Photo - Norm Hacking

Norm Hacking at the Tranzac
Toronto's Songwriters' Community



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This series ended.
JULY 24, 2001 - MARCH 28, 2002

That series also ended - details

Tuesdays - Open Stage
(at the Tranzac Oct. 26, 1999 - June 26, 2001)
Saturdays - "Norm's Living Room"
(at the Tranzac Jan. 29, 2000 - June 2, 2001)

No Cover - Basket passed for feature performers

Tranzac Club - Southern Cross Room
292 Brunswick Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
(just south of Bloor between Spadina & Bathurst)

subscribe to a Norm Hacking email newsletter by contacting

For events at the Tranzac, phone 416 923-8137

This page last updated March 2002.


Drop by on Tuesday to do two or three songs (depending on the turnout). Sign-up starts at 8 p.m., and we go late. We have a sound system and an upright piano. You're welcome to bring along recordings and mention gigs. Norm's open stages at the Tranzac ended on June 26, 2001, with Norm as feature - FROM JULY 24, 2001 every TUESDAY at THE SILVER DOLLAR ROOM!

Saturday is "Norm's Living Room" - Norm invites musicians to play short sets and often to join together in a joint song swap. And he plays more on Saturdays. This series ended on June 2, 2001.

There is a scheduled feature each evening, but many of our features are regulars and many of our regulars are very good. Come to listen or come to play. We also welcome spoken word.

The evenings are "no cover" and the basket is passed for the feature. They are held in the Southern Cross room, where smoking is permitted, but a ventilation fan helps. Due to the Tranzac's decision to designate this room as a bar under Toronto's new smoking by-law, as of June 1, 2001, we can no longer include performers or audience under age 19.


(click on month for direct link)

February / March / April / May / June 2001


Sat Feb 3 - NORMAN LIOTA, a fine songwriter and guitarist, returns. His CD is A Strange Voice. He recently returned from a very successful tour in the US midwest, and is planning another tour in the US. Check his website at [2004: ]

Tues Feb 6 - TREVOR STRONG, one of the three Arrogant Worms, has been dropping in to try new material on us - lucky us! He's had us all wearing out the laughing muscles in his short open stage sets recently. For more on the Arrogant Worms, check

Sat Feb 10 - STEVE PAUL SIMMS writes songs of love, departing friends, kids, lotteries and other subjects with a variety of acoustic guitar styles and frequent splashes of humour. Wall of Illusion, his CD released in 2000, is terrific and he's performing songs destined for the next one. [2004: ]

Tues Feb 13 - DAVE TAYLOR is a talented acoustic guitarist who sings a variety of traditionally based songs.

Sat Feb 17 - LARRY NUSBAUM - get in the rootsy groove with his guitar and conga playing and original songs, a favourite who brightens a lot of faces by walking in the room. Be prepared to sing/groove/percuss along - great therapy and lots of fun.

Tues Feb 20 - CHRIS STAIG is a local singer-songwriter and former Taxi Chain guitarist. His April 2000 debut solo CD Deeper We'll Dream is getting airplay on commercial and college radio. Writing good original songs that work in both rock and folkier environments, Chris also has lovely bluesy fingerpicking when he accompanies others. See

Sat Feb 24 - BOB SNIDER has long been a Toronto folk scene favourite, but now the word is out in other parts of the world. He has many recordings with lots of songs you want to hear again and again for the unique point of view, the humour, the philosophy. His CDs are Caterwaul & Doggerel (1995) and Words and Pictures (1997), with a tribute album Poetreason issued in 1996. One website with info is [2004: or ]

Tues Feb 27 - CAROLINE WILES of Oakville (just west of Toronto) is a pop/folk songwriter with a lovely velvety voice who was performing professionally as lead singer/guitarist in a band at age 18. Listen to MP3 sound bytes from her June 2000 self-titled debut CD (with ten original songs) at

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Sat Mar 3 - IAN NORTH, whom Norm describes as a "songwriter's songwriter", has a CD that is very close to being released and his short sets at Norm's evenings indicate we're in for a treat.
Update: Ian's CD is emptiful with 12 songs, all but one are original, with a website at

Tues Mar 6 - PETER SOLMES is working on his fourth CD and will be playing solo keyboard. See March 17 for more info, he's bringing his band then.

