Hugh's Room Live in Toronto last night (April 11) attracted a full house with a special tribute night entitled Sweet Jane: An Appreciation of Jane Harbury. This was an evening to celebrate the invaluable contributions the veteran Toronto publicist/promoter has made to the local music community over the past five decades,
The cliched phrase "a lot of love in the room" had a real ring of truth as artist after artist testified with great affection to Harbury's devotion to their cause and the strong emotional and professional support she always provides.
Music scribe Nicholas Jennings performed his hosting duties admirably, beginning with his observation that both he and Harbury worked at the famed Riverboat folk club in Yorkville way back in the '70s. That venue's owner, Bernie Fiedler, was on hand for the tribute.
A surprise star guest, Andy Kim, then kicked off the music, serving up tasty renditions of his hits "Baby How'd We Ever Get This Way" and "Rock Me Gently." Following up with short but sweet two-song sets were Dala, Liam Russell, The Ault Sisters, and Amy Sky, while brothers Ian and Dave Thomas (of SCTV and Strange Brew fame) had the audience in stitches with their takes on Scottish cuisine and Welsh nicknames, delivered to make English expat Harbury feel good about her choice of a new country.
Deadlines meant a departure before the second set, one expected to feature Marc Jordan, The Good Brothers, Brent Titcomb, and Sylvia Tyson.
Those spied enjoying proceedings included Bernie Fiedler, John Harris, Frank Davies, Terry Brown, Richard Flohil, plus media types that included Karen Gordon, David Farrell, Bill and Kris King, Karen Bliss, Kim Hughes, and artists Fergus Hambleton, Blair Packham, and Arlene Bishop.
A fitting homage to a true local hero.