Monday, 7 May 2018

Pete Seeger’s 99th Birthday

What better place is there to celebrate Pete Seeger’s 99th birthday than Hamilton?

Our 2018 return to Hamilton at the wonderful Artword Artbar fell on May 3, the actual date of his birth, so it was only fitting to make Pete’s music the focal point of the evening. Local music fans thought so as well, and we had a very enthusiastic near capacity crowd.


Labour songs were a very important part of Pete’s music and are always popular in Hamilton so 'Joe Hill' and 'Union Maid' were especially well received. The audience also sang along passionately to his songs from the civil rights era, 'We Shall Overcome', 'If I Had a Hammer' and 'Back of the Bus'.

It wasn’t all Pete Seeger though. Several songs received their Hamilton debuts including Woody Guthrie’s 'Deportee', Bob Gibson’s 'To Morrow' and Phil Ochs 'I Ain’t Marchin’ Anymore'. Two highlights of the night were Michelle’s sultry 'House of the Rising Sun' (the Ronnie Gilbert version) and Sue’s driven 'Universal Soldier'. It would only be appropriate to give the last word/song to Pete Seeger. It seems we’re still 'Waist Deep in the Big Muddy'!

A big thanks to Ron & Judith at the Artbar and the great audience. We’re looking forward to returning in the fall!

Here's the setlist from the evening...


Artword Artbar Setlist - May 3, 2018
Green Green

Walk Right In
Turn Turn Turn

Where Have All The Flowers Gone
Michael Row Your Boat Ashore

Goodnight Irene
Tom Dooley

This Land
The Times They Are A Changin’

I Ain’t Marchin’ Anymore
House Of The Rising Sun

To Morrow
Universal Soldier

Joe Hill
Waist Deep In The Big Muddy

You Were On My Mind
Back Of The Bus

Un Canadien Errant
Guantanamera

Little Boxes
Deportee

If I Had A Hammer
Puff The Magic Dragon

Go Tell It On The Mountain
Union Maid


We Shall Overcome




Our next show is our regular third Wednesday of the month at the Free Times Café. Wed. May 16th 7:30pm. Reservations are recommended. Call Judy at 416-967-1078 today

Monday, 30 April 2018

60’s Folk Revival In Hamilton!


We zipped over to Hamilton last week to do a little postering in advance of our May 3rd 60's Folk Revival show at the Artword Artbar. As we were putting them up they were generating interest from passersby. We're hoping that translates into a nice full room of singalongers! Yes...the audience gets to sing along. We even hand out songsheets!

May 3rd also happens to be Pete Seeger's birthday...would have been his 99th....so there will be an extra emphasis on celebrating this great man and his music.

If you haven't been to the Artword Artbar yet, I'm sure you will be thrilled as we were to find this cosy, welcoming space run by Ronald Weihs and Judith Sandiford who are dedicated to presenting quality theatre and music.
 
SHOW DETAILS
DATE: Thursday, May 3rd
TIME: 8PM

VENUE: Artword Artbar, 15 Colbourne Street, Hamilton 905-543-8512 or 905-912-9083
TICKETS: $15 Reservations recommended or purchase advance tickets online 

Here is some helpful venue info:
~ All-ages welcome
~ Licensed. Micro-brew on tap. Wines, highball cocktails, bottled beer, coolers. Also espresso, tea, juices, and light meals.
~ Street parking at meters, and anywhere not signed “By Permit Only”. There are 2 municipal lots, one off Hughson and one off Mulberry. ** Do not park in the mall parking lot across the street from the club; parking tickets are issued starting at 8pm **
~ Accessibility: the main floor is half a story above street level. Washrooms are a full flight of stairs down to the lower level.

Hope to see you there. It is going to be a fun show.
Sue, Dwight, Michelle, and Tony

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Celebrating Pete!