Sat Mar 10 - JIM BEARDEN is a professional actor and published writer who has written a couple of musical stage plays. One was broadcast in its entirety on CBC radio's Morningside, winning recognition from a branch of ACTRA as best variety radio script. Jim sings (with guitar) from his huge repetoire of original and cover songs.
Update: This evening became the release concert of Jim's debut CD of original songs, Greatest Hits

Tues Mar 13 - ERNEST LAIDLAW is an interesting songwriter who came to our open stage and charmed the audience with his songs and guitar playing - one of Norm's new favourites.

Sat Mar 17 - PETER SOLMES AND CANADIAN HEART. Peter is working on his fourth CD, Stories of Presqu'ile; his latest is Home and Away. Often playing solo keyboard to accompany his musical versions of Canadian stories old and new at Norm's evenings, he is bringing his band for this feature and will include some Irish themes in honour of the day. For more, see

Tues Mar 20 - MICHAEL KATZ had a successful touring band a number of years ago until he tired of life on the road, and now this is the place to hear his bluesy guitar, harmonica and vocals.

Sat Mar 24 - CLELA ERRINGTON impressed everyone with her gorgeous voice, lovely vocal interpretations and harmonica and guitar playing when she came the January evening Eddie Baltimore was our feature. Eddie recorded her new CD Lace Curtains and he and Jamie Snider accompany her on it.

Sun Mar 25 - 7-8 pm EST, listen to CKLN-FM 88.1 in Toronto for Tuesday's feature Steve Schellenberg as guest on Joel Wortzman's show "Acoustic Routes", also live on the net at [2004: ]

Tues Mar 27 - STEVE SCHELLENBERG of Winnipeg dropped in in October, leaving us wanting to hear more and he enjoyed the sense of community, so we're very fortunate to welcome him back as feature. "Deeply personal songs from the heart: songs of romantic love, songs of spiritual journey, and gently ironic social commentary.." More info, including details of his recent CD Here Goes at [2004: ]

Sat March 31 - MUNDY - TURNER, Cath Mundy and Jay Turner are a songwriting duo from Brisbane Australia who are ending their first Canadian tour at Norm's Living Room and then are off to U.K. for an extended tour. Both impressive vocalists, Cath plays lyrical violin and piano and Jay is a versatile acoustic guitarist. See for rave reviews and info on several recordings.

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Tues April 3 - MICHAEL DENT pleases with his bluesy vocals and guitar.

Sat April 7 - LENORE has a self-titled CD with 13 original songs and is currently recording her second one. She is an enthusiastic acoustic bluesy folk/pop performer who captures wistful and humorous slices of life. See for varied quotes, wide-ranging musical influences and sound samples.

Tues April 10 - BRIAN GLADSTONE amazes with his flying fingers flatpicking and fingerpicking at the same time. "An analogue guy trapped in a digital world," his 1999 CD Back to the Dirt showcases his songwriting ranging from a humorous look at traffic jams on the Don Valley Parkway to socio/political messages. See

Sat April 14 - MARIANNE GIRARD, a favourite at Norm's evenings with her lovely vocals including gorgeous versions of several of Norm's songs, returns after a too-long absence. [ 2004: ]

Tues April 17 - LORI CULLEN is a very talented and captivating Toronto songwriter whose poetic CD Garden Path was released to rave reviews last year. Check the artist pages at or [2004: ]

Sat April 21 - NOAH ZACHARIN is a Toronto-based songwriter whose third CD aLIVE was released last June at the Tranzac. Recorded live at the Free Times Cafe, it captures "a typical Noah Zacharin performance with a wide range of material from Blues to Gospel to Jazz, tender to raunchy" and showcases his fine fingerstyle guitar work. Song samples and other information at

