Our story begins in ancient times in a Toronto east-end bar.
The Only Café at that time hosted a Saturday open mic, and led by multi-instrumentalists Derek Downham, Tim Bovaconti and Terence Gowan. I used to go there as often as possible, particularly to support John Pelubski, and see who else might surprise everyone by showing up. At that point, I was still too intimidated by the talent and repressed to play at this venue.
One of the “regular” bands I often felt was a highlight of the evening with their energy and originality included a drummer named Jace Traz. It took a few years to make the connection that this was the very same individual I would know much better as a regular at Relish.
Jump forward a few years, and the aforementioned Relish connection begins. Jace would often be there subbing on drums at Stir It Up Sunday when regular co-host Paul Brennan was away, and for other bands when needed, including on one occasion for me.
But what really got my attention was when Jace would switch to guitars and play original material. That’s when I realized I was hearing one of Toronto’s greatest undiscovered power-pop phenomena. Jace’s hyper-catchy melodies and rhythms layered over lyrics ranging from the delightfully metaphoric Pistachio Girl, through the more self-deprecating Fake, and to the darkly cautionary Rape Van. Few songwriters could blend disparate subjects like mathematics and heartbreak, like in the beautiful Divide. Each of his appearances was a highlight of the evening and a consistent audience favourite.
Tonight (July 23, 2019), Jace will be performing a set at the Linsmore Tavern. I hope all of you reading this will be there at 8 to see and hear for yourselves. Check out the links above too for a preview!
Until later, be well!