Saturday, 22 February 2020

What A Get Together!

Posted by Dwight

The latest generation of our singalong shows, 'Get Together - 60’s Singalong' hit the ground singing last Wednesday night at the Free Times Cafe. A robust and energetic crowd of 57 filled the music room and spilled out into what we lovingly refer to as the VIP Lounge. No matter where you were seated though, the air was full of voices! The crowd included many of our wonderful regulars, brand new faces, and members of singing groups Choir!Choir!Choir! and Shout Sister Choir. The singalong movement is growing!

Beginning with the Folk Revival and ending with Woodstock, the 1960’s witnessed the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam War, and the birth of the Peace and Love generation. The music of the 60’s reflected these transformations as traditional folk merged with electric instruments to give birth to the Folk Pop, Folk Rock and Singer Songwriter eras.

Picking up where our Folk Revival show left off in 1965, the new show covers songs all the way up to 1970. Old favorites like Puff The Magic Dragon and Walk Right In were joined by new favorites For What It’s Worth, California Dreamin’, The Sound of Silence, One Tin Soldier and others.

Here's the full setlist:















Thanks to everyone who came out to sing with us. It couldn't have been a better way to start the 'new' era.
Next show is Wednesday, March 18, 7:30pm. Make sure to reserve your seats in advance at 416-967-1078.



Sunday, 26 January 2020

Wow...What A Send-Off!

Photo by J. Whitfield

Last Wednesday night, the monthly edition of our 60s FOLK REVIVAL singalong show ‘Where Have All the Folk Songs Gone?’ came to an end, after a wonderful seven year run at the Free Times Cafe. 

It was a fitting finale featuring a full house, a boisterous singing audience, and The Weavers classic 'Goodnight Irene' to end the evening. We were humbled (yes, there were tears) and so appreciative of the standing ovation we received from the audience.
Photo by E. Carter
Another highlight of the evening for us, was Klaas VanGraaft taking the stage, as the second set got underway, to say some wonderful things about the show and how the songs and their meanings took him back to the days when he himself was a popular musician on the folk scene, as a solo artist and part of The Chanteclairs. 

The official FOLK REVIVAL period ran from 1955 to 1965 and in presenting our Where Have All The Folk Songs Gone? show, it was important to us to stay within those years to retain authenticity of the show premise. However, in recent months, in response to audience feedback, we began including some songs that pushed a few years beyond 1965. The FOLK REVIVAL ended somewhat abruptly in 1965 with the British Invasion and young folk artists like Bob Dylan expanding their styles beyond acoustic folk to create new musical categories like Folk Pop and Folk Rock. The response to the newer songs was very positive so we decided it was time to create a new show that encompasses the full decade of the 1960's. 

Although we will miss revisiting the FOLK REVIVAL every month, we are very excited about the expanded repertoire we can draw from in our new show 'Get Together - Sixties Singalong', which debuts at the Free Times Cafe on Wed. Feb. 19th. Fortunately some favourite songs rooted in the 60's will carryover from the other show...I mean, it's hard to imagine a show without 'Puff The Magic Dragon'.😉  Hope you'll join us!


 


Monday, 6 January 2020

Happy New Year!

Posted by Sue

Wow, we got so busy in December I didn't have a chance to post about the show that month. It was less than a month ago, but so much has been happening since then, it feels like a million years ago.

It was our last as a trio, as we've now welcomed Henry Lees to this group. Some of you have already seen Henry perform with us in our 'Greatest Hits of Peter, Paul and Mary' show. He made his debut with the 'Where Have All The Folk Songs Gone?' gang on New Years Eve. And what a fun time that was!
Photo by Phyllis Chan

Stepping back a few weeks before the show, we were thrilled to be interviewedon ZoomerRadio's Afternoon Express with Norm Edwards and Eva D.  If you missed it, you can listen here: Zoomer Radio Interview
They are so much fun!



I went into New Years Eve last night feeling like I could cry at the drop of a hat. Not exactly sure why but I'm thinking it's an end of the decade thing where we're not just looking back on one year but on ten, and the many life changes that have occurred during that time. All the ups and downs, from exciting career changes and the amazing experiences and friendships that has brought, to the incredible sadness of losing family and friends.

