Next weekend, the Dominion on Queen in Toronto will be hosting a show by legendary rockabilly musician Sleepy Labeef. This will be Labeef's first Toronto appearance in almost a decade, very exciting news for fans of rockabilly, first generation rock 'n' roll, and great live music in general. The word "legendary" certainly gets thrown about too freely in the music world, but Labeef most definitely fits the description. An original '50s rockabilly artist, he has recorded and toured steadily for over half a century, including a decade-long association with the Sun Records label, and he is still going strong as his 75th birthday approaches on July 20th. His current CD, Roots, is a testament to Labeef's enduring strength as an interpreter of song, and was recorded in a fashion reminiscent of Johnny Cash's acclaimed American Recordings series of albums, using stripped-down arrangements that highlight Labeef's voice and guitar.
Joining Sleepy Labeef on the bill will be Ronnie Hayward, a notable Canadian musician who, like Sleepy Labeef, has done extensive touring and recording work. Hayward is a standup bass player, vocalist, and songwriter, and his music is a distilled, road-tested mix of rockabilly, country, and roots. Tennessee Voodoo Coupe, the host band of the East End Rockabilly Riot, will be kicking off the evening with their "100 Proof Reckless Hillbilly Jive".
I will be joining the fun as well, spinning some rockabilly tunes from my collection throughout the evening. I'm thrilled to be a part of this event, and I'm hoping to see lots of people out in support of Sleepy Labeef on his return to Toronto. The "Human Jukebox" has a long-standing reputation for his energetic, freewheeling live show, so I'm sure he won't disappoint! Here are the finer details...
East End Rockabilly Riot presents:
Sun Records Rockabilly legend
with Canadian Rockabilly Hall of Famer
and special guests
spinning red hot rockabilly wax
live at The Dominion on Queen
one night only!
Saturday, July 10th, 2010
Doors open at 8:30pm, show at 9:30pm
500 Queen St. E., Toronto
Sponsored by Mill St. Brewery
East End Rockabilly Riot is proud to present the legendary Sleepy Labeef, in his first Toronto live appearance in almost a decade. Labeef, known as “the Human Jukebox” in reference to his vast repetoire of songs, is an acclaimed original ‘50s rockabilly artist who has recorded for labels such as Sun Records, Starday, and Rounder (with retrospectives on labels including Charly and Bear Family), and is considered one of the top performers in the genre. The Arkansas native launched his career after relocating to Texas in 1953, with early appearances on the Louisiana Hayride and the Houston Jamboree, and has had a prolific career spanning over 6 decades both as a recording artist and a spirited live performer. Recently acclaimed in Oxford American as “the greatest rockabilly singer of all time, bar none, and that includes Elvis” and “raw rebellion stacked to a height of six-foot-seven with a side of bitters”, Labeef is a seasoned musician and performer, and a regular festival attraction in the U.S. and Europe, keeping the original flame of rockabilly burning bright.
Joining Sleepy Labeef on this landmark triple-header is the formidable Canadian talent Ronnie Hayward, a well-respected and widely travelled figure in the rockabilly and roots scene. Hayward is listed in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, and has travelled with his doghouse bass across the country, across the continent, and across the ocean to bring his unique roots sound far and wide. Hayward has numerous releases both under his own name and with groups such as the Bughouse Five, Jimmy Roy's 5 Star Hillbillies, and Herald Nix. Opening the evening will be Toronto's Tennessee Voodoo Coupe, serving up a dose of their potent "100 proof hillbilly jive" to get the joint jumpin'. DJ Rockin' Dave Faris will deliver his own blend of red hot rockabilly sides to set the stage for the live action. Don't miss Toronto's hottest rockabilly event of the summer, Saturday, July 10th at the Dominion on Queen!
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