Article by: Lee Fraser
Jerome Godboo plays infectious blues at Monarchs Pub the first Thursday of every month.
Monarchs Pub (in the Delta Chelsea) in Toronto, ON
First Thursday of every month
Show starts at 9 pm, all ages, no cover
Tucked into the back corner of the main floor of the Delta Chelsea Hotel, there's a true oddity of the Toronto music scene: Monarchs Pub. On Thursday nights, Monarchs Pub hosts the best blues talent in Toronto. How is it that such great talent is playing such an unusual location? Every two years, the Delta Chelsea hosts the Blues Summit and it's also the hotel of choice for nominees, presenters and players flying in for the annual Maple Blues Awards. Based on that traffic alone, this little bar within a downtown hotel has become the de facto headquarters for Toronto's blues community.
With the history of rock and roll firmly rooted in the blues, it's always fascinating to watch modern day guys play a genre of music that is most impressive when the musician falls into a rapture. If you can see past the crowded dance floor of regulars, it's endlessly fascinating to watch an incredibly talented band cast their spell. Monarchs Pub regular, Jerome Godboo, holds you in his spell as he sings his own material and plays a mean harmonica. Whether it's a song to explain that he's "a dog inside" or pleading his love to his wife, "Janey Jane", Jerome incorporates unusual instrumentation like PVC tubes, a banged up washboard and Osso Bucco bones. Jerome has a penchant for attracting the hardest working blues guitarists in the country. Commonly seen by his side, both Shawn Kellerman and Eric Schenkman play the most beat up Fender Telecasters you have ever seen and after watching either of them play, you can see how it might have been brand new only a few short years ago.
The next time you're looking for a good time on a Thursday night, check out the Monarchs Pub. While Jerome Godboo plays the first Thursday of every month, the blues legend, Jack de Keyser, and other great blues acts play the venue every Thursday night. There's no cover, there's a decent beer selection (including rarely tapped Okanagan 1516) and well-priced tasty food. Let the blues move you.