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Australian born bluesman Michael Charles pays tribute to Glen Campbell

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Australian born , Chicago based blues musician Michael Charles  is showing his love for country music, particularly the music of  Glen Campbell by giving a bluesy dusting to  Campbell’s  1968 hit “ Wichita Lineman.”

Michael Charles and his band including drummer Ryder Olle and  bassist Luke Gill return to the Slice, Thursday, April 27.


Michael Charles returns to the Slice, Thursday, April 27. Photo by Richard Amery

“ Before the pandemic,  I was playing with the same guys for 16 or 17 years.


 But the moved on, so I had to form a new band. We were new  the last time we were in Lethbridge, but we’re a lot tighter now,” Charles observed.

 He played a marathon set of uninterrupted music last May for a dismal turnout, but had a decent crowd for his last Lethbridge show in October.

He is excited about his new single— a cover of one of his musical idols, Glen Campbell’s hit “Wichita Lineman.”


“Jimmy Webb wrote the song, but Glen Campbell popularized it. I was inspired by that song  the first time I heard it when I was  13 or 14. He  is an awesome guitar player who has inspired a lot of people,” Charles said, adding Campbell played on songs by the Everly Brothers, Sonny and Cher, Frank Sinatra Merle Haggard, the Monkees and even the Beach Boys, plus Elvis Presley and plenty of other chart toppers as a member of renown Los Angeles session players the Wrecking Crew and even toured with the Beach Boys in the mid 1960s.


“ Glen Campbell was a great guitar player. In the 1970s and ’80s he was everywhere,” Charles said.

 Coincidentally,   around the same time Charles decided to record “Wichita Lineman,” he was asked to perform at the opening of the Glen Campbell Museum in Nashville in 2020, a few years after Campbell passed away from Alzheimer’s disease in 2017.


“ It was just such a cool experience. And I just enjoy playing ‘Wichita Lineman.’ it’s been part of my set for a while now,” Charles said.


“ It was a surreal experience to be there and it was an honour to be asked to play,” Charles continued.


 He  always puts his own stamp on the rare cover he performs.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 23 April 2023 23:27 ) Read more...

Multi-instrumentalist and author James Gordon to make long awaited return to Lethbridge

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Guelph based musician James Gordon is a man of many talents. He’s a playwright, Stephen Leacock award nominated novelist, and multi-instrumentalist, but above all a folk singer who gained renown with folk band Tamarack, which also featured frequent collaborator and future Cowboy Junkie Jeff Bird.

James Gordon plays Lethbridge on Saturday.Photo by Trina Koster


 Gordon knows how to turn a phrase. He has a quick wit and a way with a story all of which will be on display when he makes a long awaited return to Lethbridge for two shows including a book signing and mini concert at Analog Books at 4 p.m. and at the Lethbridge Folk Club at 8 p.m. with Reid and Writes.


 He took full advantage of not being able to tour during Covid to write and record a new album “ When I Stayed Home” on which he played all of the instruments.


He also wrote two books — his novel and accompanying soundtrack and audiobook “The Ark of the  ‘Oven Mitt,’ a “where are they now” story of a fictional ’80s band  ‘Miles and Myles” and a memoir of his life in music, making 40 albums with Tamarack and solo “The Highway and I.”


“The novel is a pretty new idea because it comes with a QR code that you scan with your phone and the music of the band plays,” he said.


“Another thing I do is I go into schools and teach a class songwriting. So I started  writing a textbook of it for teachers to use so I don’t even have to show up. I had a lot of time during the pandemic when I wasn’t touring to work on a lot of different projects. But now I’m touring again, I don't have as much time anymore to work on them,” he said.


“ I’ve been really pleased with the response (to his debut novel). It was nominated for a Stephen Leacock award for humour but that bugger Rick Mercer beat me out,” he laughed, adding there will be some overlap from the Analog Books mini-concert and the Folk Club show.


“I’m playing solo. But I’ll be featuring songs from the book’s soundtrack and from the latest album, and some old Tamarack songs that people want to hear,” he said, deciding what instruments to pack to the trek out west.

