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Mark Andrew Spencer sings appealing folk pop

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 I heard the Owl Acoustic Lounge was packed, probably because Biloxi Parish was playing there, Friday, Nov. 23. And it was, but instead, as Biloxi Parish hadn’t started yet, I was pleasantly surprised by  Mark Andrew Spencer, a former University of Lethbridge student, now based in Calgary, who seemed excited to be back among a room full of enthusiastic friends and Biloxi Parish fans. Mark Andrew Spencer and his band at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Friday, Nov. 23 . Photo by Richard Amery

His tight band  were a good fit for Biloxi Parish as they also played uptempo folk tinged rock and roll with pop sensibilities which reminded me of a young Joel Plaskett.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 05 December 2018 10:15 )

Christmas concerts and folk coming up this week

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I hate to drop a C bomb so early into December but Christmas is coming.
 So with that in mind Lethbridge is inundated with all manner of Christmas pageants and presentations, including several different versions of a Christmas Carol.
The  Church Of Latter-Day Saints, brings a musical version of a Christmas Carol to their church across from the hospital at 1912 10 Ave. The family friendly free show  begins at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 5-8.
 A little later, the Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society brings back their popular Shakespeare meets Dickens night to Casa, Dec. 14 including a reader’s theatre version of  a Christmas Carol, plus plenty of Christmas carols, food, drink and plenty of Yuletide fun.The mayhemingways return to Lethbridge to play the Slice on Saturday, Dec. 8. Photo by Richard Amery
 But this week, Fran Rude and company are tackling another Christmas Classic— Joe Landry’s radio play version of A Wonderful Life. They are presenting it as a live radio play at the Immanuel  Lutheran Church, Dec 6 and 7  featuring the talents of Tony Deys, Morgan Day, Mark Campbell, Stephen Graham, McKade Hogg, Jordana Kohn  and Sheila Matson. The event is a fundraiser for the Lethbridge Sunrise Rotary Club to produce projects in the Lethbridge. It’s A Wonderful life  runs at 7:30 p.m. , Dec. 6 and 7 and at 2 p.m. on Dec. 8. Tickets are $20 from the Enmax ticket centre.

 Thankfully Christmas isn’t all there is this week.
 There is live music every Friday and Saturday night at the newly refurbished Watertower Grill Friday and Saturday nights.
Local musician Nick Bohl is starting a regular Sunday night singer songwriter showcase at the 1010Pub every Sunday night, which opened, Dec. 2 with Bohl and Tyson Ray Borsboom performing. E-mail Nick at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to submit an example of your work to get involved. He is looking for people with an hour‘s worth of material to showcase. It begins at 8 p.m.
It’s the beginning of the month, which means HBO3  hosts a jazz jam on Wednesday,  Dec. 5 as they usually do on the first and third Wednesdays of the month.
It’s great to have Taylor Ackerman back in town and playing often with his new band Global Acid Reset. He hosts the Slice’s open mic this Thursday, Dec. 6.
 It will be a lot of fun on the weekend.

 We got a preview of Vernon based songwriter Eryn Kleyth’s talents a couple of times in the past month at the Owl Acoustic Lounge. But she brings her indie rock band She Hangs Brightly to the Slice on Friday, Dec. 7 with local progressive rock band  the New Weather Machine. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Sarah Christensen will have her art on display as well.
Down the street the Owl features an eclectic show with experimental local rock band Ghost Woman and rapper Pyke. Admission is by donation.

 If you want to laugh on a Friday night, join host Randy Webb at Yuk Yuks Comedy at Average joes, where Brittnany Lyseng and  Serana Shane  bring the yuks. Tickets are $15 in advance for the show, which begins at 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 8,  features a pretty cool contrast of shows. But first, there’s that C bomb again, take care of Christmas shopping by supporting local artisans at the Handmade market at Exhibition Park from 9-4 p.m. featuring the works of 170  artists from Southern Alberta and B.C. Admission is four dollars. Children 14 and under get in for free. After that, stop by the Galt museum for the Hawk and harvest Holiday market from 6-8 p.m. Admission is three dollars with  kids 12 and under getting in for free. There will even be live music.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 December 2018 15:54 ) Read more...

Dirty Catfish Brass band heat up the night with New Orleans jazz

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Winnipeg based New Orleans style brass band The Dirty Catfish Brass Band are making jazz music fun again.
 They played an energetic Show at the Slice, Wednesday, Nov. 21 for a surprisingly good sized Wednesday night crowd of approximately 30, some of whom remembered them from their Windy City Opry show almost exactly a year ago at the Slice.