With Pete Seeger’s birthday just around the corner, on May 3, we decided to celebrate his music and memory at last night's monthly show at the Free Times Cafe. Our favorite saying of his is that he always wrote songs that people could sing along to and getting the audience to sing along is more or less the mission of our 60’s Folk Revival show.

The biggest challenge with a Pete Seeger night is in choosing which songs to play from his vast catalogue. He wrote, re-wrote or covered so many songs of the era. His career from 'hoboing' with Woody Guthrie to the Almanac Singers to the Weavers to the McCarthy blacklist and then back as a solo artist is almost the story of the folk revival itself.

Throughout his career he maintained a sense of fairness and social justice. As he wrote or updated songs, he always ensured that his co-writers and or heirs to public domain songs received both creative and financial credit when he filed copyrights. As a result, Joe Hickerson (Where Have All the Flowers Gone) and the family of Jose Marti in Cuba (Guantanamera) among others have benefited from the popularity of those songs.     

So we made sure we played the ‘obvious’ Pete Seeger songs like 'Where Have All The Flowers Gone?', 'Guantanamera', 'Turn Turn Turn', and 'If I Had a Hammer'. We also added some edgier deep tracks like 'Waist Deep in the Big Muddy' (which got him censored on the Smothers Brothers Show). But in covering Woody’s 'Deportee', Malvina Reynolds’ 'Little Boxes', the traditional 'Michael Row Your Boat Ashore', Florence Reece's 'Which Side Are Youn On?', and  Lead Belly’s 'Goodnight Irene', we realized just how big a reach Pete had. These songs are as closely associated with him as with the writers. Even Phil Ochs’ 'Love Me I’m a Liberal' gives Pete Seeger a shout out… “he sure gets me when he sings those songs”!

Even with all these songs, we didn’t get to other songs he sang frequently like 'Joe Hill', 'Union Maid', 'We Shall Overcome' and 'John Henry' to note a few. The Pete Seeger celebration will just have to be a year around endeavor!

We’ll continue the Pete Seeger celebration at our next show on May 3 at the Artword Artbar in Hamilton.

We’re back at the Free Times on May 16 and it’s a good bet we’ll be playing more Bob Dylan tunes than usual in honour of his big day on May 24!



APRIL 18 - Set List
Set 1
Set 2
Green, Green                               
Walk Right In                                 
500 Miles                       
Which Side Are You On
Michael Row Your Boat Ashore
Where Have All the Flowers Gone  
Tom Dooley                                
Goodnight Irene
A World of Our Own   
Turn Turn Turn
House of the Rising Sun
This Land Is Your Land                  
Waist Deep in the Big Muddy
Love Me I'm A Liberal
The Times Are a-Changin'   
Until Its Time For You to Go
Steel Rail Blues
Un Canadien Errant
Deportee
Eve of Destruction
You Were On My Mind                
What Have They Done to the Rain/ Little Boxes
Guantanamera
If I Had a Hammer                          
Puff the Magic Dragon
Tell It On the Mountain



Thursday, 22 February 2018

Folk Singing Away The February Blahs!


There were no February blahs at the Free Times Cafe on Wednesday night. Instead, a whole bunch of fresh folk faces joined with regulars to inject the February edition of ‘Where Have All the Folk Songs Gone’ with the revival spirit in the truest sense of the word. The evening had so much to offer.

We celebrated Black History month with two civil rights era anthems, 'Back of the Bus' and 'We Shall Overcome', which continue to remind us how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go. One our long time regulars Eric, was celebrating his birthday, which we feted with the Bonnie Dobson version of the beautiful 'Un Canadien Errant'. We also made a few people cry (including some band members) with 'Puff the Magic Dragon' and 'Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream'. 
The gang with the Birthday Boy and friends
What really stood out though were all the first timers. They were large in numbers being drawn to the show from our diverse ‘marketing machine’ of street posters, band member newsletters, online and magazine postings (Whole Note, What’s On TO) and our other performances like the recent Winterfolk festival and a Canada 150 show. And they were large in spirit. More than one audience member mentioned how emotional it was to hear the songs of their youth once again, which had them at times fighting back the tears, good tears! Of course, those didn’t get in the way of their robust sing along voices.

