Mon, Apr 11, 2016   Freedom Train News & Happenings

Hello, Freedom Train friends. Welcome to our web site! If you’d like to view photos of Freedom Train, please check out the link to our public facebook page. We have photo albums in the photos section. If you have any pics from any shows – feel free to add them!

Freedom Train is performing at many special events in 2016. Here are some upcoming highlights:

We are playing many private functions in April and through to the summer – including lots of birthday bashes, weddings, company bashes, casinos, and house parties!

Come out and rock with the Train every Thursday @ Roc’n'Docs in Port Credit!! FT will be performing from 9pm – 1am

FT is performing select club dates this summer, including Timothy’s Pub, Jersey’s, Stonewalls, The American House, The Purple Heather, The Pipes & Taps, Abbey Road Pub and Ned Devines. Check out SHOWS for more dates & info.

Upcoming special events highlights include:

FT is performing a SOLD OUT Show at Carpenter Hospice Fundraiser!! this year on Saturday April 16th in Burlington at The Boston Manor!!!! 100% of all proceeds from ticket sales, raffles and silent auction will be donated to the Carpenter Hospice.

FT is proud to be performing at Oh Canada Day Rib Fest this year on Sunday July 3rd in Waterdown! Family fun!

FT is performing a show for Ronald McDonald House Charities on Thursday June 2nd in Hamilton at The Cotton Factory!!!! Tickets are $100 per person – come on out and support this great cause!

On Friday May 13th and July 29th catch FT at Stonewalls in Hamilton for a Freedom Train hometown gig!

Come out and party with the Train! More info coming soon!

Check out SHOWS for more dates & info.

In 2014 – Freedom Train is celebrated 25 years as a full-time band , same members. We can’t believe it!

People ask us how we met Big Ed – here’s the story:

Throughout 1989, Tim and I were performing 6 nights a week across the country in Speck Jennings. For a host of reasons we wanted to replace the guitarist that we had – but we didn’t want to break our full tour schedule with long auditions and weeks of rehearsals.

Then I met Big Ed. A mutual friend said he knew a great guitarist, and he set up a casual meeting at my apartment. No audition – no jamming – Ed just strummed my acoustic in the corner. Within minutes I asked him to join the band. I somehow just knew this guy was perfect for what Tim and I were doing and what we wanted to do.

And so it began. We played our last show with the other guy on the Saturday, rehearsed with Ed on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and played our first show together on Thursday November 9th 1989. 

That first show we opened for Rick “Rock n Roll Hoochie Koo” Derringer at a concert in Toronto. And off we went in our van and crew in truck and hit the road for a two month tour. 

Tim and I’s nervousness of “did we make the right decision?” quickly disappeared when Big Ed not only mastered all of our material in a matter of days, but we discovered how much we all got along so well considering we were thrown into living together on the road.

Who would have guessed that we’re still together, we still get along great, and we’ve managed to maintain working and surviving as full time musicians to this day! 

Tim, Big Ed and I have performed over five thousand shows in the past 25 years!

So on behalf of my brother Tim and Big Ed, thank you to all of the people that come out and watch Freedom Train perform, and share our passion for live music and great songs!


Freedom Train 2014 Year in Review, OUR 25th ANNIVERSARY YEAR – and what a year it was!!!!!

For Freedom Train, 2014 was another year of all kinds of shows and memorable moments.

As well as playing clubs, casinos, private house parties and weddings through-out the year, here’s a run down of notable shows that helped make 2014 extra special:

We rang in 2014 with our 11th consecutive sold out New Years’ show at Geraldo’s Banquet Hall in Burlington. Five course meal AND open bar!! It was a great night!

In early January Freedom Train were lucky to be asked by Glen Brown from Greater Hamilton Musician Magazine to be a part of “An Instrument for Every Child” Fundraiser Party in Hamilton. It was a great night, the place was filled with musicians! We were lucky to be able to jam with members of the Hamilton Blues Society and many others. We also had Ross Wooldridge sit in with us on sax for a whole set. Killer!

