The Horseshoe Tavern

Horseshoe Holiday Bash: Jane’s Party, The Kents, and Caren

‘Tis the season for holiday parties, and at The Horseshoe Tavern on Tuesday night we enjoyed a Holiday Bash with Jane’s Party, The Kents, and Caren.

From the jump it was clear that Toronto was in the spirit of the season, with live music fans covering the checkerboard floor, and jamming along with the action on stage. The four act show (sadly we weren’t able to stick around for The Almighty Rhombus to close things out) was certainly a celebration, with festive decorations on stage, and good feelings throughout.

The show started with Caren taking to the stage with her band.

Playing the legendary Toronto stage to celebrate the season, and give people a chance to listen to her play songs from her self-titled 2017 EP, Caren held her own on Tuesday night. Both with her band, and during a solo acoustic break in the middle of the set, she was engaging and entertaining.

The sounds were smooth, and the songs hold a lyrical depth that is as refreshing as it is impactful. To hear Caren play songs like Teach Me and Berlin live was a nice way to follow-up the listens I’ve put in since the EP’s October release.

Watch for more from Caren in 2018 as she looks to build on the momentum she’s started to find this year.

We’ve got more photos of Caren at the bottom of this post, scroll on down to check them out.

The Kents continued the Holiday Bash when they took the stage next, and they put The Horseshoe Tavern fully in the spirit when they played a cover of the Saturday Night Live classic, I Wish It Was Christmas Today.

But it wasn’t all skit show covers, The Kents also released an EP in October 2017, and were ready to play songs from Within Waves for the early week Toronto crowd. Upping the energy to four piece rock and roll levels and playing songs including Caroline (I Can’t Explain) and From The Street, we got a taste of what The Kents have to offer. And we’d gladly take more of it.

With EP releases in both 2016 and 2017, The Kents are consistent in their ability to provide new music. Here’s hoping there’s more in 2018 to continue their young career.

Want to see more photos of The Kents from the Holiday Bash at The Horseshoe Tavern? Scroll down, we’ve got some!

Local boys, Jane’s Party were next on the stage, and the name that brought many of The Horseshoe Tavern attendants out on Tuesday night.

The four part rock and roll outfit were amped up from the get go, and put on a great club gig to compliment the outdoor set we saw from them this summer at the CNE when they opened for Sam Roberts and ripped through songs like Cigarette Buzz.

The Tuesday night Jane’s Party set included What I’ve Been Missing and Old Friends… and a little extra taste of Christmas music that we’ll be remembering from the Holiday Bash. Early in the set we got a taste of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Carol Of The Bells, and Good King Wenceslas on guitar – and it was the kind of special little touch that makes live music worth going to see – especially at this time of year.

Jane’s Party did what they do, bringing fans to the front of the stage, keeping them moving, and supplying the soundtrack to a night out in the city. We’ll be seeing them again… hope we see you there.

AND, Jane’s Party dropped a Christmas single this year. Give Last Train Home This Christmas a listen and get in the spirit!

Now, check out the rest of our photos of Jane’s Party

More Photos of Jane’s Party at The Horseshoe Tavern

More Photos of The Kents at The Horseshoe Tavern

More Photos of Caren at The Horseshoe Tavern

1 month ago

Happy 70th Birthday Horseshoe Tavern!

Photos by Trish Cassling

As Toronto’s historic and legendary Horseshoe Tavern celebrates its 70th birthday with a series of concerts this December, we’re looking back at some of our favourite shows over the last few years.

We’ve been fortunate to see big names and up-and-comers take the stage at Queen Street West’s most iconic music venue, and we’re proud to have captured and shared the memories of those days and nights.

Look back with us at some of our favourite photos from The Horseshoe Tavern, and stay tuned for more coverage in the future as artists and fans continue to visit those checkerboard floors.

Whitney Rose

Whitney Rose Horseshoe CD Release

The Lazys

The Lazys Toronto Horseshoe Tavern The Lazys Toronto Horseshoe Tavern

The Dead Love

The Dead Love CMW 2016 HorseshoeThe Dead Love CMW 2016 Horseshoe

Silver Love Club/ Mabel

Mabel at The Horseshoe Aussie BBQ CMW 2016

One Bad Son

One Bad Son - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017 One Bad Son - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017

Johnson Crook

Johnson Crook The Horseshoe 2016

Tommy Stinson

Tommy Stinson The Horseshoe CMW 2016

Kiefer Sutherland

Jessica Mitchell

Jessica MItchell at The Horseshoe Tavern

Birds of Bellwoods

Birds of Bellwoods - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017Birds of Bellwoods - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017

Midnight Shine

The Julian Taylor Band

Julian Taylor Band - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017 Julian Taylor Band - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017

The Dead South

The Dead South Toronto Horseshoe Tavern

The Anti-Queens

The Anti-Queens - NXNE 2017 - Horseshoe Tavern

Crown Lands

Crown Lands - Cody Bowles - NXNE 2017 - Horseshoe Tavern Crown Lands - Kevin Comeau - NXNE 2017 - Horseshoe Tavern

1 month ago

5 Quick Questions with Caren: Holiday Edition, Horseshoe Tavern Ticket Contest and Baked Brie Recipe

The holidays are coming fast, and no matter what you celebrate and who you celebrate with, it’s time to start getting festive!

