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South Country Fair ends with hot Sunday line up

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You can accomplish a lot in a day if you put your mind to it. I could only make it to  Saturday of the South Country Fair, in Fort Macleod, July 21 and made the most of it catching most of the acts, until lShaela Miller and Paul Holden at South Counrty Fair. Photo by Richard Ameryosing power physically and camera battery wise around 11:30 when Hank and Lily were supposed to take the stage.  If you want a taste of the fair,  a lot of my favourites are performing today. As well as a few of the favourites from Friday night.

 Saturday featured a lot of familiar faces, including local performers and people who have played Lethbridge a lot in the past year. But there were some pleasant surprises. And even though there were more little kids running around than ever before, that didn’t stop the performers from unleashing hilarious, bawdy drinking songs and stories on a laid back crowd.

  Shaela Miller, who was on the South stRev. Sekou asks for crowd participation at  South Counrty Fair. Photo by Richard Ameryage on Friday, played a workshop called the pros and Cons of Collaboration with Carolyn Mark and Ndidi Onukwulu. There wasn’t a lot of collaboration in the workshop other than on  “This Little Light of Mine,” which Shaela Miller lead the other performers through. But most of them played their own songs with their own band mates other than Onukwulu’s lead guitarist who added tasteful guitar solos for much of the workshop.

 Carolyn Mark sang a few of my favourites including “Everybody’s a Whore,” and “Get it Up, Get It In,” as her upright bassist Terri Upton laid down a toe tapping groove. Shaela Miller sang a couple of my older favourites including “Country Love Song” But Mididi Onukwulu was a powerhouse and a highlight, belting out powerful blues and soul with just a touch of gospel. I’d never heard of her, but she has released six CDs and often collaborates with Madagascar Slim. She performs  today at 4:45 p.m.

The other highlight, one of many, was Rev. Sekou. He and his hot band, Sweden’s Dimpker Brothers ripped on an afternoon set of blues, soul and gospel music with just a touch of reggae. Though this isn’t your grandma’s gospel.

Circus Acts Insomniacs light up  at  South Country Fair. Photo by Richard AmeryWell maybe it is, if you were to go to a Southern Baptist Church in the deep southern U.S. The tiny reverend, dressed all in white with long dreadlocks flying everywhere, belted out his music, fairly dripping with so much soul that it would touch even the Devil’s heart, which was reminiscent of Gary Clark Jr. and Robert Cray.  In between impassioned pleas for peace and brotherhood. He told stories about being in Charlottesville during  the neo Nazi march in 2017 and sang a song inspired by that experience. He ended with a beautiful version of “Stormy Monday Blues.”

Do not miss him today at the Sunday Gospel Workshop at 3:15 with Boosh and the Dip who performed on Carolyn mark enjoys the sun at  South Country Fair. Photo by Richard AmeryFriday and the Wooden Horsemen, whose, high energy set of saxophone powered rock and roll I heard from the campground.

There was a lot of great music. As most of the camp was still recovering from the Friday night party, Saturday started slowly as a few people wandered up and relaxed in front of the stages. So most of the  acts started with their more laid back material, including Calgary’s Amy Nelson on  the east stage, who played a set of twangy, bluesy tinged country and blues music. She switched  between a couple of acoustic guitars and a resonator. Her lead guitarist played deadly slide guitar.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 26 July 2018 15:35 ) Read more...

Sean Burns and band play toe tapping traditional country

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Winnipeg based country and roots musician Sean Burns gets better every time I see him. Lately that is every couple of months as he tends to play handfuls of gigs around a regular gig at Casino Lethbridge, where he was this past weekend in addition to the Windy City Opry at the Slice, on Wednesday, July 11.

Sean Burns returned to the Slice for the Windy City Opry, Wednesday, July 11. Photo by Richard Amery
 As usually with the early starting Opry shows, I only catch the end of them due to being on the air from 8-10.

Luckily, Burns and a crack band including steel guitarist Ryan Skinny Dyck, drummer Tyler Bird, bassist Paul Holden and lead guitarist Ryan Funk were in the mood to play a lot.

 They had a decent Wednesday night audience of around 40 people two stepping to  upbeat tracks from his new CD “Lost Country: Music for Taverns, Bars and Honky Tonks,” heartfelt ballads several trucking songs and, of course, country classics like “Swinging Doors” and “Streets of Bakersfield.”

 He wound things down around 11 p.m. with one of the songs from his new CD “ Don’t Let the Highway Get you Lost.”

Dyck played sighing steel guitar while Funk added hot guitar solos throughout.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 July 2018 11:25 )

Mayhemingways play eclectic Tuesday night show

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I was glad to get out on a Tuesday for Peterborough Folk duo Mayhemingways’ July 10 show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge as I missed their February show.Benj Rowlands playing accordion with The Mayhemingways at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, July 10 Photo by Richard Amery
 But I still missed their first set.
 Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Benj Rowland and drummer percussionist Josh Frewings played a variety of songs from their latest CD “Skip Land,” a highlight called  “Alberta Rose and  a few choice covers.

 Rowland took turns on Tenor guitar, banjo and accordion, while stomping rhythm on bass pedals while Frewings added harmonies and pounded out the beat with a delicate hand.

 Rowland played some excellent clawhammer banjo for a couple of songs and switched to accordion for exceptional covers of Dire Straits’ “Walk of Life” and Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City, which were worth the Tuesday night out on their own.

— By Richard Amery, LA. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 July 2018 10:52 )

Clayton and Joelle share marital bliss though song and stories

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Cranbroook couple Clayton and Joelle returned to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Friday to  sing gorgeous harmonies and chat with an engaging crowd abut their newlywed bliss, Friday, July 6.

Clayton and Joelle at the Owl Acoustic Lounge,  July 6. Photo by Richard Amery
I only caught the last song from local songwriter Tyson Ray Borsboom, who opened the show with a solo set of music and had the audience clapping along with his last song.

Clayton Parsons and Joelle Winkel have got married since their last visit to Lethbridge, so their show was about love and marital bliss.
 Parsons strummed guitar for most of the set while Joelle added sweet harmonies, picking up a guitar a little later.

 They played roots and country music and even had a touch of gospel.

In between songs they told stories about meeting as the eldest members of the Good Ol’ Goats and talked about their marriage, with Joelle gushing about her new husband’s ability to make beautiful music out of challenging situations. Clayton followed that up by playing a song about his new bride.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 July 2018 10:38 )

Honey Tongues bring a variety of sweet circus jazz and pop

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Saxophonist Jen Davidson brought back a lot of happy memories July 6 at the Slice, as she brought her new band, Vancouver music collective the Honey Tongues to be the soundtrack to an art show opening of new works by Laurel Scott decorating the walls of the Slice.

Jen Davidson with Honey Tongues at the Slice, July 6. Photo by Richard Amery
 I remember her playing many a great show with circus jazz folk group Blackberry Wood, and she brought the same gleeful intensity to the stage with the Honey Tongues. The orchestra played a wild set of jazz tinged roots music with  lots of banjo, fiddle, upright bass, keyboard and saxophone.

They played an array of musical styles, with a touch of ’80s synth pop which reminded me a little of the B-52s in places and smooth sultry jazz in other places and straight ahead R and B music in others.

They had a lot of energy as various band members raced across the stage to sing and whistle into different microphones and play a variety of different instruments.

“ Waking the Dead” was an uptempo highlight.

— by Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 July 2018 10:29 )
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