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Tin and the Toad and Mayhemingways make excellent double bill of roots music

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It is always a pleasure to have Southern Alberta roots/ country band Tin and the Toad back in Lethbridge.

The mayhemingways and Tin and the Toad jam together. Photo by Richard Amery
 I was lucky they were still playing  by the time I arrived at the Slice, Saturday, Dec. 8. Justin “Tin” Smith, Cody “Toad” Shearer, steel guitarist/ lead guitarist Steve Loree and drummer Ryan Shearer were joined by Tyler Bird on bass, filling in for Pete Loughlin. They played their usual toe tapping, heartfelt set of alt country and roots music. As usual, their multi-part vocal harmonies were a highlight.

Headliners, the Mayhemingways’ Benj Rowland joined them on stage to play accordion for a song. They ended their set with their exceptional country version of SNFU’s “Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump.”

I always look forward to seeing Peterborough duo  the Mayhemingways back in Lethbridge. They always get a good crowd. They even have people who travel from out of town to come and see them, and with good reason— they always put on an amazing show. Benj Rowland was multi-tasking on guitar, banjo and accordion also stomped out a rhythm on bass pedals and sang dark lyrics, but made them sound downright ecstatic. Drummer Josh Fewings gleefully pounded the skins and sang harmonies.

They mostly played originals music from their last two CDs, “Hunter St. Blues” and “Skip Land” but Rowland rocked the accordion on an excellent cover of Dire Straits’ “Walk of Life.”

 His appealing tenor voice reminded me of Mike McDonald of Jr. Gone Wild.

 A couple of highlights I recognized were “Trouble in the Basement,”  “Dirty Small Town Crush” and “Hunter Street Blues,”  which featured Tin And the Toad returning to the stage to jam.
They also played a solid country of the Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 December 2018 10:33 )

New Weather Machine and She Hangs Brightly entertain with experimental rock and ’80s pop

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It is always great to see Jon Martin and the New Weather Machine play.

Martin was backed by drummer Kyle Harmon, bassist Paul Holden and guitarist Jason Oakes. I caught their last couple set of impassioned, slightly slower than usual progressive rock at the Slice, Friday, Dec. 7, where they were opening for Vernon pop/rock band She Hangs Brightly.Eryn Kleyh sings with she Hangs Brightly, Dec. 7. Photo by Richard Amery
 As usually they played big riffs, a big groove and featured Martin’s impassioned vocals and jam fuelled leads.

It was wonderful to see Eryn Kleyh backed by her band She Hangs Brightly, including guitarist Dean Gordon-Smith, drummer Ken McGregor and loquacious bassist Luke  Kowalski.

 She has played here twice this year as a solo act, but having her band behind her really fills out  the sound of her music.

 Together they played appealing, catchy pop rock music showcasing Kleyh’s  beautiful powerful voice, which was reminiscent of No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani especially on a song called “Tragedy.”

 They played quite a few upbeat originals including “Part of Third Pack” and “Part Time Fool.”Jon Martin playing with the New Weather Machine, Dec. 7 at the Slice. photo by Richard Amery

 Kleyh danced and weaved in front of the microphone like she was a hippie at a folk festival, closing her eyes blissfully, while her bandmates played psychedelic solos.

 The spirit of the ’80s was strong in She hangs Brightly as they broke out some choice covers including an impressive rendition of  Martha and the Muffins’ “ Echo Beach,” and an excellent version of the B-52’s “ Love Shack,” one of several featuring Luke Kowalski singing lead vocals.

Kowalski took centre stage on a countryish number from his country band as Kleyh left the stage to go to the bar for a break.

 — By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 December 2018 10:20 )

Friday night freak out with Ghost Woman at the Owl

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Lethbridge psychedelic rock band Ghost Woman like to combine multi-media elements to their shows, like their well attended Dec. 7 show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.

Ghost Woman returned to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Dec. 7. Phoro by Richard AmeryThey turn off all the lights at their shows, so going to one is like entering a cave with random psychedelic images flashing on the wall behind the stage.

It’s also tough to see who is actually in the band in any given performance.

