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Birds of Chicago and Steve Dawson play beautiful show of folk

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The Geomatic Attic was hopping this past week, but I only caught one show and was lucky to  have made it for that.
I missed the opening act, but was excited to catch the always lovely Birds of of Chicago, made even more beautiful by the addition of guitar maestro Steve Dawson to the fold of JT Nero and Alison Russell.
 They opAlison Russell doing double duty on clarinet and banjo at the Geomatic Attic. Photo by Richard Ameryened a stultifyingly beautiful set dripping with stories and oozing dollops of soul from Russell’s gorgeous voice, with the upbeat “Alright Alright.”

Russell alternated singing lead vocals with her husband and they each added perfect vocal harmonies throughout.

Dawson added guitar pyrotechnics with  fabulous fingerpicking and cascades of crystalline harmonics. He added subtle slide guitar to a couple of songs on, which focused on their last two CD including “Love in Wartime” and “American Flowers”, which they recorded in Dawson’s Henhouse studio in their new home of Nashville.

 They played such a mellow set that I was nodding off. Surprisingly, though “Love In Wartime” is their new rock album, the brighter, more up tempo moments came from the acoustic “American Flower.”
Nero noted there needs to be more love in the world, so Russell crooned out “Superlover.”

 She was all the more impressive as her voice dripped dollops of soul, but she alternated between banjo and clarinet, sometimes in the same song. A couple of the highlights were that song as well as the title track and “Lodestar.”

 Another highlight was a rare cover which  they recorded for “American Flowers” featuring Dawson and Russell while Nero left the stage to “visualize the rest of the set.”
The duo played a beautiful bilingual version of Hoagy Carmichael’s jazz standard “Stardust (Etoile d’Amour.)”
 Nero told a touching story about a good friend and inspiration who died too young and played a tribute song he wrote for him called “Hold Steady, Rock Slow.” also from the “American Flowers” CD.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 November 2018 11:46 )

Default and Age of Days bring back the ’00s

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 Sundays can rock if you want them too. So a close to a sold out crowd piled into Average Joes to relive the late ’90s and early ’00s with Age of Days and a reformed Default, Sunday, Oct. 28.Default rocked Average Joes on a Sunday night. photo by Richard Amery

 I must be getting too old for this, because I’ve never hated a lighting person more than I did at this show because of the spastic monkey randomly pushing buttons throughout the night, which was so distracting from the music, I had to retreat to the back of the room to avoid having a seizure about three songs in.

 I feel i should be more familiar with opening act Age of Days, who played a solid set of upbeat alternative rock, which was immediately recognizable as coming from the ’00s and’10s along the lines of bands like Finger 11, Nickelback, and, of course, Default, who the lead singer noted took them on their first tour.

They opened with a detuned uptempo 2012 track, “Bombs Away.”

 In places they sounded like a detuned Bon Jovi, so they had a big booming groove, guitar hooks  and vocals reminiscent of Jon  Bon Jovi himself.
 They played a great heavy cover of  Roxette’s hit “ She’s Got the The Look.”Default rocked Average Joes on a Sunday night. photo by Richard Amery
 Another highlight was “She’s so Serious.”

Dallas Smith exchanged his cowboy hat for a trucker’s hat and his rocker’s face for Default. I feel I should be more familiar with them, having grown up listening to them. But there wasn’t any country to be heard within a country mile of this show.

  They played a loud, long, intense set of detuned, radio friendly ’90s style alternative rock.
A s promised in my interview with Dallas last week, Default had a bigger, beefier, heavier sound with the addition of his guitarist from his country band, who stayed in the shadows.
 They played a supremely heavy and loud set  which had an enthusiastic audience screaming.

Age of Days opening for Default. Photo by Richard Amery
 And while Smith is now a bona fide country star, he still showed himself to have the pipes of a the bastard half brother of Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell.

The band were amazingly tight and heavy. The bassist was an especially enjoyable sight to watch thrashing around and banging his head. Dallas jumped all over the stage with his microphone, howling and screaming.

 Their big hit “Wasting my Time,” came near the end as expected. He raved about how excited the band was to be opening for the Stone Temple Pilots this year.
 And to emphasize their ’90s influence, they were called back for a solid encore of Soundgarden’s “Outshined.”

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 November 2018 11:34 )

Plenty of early Halloween fun

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Halloween started early with several shows happening, Saturday night, Oct 27.Jolene Draper and the Inquisitive Few playing a pre-Halloween party at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Oct. 27. Photo by Richard Amery

While I missed the Friday shows, everything was happening on Saturday, so things got a little sloppy as I only hit a few Halloween parties, being exhausted and voiceless from scaring kids at the CKXU Fright Hall all day long.

