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After a 4 year absence, I checked out Crazy Strings last night...


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I used to be a Wednesday night regular at The Silver Dollar Saloon (located at the north tip of Toronto's Chinatown). My then girlfriend (and now wife, Vicki) used to love going to see Crazy Strings and then stumble down to Swatow in Chinatown for some chicken with black bean sauce on rice noodles.

For no good reason, I haven't caught the boys in a long time. Well, I'm happy to report that they are more interesting now, musically speaking, than they were four years ago. Guitarist Marc Roy can still fire off those awesome lead lines, but he's more melodic and rounded than he was back when he was a punk teenager; he also sings lead now too, and he's pretty good. New to me, is fiddle player and vocalist John Showman, who can play like a bastard and ups the excitement level during the jams. Roy is a fantastic guitarist, but mandolin wiz Andrew Collins continues to be most talented member in the band - he's also a fine singer (he also didn't sing any lead the last time I saw Crazy Strings). Guitarist and lead singer Chris Coole anchors everything and was in fine form last night. They even belted out a Skynyrd cover and joked before launching into the over-done version of "Blue Moon of Kentucky".

I'm going back to see them soon.

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Many people there Jaimoe? Last time I was there was a couple of months ago and it was dead, which was kinda depressing given how busy it used to be.

There was a fair sized crowd and they were pretty lively. The large lesbian contingent wasn't there, but it was a mixed crowd nonetheless.

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Gotta get Cosmic Steve out for the Can Jam Spectacular - he gave many of this scene's bands their first gigs.

There is another jam that happens on Tuesdays at the Local on Roncesvalles - a little more intimate vibe - and pass the jar type of cover - Marc Roy plays guitar with a couple who sings & play fiddle - add to that upright bass, mandolin & banjo.

Wednesdays used to be my regular thing until the Gypsy Co-op Mondays took over then that fizzled out and there really hasn't been a Toronto hang in a long while.

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I miss Crazy Strings too...haven't been in about a year and a half. Now that I'm in the city I do plan on going...once I get some time. I've been to the Bluegrass Jam at the Local on Monday nights (as it's right down the street from me). Not as insane as Wednesday nights though! I remember when Crazy Strings used to have Jenny and Dan Whitely, and Joey Wright playin' with them, but the last few times I went, they weren't there...?

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