Monday began with a perfect lunch. I love cooking for friends, and a visit from Alex Pangman is a special treat. I cooked up a veggie feast.
I introduced Alex to “my new roommate” Allan, and I was pleased to discover her husband Tom also has a puppet at the ready – he’s a school teacher when not singing with one of my fave alt-folk combos, American Pour. That night Ian Shaw was in from the UK for a Jazz FM gig at Hugh’s Room, and after the show we bee-lined to The Orbit Room to see The Shuffle Demons. I’d planned to take him over to Painted Lady, looking forward to introducing him to his spiritual brother, Jef “Vegas” Farquharson who hosts an open stage every Monday; but alas the Demons were so good we couldn’t possibly break away and ended up staying till closing time. (This Monday is likely your last chance to see them up close at Orbit.)
Super tight harmonies and some stellar fiddlin’ from Sahra Featherstone, made for a brilliant nine-song set.
Blair Packham, David MacMillan, Barbra Lica and dozens of local scene-sters (ooh, look, a “Now” word) loved the music as much as Sahra’s stockings, which says a lot. I look forward to seeing this band again early in the New Year. I predict big things for them in 2013!
On Thursday, I hosted a show I’ve produced for years at Lula Lounge. (By the way, thanks to Robert Saxe for the great photos!)
It’s called The One Stop Vocal Jazz Safari and it is an invite-only gala for high-end donors to JAZZ.FM91. 25 singers were backed by Mark Kieswetter (piano), Ross MacIntyre (drums) Barry Elmes (drums) and Alex Dean (saxes), who delivered a cornucopia of grooves. It’s impossible to pick highlights, because there wasn’t a weak link in the night –
but my knee-jerk memories include Michael Dunston’s love of Christopher Columbus, Pam Hyatt and Sam Broverman singing “I Hate Your Guts” (a song from SCTV) and crooning with the immortal Don Francks. It was great to see newcomer Andria Simone blow away the crowd and Alex Samaras was in particularly great form.
I had the best meal of my week at Barberian’s Steak House at their annual Sunday Brunch for Regulars. Mellisa Shouldice was my date for this decadent feast and we met a bunch of new friends while imbibing on caesars and wine…oh yeah, food too.
I’ll be playing “Bad Santa” at several events next week, before heading to Cuba on the 17th. Come back next Monday to see some scandalous pics!