To help get you going, Caren has teamed up with us for a holiday edition round of 5 Quick Questions, shared a recipe we can’t wait to try – and she’s helping us give away 2 tickets to the Holiday Bash at The Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto on Tuesday, December 19, 2017!

The Holiday Bash is going to be a whole lot of fun with Jane’s Party, The Kents, The Almighty Rhombus, and Caren rocking on one of the city’s most legendary stages in their 70th birthday year!

Now, get into the holiday spirit with Caren and use the widget in this post to enter for your chance to be at the party!

5 Quick Holiday Questions with Caren

Q) Did you have a favourite Christmas songs when you were a kid?

Caren) Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas all the way. There was something about the build up in the beginning of the song and then all of a sudden how fast paced and up beat the song gets that would get me really excited for Christmas while simultaneously making me super jealous that all I got as a Jewish kid was Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah Song. Growing up I always was amazed and confused by the idea of decorating your house with lights and huge snowmen and Santa, and when I heard that song it just made everything seem really magical and special.

Q) Do you have a favourite Christmas song to play live?

Caren) I actually have a new favourite, Jane’s Party just wrote a really cool Christmas song called Last Train Home This Christmas, and we’ll all be playing it live at our upcoming show at the Horseshoe on December 19! I started listening to it on repeat so I could learn it, but now I’m just addicted so I’ve been listening to it on repeat for fun. It’s coming out soon so everyone can be as obsessed as I am!

Q) If you could partner up with any artist for a collaboration on a Christmas song, who would you choose?

Caren) Mariah 100% She’s the queen of Christmas in my opinion. I’d love to write a song about being the Jewish kid wanting to celebrate Christmas, or feeling left out or lonely on the holidays. I was always lucky as a kid to have friends who would invite me to Christmas dinners, but it does get lonely as an adult on Christmas day when everything is closed and you’re home alone watching Home Alone and eating leftover dessert on the couch in your pjs.

Q) What is your favourite beverage for a holiday party?

Caren) Gin and Tonics with a sprig of rosemary. This is my go to winter drink, and the rosemary makes it look festive in my opinion, plus adds great flavour.

Q) If you could only have 1 dessert after Christmas dinner, what would you choose?

Caren) When I was younger, I’d always have Christmas dinner at my friend’s place, and as two tweens it was our job to make the dessert. Every year we’d make one, ginormous, killer Baked Alaska, because it was 90% ice cream and 10% marshmallow and 100% delicious. That’s what I think of when I think of Christmas dessert, which I realize is weird since it involves eating copious amounts of ice cream in the middle of the Canadian winter.

We also asked Caren if she had a recipe that she wanted to share… and she came through!!!

“I have this baked brie recipe that is a party pleaser, and I get asked to make it for every event or dinner I go to (and it’s super easy to make and very impressive.)”

Caren’s Baked Brie


1 Brie Wheel
Puff Pastry (I usually go for frozen and defrost it)
2 tbsp Brown sugar
1/3 cup Dried Cranberries
1 Egg
A handful of Sliced Almonds


1. Roll out puff pastry and place brie wheel in the centre. Place brown sugar and dried cranberries on top of brie and fold the puff pastry over to completely engulf the sugary cheesy goodness.
2. With a knife, make small holes on the top of the masterpiece. Beat 1 egg and brush on top, and sprinkle sliced almonds on top.
3. Bake in the oven at 350 for 20-25 min. Take it out and let it sit for about an hour (Very Important!!!)
4. Slice and serve, and revel in the never-ending compliments, but never tell anyone how easy it was to make.


Summer Ontario Fun Tour: The Lazys Hit The Road!

If you believe that rock and roll should be played hard, fast, and loud… we’ve got a prescription for The Lazys that we think you should fill immediately during the Summer Ontario Fun Tour.

And if you’re in Ontario, your chance is coming quick to see these five Aussie rockandrollers get on stage, sweat, sing, scream, and put on the kind of club show that you leave with a smile on your face and ringing in your ears!

The Lazys Toronto Horseshoe Tavern

With eight shows in 11 days, The Lazys will be ready, willing, and able to crank up the volume and energy from Oshawa to Waterloo, and at all stops in between. And we can tell you this because we’ve seen it live for ourselves at Toronto’s Legendary Horseshoe Tavern and at the CNE’s bandshell stage. And in both settings (very different settings) the boys hit it hard, held nothing back, and made new fans out of the rock and roll diehards in the crowd.

We fully expect them to do the same on the Summer Ontario Fun Tour!

Note: Two of our favourite dudes on the way up will be joining The Lazys for two dates on the tour, when Crown Lands open in Oshawa and Toronto.

Summer Ontario Fun Tour Dates

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 – Oshawa Music Hall – Oshawa, ON
Thursday, June 15, 2017 – The John St. Pub – Arnprior, ON
Friday, June 16, 2017 – The Red Dog – Peterborough, ON
Saturday, June 17, 2017 – Burlington Sound of Music Festival – Burlington, ON
Sunday June 18, 2017 – The Pavillion – Sault Ste Marie, ON
Thursday, June 22, 2017 – NXNE @ The Horseshoe Tavern – Toronto, ON
Friday, June 23, 2017 – The Station Music Hall – Sarnia, ON
Saturday, June 24, 2017 – Maxwell’s – Waterloo, ON

If you’ve seen The Lazys on stage before, we don’t need to sell you on the idea of seeing them again. If you haven’t… well, we really, truly, completely believe that you should be at any one (or more) of these shows to enjoy some Aussie rock and roll.

