It's a big week for Good Enough Live Karaoke and our entire community of singers! Thursday March 30th we play our 997th show at Wheatsheaf Tavern, #998 at Rec Room Toronto on Friday March 31st, #999 at Junction Underground on Saturday April 1st, and our 1000th show at the Horseshoe Tavern on Sunday April 2nd 2023!
It's a week of both celebration of what we've built together and reflection on the journey to get here over the past 9.5 years.
We just wrapped a great weekend of shows 4-days in a row! Thursday April 21st we played GELK show #10 of 2022, a private event at Steamwhistle.
This made us remember so many other fun events we've played at Steamwhistle over the years.
Friday April 22nd we returned to Rec Room SQ1 in Mississauga for the first time in 25 months! It felt great to be back!
Saturday April 23rd we returned to Rec Room Toronto for GELK show #12 of 2022.
Featuring Special Guest; Stand-up comedian Sam "the Caveman" Losco, from the Trailer Park Boys TV show, our old friend kicked things off to sing the first 2 songs of the night!
Followed by a blow-out performance by our 2nd Special Guest of the night: 2021 Polaris Music Prize winner: Cadence Weapon singing Depeche Mode - Personal Jesus!
Sunday April 24th was GELK show #13 of 2022: We rocked our Sunday nite residency at Toronto's Oldest Bar: THE WHEATSHEAF TAVERN! Est 1849. 10pm - 1:15am EVERY Sunday Sponsored by our friends at Teeling Whiskey (as seen on the kick drum).
^We got a picture WITHOUT Zane before the set / and WITH Zane after the set was finished. Zane and I were both on all 4 shows, 4 days-in-a-row and just look at us! The whole band still look happy after playing a 3-hour and 40-minute set! That says something.
Spring is here, COVID numbers are down, and gigs are starting to come back! We've got 4 shows under our belt so far in 2022. I booked, coordinated and played all 4 shows with slightly different lineups of the band.
Friday February 20th at Heartwood Concert Hall, Owen Sound (GELK show #1 of 2022)
From left to right: We had in-house sound-tech Mitch Yirkew do a last minute sub-in on drums and he KILLED it! Absolute pro behind the drum kit. Eric Walker made his GELK debut on guitar that night and wowed the audience with his tasteful playing and stellar note-for-note guitar solos! That's me Tim McCready in the Black Flag - My War t-shirt. I was on my usual keys and guitar that night. Day-1 O.G. GELK bass-player Craig Mailman held down the low-end that night.
Thursday March 17th at Gladstone House, Toronto (GELK show #2 of 2022)
From left to right: Longtime GELK veteran Stephen Orr was on guitar. I played guitar and keys. Esti Friedman played bass, Kyle Skillman on drums, and Zane Banyan was sign-up host and backup vox.
GELK started our monthly Melody Bar residency at the Gladstone back in January 2016, which we maintained for over 4 years until the pandemic hit. Our Saturday March 14th 2020 cancelled gig at the Gladstone was the official beginning of the pandemic for us; suddenly ALL our shows were cancelled. After 2 long years of waiting, it felt great to be back at the Gladstone and play the Melody Bar Grand Reopening launch party. We played 35 songs that night to an enthusiastic and supportive crowd.
Saturday March 19th at Axis Gallery and Grill, Toronto (GELK Show #3 of 2022)
From left to right: Tim McCready (me) on guitar and keys, Craig Mailman on bass, Kyle Skillman on drums, Fraser McLean on guitar.
I booked this private birthday party 2 days in advance! Money was on the table, we were all available and practiced up; so we made it happen. Vova the birthday boy and his friends all had the best time singing their hearts out! Of course, the band had a great time playing with them too. We LOVE to gig!
Sunday March 20th at the Rivoli, Toronto (GELK show #4 of 2022)
From left to right: Mike Bell on bass playing his first GELK show since Dec 2019, Fraser McLean on guitar playing his 2nd GELK show in 2 days. Back to back 3-hour sets, Saturday and Sunday. BOOM! BOOM! Aurora Bangarth on drums and of course Tim McCready (me) on guitar and keys because I book and play every GELK show now!
Sunday night was a 60th birthday party for our new friend Robert Shipman. Robert contacted me back in late December 2021 but we weren't sure if COVID mandates and restrictions would allow for us to gather together so we penciled it into the calendar. We all lucked out! Robert was able to book the famous back room at the Rivoli and we all made it a night to remember together playing a 3-hour set of live band karaoke.