As if it couldn’t get any better, our friend Roly presented us with a cool vintage Kingston Trio songbook, which will be a cherished keepsake! 

Just a reminder that there's NO SHOW IN MARCH so mark Wednesday, April 18 in your calendar for the next edition of the folk revival.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Another Great Year Of Folk Singing Ahead!

2018 got off to a great start with a wonderful group of singalongers at the Free Times Café on Jan. 17th.

Can't believe 'Where Have All The Folk Songs Gone?' is now in our 6th year of monthly shows. It's true that ime sure flies when we're having fun!

There's more fun ahead...

Next show is Wed. Feb. 21st
(NOTE: there's no show in March)


Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Happy New Year!



It has taken a couple of days to recoup our energy after a fabulous New Year’s Eve at the Free Times Café. With two shows that included over 50 songs we were a pooped but happy band at the end of the night. There was a nice mix of first timers and regular attendees of our monthly shows.

One couple, who live in Detroit had found the show online and made the trip to Toronto by train especially for it!

Some first timers learned of the show via one of the many posters that we put up around the city and one attendee said it was the dove image that caught her attention. It evokes that message of Peace that I think attracts us to much of the music from the Folk Revival.

Oh, and another cool thing…after we sang MTA, an audience member held up her ‘Charlie Pass’. It’s a metropass issued in Boston in honour of the character in this legendary Kingston Trio song. I’m kicking myself for getting distracted during the break and forgetting to take a photo of it.

Going into the evening we were a tiny bit concerned that we'd have the stamina to get through the number of songs we’d be singing throughout the evening but it was no problem at all. In fact we happily played an unplanned-for Encore song at the very end of the night or rather early in the morning!

Thanks to Judy Perly, her staff, and everyone who came out and made it such a special night for us. Both audiences were warm and enthusiastic, and we can’t think of a better way to have ushered out 2017 and welcomed 2018!

Thursday, 7 December 2017

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? Come Party Like It's 1965!

Last year our New Year's Eve show at the Free Times Café was so much fun, we have to do it again this year. However last year's show sold out so quickly we had to turn many folks away. This year we're planning two shows so no one will be disappointed! 


New Year's Eve 
60's FOLK REVIVAL and DELUXE BUFFET 
with Where Have All The Folk Songs Gone?  
SUNDAY DECEMBER 31st
Free Times Café, 320 College St, Toronto

EARLY SHOW
Buffet Seatings: 6 & 6:30pm - $55
Music 8 to 9:30pm - $25
LATE SHOW
Buffet Seatings
(incl. midnight champagne & party favours): 8 & 8:30pm - $65
Music 10 pm thru midnight - $35

Reservations Required 416-967-1078
Book early - seating is limited!
Check out our video on You Tube: https://youtu.be/FqpeyceKMvU


Thursday, 16 November 2017

Full Coat Rack = Full House

Squeeze by the coat rack!
It was a lively crowd that filled the Free Times Cafe last night for our November edition of 'Where Have All The Folk Songs Gone?'

Not only did they fill up the coat rack, they also filled the room with a great spirit and their folk full voices.

Musical highlights included...
  • A reprisal of our new Malvina Reynold’s "mini set" of ‘What Have They Done To The Rain’ and ‘Little Boxes’ and once again experienced what a great activist songwriter she was.
  • ‘Tzena, Tzena’ continues to be a crowd favourite and we are slowly learning the proper Hebrew pronunciation...that’s ‘tszayna’!
  • Sue and Michelle made us teary-eyed with their respective renditions of ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’ and ‘We Shall Overcome’.
  • We debuted Pete Seeger and Les Rice’s ‘Banks of Marble’, the latest addition to our repertoire, which Michelle nailed. I learned from one of our audience members that it was covered by none other than Bernie Sanders back in 1987.
  • People sang along to every word of Phil Ochs’ ‘Changes’ even though it wasn’t in the songbook...our audience really knew their folk music!

