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Po’ Girl have a wealth of talent

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Po Girl’s Awna Teixeira showed she can play pretty much any instrument. Photo By Richard Amery

Po’ Girl kicked off November with an a superb, sold out show at the Geomatic Attic, Nov. 1.
 I was blown away by the musicianship, not to mention the multi-instrumental virtuosity  of the band’s  four members, Allison Russell, Awna Teixeira, Benny  Sidelinger and drummer JJ Jones who played everything but the kitchen sink. The band incorporated clarinet,  glockenspiel,  banjo, guitar, bass, gut bucket bass, dobro, keyboard and guitar into a cross-cultural melting pot of music. They shared some entertaining stories, jokes and tall tales which took a receptive audience everywhere from the depths of  the Appalachian Mountains  to sidewalk cafes in Paris, France, to  the middle of Saskatchewan, to down south in Austin to a chilly Chicago winter. They had some pretty vocal harmonies and pretty much switched instruments  every song. They played a variety of material from their CD “Deer in the Headlights, their new live CD as well as tested out quite a bit of excellent new material on the audience who were hanging on every note.

— By Richard Amery, L.A.Beat editor

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 03 November 2009 14:48 )

The Douce is more than Mama Let Him Play

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My favourite song ever is “Mama Let Him Play,” so I didn’t want to miss Jerry Doucette at Average Joes, Oct. 30 despite everyone else and his dog having a gig on Friday. Jerry Doucette and Paul Kype. Photo by Richard AmeryHowever, the Vancouver guitarist proved there was a lot more to him than his big late ’70s hit. He is  also a really top notch bluesman, who ripped off some super tasteful leads but wasn’t aftraid to step back and let his band take centre stage.  I arrived in the middle of a  jumping version of “Wine Spodi odi” which  showed the Couce was loose to rock for the enthusiastic audience. He was backed by local guitarist Paul Kype who he was happy to trade leads with. The Douce  let Kype take the lead on Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Pride and Joy.”
Of course he ended the show with “Mama Let Him Play,” which absolutely smoked and had everyone singing along.
They wouldn’t let him leave so he returned for an encore of one of his originals, “Sweet Maggie.”
Having Paul Kype  among his crack band really reinforced  Doucette’s sound. Fantastic.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 03 November 2009 14:33 )

FUN kick off to CKXU FUNdrive

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CKXU program director Aaron Trozzo rocked it 60’s style with Lustre Creame. Photo By Richard AmeryCKXU 88.3 F.M rocked it hippie style with a ’60s themed night at the Slice to kick off Lethbridge’s independent radio station’s annual FUNDrive  on Friday, Oct. 30 with a sold out show featuring several local bands reinterpreting ’60s classics.
 Most of the audience was dressed in ’60s hippies garb. I arrived as a new band called Lotion was playing garage  rock versions of girl group songs like “My Boyfriend’s Back.”
 A new band including the Grow Show’s Dan Espelien, called Mint Tea  brought a case of ’60s psychedelia to the Slice by playing some impressively weird  Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd. There was impressively mind-expanding bass playing and some plenty of trippy  delay laden guitar action going on.
But I was impressed as always with  the Record Holder, who featured Nicole Hembroff  on violin and doing a bang up job and vocals  for a variety of Beatles classics including“Taxman” among others. They had the Beatles’ vocal harmonies down and showed some tight musicianship. Last, but not least, Lustre Creme with Tod Robinson on keyboards carried on with some psychedelic progressive rock that had lots of wild guitar playing and more than enough energy which kept the audience rocking, ’60s style.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 03 November 2009 14:35 )

Hank and Lily know how to put on a show

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Quite a few unusual shows this week began with the Secretaries and  the Hank and Lily Show, tearing up Henotic’s stage, Oct. 29.The Secretaries put on an exciting show, Oct. 29. photo By Richard Amery
Edmonton garage /pop band the Secretaries added a touch of jazz with their horn section “the Brassholes” playing a more prevalent role in the music than the last time I saw them at South Country Fair. At the end they flailed and sprawled all over the stage like a scene from a Marcus Glenn painting.
 They had a lot of energy and played a variety of instruments from guitar to accordion and sang some superb harmonies. Even Lily Fawn,  done up as a green haired zombie with  antlers , joined the Secretaries on stage for the last  few songs, which  had the band rolling all over the stage, grooving to their music as an enthusiastic crowd writhed in front of the stage savouring  the show.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 03 November 2009 14:12 ) Read more...

Minto enjoying magnificent first tour

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It helps for band members to be from all over Canada, especially when embarking on their first cross Canada tour.
Vancouver based rock band  Minto, who play Henotic, Nov. 6, are enjoying  it so far.
“We’ve had really good shows and we’ve played with a lot of really great people. And we’ve sold a lot of merch. We’ve had to order more,” said Fredericton born Minto lead singer Ryan Hoben, adding there has also been a few mishaps along the way.Minto
“Our guitar player almost died in a four wheeling accident in Morden, Manitoba. He flipped his quad over,” Hoben added, noting the guitarist, Kalvin Olafson is fine now. They were staying at Olafson’s parents’ farm for Thanksgiving.
“So we got the full fresh farm Thanksgiving experience,” he said.
Minto brings an interesting combination of country, rock, pop and folk which is reminiscent of Tom Petty and Cross Canadian Ragweed.
 They started out as straight folk combo, but their sound has evolved to be a little more Neil Young and Crazy Horse style heavier.
They recorded  their new CD (“Lay It On Me”), their first as Minto,  in Chicago with producer Steve Albini who has worked with the likes of Cheap Trick,  Nirvana and the Pixies.

“It was a little un-nerving on the first day, but he’s such a cool cat. He lives in his studio. It was the best experience of our lives. But he hates being called a producer, he’s an engineer,” Hoben enthused adding the band got a chance to check out Chicago  as well.
“It was awesome, we lived and breathed  in his studio in Chicago for two weeks. He’s got students working for him so they were bringing us coffee. It was the best experience of our lives,” he continued adding the new CD shows the next step in the band’s musical evolution.
“We started off as an outlaw country band and that seemed to work, but we’ve just started  getting progressively heavier,” he said adding the tour is going well.
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