And if you are a fan, stay tuned for information about the brand new record from The Lazys that we’ve been told will be coming before the end of 2017.

Until then, you can find all 13 tracks from their self-titled 2015 album, including bangers like Shake It Like You Mean It, Howling Woman, Show Me What You’re Made Of and Black Rebel, online from your favourite source – including the Spotify stream in this post.

Hit play, look at some more pics, and get your tickets for The Lazys’ Summer Ontario Fun Tour show nearest you!

The Lazys CNE 2016 The Lazys Toronto Horseshoe Tavern The Lazys CNE 2016 The Lazys CNE 2016The Lazys CNE 2016

CMW 2017: Joshua’s 3 Don’t Miss Shows ft. The Honest Heart Collective, The Beaches, High Valley

Canadian Music Week 2017 is coming faster than you might be ready for… and that’s freaking exciting. It means there’s a week of music coming that will mix what you know, what you don’t know, what you already love and what you’re going to fall in love with.

And to get you started with your planning, I’ve picked three shows that you shouldn’t miss during CMW 2017!

The Honest Heart Collective – Adelaide Hall

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Honest Heart Collective / Texas King / Bad River – all on stage to put on a show… and if the Facebook event is to be believed, The Danger Bees and our Aussie boys, Silver Love Club (formerly Mabel) will be there too!

If there ever was a time to go out and see live music on a Tuesday night, it’s during CMW… and if you’re looking for the show you want to be at – this is the one.

Last year Trish hooked up with The Honest Heart Collective for a CMW preview which was awesome, and we’ve seen Texas King on the Adelaide Hall stage before – add together all of the previous experience and I’m sure that this is a Tuesday night concert that you do not want to miss out on.

Get ready to have some fun and kick off your week.

The Beaches – The Horseshoe Tavern

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Beaches / The Brains / shy kids / The Dead Love

1) Who doesn’t want to hang at The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern on a Friday night?
2) You should want to see The Beaches be the bad ass women they are on stage during CMW!
3) Aussie rockers, The Dead Love are on the bill – and we certainly don’t want to miss that!

For real, this is going to be a Friday night concert that goes loud and hard and punches you right in the face – in the best way.

We’ve seen and hung out a little bit with The Dead Love, and we can’t wait to do that again. AND we saw The Beaches in all of their GRL BAND glory at the WayHome Xmas party in 2016… and we liked it a lot. Add in some new to us music from The Brains and shy kids and this is going to be a Friday night worth talking about on Saturday morning.

SiriusXM House w/ High Valley – The Great Hall

Saturday, April 22, 2017

High Valley / Madeline Merlo/ Jess Moskaluke

As far as country music shows go, this is going to be a good one! With three Canadian acts lined up to take over The Great Hall stage, we know what we’re going to get. Or at least we think we do.

UPDATE: 3-Time CCMA Female Artist of the Year and 2017 Juno winner for Country Album of the Year, Jess Moskaluke has been added to this show!

We’ve seen all of these performers more than once, and have had the chance to talk to each of them as well. They’re all doing what they love. They’re all good at what they do. And they’re all good to their fans.

There may be a few surprises on this Saturday night full of music… and that’s fine with us. We’ll be ready!

Now… check out some pics of the acts we’ve seen before, and get ready for more this April during Canadian Music Week 2017!

Texas King

Texas King Adelaide Hall 2016Texas King Adelaide Hall 2016

Silver Love Club

Mabel The Nightowl CMW 2016

The Beaches

The Dead Love

The Dead Love CMW 2016 HorseshoeThe Dead Love CMW 2016 HorseshoeThe Dead Love CMW 2016 HorseshoeThe Dead Love CMW 2016 Horseshoe

High Valley

High Valley Boots and Hearts 2015High Valley CNE 2016 Bandshell

Madeline Merlo

Madeline Merlo BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Madeline Merlo BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016

River Town Saints

River Town Saints BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016-River Town Saints BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016-River Town Saints CMW 2016 Boots and BourbonRiver Town Saints CMW 2016 Boots and Bourbon


CMW 2016 Spotlight: Mabel

Canadian Music Week does an amazing job of showcasing emerging and established talent from coast to coast – but that’s not all. International artists also make a big splash every year, and 2016 was no different.

Mabel The Nightowl CMW 2016On Saturday afternoon we started CMW day 6 at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern and the Aussie BBQ. While we were there we had a Queen Street West patio sit-down with 4 piece rock band Mabel, in town from Sydney for a week of shows, networking, and parties. Then, as the clock hit 1am early Sunday morning we watched the boys jump up on stage at Nightowl on College St. to close the night with their last set of the week.

Mabel hit that stage with more enthusiasm than you might expect from a band playing their 4th show in the same city in the same week. And with a crowd that was 100% ready to party (seriously, there were dudes high fiving member of the band and lip syncing with empty mic stands) they pumped out a set that made us forget what time it was, and made us wish we could keep going.

