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Major Love majorly excited about second album and Lethbridge tour stop

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Edmonton based indie rock/indie folk band Major Love are majorly excited about releasing  their sophomore album, “Life, Laugh, Major, Love,” on May 17  and  making a long awaited return to Lethbridge, May 18 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.

“ I know we’ ve been in the new space a couple of times,” said lead singer/ songwriter Colleen Brown, who joins Scenic Route To Alaska’s guitarist/ vocalist Trevor Mann, drummer/vocalist Shea Connor and bassist Murray Wood to play as Major Love  in between  solo shows, shows with The Great Lake Swimmers and Scenic Route to Alaska shows and albums.

The last time I saw them was in 2019 .

Major Love return to Lethbridge, May 18. Photo by Ryan Parker


“2019 . That seems possible. it’s really hard for me to remember these days. I’ve been touring a lot with other bands and my memory is getting muddier as I do more of that. So that’s very possible. I know we did a few shows in 2021 and 2022 that were more like one off  kind s of things. So I have this feeling we did get to the Owl more recently than that,” she said.


 She noted the new album has been in the works since  before covid, but most of it was written and recorded during it.

“A lot of the songs were written during lockdown, yeah. So some of it is inspired by the pandemic and the outcomes that resulted from it. The song ‘ Making the Most of It,’ is pretty squarely a lockdown anthem. I think a lot of people will recognize the feeling of feeling  stuck, like you’re  just spinning your wheels and not really sure what to so with your life anymore. I think a lot artists in particular, anybody who stayed home during the pandemic, you’ll probably get the cabin fever feeling that’s wrapped up in that song,” she said.


“ The songs all have different focuses. So that’s definitely not the only thing that was holding them together. There are songs about death and songs about aging and music industry and just the state of the  world. They’re always reflective, but my songwriting is always reflective and introspective at times. And you know there are some love songs for good measure,” she added.

 Major Love released an advance single “One Woman” for International Women’s Day.


“One Woman is a song we’ve been performing for years now. Our first record came out in 2018 and I think I wrote the song some time in 2017. So it just kind of missed the boat on that one. We started recording those songs in 2015. this project took a little bit longer to get things done. Because Scenic Route obviously have their own project. And I have my own solo projects. So  I think that song is an anthem for women in the sense that it really not just for women though. The idea behind it is just really the sense I think a lot of us came up with is to have that bootstrap mentality like I’ve got to do things on my own and prove myself. And I think some of us get kind of isolated and we have everything riding on our own shoulders and we forget that we’re tribal. That we used to live in communities really closely together and depend on each other. And I think that’s what we‘re built for is to depend on one another and support one another. And be really in community,” she said.

“So for me part of it what it’s talking about is untraining myself from that old way of living, isolating myself and forcing  myself to do everything on my own versus a much more sustainable long term and healthier way of being which is to recognize the value that other people have and to ask for help and get better at giving and receiving. So that’s a big part of it. There are definitely other elements also points to the way our society are really divided like polarized right now. And I think as long as we‘re polarized and arguing with each other over things that maybe aren’t really important or probably will never be able to agree on, there are a lot of things we could be doing that we can agree on and would probably benefit everyone. So looking for common ground and not getting mired in identity politics that separate us unnecessarily,” she said.


‘One Woman’ features some amazing background vocals which she credits to  Scenic Route to Alaska.

Last Updated ( Friday, 10 May 2024 17:10 ) Read more...

Whoop Up Days to feature Big Sugar and Emerson Drive plus lots of local talent

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There is some Big news for this year’s Whoop Up days, set for Aug. 20-25 at Exhibition Park. Big Sugar will be headlining an excellent week of live music which also includes  up and coming country star Kyle McKearney and Canadian country stars Emerson Drive who  are winding down their  “One For the Road” farewell  tour by closing out Whoop Up Days on Saturday, Aug. 25.

Cody Hall Playing whoopUp Days theme Grow up Western at the Whoop Up Days 2024 launch. Photo by Richard Amery

 There are also a variety of different local acts slated to play the  Original 16 Stage, which will be again in the middle of the midway.


“The original 16 stage  will  be in the middle of the midway again, except a lot bigger,” said Paul Kingsmith, Lethbridge Exhibition, director of community relations, who is excited about the lineup.

“ We just signed the contract with Big Sugar yesterday at 5 p.m. It ’s part of a move back to booking bigger bands,” he said.

 As always Whoop Up days  is bringing local acts to fill out the live music line up for the five day extravaganza.


 Some of the highlights on  Aug. 20 are Rebel Angels 50s , Coyote Junction and Dj Chris Fakir who closes out each night. Jon Martin and the Lovers , Yukon Yacht Pop princess Paris Pick and neo funk, soul, jazz R and B group Natural 20 will be highlights on Aug. 21.


 Tyson Ray Borsboom  and Brother Bicker Band open for  Kyle McKearney on Thursday, Aug. 22. McKearney is an up and coming country star whose brand new album “ A Travellers A Lament,”  won the CCMA Alternative Country album of the year and and earned Album of the Year honours at the 2024 Country Music Alberta Awards.

Local blues rock trio Taylor Ackerman’s Global Acid Reset and  Josh Dillon play before Big Sugar on Friday, Aug. 23.

Justin Sutton and Cody Hall play before Emerson Drive.

 The schedule still has slots open. It can be found at


 The Blackfoot Confederacy will be providing live entertainment every afternoon at 3:30 p.m.

 Cody Hall’s new single “ Grow up Western,”  was selected as the official theme song of Whoop Up Days this year.


