Review by: Jake Senger
Jim Bryson backed by the Weakerthans played Bookie’s New Music night at the Horseshoe tavern in Toronto this past Tuesday. Jim Bryson is a Canadian singer songwriter who resides in Ottawa, Ontario. He was a founding member of the Canadian band Punchbuggy but has since released four albums under his own name. Tuesday night’s concert was a release party for his latest effort, the Falcon Lake Incident. Backing Jim Bryson on this album is the well known Canadian band, The Weakerthans. The Weakerthans formed in 1997 in Winnipeg, Manitoba by lead singer John Samson. I had seen The Weakerthans live a few times before but never Jim Bryson.
Jim Bryson and The Weakerthans began at 10 pm to a packed audience. The place was rocking from the get go with the band playing a song off their new album. The concert was a mix of both Falcon Lake Incident songs and songs of earlier Jim Bryson records. The crowd seemed to enjoy both of Bryson’s new songs as well as his old favorites. I really enjoyed the new songs and thought The Weakerthans did an excellent job backing Bryson. It was interesting to see John Samson just singing harmony with this project since he is the front man and lead singer of The Weakerthans. The crowd was really into the song Sleeping in Toronto, which is off Jim Bryson’s record The North Side Benches. However, the highlightfor me was his final song of the night. I am not sure the name of the song but it reminded me of Spiders by Wilco. It had a great driving bass line and some awesome guitar work by Jim Bryson and The Weakerthans guitarist Stephen Carroll. The entire crowd was right into it moving to the music and showing their approval with a great reception once the set had ended.
Tuesday nights at the Horseshoe is a great place to go if you want to see some new music for free. While The Weakerthans are an established Canadian band that could sell out the Horseshoe for one of their own shows, I think a bunch of people in attendance hadn’t heard any of Jim Brysons music before. I am sure Jim Bryson impressed those in attendance and made new fans while showcasing his new album.