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Leeroy Stagger to release two new CDs and a book this year

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There’s no dust on Victoria raised, Lethbridge based musician Leeroy Stagger.

Leeroy Stagger playing Mortar and Brick, June 4. Photos by Richard Amery
In addition to running a busy studio Rebeltone Studio, raising children and being constantly on tour, this year he is releasing two new CDs and a companion book.
“I haven’t written a new song in about a year, so I guess this was about cleaning out the pipes,” said Stagger, spending a little time at home briefly in between tours.
“ It’s been crazy, but it‘s exciting,” Stagger said.


 He has just released  ‘Me and The Mountain,’ giving  a full house a preview of the new music at a special Geomatic Attic presentation at Brick and Mortar, June 4.
 ‘Strange Path’ comes out in September, featuring Elvis Costello and the Attractions’ drummer Pete Thomas.
 A new single “Strange Attractor” has already been leaked from “Strange Path.”


“ I think ‘A Strange Path’ is a masterpiece.  it’s the best I’ve done. But they just didn’t work together.  Though there is a song ‘ The Great Unravelling’  that might fit on ‘Me and The Mountain” he continued.
“Me and The Mountain” hearkens back to the alt country and roots rock of Stagger‘s early career.
“Strange Path is accessible. It’s more of a continuation of (his last album) ‘Love Versus,’” he said.
 David Korten’s book “The Great Turning,” influenced the subject matter of “ Me and the Mountain.”
“I write about what I see, feel and I write about what I read, whatever is important,“ he said, adding the book is a tough read about how human society has turned away from ecological concerns to a more selfish, empire and greed based society.


So there are a lot of heavier songs  on the CD, like “Broken Generation.”
“That’s a heavy song and I haven’t felt the need to song that one in a while, but I’ve been playing most of the CD on the tour,” Stagger said.
He has some pretty high powered talent on the “Me and The Mountain”  in addition to his hot touring band of bassist Tyson Maiko, drummer Kyle Harmon and  multi-instrumentalist  Ryland Moranz.
 Juno award winning musician and producer Steve Dawson plays on “Me and The Mountain,” as does Monkeyjunk’s Steve Marriner.


“ I produced both of the CDs myself,” Stagger said, adding he recorded them both in his own studio.
“ Usually I like to record in other locations to take me out of my comfort zone, but it was nice to be at home for these records,” he said.
 “It was great to have Steve Dawson on the CD. It was really special,” he said, adding it was also great to have Steve Marriner on board.
“ Steve Marriner is a really great friend and he’s super talented. He plays baritone guitar and harp on the CD,” he said.

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 June 2019 08:03 ) Read more...
 

Rotary Dragon Boat Festival and Centric Music Festival offer the most entertainment this week

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Festival season is in full swing  in Lethbridge, with two big events happening this week.The Chevelles will be a highlight of The Rotary Dragon Boat Festival this week. Photo by Richard Amery
 But first, tonight Gabriel Thaine’s High Level Variety show returns to the slice tonight with hosts Jolene Draper and the Inquisitive Few plus performances by Gabe Thaine and Derrick Grey. The show begins at 8:30 p.m. Admission is by donation. Thaine has a busy week as he will also be backing Keith Catfish Woodrow at the Slice, June 22 with his band, High Level Blues.


 The biggest event of the week is the annual Rotary Dragon Boat festival, which takes over Henderson Lake park, June  21-23. As usual, there is a good slate, if not familial looking, schedule of performers, providing the soundtrack to  the races.
 Things begin on Friday, June 21 at 5 p.m. with country musician Dusty Dee Litchfield, who will be followed by the opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. , at 6:30 the Chinook High School Rock & Pop program, led by Scott Davidson will be performing followed by The Desert Wind Belly Dancers at 8:45. p.m. and the popular classic rockers the Chevelles  at 9:15.
 Things start early at 11 a.m., June 22 with local doctor band DNR starting things off they will be followed by the rose ceremony at noon,blues rock band CODA at 12:30, then  Coda Blues by Global drums at 1:30 p.m. ,. Dory Rossiter’s band Horizon are playing the hits at  2 p.m. followed by LCI Arts Academy Dance  at 3 p.m., the LCI Jazz band at 3:30 p.m. , Expressions Dance at  4 p.m., new classic rock and country band Lawless Murphy at 4:30 p.m., aKoustic Harmony at 5:30 p.m.  featuring Kelliane Litchfield, classic rock band Old School at 6:30 and Alyssa McQuid and Coyote Junction close off Saturday night playing all the country and pop hits you want from 8:30-10:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 24 begins at 11 a.m. with the E-Free band followed by Karen Romanchuk at noon. Between Skies are on at 12:30 p.m. followed by Steve Keenan band playing blues and blues rock at  1:30  p.m. The Steve Keenan Band have a busy weekend as they are also playing Casino Lethbridge, Friday and Saturday night.
Urban beat are  on at 2:30 p.m. followed by more classic rock  from Suite 33 at 3 p.m. taking you to the closing ceremonies at 4 p.m.
 As usual, the Rotary Dragon bat Festival is a free, family friendly event.


