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Toronto’s Indie Live Music listings for Blues/Folk/Roots/Country/East Coast/Jazz++   

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Notes (September 2009) by Bruce Hanson

Web Sites:  

                    myspace (+listen)

Watch and Listen

Kevin:  video 1   video 2


Kevin and the Mad bastards:   video 3


Hangover Honeymoon (1999) 

       “Primitive Blues & Cabaret”

Tequila Vampire Matinee (2000) 

        “Tex-Mex and Gothic”

Dog Sow Vol 1 (2006) 

        “Greatest Hits Solo, Live and Unplugged”

Hangover Honeymoon (2008) 

        “The Ravings of a Madman or a Great Bloody Masterpiece? You Decide”



- Outstanding New Musical, General Theatre for Tequila Vampire Matinee

Watch and Listen

Kevin:  video 1   video 2


Kevin and the Mad bastards:   video 3

STT Comments

Kevin is one of the most unique and well rounded talents in Toronto. Every time I see/hear him, he and his band just get better. I don’t know how to describe his music as it doesn’t really fit into any category. The best I can do is to use his label of “cabaret-noir”. The lyrics and music are a refreshing change from the norm. There is a strong jazz influence with a smokey voice and, when accompanied by the great talent of The Mad Bastards, his original pieces takes on even greater depth. Kevin doesn’t just write the music and lyrics, which he delivers with polish and dry humour, he also plays accordion, piano, banjo, and guitar, often switching back and forth between two instruments during a song. Solo, Kevin has a more mellow delivery of of his original works and mixes in some standards.

You will notice that his followers come to listen and watch, and not to talk to their neighbours. Think concert as opposed to background music. Unfortunately, if you have to work on Mondays, like most of the population, you probably won’t last past the first set of The Mad Bastards on Sunday night at The Cameron House.  The first set starts around 10pm and usually goes non-stop to 11:45 or midnight. One thing about Sunday night at 10pm though, parking isn’t a problem.

If you are looking for some of the best talent and entertainment in the world, look no further. And, be generous with PWYC jug. This is unique Canadian talent we want to support. If you haven’t heard Kevin Quain and the Mad Bastards before, head down and take them in. Then buy a CD or two (or three). These will become some of the most played albums in your collection.

Don’t believe me?  Here’s what some others, who presumably know better than me, have said.

"A voice with a big quotient of grit and gravel... a musical seismic shock"

- Geoff Chapman, Toronto Star

"Quain has an extraordinary ability with imagery; he's packed more  original and provocative metaphors into this one album than most songwriters find in a dozen"

- Heather Kelly, T.O. Nite

“Winter In Babylon is arguably the best collection of original works to come out of Canada in 2008”

- Bruce Hanson, SmallTownToronto  (OK that’s me, but somebody had to say it!)

Read more at his web site.

Where can you hear him?

For current listings go to Kevin’s website

As of this report (April 2009)

Keving Quain and the Mad Bastards

play most Sundays September to June at 10pm at The Cameron House, but as always, check with The Cameron House before going down.

Kevin solo

* Mondays - 6-9pm at Graffiti’s

* Tuesdays - 9:00pm-Midnight at The Paddock

* Thursdays alternating months - 6:30-8:30pm at The Rex (This show features a different music list than the others)

For more information

visit the web site:

Back to Calendar...

Kevin Quain


(original songs and standards)

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