Friday Night Variety Show at Duffy’s

Written by Joe Taylor

June 29, 2024

If you didn’t go to the cottage this long weekend, maybe you took in a show. Well at Duffy’s tavern there were three very different shows playing. In fact the audience was made up of three different kinds of people.
First up we had Ray Henderson, a folk singer from Toronto who brought along a young band that was clearly excited to be a part of his history. I walked in a little late, but quickly noticed his songs came from very sad places and even had some emotional attachments for Ray himself. He seemed to get a little choked up when he was singing about a friend of his Clifford and even a true story about another character that lived ay Runnymede and Bloor.
He also sang about the end of a 23 year marriage. Most of us can relate to that. The number doesn’t matter but the event is something a lot of us still carry. I brought a friend along and that was his stand out song. It felt as if you were having a therapy session with his set of music.
Other songs that he sang was “Broke down in Bella”, and “Hey God (Open my eyes)”. Wow is there any happiness in the world anymore?

The good news was that the next band up changed the mood quickly. They are Hounds of Thunder and they brought their own style of the blues to Duffy’s. They are a young band that has been playing for about a year now but are making waves in the city with their biker blues attitude. They kinda remind me of a loose cross of AC/DC and ZZ Top with that 60-70’s stoner vibe built in.
I loved watching the lead guitar player and singer Tex, spaz out on stage like he was being bitten by a shark. It was a good thing he was wearing his Jaws T-shirt. It really helped with the visual. The band chugged out some serious 12 bar blues like a sputtering motorbike leaving a greasy diner.
BY the third song, they really hit that stoner rock sound and I could hear some serious Mahogany Rush come spraying out from the fog. The Bass player got us drinking to the Doors-Roadhouse Blues and the get us high again with Voodoo Chile. It was thin and tasty, in fact it felt more like a Zombie Chile until Tex began to convulse again then it turned into an Epileptic Chile.
They finished strong as we laughed at their next song title called Tap dancing on your grave. Boy was it grave and deep, at least six feet…

Well we had some folk music, then we cried and laughed in our beer with the blues, what could be next? A Band call Mihalyistic Entities walked on stage, the singer limped with his staff and looked as white as a ghost. This band came in with riffs from outer space or the roots of a sycamore tree. They kept the crowd engaged in hypnotic howls and other inexplicable sounds.
I have seen this band before and usually they come on a do an improvational jam that can last for 20 minutes or longer. Well this time they seemed tighter with shorter songs that had a direction that went straight into you reverie.
There was a trunk of wonders and once it opened Pandora reveal her secrets. Gifts were given to virgin participants and soon a soporific dance emerged as if to charm the Gods for a gift. That gift was received with a drink from a mighty chalice and the dark throes of the sensual dancing came crashing to an end as each female fell. As they laid in their somber coma, the band continued with music to apologize to. There was a moment I couldn’t help but feel like I was watching Alice Cooper sing, “Only women bleed”, and right after Alice murdered a female on stage.
Then the reawakening happened and the nymphs came back to life and gathered themselves together into a coliseum of funk for a night out at the Symposium. At the end of the night we had to endure a dark and unchartered odyssey through the “Caves”.
What just happened? It was supposed to be an easy Friday night in the city while other people went to relax at the cottage. Mihalyistic Entities sent us on a vacation in our mind’s eye. This is how I want to spend my long weekends with strangers in a room, just being lost together.

Follow Mihalyistic Entities on Instagram
Follow Hounds of Thunder at
Follow Ray Henderson at

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