Saying Yes to Something Different : Going Out to a Bluegrass Concert

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Our friend Izzy invited us to a concert last Monday, where a friend of her friend was playing bass. The genre of music was Bluegrass and the bass ended up being the big stand-up kind. While we were unfamiliar with the bands on the bill and it’s a type of music that we don’t normally listen to, we really like our friend Iz so agreed to join her.

Also another mutual friend Andrea, who we had recently met through Izzy came along to.

It was a perfect summer night, so we walked to and from, winding through lane-ways wherever we could.

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The show was held at a place called The Silver Dollar Room, located at the corner of Spadina and College.

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The bands were ‘Joy Kills Sorrow’ on tour from Boston USA, supported by ‘The Slocan Ramblers’ and ‘Midway After Dark’, both from Toronto. All three of the bands were very talented.

First up …

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Midway After Dark

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The Slocan Ramblers

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Joy Kills Sorrow

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I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that part of the reason I wanted to go to this show, which began at 9pm on a Monday night, was that I wanted a chance to go to The Silver Dollar Room one more time.

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As it would for anyone who grew up around Toronto or went to the University of Toronto, this place holds all kinds of memories. It has been open for more than 50 years, so most every live-music fan in town has probably been in there at least once.

My personal memories include being there with ghosts from the past, that’s for sure. It’s also a spot that Nick and I went to during our first few years together, as he had a buddy who used to perform there. In fact, we wrote a song called ‘Promoters’ Tango’ inspired by an incident we saw on that very stage during a NxNE Festival Show.

The reason I was keen to go to The Silver Dollar Room now is that it might be closing down soon. There is currently a proposal in place for the building it is part of, called ‘The Hotel Waverly’, to be torn down to make room for a 22 story tower aimed at providing student housing.

Apparently the old building, which opened in the 1900s, is falling apart and it’s not feasible to repair it. Also a bar called The Silver Dollar is planned to re-open on the ground floor of this new building, but it would a brand new place.

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I found out about this impending change in an interesting way … One day last month I suddenly began getting hits from the site of a major newspaper here in Toronto, called The Star. It turned out that they had linked to my site in a story they’d written about the demise of some old hotels in the city, including The Waverly, which are really more aptly called ‘rooming houses’ than hotels. You can read their article entitled ‘Where Will the Poor Live in a Toronto Filled With Cupcakes’, here. The link to me is the one connected to ‘The Palace Arms Hotel’, a similar rooming house located on King Street West, which I photographed and wrote about here, back when I had just started this blog.

When I went to verify my spelling of the name ‘Waverly’, I was reassured to see that I’m not the only less-than-stellar speller around ;)

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So there were those reason for wanting to go to this show, but get this … Not only did we have a fun night out with an old friend and a new one at a place that held significance to us for probably the last time before it closed down. There was also another big plus to this night that we had not anticipated, in that the mandolin player in ‘Joy Kills Sorrow’, Jacob Joliff, is the current reigning champion mandolin player in all of the USA! (see here). So we got the chance to hear the best of the best.

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It was a good time indeed, and I am so glad that we said YES.

Have you said yes to something you weren’t sure about recently?

Thanks for visiting. Wishing you a great week to come.
xo loulou

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