mystery of the root, in its mud and manure, with all its worms and groundwater working away, the blossom appears, and draws us, with all of its beauty and fragrance, into the realms of a particular magic. What attracts us is a gorgeous expression of the complex and invisible spirit of that one spot.
Michael Laderoute (Dec. 29, 1947 – May 29, 2021)
Glen Hornblast:“Michael Laderoute and I go back a long way – we found each other at Norm Hacking’s open mic at various places. Norm was a good host and his open mic was almost like a workshop. He was the hub. He was the center of songwriting in Toronto. He had the best open mic.
We cheered each other on as we attempted to make our one and only CD https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_msNWoSmzg_LSl8qOZ8M0D5pi4cExDUVwY < (listen here on YouTube) that would do justice to our music. It was a very expensive process if you were to do it right. He sure made a good one – should have won a Juno – but hey, little guys don’t win Junos. He was a great songwriter – “A River I Know” being one of the best songs about dying ever written – a perfect song – Michael knew all about “crossing that river” – he was always full of beans and full of great stories. Always sitting at the bar with a Molson’s in front of him – he always made fun of my drinking Coronas. He actually met Townes and Guy and John Prine during his travels – now that’s pretty cool, and it was fitting, since his music always had that inflection of Texas Blues. He should have lived in Austin, not Toronto. He used to talk about playing in Dallas at the Sons of Herman bar – sort of like a Legion in Canada – sitting in a song-circle guitar pull with Guy Clark and the boys – that’s I think how he accidentally ended up with Guy Clark’s capo. I’ll have to get there someday. Maybe he’s somewhere right now playing with those guys, taking turns playing tunes. He was a great songwriter and despite his sometimes cranky demeanor, he really had a heart of gold. See you along the way Amigo – you brought a lot of love and laughter to the world – you will be sorely missed – but always remembered in our hearts.”
Steve Paul Simms:
“I met Michael Laderoute sometime in the late ’80s at the Free Times Cafe. He was a friend of Norm Hacking’s, and he always seemed like a very cool dude. A magnetic performer and great storyteller in song, he seemed to have fully lived the life he wrote about. An English major, he had a deep knowledge of literature. He loved Moby Dick and Cormac McCarthy. He loved old movies too, and whenever I tried a line of obscure dialogue from some Bogart or Cagney flick on him, he’d know the comeback line right on cue. Michael seemed to know a lot more than he said. Most of the time, he was joking around, occasionally grouchy, but never pompous or self-important. I learned a whole lot from watching him onstage and off, and I never spent an unpleasant hour in his company. He’ll be missed for a long time.”