Matthew de Zoete (‘duh-ZOO-tuh’) plays tonight at the Heart of the Hammer Cafe.

A singularly talented and all-around stand-up guy, Matthew de Zoete is helping pop-rock recover its lost sense of dignity and self-worth. The 29-year-old from Hamilton, Ontario, approaches his craft much like an Old World artisan, applying a loving hand to songs whose melodic invention and attention to detail consistently catch the listener off guard.

Matthew started writing and performing music in his teens, under the spell of timeless ’60s combos like The Beatles and The Who. A demo of original material came several years later, some of which was reworked for his 2006 debut, Across the Sea. 2008′s Bottom of the World meets and exceeds those standards. Produced by Dave King and recorded mostly live off the floor, Matthew and crew capture in the studio all the spontaneity and joy of their best live shows; their familiarity with and affection for the material is very much apparent.

Catch Matthew de Zoete live at the Heart of the Hammer Cafe July 21st 2011 at 8pm. PWYC


On Friday July 22, Happy Hour with Nieghbours takes on a new flavour. You have a chance to meet our featured artist for July, Nancy Benoy, you’ll have a chance to sample some of the finest craft beer in Ontario, compliments of Cameron’s Brewing and all of this to the swinging tunes of the Highnote Ramblers.

On the subject of craft beer, here is a well researched and well written piece from Raise the Hammer that all you craft beer lovers should read.

On the subject of great music, here‘s what one person wrote after the Highnote Ramblers’ last visit to the Heart of the Hammer.

Come on out for people, performers, paintings and perhaps a bevvie or two. I love it when it all comes together this way! See you on Friday.

Sometimes history walks into the same room as you, and you know it immediately; there’s a hushed and reverent feeling, perhaps awe. And sometimes you find yourself in the same room as the future and it’s very, very different. It’s electrifying. It gets your heart racing and makes you say “I want to be part of that, I want people to know I was part of that!”

This Thursday, May 5th, you can experience both at the same time when Bri-anne Swan plays Leonard Cohen at the Heart of the Hammer Cafe. 8pm. PWYC. Come early to get a seat or to get dibs on the gluten-free beer.

Swan’s powerful and evocotive take…would give [Gordon] Lightfoot a run for his money.
Artsforum Magazine

A voice sweet as a kiss from an eyelash…and just as seductive.
The Vinyl Experience

Swan has not only amazed with her insight, but her angelic voice and wonderful songs let you know that she is just full of magic.

Delightfully rich, versatile sining…this woman has huge power in her lungs and is also able to sing as sweetly as any songbird.
TO-nite Magazine

One of our returning favourites, Fred Magie, has been writing and performing for ten years. He had a great 2010 including the recording of his fourth album and a nomination for a Hamilton Music Award. His music is reminiscent of Neil Young, but unlike him Fred Magie is one of those people of whom we will all be able to say “I knew him when…

when he played at the Heart of the Hammer”.

Come on out to the cafe on Thursday March 24th to help us appreciate such talent in our own little neighbourhood.

Some time ago Kori Pop wowed us with a guest appearance at the cafe and now, on Thursday November 18th at 7pm you can hear her again with a few guests* of her own. Please note, we are starting earlier than usual this week.

*Bunnies not included!

Thursday Night is Music Night at the Heart of the Hammer and we have a terrific lineup of talented artists over the next few weeks. 8pm. PWYC.

November 11 – Shelley Adams

November 18 – Kori Pop

November 25 – Modern Field Recordings

December 2 – TK Dallman

December 9 – Shelley Adams

December 16 – The Bloody Five, Chris Hau

I don’t know about you, but when I read this I want to read it as live not Live, as in they’re moving in and they’re never going to leave. This Thursday, Jordan Fox and Shelley Adams will perform right here in our neighbourhood.

If you want to brush up on your Jordan Fox, check him out here, and if you want a preview of Shelley Adams, check her out here. But if you really want to be there when it all comes together, check them out at the Heart of the Hammer on Thursday June 24th, at 8pm. I’ll share. I promise.

Fred has been writing and performing for ten years and has just completed his fourth studio recording with his new album “Window on the World” released in May at the Pearl Company. Subtly influenced by Neil Young, Ron Sexsmith and Dave Matthews, this Hamilton singer-songwriter is getting back to his roots with a mainly acoustic approach.You can check out his myspace or his website or you can drop in and hear him live at the Heart of the Hammer, June 17th at 8pm.

8pm on May 13th and 27th

Find out more about Chris, Bob, Taylor, Jes and Jen at

and then come and hear them live!

Thursday April 29th, 8pm