomas, Greek Mythology, and Indian Raga among his creative influences–his music is as eclectic as it is spiritually intelligent. Born in Kingston, Ontario, Paul now lives in Toronto–where he is recording his debut studio release—out on Leesta Vall Records (Brooklyn, NY) this fall. 'Rain' features Andrew Scott of Sloan on drums–and will be available on a limited-edition 7-inch vinyl; hand-cut on a Sun Records era lathe. ____________________________________________________________ Show #7 Michael Sheen Cuddy, John Mahler, Arch Rockefeller Michael Sheen Cuddy Whenever Michael Sheen Cuddy is asked what kind of music he writes, he finds it hard to name just one genre. Saying "pop-inflected rock slash roots-acoustic slash prog-rock slash Celtic with a jigger of jazz" doesn't clarify much. His approach to songwriting may be similarly holistic. "I'll chance upon a chord progression or melodic phrase and try to follow where it might go. If it drifts to an oddball jazz/cabaret sound, I just try to go with it. Or if a riff sounds like something from Aerosmith's back catalog, I'll run with that. Or if it feels like it should be a cryin'-in-my-beer country song, so be it.” Currently Michael is at work recording songs at Tim Bovaconti's studio with David Macmichael on bass and Paul Brennan on drums. John Mahler John Mahler asked himself a few years ago what he wanted to do with the rest of his life — music had always been his passion and songwriting his dream. Since his teen years, John had played guitar and written on and off, but life’s demands had invariably gotten in the way. Four years ago, he bought himself a new guitar, and re-engaged in the long-aspired-to commitment to finishing the songs of his youth, and to daily practice developing his own fingerpicked folksy-jazzy-bluesy style. With a growing catalogue of completed songs and renewed skills to play them, a friend said to him, “Now you have to perform them. After all, a song isn’t a song until it is heard.” Now John is applying himself to the craft of performing and sharing his songs with a growing and appreciative audience. Arch Rockefeller Originally drawn to music by the punk rock explosion, Arch Rockefeller spent the '90s fronting indie favourites Raging Hormones. Their “power bubblegum" sound received airplay and appeared on campus charts from coast to coast. Subsequently Arch went back to school to learn the language of jazz. Currently he plays guitar and bass in a variety of groups whose styles range from rock to jazz to country. Songwriting has always been Arch's first musical love, and his highly detailed compositions incorporate catchy tunes, interesting harmonies and exciting rhythms as the foundation for his trademark witty lyrics. ____________________________________________________________ Show #6 Tim Prueter, Gary Edward Allen, Jody Ferrer Tim Prueter (Timothy Sheldon) Tim is 13 and living in London, England… Walking through Camden market, he sees a booth full of classical guitars; he stops and looks. He later finds himself at a boy’s house who has a Mac PowerBook 150c. It’s cool: it records your voice and changes the pitch and he bloody loves that. On another night, he visits a different friend who has this sweet electric guitar and a Marshall amp, and who starts playing the theme song to Beavis and Butthead. Tim is blown away. He saves his money and after school sneaks off to Denmark St. to buy a white Aria Pro 2 electric, then off to buy an amp from another kid he knows. Then it’s home to start making music... Now he’s 36. Gary Edward Allen Gary Edward Allen is a singer songwriter hailing from Vancouver now living in Toronto but born and raised in Ottawa. He plays an interesting mesh of acoustic styles ranging from Neo-classical to psychedelic freak folk. Rooted in classic 70’s rock and 90’s alternative, but with modern sensibilities, Gary takes you on a journey every time. His songs are online and readily available on iTunes, Bandcamp, Soundcloud and ReverbNation. He performs and co-hosts at a weekly open mic with Amber Durette at Legends on Danforth every Thursday night. Jody Ferrer (Jody and the Friendzone) Troubadour Jody Ferrer has steadily and surely gained fame and some notoriety in Toronto bars as a sharply satirical songwriter. Very few subjects are taboo for Jody’s songs, and are often inspired from stories of people he sees on the streets. He is at his best when his aim includes not only “hipsters” and their ilk, but when he is almost uncomfortably and hilariously self-deprecating. He is currently working on recording his songs for his first popular release. ____________________________________________________________ Show #5 brilliantfish, Henry Lees, Lawrie Ingles Rob Greenway The man who is brilliantfish has been called many things, but he is a musician, composer, artist and graphic designer based in Toronto, Canada. Since 1997, he has released 18 recordings ranging from post-industrial rock to dark pop, straight up rock and several stops in between. He is hard to pigeonhole and he wouldn’t have it any other way. As a drummer/percussionist/vocalist, brilliantfish has worked with dozens of diverse artists whose work spans many genres and many decades. With his wife sweet T, brilliantfish is also half of the duo Hush & Rust, who released their debut album These blue dreams in 2016. Henry Lees Henry Lees is the other half of the Soul Maître Ds. Originally a west coaster, Henry has been heard belting it out on radio/TV jingles over the years as well as singing/songwriting for Calgary's popular original pop-rock band The Household Saints for more than a decade. Henry also performed nationwide with actor, musician