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Little Miss Higgins monstrously talented

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Little Mis Higgins at the Geomatic Attic. Photo by Richard AmeryThe Geomatic Attic featured a sold out performance by Nokomis blues/jazz woman Little Miss Higgins and the Deep Dark Woods, Oct. 4.
 Jolene (Little Miss) Higgins was charming, telling stories behind her songs and about her musical mentor Memphis Minnie and about interesting gigs in Saskatchewan.

I enjoyed her story about their first gig in Radville where she said “Foy almost got into a fight over his hat and I got told I had a nice dumper.”

But the music was the key. She played some intricate fingerpicked patterns in her own songs as well as  Mempis Minnie’s “Bake My Biscuits” during which she had the crowd singing along.

She introduced a lot of new songs and played some crowd favourites like “Liar, Liar.” She played some impressive guitar and her partner Foy Taylor held down the rhythm on guitar and tapped out a beat on a  microphoned box and took an occasional tasteful solo. Because I had a play rehearsal, I wasn’t able to hear the Deep Dark Woods’ set.

 On Oct. 18, The Geomatic Attic is bringing in Lee Harvey Osmond, featuring Blackie and the Rodeo Kings’ Tom Wilson. Tickets for that show cost $30 in advance, $35 after Oct. 5.

— By Richard Amery, L.A Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 06 October 2009 14:32 )

Country in the city

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A couple budding Canadian country flavoured bands played Lethbridge, Oct. 2.Ridley Bent. photo By Richard Amery
 First of all, Halifax born Ridley Bent twanged the roof off a sold out Henotic. The charismatic Kelowna based songwriter is on the cusp of breaking into the big time. His band played crisply, tightly and without fail and Bent has an innate charisma which makes it impossible to take your eyes off him. He combined old school Waylon Jennings style country with some sizzling pedal steel guitar playing and the odd contemporary hip hop influence added carefully into songs like my favourite Ridley Bent song “Suicidewinder” as well as a wicked sense of humour like on “She’s Still Living With her Ex.”

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 October 2009 00:08 ) Read more...

Davis playing with legends

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Nova Scotia based bluesman Morgan Davis is returning to Lethbridge after a long hiatus.Morgan Davis
“I tour all the time,” he said over the phone from his home in the woods just outside of Lunnenberg while preparing to fly into Winnipeg and hit a series of gigs all over western Canada. He returns to Lethbridge to play Henotic with Papa King, Oct. 12.
“I’ve played there many times. I’ve played for the folk society and at Carole’s,” he said adding when he lived in Toronto, he used to build western Canadian  tour around the North Country Fair in northern Alberta and used to visit his sister in Grande Prairie at the same time.
 The Detroit-born  Delta blues style guitarist/singer has an esteemed 40-some year career, which has included having Colin James turn one of his songs “Why’d You Lie” into a  Canadian hit, not to mention has has opened for original bluesmen like Willie Dixon and has shared the stage with countless others like Hubert Sumlin, John Lee Hooker and Albert King.
“Opening for Willie was a great honour. I was very fortunate to get to open for them. For years I took lessons from them. Every time they played, I was there in the front row learning from them. It was a lot of fun,” Davis said adding he forged these connections through Toronto’s blues series who brought these great cats in.
“I talked to these guys and every one of them were  so open and generous. There was no rock star attitude. After their show, they’d sit and talk to anyone. They were the most humble people I’d ever met,” he said adding touring with Howlin Wolf’s guitarist Hubert Sumlin was the highlight of his career.
“He was Howlin’ Wolf’s guitarist for years. He loved playing guitar.”
Davis has also toured with his own bands like The Rhythm Rockets, the Knights of the Mystic and even David Wilcox’s first band.
“I always tour solo now. I spent the first 25 years of my career touring with bands, but that’s all but impossible now. Back then  many of the gigs were six nighters at places like the King Eddy in Calgary. It was great touring with a band , but now nobody really knows them enough,” David continued.

Pellerin inspired by departed friends’ lives to write new CD

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Local singer songwriter Jenn Pellerin  is trying to turn tragedy into something positive by recording her debut CD.Jenn Pellerin
“Backwards Distortion” was inspired directly by the deaths of two of her close friends,  Devin Cockerill and Meghan Kay.
 She recorded the seven song CD with local musician/producer Randy Shaver.
“I wanted to  have it ready for a fundraiser in Brooks called Devinfest,” Pellerin said adding Devin was  a musician who played several instruments including guitar and drums before he died of brain cancer.
“ He wrote a lot of songs and poetry before he passed away,” Pellerin remembered.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 06 October 2009 13:40 ) Read more...

Vancouver blues rocker to “Whip it onYa”

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Rich HopeVancouver based blues rocker Rich Hope is going to “Whip it on Ya” at the Slice, Oct. 10 with the Manvils and the Ramblin’ Ambassadors and in the process, they’re going to help officially launch L.A Beat magazine.
“There isn’t going to be a better one this year,” said Hope taking a break from renovating his kitchen in Vancouver.
“ I hope  a lot of people come out because it is really going to be a great party,” he said, noting while he and drummer Adrian Mack play with the Manvils a lot on Vancouver, they have never toured together.
“It’s going to be great,” he enthused adding he is just as enthused about his third record “Whip it On Ya.” As always, the duo had a two take mandate for all songs, and three of them (“Death Bed Blues,” “Rollin’ On” and “When My Light Comes Shining”) weren’t even finished where the entered the studio in 2008 to record the follow up to 2005’s Rich Hope and His Evil Doers CD. “Saying we were unprepared is the wrong thing to say because we had been playing the songs steadily for about three years. They were road prepared and ready, we just didn’t get a chance to record them because I had a kid and was moving into and renovating a house which took more priority in my life than making a new record,” said the Edmonton born Hope, who moved to Vancouver in the early ’90s
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 06 October 2009 13:32 ) Read more...
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