Monday, 24 April 2017

Folk Song Fundraiser

(Posted by Dwight)

Some musical experiences will stick with you for a long time. We had one just last night as we performed at the Temple Har Zion Sisterhood Fundraising evening up in Thornhill.
Over 220 people jammed the synagogue in anticipation of singing along to their favourite folk revival tunes. And sing they did. It's not unusual for audiences to take a few songs to get warmed up, but the Har Zion audience was in overdrive from the first lines of Green Green and didn’t let up until the final "let my people go" of our ‘Tell It on The Mountain’ reprise.
 The standing ovation left us breathless.
The fundraiser, organized by the Sisterhood, was in support of the URJ Camp George Health Centre and some of their other projects. The organizing team led by Ann, Fran, and Sharon worked tirelessly to produce a wonderfully successful night. The members of the Sisterhood baked up a delicious array of desserts and dainties and the tablecloths even matched the colours of our poster.
The Folk Songs’ band was in fine form with Michelle and Sue capturing some amazing musical moments and Tony keeping the bass line moving. We also had Dave Lang on board to help keep our sound crisp and clean in the boisterous room. As the crowd left the hall, we overheard one comment, “It was so nice and uplifting to be able to sing along with everyone else. We need more of that“. That will also stick with us a long time.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Folk Playoffs

The Toronto Maple Leafs happened to be playing their hearts out in the playoffs at the same time as our show last Wednesday, but that didn't stop the true folk fans from coming out to the Free Times Cafe. 

We had a great bunch of singalongers. The audience was a nice mix of regulars and first timers including a lovely couple visiting Toronto from Tazmania who'd seen a poster on the street, and a wonderful mother and son who said to consider them regulars from now on!

One audience member was celebrating a birthday and in a stroke of creative genius, Michelle came up with a new version of Happy Birthday that will be the standard at all 'Where Have All The Folk Songs Gone?' shows going forward.
Our next show at the Free Times Cafe is on Wed. May 17th. See you then!

Friday, 31 March 2017

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night...

This classic Peanuts cartoon accurately describes yesterday evening as a late March storm hit the region on our return to Hamilton’s wonderful Artword Artbar. Luckily the snow, freezing rain and wind wasn’t enough to dampen the spirits of a roomful of Folk Revival enthusiasts.

Thank you Derek Shuurman for this photo!
An energetic crowd showed up to sing along to their favorites songs of this wonderful musical era. Several tunes made their Hamilton debut including the love song 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ written by Ewan MacColl for Peggy Seeger, The Seekers’ ‘A World of Our Own’, Dave van Ronk’s 'Hang Me', and The Weavers’ ‘House of the Rising Sun’. A big thanks to all those who attended and of course to Judith and Ron who have created such a terrific venue. We are back at the Artword Artbar on Thursday, July 6th so make your reservations soon!

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Hamilton Show!

The gang is heading to Hamilton's Artword Artbar on Thursday, March 30th, 8pm. Tickets can be purchased in advance online here: Artword Artbar Website

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Singin’ Away the Winter Snow

A late winter storm may have blanketed the Greater Toronto Area but it couldn’t prevent a flurry of folk singing from accumulating at the Free Times Cafe last night. A delightful crowd lifted their voices enthusiastically to sing away the final days of Winter in preparation for the March 20 start of Spring.

There were many musical highlights and with International Woman’s Day just passed, woman’s voices were well heard. Michelle left the room in awe with 'The Weavers' Ronny Gilbert’s slow and sultry version of ‘House of the Rising Sun’ while Sue’s rendition of Buffy St Marie’s ‘Universal Soldier’ had an extra punch. They then joined together to take the Baez sisters’ ‘Bread & Roses’ to new heights!

We also introduced a new song, the Limeliters ‘Gotta Travel On’, to the set in recognition of that great folk revival band and songwriter Paul Clayton.
Thanks Bryan Williston for this action shot!
Next up...
We take the show on the road to Hamilton’s Artword Artbar on Thurs., Mar. 30th; Click Here To Book Online

The gang returns to the Free Times Cafe in Toronto on Wed., April 19th. Call for dinner reservations 416-967-1078

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Whole Lotta Folk Lovin‘

The folk revival cupids were out in full song at a special Valentine’s Day’s edition of Where Have All the Folk Songs Gone last night at the Free Times. The evening was a welcome warm respite of calm, joy, and of course a lot of singing.

Wednesday’s program focused on all aspects of love. There were plenty of traditional loves songs including Sing in The Sunshine, Four Strong Winds, Both Sides Now and Cruel War and we entrenched a few newer additions to the show, First Time Ever I Saw Your Face and Until Its Time For You To Go. We also sang of love of country (Un Canadien Errant), wine (Stewball), organized labour (Union Maid) and Dragons (Puff!).

Thanks to everyone for the lovin’ and singin’.

Next show at the Free Times Cafe is Wednesday, March 15. Make your reservations early @ 416-967-1078.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Next Show ~ Wednesday Feb 15th

Join us for a special Valentine’s Day edition💟 

Lots of love songs from the era plus other Folk Revival favorites!