Best of all is when we get to talk to folks at the break and after the show. One first timer told me “The show made me feel like I was 20 and back in high school!" Another gentleman visiting from BC, told Sue there was nothing like this show back home and that it felt like "a real gift". The 60’s folk revival spirit lives on!

Next show, actually 2 shows, are on New Year’s Eve. Check out the Upcoming Shows for details.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

What Are You Doing New Years Eve?

Last year's New Year's Eve show was sold out and many people who wanted to be there were turned away😢...so this year there will be two shows😊!!

Here are the details:


Friday, 20 October 2017

Full House of Folksingers

(Photo by Hilde R.)
Another fun evening of folk songs on a gorgeous October evening in Toronto. The room was packed with an enthusiastic gang of singalongers...of all ages. A group of a dozen twenty-somethings gathered to celebrate a birthday. Nice to see young folks embracing this music. It was so sweet to see them join hands and sway together while singing 'Puff The Magic Dragon'.

Actually there were three birthdays in the house. 
This is how we celebrate birthdays 'folk style'...Judy delivers cake on her head while we sing "Happy Birthday To You" to the tune of 'Michael Row Your Boat Ashore'. (Photo by Hilde R.)
We debuted two new songs this month...
The poignant 'What Have They Done To The Rain?' by Malvena Reynolds and Gordon Lightfoot's 'Steel Rail Blues'. Two very different songs from one another and both very well received. They bring our repertoire up to 72 songs!


Next show is Wed.Nov. 15th at the Free Times Cafe. Reservations are always encouraged to ensure you get a seat. 416-967-1078


Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Heading for the Hammer!

The Folk Revival returns to Hamilton’s wonderful Artword Artbar on Thursday, Oct 12!
Get your advance tickets here to ensure you get a seat. See you there!


Thursday, 21 September 2017

Challah, Honey, and Folk!

Lots of fun at our 60's Folk Revival show at the Free Times Cafe last night. The evening began with a lovely Rosh Hashana blessing of challah, apples and honey that were passed around for all the audience to enjoy.
With the New Year, Labour Day, and the UN Int'l Day of Peace all happening in Sept. the set list was stacked with songs in celebration of all these important events.

The photographer from snapd College stopped in between sets so we should see some nice photos in the coming weeks. Made a couple of audience members cry with 'Puff The Magic Dragon'...all in a day's work 😉

Thanks to everyone who came out to sing with us and to Colin and Joanne for these photos! It's always wonderful to have visual memories of fun times like these.
Our next show is in Hamilton at the Artword Artbar on Thurs. Oct. 12th. The next one at the Free Times Cafe in Toronto is Wed. Oct. 18th. Details for both are on the Upcoming Shows page of this blogspot. See you soon!

Monday, 28 August 2017

Folk Fun On A Beautiful August Evening In Toronto

We had a great time at the August folk show. We introduced a fun new song. The club was packed and there were two birthdays being celebrated.
Photo by Kimberley Way
Judy (Free Times Cafe owner) served cake to the birthday girls in her signature fashion while us and the entire audience sang Happy Birthday to the tune of Michael Row Your Boat Ashore, which has become our tradition.
Next show at the Free Times Cafe is Wed. Sept. 20th. You can guarantee a seat if you plan to have dinner there on the evening of the show. For reservations call 416-967-1078

Friday, 21 July 2017

Hot Time At The Free Times

Lovely bunch of sing-alongers at the Free Times Cafe for our July Folk Revival on a hot and steamy Toronto evening.

We concur wholeheartedly with the fellow who enthusiastically said, at the end of the evening, "I enjoyed every second of the show!"

And thanks so much to Eric for snapping these photos for us...
 
