After a busy, award-winning year, playing festivals and touring across the country, Tom Fun Orchestra is happy to be sticking close to home. Since November 19, the band has been hosting the Flying Horse Cabaret, a weekly session at Governor’s Pub that isn’t really meant to be your typical Tom Fun show, although the band is featured at the end of the night.
The show usually opens with somebody connected somehow to the Tom Fun Orchestra—so far opening acts have included 3 Piece Suit, The Roots and Rhythm Remain, and Buck and Kinch—and ends with some version of the band playing songs from Tom Fun’s usual set with a few odds and ends thrown in for a laugh or good measure.
It’s kind of an informal type of show and the headliners have had a variable lineup which has, on different weeks, been without Carmen Townsend, Albert Lionais, or Victor Tomiczek. And none of their rotating cast of fiddlers (Morgan Currie, Colin Grant, and Rosie MacKenzie) has shown up yet, although one would expect that they’ll probably all show up on the same night one of these weeks. Although they have been missing members, they have not been down in numbers. The talented James Munroe has been a regular fixture on trombone, Buck and Kinch’s Donnie Calabrese has been playing organ in the corner, Bill Potter from 3 Piece Suit has been sitting in on guitar, and singer Collette Deveaux has stepped up to the mic once or twice to add some vocals.
“It’s unpredictable,” says accordion player Dave Mahalik. “And we like it that way. It’s kinda like when we first started and were playing at Bunker’s every week and you never really knew who was gonna show up to play.”
The Flying Horse Cabaret continues Thursday nights until Christmas, which is only for the next two weeks. This week’s special guest is The Pranks, a quartet from the Northside made up of songwriter Russell Sullivan on vocals and guitar; Bill Potter (3 Piece Suit, Sweet Zombie Jesus) on vocals and guitar; Connie Boutilier (Digger, Hadrian Seven) on bass and vocals; and Rob Rushton (Thought Machine, Fallen) on percussion. Get there early for a good seat.