Dinner reservations recommended to guarantee a seat: 416-967-1078

Cover: $15 at door

Doors: 6:30pm  Music starts: 7:30pm

Venue: Free Times Cafe, 320 College St., Toronto

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Last night we had a great singalong crowd to help us usher in the fifth year of our monthly residency at the Free Times Cafe. The audience was in fine voice and spirit.

In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which was on Monday of this week, our set lists included lots of songs from the days of the Freedom Ride and the Civil Rights Movement  That day, we had watched some very moving documentaries on the struggles of the time and it was good to sing songs that figured so prominently in the movement and still resonate today.

Songs of the Freedom Ride to Mississippi in 1961 were represented by renditions of 'Study War No More', 'Which Side Are You On', and 'This Little Light'. We also sang anthems from the 1963 March on Washington such as 'We Shall Overcome', 'If I Had Hammer' and 'Blowin’ in the Wind', transporting us all back to that important and emotional event. Finally, we sang civil rights contributions of the big 3… Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs, and Bob Dylan… namely 'Back of the Bus', 'State of Mississsippi', and 'The Times They Are a Changin' respectively. 

The evening created a hopeful start to this new year.  

Thanks Fred B. for this lovely photo.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

They Came, We All Sang, We Partied...Like It Was 1965!

New Year’s Eve and 60’s folk music made for a boisterous combination at the Free Times Cafe on Saturday night as an overflowing and exuberant audience bid 2016 farewell, and rang in 2017. Almost 100 people were turned away for this intimate and popular evening. 
After dining on a delicious special buffet, the crowd was treated to Judy’s trademark OY's and then sang along to some of the most memorable songs of the 60's Folk Revival courtesy of Sue, Michelle, Dwight, and Tony.
The evening included a special ‘unplugged’ set, for a change of pace, which introduced three new songs from our audience request list.  Pete Seeger’s ‘Waist Deep in the Big Muddy’, Ewan McCaul’s ‘First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’, and Buffy Sainte Marie’s 'Until Its Time For You to Go’ debuted in a rare quiet portion of the night.
Hallelujah  Hallelujah  Hallelujah  Halleluuuuuuujah

A champagne toast at midnight was accompanied by the singing of Auld Lang Syne and a special performance led by Michelle of ‘Hallelujah’, a poignant tribute to Leonard Cohen.

It was truly a night to remember! A big thanks goes to Judy, her amazing staff, and all the wonderful folks
who joined us and sang their hearts out.  This was the ‘Where Have All the Folk Songs Gones' gang's first New Year’s show and it won’t be the last.

Some of the audience feedback received!
Next show is Wednesday, January 18th! Book your dinner reservation early 416-967-1078 and don't forget to bring your Frequent Folkie Card. Cover: $15 at door Doors 6:30pm and Music starts 7:30pm

Friday, 2 December 2016

Fabulous Gang Of Singalongers!

As the title of this post says, we had a fabulous gang of singalongers out for the November show. It was an amazing evening. This comment from one young woman summed it up perfectly...

"I thought the last show I attended was great but this was even better. I wonder if it's because we all really needed it after all the negative US politics of the last week?"

This gal had stumbled upon the show a few months ago and this time, brought her parents. It was so cool seeing both generations really getting into the music.

Since then, we've been busily preparing for the upcoming New Years show. We want to make it extra special. Judy, owner of the Free Times Cafe, has promised to "make this buffet amazing!" And we know she will.

Reservations are already being taken and seating is limited, so don't miss out on the chance to say farewell to 2016 and welcome 2017 in a room full of great folks singing together. Call Judy at  416-967-1078 to reserve your table today!

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

What Big Announcement Was Made At Our October Show?

We had a lot of fun at our Oct. 19th show. The great group of sing-alongers included newbies and seasoned veterans!

At the break, Free Times Cafe owner Judy Perly made the announcement that we're all going to party like it's 1965 on New Years Eve. We're very excited about it. This special event will be in lieu of a regular December show.
In addition to an expanded version of 'Where Have All The Folk Songs Gone?' (more songs over the course of the evening), there will be a full course dinner buffet that sounds amazing...
Gourmet Hors D’euvres, Salads, Vegetarian, Chicken, Salmon, Brisket, Pasta, 
Fresh Fruit, Dessert,Coffee,Tea, and Old Fashioned Seltzer

And as if that's not exciting enough we'll also have...
Party Favours and Champagne at Midnight and great Prizes!

Space is limited though so reservations are required. Call Judy today at 416-967-1078 to reserve your table! Here are the time and cost details: 7-8:30pm Buffet $50 and 9pm Show $25  Your Frequent Folkie Card will be stamped.

 Our next regular monthly singalong show is 
at the Free Times Cafe is Wed. Nov. 16th

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Singin'! Playin'! Rowin'?

We had another great crowd of sing-alongers out for the September show. 

♫¸Pooped but happy folk singers after another fun
'Where Have All The Folk Songs Gone' show
at the Free Times Cafe ~ September 2016
Remember Beverley, the gal from St. John's, who joined us via her friend's smartphone last month? Well she was here in person this month! And, we had some other out-of-towners as well. A couple from Portland Maine and one from London Ontario.

