Please Release Me

Just a quick work this week as the house is in upheaval due to painting, and I need to get that done.

Quick Thanks

I would remiss if I did not officially and on line thank former guest and country chansonnier Jeff Orson for the chance to be a part of his show last May 17. I appreciate the chance to happily noodle along to Jeff’s songs. He has just completed a performance at Tin Pan North presented by the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) this past Friday May 25th at The Cadillac Lounge, a wonderful opportunity to showcase his superb songwriting.

Another FatCats Show Done

The Cats and I had a great time last night at the Amsterdam, and even got some patrons up dancing! Our next show is the “unplugged-ish” show at the lovely and cozy Dock on Queen on August 11, at a much earlier 9 pm.

June Is Not Just for Weddings

Three past guests at the ABC Songwriters’ Circle are having release events in the next few weeks, so please add these to your calendar.

Just Jillian, who played show #15 back in February, is launching her album, titled What Day Is It, at the Paddock Tavern this coming June 1 at 8 pm. Her special guest will be Gerry Leger & the Del Fi’s, fresh back from a European tour, so this should be a fun event.

The following Friday, June 8 at the Dakota Tavern from 7 to 9 pm, Kayt Lucas (show #24 in April) with her band the Hard Folk will be release their new EP, The Company of Kings.

Right after that, on June 15 from 6 to 9 pm, it’s Kyris‘ turn (show #28 last week). His EP, titled Nous, which means “Us” will be a very rare French language release in Toronto.

That should keep you busy!

This Week at the ABC Songwriters’ Circle

This week, a super lineup of talent is coming your way at the songcircle, with roots-based Toronto singer and songwriter Michael Menegon, folk-rocker John Muirhead and master song craftsman Blair Packham. Getting these guys in a room together is a very special event, so I do urge you to attend.

So, are you coming? Until then, be well!



Bullhorn Clipart - Clipart SuggestTime to self-promote. The next few weeks include some unusual shows that are worth crowing about. The first is an all-French show at the ABC this Tuesday, and the second is a concert performance at the Opera House on June 1. Details are below.

Le French Show

header-abc-fb-281.jpgFirst up this Tuesday is my usual weekly ABC Songwriters’ Circle, but with a certain je ne sais quoi. In fact, I know quoi, as it will be an ALL-FRENCH songwriters’ circle, featuring some friends made at an earlier Franc’Openmic I attended: Fred Boutin, Kyris and Franck Solo. The experience also led me to finally getting around to writing more French songs, some original, and some translations of already performed Félix & the Cats tunes. Even if you don’t understand French, please make it down, and we can talk you through the songs.

Mardi en première, une édition spéciale du ABC Songwriters’s Circle mettra en relief la chanson française telle que composée et interprétée par mes invités  Fred Boutin, Kyris et Franck Solo. L’idée d’un show en français me chicote depuis quelque temps. Ayant eu la chance de rencontrer mes invités à un Franc’Openmic récent, l’idée s’est concrétisée. En plus, ça m’a donné le coup de pouce nécessaire pour élargir mon répertoire français, soit en chansons originales, ou en traduction de tounes Félix & the Cats anglaises existantes. Voici donc une chance unique de nous entendre élaborer sur processus de nos compositions d’échanger des anecdotes intéressantes concernant leur contexte. J’espère que vous serez des nôtres en grand nombre!

FatCats in Concert

An opportunity just came up to participate in a multi-band concert put on by Kickstand Sound at the Opera House this coming June 1, 2018. I have seen friends (and ABC songcircle guests) Fraz Milne and Chloé Watkinson at this venue and was impressed with the quality of the sound and lighting. This will be our first show in a concert setting, along with 6 other groups. At this point, we have not been told our slot, although we have requested something earlier as we know most of you prefer that.

We really would appreciate your support on this one and hope you can make it. The tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, so a better deal to get them now. To order tickets, please email me at

Hoping to catch you at one or more of these shows, be well!



This past Sunday, I finally made it back to Relish Bar and Grill to perform my cover of the incomparable Jace Tracz’s song “It’s That Simple“. Why you may wonder…

A few months ago, co-host David Macmichael suggested that all the regular performers do each others’ songs just to see what would happen. After a few name changes, it seems the project has settled on Relish Recovery. The concept has been greeted with great enthusiasm, and is now entering its second round. So, after much procrastination and self-doubt (how do you personalize Jace’s perfect pop gems?) I put myself out there and did it. Here below is evidence of that attempt, warts and all. Thanks to Jace for tolerating my hack of his song and Joanne Clayton for posting on Facebook. The original version can be found here.

However, the fun did not end there, as fellow regular Jody Ferrer (Jody and the Friendzone), not content with simply covering my “Difficult People”, chose to refashion it and parody it to fit my circumstance. I smiled the whole song through.


This Week at The ABC Songwriters’ Circle

It will be an eclectic mix of talent this Tuesday as my guests will be James ClarkClaire Hunter and Chris Topher. I’m not quite sure how that will blend together, but it WILL be interesting and it will be GOOD, so do come down.

I also want to give all the francophone readers out there the heads-up that the following Songcircle show on May 22 will be en français. Check out my Facebook page for more on that or here on Wednesday.

Pour plus de renseignements, prière de m’écrire à

Special Performance

Not content with once a week at the Amsterdam Bicycle Club, I will be there again this Thursday along with country chansonnier Jeff Orson for a tête-à-tête performance (sense a theme here?). It will be in English, so all of you who didn’t pay attention in French class can breath as sigh of relief. In two weeks, it’s the full-on Cats back at the ABC on May 26 for a rockin’ Saturday night show.

I look forward to seeing you there! In the meantime, be well!



Keep on Keepin’ On

IMG_0416Last Friday, the band performed an “unplugged-ish” show at the cozy and very music-friendly Dock on Queen. Thanks to the fabulously talented Mimi O’Bonsawin for booking us! One huge benefit of the venue is the early start and finish, which we hope would attract more fans that prefer an earlier night. Doing it with acoustic guitar gives the music a somewhat different feel and highlights the vocals, such as mine may be, and lets the audience make out the lyrics much more clearly.

I want to particularly thank Lorie Fairburn, Henry Lees and Fraz Milne for their ongoing support. It means a lot to us! Also thanks to the gentleman who sat right in front of the band and listened very attentively all night. In my business to pack up, I neglected to get his name (sorry!). Maybe the staff at the Dock could pass it on and I can update this post later.

Our next show is back at the Amsterdam Bicycle Club on May 26.

More ManCave Recording

unnamedGaryThis weekend is a busy one for recording demos at ManCave Studio. Yesterday, Leanna Yamada and I spent the afternoon avoiding that brutal sun and warm weather and worked on her songs. Today, Gary Edward Allen is in for his songs. It’s great experience. Thanks to both for letting me do this.

This Week at The ABC Songwriters’ Circle

This week is a themed night, in a six-degrees-of-separation kinda way, except that it’s just one, as all roads lead to NeMo . The later is not the Pixar fish, but rather Neil Morris, bassist for the Arsenals and Félix & the Cats, who will be making his songwriting debut. He will be joined by his son and my nephew, Julian Battersby Morris, former bandmate Frank Wilks and me (nepostism, schmepostism!). These people are fine songwriters, and you are in for a good evening of song and chat. Check out their bios on the songcircle page.

That’s it for this week, so please do come down to the ABC Songwriters’ Circle. The patio is now open!

Hoping to see you soon, be well!