Gamblin’ away the Season

Gamblin’ away the Season

It may be the Christmas season, but the Dakota Tavern didn’t care. They love having their Country fans showing up and escaping the cold outside world. This time was no different because the place was packed to the rafters with hard core fans wanting some tasty music, and the buffet was open.

Weepin’ Dave and the Diamond boys was the opening act and from the first twangy note and the look of their wardrobe you were instantly transported back to the 1960’s. I had a hallucination of Patsy Cline swooning by the bar standing next to a cowboy crying in his beer.

The sold out show’s audience crowded tightly around the stage at first with their video cameras at the ready, but once the full swing of the music took over, the band enchanted the them to put them away and begin the time travel to take over as the band was hitting their stride with such great covers from Buck Owens doing “Act Naturally” to Hank Williams Jr.

Their original songs like “Drinking for two” got people raising their glasses as the smooth, humble singer charmed the crowd to let loose and forget the outside world for awhile. I would even hazard a guess that this Friday night drinking crowd hasn’t even bought one Christmas gift yet. Who could blame a crowd when there was a lot of Yee Haw’s and line dancing going on.

I just wanted to add this as my last thought. I talked to the singer, Dave after the show and asked him how long the band has been performing, because they looked like veterans of the stage for years. I was shocked when he told me this was only their 3rd show together. Another awesome Toronto band has blossomed, so go catch them soon!

Here are some images of Weeping Dave:

Now onto the main event: The Holy Gamblers who are also a pretty new band here in Toronto. This is their 3rd Christmas show at the Dakota Tavern. The reason I wanted to see them was the lead singer, Duncan who I recently saw at Massey Hall singing in the recreation of the Last Waltz. His version of “Who do you Love”, by Rompin’ Ronnie Hawkins was spot on in every sense.

They started the set off right with songs about Whiskey and girls. Their sound is very down to earth. In fact it is so earthy, that you can smell the soil from their Levis denim jeans. I think should get them to promote and sponsor the next tour. In true Country Fashion, they played some Hank Williams Jr to get the crowd a little rowdier and dancing a little heartier. The line dancing was beginning to take on a different shape.

They slowed down the show and even paid tribute to Gordon Lightfoot with, “Early morning rain”. Have no fear, just when you thought it was time to go to the can or grab another beer, the paced picked up again and the dancing ensued with men hugging like they belonged on a mountain and women were hip shaking and barely a drop of alcohol was spilt. Now that is a Country audience, even after they played a song called 3 sheets to the wind!

Duncan soon announced the end of their set because he just wanted to get off the stage and join the party with everybody there, so they had fun finishing the set with the classic “9 to 5”. I personally think his foot was throbbing because he played all evening in a cast due to a hockey injury. How Canadian is that!

Here are some images of The Holy Gamblers:

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