The Dirty Catfish brass Band returned to the Slice , Nov. 21. Photo by Richard Amery
 It’s hard not to smile when hearing this cadre of upbeat horns, and  frontman Todd Martin‘s castrati vocals.

 Martin was impressive, alternately singing an a wavering, soulful falsetto and playing  Mellophone and harp.
 There wasn’t a guitar in sight. The horns did all the work, supplying additional bottom end to throbbing bass as well as punchy melodies.
I arrived in the middle of a jam on a song called “Lil’ Liza Jane.”

 The septet beamed as they rotated in place in between trading solos.

They played a lot of brassy New Orleans  jazz punctuated by  gang vocals and lots of energy. But they also turned a few popular pop songs into jazz songs.

 By request, they blasted into a hit jazzy cover of Stompin’ Tom Connors ’ “The Hockey Song.” They introduced it with a few bars of “Iko Iko” and  Saxophonist Graham  Dion  did a credible  version of a goal  and period ending buzzer on baritone saxophone to add to the humour.
 They ended their show around 11 p.m. with an encore– a mix of two songs including Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ’Til you Get Enough.”

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Friday, 30 November 2018 01:27 )

Seas play the best alternative rock show of the year

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I usually try to take Monday nights off, but I made a point of catching alternative rock supergroup Seas. And I was glad I did as their incendiary show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Monday, Nov. 19 was an excellent candidate for best alternative rock/ punk show of the year.  As an enthusiastic audience of approximately 25 would likely agree.

Seas played an intense show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Nov. 19. Photo by Richard Amery
 The band, which blends members of Moneen, Choke, Molten Lava! and Black Mastiff bassist Clay Shea, have been around long enough to know their stuff and showed it.

 They sounded like a more souped up Lemonheads and a heavier Doughboys thanks to vocalist Crisp Hughes, whose voice was a dead ringer for both bands’ lead singers.

 They had an abundance of energy, with the towering Hughes leaping all over the stage and bobbing his dreadlocked head.

 Main members  Crisp Hughes and  Adrian Mottram flew in for this set of Western Canadian shows picked up a massive rhythm section of bassist Clay Shea and drummer Tristan Helgason a sSeas played an intense show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Nov. 19. Photo by Richard Amerycant few days before, but sounded like they had been playing together for years.

 The rhythm was h absolutely massive with thundering drums and  floor shaking bass reverberating throughout the room
 Musically they were an almost perfect blend of heavy and melodic.

 As a bonus, it being a weeknight, their set was short, sweet and to to point, focusing on their new CD “Cursed,” as well as bringing out a couple of older songs, ending the show nice and early.

 I missed an opening set  from local alternative rock band Supervoid, who apparently were playing a lot of new songs.
They were called back for an encore including a Dinosaur Jr. song.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Friday, 30 November 2018 01:18 )

Psychobilly on a Sunday with Devil’s Sons and The Gutter Demons

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 I keep missing punk and psychobilly shows, so I made a point for catching the Gutter Demons at the Smokehouse, Sunday, Nov. 18, especially as I missed their May visit.

The Gutter Demons playing the Smokehouse, Sunday, Nov. 18. Photo by Richard Amery
 They had an enthusiastic audience of around 20 punk rockers, some of who started up  a brief mosh pit but quit due to lack of enthusiasm.
 I missed local band the Hockey Moms, but was in time for Edmonton’s  The “Devil’s Sons.”

 They have a horn section on their new EP “Black Moonshine,” but brought the core four piece including upright bassist Fernando De Les Diablos, drummer Q Mike, vocalist/guitarist Brad Graves and lead guitarist Kylie Wyote.

 They played all of the new Ep and quite a few more. Some of the highlights were “Revenge is Mine,” and an old rockabilly style number which Elvis Presley recorded called “I Got Stung,” which took on more of a punk rock feel in the hands of The Devil’s Sons. They showed off their’50s side again on “Bye Bye Baby Love.”

The Devils Son’s playing the Smokehouse, Sunday, Nov. 18. Photo by Richard Amery
As I missed the Gutter Demons’ May visit, I was glad I caught them this time.

 I previously  compared them to Motorhead playing rockabilly music, which was an apt comparison, as they even cover Motorhead’s “Damage Case” on their latest CD  “No God, No Ghost, No Saints,” which they focused on for this show. They ended with an encore of “Damage Case,” around 10:10 p.m., which was really welcome on a Sunday night.

 The Montreal based trio played that and a lot more supercharged and super  fast rockabilly, rock and roll and psychobilly music.
“ Devil’s Hand” was one of several songs featuring some hot guitar playing.

— By Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Friday, 30 November 2018 01:06 )
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