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John Wort Hannam entertains appreciative audience at Upside Downtown

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John Wort Hannam was in a playful if not profane mood for Upside Downtown, Thursday Aug. 10 outside casa.

John Wort Hannam and his band at Upside Downtown, Aug. 10. Photo by Richard Amery

 The Allied Arts Council have been getting excellent crowds for their weekly Thursday afternoon summer festival.

 I missed Bailiey Kate this week, but  couldn’t miss John Wort Hannam last week.


Hannam started his set solo, but apologized for muffing the second song, showing even the pros sometimes forget their own songs.


 That was soon forgotten as he welcomed fiddle player Scott Duncan on stage to play the next  couple incendiary fiddle powered songs including “I Believe,” which left the audience with jaws agape.


 The rest of the band, upright bassist Jason Valleau, drummer Kyle Harmon and keyboardist Steve Fletcher, who all traded solos in between songs while Hannam regaled the audience with stories and a couple off colour jokes about penis puppetry during covid.


 The foibles were forgotten as Hannam bared his heart and shared his soul  for  “Forever Young,” a song about his dad, who passed away from cancer during Covid.


 John Wort Hannam’s earnest  manner and self deprecating humour   brought in the crowd.


 They played a lot from  his most recent album “Long Haul.” Hannam talked about trying to teach his son Charlie, who was selling merch for his dad, during Covid and mourning the fact he was growing up so quickly, and dedicated “Hurry Up Kid,” to him.


 There were a lot of ripping solos for Fletcher, Duncan and even Valleau providing a few bass solos, which were the icing on the cake of an exceptional set which also included a few old favourites like “Church of the Long Grass.”


They ended their first set with my favourite “Meat Draw”  from “Long haul” which reallly should be a hit on country radio.

Friday Aug. 11

Badlands play Upside Downtown at casa, next Thursday, Aug. 24.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 18 August 2023 09:32 )

Papa King previews new music with new band

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 It is always a pleasure to hear Papa King play the blues.

Papa King playing the blues at the Owl Acoustic lounge, Aug. 12. Photo by Richard Amery


 He played the Slice on Thursday, but I caught the second set of his show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Friday, Aug. 12. King played guitar and sang and added percussion.


 King opened the set on cigar box guitar and soon switched to a couple of others delivering gritty blues with his gravelly Dr. John baritone.

 Doug Freeman held down the bottom  end on bass and Ed Johnson added lead guitar licks.


 They opened set two  by doing a fantastic job on my favourite Harpdog Brown song “ Facebook Woman.”


  They followed it up with my favourite Papa King song “ Busy Boy Blues.”


 King gave the audience a preview of some of the songs on his soon to be released new album.

Elmore James’ “Moneymaker” was a highlight of these.


He witched to his “crossbow” guitar for some slower blues.


“ Chocolate” was another highlight.

They wound the second set down with a laid back, groovy version of the Rolling Stones‘ “ Cant Get No Satisfaction.”

The ended with a cover of blues class classic “ I’m Ready.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 18 August 2023 09:17 )

Waffelhouse bring the pop and a lot of fun for enthusiastic crowd

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 The Slice went pop on Saturday, Aug. 12 with Edmonton based contemporary pop rock band Waffelhouse who entertained an enthusiastic audience of approximately 50 people.


They played a tight, peppy and pop fuelled, enjoyably fun set.


Waffelhouse at the Slice, Saturday, Aug. 12. Photo by Rochard Amery

How can it not be fun when they have songs about toothbrushes and frothy music featuring melodica and kazoo solos.


 The two talented female vocalists harmonized together and took turns singing lead and played beautifully off each other over a bedrock of music which leaned heavily into pop territory but with just a touch of jazz and a touch of ’’80s pop.


They played mostly original material, butt added dded a pretty version of “killing me Softly with my Song.”


 They got a little angry with the highlight “ Fuck That Bitch.”


