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The Joys frontwoman shows how to rock

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Joy’s frontwoman Sarah Smith is a rocker chick. Photo By Richard AmeryLondon, Ontario based hard rock band The Joys couldn’t be named better. Whether performing in front of 10,000 people or just 10, like at their  Oct. 21 show at the Slice, I’ll bet lead singer Sarah Smith would be beaming ear to ear just as widely. Her amazing whisky and cigarette scorched pipes resurrected the spirit of Janis Joplin and makes you think of Sass Jordan and Darby Mills from the Headpins.  Hearing Smith sing makes you wonder where all all the true rocker chicks have gone. She puts many male vocalists to shame with her stage presence and those pipes. Beautiful. Especially when you have plenty of blazing meat and potatoes and slightly blues infused guitar riffs happening  to back up the songs.
 In addition to songs off their last full-length studio CD, ”Unfold” like “Fly” and “Soul on Your Sleeve” they also introduced some new songs and launched into an impromptu jam on “Twist and Shout.” She was having the time of her life running through the audience taking everybody’s pictures in between songs.
 And the crowd, which include members of Victoria folk/bluesgrass band the Gruff, who were taking a break in Lethbridge en route to Brooks, cheered and hollered louder than a crowd 10 times their size.
 They Joys are sure to be the next big thing. They’ve have  the musical chops, an affable and attractive lead singer who can really belt it out and who play off of each  other like kids play with candy.

—By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 October 2009 13:08 )

Blind Mule back out west

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Sudbury may be cursed, but Hamilton based singer songwriter  John Kirby is hoping the Lethbridge gig, Oct. 29 at the Slice  won’t be. Kirby and  Hamilton based countryesque band Blind Mule hit Lethbridge twice, once on the way out west at the Slice and again on the way home, Nov. 18  at Henotic on the way home from their third cross Canada tour.Blind Mule
“We woke up  to a flat tire and a parking ticket and jumped on the road,” said Kirby from Sudbury at the beginning of the latest tour. He is doing double duty on Blind Mule’s  tour as the band’s bassist. Blind Mule has a folky rock flavoured sound which is reminiscent of  the Bare Naked Ladies and Rob Thomas.
“My music is more relaxed and introspective,”  said Kirby who used to play in a Burlington progressive  rock band called First Time Fallen.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 October 2009 11:55 ) Read more...

L.A Beat treats its readers with tickets this week

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L.A. Beat is treating its readers this week with two sets of tickets to a couple of the killer shows happening Halloween week.Hank Pine from the Hank and Lily show. They were excellent at South Country Fair. Photo by Richard Amery
 First of all. L.A. Beat has two tickets to what is sure to be a scary good show, Oct. 29 at Henotic with vaudeville inspired duo Hank and Lily, the Secretaries and Sonis McAllister and the Barracuda Orchestra
Victoria based Hank and Lily  were a hit of this year’s South Country Fair. Hank is a post apocalyptic character, who carries his girlfriend’s body in a bag, dressed up  in a face mask and an outfit that makes him look like he stepped out of the Road Warrior movie.He  plays guitar  and sings  unusual lyrics based on Hank and Lily’s graphic novels. Lily Fawn, is a creature of the forest replete in antlers who carries the beat on drums, saw and a variety of other instruments. If you haven’t seen them before, and even if you have, check them out for something completely  different in a good way.
They are playing with the Secretaries and Sonis McAllister and the Barracuda Orchestra. McAllister  is an unusual poet/storyteller/songwriter who puts on a very cool show of beat poetry and performance art.
 The Secretaries  are an excellent Edmonton based  garage rock trio who rocked the South Country Fair and are sure to do the same to Henotic. They also sing back up for Hank and Lily. The first person to e-mail me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with  the answer to the question “What is the official name of Hank and Lily’s back up singers,” gets two tickets, valued at $15 each,  to the show.
 Henotic is also hosting an interactive  murder mystery, Halloween Night. “Murder at the Juice Joint.”
This mystery takes place in the Prohibition era 1930’s. There are numerous colourful suspects and characters in an evening which should be a lot of fun and something different from all of the other activity happening this week. There is no trivia question to answer for these tickets, just e-mail me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you want to check this show out.
The University of Lethbridge community radio station CKXU 88.3 F.M. is kicking off their annual FUNDrive, Oct. 30 as well at the Slice with Age of Aquarius, featuring several bands including the Record Holder, Chief Mountain, Lustre Creame, Georgy Girl, Milk Tea  and Lotion who will all be playing their favourite ’60s  hits. Admission is $10. These are always a blast and feature good music. Besides  supporting CKXU means you are supporting not only independent music, but local music as well as the community radio station plays  plenty of local musicians.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 October 2009 16:41 ) Read more...

Mocking Shadows and Rachelle Van Zanten rock and roll

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The Slice had a couple sweet shows last week. A good sized crowd were in in the mood for some energetic jazz/funk music, so they were at the Slice for a return visit by Calgary’s  Mocking Shadows, Oct 17.The Mocking Shadows Darren Bourne. Photo by Richard Amery
 The mohawked bassist Jory Kinjo brought out the funk and rapped as his band mates  kept the energy high with some crack horns and some wild keyboards complete with a  rotating Leslie style cabinet for the unique whooshing sound. They kept the crowd dancing with some superb playing of originals and soul/R and B classics. The keyboardist was a card , mugging  and belting out the soul while  pounding out some tasty organ riffs.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 20 October 2009 16:16 ) Read more...

Bluessmyth forging musical influences during Lethbridge return

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Calgary power trio Bluessmyth doesn’t consider themselves to be a blues band, considering themselves more along the lines of jam bands like Govt. Mule, Blues Traveller and the Spin Doctors.Bluessmyth plays the Slice, Oct. 22.
“We’re not a jam band, we’re getting played on rock and folk stations. Bluessmyth is  forging all of those different influences,” said guitarist/vocalist Chris Yaholkoski, who is bringing his high octane trio to the Slice, Oct. 22.
“We’re getting played on a jazz station in Toronto and we’re not jazz. Then we’re getting played on a rock station at the university. I like how it’s not genre specific,” he continued
“We’re not pinning ourselves down.  We’re in no way a traditional blues band though we have elements of blues in our music,” Yaholkoski continued adding his brother Jason plays bass and  they added new drummer Celene Yohemas  about a year ago after their former drummer decided to concentrate on raising his family.
Last Updated ( Friday, 23 October 2009 15:25 ) Read more...
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