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Eve 6 blend Fitness by borrowing drummer

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Eve 6 front man/ bassist Max Collins is looking forward to taking a break from his new band Fitness to play Lethbridge with Blind Melon at Average Joes, June 22.Eve 6 play Average Joes this week. Photo submitted
 The Los Angeles  based pop/punk trio Eve 6, recently parted ways with drummer Tony Fagenson, but fortunately they picked up Fitness drummer beautiful Ben (Big Steve) Hillzinger to play with Eve 6.

“ I’m not 100 per cent sure why Tony left. He had other projects he wanted to focus on. But he‘s happy, so we’re happy,” Collins said, adding Hillzinger was the first choice to replace him.

“He’s already playing with me (and AWOL Nations’  Kenny Carkeet who is also in Fitness), so it worked out perfectly. Because I’m doing a lot of work with Fitness and there are a lot of one off dates with Eve 6 and he’s already here. Plus he’s a great drummer. We’ve played about 12 shows with him. We had one rehearsal before them and he nailed them,” Collins continued.

 He can’t recall having played Lethbridge  before.
”Remind me where that is. It doesn’t ring any bells, but we did a lot of dead of winter touring in Canada where the only thing you’re thinking about is not  freezing,“ he said.

“ We do love touring Canada. When we’re there, we always ask ourselves why we don’t live there. We have that kind of love affair with Canada,” he said, adding fans should expect to hear a fun show.

“We‘re playing  all of our favourites from all of the albums so it‘s a little selfish. But fortunately, most of them are also the fans’ favourites,” he said, noting ‘Amphetamines’ from the second album ‘Horrorscope,” “Open Road” from their first Cd, ‘Think Twice’ from their third album ‘All in your Head’ and ‘Curtain’ from their most recent, 2012 album  Speak in Code” are among his favourites to play.
‘Curtain’ is the lone song from that (new) album that we’ll be playing,” he said.

Last Updated ( Friday, 29 June 2018 11:01 ) Read more...

Bears in Hazenmore wind down long tour in Lethbridge

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The well oiled machine that is Regina based indie rock band Bears in Hazenmore wound down an extensive tour at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Saturday, June 2 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.

Bears in Hazenmore returned to Lethbridge last week. Photo by Richard Amery
 I just caught the end of local band Birch Barks, who had a full band then trimmed it down to two for their last song.

 Bears in Hazenmore are always easygoing fun.

 They played appealing indie rock with plenty of delay laded guitars. And you can’t forget the piercing note of that  trumpet, ringing clearing through the dimly lit room for an enraptured audience.
 They sang pleasing harmonies reminiscent of ’80s pop duo the Pet Shop Boys.

 They played music off their brand new CD as well as brand new music which they haven’t recorded yet.

 — By Richard Amery, L.A. beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 June 2018 10:32 )

Dave McCann and the Firehearts play their favourites at Casino Lethbridge

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I had to leave Bears of Hazenmore early because I wanted to catch at least some of Dave McCann and the Firehearts’ set at Casino Lethbridge, Saturday, June 2.

Dave McCann at the Casino Lethbridge. Photo by Richard AmeryDave McCann and the Firehearts at the Casino, Photo by Richard Amery
 They didn’t have many people left by the time I arrived around 11:30 p.m. But most of them were happily two stepping to a set of mostly original music , much from  their most Recent CD “Circle of Light” as well as a few obscure country  songs from Gram Parsons and the Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses.”

Dave Bauer played tasteful  leads, while McCann uncannily resembled Todd Snider in voice and manner.

 Shawn Worden grooved and writhed as he played bass and Kyle Harmon was unstoppable behind the skins.

— by Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 June 2018 10:17 )

Blueprint Records says good bye with local music

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 Lethbridge bid farewell to Blueprint Records, who passed the torch  on to Street Legal Records after 12  dedicated years of supporting Lethbridge’s music scene not to mentions supplying plenty of vinyl gems to everyone.

Open Channels’ Tony Zucco. Photo by Richard AmeryI bought some of my favourite punk and blues records at Blueprint and got him to order in some of my other favourites I couldn’t find anywhere else, so it is sad to see owner Mike Molloy move on. But the scene sent him off in style with lots of live music at  the event, aptly called So Long and Thanks For all The Wax.

Lots of folks will miss him and they showed up in force for their farewell show. I saw faces I haven’t seen in years.

 While I missed  an opening set by local rock band Biloxi Parish, I was in time for an incendiary set  by alternative rock duo Sparkle Blood who played a hot set of catchy White Stripes tinged punk.

