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Plenty of Christmas concerts plus blues and jazz happening this week

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Welcome to a chilly December. As expected, there are a plethora of Christmas concerts happening this week.

Bandemonium return to Casino Lethbridge this weekend.  Photo by Richard Amery
 But first, One Bad Son has postponed their  Dec. 5 show at Average Joes to a family emergency according to their publicist. The Show has been postponed to Jan. 30  pre-sale tickets and early bird tickets are sold out and  honoured at the door. General admission tickets are on sale for $25.
 The event was supposed to be one of their staff members who was injured in an accident, so, in it’s place, Average Joes has partnered with Good Times to  present a night of comedy. The line up is to be announced. Tickets for the show are $20 with five dollars of it going to  the fundraiser. Daylan Delaney will be opening the show.


The Sing a Song That’s Yours concert  that was to be Dec. 4 at Cité des Prairies has been postponed to Dec. 11, due to scheduling conflicts.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge goes rap and pop with Calgary  based one man boy band Mark Mills and Killah Khills. Mark Mills , who has played Sled Island music festival, brings his style of pop and sex pop jams to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Dec. 6.


It is a good week for the blues with Keith Woodrow’s High Level Blues band to the Slice, Dec. 6. Woodrow also hosts his monthly Slice of blues  jam on Dec. 10.
 James Oldenburg and Bandemonium return to the Casino this weekend as well. The Metrik Jazztet play a matinee show at the at Owl Acoustic Lounge from 3-5 p.m.. Admission is by donation.
 Oldenburg has a busy week as he will also be hosting the jazz jam at the Owl Acoustic lounge, Wednesday, Dec. 4 with HBO3 beginning at 9 p.m.

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Old Man Luedecke tries to earn “Easy Money” on the road with with full band

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Halifax-area based folk musician Chris “Old Man” Luedecke returns to Lethbridge to play the Lethbridge College Cave for the Lethbridge Folk Club, Saturday, Nov. 23 with a full band in support of his new album “ Easy Money.”
“I  usually travel as a solo artist. But it‘s been really fun to  have a bigger sound. And most of the band are also on the album,” Luedecke said, en route to Sherwood Park.Old Man Luedecke returns to Lethbridge, Nov. 23. Photo by Richard Amery


Lead guitarist Michael O’ Brien, drummer Jamie Thompson, and bassist Charlotte Cornfield, who will also be opening the show, will be backing  Luedecke as he plays guitar and banjo.
 He had to cancel a few shows early in the tour, but is fighting fit now.


“I have a recurring shoulder injury that flared up, but I took a couple of weeks off and it’s better now,” he said, adding he has been enjoying the eastern leg of the tour which has taken him from Winnipeg to Saskatoon and then Sherwood Park and down to Medicine Hat before playing the Folk Club.


“ It‘s been a lot of fun so far. Morale is really high. For the past 15 years, whenever I wake up, I see myself as a solo act, but it’s always fun to try something different,” said the Juno Award winning musician, who just got nominated for Canadian Folk Music Awards for best traditional album of the year and best traditional singer.

The show is has always all been about storytelling. And it is still a lot of that but  there is also a band with me,” Luedecke, said, noting they are playing most of the new album.

“It’s only  35 minutes long, so we‘re playing most of it and my older songs,” he said.

 

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All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 is a plea for peace and a fundraiser for the LSCO

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All is Calm this Christmas for the LSCO (Lethbridge Senior Citizens Organization.)Stephen Graham rehearses for All is Calm. Photo by Richard Amery
 Director Fran Rude and musical director and actor Ken Rogers have taken on a monumental task in bringing Peter Rothstein’s musical All is Calm: the Christmas Truce of 1914, which was first performed in 2008.  All is Calm runs  at  7:30 p.m., Nov. 22 and 23 and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Nov. 24.


“It’s about the first Christmas during the first year of the First World War when German, British, Italian, Flemish and Scottish troops came out of the trenches to celebrate Christmas together. That‘s it in a nutshell, but there‘s a lot more to it than that,” said director Fran Rude, who directed a sold out run of the Titanic last year and Jesus Christ Superstar the year before that to raise money for LSCO programming, which is where all the proceeds from this production will be going to.
“It’s definitely the most challenging production I’ve ever done,” Rude continued.


“There are 12 actors playing 39 roles and singing 30 songs totally a capella,” she continued.
“ I came to the first rehearsal with every scene blocked out on paper, but because  there is no orchestra, they all have to be facing each other for their cues. There are very intricate harmonies. And they have to sing and then step out of the song to address the audience, then go back into the song without missing their pitch,” she enthused.


The cast includes familiar faces from the Lethbridge theatre and music scene including Joseph Adams; Stephen Graham;  Kade Hogg; Tyler Leavitt; Graeme McFarlane; Jon Northcott; Tanner Orr; Don Robb; Ken Rogers; Josh Sherwood; Jeffrey Steed; Brenton Taylor; Dylan Taylor.


 Don Robb plays the mailman, delivering  letters to the front line and ends the show by playing Last  Post on trumpet.
“All of the dialogue is authentic. It comes from letters and poems these men wrote. Not a preposition has been added,” Rude continued.
“It is a plea for peace. It is just as relevant today It really  showcases these actors voices, both singing and acting,” she continued, noting when she was looking for a new show  to put on, she discovered this show playing off Broadway in New York City and did a lot of some research and read a few effusive reviews before bringing it here.

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Hawksley Workman reflects on growing up in the ’80s and theatre

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After 20 some years in the business, two Juno awards, a couple theatre soundtracks and 17 albums including his latest –“Median Age Wasteland” and another on the way, you’d think  Hawksley Workman might have come down with a case of writers block somewhere  along the way.Hawksley Workman plays Lethbridge , Nov. 23. Photo by Dustin Rabin
 It s not the case, now that  he has resigned himself to never becoming rich and famous.


“Bob Dylan has a quote like being rich is having the freedom to do whatever you want. And I’ve been lucky enough to carve out a living doing just that, which is difficult in Canada. And Im really grateful for that,” said Workman, looking a at a grey, dreary London day, looking forward to a sold out show  in London Ontario, one of several shows which are already sold out on this tour.
 He brings his long time band the Wolves including keyboardist Todd Lumley aka Mr. Lonely, bassist Derrick Brady and  drummer Brad Kilpatrick, to the University Theatre to play  a special show for  the Geomatic Attic, Nov. 23.


“There was a time, when I was in Sweden, spending time in studios where the sound of American radio was born, when I still thought I could get rich. I thought I could write hits for other people, but that’s not how I work. My creativity dried up because I wasn’t giving it the respect it deserved,” he said.


“I was never meant for mass consumption I guess, I was meant for a small, select group of people. I think I’m playing stuff people like,” he observed.
 he has had a “banger of a Year” full of touring, recording his own music, recording music with folks like Sarah Slean, and theatre.
He composed a soundtrack for a musical version of ’80s movie “Never-Ending Story.”


“I spent three and a half months working on the soundtrack. It was an important part of my youth. it was the only VHS tape my small rural school had, so I must have seen it hundreds of times.. One time in the early ’80s, there was a solar eclipse, so they put as all in the gym and  showed us that movie,” he recalled.
 “For the soundtrack, we didn’t have access to original elements of the movie, so I went for a nostalgic feel to celebrate the movie,” he said, adding he enjoyed working with a director.

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L.A. Beat is Lethbridge, Alberta's only online arts and entertainment magazine.

It is designed to support music, art, drama and other cultural endeavours in and around the city.

It will start out as an online presence and then evolve into a print edition which will be distributed at numerous locations in the city.

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