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Makiisma returns with more of a rock influenced sound

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 Makiisma aka Megan Brown showed her more rock and alternative side at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Saturday, June 29.


 I missed Fawns’ opening set but was excited to see Makiisma again as it has been awhile.


 Brown and her band played several new uptempo, dark alternative rock influenced songs.


Makiisma performing at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, June 29. Photo by Richard Amery

 She also played a few older songs including Lady Misery from her last album.


 As expected, she brought out her violin to add more haunting sounds on a couple of  newer songs and a couple of her more Portishead influenced numbers.


 Her guitarist Tyler Eresman added a late ’60s/’70s feel to the music in his solos and riffs. The bassist Kieren Swinney added a greasy groove throughout.


 She wound down her set with  a new song called “We’re All Going to Die” and finished her set with one more older song from “ Lady Misery.”

—By Richard Amery, L.A. beat editor

Last Updated ( Saturday, 06 July 2024 14:44 )

Mosaic Music festival features jams and. a cornucopia of keyboard solos

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The Lethbridge Blues and Jazz  rebranded a brand new festival— the Mosaic  Festival, which debuted in Galt Gardens, Saturday, June 29.

Luis Tovar and his band at their Mosaic Music Festival in Galt Gardens, June 29. Photo by Richard Amery

 A good sized crowd lounged in the sun  listening to upbeat Latin and jazz  inspired music featuring lots of keyboards.


 I caught the end a of a massive jam from Juno nominated Venezuelan percussionist Luis Tovar’s band.


 The keyboardists nose practically dug into his keys as he did battle with the old 88s digging out a hot solo then turned things over to a bassist who did his own solo.

Calgary based soul and funk musician Lynn Maric was up next after a quick changeover. It was more of the same. There were a heap of solos, another crazy keyboardist who added some theremin near the end of their set.


Lynn Maric Olagundoye crooned sexy, seductive soulful vocals

Lynn Maric’s keyboardist  at the Mosaic Music Festival in Galt Gardens, June 29. Photo by Richard Amery

 and did her best to get the quiescent crowd on their feet to dance to hypnotic grooves and  extended jams. And everybody got to sol.“ Everybody bounce with me,” she exhorted to the crowd during “  All About the Struggle.” A few did.


“ Who’s going to be the first,” she asked, as more eventually followed in front of the stage with more to follow near the end of the set.


 I missed local jazz favourites Midnight Channel and most of the audience was awaiting for  reggae band Oral Fuentes, so perhaps most were waiting for that before they danced.

 The band fit  a half  dozen songs into. their  Hour and some long set.

 Their keyboardist was just as impressive as Luis Tovar’s keyboardist,   grinning and pounding away at his keys like NRBQ’ Terry Adams. He cut loose on  the last song “ You Can’t Tell Me.”

— By Richard amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 July 2024 15:03 )

Tanner James shares stories plus songs from Wild Bill plus Kid Cali and Niox Dicksons

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I missed Calgary based, Taber born musician Tanner James Holthe last  time at the Slice for his movie release party for his short  film mockumentary “ Wild Bill,” but was glad to have caught him and his band, mostly band mates from his new country noir band  Kid Cali.


 Tanner James Holthe hosted an intimate  evening of songs, stories and joke for an enthusiastic audience at the Owl Acoustic Lounge,  Friday, June 28.

Tanner James Holthe at the Owl Acoustic lounge, June 28. Photo by Richard Amery

 The band including steel guitarist Brett Cassidy, who opened the show played an upbeat set of roots rock and country music.


 They played an array of Kid Cali songs, several from the Wild Bill movie and went back to his first song, “All Girls Want,” which he recorded with the Nix Dicksons.

He had an intimate audience singing along with “ All Girls want is bad boys in leather jackets, cocaine and tattoos. All I’ve got is garage bands and pop songs and vinyl records ,” which he  noted he wriote cyling around Henderson Lake as a teen. He told stories abut growing up in Taber and Lethbridge and about  forming Kid Cali as well as writing songs  a the Banff Centre


 They guitarist sang lead on a Kid Cali song “Third Eye.”


 A couple of the  songs from the Wild Bill movie were highlights, especially “ Taber Skyline” and “Fear and Loathing in Regina.”

 They officially ended with a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “ Beast of Burden,” and were called back for an encore.


 His movie will be released on Youtube in September, though  Holthe plans on having more  screenings of the film in assorted bars.


They were  called back for an enetertaining encore of “ Love is A Cage Match.”’

— by Richard Amery, L.A. beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 July 2024 14:53 )

Ribfest brings ribs and lots of live music to Exhibition Park parking lot

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Lethbians gorged themselves on ribs and cornbread and listen to some hot live music at Exhibition Park, June 28-July1.


 The rib booth hawkers shouted about their wares like carnival barkers and pretty much drowned out the music  coming from the stage which set in the shadow of a giant pink inflatable pig.