When we were sitting with the boys Saturday they told us that the Toronto crowds had been great all week, but at Nightowl, lead singer Mikey Votano made a point of telling the crowd that they were the best… and we believe it.

We also asked Mikey, Daniel, Alvin, and Jeff for the 3 things that they loved about Toronto on their first trip. Their list…

1) Food
2) The love of live music & the number of live music venues at CMW
3) Us (really, that’s what they said)

Mabel The Nightowl CMW 2016 bw-6503After some laughing and hugs, Mikey made a more serious point about Toronto and Canada, applauding our LGBT equality rights and laws that Australia is still fighting for. In fact, the band is so into the cause that they used a between songs pause during their late night set to bring it up. It was a cool moment that reminded us that rock and rollers can me more than just party boys, and gave the Toronto audience a moment of unified pride at the same time.

After that brief serious note, it was back to rocking with Daniel and Alvin trading solos on the guitar and bass – and Jeff making sure to show off his skills on the drums as well as Mabel fired through Spaceman, I Wanna Love You, and My Way from their 2015 EP, Rachel.

As we sat and laughed and etc. on Saturday afternoon we asked the boys about being grouped as similar to acts like The Strokes and The Black Keys, and they really didn’t want to get into it, but we saw The Strokes similarities on stage within the first 2 songs of the set.

Note: We also ended up making jokes about The Beatles early in the afternoon and then laughed to ourselves when Mabel played I Want To Hold Your Hand as their quick soundcheck about 7 minutes before the set.

Maybe our favourite song of the night was Rachel (Easy To Love was probably a close 2nd) so we grabbed a video of the performance that you can watch now…

The boys have also started the process of following Rachel, and hit the studio in April to record the first track. They tell us they’re happy with it, and if it’s as good as what we heard at CMW 2016, we’re sure we’ll be happy with it too.

Mikey took a second to offer a toast to the Nightowl crowd as they started their set… “Happy Fucking Saturday!” – Happy indeed.

More photos & video of Mabel at CMW 2016!

Mabel at The Horseshoe Aussie BBQ CMW 2016Mabel The Nightowl CMW 2016 bw-6499Mabel The Nightowl CMW 2016Mabel The Nightowl CMW 2016Mabel The Nightowl CMW 2016

Mabel Live at Nightowl via Facebook

2 years ago

Mining For Freedom: Johnson Crook Live at The Horseshoe Tavern

One of our favourite things about Toronto is that on any given night you can find live music that you love… and that exactly what we did on Wednesday when we hit the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern on Queen St. for a little beer and toe tapping.

The Horseshoe Tavern CMW 2015With 4 bands on the bill there was already a strong chance there was going to be something to like, but the inclusion of or pals Johnson Crook the odds shot way up, and we sat back to enjoy the show.

Well, we sat back once the music started, but before that we chatted with the guys a little as folks mingled throughout the bar. It was good to catch up, Boots & Hearts 2015 feels like a long time ago now, and it was really good to hear that there are some exciting things coming for the 4 dudes in the band.

We can’t tell you everything (there are some secrets to keep) but we can tell you…

→ There are show and festival announcements coming soon
→ An 11 track album is in the works, and the boys are excited to get it out to the world
→ They still love doing what they’re doing
→ They’re getting better as they go

Note: Also on that 4 band bill at the Horseshoe were The Middle Coast, Kevin Myles Wilson & the Useless, and Whiskey Epiphany – all doing a good job with their tunes and getting the Wednesday night crowd into the live music vibe. Thumbs up to all 3 bands.

Johnson Crook outside-3476When Johnson Crook took their turn on the venerable old stage they didn’t disappoint.

The hit us with a heap of tracks, some we’d heard, some new to us (and coming on the record) and 1 that Noel told us about pre-show that was written the day before it was recorded in studio in the aftermath of a beer and bro sleepover with Jared. Mining For Freedom is the result, and it’s pretty darn good.

We didn’t get the whole set list down, too busy singing and stomping and drinking… but here’s a selection of what we heard.

Minnedosa, Manitoba
Call Me Home
Old Crow
How The Hell Did We Go Wrong
Mining For Freedom

We always love the deep beats that Johnson Crook plays, they lend themselves well to boot stompin’ and drinkin’ and good timin’. And that’s never a bad thing. We’ll take more of it any time we can get it.

High fives to the boys for putting on a fun set and getting the people in the crowd involved, we’re looking forward to the record and more live tunes sometime soon!

Check out more pics from the night and stay tuned for more.

Be Awesome!

Johnson Crook at The Horseshoe

Johnson Crook The Horseshoe 2016Johnson Crook The Horseshoe 2016Johnson Crook The Horseshoe 2016Johnson Crook The Horseshoe 2016Johnson Crook The Horseshoe 2016

The Middle Coast at The Horseshoe

The Middle Coast The Horseshoe 2016The Middle Coast The Horseshoe 2016The Middle Coast The Horseshoe 2016The Middle Coast The Horseshoe 2016

Kevin Myles Wilson & the Useless at The Horseshoe

Kevin Myles Wilson The Horseshoe 2016Kevin Myles Wilson The Horseshoe 2016

Whiskey Epiphany at The Horseshoe

Whiskey Epiphany The Horseshoe 2016Whiskey Epiphany The Horseshoe 2016Whiskey Epiphany The Horseshoe 2016

2 years ago

Good Company: The Dead South Lands in Toronto

Fresh off a flight over the Atlantic Ocean, from Germany to Toronto, The Dead South barely had time to catch their breath before playing back-to-back nights in Hogtown.