 Sparkle Blood playing So Long and Thanks for all the Wax at the Slice. Photo by Richard AmeryA live show from open Channels is far and few between, so any time I get to see them, it is a treat. As usual they embraced their inner ’80s child, playing a solid set of very much ’80s influenced keyboard based pop and new wave music thanks to Jane Edmundson’s keyboards. They will also be opening for B.A. Johnston at the Owl Acoustic Lounge on Tuesday, June 19.

Their bassist Tony Zucco sang most of the lead vocals this time, with the guitarist Jeff King singing less than usual.
 Local alternative rock trio Mombod finished off the night with their usual set of ’90s Riot Grrrl and grunge influenced music.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 June 2018 09:56 )

Killer Dwarfs Stand Tall with big ’80s hits

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Toronto classic rockers the Killer Dwarfs “Keep the Spirit Alive, when they jumping into the rock and roll time machine  and make a long awaited return to Alberta, including a June 14 stop at Average Joes with fellow ’80s metalheads Kick Axe.
“Music really is a time machine,” observed “the only Killer Dwarf drummer,” Darell Millar managing his time  for his eight-year-old daughter’s PE day.The Killer Dwarfs play Lethbridge on Thursday. Photo Submitted
“ I’ll still  put on an Aerosmith  record and it will take me back to high school, driving around the streets of Oshawa,” he reminisced.

 Other than a few “dark days” when the Dwarfs were on hiatus in the early ’90s due to the grunge explosion, he has been lucky to make a living making music.
“It‘s kind of a loaded question (Whether he thought the Killer Dwarfs would still be playing 37 years later). I always knew I wanted to play music. When I was 15, I was in a three piece band like Triumph. We were called Sphinx. And we opened for bands like Triumph and we were playing at a very high level. We moved to Calgary and signed with the biggest management company in the country, which handled bands like the Headpins. So I took courses and finished high school as fast as I could because I knew this was what I wanted to do,” he said, noting Sphinx was in the throes of breaking up in 1981 when he met Dwarfs frontman Russ Graham and formed the band, and met with pretty much immediate success by charting several big, upbeat hits in the ’80s and early ’90 like “ We Stand Alone,” “Stand Tall”  “ Keep the Spirit Alive and “Dirty Weapons.”

 “We (Sphinx) was pretty much a cover band by then and wanted to do something else. The only time I ever had to take a job was for a couple years, 94-’96, in the middle of grunge music. I was in the middle of a custody battle for my first daughter and my lawyer suggested I get a job because heavy metal drummer wasn’t a viable job. So I got a job working with Canpro in the sorting room and I hated it,” he said.
“I don’t think we’ve been to Lethbridge since 2003 or 2004, but we used to play there all the time in the ’80s when we were on the road for 300 days a year,” recalled Killer Dwarfs frontman Russ Dwarf Graham, who along with drummer Darrell, guitarist  Gerry Dwarf (Finn) Millar, who has been with the band since 1991 and bassist Johnny Dwarf Fenton who joined in 2013.
Millar noted they Dwarfs used to play Alberta a lot including Lethbridge.
“We loved it. We’d always play Calgary and Edmonton and we’d play Red Deer and Lethbridge too, he said, adding he has good memories of  the city.
 I remember around 1996, I went to a house party and Nickelback was there before they got big. I remember meeting Chad Kroeger. They broke not long after and I saw them and that was him. They must have been playing here at the same time as us,” he recalled.

 They recently signed to Megadeth’ bassist Dave Ellefson’s record label EMP and released a live album “No Guff” and expect to release a new studio album  in 2019.
 “We’re excited about being on Dave’s label. Because he knows. He’s been in a band, so it‘s not like you’re talking to an accountant,” Graham said, with his well known wit, which you could see in their many videos all over MuchMusic and MTV in the ’80s.

“I’m 5’4 and shrinking,” Graham chuckled, answering the question what he‘s been up to, from his home in Orillia, Ontario, the one band member who doesn’t live in Toronto.
“We’ve been playing for 37 years. We’re very fortunate. The fans have been really good to us,” he said, noting the Dwarfs have a busy year ahead of them including tours of the U.S, United Kingdom and the Monsters of Rock Cruise in February and March.

“We’ve been lucky to be able to make a living making music. I’ve also got my solo band and my brother has his solo band,” Graham said.
“At this point we can pick and choose what gigs to play. It’s not like in the ’80s when we were on the road for 300 days of the year,” Graham said.
“We don’t really write about booze and chicks, there‘s enough of that to go around,” he said, adding the positive nature of the songs aligns with his world view.
“I’m generally a very hopeful person,” he said.
 He enjoyed making the videos, which were a  mainstay on ’80s Can Con mainstay Video Hits as well as on MuchMusic’s the Power Hour and MTV’s the Power hour.
“They were a lot of fun, though I cringe when I see some of them now,” he said.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 14 June 2018 09:54 ) Read more...
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