In mid-January Freedom Train played a corporate show with the Tonettes at the Atlantis Room at Ontario Place in Toronto. We played and they sang – no rehearsal! They are a great all girl vocal group from Toronto who really know how to sing!! Check them out.

In February, Freedom Train was honoured to be asked to play at respected Hamilton businessman and entrepreneur Morris Mercanti’s memorial service. Morris was one of the founders of Carmen’s Banquet Centre in Hamilton, and he built and ran the Oakville Conference Centre. We performed Morris’s favourite songs as requested by the family. People danced, people cried, people sang along – it was a very touching afternoon show.

Late February we played our fifth sold out Boobapalooza show at Carmen’s in Hamilton. This is a great fundraiser put on by Dawn Taylor, all monies raised goes towards CIBC Breast Assessment Centre to help fight breast cancer!

In early March, Freedom Train put on cowboy hats and played a Hoedown in a barn in Caledonia! This event was a fundraiser for the Community Support Centre in Haldimand-Norfolk. It was sold out, with three hundred cowboys and cowgirls dancing to what they thought was a country group… boy did we fool them! Thank goodness they all were drunk!

Also in March, Freedom Train played a wonderful event at the Ancaster Fairgrounds for T.E.A.D. (The Equestrian Association for the Disabled). This organization enhances the lives of children and adults with disabilities through the use of therapeutic horseback riding! How cool is that? The event was a success and lots of money was raised. Again, we wore cowboy hats!

April brought a special moment for Carl, Tim and Ed. We’ve always been fans of the group Yes. Through a mutual friend of ours and Yes, we were able to meet Chris Squire and Steve Howe. Amazing.

In mid-April Freedom Train performed at the “Ride for Kenny” benefit for Ken “Kenny” McKay. Monies raised went to the Community Living Centre in Burlington. Kenny was a fan of all the bands from the area!! It was a great night, put together largely from the efforts of Bob Groza. Lots of acts were on the bill, it was a fun day!

Freedom Train ended the month of April on another high, thanks to event promoter, friend and musician Gary Lucas. We were asked to play Gary’s 70th Birthday Bash for his first annual ‘Lucas Nite’! We played our set with ‘The Hawk’ Ronnie Hawkins watching us in the front row! Super cool. Did we mention Gary plays in the latest version of the ‘Hawks’ band? Gary himself and our friend Hailee Rose also got up and sang with us. What a great night!

In early May, Freedom Train hit the red carpet as we played the Toronto Short Film Festival in Toronto. Actors, Directors, and hipsters of all sorts dancing the night away to Freedom Train during the after party.

In mid-April we played one of our year’s favourite shows, we opened and closed the David Wilcox sold out show at Burlington Central Arena, 800 people ready to rock.
Freedom Train went on first and played a 45 minute set.
David Wilcox then did a 1 hour set.
Freedom Train then played a final 1 1/2 hour set.
We had soundman Kevin Fix mixing us, the sound system and light show was amazing and the place was buzzing! The building was shaking – literally!

Early June finally arrived to the gig that was on the books for a year – Andrew MacTaggart and Suzie McNeil’s wedding. We do lots of weddings, but this one was very special for us. Andrew is a long time dear friend to the band and a very successful and accomplished guitarist. His bride Suzie McNeil is, well, SUZIE MCNEIL! She’s one of the best singers around. They both have so much going on in the music biz it’s too much to mention (I will say that they’re both in Steven Tyler’s solo band – ’nuff said). The wedding was a star studded musician fest. Freedom Train was lucky to be the band for their wedding bash!! What a great time!

At the end of June, Freedom Train hit the stage at The Waterdown Oh Canada Rib Fest. What a great night it was, the stars were shining in the sky, the moon was high, and there were 4000 in attendance! We were joined onstage by the talented Hailee Rose who blew everyone away with her outstanding stage presence and voice.

