To many these days, Tara Watts is the sultry roots rockin’ vixen who makes up 1/5 of one of Windsor’s finest musical congregations, The Locusts Have No King, but for many years prior to her saddling up with those outlaws, she was simply regarded as one of the musical community’s finest performers and songwriters. Two years back she released the beautiful Eric Welton produced About Love, an 11-song manifesto about love, heartache and Camels in Canada, featuring musical appearances by such musicians as the enigmatic Johnny West, percussionist Sally Zori from Kenneth MacLeod’s Windsor Salt Band and Huladog, and Stefan Cvetkovic of Michou and Efan! fame. She was also one of the city’s most beloved Open Mic hosts, running Phog’s Monday night faithful, Open Mic Surgery for years (filling the big shoes of Ron Leary before her quite admirably) until she stepped down to concentrate on her schooling last year. But while The Locusts Have No King take a break to begin work on new songs for a new record and band mates Leigh Wallace, Paul Loncke and Joey DesRochers turn their attentions to their other project, Years of Ernest (alongside Andrew MacLeod), Watts is getting back out and offering us up an offering of what she does best. Sit down with her guitar and tell us a song.
This Friday, you couldn’t ask for a better setting to experience Tara Watts than with an early show at Taloola Cafe (396 Devonshire Rd.) in Walkerville. They always start their shows early and on time (8 pm) so it’s a great excuse to pop in and try one of their many teas or coffees or grab a light snack before heading out for another later show. Or call it an early night but still manage to grab a show.
Tara Watts, Taloola Cafe (396 Devonshire Rd.), Friday February 11, 8pm
Tonight at The FM Lounge (56 Chatham St. West, formerly The Fish Market), Dave Russell & The Precious Stones are holding an EP release party for Unnatural Disasters. Doors are at 8pm, with the talented Tara Watts opening the evening. Tickets are $5 in advance or at the door.
Dave Russell first garnered attention on the local music scene as a member of the popular rock outfit The Tree Streets. They played several shows around Windsor at various live venues as well as select shows around Ontario. Fueled by a love for the hook and an obvious penchant for rock and roll’s rich tapestry, The Tree Streets wrote their own impressive songbook of tunes, particularly the little indie pop gem “Never Enough”. But as all good things must come to an end, The Tree Streets disbanded a year or so back, and Mr. Russell was left without a band. While he’s now taking the solo route, he’s also built a great backing band – The Precious Stones – featuring some true players from the local music community – Jamie Reaume (The Golden Eagles, Foreign Film Star), Jake Van Dongen (Inoke Errati), Vin Vicious, Christina Bell, as well as help from former Tree Streets bandmates Brenden E. Fraser and Colin Jolly - to help flesh out some of his songs in a full band format. With a nomination for best folk song for “Rocking Chair” (a track originally found on The Tree Streets’ album but now reworked for his solo EP) at the 2010 Toronto Independent Music Awards, it looks like Russell’s hard work is paying off for some well deserved recognition.
Opening the show will be a rare solo performance (of late) from the super talented Tara Watts (The Locusts Have No King), who will hopefully be showcasing some of the stellar songs from her outstanding 2009 release About Love.
Dave Russell & The Precious Stones EP Release Party with special guest Tara Watts, Sunday January 23, 2011 at The FM Lounge (formerly the Old Fish Market, 56 Chatham St. West). Doors at 8pm, admission $5