On a night when songs like ‘Thirsty Boots’, ‘Hallelujah’, ‘Turn Turn Turn’, ‘Puff The Magic Dragon’, and of course the dreaded waterworks inducing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ are on the setlist, having those emotions so close to the surface could have resulted in what Oprah calls “the ugly cry”. Luckily that didn’t happen, and I sailed through the show on a cloud of joyus contentment looking out over an audience who made it so easy to enjoy every minute of it.

The evening started off with delicious buffet dinner. I don’t usually like to eat too close to performing but luckily just before we took the stage, Judy led us all in some “Oy’s to push the food down”. LOL!

Right out the gate, the audience were fabulous singalongers, and that enthusiasm continued throughout the whole night. As we usually do on NYE, we included a few original songs, Henry’s ‘Without A Doubt’ and our ‘One Song’ in the final set, which were wonderfully received. At the end of the night we got a standing ovation and one gentleman came to the stage and said he wanted to thank us on behalf of the audience. I gave him my mic and after his generous accolades, there was another resounding round of applause. I can’t think of many occupations where that happens at the end of a work day, but it's definitely what helps keep us in this crazy business with it’s highs and lows.

It was a beautiful way to end off a year…a decade…and such a positive start to the new one!
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE from the 'Where Have All The Folk Songs Gone?' gang! See you on Wed. January 22nd for the next show.




Monday, 25 November 2019

Music Is Amazing That Way

Photo by P. Chan
Posted by Sue
What a fun time! I was a little jet-lagged going into the evening, having just returned from vacation, but once we started singing and hearing the enthusiastic voices of the audience joining in, I felt totally invigorated. Music is amazing that way. It does whatever you need it to do...calm you when you're too anxious, give you energy when you're pooped. There was a physiotherapist in the audience who is studying ways to incorporate music into her work. 

We had three generations at a table up front...grandmother, daughter, and granddaughter. The little one surprised even her mom with the number of songs she knew, ones that the mom didn't even know! Good to know these great songs from the 60's are still being taught. Coincidentally, I was chatting with a teacher at the break who had discussed the song 'Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream' with her class of elementary students. They talked about ways to update the language to make it more relevant in today's world. The first thing they pointed out was that there needed to be some women in the room signing the papers. 💗From the mouths of babes. 

Here's the setlist for the evening...

Our next show is a little earlier in the month than usual (second Wed. of the month instead of the third) as people will be busy with their holiday activities after that. 

And if you're thinking of coming out to our New Years Eve show this year, get your reservation in early!



 
Hope to see you soon!

Friday, 18 October 2019

Fall Folk Fun and Exciting News!

We had a wonderful group of singalongers join us at the Free Times Cafe for our monthly Folk Revival show this past Wednesday evening. A nice mix of ages too. There were a few tables of twenty-something ‘youngsters’, which is so great because it shows how music can bring generations together. We introduced some brand new old songs to the setlist and that’s always fun.

We have some exciting news to share. Where Have All The Folk Songs Gone? will be ringing in the New Year once again at the Free Times Cafe. We're in the planning process so mark your calendars and stay tuned for details coming soon!

In the meantime, the next monthly show is Wed. Nov. 20th 7:30pm at the Free Times Cafe. Call and make a dinner reservation to guarantee a seat for the show 416-967-1078. As always, if you are joining us and want to hear a certain song from our SONGLIST, please let us know and we will be happy to include it for you.

Heads up for a special Legendary Ladies of Folk - The Music of Joan, Joni, and Buffy show coming up on Thu. Oct. 24th at the 120Diner. We first presented it last month at the Miles Nadel JCC, to kick off their arts program for the coming year. The show was sold out a month in advance and many people have told us they were disappointed they couldn't get to see it. If that's you...now's your chance! Again, reservations are always recommended to guarantee seating. CALL 416-792-7725 / TEXT 416-706-4237.
Hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

A Busy September of Folk Singing!

How did it get to be October already? I guess it's true that time flies when you're having fun.

