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Left to right: me, Sal Indigo, Linda Lavender, Mark Martyre and special guest Darrin Baldwin.

The ABC Songwriters’ Circle is plugging along, and about to go into its 9th week. Whodathunkit!

First, I have to thank Sal Indigo for stepping up at the last minute as originally scheduled guest Jordan Paul was unavoidably called away. He’s been invited back in the new year after he returns from LA.

It was pleasure to play with all the guests, as they kindly let me contribute various noodlings and some bass. It was particularly enjoyable on Linda Lavender’s songs, which I had woodshedded the previous afternoon and which allowed me to unleash my inner wannabe country picker. Turns out that Linda and I have more than musical connections: both our daughters are Rosedale Heights grads and good friends. Whodathunkit!

Now, for those keeping count, you’ll notice that we have one extra person in the picture above. This is a good thing, as it turns out, and not a photo bomb. Mark Martyre pleasantly surprised us not just by the captured intensity and lyricism of his songs but by inviting his accompanist, songwriter-in-his-own-right, and hopefully future guest Darrin Baldwin to the stage on piano. I looked up Darrin and found this bio:

A native of Grosse Isle, MB., Darrin currently resides in Toronto, ON., where he is in the works of a debut EP by the title, “Good Grief, Good Grieving.” This release will feature his piano heavy arrangements and clever lyrics, and surround experiences of grief through a perspective that is at times hopeless, and others hopeful. An honest performer, he has been highlighted for a rich musicality and energetic live show. Darrin can be seen at the 40th anniversary of the Summerfolk Crafts and Music Festival, alongside several other talented songwriters as part of the Youth Discoveries showcase.

The least I could do is give him this plug—never even got the chance to buy him a beer. Thank you!

IMG_0006The previous time this happened, Gary Edward Allen invited Alex Matthew to sit in. I saw Alex along with chanteuse Jaime Redford at Gary’s and Amber Durette‘s Legends open mic, where the pair were feature. It finally clicked in place that I had seen then previously at the Linsmore at one of their Indie Tuesdays. They performed beautifully rearranged standards that took full advantage of Jaime’s excellent control and seemingly effortless range.

After Legends, I caught the last set of one of Toronto’s most talent-laden uprooted-roots bands, Cadre, at the Linsmore. A small (that is SO wrong) but enthusiastic crowd cheered them on, and were wowed by the solid rhythm section with the solid Jeff Dunk on bass and Joey Gaitanis on rhythm guitar, backup vocals and pedalboard-that-ate-New-York, Rob Greenway (remember him?) on drums, back up vocals and sidebar, Cam MacInnes on superb slide/lead, and fronted by the phlegmatic but always entertaining Bill Colgate. These guys perform regularly at clubs around town. You owe it to yourselves to check them out.


ABC Songcircle #9

This Tuesday’s show is the last songcircle of 2017. Please come out to celebrate the Holiday Season with my guests Paula Keast, Lilly Mason and David Israelson.

Guest photos FB#9

So, you WILL be there, right?

Until then, be well!


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