Tues April 24 - IN BLUE RIVER has become a favourite duo - Devon's fingerstyle bluegrass/jazz guitar and Cristina's emotionally charged classically trained vocals in a continuous fusion of sounds and styles. With hand percussionist Curtis and a cellist this time around, they'll be a real treat indeed. They're finalizing their debut CD - visit for some songs, lyrics and info. [2004: ]

Sat April 28 - TIM READMAN of Vancouver, known as the leader of Fear of Drinking, is touring to support his wonderful solo debut CD Into the Red. See for more details on Tim and an interview about each of the 11 original songs on the CD.

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Tues May 1 - RUSSELL SCOTT was part of "the Orangeville invasion" of the Tranzac to help us celebrate the first anniversary of Norm's Living Room in January. His quirky sense of humour, deft lyrics and outstanding guitar playing have given him a strong following at home and new fans at the Tranzac. His songs reflect northern Ontario and many other subjects. Update: Russell was able to bring copies of his debut CD the Master Key with 10 original songs.

Sat May 5 - GLEN HORNBLAST and DON BRAY are two fine songwriters. GLEN is a "folk singer on the social justice scene" with 10 strong original songs on his 1997 tape Isla Mujeres and newer songs in performance. DON is an award-winning Barrie-based writer with an excellent well-named debut CD Decisions. His blues-tinged acoustic/folk performances are filled with humour, energy and an incredible range of emotion. Soon he is completing his second CD. See [2004: ]

Tues May 8 - RODNEY BROWN is a Thunder Bay-based musician who has been playing professionally for more than 25 years, written more than 100 songs and issued 6 albums. Gigs at major festivals turned to education and children's entertainment while his family was young, and he is touring southern Ontario. His 1977 album Freedom in Me was re-issued on CD and his 1999 Christmas album proved popular. Watch for another reissue and a new recording. [2004: ]

Sat May 12 - JEREMY WOODLAND made a big impression as part of Norm's Living Room first anniversary "Orangeville invasion". Only 21, Jeremy has been playing guitar half his life, absorbing country blues, ragtime, bluegrass and classical styles. Already a veteran of Mariposa's main festival, he is very busy teaching guitar. More info about Jeremy and his CD What You Hear... Is What You Get - with just his guitar and vocals, performing original songs and arrangements of trad material - at [2004 (outdated info): ]
(Mary Kelly, previously scheduled, is in Calgary in Sound of Music)

Tues May 15 - RICK GREGUS is a veteran blues writer/vocalist/guitarist who will be playing solo old time blues from the Delta with a bit of bluegrass thrown in. His current band is the Hokum Blues Express, a good times or nonsense blues band which harks back to the early days of the blues (hokum: blend of hokus pocus and bunkum). Last year the band released their Good Feelin' Blues CD, highlighted on their website at

Sat May 19 - PETER SOLMES is working on his fourth CD; his latest is Home and Away. As a solo performer, Peter plays solo keyboard or guitar to accompany his musical versions of Canadian stories old and new. For more, see

Tues May 22 - TREVOR STRONG, one of the three Arrogant Worms, drops in to try new material on us - lucky us! The Worms are well-known for their zany topics and lyrics, so be prepared for a good time. Trevor also has his serious songs too. For more on the Arrogant Worms, check

Sat May 26 - LORRAINE McDONALD is a fine songwriter and performer who keeps her audiences entertained with her beautiful singing, quirky wit and utter charm. Songs from her second and brand new CD No Money No Makeup are getting airplay on several CBC programs. Her website

at includes 3 MP3 format songs from her new CD.

Tues May 29 - JESSICA GRAHAM is a young songwriter whose strong writing skills are getting her gigs around town. She is working on a self-titled demo and in the meantime has a track "Autumn Fire" on a promotional compilation CD, Unsaturated Market, featuring female artists from Southern Ontario.

