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Highway 3 Roots revue previews new music

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 The Geomatic Attic has had a great run of sold out shows, though it was no surprise that this year’s edition of the Highway 3 Roots Revue was a sold out show, Dec. 1 as it  features three of the best singer songwriters, Lethbridge has to offer in Dave McCann, John Wort Hannam and Leeroy Stagger.

Leeroy Stagger, Dave McCann and John Wort Hannam playing this year’s Highway 3 Roots Revue show at the Geomatic Attic. Photo by Richard Amery
All three have kind of grown up together on Lethbridge]s scene and have since matured into laid back, hardworking family men.

They used the first set to introduce new music to the enraptured audience. Dave McCann opened the show by saying the trio used to tour for two weeks together before realizing “ touring in December is a bad idea.”
 Most of the new songs were about the joys of family and enjoying  being at home counterbalanced by songs about being on the road.

John Wort Hannam played “ Acres of Elbow Room,” his contribution to the new Skinny Dyck and Friends Twenty-One Night Stands” compilation.

Leeroy Stagger added “Dirty Windshields,” the namesake of his CKUA radio show, while McCann added “Headlights and Halos,” the title track from his last CD. And Hannam added “Chasing the Song” while displayed fleet fingered guitar picking.

Dave McCann followed that up by chatting about his inspiration Pete Seeger and playing a new song about that called “ When The Crows Come to Carry Me Home.”
 Hannam  returned to familiar territory  with crowd favourite “Church of the Long Grass.”

 Stagger played his powerful new song “Broken Generation,” which he premiered at the opening Lethbridge  date with Barney Bentall’s Cariboo Express tour in Lethbridge, after talking about the importance of love and chatting with Bruce Cockburn and asking him “if love was enough.”
 McCann followed that up with a new song  called “Bridges.” and had Stagger and Hannam and the audience singing along “Rolling, rolling, rolling.”
 Hannam wound up the first set with a heartfelt new song he wrote at his residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts about all the things he misses when he’s on the road like family and his son Charlie called “Missing it All.”

— By Richard Amery, L.a. beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 December 2017 14:09 )

Norwegian Blue bands pay tribute to their favourite ”90s bands

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Local record company Norwegian Blue Records kicked off December on a rocking note as some of their bands revisited their favourite ’90s moments at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Dec. 1 for a full house.

Sparkle Blood and Silvana Campus play the White Stripe’s Seven Nation Army. Photo by Richard Amery
 I arrived in time to catch local duo Sparkle Blood playing the hits of the White Stripes to an enthusiastic crowd.

 They plowed through a gritty set of blues rock including obscurities and hits like “Seven Nation Army,” for which he and drummer Bre Stewart welcomed Silvana Campus from MTBC (who were up next , playing the  Pixies) to play bass.

MTBC play the Pixies. photo by Richard Amery
 She played bass on that and on“My Doorbell”, which also featured Jane Edmundson on keyboards.

MTBC, including Sil Campus, drummer Garwin Poff, guitarist Quint Viskup and frontman Rob Cooper played a tight set of ’90s alternative rock from the Pixies and ended with  a rocked up version of ’60s classic “ Here Comes Your Man.”

 I wasn’t able to stay for Cope and Ryland Moranz‘s  Blink-182 tribute.

— By Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 December 2017 13:59 )

Leisure Club play laid back ’80s tinged pop

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It was time to relive the spirit of the laid back ’80s at the Slice with Vancouver indie rock band Leisure Club, Friday, Dec. 1.

They had that Vancouver indie rock sound down with plenty of chiming, ambient guitars, but also added  a lot of groove plus a touch of soul and ’80s pop/yacht The Leisure Club playing the Slice, Dec. 1. Photo by Richard Ameryrock along the lines of Duran Duran and Hall and Oates.

I wasn’t able to stay for the return of Calgary indie rock band the Ashely Hundred.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 December 2017 13:45 )

More Christmas concerts and Windy City Opry first anniversary among week’s highlights

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We’re well into the Christmas season in the middle of December, so most of the week is dominated by Christmas related activities.Ryland Moranz plays the first anniversary celebration of the Windy City Opry, Wednesday, Dec. 13. Photo by Richard Amery

 The biggest one is a sold out run of the Nutcracker at the University of Lethbridge with the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra.
 But there are several other options for entertainment.

 Shaela Miller’s roots music concert series the Windy City Opry celebrates one year on Wednesday, Dec. 13  at the Slice with some familiar faces.
 Skinny Dyck and the Chicken Catchers, who are featured on an excellent new compilation of Southern Alberta roots and folk musicians. Ryland Moranz will be performing as well and Shaela Miller and her band will also be performing a set to close the night. As always, the show starts early at 8 p.m.. Admission is $10.

 For a complete contrast to that show, faces will be melted and heads will be banged as the Slice hosts a Very metal Christmas featuring local metal/ hard rock bands Tyrants of Chaos, Caste of Shadows and Bring Your Own Bodies., Dec. 16 at 7 p.m.. There is a $10 cover for that show as well. Local classic rock band the Decadent phase play the Slice on Friday, Dec. 15.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 12 December 2017 10:43 ) Read more...

Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra excited about sold out run of Christmas classic the Nutcracker

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The Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra is pleased to present a sold out  production of Christmas favourite the Nutcracker at University Theatre, Dec. 15-17.

The Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra’s production of the Nutcracker is sold out this weekend. Photo submitted
“The Lethbridge Symphony has never done this before. It’s been on our radar for  a long time, but  we had to wait for the stars to be fully aligned to do it,” said Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Melanie Gattiker.

“We didn’t want to compete with other productions. But the Alberta Ballet isn’t doing it this year and the Russians aren’t coming this year either,” she said.

 The fully staged production features 2015 performers including 89 local ballet dancers, 56 singers and children’s choirs plus the 60 Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra members.

“ Not many people do the Nutcracker with a full orchestra. Usually it’s just with canned music,” she continued, adding the orchestra is front and centre  for the production, thanks to being able to do it at the University Theatre.

“We couldn’t do it anywhere else other than the university theatre, not even the Yates. They can bring the orchestra pit front and centre by removing the first two rows of seats,” she said.

She wasn’t surprised the run sold out by Dec. 1.
“A lot of people think ‘Ooh Christmas— the Nutcracker.’ And if any of performers have any fans,  family or friends at all, and with word of mouth, it would have sold out,” she said, noting they even inquired about adding extra dates.

“ We tried, but the theatre is booked,” she said, noting the production features performers from 5 to 75 including young dancers and more senior Orchestra members.
“ Even for me, it‘s going to be experience. I only get to see dress rehearsals because I’ll be working the show,” she said.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 12 December 2017 10:21 ) Read more...
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