He enjoys working in different mediums like novels and songs.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 April 2023 17:28 ) Read more...

A lot of laughter and plenty of plays this week

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It’s all about dramatic arts this week. Quaint, Quirky and Queer winds up this week with multiple presentations of Improvised drama comedy  No Way Out.

Playgoers of Lethbridge has a busy weekend planned  as they showcase some of Southern Alberta’s best arts for A Taste of the Arts 100th Anniversary Festival. There will be music and drama happening all  over the Yates Theatre and Sterndale Bennett Theatre, April 21 and 22.  There is a little bit of everything.

If you missed the One Act Play Festival over Easter weekend, all three Taber Players  presentation\s will be returning. “The Break Up” is at  4:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, The winner Alternative Accommodation is  Friday at 6:45 and a Dog’s life is at 2:15 p.m. on Saturday. And the Lethbridge Shakespeare performance Society will  be performing excerpts from some of their favourites, Friday at 8:30 p.m.


 Playgoers favourite Priscilla Pringles’ Predicament is  Saturday at 7 p.m. performed by Lethbridge Musical Theatre.

 There will be Metis jigging, jazz music, Rufus the Mime and children’s music and much more.

 The Yates  Theatre will be busy as  they also host comedian Brent Butt on Sunday, April 23. Unfortunately tickets are sold out for the show.  Adam Ruby will be making you laugh at  the Onion on Saturday. Tickets are  $20 at the door, $15 in advance.


Annie -Jo Lee in A Dog’s Life, which will be part of  A Taste of Arts this weekend. Photo by Richard Amery

 Juan Forno brings the laughter to Good Times Friday and Saturday.

 Things begin with the opening ceremonies and plaque unveiling Friday at 5 p.m.


 The Yates Theatre hosts Chicks Tribute Gaslighter on Thursday, April 20 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $42.


So You Think you Can comic returns to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Wednesday, April 19.


Drunk Queer Prov returns to Good Times, April 20.

But there is also a lot of music before that .


The Owl Acoustic Lounge’s Open mic is tonight.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 April 2023 20:50 ) Read more...

Classic county with Noeline Hofman at the Slice

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An all star local country band featuring Noeline Hofman returned to the Slice, Friday, April 7.


Noeline Hofman playing the Slice, April 7. photo by Richard Amery

 Hofman, backed by  Trevor Christensen on guitar and vocals, pedal steel player Kevin Peters , drummer Brad Brouwer, bassist Kurt Ciesla and Megan Brown, adding fiddle and background vocals, played an array of classic country music.


 I arrived as they were kicking into Hank Williams Jr.s’  “Whiskey Bent and Hell bound,” before playing Hank Williams Sr.’s  “I’m So Lonesome I Can Cry.”


They added  one of Noeline Hofman’s  originals.


As I was leaving for the next gig, they were playing an excellent cover of Sturgill Simpson’s “ You Can Have the Crown.”

—By Richard Amery, L.A. beat Editor


Chin Music play keyboard powered soul at the Owl

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 The Owl Acoustic lounge didn’t  have a lot of people for Chin Music, Friday, April 7. But the local R and B/ jazz trio were solid as they should be as they feature keyboard whiz TJ Waltho backed by two thirds of funk trio Adequate— drummer/vocalist Keenan Pezderic and bassist Scott Mezei.

Chin Music playing soul and R and B at the Owl, April 7. photo by Richard Amery

 They showed off  their more soulful , R and B side and Waltho’s keyboard prowess.


 he was alternating  between playing the Owl Acoustic Lounge’s piano and his own keyboard.


 They played something that sounded like Govt Mule’s  groovier side and shone on  Bill Withers “ Use Me.”


Their cover of Childish Gambino’s “Redbone- Stay Woke” was a-okay with Pezderic showing off his falsetto, hitting funky high notes.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. beat Editor

Last Updated ( Saturday, 15 April 2023 12:44 )
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