Monday, 29 October 2018

Next Show - The Greatest Hits Of Peter, Paul and Mary

In place of our regular monthly ‘Where Have All The Folk Songs Gone?’ show, we will be presenting ‘The Greatest Hits Of Peter, Paul and Mary’, with songs spanning their 40+ year career. Singer, Henry Lees joins Sue and Dwight as the third voice to recreate the group's innovative harmonies, and Tony Laviola will accompany on double bass. Songsheets will be provided. 

The ‘Where Have All The Folk Songs Gone?’ gang will return on Wednesday, December 5th when Michelle is back from touring out west.

Iconic 1960s folk music trio Peter, Paul and Mary created anthems of social change, and their unique harmonies ushered them to the top of the charts. Prominent in the civil rights and anti-war movements, their repertoire included such top 10 hits as 'If I Had A Hammer', 'I Dig Rock 'N Roll Music', 'Blowin’ In The Wind', 'Leavin On A Jet Plane' and 'Puff The Magic Dragon'.
 
A short video clip from our first PPM show at Miles Nadal JCC on Sept. 27th, 2018: 'If I Had My Way'


Friday, 19 October 2018

Folktastic Singalong!

As if performing the show isn't fun enough already, reading comments like this the morning after is icing on the cake!

Wednesday night was Toronto's first really chilly evening of the season, but it was warm and cozy inside the Free Times Café as we all sang along to these great songs...

Set 1
Set 2
There's A Meetin'
Green Green                         
Walk Right In            
The Banks Are Made Of Marble
500 Miles      
Today
Stewball
Pack Up Your Sorrows
MTA
Deportee
Little Boxes
To Morrow
Until Its Time For You To Go
Ramblin' Boy
The Times They Are A Changin'
Open Up Them Pearly Gates
Early Morning Rain
Un Canadien Errant
Four Strong Winds 
When I’m Gone
Union Maid             
If I Had A Hammer               
Michael Row Your Boat
Tell It On the Mountain
Puff the Magic Dragon
Morningtown Ride

Something a little different coming up next month. While Michelle is away on tour, we are going to present our new 'The Greatest Hits Of Peter, Paul, and Mary' show in it's place on Wed. Nov. 21st at the Free Times Cafe. It's a fun evening of songs spanning their 40+ year career. Singer, Henry Lees joins Sue and Dwight as the third voice to recreate the group's innovative harmonies and Tony Laviola will accompany us all on double bass. Cover is $15 cash at the door. Songsheets will be provided. And as usual, dinner reservations are recommended to ensure a seat 416-967-1078. Hope you can join us! Here's a short video clip of us in action at our first PPM show 'If I Had My Way' at Miles Nadal JCC, Sep. 27, 2018

The 'Where Have All The Folk Songs Gone?' gang will return to the Free Times Café on Wed. Dec. 5th, a little earlier in the month than usual to avoid any holiday party conflicts.

See you soon!

Monday, 8 October 2018

We (heart) Hamilton!

There are so many reasons we love playing in Hamilton. The City overall is scenically nestled between the lake and the escarpment. It has James St, a groovy artist friendly stretch full of cafes, clubs and shops. And just off James on Colbourne is the Artword Artbar, generously hosted by Judith and Ron, a mecca for the arts.

So we were very excited to return to Hamilton last Saturday. We knew ahead of time that the show was sold out so the drive down the QEW was like driving on air!

The evening as usual lived up to all our expectations. The audience was a nice mix of our expanding base of Hamilton regulars and many new folk faces.  We were also pleased that Howard Jerome joined us again. Howard is an actor who lived the folk revival in Greenwich Village in the 60’s. We first bumped into him while postering on King St, one of those fortuitous encounters.

The crowd started off in a listening mode which we appreciated and but was a little unusual for our shows. It didn’t take long though before they weighed in with their voices and the night was off and running. I think it was 'Blowin’ In The Wind' that was the turning point. Three songs received their Hamilton premiers, the New Christy Minstrel’s ‘Today’, Pete Seeger’s ‘Banks Are Made Of Marble’ and Malvina Reynold’s ‘Morningtown Ride’. We’ve really come to appreciate Malvina’s work. Our initial exposure to her was to ‘Little Boxes’ and now we do four of her songs. She was a very versatile writer covering important social causes to kids songs and has been somewhat overlooked historically.

