Artist Spotlight

All fixed up with no place to go: Toronto venues like the El Mocambo and Wheat Sheaf postpone grand reopenings

Nick Krewen Special to the Star April Fool’s Day may have played its cruelest joke on the El Mocambo’s Michael Wekerle. After spending five years investing a reported $30 million (in a follow-up e-mail, he’d only say it’s “extensive”) in renovating the legendary Spadina Avenue music club that has played host to everyone from The Rolling Stones to U2, the merchant banker and Dragon’s Den TV personality was finally set…

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On new album, David Clayton-Thomas says something

Nick Krewen Special to the Star At 78, Blood, Sweat & Tears’ most recognizable voice – Toronto resident David Clayton-Thomas – is still fighting for justice on his acclaimed new solo album, Say Somethin’. “Burwash,” the opening salvo of the two-time Grammy winner and Canadian Music Hall Of Fame member’s latest effort, describes his lengthy incarceration at Burwash Correctional Centre in Killarney, Ontario when he was 16 for what he…


Sarah Harmer and friends won a long environmental fight. Now she has to do it again

Nick Krewen Special to the Star Sarah Harmer is about to go back to the drawing board, and she’s not happy about it. The Burlington, Ontario born singer, songwriter and activist is currently promoting Are You Gone, her first album in 10 years. Looming on her mind, however, is a fight she’s about to take up with a community that she’s already won once. Despite the Ontario Municipal Board denying…


Gordon Lightfoot’s new album, like his recent biography, is a little too revealing for some

Nick Krewen Special To The Star “It ain’t gonna stop now!” a feisty Gordon Lightfoot declares at the conclusion of a 30-minute interview about the state of his six-decade-plus career. We’re sitting at a table at his record company headquarters north of the 401, and it’s obvious that at 81, the fire still rages in the Orillia-born troubadour’s belly. He’s not interested at slowing down in the slightest. Lightfoot, who resumes touring…


Hugh’s Room Live forced out at month’s end due to rent hike

Nick Krewen Special to the Star While Hugh’s Room Live is being forced to shutter its doors at the end of the month, the venue’s Board of Directors has vowed to find it a new home and continue operations. Considered by many to be Toronto’s premier music listening room, the club that has hosted such folk legends as Gordon Lightfoot, Pete Seeger, Tom Rush and Odetta will vacate its present…