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Lethbridge Music Festival features lots of local music and classic rock

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The Lethbridge  Music festival is more than just about reliving the favourite musical moments of your lives with Tom Cochrane, Triumph’s Rik Emmett and Kenny Shields and Streetheart at Spitz Stadium, July 23.Kenny Shields and Streetheart return to Lethbridge for the ethbridge Music Festival. Photo by Richard Amery
“ We have three headliners this year and we wanted more variety in our opening acts,” said organizer Broc Higginson who wanted to move the festival to the middle of summer this year in hopes of avoiding bad weather.


“ We wanted to find the right line up, and we’re working around the Bulls’ season and we were able to get Tom Cochrane with Red Rider so it worked out,” he said,
“I’m excited to see Rik Emmett play guitar and Kenny Shields and Streetheart are a fun band,” he enthused, adding while the festival features headliners Tom Cochrane, plus Kenny Shields of Streetheart, it also features a lot of local talent.


It ranges from the country pop stylings of Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction, to Metallica tribute band Damage Inc., local metal band Tyrants of Chaos and possibly the last show of local blues band Zojo Black and up and coming talent the Cody Hall band.


“ Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction are more on the side of pop and country and classic rock. Zojo Black is a great blues rock band. We have a couple of hard rock bands with Tyrants of Chaos and Damage Inc. and the Cody Hall band are a new band. He has a great voice. They have more of a classic rock sound but also contemporary,” Higginson said.


 He said tickets are selling well with pre-sales selling out. He is pleased to welcome local brewery Coulee Brewing as a major sponsor as well.
“And we have two extra hours of music this year and 11 bands,” he said.


Rik Emmett is excited to play his many solo hits and Triumph hits at the Lethbridge Music Festival.
“I always considered myself a songwriter first then a singer then a guitarist,” said Emmett, who brings his solo band of guitarist Dave Dunlop, drummer Paul Delong and bassist Steve Skingley to Lethbridge to play the Lethbridge Music festival at Spitz Stadium, July 23.


 Triumph had numerous hits in the ’70s and ’80s including “ Hold On,” “Fight The Good Fight,” “Lay It On The Line” and “Magic Power” to name a few.
 Since leaving Triumph in 1988, he released two popular power pop style solo albums including “ Absolutely,” which featured the  hits “ Saved By Love” and “ Big Lie”  and “ When A Heart Breaks.” After that another popular solo CD “Ipso Facto”  featured the  hits “ Bang On” and “ Out of the Blue.”


Since then, he took an about face to release a variety of CDs showcasing his love for jazz, fusion, swing and classical music.
“I had to get all of that out of my system,” said the loquacious Emmett, who also teaches songwriting and Music Business Directed Studies with the Humber College jazz program.
 He is currently working on a new solo CD, which goes back to his rock and roll roots and features a variety of special guests including Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson as well as his former  band mates in Triumph— drummer Gil Moore and bassist / keyboardist Mike Levine.

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Classic rock dominates the week

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It is all about classic rock this week.Nazareth returns to Lethbridge, July 20. Photo by Richard Amery
 But first local musicians Biloxi  Parish and AJ Baragar (who is currently performing in New West Theatre’s production of Jukebox), play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, July 20.
On the other side of town, Scottish rockers Nazareth return to Lethbridge this week, this time to play the Enmax Centre with the Headpins, July 20. They will be playing their many hits like “Razamanaz,” “Love Hurts,” “Hair of the Dog” and introducing their new frontman to Lethbridge. Tickets are $59  for the show, which begins at 8 p.m.


 The Slice hosts rock and roll, July 21 Nanaimo noise rock/ shoegaze band Moths and Locusts, who played  Bigwood last year return to Lethbridge with Victoria, B.C. heavy rock band Buzzard and local alternative rock trio the Supervoid.


You can also get your classic rock fix at the Lethbridge Music Festival this weekend on Saturday, July 23 at Spitz Stadium.


 The headliners are Tom Cochrane, Kenny Shields and Streetheart and Rik Emmett of Triumph. There are a heap of local acts on the bill as well including The Cody Hall band, Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction, blues rockers Zojo Black, local metal band Tyrants of Chaos and local Metallica Tribute Damage Inc. Tickets are $88.50 plus fees.