We sat down with Nate, Scott, and Colton before their set at The Horseshoe to talk about Europe, Road Gold, their music, Bluegrass, and hanging out in basements. Big thanks to them for sharing a drink and hanging out.

The Dead South Toronto Southern Accent-6296Rewind 24 hours from our sit down and The Dead South were hanging out at Southern Accent on Markham Street, playing songs and shaking hands and celebrating their Good Company album. The band got off a plane, grabbed their suitcases, and within hours were on stage. It was tight quarters, but they made it work. And while they were elbow to elbow most of the night, the boys told us that they don’t mind – it’s fun once in a while.

Note: There was a Canadian legend in the room on Monday night as Tom Cochrane hung out and listened to some music. It’s always cool to see a dude with that track record checking out new acts.

We asked the boys in the band about their time in Europe, specifically Germany, where they’re enjoying some awesome success, and they told us that it’s awesome to see the fans showing up and loving what they do. They also told us that the crowds are a little different, with the fans standing silently, watching attentively, and then, when the songs ends, they applaud. It isn’t like N.A. crowds with milling about and chats, during the set. And while it took some getting used to, The Dead South loves those crowds just like the ones at home in Saskachewan.

The Dead South Toronto Horseshoe Tavern-6332One of our favourite things to do is hang out and talk music with musicians, and when we asked Nate, Scott, and Colton about music, we learned some interesting things…

1) We asked what music made the boys want to start playing music themselves.
Nate: The Doors
Scott: Led Zepplin
Colton: Red Hot Chili Peppers

2) We asked about the music the band is listening to right now.
And we found out that there’s a lot of metal on the playlists, which isn’t exactly what we expected.

3) We asked about how the band got into bluegrass.
Their answer, awesome… Colton and Nate told us that they started to jam together with Colton on banjo and Nate on guitar with the intention of playing bluegrass, but they weren’t good enough. So what they’ve adopted and adapted is their own brand. It’s gritty and hits hard, but lets up when it needs to and speeds up and slows down when the time is right.

The Dead South Toronto Horseshoe Tavern-6509We like it. And if it isn’t bluegrass the way they thought it would be, who cares.

The Dead South has some more tour to finish up in the western half of the country before they head home for the holidays, which includes a night on stage in Regina at the 4th Annual McMorris & McMorris Gala. That show also happens to include our pal Jess Moskaluke, which means we’re doubly jealous of everyone who will be at the Conexas Art Centre on December 22.

Also when they get home they’ll be able to get reviews of their Honey You video which has hit the internet and CMT. Check it out at the bottom of the post.

The Dead South have spent a lot of time on stage this year in Canada, the US, and Europe. On Monday night they received CIMA Road Gold certification for selling 25,000 tickets on tour in Canada in 2015.

The Dead South Toronto Horseshoe Tavern-6479And on Tuesday night they tore up the stage again. The Dead South brought energy and tight musicianship and even a little dancing to the crowd who stood and sat and tapped their feet and do-si-do’d in front of the stage while the music beat out of the cello, guitar, mandolin, and banjo. It’s all added up to a well deserved break.

If you’re west of Manitoba, check the tour dates and see for yourself how good these guys are before the year ends… and if you’re not out west, keep an eye on 2016 dates, because these boys will be on the road again for sure.

Here’s hoping they all take some time to relax, and then hang out in a basement with their instruments and some drinks and jam until they either have new songs or are tired from having a good time simply enjoying the music.

The Dead South: Honey You

The Dead South Toronto Horseshoe Tavern-6392The Dead South Toronto Horseshoe Tavern-6500The Dead South Toronto Horseshoe Tavern-6493The Dead South Toronto Horseshoe Tavern-6541The Dead South Toronto Horseshoe Tavern-6340

2 years ago

Friday Night Rock and Roll with The Lazys & One Bad Son!

If you didn’t already know, Friday night is a good night for rock and roll in Toronto!

On a chilly November night on Queen Street, three rock and roll bands took their turns on the legendary Horseshoe Tavern stage and did everything in their power to turn up the heat and the volume. Spoiler: They succeeded.

Note: Thanks to the Horseshoe for turning on the AC because it got real hot, real fast when the music started and the crowd pushed up to the front of the stage.

Big love to The Lazys, One Bad Son, and The Ballroom Babies for coming out on a Friday night and entertaining a crowd that was hungry for rock and roll.

The Ballroom Babies Toronto Horseshoe TavernFirst on stage, making the most of their 9:30 time slot, was The Ballroom Babies. 3 dudes from Mississauga who made a good impression on the local audience, and got everyone ready for the rest of the music still to come.

Clear in their UK rock influences, easy to tell from their catchy guitar riffs and their covers of The Beatles and Queen – their Tie Your Mother Down was awesome – these 3 dudes remind us of the band in your high school talent show you kept playing and grew up to be actually be good.