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JUNE 2001

Sat June 2 - JOHN JACKSON is a strong songwriter and an amazing guitarist, a master of styles ranging from flamenco to slide and including jazz, folk and rock. His last CD is Takin' My Own Sweet Time and he is in final stages of production of a new CD due for completion mid-summer. He wrote the theme to the Great Canadian Parks TV series. Mark your calendar for debut of Sacred Spaces TV program to be aired on Discovery Channel 8-10 pm on Canada Day. UPDATE: The TV program aired 9-11 pm on July 2.
This Norm's Living Room ended the Saturday series at the Tranzac.

Tues June 5 - RICHARD MOULAISON & CO. - fine acoustic music with a good vibe and a nice twist. Chances are you don't recognize the name, but especially if you're a regular who stays late, you'll recognize the face. Usually just playing as "Rich" on the 12-string guitar on the late shift, Rich quickly set up a quartet at the end of the evening on June 2 (including congas and bass) that got into a lovely groove.

Tues June 12 - MICHAEL LADEROUTE - this is a name regulars definitely know, unless very new to Norm's evenings. Michael has developed a real fan club at Norm's - and many requests to finally start recording a CD! He has a beaten path to Dallas Texas where he performs fairly regularly. From his original songs ("There's a River I Know" with the gospel feel one of his most requested) to covers to the fabulous fingerpicking back-up to everyone who can persuade him to accompany them - here is a feature you don't want to miss. Take a hint from Dean Cavill's song about Norm's open stage - get there early if you're not feeling too sure so you don't have to follow Mr. Michael Laderoute!

Tues June 19 - WAYNE MARSHALL is a Brantford-based singer/songwriter, producer and engineer whose country/folk songs have been recorded by a number of Canadian and U.S. artists such as the Good Brothers, The Stoker Brothers, George Hamilton IV and Ronnie Prophet. His songs range from true life tales to humorous ditties like "The A & R Man." Wayne has also done tremendous work behind the scenes organizing the huge June 1999 tribute to Norm Hacking concert that filled Tranzac's Main Hall with an awesome gathering of musicians performing Norm's songs. Many of the songs, along with studio tracks recorded by Wayne and others will appear on the upcoming tribute CD he produced, One Voice, the Songs of Norm Hacking, Volume 1.

FRIDAY JUNE 22 12:30 pm - Norm Hacking performs NOT at the Tranzac, but at a lunchtime outdoor concert (if it doesn't look like rain) at the Metropolitan United Church at Queen and Church Streets in Toronto. Other dates are July 13 and 27 and August 17. UPDATE: June 22 concert was cancelled due to rain not clearing quickly enouth, so August 3 has been added to Norm's list. For more details call the church's concert info line at 416 363-0331 x22 or see "coming up" link.

Tuesday JUNE 26, 2001 - THE LAST OPEN STAGE at the TRANZAC, featuring NORM HACKING. It's appropriate to go out with a party and let Norm take the stage for longer than our open stage list usually allows. Come celebrate the fine high-quality open stage series we've enjoyed since October 1999 - and as always Norm's fabulous songwriting.

Series ended at the Tranzac - Click here for open stages starting
(ended March 2002)


A huge thank you to all the players, listeners and features who have made Norm's evenings so special. We never anticipated having features from Australia, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Northern Ontario and a huge contingent from Orangeville (an hour from the Tranzac) with regulars coming in from the suburbs (Oshawa to Mississauga) - all with a solid core of amazing local talent and loyal listeners. Norm's community moved to the new series!

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For more info or to subscribe to a Norm Hacking email newsletter, send an email to

See also
Past Events in 2005 / in 2004 / in 2003 / in 2002
Later open stage series (also ended):
Norm's Living Room at Silver Dollar Room (2001-02)

Last updated March 2002
Links updated September 15, 2004