We just played 3 shows in 4 days?! THAT feels good for me. In many ways last weeks shows reminded me of the "good old days" of 2017 and 2018 when everyone in the band did their best to get along and work together because they all wanted to be here. Even with the shifting and rotating cast of musicians I play with from show-to-show, there's something about the momentum we collectively gain together as a band when GELK plays 3-hour gigs 3 to 5 days a week.
Can't wait for more of this in 2022!
Happy New Year! The results are in! We've got our top-9 most-liked photos of 2021 from our IG account: https://www.instagram.com/goodenoughlivekaraoke/ FOLLOW us!
Left to right, from top left:
1. Pre-show band picture at the Phoenix Concert Theatre, Fri Oct 1st, 2021. feat Special Guest Michelle Treacy.
2. NOW Magazine Readers Choice Awards 2021: Winner for Best Karaoke in Toronto 2021
3. Eulogy for Junction City Music Hall, our longest running residency where we played 1st Saturday of-the-month from Aug 2014 to March 2020.
4. Promo photo of me on the porch of 159 Manning dressed as Santa Clause which was used for our 8-Year Anniversary Party Sat Dec 4th 2021` at the Phoenix Concert Theatre, and our 6th Annual Boxing Day Party at Heartwood Concert Hall in Owen Sound.
5. Promo photo shot at 159 Manning for Fri Aug 20th 2021 at the Phoenix Concert Theatre, featuring Chris Murphy from the rock band Sloan, w/ me, Esti Friedman, Janine Hynes and her daughter Evelyn. This photo references the cover photo I shot (taken in the exact same location) for Sloan's 2014 Record Store Day release.
6. Chris Murphy of the rock band Sloan rocking a GELK t-shirt while singing with us on stage at the Phoenix Concert Theatre Fri Aug 20th 2021. Photo by MJamesLens.
7. GELK band photo (feat. half of Casper Skulls) at the former Silver Dollar Room at College and Spadina, Wed Dec 1st, 2021. That night, we became the very first band EVER to play the rebuilt heritage-status room.
8. Bass player Esti Friedman and drummer Janine Hynes back-stage at the Phoenix Concert Theatre on Fri Oct 1st 2021. Photo by MJamesLens.
9. Esti Friedman playing bass at a private birthday party at Murphy's Law Fri Sept 24th 2021.
While I'm at it, I've decided to post my Top 9 photos of 2021 from my personal instagram account https://www.instagram.com/timmccready/. Why? Because 6 of these photos were from a "Greatest Hits" series I posted during the first half of 2021 while Toronto was in COVID lock-down. If you don't know anything about me, they may serve as a partial resume of sorts. Far from an exhaustive personal history (there's a LOT more), these 9 photos do provide some insight into how I got to this place in my life; running a successful karaoke band in Toronto!
Left to right, from top left:
1. Me on the cover of the Canadian edition of VICE Magazine, June 2017. Released in conjunction with a VICE-produced online video called "How To Party Proof Your House". Full circle moment for me as I had been a full-time employee of VICE from January 2005 to June 2009, starting out in Ad Sales and then later moving over as the Production Manager for the US and Canadian editions of the magazine.
2. Me putting a guy in a chokehold in the basement of Chef Matty Matheson's newly-opened restaurant Parts & Labour, Aug 2010. The guy I'm choking had attacked a guitar player of a band called the Sphinx at the end of their set. Without thinking I sprung into action and subdued him AND got a pretty cool picture out of it! The next week I was hired to be P&L's in-house sound-tech, a position I held until the venue closed in 2018. Photo by Ivy Lovell.
3. Vassil Mester (R.I.P.) on his bike in front of 159 Manning Spring 2012. Vassil and I played together in band called Fill Spectre for about a year. I took this photo before a band practice. Vassil was a drummer, legendary around the Toronto punk and metal scenes who died in April 2015. He is still remembered and missed today.
4. The GELK promo pic taken in the library of 159 Manning for our Aug 20th 2021 show at the Phoenix featuring Special Guest Chris Murphy of the rock band Sloan.
5. Chris Murphy posing for a "159 Manning Porch Portrait", holding a photo of him taken at the Phoenix 2 years earlier by MJamesLens.
6. Portrait of my dad Raymond McCready and I, taken at the 159 Manning BBQ June 2013.
7. George Stroumboulopoulos and I at the Season 8 Wrap Party for his CBC TV talk show "George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight" where I was employed as his Audience Coordinator from Aug 2011 to June 2012.
8. Birthday post for GELK's founding guitar-player Jesse Bellon, Feb 14th 2021.
9. Essay by musician Rosh Roslin (who coincidentally leads Los Angeles karaoke band Casual Encounters Karaoke) about valuing each gig you play as a musician whether it's headlining Coachella, a corporate hotel gig, or an empty room at the dive bar on the corner. Work is work!