and Order of Canada honouree Tom Jackson on his Huron Carole benefit tours, sharing stages with some of Canada's brightest talents like Melanie Doane and Charlie Major. Now calling Toronto home, Henry has dived head first into crafting and performing acoustic pop packed with heart and soul, collaborating with notable GTA artists such as Chris Antonik, Heather Hill, The Prince Brothers and now, with Lawrie too. Lawrie Ingles Lawrie (Dr. Jingles) Ingles is probably Toronto’s busiest sideman, performing with any number of bands at any given time, including Elton Rohn, David Storey, Tristan Avakian, Y’allman Brothers, Not the Boss of Me, Billy Johl, Hidden Stash, Soozie Schlanger, Wavelength and Tyler Ellis & the Eddy Line, playing almost as many different instruments. Lawrie enjoys the company of other musicians and is an enthusiastic supporter of both established and upcoming acts. His songs are clever, often full of wit (puns ARE the greatest form of humour) yet still touching and insightful. He performs them solo, and as part of the duo the Soul Maître Ds. ____________________________________________________________ Show #4 David Macmichael, Chelsea Reed, Jace Traz David Macmichael David Macmichael, the front man for the Danger Bees, hails originally from Dartmouth, N.S., where he occasionally returns to for inspiration. His songs resonate with a personal and specific voice, sometimes even erasing the lines of maybe just too much information to share with hundreds of people. David has been writing and performing his own material since his early teens and fronting a band since he was 14. He is also a popular sideman on bass and guitar for many other local artists. David performs every week at Relish Bar and Grill co-hosting the Stir-It-Up Sundays open mic. He is currently working on his first solo album. Chelsea Reed Chelsea Reed has been building a unique and important identity in the alternative-pop scene since her musically formative years growing up in Newcastle, NSW. Her debut single ‘Snow Covered Hill’, was released in 2013 to great acclaim and enthusiasm, and quickly followed by the daring and playful second single ‘I Want the World’, a sparkling, tenacious anthem to the art of keeping on. Since the release of her debut EP in 2014, Chelsea has been living in Toronto. She has been busy playing live shows, co-writing and working on her just released eponymous first album with producer Dave Draves in Ottawa. Jace Traz Multi-instrumentalist and multi-talented Jace Traz is perhaps Toronto’s greatest undiscovered power-pop phenomenon. His hyper-catchy melodies and rhythms layer over lyrics ranging from the delightfully metaphoric Pistachio Girl, through the more reflective Fake, and to the darkly cautionary Rape Van. Few songwriters can marry as well disparate subjects like mathematics and heartbreak, like in the beautiful Divide. Jace has a broad interest in all fields of art, and as a visual artist, exhibited in a number of galleries in the city. ____________________________________________________________ Show #3 – Tuesday, November 7, 2017 Tyler Ellis, m.e. law, Jessica Stuart Tyler Ellis Tyler writes the most wonderfully understated, insightful, wry, disarming, and uniquely Canadian songs you are ever likely to hear. He has shared a bill with the likes of Willie P. Bennett, Ron Hynes, James Keelaghan, Julian Taylor, Steven Page, and Mr. Dressup. He has had a video on Much Music, performed live on Global and City TV, received local and national radio exposure; and has garnered national critical acclaim while happily spending most of his time writing, recording, performing locally, coaching (hockey, of course), teaching (music, of course) and spending time with his family. M E Law Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist m.e. law (Marion Law) started her musical journey in Ingersoll, ON. m.e. braved her first performances at the age of 17, entertaining her home-town peers on the same stages as Stan Rogers, David Bradstreet, Willie P. Bennett and Perth County Conspiracy, but the lure of exotic destinations saw her travel and live in Japan, Mexico, and the US (New York and San Diego). A true Renaissance artist, m.e. expanded her creative reach by co-producing and scoring the award winning documentary Wiener Takes All, and producing and selling paintings under the tutelage of Jeffrey Pollack. m.e. has 4 albums to her credit; her songs, ranging from the silly to the soulful, invite engaged listening. Jessica Stuart of The Jessica Stuart Few With three albums to her credit, charismatic Jessica Stuart has earned a well-merited reputation as a genre-bending composer, koto-player (yes, look it up. ), guitarist and vocalist. Her inventiveness has her intentionally attaching herself to wide ranging indie rock, soul and jazz music scenes in North America; being rhythmically and harmonically adventurous is just another day at the office for this multiple Award-nominated and winning musician. Riding the wave of 2013 Top 40 single “Don’t Ya” from Two Sides to Every Story, she has toured Europe, Asia and North America extensively. She brings some much needed musical adventurousness in these somewhat predictable musical times. ____________________________________________________________ Show #2 – Tuesday, October 24, 2017 Fraz Milne, T.C. Folkpunk, Greg Todd Fraz Milne Fraz Milne is a Toronto songwriter whose eclectic offerings make it hard to pin him down to just one genre that includes rock, folk & psychedelia. The 2015 release of his second CD, The Grey Area offered heartfelt, mature, colourful compositions that continue to define Fraz as a Canadian songwriter worth hearing. The