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Chersea and Royal Oak bring perky pop to Lethbridge

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 It was  a night full of pop music and flashing lights at the Slice, Wednesday, Aug 7.

Chersea singing with Royal Oak’s Austin Ledyard. Photo by Richard Amery
 I arrived in the middle of a keyboard driven set of perky pop music from Vancouver band Royal Oak, but couldn’t really see them as I was being blinded by flashing strobes, flashing everywhere except on the band members.

 They sounded great with catchy keyboard hooks and had a lot of energy as frontman  Austin Ledyard leaped all over the stage  from behind his keyboard while wielding his guitar.

 They also had outstanding multi-part vocal harmonies which shone through.

 They welcomed fellow Vancouverite Chersea on stage to sing an upbeat duet.
 A little later, she took the stage on her own, borrowing Royal Oak drummer /vocalist Myles Philpott.

I wasn’t expecting her to have a band as she is know for  creating her own personal symphonies through a whole lot of looping. But she added another keyboardist as well as a keyboardist /bassist to flush out her sound.

They played upbeat, catchy , keyboard powered pop music, but with darker undertones, as Chersea introduced one of her songs by saying it was about living with manic depression.

That was one of the songs she used her “Britney Spears mic” to loop a few extra layers of vocals and some irritating  vocoder effects, which were totally unnecessary as she easily sang at least three octaves on her own, hitting ear piercingly high notes with ease.

 She thanked the 20 or so people in the audience for coming out on a Wednesday night.

 Unfortunately I missed Tyler Vandendool and Toronto pop duo Goodnight, Sunrise who were on earlier ad Fawns, who closed the show.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 August 2019 10:08 )

Lethbridge music community says so long to Victoria Madge and Cole Dempsey

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Lethbridge gave a musical send off to talented couple Victoria Madge and Cole Dempsey who are traveling to Peru for six months.

Victoria Madge singing at her farewell party at the Slice, Aug. 3. photo by Richard Amery
 Several musicians got up to play at the Slice, Saturday, Aug. 3 including the duo, who haven’t played live here very often.

 Victoria Madge showed off her big, beautiful voice by singing songs they had been performing at weddings including Queen’s “You’re my Best Friend.” Cole Dempsey played some pretty acoustic guitar to accompany her.

 He stood out with some nimble picking on a David Francey song.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 August 2019 09:55 )

I am The Mountain add brass to Max Hopkins’ EP fundraiser

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 A decent crowd was on hand at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Aug. 2  for I Am the Mountain and local folk/musician Max Hopkins.

Max Hopkins playing the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Aug. 2. PHoto by Richard Amery
Calgary’s I Am the Mountain played an upbeat set of sexy pop and R and B music punctuated by trumpet and trombone solos and multi-part vocal harmonies.

I Am the Mountain opening for Max Hopkins, Aug, 2 . Photo by Richard Amery Max Hopkins’ original folk music from his upcoming EP  came alive with the help of a crack band lead by bassist Richard Charlton who lent it a more indie-rock air.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 August 2019 09:43 )

Corb Lund remembers Whoop Up Days with family

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Whoop Up Days kicks off with a big country night featuring Lethbridge’s own Corb Lund and his band the Hurtin’ Albertans, Aug. 20.Corb Lund making a surprise guest appearance with Geoff Berner  in April 2018. Photo by Richard Amery
 He will be  headlining a night featuring Aaron Goodvin and rising country star Alee.

 Lund is excited to play Whoop up Days for the first time with band mates bassist Kurt Ciesla, drummer Brady Valgardson and lead guitarist Grant Siemens
“ We’ve been trying to play Whoop Up Days for years, but the schedule just hasn’t worked out,” said Lund who still lives in Lethbridge.
“ I live here, but I don’t spend a lot of time here and I don’t  play here very often. I’m from Taber and our family ranch is in Cardston and Kurt and Brady live around here,” said Lund, who has been spending most of his time touring the United States.

 He has a long standing connection to Whoop Up Days.
“My uncle Tom Ivins used to be the president of the Whoop Up Days, Exhibition,” he said.

“My mom won the barrel racing competition there in the ’50s and ’60s. My dad competed in steer wrestling at Lethbridge, and I probably rode steers there when I was a kid,” he said, adding he has a lot of Whoop  Up Days memories.
“I remember one year a bull in the bull riding competition escaped and got onto the midway. That was when they only had page wire fences and the bull got out through a hole in the fence and ran onto the midway. People were running for cover,” Lund recalled, adding that was probably in the late ’70s or early ’80s.

Lund is getting ready to release an EP of popular covers which inspired him to play including Dr. Hook and the Medicine show’s “Cover of the Rolling Stone,” with his long time friend and collaborator Hayes Carll, a cover of AC DC’s “ Ride On,” featuring Ian Tyson.
“It’s a ballad that I always considered to be a country song. Ian sings the chorus,” he said.

“We’re performing with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. (on Sept. 19). And that can be more powerful than playing with a bunch of electric guitars,” he said, adding he and Tyson go back a long way.
“ He sang on a song of mine called the Rodeo’s Over (From his 2005 album “Hair in My Eyes Like A Highland Steer.’”

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 August 2019 09:22 ) Read more...

Julian Taylor inspired by heirlooms

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Toronto based blues/ soul/R and B musician Julian Taylor comes by his love of soul and R and B naturally, but also blends music of his Mohawk and African Canadian influences to his sound.The Julian Taylor band play Whoop Up Days, Aug. 22. Photo submitted
 He kicks off the Ex Stage, Thursday, July 22 at Whoop Days.
 He just released a new CD “Avalanche, which was influenced by a box of heirlooms he was looking through that his mother gave him. He got a taste of music business success with his band Staggered Crossing in 2001 and has been playing professionally ever since.
“ My music is indigenous, Canadiana, rock, Soul and R and B. It‘s a real smorgasbord,” said Taylor, en route to doing his daily radio show on  106.5 ELMNT. which mirrors the playlist on his afternoon drive time show.
“It’s Toronto’s first indigenous owned and operated  station,” he said,
adding he juggles the show with touring and music making.

“I do the best I can and I can do some of it while I’m on the road,” Taylor said.
 He discovered  his smorgasbord of musical tastes through his parents.
“ It’s part of my heritage. My parents listened to a lot of soul, and R and B and folk music,” he said.
He became fascinated  by the  stories in blues  and roots music.

“For me I got a lot of inspiration learning Bruce Cockburn and Bruce Springsteen. ’m inspired by the folklore of the music, like the story of Robert Johnson meeting the Devil at the Crossroads. I’m also inspired by gospel music. I used to sing in the church choir,” he said.
 Avalanche is his most personal album to date. thanks to the box of heirlooms his mother gave him.
“All of my albums are personal. but I was looking through this stuff, like old report cards and photos,” he said.
 But the most inspiring item was a set of training boxing gloves.

“My grandpa gave me those boxing gloves. There’s just an inscription and a date: To Julian from grandpa 1984,” he said.
“ I was looking at them  and  I remembered visiting my grandparents in Maple Ridge, B.C. ,” he said  adding the songs explore a variety of topics including the passage of time,  the deaths of close friends and racial issues and life as an African Canadian/ Mohawk man.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 13 August 2019 10:03 ) Read more...
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