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Tom Cochrane and Red Rider riding high on big body of work for Lethbridge Music Festival

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Life has been an interesting, winding highway for Ontario based songwriter Tom Cochrane.

In addition to playing the Lethbridge Music Festival at Spitz Stadium, July 23, he is gearing up for a big tour in support of the 25th anniversary reissue of “Mad Mad World,” which spawned a number of hits including “Life Is A Highway,” “Mad Mad World, “ No Regrets” and “ Sinking Like a Sunset.Tom Cochrane plays the Lethbridge Music Festival, July 23. Photo submitted


“I’m busy re-recording. We found some great old demos from the Mad Mad World, and I’ll be singing a couple of duets,” Cochrane said, heading to his cabin on Georgian Bay before hitting the road again.
He always enjoys coming back to Southern Alberta.


Cochrane has always done things his way.
“All I ever wanted to to do was write songs that were timeless. And I think I’ve done that. I never cared about following trends,” he said.


“I remember when we were writing ‘Lunatic Fringe,’ and the recording engineer and said John Lennon had been shot. And I said ‘that’s a bad joke’ He said it’s no joke and people started telling us to change it and asking ‘what are you writing in here’. Well John Lennon always wore his heart on his sleeve and wouldn’t have changed a thing. So we didn’t. And the next thing we knew it spent 16 weeks on the Album Oriented Rock charts and set some sort of a record,” he said noting he never knows what songs will become hits.


“‘Big League’ is the perfect example of that. I remember  my wife told me, what are your writing that for, you don’t have a son. And I said it’s a story someone told me,” he recalled.


“ I had a good feeling about ‘Boy (Inside the Man). Another example is ‘White Hot’ I never thought a song about a French poet would be a hit. But we were playing it  for Canada Day in Surrey for 40,000 people and everybody was singing the verses, not just the chorus. A lot of people sing choruses, but not usually verses, so it was an amazing feeling,” he said.

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Rik Emmett excited to bring solo band to Lethbridge Music Festival

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While Toronto  musician Rik Emmett  is best known as the guitar and the voice behind  ’70s and ’80s rock icons Triumph, guitarist places about third on the list of adjectives he uses to describe his musical skills.Rik Emmett and his band play Lethbridge this weekend. Photo by Doug Lewis
Emmett is excited to play his many solo hits and Triumph hits at the Lethbridge Music Festival, at Spitz Stadium, July 23.


“I always considered myself a songwriter first then a singer then a guitarist,” said Emmett, who brings his solo band of guitarist Dave Dunlop, drummer Paul Delong and bassist Steve Skingley to Lethbridge to play the festival.


 Triumph had numerous hits in the ’70s and ’80s including “ Hold On,” “Fight The Good Fight,” “Lay It On The Line” and “Magic Power” to name a few.
 Since leaving Triumph in 1988, he released two popular power pop style solo albums including “ Absolutely,” which featured the  hits “ Saved By Love” and “ Big Lie”  and “ When A Heart Breaks.” After that another popular solo CD “Ipso Facto”  featured the  hits “ Bang On” and “ Out of the Blue.”


Since then, he took an about face to release a variety of CDs showcasing his love for jazz, fusion, swing and classical music.
“I had to get all of that out of my system,” said the loquacious Emmett, who also teaches songwriting and Music Business Directed Studies with the Humber College jazz program.


 He is currently working on a new solo CD, which goes back to his rock and roll roots and features a variety of special guests including Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson as well as his former  band mates in Triumph — drummer Gil Moore and bassist / keyboardist Mike Levine.


“There are a lot of rumours around on the internet that they are on two or  three tracks, but they are only on one of them,” Emmett said.
 “There was a lot of bad blood there and negativity when I left. A lot of people never realized Triumph was a band with two singers — me and Gil. That was the band’s identity. In my solo shows I play the songs I like to play, which are usually the ones that I sing,” he said.


The trio reconciled in 2007 with the help of a persistent music promoter who runs Canadian Music Week and played a couple of shows with them as they were inducted into  the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.


“He helped us rekindle our friendship and our relationship. We played a couple of shows with Gil,  But he said that was enough for him,” Emmett said, adding he is glad to be friends with them again and recorded the new CD is Moore’s studio Metalworks.
“We‘re really good friends now. There’s no issues,” he said.

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