High five to brothers Mike, Steve, and Nathan… The Ballroom Babies!

Before we get to our highlight of the night we need to feature Saskatoon 4 piece rockers, One Bad Son.

One Bad Son Toronto Horseshoe Tavern -9495These prarie boys have been playing together since 2004, and 11 years later they’re having the biggest rock and roll year of their lives. Opening for both Def Leppard and Judas Priest – and adding headling the ‘Shoe on a weekend, which they told us all, was a big deal.

With no shortage of energy, One Bad Son took the stage to headline the night and did not disappoint the fans that danced and sang and shouted along with the music. Their increasing popularity on rock radio and online has clearly earned them fans across the country – and we can’t argue with any of them.

One Bad Son Toronto Horseshoe TavernThis is a tight rock and roll outfit, loud, fun, coordinated and exciting. We don’t know this to be fact, but the band reminded us of the original I Mother Earth tracks from the 90s, and perhaps there’s some influence there.

Applause to Shane, Adam, Adam, and Kurt… One Bad Son!

Sandwiched between The Ballroom Babies and One Bad Son were Australian rockers – and all around good dudes – The Lazys.

The Lazys Toronto Horseshoe TavernHere’s the 1st thing you need to know about The Lazys on stage at The Horseshoe – it’s a SHOW. That’s not yelling, we just really wanted to emphasize it. These 5 boys are entertainers. Dancing, jumping, singing, playing, smiling fools for rock and roll. There wasn’t a minute that slowed down the energy, and there wasn’t a time in the show that I wasn’t convinced that lead singer Leon Harrison was 3 seconds from diving off the stage and into the crowd.

Here’s the second thing… The Lazys have more black clothing, hair, and ink on stage than any regular sampling of 5 guys you’d find on the street – even with Glenn very confidently rocking the bald head.

The Lazys Toronto Horseshoe TavernThe Lazys put on a hot, sweaty, loud, aggressive, and highly entertaining show. They whip their hair. They drench themselves in water. They take pictures of the crowd. Matty finds a bar to stand on to play solos that much closer to the crowd.

The combined showmanship of Leon, Matty, Glenn, Liam, and Andy mixed perfectly with the uptempo, high volume rock and roll that they bring to the stage. Rock and roll fans are lucky to have The Lazys in Canada on this tour and we’ll be lucky to have them back again… hopefully sooner rather than later.

Don’t miss them when you get the chance.

Big love to Leon, Matty, Glenn, Liam, and Andy… The Lazys!

Photos of The Lazys – The Horseshoe Tavern, November 20 2015

The Lazys Toronto Horseshoe TavernThe Lazys Toronto Horseshoe TavernThe Lazys Toronto Horseshoe Tavern

Watch our Facebook page for more photos!

The Lazys Set List – The Horseshoe Tavern, November 20 2015

⚡ Ready Ready
⚡ Show Me What You’re Made Of
⚡ Fight For The People
⚡ Punk Come ‘N Get Me
⚡ Howling Woman
⚡ All Fired Up
⚡ Love Your Gun
⚡ Black Rebel
⚡ Shake It Like You Mean It

2 years ago

The Fifth: Birds of Bellwoods EP Review

The boys of Birds of Bellwoods call Toronto home (right now) and have been making a name for themselves on the local scene with a combination of club shows and major showcases like their sold out CMW and NXNE 2015 appearances. They also made an appearance at Boots & Hearts in 2015 as part of the Emerging Artist Showcase.

The Birds of Bellwoods Cameron House NXNEAnd now Stephen Joffe (Lead Vocals / Mandolin), Adrian Morningstar (Guitar / Vocals), Chris Blades (Banjo / Vocals), Kintaro Akiyama (Upright Bass / Vocals) are sharing their brand new EP, The Fifth, with the world.

The Fifth is a 5 track offering that brings (as their website confirms) folk from a different angle. Released on August 11, 2015 – it’s a great introduction for alt-folk lovers who haven’t yet found the band, and a fun listen for those who have been following them for any length of time at all.

Birds of Bellwoods – The Fifth Track Listing

Birds of Bellwoods - The Fifth - Front Cover1. Sky
2. Come Home
3. Roll Your Stone
4. Grey Ghosts
5. The Fifth

If you’re looking for some place to start, don’t complicate things. Sky is the lead track and first single from the EP – and the first track we listened to when we got our hands on the new music.

Birds of Bellwoods fits the Alt-Folk brand well, with well written lyrical content, strong but often stripped down instrumentals, and a mix of mellow and more sped up singing from lead singer Joffe and the rest of the band behind him.

As a collection, The Fifth hits all of the right notes, offering only 1 minor critique – we would have liked to listen to a full album worth of tracks.

All signs point to continued success and popularity for Birds of Bellwoods with upcoming shows at Toronto’s TURF, Indie Week Canada, and The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern, as well as the Festival of Good Things in Sarnia, ON and the Jasper Folk Music Festival in Jasper AB. It’s a schedule that will introduce the quartet to new listeners, give them an opportunity to continue developing their stage show (which is already fun to watch), and play these 5 songs to everyone within ear shot.

The Birds of Bellwoods Cameron House NXNEAfter more than a couple listens, we willingly give The Fifth a thumbs up. These 4 boys have the chops to make the music, and as long as they keep doing what they’re doing – and finding their way, Birds of Bellwoods are going to be on the scene for a long time with fans to spare and music to love.

