Where's Wendell Now
 
The Date:
The Details:
 
January
January 9 I’m sitting in with Chris Chambers in Hamilton at Gallaghers on 69 Augusta Street at John Street. It’s a cool little club on a cool little street in the Hammer. We start at 8:00pm and there’s no cover. We play a wide variety of material. The week Prince passed away we must have done 13 or 14 Prince tunes. And I only know ONE Prince tune! So Chris is definitely steering this boat. But he’s an awesome guitarist and knows every song ever written. We go until 11:00PM. Here’s the Facebook web site: https://www.facebook.com/gallaghersaugusta/
January 17 I’m the special guest songwriter at Elane Harte’s long running M-Factor Indie Showcase Songwriter night. She’s moved to The Linsmore Tavern (1298 Danforth Ave.) and the night kicks off with Elana and Luciano doing a set around 7:00. There’s a few more writers and I think I’m on around 9:00 or 9:30? No cover and you’ll hear some cool songs. Plus some of mine. Here’s their website: http://www.linsmoretavern.com
January 20 Betty and the Bobs reconvene for the first time this year at the Newmarket Folk Society’s Concert Series. Detail will materialize as the date approaches. Here’s the official web site but this listing is so new, we’re not up there yet. Check back: https://newmarketfolksociety.wordpress.com/season/
January 25

Well it was supposed to be another Bob Dylan night at Lula’s Lounge with Robert Morgan and the Dylan Killers!. But Robert has contracted a viral infection in his chest and he’s not going to be better in time. So please don’t come if you were planning to. If you already purchased tickets I’m sure Lula’s will refund you. Sorry about that and send Robert some good vibes.

January 27 Wendell and Wheat ride once again. This time in Innisfil Beach. This is a house concert for Ginny Clements. I’m not sure if it’s private or open to the public… but I’ll know shortly.
January 28 Ed Smith and the Even Squares are moving up in the world. We’re playing a Sunday night show at the Horseshoe. (370 Queen St. West.) I’ve played there quite a few times in the past, but nothing for the last 10 years or so. So it’ll be good to play that room again. As you know from reading this page Ed is a traditional country singer and he’s fantastic. And the band is too. Al Cross on drums, Burke Carroll on steel, Darwin Bruce on bass and me on electric and classical. Ed strums an acoustic and sings a lot of Merle, Willie, Waylon, Kris, plus some bluegrass and even visits the Stones. And we never rehearse... so it’s alway seat-of-your-pants/wing-and-a-prayer kinda gig. That’s the best way to do country. Doors at 8:00 and we kick it off at 8:30. https://www.horseshoetavern.com/calendar/
 
February
February 16, 17, 18 I’m heading out to Edmonton Alberta. What a nice time of year to be there too. Dead of winter. Brrrr! But that’s okay because its the annual Uptown Folk Club Winterfest, an indoor all weekend folk festival. Many great acts from all over the country converge on this festival. And they’ve tapped me to host it. I’m good with the dumb intros and time stretching jokes until the performers get ready. For a full line-up and ticket information visit their website at: https://www.uptownfolkclub.ca/winterfest
February 25 I’m al part of the 'Celebration of a Man Called Wrycraft’. Michael Wrycraft is an old folkie who has won Juno awards for his album designing and graphic skills. He’s also a much loved emcee and an avid concert promoter. This man just loves music. So what’s that got to do with me? Under the organizational skills of George Koller, Grit Laskin and Judith Laskin they’ve assembled a diverse group of musicians to celebrate Michael. Michael recently lost both of his legs (and he looked everywhere for them!) so this show might help get him back on his.. um…feet? Look at these great performers: Tom Wilson, Carlos Del Junco, Kevin Fox, Jon Brooks, Treasa Levasseur, Sharlene Wallace, James Keelaghan, George Koller, Jaymz Bee, Chloe Charles, Gary Craig and my old pal Katherine Wheatley (and myself) plus a few surprise guests are coming together at Trinity St. Pauls Centre 427 Bloor Street at 7:30PM (Tickets are $30.00 and are available here:https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/the-art-of-music-a-celebration-and-fundraiser-for-michael-wrycraft-tickets-42261089055 ) And if you’re near a radio this Saturday (Feb. 3) I’ll be speaking to Ted Woloshyn and Bill King about it live on CFRB 1010 at !:30PM.
February 27-March 1 I’m flying out to Vancouver to start work on an album with the great Tom McKillip. It involves a ton of famous artists, both current and legendary. We’ll be laying down bed tracks with some of Canada’s and Nashville’s finest. I can’t wait. Then I’m hopping on the red eye to get home for:
 