It was a wonderful night and we’re looking forward to our return in the Spring!

Here's the set list for the evening...  
ARTWORD ARTBAR SET LIST - SEPTEMBER 29, 2018
Set 1
Set 2
There's A Meetin' 
Green, Green
Walk Right  In 
Where Have All The Flowers Gone
Turn Turn Turn
Four Strong Winds
Blowing In The Wind 
Banks Are Made Of Marble
Guantanamera
There Is A Ship
MTA
Lemon Tree
Today
Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream
Universal Soldier
A World Of Our Own
Deportee
When I’m Gone                   
This Land                  
Un Canadien Errant
I Gotta Travel On
If I Had A Hammer
Michael Row Your Boat Ashore
Go Tell It On The Mountain
Puff The Magic Dragon
Morningtown Ride


Our next show is in Toronto on Wed. Oct. 17th at the Free Times Café.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Peace and Social Justice

We are in the 6th year of presenting our 60's Folk Revival show at the Free Times Café on College Street in Toronto. Even after all that time, it continues to be exciting for us as a band. Each show has it's own unique audience make-up and mix of songs, which along with other influences like what's happening in the world news, shape the tone. Sometimes it's a raucous party atmosphere and other times like last night, a "gentleness" prevails. I took that word from the comments of an audience member. That's not to say there weren't lots of upbeat songs and even some passionate commentary on current events, but the overall mood was gentle.

Over the past couple weeks several requests for songs from our repertoire were sent to us by people planning to attend the last night's show. We noticed a trend as the set list developed. There was a decidedly clear interest in songs of peace and social justice. Not really surprising, I suppose, given recent political happenings here in our province and further afield. And, we were most happy to oblige with songs like 'Blowin In The Wind', 'Turn Turn Turn', 'Deportee', 'The Banks Are Made of Marble', 'Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream', and of course 'We Shall Overcome'.

Interestingly, what's happening around us even influenced the meaning of other songs quite unexpectedly. For example, in her introduction of 'A World Of Our Own', Sue mused that while it may actually be a love song about a couple, in the context of tonight's theme it could easily be a wish for a world where people were kinder and looked out for each other more. All in the room seemed up for creating 'a world of our own' like that.

Here is the set list...

Our next show is in Hamilton is Saturday, September 29th, 8pm at The Artword Artbar in Hamilton and then we are back at the Free Times Café in Toronto for our monthly show on Wednesday, October 17th at 7:30pm. See you soon!

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Hot August Night!

Thanks so much to everyone who came out to sing with us on Wednesday night. It was a really hot steamy night in Toronto but in the lovely air-conditioned music room of Free Times Café, the warmth being generated was all from a love of the music and camaraderie of people singing together. One lovely newcomer commented that it was the most fun she's had on a Wednesday night!

We introduced two brand new songs this month. 'There Is A Ship', which is the Peter Paul and Mary version of 'The Water Is Wide', and the very intense 'Cod'ine' by Buffy Sainte Marie. Two very different songs from one another. The latter has been requested numerous times over the past few years by one of the younger audience members who attends the show regularly so we were pleased to add it to the repertoire for her. 

Dwight snapped this photo of Michelle and Sue singing 'Bread and Roses', acapella a la Joan and Mimi Baez.





Another birthday was being celebrated this month, and FT's owner Judy was there, so the birthday girl got the full tradition of Happy Birthday being sung to the tune of 'Michael Row Your Boat Ashore' by everyone while having a slice of cake delivered atop Judy's head. Thanks Colin, for capturing this photo of the delivery.

It was a fun night!
Here's a list of the songs we sang...
Looking ahead to September...we two shows scheduled. The first is on Wednesday, Sept. 19th at the Free Times Café in Toronto and the next is at the Artword Artbar in Hamilton on Saturday, September 29th. It's not too soon to make your reservations for either show. 

Hope to see you soon!