intimate setting of the Amsterdam Bicycle Club will allow Fraz to introduce new material, as well as perform his personal favourites. With his Trio, he continues to introduce new material making all shows a unique event - lately the band has been doing acoustic shows with great results as new material is coming together for his next album. You can connect with Fraz through his website or Facebook. Teecee Folquepunque T.C. Folkpunk started life with the somewhat more common moniker Tim Cameron. He proceeded to amass a collection of Beatles, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Ramones, and Clash albums. He also amassed a guitar collection consisting of one crappy no-name acoustic, and a slightly less crappy electric. By the age of 17, he began playing his own songs in bars and pubs, releasing cassettes and CDs, and making a name for himself, even as far away as Germany. After renaming himself T.C. Folkpunk, he found himself on stage at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool, and as of December 2015, when the Canadian indie comedy film Love in the Sixth premiered at the Whistler Film Festival, T.C. added "actor" and "film score composer" to his list of achievements as well. His latest album, Hearsay Is 20/20, was recorded in true "folkpunk" style, live off the floor and fuelled by whatever could be coaxed out of the studio's espresso maker that day. Greg Todd Starting as a sideman with hundreds of bass gigs under his belt, Greg Todd applied that experience to his view of the world to become a prolific songwriter. His numerous recordings include a published CD entitled Mad Life Crisis -- Blame It On the Moon. Greg is a committed environmentalist (equally tree planter and tree hugger), and aspiring bon-vivant. Living by the adage, you can't expect perfection, so perfect your expectations, he crafts and sings songs of observation and truth, served with a large dollop of irony. Inspired by the Willy P. Bennett, Bob Snider, Tom Waits and even Frank Zappa, Greg uses catchy rhythms and thoughtful lyrics to shine a light on the qualities and the foibles that make us all genus: Homo, species: Sapiens. ____________________________________________________________ Show #1 – Tuesday, October 17, 2017 Sam Taylor, Sal Indigo aka Salabama, Ryan Schmidt and host Bob Pelletier Sam Taylor Originally from St. Thomas, ON, Sam Taylor started entertaining at the age of 7. He soon discovered a love for the blues, which he delivers with heart and soul much older and life-savvy than his youtful looks let on. Armed with a diploma in Music Industry Arts from Fanshawe College, Sam headed into EMAC Studios and honed his songwriting skills with producer Moe Berg (of Pursuit of Happiness) on two original songs, Thought of Leaving and Loaded Gun, both of which received extensive southern Ontario airplay. Loaded Gun was also featured in the tv shows Haven, Cracked, and Degrassi. Sam’s versatile and honest songwriting, along with a powerhouse voice and dynamic performance make him a compelling artist to watch. Sam regularly performs with his band, The East End Love, and has broadened his musical horizons most recently as part of soul/rock trio Gem, slated for a western string of shows this fall, and a UK series in the spring. Sal Indigo aka Salabama Sal Indigo aka Johnnie Blue aka Blind Lemon Meringue aka Salabama crawled out of the dark, murky swamps of Kensington Market in southern Toronto. He was born with a steel slide bar on his left hand so he took to playing blues and rock n soul on electric slide guitar, but can be talked into going acoustic. Influenced by Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Steve Earle, Bo Diddley and Johnny Cash, he writes a variety of warped thud-like opaque melodies and work songs. Sal’s songwriting draws inspiration from his own special take on the world, from the visual poetry of Mississippi bottle trees, to the apocalyptic survivability of Keith Richard. Every winter, Sal re-immerses himself in blues and gospel travelling throughout the US south. Every spring he returns freshly provisioned with observations that ripen and soon bear topical (if not tropical) fruit in his prolific mind. Sal is currently being talked into recording his songs, but can be viewed peforming some on his YouTube channel. Ryan Schmidt After a former band went its separate ways, Ryan Schmidt moved to Toronto from Alcona, ON, enticed by the big city lights and easy access to the many open stages on which to play each week. He fell in love with thrill of playing his guitar for appreciative audiences, and the freedom of writing and performing his own material, so much so that he rearranged his life to do it more. Ryan thrives in dirty, swampy blues. His songs are grounded in a lyrical honesty while speaking the language of the blues in a new and original voice, with strong images and stories of hurt and frustration. The music sits in solid grooves and soars to his growling slide guitar. Ryan found a home at Relish Bar & Grill, and the right players there to form a band and record his debut LP, currently in production. For more information on upcoming shows, go to https://felixandthecats.com/abc-songwriters-circle/
Don't know why this event didn't come up in any of my feeds, since I had already said I was interested, but that's stupid Facebook I guess. Anyways ... A really interesting songwriters series resumes tonight:
Don't know why this event didn't come up in any of my feeds, since I had already said I was interested, but that's stupid Facebook I guess. Anyways ... A really interesting songwriters series resumes tonight:
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