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
Redsteps

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: www.oftsmusic.com) and let me know what you think.

redsteps

Redsteps - Dakota Tavern, CMW 2015

Redsteps

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

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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
Redsteps

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: www.oftsmusic.com) and let me know what you think.

redsteps

Redsteps - Dakota Tavern, CMW 2015

Redsteps

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

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