September was definitely a fun and busy month, beginning with our regular monthly 'Where Have All The Folk Songs Gone?' show at the Free Times Café on September 18th. The audience were great listeners, great singers, all-round lovely people. One gentleman, visiting Toronto from Germany, told us the evening was "the highlight" of his three week stay here and he's enjoyed every day in the city. Thanks to Phyllis for this photo...















And here's the setlist for the evening...
The following day, we premiered a new show 'The Legendary Ladies of Folk' featuring the music of Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, and Buffy Sainte Marie at the Miles Nadal JCC on Bloor St. W. The show had been sold out weeks in advance and we played to a very enthusiastic 100 member audience. We plan to present the show again soon.
 
















A few days later, the band went on a road trip to Brampton to perform at Grace United Church as part of their  'Musical Happy Hour' Series. It was a beautiful setting for a concert and the audience was wonderful. Thanks to L. Davis for this photo... 

















This month at our monthly 120 Diner show, we presented 'The Greatest Hits of Peter, Paul and Mary' show. Audience members included PPM fans from Toronto, Burlington, Calgary, and Sweden. Proving once again that music is universal and brings people together!


Our next 'Where Have All The Folk Songs Gone?' show is Wed. October 16th at the Free Times Café. Dinner reservations are always a good idea to guarantee a seat 416-967-1078. 

Friday, 6 September 2019

Next Show Wed. Sept. 18th at Free Times Cafe

Mark your calendars...our next Where Have All The Folk Songs Gone? show is just around the corner. See you there!

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

A Magical Night!

Wow! What a magical night...full house plus a couple in the overflow room (or the "VIP Lounge" as Dwight calls it) for the August 21st show. The audience were such good singalongers, I have suspicions they all got together and rehearsed before the show!😉

The evening included a prize draw for a Kingston Trio Greatest Hits CD that was won by a young gal out to the show for the first time. She correctly answered the following True or False question:
  • The song, MTA, was composed in 1949 as part of the election campaign of Walter A. O'Brien, a left wing political party candidate for mayor of Boston. One of his major campaign plans was to lower the price of riding the subway by removing the complicated fare structure involving exit fares - so complicated that at one point it required a nine-page explanatory booklet. O'Brien was unable to afford radio advertisements, so he enlisted local folk singers to write and sing songs from a touring truck with a loudspeaker (he was later fined $10 for "disturbing the peace")
Do you know the answer?

Over the years our Song List for this show has grown thanks to audience requests of their favourites from the era. Until now we've been pretty strict about limiting the selection to include only songs done between 1955 to 1965, the actual 'Folk Revival' years. However, we have decided, going forward, to extend the years for "eligible songs" by a few so we can include more music from artists that are so frequently requested but who came up at the tail end or just after the period.

Speaking of songs, here's the set list for the evening... 
FREE TIMES CAFE – WED. 21ST 2019
SET ONE
SET TWO
THERE’S A MEETIN HERE TONIGHT
GREEN GREEN
WALK RIGHT IN
CRUEL WAR
EARLY MORNIN RAIN
DON’T THINK TWICE
MICHAEL ROW YOUR BOAT
DON’T LET THE RAIN COME DOWN
MTA
OPEN UP THEM PEARLY GATES
THERE BUT FOR FORTUNE
DONNA DONNA
GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY
CODEINE
BOTH SIDES NOW
DRAFT DODGER RAG
PACK UP YOUR SORROWS
IF I HAD A HAMMER
GUANTANAMARA
GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN
UNION MAID
MORNINGTOWN RIDE
PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON


And a selfie of the happy but pooped band after the show...



Hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Sweet Summer Night of Folk Songs

I meant to post this the day after our July 17th show at the Free Times Café, while still basking in the glow of a roomful of lovely people singing together, but the time slipped away from me. Luckily the glow is still there.

It was a hot sticky night in Toronto, a glimpse of the coming heatwave, but the air conditioning in the music room kept things nice and comfortable. There were a fair number of first-timers in the audience, which is always fun. Some were accompanied by folk show veterans and some ventured in on their own. One enthusiastically commented "I didn't know what to expect, but I loved every minute of it." Another said "Thank you for making me feel young again." It was a great group of people.