Find Birds of Bellwoods online at these fine locations…

Facebook: /birdsbellwoods
Twitter: @BirdsBellwoods
Instagram: @birdsofbellwoods
YouTube: Birds of Bellwoods
iTunes: Birds of Bellwoods – The Fifth

2 years ago

CMW Night 1: The Horseshoe & Dakota Taverns ft. Daniel Lanois

Canadian Music Week kicked off Friday night in Toronto, and we celebrated by checking out 5 bands at 2 venues, with a nice walk in the spring night air thrown in the middle.

This is an awesome 10 day stretch in the city, with new bands, and main stage performers mixing to play for bars and clubs full of longtime fans and curious music lovers alike. We’re glad to be covering the action… including these 5 artists:

Thomas D’Arcy
Terra Lightfoot
Daniel Lanois
Our Friend and the Spiders

thomas d’arcy
Thomas D'arcy 2

Thomas D’Arcy

Our Canadian Music Week 2015 adventure kicked off with Canadian artist, and Toronto music scene veteran, Thomas D’Arcy.

Admittedly not a fan himself of solo acoustic acts, D’Arcy seemed determined to make sure that he was significantly more entertaining than the average open mic musician. And even without his polished lyrics and well rehearsed songs, Thomas D’Arcy would be as entertaining as all of in the room at the Horseshoe could have hoped.

D’Arcy was accompanied on stage for a few songs in the middle of his set by a keyboard player, in an effort not to be the boring acoustic guy, as he said himself. He also nailed, what he also told us, was his 1st attempt to use a looping pedal in a live show.

He was also witty, in a “this all sounds way better with a full band” self-deprecating kind of way.

Verdict: Big ups to Thomas D’Arcy for giving us a good set of music to start a 10 day music adventure in Toronto.

terra lightfoot
Terra Lightfoot 2

Terra Lightfoot

Replacing a previously billed artist isn’t always an easy task, but Terra Lightfoot did just that when Rocco Deluca needed a fill in at the Horseshoe Tavern.

As Lightfoot put it after her first song wrapped up in front of an increasingly full room, it wasn’t “planned, but opening for Daniel Lanois, I think that was on my bucket list.”

With a full band, the sound in the bar picked up a level, it was a nice progression in the evening. Backed by a bass, drums, and backup vocals, this was rock and roll that you could love at any bar on any night.

ps. Terra Lightfoot plays a mean guitar. Really. It was a lot of fun to watch her play and flip her hair and be awesome.

The entire band plays well together and should continue to get progressively more awesome as time goes by and more sets are played.

Recommendation: If you see Terra Lightfoot’s name on a chalkboard sign or a marque, pay the cover, buy the ticket, get a drink and enjoy the show!

daniel lanois
Daniel Lanois 2

Daniel Lanois

In front of a fully packed house at the Horseshoe Tavern, Daniel Lanois took the stage at 11pm and put on a show. It was the reason people were in the bar Friday night.

I knew going in that I had no idea what to expect from Lanois who has been known to get creative with his live performances when he makes them.

The music industry vet confident, a little cocky, and convinced that he was in complete control of his situation. His set was part experimental jam session (with a computer on stage to go with his steel and electric guitars, as well as his drummer and bass player) – part performance art (with a cameraman and at least 2 GoPro cams set up on the stage to capture the action) – and part I’m Daniel Lanois, you know that what I’m going to do is awesome.

The truth of the matter is this: When an artist/producer/man of Daniel Lanois’s reputation, nobody is ever going to tell you that you can’t try something new, do what you want, and put on your kind of show. The closest they come is calling out from the crowd to play more music (which they did) after having a pint or 3.

Verdict: Daniel Lanois played what he wanted to play for a crowded house of people who wanted to hear him play it. It was 100% worth seeing a Canadian legend up on stage as he did what he does, and told the crowd, “it’s Canadian Music Week every week of my fucking life.”

our friend and the spiders
Our Friend and the Spiders 1

Our Friend And The Spiders

After a nice little walk through Trinity Bellwoods park, Our Friend And The Spiders were on the stage at The Dakota Tavern on Ossington.

These 4 dudes from Montreal are proud to represent their home city, and they do it well with good rock and roll, and as many references and mentions of their home as they could fit in.

As a 4 piece rock band, Our Friend And The Spiders are tight with no 1 piece of the music outshining any of the other pieces involved. They were steady, fluid, and easy to listen to (but not easy listening, you know what I mean) in a room like the Dakota.

note: I would have Tweeted and Instagrammed for y’all, but there’s a charming lack of signal in the basement venue.

This was a rock set that reminded me of Edge 102.1 in the late 90s and early 2000s when I was listening. The kind of rock and roll that works. The kind of rock and roll that you can put on at any time and know that you won’t be let down.

Recommendation: Look them up (here’s their website: and let me know what you think.


Redsteps - Dakota Tavern, CMW 2015


The Dakota Tavern’s 1am set belonged to hometown band, Toronto based, the Redsteps.

