Article by: Lee Fraser
Dave Bookman’s Nu Music Nites have been going strong every Tuesday night at The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern for 19 years and there’s plenty of reasons you should go.
Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, ON
Doors 8:30 pm, show starts at 8:40 pm, 19+, no cover
If you are a purveyor of the Toronto live music scene, you’re probably aware of Dave Bookman’s Nu Music Nite at the Horseshoe Tavern every Tuesday night. But have you gone?
Enough has been written about the Horseshoe Tavern to make it legendary already. On top of the shows that are the stuff of legends, a visit to the Horseshoe Tavern encompasses more than just an immersion in history and ambiance. You can soak that in by browsing the well-thought-out and beautifully presented collages along the wall of the front bar. But the Horseshoe is also the home to some of the best bar staff in the city, serving up plenty of pints of beer, but also able to whip up a cocktail or pour you a decent glass of wine. In the back room, the Horseshoe Tavern has invested in a high quality sound system and recently swapped out bulky and wandering chairs and tables for small, light stools and bolted down tables that are the perfect width for a couple of pints.
On almost any Tuesday (the odd tribute or big deal band charging a cover disrupt the pattern infrequently), you’ve got the chance to really soak in what the Horseshoe Tavern is all about. Supporting live music; that’s what it’s all about. The Horseshoe does this by opening up Tuesday nights to relatively unknown bands from out of town, and local bands who have just started to develop a fan base and need to prove that they’ve got what it takes to play such a legendary venue. If the band draws listeners and dancers, if everyone is drinking and having a great time, chances are, that band will grace the Horseshoe stage again.
Because of this fairly open policy on Tuesdays, you just never know what you’re going to get. You might catch a successful rocker from Australia who has decided to move to Canada and is just testing the waters with a new ensemble. You might catch a European band who are used to big crowds and aggressive tour schedules who are completely unknown here. You might catch the greatest band you’ve never heard from a small town in the Maritimes. Or you might stumble upon a local band that has only been together a short time.
Your next opportunity is Tuesday! On Tuesday, May 7th, you can catch a buffet of colours and styles. Castle River is a duo reminiscent of 60’s folk but with a modern twist to the syncopation. Smokekiller, a.k.a. John Antoniuk, is touring the new album that was reviewed here on Sticky and you'll find a link to the latest video below. Songwriter/lead singer/guitarist Antoniuk and his band will be sure to have everyone migrate to the storied checkered floor in front of the stage. The Human Orchestra are a ten-piece band from Hamilton that are just starting to get some momentum going. Meeko Cheech are a young band from Toronto who play many instruments and sound pretty trippy. Wrapping up the evening, The BoneDevil is a band comprised of four odd-balls, playing hard rock and raising eye-brows. Where else can you find folk and hard rock on the same bill?
Come on down to the Horseshoe Tavern on a Tuesday night. You owe it to yourself. It's free. And you just never know what you’re going to get. Hey, maybe the legendary Bookie himself will be there to introduce the bands.