For this show, it looked like a blissed out  Aaron Trozzo was playing bass as frontman Evan Uschenko lurked in the shadows crooning spooky lyrics and playing ambient,  delay laden surf tinged  guitar licks.

 But the audience cheered every song and were impressed by their groove and tightness..

— By Richard  Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 December 2018 10:10 )

Get ready to rock before Christmas

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Get ready to rock before Christmas.

Tonight, Tuesday, Dec. 18, Gabe Thaine brings his high level  Variety show back to the Slice. Katt Panic hosts an eclectic evening of entertainment including host band the Crooked Creek Warblers followed by music, magic, juggling, anything you can imagine. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. There s a five dollar cover.


But start things off on a jazzy note as HBO3 and Josh Davies host The Owl Acoustic Lounge, Wednesday, Dec. 19. The same night, down the block, Calgary raised jazz musician Stefan Hegerat has a CD release party at the Slice for his debut CD  “Icterus,” described as a fusion of rock and jazz. He has performed with JJ and the Pillars, Lisa Bozikovic, Blue Sky Miners, Ryan Carley and The Naive. This is an early show that begins at 7 p.m. There is a $10 cover.Rancho Deluxe are one of several local shows happening this week. Photo by Richard Amery

As expected, there are plenty of Christmas related activities happening this week. Chris Roedler is hosting a Christmas afternoon at Galt Museum, Dec. 19 from 2-3 p.m..
The Owl Acoustic Lounge is  taping into their inner Potterheads by hosting an adult version of the Yule Ball, Dec. 20 with music and “butterbeer.” And local vocals instructor Andrea Roberts’ students are performing a Christmas concert at city Hall, Dec. 21 from 1-2 p.m.

New West Theatre opens their annual best of music-comedy revue show “Hit Parade” on Dec. 19. It runs until Jan. 5 Expect to hear a lot of old favourites from previous shows and a few new numbers and lots of laughs.

On the stranger side of the season, the Slice hosts an unusual show, Thursday, Dec. 20  with the Taitanium WTF Variety Show. Performers include model  and “circus punk”  Harley Page plus burlesque dancer the Real Green Fairy plus Fatt Matt and Santa Claus. There is a $10 cover or $7 if you wear a onesie or PJS.

 But this week is all about the rock, Yuletide themed and otherwise.

 Saskatoon’s One Bad Son bring their beloved holiday show Average Joes, Dec. 20. They will be be performing big hits like “Scarecrow” and “Raging Bull,” deeper tracks and a lot more,
One Bad Son and Guests play Average Joes, Thursday, Dec. 20 at 8 p.m.. Tickets are $20 in advance, $35 on the day of the show. Daylan Delaney will be opening the show.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 December 2018 10:42 ) Read more...

One Bad Son celebrate successful year by bringing hometown holiday show on the road

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One Bad Son is bringing their annual christmas/ new Year’s Eve party to Lethbridge, when they return to Average Joes, Dec. 20.One Bad Son return to rock Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Amery
the Saskatoon based band have had an exciting year which included touring with ’80s hair metallers Skid Row vocalist Sebastian Bach.
“We did our first tour of the United States. We played everywhere. We played like 27 shows,” said One Bad Son frontman Shane Volk driving from his home in Calgary to meet the rest of the band in Saskatoon for one rehearsal  before hitting the road  their Western Canada Christmas tour, starting in Red Deer, continuing to Calgary on Dec. 15 and Lethbridge  on Dec. 20.

“There might be some Christmas music,” Volk chuckled.

“Every year for the past 10 years we’ve been doing this big Christmas/ New Year’s show at home in Saskatoon, which is always a lot of fun, so we decided to take it on the road to some of our favourite  western Canadian cities. And Lethbridge has always been one of our favourites,” Volk continued.

“We’ll be playing a lot of songs  people have heard before and a lot of songs we haven’t played in a number of years,” he continued, reflecting on a successful year which included seeing “Raging Bull ” hit number one, lots of touring and home town recognition as they were nominated for rock and pop artist of the year  at the first ever Saskatchewan music awards and Saskatoon magazine Planet S naming them best band for the third year in a row.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 December 2018 10:23 ) Read more...
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