March
March 2-5 Betty and the Bobs are once more the instructors for a long weekend folk camp for the Haliburton Folk Society. You can sign up for a myriad of classes. I’ll be instructing a course on the incineration of fiddles. If you have one at home, bring it along. I guarantee we’ll have a hot time. Bagpipes and hand drums are invited too. Along with ‘Ban'jos and Digeree’don’ts’. Seriously for info and to sign up, visit: https://www.winterfolkcamp.net
March 14 I’m back with the Freakin’ Beacon Band at The Beacon in Wasaga Beach. This is an ultra fun gig. Usually the tall on talent but short in stature Virgil Scott is the MC and star. But he’s in Florida so guess who’s calling the shots. This is a fun gig with top notch musicians (some of the best in their price range). I always get into a verbal battle of the wits with the drummer, Dave Breckels (but it’s sorta like fighting an unarmed man). The Beacon is a warm cozy place with a great staff and excellent food. Here’s the site:http://www.thebeaconrestaurant.com
March 18 Ed Smith and the Even Squares are back at the Horseshoe. In fact they’ve given us a residency there. C'mon out and hear some real traditional country music. Burke Carroll on steel, Darwin Bruce on bass, Al Cross on drums, Wendell Ferguson (that’s me) on electric, Patricia Henry on BG’s and Ed Smith delighting the audience with his great vocals. Sounds great in there too. No cover. Two sets. 8:30-9:30 and 10:00-11:00. https://www.horseshoetavern.com
March 22 I’m joining Al Cross, Johnny Dymond and the great Lou Moore for a night of wild guitar playing. Either I’m getting old or Lou’s getting better? Damn those flat pickers. There’s just no upper end to his speed. I’m out of breath all night. But it’s a grand workout and a lot of fun. The fun starts at 8:30 at Colonel Mustard’s and there’s never a cover and the food’s really tasty. Here’s the site: http://newmarket.colmustardspub.com
March 23 Once again I’m playing the ACC and we hope to sell it out again like we have twice before. However sadly, it’s not the Air Canada Centre. It’s the Aurora Cultural Centre. (I did the same thing and sold out at Massie Hall, a small town up near Owen Sound, and Carnegie Hall (in Hamilton) Even if they aren’t the gigs you thought they were, they sure look good on your calendar. This one is featuring the great John Sheard, the musical director for Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Cafe for all those years. We're musical pals and the laughs fly whenever we get together. We’ll be joined by the skinniest man on earth, bassist Dennis Pendrith. (He has to run around in the shower to get wet. His pajamas only have one stripe.) And we’re being joined by a wonderful female vocalist, Miss Terra Hazelton! She is fantastic and I’m so excited about this show. This all takes place at the ACC 22 Church St. Aurora. It sells out fast so book your seats now. Here’s their website: http://auroraculturalcentre.ca/concerts-events/live-music/
March 24 I’m back with Ed Smith but this time at Colonel Mustard’s in Newmarket. (Wait a minute! Wasn’t I just there two nights ago?) I’m hallucinating. The Even Squares are back playing all traditional country music. Note: this isn’t a ‘Wendell’ gig. I don’t even open my mouth. This is Ed all the way. Slightly different line-up but still lots of great tunes. 8:30 start. http://newmarket.colmustardspub.com
March 25 I’m back with Kevin Phillips and Mulligan’s stew at Mulligans in Mississauga. This is a really fun band that’s loose in their attitude but tight in their music. Rob Gusevs, Rodney St. Amend, Gary Taylor, Kevin Phillips and me. We start at 4:00 and rock for hours. Lots of guests grace the stage in the last set as well. https://www.mulliganspub.ca
March 31 I’m sitting in with Steve Grisbrook (Known as ‘The Grizz') who’s a fantastic guitarist whom I’ve only played with 3 or 4 times…. but we really hit it off. This is me with his trio and it’s at Monty’s Gastropub in St. Catharines from 3:30 until 7:00PM. 547 Ontario Street, St. Catharines. There’s no cover and he tells me the pub food's pretty good. Here’s the site: http://www.montysgastropub.com
 
