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J Blissette releases new CD to enthusiastic audience

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There was a good sized audience out for local alternative rock band J Blissette’s CD release party at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, March 10.J Blissette releasing their new CD at the Owl Acoustic Lounge. Photo by Richard Amery
I arrived at the end of an energetic set from Slut Prophet.

 They sounded like a mix of alternative rock and jazz music as the lead singer screaming her head off over a backing band of noisy keyboards and a tight rhythm section playing experimental almost jazzy bass and drums.

J Blissette, who were releasing their new CD “Until I Go Blind” , featured Matthew Rederburg back on drums, joining Cory Fischer on guitar, bassist Arnaud Sparks and frontman Jackson Tiefenbach

They began their set with short bursts of punk fuelled energy before settling into a slightly more sedate experimental garage rock groove.

—By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat EditorSlut Phophet at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, March 10. photo by Richard Amery
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 March 2018 12:54 )

Sean Burns brings back classic country sounds

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Winnipeg country musician Sean Burns returned to the Slice in fine form with hot band in hand, Friday, March 9 in support of his new aptly named CD “Lost Country: Music For Taverns, Bars and Honky Tonks.

Sean Burns performing at the Slice,March 9. photo By Richard Amery
 But up first, Brooks born, Calgary based bluegrass/ roots trio the Wine Soaked Preachers tore things up country style with plenty of hot picking from frontman Jay B, upright bassist Miles C and drummer Mark A, all dressed in bright red cowboy shirts.

 They played an assortment of original music and country classics like Johnny Cash’s “ I’ve been Everywhere.” All three sang superb vocal harmonies together.

The Wine Soaked Preachers opening for San Burns at the Slice, March 9. Photo by Richard Amery
They played a couple brand new songs including “Green River,” which was definitely not the CCR song of the same name.

 Burns and his band including Corb Lund guitarist Grant Siemens, bassist Bern Thiessen, Drummer Joanna miller drummer and Lethbridge Ryan “Skinny” Dyck on steel guitar played a spirited set of twangy country music focusing on songs from the new album.

 Burns sounded like Ron Tabak of Prism singing ’70s style country music.

One of many highlights was “Don’t Let the Highway Get You Lost.”
In addition to originals they also played credible covers of country classics like “Swinging doors.”

— by Richard Amery, L.A. beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 March 2018 12:37 )

Tiger Moon show off mandolin powered covers

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Okanagan folk band Tiger Moon were having a blast at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, March 9. I arrived in the middle of a hot set powered by the massive voice aTiger Moon’s Kasey Graff and Dan Tait at the Owl Acoustic lounge. Photo by Richard Amerynd substantial mandolin chops of Kasey Graff, alternating vocals with guitarist Dan Tait . They were backed by a bassist Joshua Smith and  drummer Dylan Logan Ranney to provide a big sound.

 They played several originals and a solid tribute to the Tragically Hip of “Bobacageon” as Tait observed he “was gutted” by the news of Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downey.

They also added a solid version of John Prine’s “In Spite of Ourselves.”

They played a fine set of upbeat roots and country music with that excellent mandolin playing which would be an ideal fit for the South country Fair.

“ So if you know anyone  from South Country Fair, please let them know about us,“ Tait said.
They finished their set with a cover of the Waterboys “Fisherman’s blues.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 March 2018 12:26 )

CKXU FUNDrive and laughter this week

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If you want to fight off that St. Patrick’s Day weekend hangover with live music then come on over to downtown, where there is still a lot happening.
 CKXU Fundrive events dominate the week.
 the University of Lethbridge based community radio station is  planning on reaching their $30,000 FUNDrive goal for a new website.
 So in addition to on air giveaways, there are several big shows downtown.Kimberley MacGregor returns to Lethbridge with Curtis Glas and Makiisma. Photo by Richard Amery
Catch a diverse cross section of music at the Slice which hosts CKXU and University of Lethbridge Gutsy Club’s band wars. Local country pop band Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction, GreenBones, Orangeman, alternative rock duo Cope, Jane Doe, Sydeshow and alternative rock trio Mombod go head to head for big prizes including recording time and much more beginning at 5 p.m. There is a $10 cover to attend.
The other big CKXU Cosmic Frequencies themed FUNDrive event is the “landing party” at the Slice, Friday, March 23. The event features a variety of local bands put together for the occasion to play space themed music. Performers include  Space Band, NASA Camp Dropout, Cartwheel Galaxy, Vandendool and the Quasar Quartet and HD80606. Admission is $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

But there is a  lot more going on this week.The Owl Acoustic Lounge features their jazz jam with HBO3 and  Josh Davies on Wednesday, March 21.
 Thursday, March 22 is the night for laughter.
 There is a comedy open mic at the Zoo in the University of Lethbridge Student’s union featuring Solly  KP. There is no admission to attend.

 And Joker’s Gone Wild return to Casino Lethbridge, March 22 with Todd Ness, Shawn Gramiak and William Hannigan. The comedy begins at 7 p.m. There is a $10 cover.

The Geomatic Attic welcomes Grammy award winning bluegrass musician Laurie Lewis and the Right hands performing at 8 p.m. She is  touring in support of her new CD Blossoms (Spruce and Maple Music) Tickets range from $37.59 or $40.The Geomatic Attic has a busy weekend as the next night they welcome  Nanton/ Vulcan country band Tin and the Toad at 8 p.m. Tickets are $27.50 in advance and $30 at the door.


Todd Stewart records solo album in between new Northern Beauties album

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Calgary musician Todd Stewart is known for being part of roots duo The Northern Beauties and roots rock act Brocade, but he returns to Lethbridge, March 23 to play the Owl Acoustic Lounge with The Dudes’ Danny Vacon in support of his debut Solo Ep“ Everything you Want.”Todd Stewart plays a solo show with Danny Vacon this week. Photo submitted
““These songs are a little more personal and they didn’t quite fit in with the Northern Beauties,” Stewart said, noting he recorded it almost simultaneously with the new Northern Beauties long awaited new Cd, which they plan to release in September.

“It’s been two years sing the Northern Beauties first album. so I hope people will respond to it,” he said.
“The new Northern Beauties album is done, it’s in the can, but then we started writing more songs,” he said, adding while waiting for the release, booking tours and planning PR, he decided to work on his own project including playing a few Southern Alberta dates including at the Twin Butte Store, March 24 in addition to the Lethbridge show and in Calgary at the Ironwood on March 31.

Stewart’s solo CD features a lot of  steel guitar.
“That was a a lot of fun. I felt this style of writing required  some pedal steel guitar. It’s something I always wanted to learn how to play, with all of those long sustaining notes. It’s such a beautiful instrument. but I haven’t had the time to learn how to play it yet ,“ he said, adding he got old friend Matt Kelly to play steel guitar on it. He has known Kelly going all the way back to his days with Brocade.
“There’s still not a lot of pedal steel guitar players in Calgary. Back in 2013 Charlie Hase was the guy to go to ,” he observed, adding there is more interest in steel guitar.

Last Updated ( Monday, 19 March 2018 22:27 ) Read more...
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