 I only caught a couple of the acts.

Whitehorse indie rock/  folk trio the Vanstones made the most of playing Lethbridge for the first time by playing two shows, Friday, June 28.


Sarah Murphy and Hannah Mazurek from the Vanstones playing Ribfest, Friday, June 28. Photo by Richard Amery

I missed their evening set at the Slice, but  they opened  the musical portion of Western Canadian Ribfest at Exhibition Park for an enjoyable afternoon show.


They have undergone a complete lineup overhaul since releasing their debut album “Cascadia,” but drew heavily from it for their set.

 They have opened for bands like the Strumbellas, and  showed a lot of similarities in tender yet upbeat melodies and multi- part  vocal harmonies..

“ California” was a highlight.”

 They also played some blues flavoured new songs to appear on  their next album with  the new lineup of drummer Rob Jones and bassist Hannah Mazurek joining original vocalist/ guitarist Sarah Murphy


They wound down their set with “Sleepy Northern Town,” from the album.

They added a cover of Led Zeppelin”s “ Heartbreaker” and a few new songs before winding things down with Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain.”


 Murphy’s powerful voice  reminded me of Samantha Martin as she belted out the line.“ I know it’s going to get better.”


 They wound down their set with a song about Nova Scotia .


 I returned for more ribs on Sunday, but mostly to listen to Jolene Draper and The Inquisitive  Few playing as a duo with Steve Martin playing upright bass and vocals.

Jolene Draper and Steve Martin  playing Ribfest,Sunday, June 30. Photo by Richard Amery


 They were at their hippie best for their laid back set, playing  Simon and Garfunkel’s  hippie classic “ 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin Groovy) ”some Bob Dylan and, Janis Joplin’s version of “Me and Bobby McGee.” for something slightly different, they played the Dixie Chicks’Wide Open Spaces.”


Getting ready for their upcoming Paganfest  show next Saturday in Galt Gardens, they played a short set of  moon inspired songs including their original “Moongrate” about yin and yang and an acoustic cover of Gowan’s ’80s hit “Moonlight Desire.”


They  added Carol King’s “ Beautiful” featuring a harp solo played by Draper.

 They wound it up with  Barenaked Ladies’“ Brian Wilson.”

 They finished their set with a mellow acoustic set of  “ Born To be Wild.”

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor 

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 July 2024 14:41 )

Classical and Latin Music festivals open July

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Another week, another couple music festivals.

  Coming right off a soggy Canada Day celebration,  the Centric Music Festival returns this week with several concerts for classical music aficionados for their tenth anniversary.

Bridgette Yarwood performs this weekend. Photo by Richard Amery


 The first Centric music concert features pianist Jesse Plessis playing a combination of Schubert and Fleet Foxes selections in the casa community room, Wednesday, July 3 beginning at 7 p.m.


 The Centric  Concert series hits the road to Da Diamond City, July 4 featuring the Centric MusicFest String Quartet  ( Alina Khvatova, first violin; Vladimir Rufino, second violin; Fabiola Amorim, viola; Christine Bootland, cello) performing A Dvorak’s Selections from String Quartet No 12; First nations Forl for Canada’s 150s arranged by Mark Rodgers and Danish String Quartet: Last Leaf.

 The Centric Music Festival String Quartet performs W. A. Mozart: String Quartet No. 21, K. 575; B. Britten: Three divertimenti; G. Puccini: Crisantemi and P. I. Tchaikovsky: String Quartet No. 1, Mvts: I & II at The Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, Friday, July 5.


 Pianist Sarah Hagen  performs Goldberg Variations by Candlelight, Saturday at casa. Tickets for that concert are $40, $15 for students of $100 for  the concert trio.

Centric Music Festival ends  Sunday, July 7 at 2 p.m. at casa with Centric Music Festival Rising Stars and final bows.

Visit for all festival information. 

Tickets are $35 each, $15 for students or $100  for three concerts of your choice.


If you like Latin music, don’t miss the Latin Fest in Galt Gardens, Saturday, July 6 from noon to 9 p.m.

 The family friendly festival features food, fun, traditional dance and music from a variety of performers  including classical guitarist  Dale Ketcheson, Mexican Mariachi singer Antonio Bobadilla, El Salvadoran dancers  Corazon Salvadoreno.

 There is an after party at the Southern Albertan Ethnic Association at 10 p.m.


 And Upside Downtown  opens their summer season outside of  casa with MomBod and Fawns playing from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday.

 Upside Downtown has Thursday afternoon concerts running through the summer. Hurtin’ perform next week, Thursday, July 11.

 Other than festivals, there are a lot of  cool shows happening.


Aaron Phelan hosts the Slice’s open mic on Wednesday, July 3. 

 Michael Jackson HISTory  Tribute is at the Yates Theatre on Wednesday, July 3 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $48.50-$78.75.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 July 2024 12:35 ) Read more...
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