We headed to Kingston, ON last Friday, where Shade was set to open up for Australia’s An Horse at the new and much-improved Living Room. The venue is a cosy bar on the top floor of  The Mansion on Princess Street. It used to be Dan Ackroyd’s club, and a big painting of the Blues Brothers hanging on the wall pays homage to that fact.

We were anticipating a fun night with An Horse. I was especially looking forward to hearing them pronounce their own band name. However, borders being as they can be, the Aussie rock duo didn’t make it across ours. Lousy news for them and their fans. I hope they’re ok wherever they are.

Luckily our friend Luther Wright (who is helping to book the space) was ready and willing to get a full night of music happening anyway. He opened with a few songs, and it was great to hear tunes I’d heard with the full band performed solo. Then followed a newcomer to town named Rueben de Groot. He has an amazing voice – country meets town, old meets new. Ruben is making a new album over at Luther’s studio, so keep your ears out for that.

After that we were treated to a short solo set by the multi-talented Tim Vesely (also Shade’s drummer for the night). He played songs from both Violet Archers’ albums, which are always top of my playlist, and should be top of everyone’s!

The final treat before the Shade set was Sarah Harmer, who was there to play drums with Luther, but first graced us with her songs of effortless melodic beauty and charm, one of which was brand new.

By the time Shade came on, the small crowd was nice and warmed up. I think a couple of lovely ladies even kicked up their high heels on the dance floor for a minute or two…or maybe they were just staggering. Anyhow, it was a blast, especially when Luther joined us on guitar for the last two songs. Good times.

Rounding off the night was a rollicking set by Luther, with Sarah H. on drums, Tim V. playing bass (then later guitar), and then Casey on drums. Our own Mary Harmer even got up there to lend some vocals on a song.

Thanks to Luther for booking the show. The new Living Room is a great space with a super easy-going vibe. We were treated really well by everyone. The food is super tasty (love those curry fries). Good luck to Casey and the other owners. Here’s to long-standing success!