Festival takes over five venues this weekend Blues and country acts join varied line-up
(Copyright (c) 2004 Toronto Star, All Rights Reserved. ) Jan 2004 Someone out there had a psychic connection to Mother Nature. Between the cold and the snow, we can use a bit of a distraction right about now, and the various events happening under the Wintercity festival umbrella should help do the trick. Among these happenings is Winterfolk which, despite its name, also has a substantial blues and country component. Starting tomorrow night and running to Sunday night, Winterfolk rounds up 70 musicians into five College St.-area venues for music, talk and schmoozing. The organizers are billing it as an indoor winter equivalent to a summer folk festival.
The venues are, from east to west Swallow Deli and Lounge at 292 College St.; Rancho Relaxo, 300 College St.; the Free Times Cafe, 320 College St.; Thymeless Bar & Grill, 355 College St.; and the Silver Dollar Room, 486 Spadina Ave. Here are some highlights (warning tomorrow night's line-up is the hardest to choose from) Hot young Winnipeg multi-keyboard player Michael Johnston is one of the "showcase" acts specially chosen by the organizers. He'll perform at the Silver Dollar tomorrow at 8 p.m. What better way to truly warm up than at the Silver Dollar's 11 p.m. Acoustic Delta Blues program, followed at midnight by Jack de Keyzer and his band. There are two late-night events of interest tomorrow at Thymeless, starting with a program of "high-speed-pickin'" guitar aces at 10 and a song-writing workshop at 11 hosted by Norm Hacking. The Star's own Greg Quill sings and strums with the Usual Suspects at Free Times on Saturday at 9 p.m. Josh White and Michael Pickett share some blues music and stories at the Dollar Saturday at 11 p.m. One of Sunday's highlights is The Ballad Of Phil Ochs, Zachary Stevenson's one-man historical "folk musical" set in the social and political turmoil of the mid-1960s. It starts at 4 p.m. at Rancho Relaxo.
The full schedule is available at www.winterfolk.com Single-day pass tickets are $20, or it's $40 for the weekend. Tickets are available at each club and at Ticketmaster.
Credit: Toronto Star