 
 
 
 
Would you have been able to answer our trivia question to win the prize?
Thanks for joining us and we'll see you at our next show at the Free Times on August 16, 2017. It's not too early to make your dinner reservations and guarantee a table ~ 416-957-1078

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Taking The Show On The Road!

The 'Where Have All The Folk Songs Gone?' gang piled into a van and hit the road twice in July.

First, on July 6th, to the Artword Artbar in Hamilton and then on July 16th, to the Simcoe Park band shell as part of the Music Niagara Summer Festival in Niagara On The Lake. We had a great time at both shows.

The Artword Artbar was wonderful as always. Judith and Ron have created a warm and welcoming performance space for both artists and audiences. There were lots of folks who'd been at our previous Artbar shows but also lots of new faces as well. We've already booked another show there in the Fall.

On the morning of our Music Niagara Summer Festival performance, the weather forecast was pretty dismal. Just before leaving Toronto, I did one last check online and saw there was a 70% chance of precipitation and thunderstorms at the exact same time as our show (12-2pm). Noooooooo. Fast forward to noon...the sky clouded over as we took the stage, then suddenly the sun came out and it was back and forth like that throughout the performance. A few drops of rain fell here and there but not enough to discourage the audience, so that was great. One of the festival sponsors of the was handing out fun clapper thingys, so the audience of hundreds sounded like an audience of thousands!


Sean McCaughey Photography
 Next show is our regular monthly at the Free Times Cafe on Wed. July 19th. As always, reservations are a great idea to ensure a seat!

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Artbar and Niagara Bound!

The 'Where Have All The Folk Songs Gone?' gang is hitting the road for a couple of shows this month. First up, on Thursday July 6th, is a return visit to the Artword Artbar in Hamilton. It is such a great venue to see this show. There's not a bad seat in the house. Advance Tickets will ensure your spot.
Here's a photo from our last visit to Artword Artbar! (Derek Shuurman)
Then, on Sunday July 16th we'll be performing as part of the Music Niagara series at Simcoe Park in Niagara On The Lake. It's a free show that starts at Noon and goes til 2pm.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Happy Birthday Canada!

The June edition of ‘Where Have All the Folks Songs Gone?' became a celebration of Canadian Folk Revival songs to a packed house at the Free Times Cafe on Wednesday night.
Sorry this is so blurry...I thought I was taking a panorama video of the room but all I actually took was this blurry still. Guess I was having too much fun!
 

When it was all over, songs by Wade Hemsworth, The Travellers, Ian & Sylvia, Buffy Sainte Marie, Gayle Garnett, Gordon Lightfoot, Bonnie Dobson and Joni Mitchell all had been celebrated by the very enthusiastic audience.

Canadian artists made an amazing contribution to the Revival to say the least. Hemsworth’s 'Black Fly' made it's debut on our set-list appropriately during black fly season and left everyone just a bit itchy. 'Both Sides Now', technically a bit late for the revival era, was included to recognize Joni Mitchell’s place in Canadian folk music.

Next monthly show at the Free Times Cafe is Wednesday July 19 as we’ll be playing through the summer once again this year. And, we are taking the show on the road to Hamilton and Niagara On The Lake in July. Details are in the Upcoming Shows tab.

Hope to see you soon!

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan Birthday Month!



Both Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan were born in May so we did mini-set tributes to each of them into last night’s monthly singalong at the Free Times Cafe. That’s not hard to do as both were such prolific and huge contributors to the Folk Revival.



We had a great crowd...a nice mixture of new folks and regulars. It was multigenerational too! One young gal who came across a listing for the show online, brought her 1960’s folk fan parents to club.  And a son who brought his mom for the first time to last month’s show and they decided then and there they would become regulars!

We debuted four new songs last night...’Eve Of Destruction’, ‘John Henry’, ‘Girl From The North’ Country, and ‘There’s A Meetin Here Tonight’. 

We’ve decided to continue our monthly show at the Free Times Cafe throughout the Summer again this year. Rumour has it the June show with it’s Canada 150 theme will be a hot ticket so reserve early.