Just a reminder that if you are planning to come to a specific show and you want to hear a certain song form our repertoire, please let us know in advance so we can include it in the setlist. Here's a link to the WHERE HAVE ALL THE FOLK SONGS GONE? SONG LIST

And here's the setlist form the July show...


See you in August!

Thursday, 20 June 2019

(2 Day Before) First Day of Summer Show!

Although two days before the official start of Summer, it sure felt like Summer in the city. In honour of the season, we dusted off the Wade Hemsworth classic 'Black Fly', his itch inspiring account of being tormented by the pests "up in the woods in north Ontar-i-o". That song was a hit for The Travellers during the 60's Folk Revival.

We also dove deep into our songlist and played some songs that don't make it into the setlists as often as we'd like. With so many, it's difficult choosing which ones to leave out. This is a good opportunity to remind everyone that if you know you are coming to a show and want to hear a certain song from our SONG LIST, please let us know a little in advance and we will do our best to include it for you. Here's what we played last night.


There were some great voices in the audience, some of them diving into beautiful harmonies throughout the evening. It was a treat for us on stage to hear them.

It was wonderful to welcome several first-timers, including some from our hometown of Winnipeg and from Pennsylvania who stumbled upon the club after touring in Kensington Market.

Thanks to Dan at the Free Times Cafe for capturing this post show photo of the band.
Dwight, Sue, and Tony

Have a look at our Upcoming Shows. We have some fun stuff ahead.
Hope to see you soon!

Monday, 3 June 2019

May Dayze!


After our Hootenanny in April at the Eton House turned out so well, it was hard to imagine that anything could top it for awhile. And then came May!


31 days and 13 shows later...including two double headers...May will go down as a musical chapter all of it’s own. That 11 of the shows happened in the first 13 days made it seem like a bit of a blur, or a tour.


It was such a rewarding month musically. We got to play in almost all our musical identities; ‘Where Have All The Folk Songs Gone?’, ‘The Greatest Hits of Peter Paul and Mary’, ‘Sue & Dwight’, and somewhat everything in between. We played as a duo, trio, and quartet with Michelle, Tony and or Henry depending on the gig. And if we add the last week of April to the mix we can include our ‘Music of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen’ show with Shelley Coopersmith.


The month took us across southern Ontario to Hamilton, Mississauga, Brampton, and as far as Guelph. We even managed to sneak in a few Toronto shows and an impromptu gig later in the month in Winnipeg where we supposed to be on vacation.


The variety of venues was also invigorating. We played at intimate dinner and birthday parties, our regular clubs, and annual big hall events right up to the Women’s College Hospital Nurses Alumni’s 100th anniversary celebration at the Chelsea. We even witnessed a conga line, not so often seen on the folk scene although surprisingly our second in ‘Where Have All The Folk Songs Gone?’ history!


Overall, we performed for about 1200 people, with audience sizes ranging from 10 to 325. And thanks to each and every one of them for sharing the experiences with us! 


May was one of those special months, the kind you wish would go on and on. Next time, we’ll make sure to take along a roadie or two to help carry the speakers, though.

Here are some fun photo memories...

WHATFSG FULL BAND ON THE ROAD








ALL SET UP FOR A WHATFSG DUO SHOW IN MISSISSAUGA
SWANKY DINNER PARTY

LOTS OF GEAR TO LOAD AND UNLOAD
FUN TIMES



OOH THE DESSERT TABLE!

THE GUYS BACKING UP THE NURSES CHOIR
ON SOME SPECIAL SONGS THEY WROTE FOR
THE OCCASION.




WITH JIM MARINO ON CFMU'S FREEWHEELIN' FOLK 
IN HAMILTON


TIRED BUT HAPPY WHATFSG GANG AFTER TWO SHOWS 
IN ONE DAY AT THE HAMILTON ARTWORD ARTBAR

WHATFSG TRIO POST SHOW AT OLD MILL IN TORONTO
VIDEO: MUSIC OF BOB DYLAN AND LEONARD COHEN AT 120 DINER - AMEN
VIDEO: GREATEST HITS OF PPM AT 120 DINER - DON'T THINK TWICE

Our next Where Have All The Folk Songs Gone? show is coming up on Wednesday, June 19th. See you there!