 If you love classical music, the Centric Music festival is back with concerts  every day beginning Wednesday, mostly at St. Augustine’s Anglican church.
 The first concert is June 19 at 7:30 p.m. featuring pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin performing Chopin, Debussey, Enescu, Mendelssohn and Rachmoniov.
The second concert , is June 20 at 7:30 p.m. features members of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Trio de Moda and pianist Alison Kilgannon performing the music of Beethoven,Schubert and Schumann.
 Lethbridge’s jamani percussion and flute duo (Jodi and Matt Groenheide) perform the dance of the drums, featuring musical styles from all over the world. beginning at 7:30 p.m. at St. Augustine’s  Anglican Church.
 The fourth concert also features local performers as soprano Madison Craig and Zain Solinski celebrate the female Muse and the reclamation of poetry by the female voice. They will perform works by Purcell, Messian, Strauss, Szmanowski and Previn beginning at 7:30 p.m. at St. Augustine’s  Anglican church.
The Centric Festival winds up at Casa at 2:30 p.m with a best of, farewell collaborative concert, June 23.
 Tickets for are shows are $30  and $25 for under 30.

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 June 2019 11:48 ) Read more...
 

Five Alarm Funk bringing new music and old favourites back to Lethbridge

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Five Alarm Funk make a along awaited return to Lethbridge,Tuesday,  June 25 at the Slice.Five Alarm Funk return to Lethbridge, June 25. Photo by Richard Amery
 They have been busy with touring and releasing two albums since they last played here. So drummer Tayo Branston of the Vancouver based Theatrical  funk rock juggernaut
“ It‘s been too long. And Lethbridge has always been very supportive of us. But we haven’t been able to make it work,” enthused Branston.
 “ But this is most excited and focussed we’ve ever been. I think people are going to freak when they see us. There will be pizzas flying off the roof of the Slice,” Branston chuckled, adding they just finished recording  a new CD, the follow up to their Juno nominated “Sweat.”


They just  returned from a  whirlwind few days in Guadalajara , Mexica, where they were playing  FIMPro for  booking agents and some of the important moves and shakers in the Mexican music industry.


“ We only played one show but we also had a lot of press calls. Music B..C. brought us in to be part of the B.C. Music showcase. We arrived late on the first day, played on the second day, had a bunch of  obligations on the third and left really early on the fourth day, so it really was a whirlwind,” Branston summarized.


“It was the best week of our lives.  Everybody came to all the shows and listened to all the artists and we got to meet a lot of agents and venue owners. The music was great, the food was great and everyone was so friendly,” he said.

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 June 2019 09:32 ) Read more...
 

Leeroy Stagger opens new art show with preview of new albums and Steve Marriner

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 Leeroy Stagger and Rebeltone Sound and special guest Monkeyjunk’s Steve Marriner provided the soundtrack for a new art show at Brick and Mortar by giving an acoustic preview of their new CD “Me and the mountain,” as well as another new CD due out in the Fall, Tuesday, June 4 for a special Geomatic Attic  presentation. Rylan Moranz, Kyle Harmon, Leeroy Stagger and Steve Marriner at Brick and Mortar, June 4. photo by Richard Amery
 A good sized audience sat politely and listened, surrounded “City Life— Country Life” new artwork  from Southern Alberta artists Raymond Theriault, Adam Noonan, Kristofer Parley and Steve Coffey.
 I missed Steve Marriner’s opening set, but he added baritone and harp plus some background vocals to the band  of keyboardist/accordionist/omnichord player  Michael Ayotte, mandolinist/guitarist/banjo player Ryland Moranz, upright bassist Tyson Maiko and drummer Kyle Harmon.
 With  such a wide musical palette to draw from, the band delivered an impressive, multi-faceted set of folk and alt country music  with extra ambience and a variety of different sounds.