Thursday, 19 July 2018

A Folk Filled July!


The 'Where Have All The Folk Songs Gone?' gang took a fun road trip out to Niagara On The Lake on July 8th, where we were invited to kick off Music Niagara's 'Sunday In The Park' Music Series. We performed in the bandshell at Simcoe Park to a few hundred people who came out to enjoy the weather-perfect day. Like last year, Meridian, one of the series' sponsors distributed plastic 'hand clappers' so it sounded like an audience of thousands!


Last night we had a good crowd of singalongers join us for our monthly show at the Free Times Café. There were a lot of first timers in the audience. After the show, one gentleman told me "I didn't know what to expect...but I loved it!" 
Here are some other lovely comments...

We introduced a new-old song that has received many requests at our shows over time called 'Morningtown Ride', written by Malvena Reynolds. Instead of ending the evening with our usual 'Go Tell It On The Mountain' reprise, we sang this lovely lullaby that was a big hit for The Seekers, to send the audience off on their way.

Here is the set list for the evening...

Our next show is at the Free Time Café on Wednesday, August 15th. Hope to see you there!

Monday, 25 June 2018

Two Sold Out Shows In One Week!

What a week! At our regular monthly show last 
Wednesday night, the Free Times Café was packed with singalongers. Judy did a masterful job fitting almost everyone into the music room, and just one couple remained in the overflow or "VIP Lounge" as we like to call it. I don't like anyone to feel left out, so I checked in with them at the break and they said they were doing fine back there, enjoying the music with lots of room to stretch out.

Some special moments from the evening...Michelle led us in a particularly poignant singalong of Woody Guthrie's 'Deportee' that saw a few audience and band members tear up in light of the recent sad headlines that children of migrants were being separated from their parents in the US.
On a happier note, one of our regulars was celebrating his birthday so as is our tradition, we all sang "Happy Birthday To You" to the tune of 'Michael Row Your Boat Ashore' as a piece of cake was delivered to him atop Judy's head. Wish I'd taken a photo to share here.
Another show regular introduced his cousin from Serbia to the show this month, and even though the cousin doesn't speak much English, he told me he really enjoyed the evening. It reminded me of how music really has no borders and brings people together. Quite literally in the case of two gals that evening who were randomly seated side by side, struck up a convo before the show and by the end of the evening were planning to get together for coffee!


Here's the set list from the evening...

Then on Sunday, (last night) we performed for over 235 Torontonians who Winter in Florida and stay connected throughout the rest of the year here with shared social events. It was lots of fun! Here's a collage of a few photos from the evening...



Sunday, 27 May 2018

What About Bob (Dylan)?

Our regular monthly show at the Free Times Cafe, on May 16th, was another packed house. In fact we had to employ the 'overflow room' to accommodate everyone. And what a great bunch of singalongers they were, right from the start.

The setlist included a few more than usual Bob Dylan songs in honour of his 77th birthday. We even had a Dylan themed prize draw...this very cool illustrated book, which was coincidentally won by a lovely lady celebrating her own birthday at the show!


We debuted the song 'Today', which recently had a resurgence of requests pushing it to the top of the 'News Songs To Learn List'. In keeping with our 'rule' that songs must be from the official Folk Revival period of 1955 to 1965, we learned the New Christy Minstrels version. I was concerned that the specific phrasing and key changes in that version would be too big a challenge for the audience to sing along to. Those worries were unfounded and they sang it like champs. That's the beauty of Top 40 hits...they're locked in our brains forever!

Speaking of requests, if you know you are coming to a specific show, let us know in advance if there is a particular song from our list that you'd like to hear. We have so many songs now that we can't possibly fit them all in to one show. Here's a link to the current list Where Have All The Folk Songs Gone Song List

Our next show at the Free Times Café is Wednesday, June 20th. Dinner reservations are highly recommended to ensure a table. Call Judy (Free Times Café owner) directly at 416-967-1078. The music starts promptly at 7:30pm and the Cover charge remains $15 (cash at door).  Hope you can join us!

Here's the set list from the show...


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! Check out the compilation video here: Artword Artbar May 3 2018

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