 Tim Carter of the Chevelles performing  for Halloween at Average Joes. POhoto by Richard AmeryI got back to the old Firehall just in time for a trimmed down Queen of the Worms, featuring frontman Tyler Bird, Jon Martin on bass and a drummer hidden behind a demon mask.

 They played upbeat , catchy alternative rock which sounded just a little like the Tragically Hip mixed with alt country.
 Around the corner, Jolene Draper and the Inquisitive Few were holding court for a full house for MTBC’s album release party.
 While I wasn’t able to stick around for MTBC’s set , I caught the end of Jolene Draper and the Inquisitive Few’s set and the beginning of some laid back indie rock from Evergreen.

 Draper, wearing elf ears , sang soulful pop and  R and B, playing original music and  popular ’60s and ’70s pop.
 As usual, the Chevelles were celebrating Halloween at Average Joes. Dressed in blood splattered smocks, they ran through their usual variety of hits from the ’60s to today and had a good Tyler Bird of Queen of the Worms playing CKXU's Fright house, Oct. 27. Photo by Richard Amerysized crowd dancing.

 I haven’t seen Taylor Ackerman and  Global Acid Reset, but caught a  quieter set of blues rock from the trio including Ackerman on guitar and vocals, his dad, Pat on bass and drummer Dustin Gergel.
 They played mostly quirky roots rock from their new EP, but unfortunately didn’t have the crowd they deserved.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 November 2018 11:22 )

Glorious Sons look back on a great run this year

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 The Glorious Sons have had a pretty great run since they were last in Lethbridge for Whoop Up Days last year.The Glorious Sons play the Enmax Centre next week. Photo by Rob Blackman
But it takes a toll on the personal lives of the Kingston based rock band band.

“ My girlfriend doesn’t want to be on the damned tour bus for three months,” said Glorious Sons frontman Brett Emmons, pulling into Victoria after a successful run of American club dates.
 The play the Enmax Centre with Beaches on Tuesday, Nov. 13.

“It’s like having two different lives — on the road with the band and at home. It’s like trying to grow two different worlds, you have to water them both,” he said, adding he has enjoyed the past three months on tour.

“I find when I get home, I go a little crazy, I don’t know what to do with myself,” he continued.
“ I’ve been trying to lead a cleaner lifestyle. So I’m proud of that and feeling good about it,“ he said.
They won a Juno Award for their most recent CD “ Beauties and Fools,” which spawned their most recent single “S.O.S.” and had a lot of success with the previous CD  “The Union,” which got them noticed.

“ It‘s been a really good year for us,” he said.
He noted the current Cross-Canadian tour will feature music from both.
“On the first tour we mostly played music from ‘ the Union,’ on the next one, it was mostly music from ‘Beauties and Fools.’ On this one we want to give you some from them both,” he said.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 13 November 2018 00:23 ) Read more...

Eclectic week provides entertainment for all tastes

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The first full week of November features an eclectic slate of shows happening all over the city.

Gord Bamford returns to Lethbridge tonight. Photo by Richard McLaren
 Tonight Canadian country superstar Gord Bamford brings his Honky Tonks and Dive Bars tour to Average Joes. JoJo Mason is also on the bill plus Jade Egleson.
Tickets are $50 at the door. The show begins at 7:30 p.m.

Start the rest of the week off with laughter as funnyman Russell “Somebody’s Going to Get A Hurt” Peters gets you laughing at the Enmax Centre beginning at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 7. Tickets are $74, $96 and $116.

 As usual there is an open mic at Beaches and the Owl Acoustic Lounge hosts the first jazz jam of the month with HOBO3 and Josh Davies.
 Thursday is hopping all over town as hip hop star Classified stops by Club Lime at 9 p.m.. Tickets are $30,$35 and $94 for the VIP  ticket.
Calgary indie rock band the Ashley Hundred return to the Owl acoustic Lounge on Thursday, Nov. 8 as well.

 Even Street Legal Records has a show this week as Mom Bod stop by on Thursday with Regina noise rock band Witch Knife and fellow Reginaites avant-pop band Firestarter. Admission is by donation though there is suggested donation of $10. The music begins at 7 p.m.

 Gabe Thaine hosts the Slice’s Thursday open mic this week and open mics have begun at the Zoo at the university of Lethbridge Student’s Union building.
There is good stuff on Friday too, The Slice has jazz for dinner with  the Ethan Ardelli quartet beginning at 5 p.m. After that  Calgary  folk/rock/alternative rock band the The Northern Coast will be performing.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 06 November 2018 11:47 ) Read more...
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