April
April 6 Wendell & Wheat ride again. Down in Niagara-on-the-Lake at The Old Winery Restaurant. This is Steve Goldberger’s weekly gig and we’ll make it 'very weakly'. It’s Country Fried Friday’s and Wheat and I will do a myriad of songs. Not our standard folk repertoire but lots of fun and rocking’ tunes ... because we’ve got Steve, Dave and Mike backing us up. It starts around 9:00 or 9:30 and the food is AMAZING! Italian all the way. No cover either. Here’s their site: http://www.theoldwineryrestaurant.com
April 20 Myself and my good friend Steve Briggs are doing a duo. We always love playing together and tonight we get to do a set in front of an appreciative audience as part of Bob Bales, Springfling in Sudbury Ontario. Also on the show are the fantastic Traveling Mabels (three amazing gals and a few tag-along guys) and the band Union Duke. Details will be available in the spring.
April 22 The Horseshoe Residency continues with more great traditional country music. Ed Smith is a fantastic singer and he loves this stuff almost as much as I do. It’s really great to play the classic repertoire of Merle, Johnny, Willie, Dolly, plus a few surprises. Music starts at 8:30. Al, Darwin, Burke, Wendell and Trish join Ed on stage. https://www.horseshoetavern.com
April 29 I’m back with Mulligan’s Stew at Mulligan’s. Kevin Phillips and the boys are up to their weekly shenanigans and I join them sporadically. This is a fun gig with great songs played with verve by awesome musicians. We start around 4:00pm and go until around 8:00. There’s no cover and the drinks are reasonable. The soup is either “Where’s the Beef Barley?” or Turtle Soup and make it snappy!” (No, hold the Turtle and make it pee.) Here’s the web site: https://www.mulliganspub.ca
 
May
May 26 It’s the 50th anniversary of the NSAI and it’s the 25th Anniversary of Tin Pan North the show presented by the Toronto chapter of the Nashville Songwriter’s Association. Over the years they’ve had some pretty formidable and famous writers come through. This year your truly is doing the finale big Gala night at Hugh’s Room Live. I don’t know all the performers booked yet but it will be a wonderful show. As well I’m taking part in ‘Music Row North’ that afternoon at Trebas Institute. That’s a series of seminars and workshops with top writers publishers and artists. All the details can be found at their website here: https://www.nashvillesongwriters.com/nsai-ontario-toronto-canada-chapter
 
June
June 1, 2, 3 It’s the CMAO’s (Country Music Association of Ontario) annual awards show and conference. This year it will be held in London ON. at Centennial Hall. For details check out their website: https://cmaontario.ca/awards/about/
June 22 - 24 I’m heading back to northern Alberta to play the North Country Fair. It’s been taking place since 1978. This is an excellent festival in an idyllic spot called Driftpile. This is where all the old hippies ended up. Not only was the site beautiful… the crowd made use of the many trash, recycle and compost bins around the grounds and the place looked just as spotless Sunday night as it did on Friday morning. Mighty responsible and environment conscious people out there. And four smells rocked my world. Wood smoke, cannabis, sweat and patchouli oil. It was Woodstock all over again. Or maybe just an acid flashback? Either way you’ll love this festival. Great people and a great vibe. Here’s their site: http://lslncca.ca/current/
June 23 I’m playing an event called 'Christmas In June' in Barrie, Ontario. I know, it makes no sense to me either… but the presenter swears it’s a real thing. Details when they reveal themselves.
 
July
July 6, 7, 8 Apparently I’m going to be performing at Mariposa Folk Festival again this year. This festival is one of Ontario's finest and I had a run where I did it 7 years in a row! They must’ve got tired of seeing this old face because I haven’t been asked back in ten years. But the wheel turns slow and I’m heading back up there. Details and a full line-up will be available on their website. http://www.mariposafolk.com
July 28-August 1 It’s my 14th time hosting the Songwriter’s Circle in Manitoba at Dauphin’s Countryfest. This festival attracts about 35,000 people with all the top names in modern and traditional country. I get the MainStage for about 90 minutes on Saturday afternoon to showcase some of the finest songwriters in the world. And I also host and often join the after hours acts appearing in the VIP Lounge. This year some of the announced headliners include Paul Brandt, Florida Georgia Line, Eric Church, Dallas Smith, Lindsay Ell, Aaron Pritchett, The Road Hammers and many more. Here’s their website: http://countryfest.ca/page.php?id=72
July 30-August 3 I’ll be back teaching another course at the Haliburton School for Art & Design in Haliburton Village for Fleming College’s Summer Program. The course is called ‘Songwriting for the Guitarists- Concepts and Chords’. I’ll show the students the standard chord progressions and how to understand them and utilize them in your songwriting. We’ll have plenty of examples and they’ll all learn a lot of new songs as well as write their own. For full details email askus@hsad.ca, call them at: (705) 457-1680 and to enroll visit their website at: https://flemingcollege.ca/school/haliburton-school-of-art-and-design/course-calendar
 
August
   
 
September
September 1 I’m heading up to White Lake in the Kawartha’s to do a show for a cottager’s association. Details when they’re ready.
September 6-9 I’m heading to the CCMAs. The Canadian Country Music Awards. And this year it’s nice and close. Hamilton. No flying and paying for extra baggage. Ahhh. That feels nice already. More details on what I’ll be doing as we get closer to the event. https://www.ccma.org
 
   
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