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Revamped Rotary Park play for Folk Club

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It is always great to see Calgary newgrass/folk band Rotary Park. They returned to Lethbridge to play for an attentive Lethbridge Folk Club Crowd at the Lethbridge College Cave, Saturday, Oct. 13.Rotary Park played for the Lethbridge Folk Club, Oct. 13. photo by Richard Amery
 I caught most of their set and their new line up including a lead guitarist Gus  playing his first gig with the trimmed down quartet.

 He added more of a jazz element the the band’s rootsy sound. Nicki McRae alternated between playing mandolin and rapping out a rhythm in a box drum she sat on when she wasn’t singing lead vocals.
 She sang several songs about her home of Saskatchewan.

 They played a variety of originals and  a few choice covers including “Raise A Ruckus,” which there were playing as I walked in.

They showed killer musicianship as usual as well as outstanding vocal harmonies. I really enjoyed the jazz flavour the new guitarist brought to the table.
Another excellent number was the soulful “Just Ask,” a cover by  Lake Street Dive.
 They were called back for an encore.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 October 2018 09:59 )

Halloween and big names to rock Lethbridge this week

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 This Sunday rocks.
 The whole week in fact.
 But save your shekels for Sunday night as there are two huge shows happening.The Chevelles play one of many Halloween events happening this weekend. Photo by Richard Amery
 Indiana ’80s roots rocker John Mellencamp plays the Enmax Centre at 7 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 28. he has numerous hits including “Jack and Diane,’ Paper In Fire,” “Small Town” “R.O.CK. In the U.S.A”  and “Pink Houses,” to name just a few.
Tickets are $110.50, $99.50 and $82.50.

 Across town, if you grew up in the ’90s and 2000 you’d remember the  Vancouver alt rockers Default who charted a number of hits including “Wasting My Time” and Deny.
 They play Average Joes with Age of Days at 8 p.m.

 But, before that, there are a lot of other things happening.
Chicago indie rock band Thompson Springs are at the Slice,Wednesday, Oct. 24 with Biloxi Parish.

Down the street at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Cincinnati/ Vancouver island folk duo Big Little Lions perform on Wednesday, Oct. 24 as well.
First, ’70s folk/ country musician Murray McLauchlan visits the Yates Theatre  and is excited to present his hits and  Italian  guitar playing styled new music at the Yates Theatre on Oct. 25. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $53.50.

 As a bonus, Petunia and the Vipers play a special Thursday night show at the Slice. Tickets are $10. The show begins at 8:30 p.m.

The next night, the Louisiana Hayride hits the Yates Theatre. The Tribute to the classic country radio show features musical tributes to Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison, Lefty Frizzell, Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle. Tickets are $50. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 October 2018 22:30 ) Read more...

Birds of Chicago explore folk and rock sides on two new CDs

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The Birds of Chicago have been soaring since their last Lethbridge visit in 2016. They have released an acoustic EP “American Flower” in 2017 which they recorded with Steve Dawson in Nashville. They also released a more rock and roll record “Love in Wartime,” which they recorded with the North Mississippi Allstars’ Luther Dickinson.Birds of Chicago return to the Geomatic Attic next week. Photo by Richard Amery
 They will be playing music from both albums when they return to the Geomatic Attic,Tuesday, Oct. 30.

“We don’t like to be restricted  by a setlist.Our catalogue is an organic and living thing. And we like to keep the dialogue open with the audience, so if they want to hear something, we’ll play it,” said JT Nero, who will be joined by his wife Allison Russell and Steve Dawson, who was just here to pay with Kat Danser.

“Steve plays about 70 per cent of our shows, so when we looked at our schedule and saw Lethbridge, we asked him and he said he’ll be there, so we’ll be playing as the acoustic trio,” Nero said, adding a burst of songwriting inspiration lead to two quick releases.

“We really wanted to do a more rock and roll album, so we worked with Luther on it,” he said, adding Dickinson doesn’t play on it.
“ That was by his request. We already had all of the guitar worked out it, so he was there as a second set of ears,” he said.
“It was great working with him. He’s a great set of ears and he’s become a real confidante,” Nero said.