In early July, Freedom Train performed at NudeStock – Canada’s Largest Nude Music Festival. What a day it was, they know how to party! We performed in broad daylight on a huge stage for hundreds of naked people. They partied, danced and some even got up onstage to sing along. Between the sets, they even had Naked Karaoke! The Naked Karaoke was done on centre stage, of course. Big Ed was overheard asking one of the enthusiastic naked karaoke singers, “excuse me, sir, you’re standing on my pedals and cords”. We performed fully clothed. A very memorable show!

Also in July, Tim joined up with our friend Chris Gormley from Daylight for Deadeyes to ‘March Across Hamilton’ for Toronto’s Sick Kids Hospital Fundraiser. They marched through the city, playing their drums, made a racket, and ended up at Carl’s house for a BBQ.

In mid-July Freedom Train played Cayuga Fest in Cayuga. It was a huge crowd, and we got a chance to see and hang out with our friends Dry County. They’re a great band, they had the audience rocking!

Freedom Train played a cool show in August, we performed at the AMO (Association of Municipalities of Ontario) Gala in London. All of the Ontario Mayors and their spouses attended. A highlight for us was seeing 93 year old Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion boogie on down to the ‘Train’.

Our summer 2014 show calendar was filled with many private house bashes, club dates, pig roasts and weddings.

We ended August performing at the Burlington Rib Festival. On Saturday August 30th, Freedom Train hit the stage for an hour and a half power set which included guests Dave Rave and Hailee Rose. We were thrilled to play for the 10 000 + people in attendance. Big screens, big PA, big lights, great night!

September started with another fundraiser show for T.E.A.D. (The Equestrian Association for the Disabled) at their home base in Mount Hope. Another great night for a great cause.

Carl took a detour for ten days in September and went to Scotland! It was a great trip, and had a blast hanging with Scottish Borders band ‘Point Blank’. Great band and great guys!

Freedom Train ended September with The Oakville Shrimp Fest Gala. This is a great fundraiser put on by the Optimist Club of Oakville. We’ve played this event for many years now, it always sells out, and it’s always a big party!

In October, we continued with many functions and club dates, ending the month with a huge Halloween bash at Bay City Music Hall in Hamilton. This was another ‘Lucas Nite’ put on by our friend Gary Lucas. Lots of great costumes and prizes!

The fall also rang in some nice awards to the band:
Freedom Train was voted ‘Best Cover Band’ by View Magazine.
Freedom Train was awarded ‘Best Entertainers / Musicians’ by The Hamilton Spectators People’s Choice Awards.

November was a big month for Freedom Train.

It started with a huge black-tie Gala fundraiser show at Liuna Station in Hamilton. Tickets were $325 per person! The money raised went to St. Joe’s Healthcare. It was a sold out event, and needless to say, a lot on money was raised!

Hamilton’s View Magazine helped celebrate our 25th Anniversary by featuring Freedom Train with a cover story on our group! The headline was “Freedom Train: 25 Years of Freedom”. As this is what we do for a living, that is the perfect headline. Thank you View!

Then the anniversary parties began!

Our friend Chris Jupp helped organize a very touching and special party for us at our show at Jersey’s in Burlington. The place was packed with long time fans, musician friends and family. Thank you Chris and gang for a great night!

Also a big thanks to Stonewalls and Lake Affect for having 25th parties for us in November as well!

November and December dates were filled with lots of company Christmas parties. And we’re proud to announce another sold out New Year’s show at Geraldo’s in Burlington!

We’d like to thank all of the awesome night clubs that we performed at throughout 2014:

Oscars, Timothy’s, Lake Affect (every other Thursday), The Liquid Lounge (every other Thursday), Jersey’s, Clancy’s, Southside Johnny’s, Stonewalls, Carrigan Arm’s, Blue Goose, Gator Ted’s, The American House, The Binbrook Bin, Sarcoa, The Purple Heather, Legends on the Queensway, Shoeless Joe’s, The Tin Cup, and The Brown Barrel.

And thank you to all of the wedding couples that had us play your big day! We also performed at many great house parties, birthday parties, casinos and company parties!

Freedom Train performed 197 shows in 2014.

Thank you to all of the people that came out and watched Freedom Train perform, sharing our passion for live music and great songs!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Carl, Tim & Big Ed

Freedom Train