It's nice to see venues rising on the heels of ones lost. When Skye Lounge closed on Pellisier and was turned into a waiting room for Jack Rabbit Slims, or whatever it is now, I felt like the city lost its best solo-act stage. Skye was personal and artsy, it had high ceilings and a great host in Nina and I didn't think that any other place could match the desires of a duo or solo act with quite the same style. This place wasn't meant for bands, but it certainly was made for music.
I think that Cafe Morena (999 Erie St.) has become Windsor's new stage for solo performers. The place is quaint and stylin and finds itself in a very cultural location. There is foot traffic on the streets and ears that are interested in creativity. Like Skye, Cafe Morena entertains the perfect decibel level for its atmosphere. Nothing is ever intrusive, but everything accents everything else.
Speaking of fine accents, Tara Watts is one of Windsor's. http://www.myspace.com/taraelizabethwatts> Tara is the Windsor music scene's female poster child. She's strummed a lot of tunes 'round these parts in the last few years and her talent and credibility as a songwriter and performer are as well renowned in this area as musicians get. Tara hosts her very original friendly open mic on Friday nights, so I suggest popping in and hearing some of her uniquely crafted melodies along with some other treats who always manage to pop in. Tara is also putting the finishing touches on her first full length album set for release in the spring of this year. The release will be one of the bigger musical events in the coming months and the technical responsibilities rest in the very capable hands of Eric Welton who this blog will feature more directly in the next few posts. Keep an eye and ear out or ask Tara for the weekly update each week when you go see her play.
Since we're on the topic of Cafe Morena, I also will take this opportunity to give Jackie Robitaille's gig on Thursday's some light.http://www.myspace.com/jackierobitaille> I knew Jackie fairly well in high-school and her brother Pat is still a pretty good friend and a travelling, recording, touring machine. What I did not know about Jackie is that she is packing the pipes I have learned to recognize, paired with some very soft, sensitive and beautiful piano stylings I had always known she had in the bank. Her clarity cuts right through, and she completes a solid feminine tandem representin' the early bird's weekend, Thursday and Friday. Drop by for a drink and/or a tune (there are other options too) on either or both nights. The ladies will be glad to see ya, and you'll be glad to have seen and heard them.