The Last Round
After three years of staging charming in-the-round shows at a couple of different venues in different cities, songwriter host Boris Buhot is wrapping up the series tonight with a finale show in east TO at Hirut Café.
For this one it appears it will be just him and guest songwriter Rob Kennedy of the recording bands One Ugly Cowboy and Refugee, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a little song circle jam break out if he ends up having a few representatives in the audience from among the raft of talented artists who’ve appeared at the shows over the past three years.
I was fortunate enough to be one of those guest songwriters at the sessions normally utilizing three or four artists, but most of those featured have been far more established and talented than that. Indeed, the talent roster has been hugely impressive and would be the envy of any Folk festival.
And with Hirut’s excellent listening environment —no stupid tv sports broadcasts or yattering drunk nabobs to distract from the performances and a very nicely arranged gently raised stage with lights and decent sound— the musical experience has always been superior.
(The Ethiopian-style food served here by namesake cook Hirut, btw, is also absolutely awesome and as a bonus is budget priced, easily leaving you enough to chip in something to the pay-what-you-can jar at the front table.)
The shows, which have alternated mostly between Hirut and at Oshawa’s Simcoe Blues and Jazz club, have included artists like Nicole Coward/Lisa Craig, Tony Quarrington, Harpin’ Norm Lucien, Herb Dale, Paul Cross, Pete Otis, Brian Gladstone, Frank Wilks, Sebastian Agnello, Tony Newman, Glen Hornblast, Susan Latimer and many more high-profile songsmiths.
Attendance has been variable —some have been nearly full houses while others have been only skimpily attended— but the real reason Boris seems to be letting go of the project is that over that time he’s become more and more involved with recording a new album of originals to follow up on his now ancient but still vibrantly powerful and relevant Grunge-Roots United Truce disc. [You can hear one of the tracks on our Featured Tracks page on the Music tab.]
In any event, barring a change of heart, tonight’s 9-12 show on the nicely appointed stage in the room at 2050 Danforth Ave. just west of Woodbine will be your last opportunity to toast the earnest and affable host and composer.
And while it may be Boris’s last round, he deserves to have many artists buying him one to say thanks.
-Gary 17, TorontoMoon.ca