This must’ve been a great live show—the tribute to Stompin’ Tom Connors at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto Thursday night. It was the third tribute to him since his death in 2013, at 77. A bunch of musicians and acts including Dave Bidini, Paul Linklater, Kevin Hearn, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Shawn William Clarke, Doug Paisley, Terra Lightfoot, Serena Martin, Ron Leary, and Wax Mannequin dug in to the songbook of the prolific poet who often sang about Canada’s overlooked places and people. For American friends, imagine if Johnny Cash and Woody Guthrie were somehow fused into one dynamic and storied performer, that’s who Stompin’ Tom was. The whole show must’ve been superb, like this part (from the great write-up in Toronto Now by Sarah Greene, who also took good pictures (like the one below):
“Horseshoe first-timer Shawn William Clarke sang an obscure ballad called Isle Of Magdalen, while Paul Kolinski (of Heavy On The Willie) dragged a slow, dramatic build out of 1989’s I Am The Wind, demonstrating a whole other side of [the] Canadian icon.”
I hope to be in Toronto one year for this celebration, which was also a fundraiser for the worthy organization Bidini’s involved with, Street Soccer Canada, which fields a team in the Homeless World Cup, a real tourney that helps people use soccer, and travel, to turn their lives around. Bidini, musician and author, wrote ‘Home and Away: In Search of Dreams at the Homeless World Cup of Soccer.’
If you’ve never heard a Stompin’ Tom song, here’s a live version of “Sudbury Saturday Night,” from the Horseshoe Tavern, where Tom once played 25 nights in a row, writes Sarah Greene.
‘I Blame the Loyalist Ghost,’ Video and Song from Shawn Clark’s New Album
Charming video for ‘I Blame the Loyalist Ghost,’ a song from Toronto musician Shawn William Clark‘s second album due out 9/23, produced by James Bunton, longtime drummer in Ohbijou. The song begins with the sound of a plucked 4-string tenor guitar, then Clarke plays every instrument in the piece. Enjoy this—it’s like a lazy summer day with balloons and ribbons floating in the sky. I heard Clark during the first night of NXNE this past June, and enjoyed his act a lot. I look forward to hearing his whole album.
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