From the start of their first song I had them pegged as Southern Rock with shades of Country. But when I read their listing in the CMW 2015 guide I saw Rock, Roots, Soul… and while that might not be incorrect – any band that’s playing trucking songs and has a voice with the kind of twang these boys are bringing needs to have Country in their descriptor.

It also shouldn’t have been a surprise to hear some twang from the Redsteps since they’ve previously played a residency at The Dakota Tavern.

From the first song in the set the band had ladies up and dancing in front of the stage. A testament to the music that the 5 piece band played on Friday night.

Verdict: Do what I’m going to do and find their self titled debut album from 2014 and give it a listen.

Thomas D'Arcy - The Horseshoe Tavern CMW 2015Terra Lightfoot - The Horseshoe Tavern CMW 2015Daniel Lanois - The Horseshoe Tavern CMW 2015Our Friend and the Spiders - The Dakota Tavern CMW 2015Redsteps - The Dakota Tavern CMW 2015The Horseshoe Tavern CMW 2015Dakota Tavern Stock Ale CMW 2015

3 years ago

Whitney Rose, CD Release Party: Heartbreaker of the Year [Photos]

Last night we took the short trip to the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern to see Whitney Rose celebrate the release of her 2nd album, Heartbreaker of the Year.

Whitney put on a great show, harnessing her nervous energy and excitement to lead the full house through a collection of her new songs, tracks from her self-titled debut album, and classic country covers. With what is quickly becoming trademark humility and a smile, Miss Rose held the crowd in the palm of her hand and truly looked like she enjoyed every minute of it.

We’d like to thank Whitney for always being great to us. And we’d like to share her music with you…

So we’re giving away 1 CD copy of Heartbreaker of the Year.

And now, without any further ado, a collection of photos from the Whitney Rose “Heartbreaker of the Year” CD Release Show at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto.

Whitney Rose Horseshoe CD Release Toronto

Whitney Rose Horseshoe CD Release in song 1

Whitney Rose Horseshoe CD Release in song 2

Whitney Rose Horseshoe CD Release in song 3

Whitney Rose Horseshoe Heartbreaker of the Year CD Release

Whitney Rose Horseshoe CD Release Feature

Whitney Rose Horseshoe CD Release ft Raul Malo

Whitney Rose Horseshoe Tavern CD Release

Whitney Rose Horseshoe CD Release ft Nichol Richardson

3 years ago

Secret Broadcast and A Primitive Evolution with Die Mannequin

Supporting her latest album “Neon Zero“, Care Failure and the rest of  Die Mannequin played to a full house Saturday night in Toronto at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern. Getting things started, opening acts A Primitive Evolution followed by Secret Broadcast.

A Primitive Evolution were added to the bill for the Saturday night. I’d seen them a few years back at The Hideout but this was not the band I remembered. I’m not saying they were bad before they weren’t, but last night, they were fierce and unforgettable. From the first note to the very last they had my undivided attention.

A Primitive Evolution The Horseshoe Play Dead Cult

The music, loud and driving, with purpose. Great guitar riffs, amazing bass lines and energetic drumming. These guys were amazing! A Primitive Evolution is Brett Carruthers on vocals and guitar, Steph Seki on bass and vocals and Stu Dead on drums and percussion.

A Primitive Evolution at the Horseshoe

A surprise to me, I’d just met Stu last week when I bought a hoodie in his awesome shop Playdead Cult. They were super interesting to shoot and they won me over. I came home and bought their album. You should check them out.

On the interwebs:
Twitter: @APEvolution
Facebook: A Primitive Evolution 
YouTube: A Primitive Evolution
SoundCloud: A Primitive Evolution
iTunes: A Primitive Evolution

Next up, Secret Broadcast. I’ve been a fan since the release of “Filthy Souls” last year. I like the intensity and the feel of the music. Secret Broadcast is Matt Lightstone on guitar and vocals, Keith Heppler on drums, Will Bennet on guitar and Curtis Harding on bass.

Matt Lightstone Secret Broadcast The Horseshoe

They had the crowd singing along and their energy is infectious.

Secret Broadcast The Horseshoe

On the interwebs:
Twitter: @SecretBroadcast
Facebook: Secret Broadcast
YouTube: SecretBroadcastTV 
SoundCloud: Secret Broadcast
iTunes: Secret Broadcast

And now on to Die Mannequin… I’ve been a fan forever and I was thrilled for the opportunity to cover this show, in this venue. Amazing! The last time I saw Die Mannequin was at Sound Academy and while the energy was intense, I was upstairs and not down on the floor. This time… front and centre and when the moshing started, I was in the thick of it.

Care Failure Die Mannequin The Horseshoe

We got tunes from the new album “Neon Zero”, old favs and possibly the coolest cover, ever, “Fresh Prince”.

Care Failure Die Mannequin The Horseshoe

Set List

Set List Die Mannequin The Horseshoe Tavern

There are still plenty of dates, with the next stop being in Montreal.
Die Mannequin Secret Broadcast Tour Poster

On the interwebs:
Twitter: @DieMannequin
Facebook: Die Mannequin
YouTube: diemannequinmusic
SoundCloud: diemannequinmusic
iTunes: Die Mannequin

Want to see more photos? There are three posts on Adventures of an Urban GirlA Primitive Evolution, Secret Broadcast and Die Mannequin.


3 years ago
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