Last Updated ( Friday, 02 November 2018 18:03 ) Read more...

Dallas Smith excited about Default’s tour with Stone Temple Pilots

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Though Dallas Smith has embarked on a successful second career as a country musician, he returns to his youth with Vancouver based rockers Default, who stop by Average Joes, Sunday, Oct. 28 with Age of Days.Default return to Lethbridge to play Average Joes, Oct. 28. Photo submitted
“I don’t like having any restrictions being put upon me. I want to do what makes me happy, so I’ll do them both,” said Smith  on a dying cell phone, of reconciling his burgeoning country career with returning to a successful alternative rock career.
“So when the opportunity came up to play with the guys, I said yes. It’s a great opportunity,” he said, adding getting to play with Stone Temple Pilots for a good chunk of their Canadian tour, along with getting everybody’s schedule to coincide lead to the reunion.

“My booking agent who also handles my country career said there could be opportunities  with Default as well,” Smith said.

“I’m feeling really blessed I’m able to do both,” he said adding it has been great to reconnect with his old band mates.

“I’ve spent more time with these guys in the past two months than I have over the past 10 years, so it‘s been great to reconnect with them, not only as musicians but guys who I consider to be brothers,” he said adding he is looking forward to opening for Stone Temple Pilots.

“The first time I got up to sing in front of people after a long while, I sang ‘Plush,’ with the guys who would become Default and now we‘re opening for them, so it really has come full circle for me,” he enthused.
He  is looking forward to the tour and revisiting Default songs.

“I’m bringing my guitarist from my band with me, Darren Savard, who has been with me for the past six years. He’s a talented kid. He’s evolved into one of Canada’s best guitarists. And he’s doing work as music director for the CCMAs,” he said.
“So we’ll sound heavier and beefier,” he continued.
“ It’s funny, he was telling me he used to play Default songs in his high school band and now he’ll be playing those songs with us,” he observed. He noted he will often sneak a few Default songs into his country show, but there are no plans to add his country songs into the Default show.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 October 2018 10:35 ) Read more...

Murray McLauchlan expanding musical horizons to Italian music

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Murray McLauchlan has a pretty storied career including numerous awards dating back to 1972 including 11 Juno awards , the most recent being  Country Male Vocalist of the year in 1988 and the Order of Canada, and is a pilot to boot, but he’s not one to rest on his laurels.

Murray McLauchan plays the Yates Theatre, Oct 25. Photo by Kevin Kelly True North
 He returns to Lethbridge to perform a solo show at the Yates Theatre, Oct. 25 with upright bassist Victor Bateman.
McLauchlan has written quite a few hits dating back to the early  ’70s when  American folk singer Tom Rush Recorded “Child’s Song.”

"Honky Red" were performed by Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, and Bobby Neuwirth. He received early song cuts by country music star George Hamilton IV.
“It’s been a few years since I was in Lethbridge, But I’ll be back on Oct. 25,” said McLauchlan, cleaning up his cabin for winter. He is also known for “Down by The Henry Moore.”

He was last here with  Marc Jordan, Ian Thomas and  Cindy Church, aka Lunch at Allen’s, back in 2016.
 McLauchlan began writing  and performing songs in his late teens. After playing at major music festivals including The Philadelphia Folk Festival, where he appeared alongside Jim Croce and John Prine, and Mariposa where he gave up half of his concert time so Joni Mitchell could play, he attracted wider attention on the club circuit, playing such well-known rooms as The Riverboat in Toronto, The Bitter End in New York, The Main Point in Philadelphia, and the famous Earl of Old Town in Chicago.

McLauchlan has  recorded 19 albums in the past 40-some years.

 But for this show, he plans on focusing on his last two albums, particularly  the most recent, 2017’s “Love Can’t Tell Time,” which celebrates his love of learning  how to play Italian style guitar.
“I went to Italy in 2013 and was listening to a lot of jazz and classical guitar and I learned how to play it. I really loved that experience. It reminded me how much I love playing guitar,” he said.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 21 October 2018 10:33 ) Read more...
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