We launched our brand new 'Frequent Folkie Card' (six shows and get the seventh free) last night and it was fun watching some of our regulars figuring out which month will be their freebie!

We introduced three new songs this month...the oft requested 'Lemon Tree', Dave Van Ronk's 'Hang Me' and Tom Paxton's 'Ramblin Boy', which all met with enthusiastic audience approval.

It was a very spirited group and the band members were all delighted when we looked out and noticed one table energetically rowing along to 'Michael Row Your Boat Ashore'!   

snapd College Edition stopped by during the break to capture some happy faces, so we'll post a link to those as soon as we hear from them.

Thanks again to everyone who came out. Hope to see you again soon!

Next regular show at the Free Times Cafe is Wednesday, October 19th but before that, the gang will be taking the show on the road to the Artword Artbar in Hamilton on Thursday, September 29th.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Next Show At The Free Times Cafe Coming Up Soon!

It's September already and we're looking forward to our next show at the Free Times Cafe.

Just a reminder that if you're planning to attend, we welcome your requests as we create the set list for the evening. Check out our Song List and we'll try include as many as we can. We plan to introduce another new song (possibly two) to the repertoire this month!

Something else NEW, this month...the Frequent Folkie card. We want to reward our regular attendees, so starting in September everyone will receive a card that will be stamped at each show. Once 6 stamps are received, they can attend the 7th show for FREE!  

And thanks again to Snapd College edition for another great bunch of photos taken at our July show. Check them out here!

See you on the 21st!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Summer Series Success

Our 'Summer Series' wrapped up with another full room of enthusiastic folk fans. We're so happy we made the decision to continue the show through July and August this year. 

Thanks everyone who came out to sing with us last night. What a lovely group of people in the audience and what a great vibe.

The show went national, during our first song of the evening ('Green Green'), with a shout-out to Beverley, who joined us from St. John's Newfoundland via her friend's smartphone

We did an impromptu version of 'Farewell To Nova Scotia', by special request of some first time attendees. The rousing rendition brought out the Maritimer in everyone!  

'Puff The Magic Dragon' continues to be a favourite. It's always a joy to play it and see the audience reaction.

Our bass player Tony summed it up perfectly, as we packed up at the end of the evening, when he said "I can't not have a great time at this show!"

See you in September for our next show! Upcoming Shows

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Summer Folk Singin' Fun

Sometimes it can be tough getting audiences out to club shows in the Summer months when backyards and other outdoor activities beckon. But dedicated folk song fans appear to be an exception. It was another full house last night at the Free Times Cafe made up of some regulars, some newbies, a tourist, and multiple Irenes (which triggered an impromptu set change to include The Weaver's classic song of that name).

It was a wonderful night for us. You really can't sing 60's folk songs with a room full of people and not go home happy. Thanks everyone! 

Next show at The Free Times Cafe is Wed. Aug. 17th.
♫♪ ♫♪ Smiley Post Show Folk Singers

Tourist from Montreal!  

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Were you SNAP'd?

SNAP'd dropped in to take some photos at the show in both April and May. We attract a very good looking audience, if I do say so myself!
Here they are... SNAP'd APRIL 2016  SNAP'd MAY 2016

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Heat Of The Summer Edition Of The Folk Revival

We’re pleased to announce that by popular demand, we’ll be continuing our monthly shows at the Free Times Cafe right through the Summer this year. So, mark July 20 and August 17 in your calendars and come down and sing along to ‘Where Have All the Folk Songs Gone’ Heat Of The Summer edition. Please do make a reservation in advance to ensure you get a seat. 

We got an early start to the Summer season with a rousing show on June 15 at the Free Times. Another full house was in fine vocal form and kept us on our toes. The singing of ‘You Were On My Mind’ resulted in a blending of both Ian & Sylvia’s version (us) and the We Five’s version (a lovely group of gals) almost seamlessly. Folk revival era tunes were usually covered by several different groups, branding them with their own signature sound.  

‘Cruel War’, ‘Early Morning Rain’ and ‘When I’m Gone’ were back in the set and it was nice to play these gems again.  Thanks so much to everyone who joined us for another great night of music!

Monday, 13 June 2016

Folk Revival Rising!

Hot on the heels of our Hamilton show in May, 'Where Have All the Folk Song Gone' recently spread the gospel of the folk revival to even more new audiences...

First stop was Ryerson University’s 50 Plus Festival. The festival celebrates creativity and ideas and features an array of lectures by renowned speakers that reflect the content offered by Ryerson’s Programs for folks over 50 years of age. Our sold out Friday show at the Imperial Pub was an enthusiastic and voiceful finale to the day.

A few days later, we moved on down the line to Niagara On The Lake to perform at the Music Niagara  ‘Big Night’, an annual fundraiser in support of their extensive summer music program. Under a big white tent on a beautiful almost Summer’s evening, the a
udience quickly joined in the singing and some danced, which is becoming more frequent at our shows. Here's a photo from the evening. Michelle was just outside of the frame but we are all enjoying singing for the enthusiastic audience
Photo by Chris Blake
A big thank you to Linda Truong and Chris Blake respectively for inviting us to join them for their events.