April 15th @ Free Times Café

Bert Clarke Comes Home to perform with Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room.

A stellar performance for the band this month, thanks in part to the last-minute announcement that Bert Clarke (long-time bassist for G.A.L.R.) would be returning to play with his favourite Toronto band for a one-time spring/summer performance. He performed classics such as “Elvis Presley Blues” and “Mountains/Forests”, and the band was all smiles. We’ve missed you, Bert!

Email from Jonathan Rudin:

So I’ve been studying the federal and provincial budgets and reading all sorts of articles about what’s ahead in terms of pension and retirement benefits. After much reading and thinking I have concluded that the best advice for people contemplating what will happen to them when they retire is simple: Work Until YouDie.

I realize that this is not necessarily the cheeriest message to draw but sometimes we just have to face the truth. There is an upside however – and the upside is that the “work until you die” philosophy will encourage more people to play music. The reason for this is quite simple – musicians live a long time.

I realize that this might seem counter-intuitive to many of you – after all don’t musicians die young? And it is true that without consulting any websites on musicians who passed on prematurely the following names just popped into my head (not necessarily in chronological order): Mozart, Robert Johnson, Johnny Ace, Buddy Holly, Gene Vincent,, Eddie Cochran, Brian Jones, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Duane Allman, Lowell George, Elliot Smith, Sid Vicious, Kurt Cobain, Nick Drake, Marvin Gaye, Phil Ochs and Johnny Thunders – and you probably have got a whole bunch names that I didn’t include here.

So I’ll grant you that we can draw up quite a list. But the reality is that once a musician gets through their twenties and early thirties, it’s pretty much clear sailing until ripe old age (Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston serve as sobering counter examples). Look at BB King, John Hammond, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, the guys from the Who who are still alive, Ravi Shankar, all the old guys in the Preservation Hall Jazz Band – I mean we can come up with a lot of names here too.

And so now I’ll let you in on a little secret. The reason the nine or ten of us (depends on the month) who make up Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room got together wasn’t to create a unique and wildly eclectic blend of music featuring mandolins, bagpipes, guitars, flutes, saxophones, tin whistles percussion etc., although we do that – no – we just wanted to live for a long time – in fact the original name of the band was the Cryogenic Singers.

I’m not saying we’re like Dylan or Young or the Stones. For one thing, we’re not that old. For another thing people pay to see them and we just give it away. And we’re giving it away again this Sunday, April 15 at the Free Times Café (College and Major). We start at 8 pm and of course it’s free.

So come on out, catch some tunes, and help keep the band members alive. And who knows, probably just listening to live music in a nice small room in downtown Toronto contributes to longevity. Don’t thank us, just come.

Hope to see you there.

Jonathan.

July 15th Set List
Set #1 Set #2
Lady Bridget Oppenheim
Elvis Presley Blues
Butterfly Blues
Where Does Love Go
Smoking, Drinking Song
Evite Gabriel
Phone Company Rag
White Bird
When Will I Be Loved
Roses at the Pow Wow
Ashokan Farewell
People Are Crazy
When The Night
All You Need Is Love
Lost on the Bayou
Mountains / Forests
Them Danc Hall Girls
Down In Belize
Without Mentioning My Name
Our Last Date
I’ve Been The One
Cry If You Want To
Raven Song
Lodestar
Come Together
Short Skirt

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