 They opened with the title track of their latest CD “Me and the Mountain” with Ryland Moranz  playing mandolin. His solo drew a lot of applause.
 Stagger noted  the new album is a concept album inspired by  a novel from David Korten and was a a very political works. he played severals songs from it including “ The Great Unravelling,” Mercy,” and “Fire and Fury,” which he noted was written in Scotland but changed the original name. There was a lot of politics as well as  a lot of love in his songs as Stagger sang,“Open Up Your Heart,” noting he grew up in a very “angry” family.


“ I Want it All,” which was getting a lot of play on CKXU , CKUA and some of the other mainstream radio stations, got a lot of applause.
 Stagger  told a variety of stories  abut his songs. he wrote the music at the Banff  Arts Centre and worked with Kim Richey, who was teaching there. He noted he was only home for two day from tour before going to Banff to write songs for three weeks.


He told a few tour tales about traveling in Scotland and getting turned around at the U.S. border crossing  B.C. after playing a couple shows in Spokane and Seattle.
 A couple highlights were a cover of Joe Strummer’s “Johnny Appleseed,” which Stagger followed up with his own “Joe Strummer and Joey Ramone.”
He played a couple of songs from the next album, which were really different, featuring layers of sound, effects and  harp solos from Steve Marriner. One of those , was a another tribute to one of his musical idols, Leonard Cohen.
It had more of a jazz feel and was very poetic, like Leonard Cohen’s music is.
 He wound his set down with the always beautiful “Radiant Land.”
 But they got a standing ovation and were called back for an encore, of a Leonard Cohen song “Passing Through,” for which the band  took up acoustic instruments and marched through the audience while playing and singing.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 June 2019 08:44 )
 

Lots of talent at South Country Fair Songwriting competition finals

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As usual, the Slice was packed for the South Country Fair Songwriting contest finals, Sunday, June 2.Joshua Beebe placed first in this Year]s SOuth Cojntry Fair Songwriting competition. Photo by Richard Amery
 They had a talented slate of nine finalists, though Chis Gheran also made the top 10 finals but wasn’t at the show, so the judges Brenna Lowery, Mike Malloy and  John Wort Hannam had their work cut out for them doing the Devil’s work of trying to choose the winner.


 But they were unanimous in choosing Joshua Beebe’s song “Clayton Stanley,” which he played solo on the ukulele. He had the tough job of starting the competition off.

He won passes to the fair, some cash and the chance to play his song on the South stage wither Friday or Saturday of the fair.Ali Stuart placed second in the South Country Fair songwriting competition. Photo By Richard Amery
 Ali Stuart , who also played in the first set took second place with her powerful song “Like It That Way” about being a woman in today’s world. Tyler Bird added extra lead guitar to her song.


 James Swinney aka Corduroy Brown, finished off the first set and placed third with an heartfelt song “Hummingbird,” featuring some pretty fingerpicking and  some pretty fiddle  played by Megan Brown.


Megan Brown, who finished the second set, got an honourable mention for her song about having a choice of working in forest reclamation or working  for “the most evil corporation in the world,” called “Do I Work For the Devil or Live in Hell.” George Fowler added pretty leads on acoustic guitar while Steve Martin held down the bottom end on upright bass.James Phinney placed third in the South Country Fair songwriting competition. Photo By Richard Amery
Jon Martin added three backup singers and bassist Paul Holden for his third place winning song “ When Colours Fade,” which he noted he wrote during the last election.


 Chris Drew played a more rock and roll number “Only Human.”’ And George Arsene opened  the second set with a heartfelt country folk number “She Sings To Her Horses.”
 Tyson Ray Borsboom played another more countryish number “Tell Me” in the first set. And Taylor Lang sang the heartfelt indie pop “Over Many Horizons,” which he noted was inspired by Dan Mangan.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 June 2019 08:34 )
 
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