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Lots of contemporary music for Whoop Up Days

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Whoop Up Days has a fresh young line-up this year and a lot of variety, but it also features some familiar faces who have played Lethbridge several times before.

One Bad Son plays Whoop Up Days, Aug. 19. Photo by Richard Amery
It also features a lot of Lethbridge talent including cover bands like Fast Times who open for the Sheepdogs on day one of Whoop Up Days, Aug. 18; Uncovered who open for One Bad Son, Aug. 19; Unzipped who open for the Glorious Sons, Aug. 21 and several local acts playing a big roots and blues day Saturday, Aug. 22.

Calgary blues/ funk  trio the Eric Braun band open the last day at 3 p.m. followed by local blues rock band Driving While Blind at 4:30 p.m., local blues/ country band Paul Kype and Texas Flood at 6 p.m. and Leeroy Stagger at 7:30 p.m.
The country night on Aug. 20 features Calgary shredder Lindsay Ell at 7:30 p,m. and multi-instrumentalist , Juno Award nominee MacKenzie Porter who is also the little sister of Canadian Idol Kalan Porter.

Leeroy Stagger is excited to be playing his first Whoop Up Days, Aug. 22 at 7:30 p.m. before Juno award nominated bluesman Steve Hill closes off the night at 9 p.m.

“I’m pretty excited. It’s a good opportunity to play for a different audience,” said Stagger, whose single “Something Beautiful” off his tenth CD “Dream it All Away” is getting airplay on  CKXU, the PEAK in Calgary and several others, plus community radio stations and local modern rock station the Bridge.

“I really appreciate that. It’s ballsy to play independent music,” he said.
He is a popular musician at a variety of venues in Lethbridge including the Slice, the Geomatic Attic and was a highlight of this year‘s South Country Fair.

 He spent  May and June touring after he released his CD and has spent the past few months focusing on his furniture business and a few other projects.
“I’ll be playing with a five piece band, the same band I had at the Geomatic Attic and at the South Country Fair this year,” he said, adding he will be focusing on the new album, plus a few older songs and some surprises.
“I’ll be playing a song with Paul Kype ( who is playing at 6 p.m. Aug 22). But it’s  a surprise. I’ll give one hint —  ‘Eat a Peach,’” he said.
“It’s always great to be on stage with Paul Kype,” he said.

“He says a lot of good things about Steve Hill,” he said.
A vinyl release of “ Dream it All Away” will be launched around the same time as his Whoop Up Days performance. It will be available at the show.


He is also pleased to see a more modern rock line-up.
“Whoop Up Days  usually has classic rock music. And I love classic rock, it’s nice they are doing something a little bit different,” he said.
 Saskatoon rock band the Sheepdogs opened Whoop Up Days on Aug. 18.
“I’m not sure what to expect. But the last time was an outdoor show and we had a really great time,” said Sheepdogs bassist Ryan Gullen.

 After being informed what Whoop -Up Days was a town fair, he was even more was excited to play the event.
“We’re from Saskatchewan. So we’re used to playing the prairie/ rodeos / fairs. We love playing them,” he said, adding they’ll introduce a few of their new songs including the first single “Downtown”  from the new CD as well as the hits from their previous CDs.

“We’ll introduce the new record, but we’re holding off on most of it until it is released. We’ll also be playing stuff from the older records. It will be a well paced rock and roll show,” he said.
Glorious Sons frontman Brett Emmons is excited to play the band’s first Whoop Up Days on Aug. 21.
“It will be just what you expect from us —  lots of power, running around the stage and a lot of dirty, sweaty rock and roll,” he said adding they may add some of the new songs they have been working on.
“ I don’t want to give away any secrets, But if we feel like giving people something they haven’t seen before then we might,” he said.

 Glorious Sons have played Lethbridge many times before.
“We like it out west. We know the area and always like playing there but all of the shows blend into each other. We like the crowds there. It’s different from any other place we play,” he continued.
“All of the shows blend into each other. But we take the general feeling we get from each one onto the next one and the next one until we fly home,” he said.

They  begin a big tour in October in support of the fifth single “Contender” off their CD The Union.
“We weren’t really expecting that. You get this nice pat on the back, but you just put one foot toward the other and hope you don’t fall,” said Emmons.

“There has been a lot of appreciation for the single. There has been a lot of radio support and fan support, so we’re super excited about it,” he said in the midst of a quick 10 day breather in a summer full of festivals.
 Glorious Sons include guitarists Jay Emmons and Andrew Young, bassist Chris Huot and drummer Adam Paquette. They exploded on the Canadian music scene in 2013 with their EP “Shapeless Art,” produced by John-Angus MacDonald of The Trews.
 Their singles, “Mama,” “ Lightning,” “White Noise” and “Heavy” have been instant hits with audiences who love dirty, upbeat rock and roll.

“We’re working on new music constantly.‘ Contender’ dropped a month ago and will be the last single off the album,” Emmons said.
Montreal bluesman Steve Hill winds up Whoop Up days on Aug, 22.
The trajectory of Quebec bluesman Steve Hill’s entire career and life may have been completely different if not for one guitar— a 1959 Gibson ESG 125.

“I collect guitars and a  guy came to my house with this guitar. I couldn’t afford it, but he made me a deal— play a solo show for him,” said Hill, working on his ninth album — the third installment of his Steve Hill Solo Recordings series , which will be released in March.

 He has a dozen new songs in varying stages of completion for the new CD.
The solo recording features Hill playing every instrument, guitar, bass, drums and cymbals simultaneously.
“I hadn’t played a solo show since I was 18. I’d done many things. I played with Pagliaro for three years. But I loved it (playing solo). And the funny thing was I had an album  being released three weeks later, but the record company didn’t do anything with it. They didn’t promote it. I wasn’t doing anything and my career wasn’t going anywhere so I recorded the first Steve Hill Solo recording and it became my best selling album. It won a Juno award for best blues album. It was completely life changing. It just goes to show, just because a record company won’t support you, don’t give up on your career,” he said. Hill will close off Whoop Up Days, Aug. 22 at 9 p.m..

 He is expanding the sound of his one man band sound with each album and tour.
“I’m playing a cymbal with a drumstick I attached to my guitar head,” he said, adding the one man band idea evolved naturally.
“I’ve been playing guitar and singing for 28 years, so I can do that without thinking,  and I was already stomping my foot, so I added a snare drum to that. I had to add my other foot and then I learned  the harp and added  the cymbal,” he said adding he stomps out pretty basic rhythms on his drums.
All music is included in Whoop Up Days daily admission of $15, children under 10 free or super ticket gate and Midway $55.

A version of this story appears in the Aug. 19, 2015 edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times
— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 August 2015 09:26 )  
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