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Forgiveness of a Dangerous Heart: Joey Landreth Live at The Horseshoe Tavern

By Phjoshua @thereviewsarein
Forgiveness Dangerous Heart: Joey Landreth Live Horseshoe Tavern

Joey Landreth rolled into Toronto on Tuesday night and filled The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern with fans eager to see him do what he does.

The Winnipeg roots rocker brought his Forgiveness Tour to the city to the delight of the gathered audience. Everyone in the room knew what they were in for, and there was an air of excitement as showtime approached. The truth is that Joey Landreth isn't a household name in Canadian music. But, he is one of those if you know, you know kind of artists. His fans are all in, they fill rooms across the country when he tours, they sing along with his set, and they are always looking forward to new music.

That was exactly the situation on Tuesday night.

As Roman Clarke opened the show with a solo set, the crowd filled in and the energy increased. His soulful and powerful voice impressed the Toronto fans from start to finish, earning praise throughout the room. During one song, I overheard people say "this guy's got a lot of soul, eh?" and "this has got a real 70s R&B feel".

With his keyboard, vocals, and wit, Roman Clarke charmed the pants off of The Horseshoe... and then he came back to play the drums for Joey Landreth a few minutes later.

When Joey Landreth came out to start his set, a round of applause and cheers greeted him. It didn't take long for him to earn a lot more of that.

Landreth (accompanied by Clarke as well as Meg Dolovich on bass) kicked things off with Where Did I Go Wrong and pulled the crowd even closer to the stage. The combination of his voice and guitar work can almost be hypnotizing, and honestly, we could sit and watch him play all night. It's mesmerizing in all of the best ways possible.

From there, the set continued with Gone Girl, Made Up Mind, Forgiveness, Crying, Let It Lie, and Time Served. Each song had the Toronto audience leaning forward in an effort to hear just a little more, catch every detail, and soak it all in. The trio did an excellent job of filling the room with sound, without making things fuzzy or jumbled. At times this was guitar-driven rock and roll with a killer bass/drum combo, and in other moments it felt stripped down to a songwriters showcase feel that dripped with emotion and vulnerability.

Note: When listening to Joey play some of those stripped down tracks, we started thinking of artists we'd love to see him share a stage with. The first two that came to mind were Jessica Mitchell and JJ Shiplet. Get the three of them on a stage, let them share songs and stories, and if they all sang together, we'd be very very happy.

Joey took over the stage solo for a couple of new songs in the middle of the set. And even though we didn't know the songs and couldn't sing along, we were all in. Again it was one of those things where the crowd just locked in and watched in admiration of his talent and appreciation for the music.

Throughout the set, Landreth showed off his guitar chops, the skills that make him one of Canada's premium players, with extended solos and riffs. He made it look easy and sound amazing. Earning applause in the middle of songs, and giving everyone exactly what they came for.

As we crept closer to the end of the set, the room was once again singing along to Still Feel Gone and his latest single, Dangerous Heart. But the loudest, strongest singing from the Horseshoe Tavern audience came when Joey Landreth played the final song of his set, Whiskey.

Related: Whiskey, Joey Landreth Album Review

The title track from his 2017 album was an excellent choice to wrap the night. The guitar work, the vocals, the emotion in the song, and the love that the Toronto crowd showed it combined for a stellar ending to a night of great Canadian music on a legendary Canadian stage.

The bottom line is this: If you see a sign with Joey Landreth's name on it (bonus if Roman Clarke's name is there too) go inside and see the show. You won't regret it.

Forgiveness Dangerous Heart: Joey Landreth Live Horseshoe Tavern
Forgiveness of a Dangerous Heart: Joey Landreth Live at The Horseshoe Tavern

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