At home with the Slate family and guests…

My neighbour, Robert Graham, is a musician and songwriter and is relentlessly passionate in his pursuit of building a career and community in Toronto. In short, he’s awesome. Through his adventures in TO, he has discovered many weird and wonderful music initiatives, ventures and events. 

This Saturday, his pursuit of exploring musical talent and collaboration included Joanne Slate’s “at home” concerts… literally what it says on the tin: a concert in the living room of the Slate family home. I was fortunate enough to get an invite to the concert because Robert’s wife couldn’t make it and he knows I love live music. I had no expectations of the gig…..  it was just some woman in Toronto who used the format of an “at home” concert to showcase the talent of her grown-up kids. 

Proud parents…. pah!

So at first I paid little attention to the line-up…



Gavin Slate:   

Songs in movies and TV. 

Played across Canada on CBC.


Madeleine Slate: 

Originally from Toronto, now based in Nashville.  

Recent cut on Grammy nominated David Nail’s album. Carnival music artist/songwriter.


Stephanie Lambring: 

Nashville via Indiana

BMG singer/songwriter. Turned heads at our last house concert.


Maia Davies: 

Singer/songwriter from Juno nominated “Ladies of the Canyon”.



As Joanne introduced them, I couldn’t help thinking what a gushy mother she was. Ya, ya, ya, whatever. They’re your kids, of course you’d say they were amazing.

But I soon ate my own silent words when Gavin started singing. 

Blown away….

And now I’m gushing myself, but crikey…wowzers….shazdazzleness.

Gavin’s superb voice and beautiful songs were equally matched by the performances of Madeleine, Stephanie and Maia. Stunning vocals, charming banter and songs written straight from the heart. I can’t say I favoured one particular performer, though now I’m going to investigate their music further and see what else I can find. Admit I was thoroughly absorbed in each song, even getting a little goose-pimply at times. Oh my!

By the end of the show, I was feeling a little guilty at my initial skepticism. Joanne Slate has every reason to be immensely proud of her family and their friends.

They asked for a $10 door fee as a contribution for the concert, with the proceeds equally split between all the performers. I gave an additional $10 at the end because it was all the cash I brought with me, but I would have happily donated an additional $30 (perhaps even more but not before payday!), which is what I would have paid for a commercial gig. 

If I know these guys are playing again in town, I’ll definitely be first in line with my bucks.