 They were called back for an encore of “ The Pina Colada Song,” and called it a night.

I missed opening sets from Damian and  Chrome Harvest

 — by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 18 August 2023 09:09 )

Like Wolf and Golers get loud on a Sunday afternoon

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 The Slice  went punk for a Sunday afternoon, Aug. 13 by bringing back Medicine Hat metal/ punk band Total Wolf and Vancouver punk stalwarts thew Golers to play for approximately 50 sweltering local punks.

Like Wolf at the Slice, Aug. 13. Photo by Richard Amery


Total Wolf were totally amazing.

They reminded me of a more metal Citizen Rage and a little bit of the Rebel Spell in other places.


The Golers at the Slice, Aug. 13. Photo by Richard Amery

 Vocals ranged between almost operatic and emo to straight out barking over ball to the wall riffs and  a few hot guitar solos.


 The bassist held it all together with some intricate licks plus some straight ahead Iron Maiden style galloping riffs.


“ Fuck it All” was a highlight of their set.


 Veteran punk  trio the Golers (Inbred Militia) played an unhinged set featuring shrieking bassist Charlie Goler.

 They were a lot more thrash metal than punk. They played an intense set that pretty much peeled the paint off the Slice’s walls.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat  Editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 18 August 2023 09:03 )

Elliott Brood plays sweet, sweaty, folk fuelled Sunday show for sold out crowd

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 Elliott Brood have always loved Lethbridge and Lethbridge loves them right back as a sold out Sunday crowd showed, Sunday, Aug. 13. I missed an opening set by Starpainter.

But Elliott Brood aka Mark Sasso, Casey Laforet and drummer Stephen Pitckin came in hot off a solid set at the Wapiti Music Festival in Fernie, to deliver an energetic, turbo charged, hot sweaty night full of uptempo folk rock, alt country and plain, foot tapping weirdness.


Elliott Brood returned to Lethbridge to playa. sold out Sunday show at the owl Acoustic Lounge, Aug. 13. Photo by Richard Amery

 They were road testing some new songs from a pair of new CDs to be released in a few months.


 I recognized a few older songs  including a spooky gothic country instrumental that they opened with and a couple from their latest album, ˚Keeper.”

The second song, an uptempo rocker that may have been “Out Walkin’ from “Keeper” was a show highlight featuring Laforet bellowing out “Oh my God.”


 They  dance floor immediate filled with frantic feet and the air filled with cheers and requests for old favourites.

 Laforet and Sasso have almost identical clenched jaw style vocals, so they effortlessly traded lead vocals.

 Sasso switched between guitar, banjo and ukulele.

 Laforet grinned, reeled and writhed in his seat, his feet keeping a furiously fleet footed rhythm on a set of bass pedals occasionally jumping up to  play ukulele with Sasso before jumping back behind his bass pedals and effects rack. Pitckin was a blur behind his kit.

Laforet and  Sasso took quick breaths in between songs and instrument changes to rave about how much they love playing Lethbridge and the South Country Fair and reminiscing about the beginning of their career when they were playing the Tongue n Groove.

Laforet slowed things down with a heartfelt number about the contrast of a musician who wants t be at tour while at the same time wanting to  stay home with  the kinds on“ Stay Out,” another highlight from the new album.

 Home was a bit of a theme for the night as Sasso and Laforet brought out  the ukuleles  for  “Home Sweet Home,” getting the audience to gleefully sing along with  “ Home Sweet Home.”

Sasso’s banjo rocked in crowd favourite “ Oh Alberta.” and for another one  “ Can’t be alone.”


 After one more enthusiastic exhortation about their love for Lethbridge, wound up their show by laying down a sizzling, country version of the Cheers theme “ Where Everybody Knows Your Name” which Laforet  dedicated to all of the venues like the Owl Acoustic lounge and the Slice, which have been home away from home for the trio.

—By Richard Amery, L.A Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 18 August 2023 08:49 )
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