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Ten Minute Detour inspired by recording with Cage the Elephant's Lincoln Parish

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Calgary rock band Ten Minute Detour return to Lethbridge to play the Slice, March 31.

Ten Minute Detour return to Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Amery
 They made their Lethbridge debut in 2016 at Whoop Up Days opening for the Standstills.

 Now they are supporting their second CD “Common Pleasure,” which they recorded in Nashville in seven days last February with producer Lincoln Parish, former guitarist for Cage the Elephant.

“He joined them when he was like 14. He’s already done the rock star thing which is what we want to do and he’s our age — 26. But for him it’s been there, done that,” said 10 Minute Detour frontman Andrew Shier, who is joined by bandmates, bassist Mike Stokes, guitarist Jordan MacNeil and drummer Ross Watson.

“He’s produced some huge songs. So he was able to help is trim a little of the fat,” he continued.

“He‘s a lot more knowledgeable,” he said adding they went in to record a song a day and stayed around to write three more because they were so inspired.
They have already released three singles from it including “Betty,” “Woodshed,” and “Poli-Shore”

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 March 2018 09:17 ) Read more...

Geoff Berner records crowd favourites for new CD

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Due to audience demand, Vancouver musician Geoff Berner  is taking a slight departure from his usual accordion powered klezmer punk muse on his new album “Canadiana Grotesquica.”Geoff Berner Sings Phony Drawl last year. Photo by Richard Amery
Though there is still his usual blend of humour and serious issues, there is also plenty of accordion, except placed in a more country rock context.
 Berner plays a special ticketed event at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, March 29 with songwriter Richard Inman.

“These are songs people have asked if they are on a CD. And I felt just terrible that they weren’t so I put them on a CD,” Berner said.

As usual he combines razor sharp wit with serious issues and songs he has just always wanted to play like his ode to Vancouver Canucks enforcer, Gino Odjick.
“ The Algonquin Assassin’s job was to protect the Russian Rocket Pavel Bure. But off the ice he was a fan favourite and a real gentleman. He carried himself with a certain dignity. Even after a fight, he’d be a gentleman,” Berner said.

“Super Subtle Folk Song” is anything but. But it also draws attention to issues with Berner’s unique humour.

“It‘s a fun song,” he deadpanned.
 There is even Alberta content on “Never Play Cards for money With Corby Lund.”

“ I‘ve never played cards with Corb, but I’ve watched him enough to know that I don’t want to because he’s way too good,” Berner said.
“Rule of the Road” is inspired by Dick Montana of the Beat Farmers.

Berner takes a shot at modern country music on “Phony Drawl.”
“ It’s about country singers from Vancouver and Ontario who sing with a drawl and it sounds a lot different than how they talk.”
Other than recording the new CD, Berner has written another book and toured  Europe with Rae Spoon.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 March 2018 09:00 ) Read more...

Real McKenzies provide a beer fueled good night of Celtic punk

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The Real McKenzies’s annual pre-St. Patrick’s day party in Lethbridge is something I look forward to every year. I arrive late and missed the Lethbridge Firefighters  Pipes and Drums and just missed Edmonton horn powered punks the Raygun Cowboys.The Real McKenzies’ Paul McKenzie at Bully’s Entertainment Centre, March 15. Photo by Richard Amery

I usually rate live shows in terms of how many beers I drink during their set, the better the the band, the more beer I drink. The Real McKenzies are usually a four beer band, this time, they were five beers, even if one of them was a light beer.

The Real mcKenzies playing all of their favourites at Bully’s Entertainmnet Centre. Photo by Richard Amery
 This year they were a force of nature,  March 15 at Bully’s Entertainment Centre.

Bagpipes wailed and echoed through the room over a wall of power from three guitarists and a thundering bassist and drummer who shouted out harmonies as frontman Paul McKenzie bestrode the stage bellowing out music from throughout the McKenzies’ 25 plus year career, but mostly from their most recent CD “Two Devils Will Talk.”

 The singles “Due West,” “Seafarers” and “One Day” came early on in the set  and they went back to their Westwinds album” for one of my favourites “ I Do What I Want.”

“Scots Wh Ha’e” had most of the 100 or so people there shouting along and sparked a frenetic mosh pit.
 They dug deep into their catalogue, though because the room was so echoey, so it was difficult to tell which song was which.

 The McKenzies were super tight and played super fast as usual.

Paul McKenzie talked about Scotland and the Loch Ness monster, which segued into “Nessie.”
Another of my favourites “Drink Some More, was midway through the set, which  McKenzie introduced by talking about the dangers of fentanyl and observed his drug of choice was, of course, beer.

 McKenzie talked about all of the fantastic musicians who passed on in the past couple of years lead the band in a musical tribute to them.
 They ended their show with  the sassy “Fuck the Real McKenzies,” but were called back for an encore, of course.

They showed off just how talented of vocalists they are on a gorgeous a capella The real mcKenzies at Bully’s Entertainment Centre. photo by Richard Ameryversion of Stan Rogers’ “Barrett’s Privateers.”
 They  turned things up for the fast paced punk of a Turbonegro cover and called it a night with one more song just before 11 p.m.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 March 2018 13:58 )

Peter and the Wolves rock an extended Windy City Opry

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I couldn’t make it to Coaldale for Calgary rockabilly trio Peter and the Wolves on the weekend, but thankfully they returned to the Slice for a late announced Windy City Opry show at the Slice, Wednesday, March 14.Peter Cormier from Peter and the Wolves does his best Jerry Lee Lewis impression on piano at the Windy City Opry, March 14 at the Slice. photo by Richard Amery

I usually miss most of it due to being on the air, but this time they played an entire second set and outlasted promoter Shaela Miller, whose band opened the show and who had to leave to take care of her kids and even me.
 They always put on a great show for people who like rockabilly and ’50s rock and roll.

 Frontman Peter Cormier ended the first set by playing guitar behind his head and duckwalking across the stage for an audience full of swing dancers and people raucously applauding, before  ending the set with blues chestnut “St. James Infirmary.”Shalea Miller joins Peter and the Wolves, March 14. Photo by Richard Amery

 After a break, many of the audience had trickled away however Cormier began the second set by channelling Jerry Lee Lewis on piano.

 He played a variety of new music including “Sundae Monday blues”  from a new CD  due out  April 21 as well as rock and roll classics from the likes of Ray Charles and , of course, Jerry Lee Lewis.

“Girl Can’t Help it”  and “Jailbird Josephine” were highlights as was “Veronica.”
Shaela Miller joined them on stage for “Jackson” and another song.

— By Richard Amery, L.a. beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 March 2018 13:37 )

Ashley Hundred and Crooked Spies entertain with ambient rock and ’70s riffs

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Calgary indie rock band The Ashley Hundred are always an entertaining act to see, so it was great to see them back at the Slice, Saturday, March 10.

The Crooked Spies entertained  the Slice, March 10. Photo by Richard Amery
 They played appealing ambient indie rock with banjo and keyboards adding extra layers of sound. I only caught the very end of their set of music drenched in delay and chorus laden guitars plus ghostly vocals. Though they added a few interesting harmonized guitar.

They had approximately 50 -60  people listening.

 Fellow Calgarians Crooked Spies almost stole the show.

They played straight ahead rock and roll with big riffs, an even bigger beat and vocals reminiscent of Bachman Turner Overdrive with a touch of ”90s alternative rock. So they sounded like a mix of BTO meeting Spacehog.

 The Utilities played another strong set of music mostly from their new CD.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat EditorThe Ashley Hundred returned to Lethbridge, march 10. Photo by Richard Amery
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 March 2018 13:19 )
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