It's been 7 months since one of the best local venues in Ottawa for live music, the Elmdale Tavern, changed ownership into the hands of the Whalesbone restaurant. This shift worried a number of local music fans who considered the fact that a restaurant that provides top-notch service might not continue to host live music.
Tonight was a great example that proved they have continued the experience of super-talented musicians, that likely would not have found a venue in Ottawa in support of their tour across the border. It was one of those "I'm so fu@king amazed I'm seeing this at the Elmdale Fu@king Tavern" nights. It was on par with Marco Benevento, Charlie Hunter, and especially Surprise Me Mr. Davis (The Slip -- Brad Barr, Andrew Barr, and Marc Friedman -- with Marco Benevento and songsmith Nathan Moore).
How would one describe the band in order to get folks out? The Elmdale Tavern made a simple post on Facebook today, highlighted by the previous owner, pointing out that a secret last minute booking by a band would be playing this evening. (Alright gang, the cat is out of the bag! Pokey LaFarge is playing TONIGHT. $15 is a small price to pay for the best night of your life.) It was enough to fill the joint, especially after their follow-up post about Pokey on Letterman the week before. The dinner service was finishing as the staff started clearing out tables. There was a birthday girl there who stuck around after her oyster party and walked away with a fantastic live music party that anyone might wish for.
There's some captured vids, photos and audio that are integrated in this post since there were a few super fans that brought gear out to document one helluvafuckinevening at the Elmdale Oyster House and Tavern. A set-break debate tonight ended with just branding it the
(with Whalesbone Oyster House)
This was another band (much like the Surprise Me Mr. Davis gig) where the member's all exclaimed how much they loved playing at a tavern filled with super engaged people ready for some whiskey and dancing. Pokey and the band tonight showed off their Gibson's chugging skills. Benevento and the various Slip boys made sure there was lots of Jameson's flowing when they played.
The Elmdale Tavern is a unique place in Ottawa that not only continues it's tradition and spirit but has been enhanced by the new Whalesbone owners.
Here are a couple of videos from the Elmdale captured by TeamCanada2012
Here's another video from a different perspective.