“ It’s a really cool partnership,” said Hall, who will be also be playing the Whoop up Days parade with his band  on Aug. 20.

“ I just released the single  in April 15 and had the meeting with Whoop Up Days  right after that,” he said.


“That’s where my head is at with my writing these days,” he said, noting  the song’s theme of growing up in  western Canada, whether you live  the western  agriculture farming/ rodeoing/ ranching lifestyle reflects the theme of Whoop up days as a community  festival geared to everyone, not just people who live the agricultural lifestyle.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 May 2024 16:18 ) Read more...

Slicefest and open mics among this week’s highlights

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Things open loud this week.

 Random Killing celebrate 40 years  tearing up the punk rock world with a tour stop in Lethbridge with Calgary based  punk rockers the Motherfuckers at the Slice tonight, Tuesday, May 7.

 Doors open at 8 p.m. The bands begin at 9 p.m. There is a $20  cover.


Down the street, The Owl Acoustic Lounge’s open. mic will be happening around the same time.


Makiisma is one of  several performer at Slicefest on Saturday. Photo by Richard Amery

 There are a lot of open mics this week.


The Slice’s open mic in on Wednesday.

 And Gabe Thaine’s jam for hunger is on Thursday at Theoretically brewing.

 The Lethbridge Folk Club has their open mic on Friday at McKillop United Church beginning at 7 p.m.


And Salsa’s Restaurant has an all ages jam Saturday from 6-9 p.m.

 Honker’s Pub features an acoustic show with Paul Kype and Texas Flood on Friday, May 10.

 Undefined play a show at Honker’s Pub on Saturday.


 The Slice has a busy week beginning with The Random Killing show tonight.

 But on Friday, local  emo trio Alec Arms  plus Edmonton rock band Folded Hand return to the Slice Stage n Friday, May 10 at 9 p.m.

Admission is $10 in advance, $15 at the door.


They are warming up the stage for Slicefest the next day, Saturday, May 11.

 A variety of bands  will be playing all day long.  Brody Jerome, The Dark Wrangler, Kevin Peters, Denver Venoit, Chris Ryan Drew, Steve Foord, Makiisma, Brock Geiger, The Bailey Kate Band, Samantha Savage Smith, Queen of the Worms are all on the bill. There will also be  daytime vendors.

 Tickets are $25.

Doors open at 2:30 p.m.


There is another big festival around the corner on  Saturday, May 11. Danica Sommer’s Alanis Project headlines  the second annual Springiest in  Festival Square beginning at 6 p.m. Performers include Alchemy the Linguist, Donny Sage, K Stone, Lucie Waa, MC Good Medicine, Javier Escuela, RG ,  Jeremiah, Poor Woman. Admission is free. Doors opens at 6 p.m with  the music beginning at 7 p.m.

Last Updated ( Friday, 10 May 2024 09:24 ) Read more...

Wanda Krein and Wildflower Whiskey play everything from country to rock

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 Wanda Krein and her new band Wildflower Whiskey played a hot show of country and classic rock and even some Big Sugar, March 30 at the Slice.


Wanda Krein singing with Wildflower Whiskey, March 30. Photo By Richard Amery

“Too bad For me,” was an instant highlight.” I was impressed with  their cover of Big Sugar’s “ Diggin’ a Hole,.” They branched   out even further with a Pomplamoose cover.

 They alos added a few originals.


 Krein reminded me of up and comingalt country musicians like Nikki Lane. I look forwart to hearing them soon.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 03 May 2024 12:31 )

Tributes celebrate Easter ’80s style at the Place

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As usual  Dave Chomiak’s ’80s  Easter weekend at the Place was a hit, March 28, 29 and 30.

Breaking the Chains rocking’ Dokken at the Place. By Richard Amery

 The had the usual suspects playing   ’80s hard rock and metal favourites. So that meant plenty of  hot guitar playing,  fast paced riffs, histrionic vocals, anthemic choruses and  the requisite  ’80s power ballads from Thursday to Saturday.


Motley Crüe tribute Live Wire  playing the Place for this year’s 80s weekend. Photo by Richard Amery

 For something a little different they had  Danica Sommer’s   Alanis Morrisette tribute . A Rolling Stones Tribute  couldn't make the weekend. Unfortunately. I missed  Tyrants of Chaos’s “ Tyrants of Priest tribute and the Van Halen tribute as well as a new Heart Tribute.


I caught popular Dokken tribute Breaking the Chains on March 29.


Breaking the Chains  brought all of Dokken‘s hits like “It’s not Love,” and the band’s namesake “ Breaking the Chains.” and the always firy “ Into the Fire

 Chomiak’s Def Leppard tribute Stage Fright are always amazing, Their show was no exception, March 30.


  They played all the hits from “ Hysteria,“ including that album”s namesake, “ Women,” and ‘ Pour Some Sugar On Me,” and “Armageddon It.”

 They went back even further for one of my favourite Def Leppard songs “ Foolin’” “ Let’s get Rocked” was an early highlight.


 For something different,  Chomiak observed   that their new drummer would play with one aren’t for $100. I didn’t know if they got that, But he did it anyway.


 Motley Crüe tribute Live wire are always a lot of fun.

 They played the crowds’s Crüe favourites, focussing on the earlier, grittier  material plus hits like “ Girls, Girls Girls,” and “ Kickstart My Heart.”

— By Rchard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Stage Fright’s drummer showing  he can play with one arm  during the ’80s weekend at the Place. Photo by Richard Amery
Last Updated ( Friday, 03 May 2024 12:22 )
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