An Irishman and Polishman walk into a kitchen …
Sounds like a joke doesn’t it? Sounds like two people doesn’t it?
In this case, the Polishman and the Irishman are the same person and the things that happened in the kitchen are no joke.
Freeman Dre of Toronto,Ontario – explains the origins of the name of his group.
“I’m born and raised in Toronto, from Irish-Polish ancestry. The Kitchen Party name is pretty literal. We used to play in my kitchen to friends. Eventually we moved on to venues but the name stayed.”
Those venues have been mostly in a musical triangle. New York, Montreal and Toronto. Three cities. One dream …
In reality, Freeman Dre has become of one Toronto’s most talked about singer-songwriters. His fresh take on songwriting and Folk traditions have garnered the attention of crowds and critics around the world. His collective, Fedora Upside Down, are changing the landscape of Toronto’s downtown music scene. His band – ‘The Kitchen Party’ are a cult following in progress.
Freeman explains the phenomenon.
“The name of the band is a reference to a kitchen in a partied-out Queen West pad in Toronto where, only a few years ago, the group threw impromptu shows until crowds started to spill into the street. Despite the casual atmosphere of which they originated – onstage ‘Kitchen Party’ is tighter than a three day bender. ”
Freeman was voted best songwriter in NOW magazine’s 2010 reader’s poll and nominated again in 2012. His musical narratives immediately command attention. Narratives with many influences …
“Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen along with less audible choices such as Neil Young, Howlin Wolf, Townes, Bruce Spingsteen, Hank Williams, Bon Scott and Handsome Ned.” I have tons more …” Explains Dre. ” I write the songs, sing them, and play guitar. This all started roughly about 4 years ago.”
Freeman takes one of Toronto’s most creatively- influenced neighborhoods
( Parkdale ) and spins the tales of the people who traverse the landscape on an average day. Stories which end up on his albums …
“Old Town is my second cd. The first is called “red door, second floor”. Adds Dre. ” My favorite tracks on Old Town are; ‘We All Fall Down’, ‘Laugh Yourself To Sleep’ and ‘Whatever it Takes’.”
“Probably because the recording of these songs went smoothly and they are all fun to perform.”
” ‘Old Town’, is a self-produced 10-song effort recalling the idea of story-telling in songs. Following a loose conceptual arc, it’s an immigration story inspired by Freeman’s ownfamily history that is sure to leave a listener reminiscing for the old country and challenging the new.”
Kitchen Party, or the core of the band – is made up of Freeman, LonTron Silver (Lonny Knapp), Marlon Chaplin, Mookie Komatsu, and Terry Wilkins. On any given night, the group can have up to twelve people join the onstage party.
“Especially when we include members of the fedora upside down collective (a 14 band collective started by me and the lemon bucket orkestra).” Adds Dre. “So the number of kitchen partiers varies really…”
Outside of music, Freeman attempts to avoid all forms of conventional employment.
“I pretty much eat, sleep, and dream music. My other obsession is hockey. I’m a avid follower and I used to be a decent player. I’m also a diehard sucker rooting for the Leafs.”
Sadly for Freeman Dre – that’s no joke either …