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Jesse and the Dandelions “Give up the Gold” for a packed house

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As expected, the Owl acoustic lounge was packed on Oct. 20 for the CD release party for Jesse and the Dandelions’s “Give Up the Gold.” Unfortunately I missed an opening set from Amy van Keeken, but I caught the end of another solid set of upbeat indie rock from the Utilities first.

Jesse and the Dandelions returned to the Owl Acoustic Lounge last week. Photo by Richard Amery
Jesse and the Dandelions played their usual super chill set of laid back indie rock. They focused on the new CD, plying the title track and several others, but also dug deep into their back catalogue. They looked and sounded like they stepped right out of the early ’70s  easy listening AM soft rock.

Frontman Jesse Northey mostly played guitar, but sat down to play the keyboards for a couple of songs including a cover of Crosby Stills and Nash’s,‘“Our House,” which he played on his own.

 The band returned to end their set with “Brother,“ with Northey back on guitar.”

— by Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 31 October 2018 12:27 )

Johnny O band brings the blues from Colorado to Lethbridge

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I was pleased to catch the second set of Colorado bluesman John O aka Johnny Ohnmacht’s first Lethbridge gig at the Slice, Saturday, Oct. 20. Blues shows can be a gamble as far as attendaJohnny Ohnmacht solos at the Slice, Oct. 20. Photo by Richard Amerynce, but organizer Keith Woodrow brought in a room full of unfamiliar faces of blues fans listening intently to Onmacht making his Les Paul sing, backed by a crack Calgary rhythm section of bassist Viktor Szuroczki and Hollywood Bob aka drummer Jimmy Lambretta.

 I arrived in the middle of a  jam on blues classic “Crosscut Saw.”

 The rest of the set was nothing but well played blues and funk music punctuated a by a comedian in the crowd who kept repeatedly yelling for a drum solo, even after multiple drum solos and in the middle of a solid bass solo.

 They played  a lot of Johnny O’s originals and choice covers including James Cotton’s “One More Mile” and ”Big Boss Man.”

 Johnny O soloed subtly and tastefully without overplaying. His rhythm section played in the pocket.
He ended with a beautiful version of Little Feat’s  “Spanish Moon” and promised to return to jam with host Keith Woodrow, though I missed that set.

—By Richard Amery, L.a. beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 31 October 2018 12:13 )

Edmonton bands show their pop punk side

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 I caught the end of an upbeat set of pop punk from Edmonton’s A Gentleman’s Pact at the Slice, Friday, Oct. 19. They sounded like a mix 0f ’90s  pop punk along the lines of Sum -41 mixed with classic L.A. punk bands like the Vandals.

Gentleman's Pact at the Slice, Oct. 19. Photo by Richard Amery
 Edmonton’s Nicolas Rage  played a loud, distorted detuned set of heavy ’90s-’00s alternative rock powered by a six string bass. 

They had a big, heavy alternative rock sound which verged on punk in a few spots.

Nicolas Rage playing the Slice. photo by Richard Amery— By Richard Amery, L.a. beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 31 October 2018 11:56 )

Major Love show love and beautiful melodies

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I try to take things easy on Fridays, but wasn’t going to pass up a chance to see Major Love’s return to the Owl Acoustic Lounge. Major Love aka Edmonton musician Colleen Brown backed by members of  Scenic Route to Alaska played a packed house, Friday, Oct. 19.

Major Love playing the owl acoustic Lounge, Oct. 19. Photo by Richard Amery
 I arrived early enough to catch most of local folk singer Tyson Ray Borsboom, who seemed to have just as many fans in attendance as Major Love. He sang in a big baritone voice reminiscent of the White Buffalo. He played on his own, accompanying himself on first acoustic guitar and then an electric.

Major Love were amazing as always. Colleen Brown sang beautiful almost operatic pop backed by a crack band of Trevor Mann, Murray Wood and Shea Connor from  Scenic  Route to Alaska and Elijah Abrams. They played several tracks from their self-titled debut album.

 They played appealing pop and folk tinged music of which “One Woman at the Gates,’ was a highlight. They sounded like a mix of Hannah Georgas and Metric.

 They wound up a solid set with another highlight form the new album, which Brown wrote about her constantly feuding downstairs neighbours called “ I Love All of You.”

—By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat EditorTyson Ray Borsboom opening for Major Love, Oct. 19. Photo By Richard Amery
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 31 October 2018 11:38 )

F & M return with new Cd inspired by winter

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Edmonton indie pop and folk duo F & M return to Lethbridge to open November by playing their new Cd “Lessons from Losers.”F & M return to Lethbridge this week. Photo submitted
“ We were at the Owl Acoustic Lounge in  February (Feb. 10). We were testing out some of the new songs. This time we have the album out, so we‘re pretty excited to come back,” observed Rebecca Anderson who makes up the duo with her husband Ryan.

 Their last album, “At Sunset We Sing,” which was released in 2015, was inspired by visiting Portugal. They stayed closer to home for inspiration for the new one.
“ There was a lot of red wine involved like for the last one. But  this was inspired by the really long winter that we had,” she said, enjoying a balmy late Fall day on her balcony.
“The title I came up with, because I’ve been thinking a lot about  happiness. Today it seems people’s happiness comes at the onus of other people and it doesn’t seem to matter at whose expense it comes from,” she observed.

“While other people do things that make them happy, just because they think it’s a worthwhile thing to do, which is  what people like us who make music for a living, do. Because what we’re doing doesn’t seem to make financial sense,” she said.
 The new CD is pretty laid back.
“ But ‘Council of Misery’ and ‘Scribbles On a Sheet’ are more psychedelic with more screaming rather than singing,” she said.
The CD has  already received  positive response.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 October 2018 07:59 ) Read more...
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