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L.A. Beat

Whoop Up Days books bands in all stages of their careers for 2017

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Whoop Up Days takes over Lethbridge, Aug. 22-26 at Exhibition Park.


 As usual, Exhibition Park will be alive with the sound of music all week long, with an eclectic range of genres from bands who are in  all stages of their careers from breakout stars to semi-retired. Country star Jess Moskaluke started out as a Youtube star and has since won a Juno Award , to classic rockers  April Wine who only play a few shows a year, will be playing with  .38 Special. Established Canadian rockers like the Trews and there is plenty of ’90s rock from Theory of a Deadman and Finger Eleven. While up and coming pub rockers the Glorious Sons were nominated for a Juno Award.

Glorious Sons lead singer Brett Emmons playing Average joes, returns with his band to open Whoop Up Days, Aug. 22 with the the Steve Keenan Band, Aug. 25 Photo by Richard Amery
Theory of a Deadman are excited to open Whoop Up Days  on Aug. 22 with the Trews.
“We’ve definitely played Lethbridge before, but it has been a long time. So we’re excited about it. And it’s Aug. 22 so it’s my birthday too,” enthused Theory of A Deadman bassist Dean Back from his home  in Vancouver.


Theory of a Deadman just finished  the second video from their upcoming new CD “ Wake up Call, which is due out in October. They have already released a video for the first single “Rx”—a slow, mournful, dark song about opiate addiction.


 The next video and song will be completely different from that.
“It‘s a party scene in a frat house. Then song lends itself to a party scene. It’s an upbeat song. So we got an old house and played in it so it looks like we‘re playing in a frat house. It should be out by the time we play Lethbridge,” he said, adding fans can expect to hear  the new songs as well as plenty of old favourites like “ Bad Girlfriend,”Hate my Life “ So Happy” “Since You’ve been Gone” and “Blow.”


 He said the new CD reflects a slight change in musical direction for the band,


“It’s a lot different, but it is also something we’ve wanted to  do for a while,” he said.


“It’s definitely changed but it is still rock and roll,” he continued.
“Tyler (Connolly, frontman) had a birthday and decided to treat himself to a grand piano,” he said. Guitarist David Brenner and drummer Joe Dandeneau complete the band’s line-up.


 The band decided to  shake things up a little, not only sonically, but geographically to record the new album.
“We flew to London and spent six or seven weeks there,” he said.
Theory of a Deadman have been playing together for 15 years.
“We still love to do play and we’re all friends. We’ve played Lethbridge, but it has been many years. We got to play the Calgary Stampede this year,” so it was  good to be back in Alberta,” he continued.


April Wine guitarist/ vocalist Brian Greenway is clean, sober, and ready to rock and roll.
“I’ve been clean and sober for the past two years,” said Greenway, turning off his vacuum robot, at home in Montreal.
 April Wine plays Whoop Up Days,Wednesday Aug. 23, opening for Southern rockers .38 Special.
 April Wine last played Whoop Up Days in 2010 and played the Yates Theatre in 2012.
“All my friends now don’t drink, smoke or do drugs anymore,” he said.


“I want to be able to remember the next 30 years,” he continued.
 The Halifax born, Montreal based rock band, who scored numerous hits in the 1970s and ”80s including “ Weeping Widow,” “ Sign of the Gypsy Queen,” “ Tonight is a Wonderful Night To Fall in Love,” “Roller,” “ I Like to Rock” and You Could Have Been a Lady,” to name a few, doesn’t play more than 50 concert dates a year.


“ We do about 25-30 shows a year, I’d like to do more, but Myles Goodwin, frontman) wanted to retire and only wants to do that many,” Greenway observed, adding many of their shows are bigger outdoor festivals like Whoop up Days.
“ We probably won’t be playing arenas and stadiums again. But I do enjoy playing larger clubs,” he observed, noting they just played a festival for 12,000 people.
April Wine formed in 1969 in Halifax, but Greenway is happy to be celebrating he 40th year with the band, having joined in 1977. Drummer Roy ‘Nip” Nichol joined the band in 2012 and bassist Richard Lanthier joined in 2010. Longtime bassist  and songwriter Jim Clench quit April Wine in 2007 and passed away in 2010, while long time drummer Jerry Mercer retired in 2008.


Finger Eleven and local band Uncovered play the Gas King Stage, Aug. 24.


Kingston based rock band The Glorious Sons have come a long way in a short time, so frontman  Brett Emmons, took some time to  reflect on things before  getting work on their sophomore CD “ Young Beauties and Fools” , due out in October. They take a quick break from a mostly sold out U.S tour with up and coming American rockers Greta Van Fleet, to play Whoop Up Days again, Friday, Aug. 25 with local blues band the Steve Keenan Band. They also played Whoop Up Days in 2015.
“It’s  great, but I don’t know if it‘s because of us or because of them. They’re a great young rock band and we’re a rock band so it will be good to take them on the road with us,” said Emmons, relaxing on his deck, home in Kingston before  hitting the road with band mates, guitarist Jay Emmons and Chris Koster, drummer Adam Paquette and bassist Chris Huot.


 He is excited to return to Whoop Up Days.
““You’re going to be hearing everything. It will be a fun rock and roll show,” Emmons promised.
“You’ll be hearing the old stuff, the new stuff and stuff you might not hear again. It’s going to be a  big party,” he continued.
The new CD is a slight departure for the band, known for hard edged rockers like the title track of their debut full length CD  “ The Union,”White Noise,” “Mama ,” the Contender” and “Heavy.”
 They released a single “ Kill the Lights” in February.
The Glorious Songs play Whoop Up Days, Friday, Aug, 25 at 9 p.m. The Steve Keenan band open the show at 7 p.m. on the Gas King Stage.
Saskatchewan pop /country singer Jess Moskaluke has come  a long way from releasing her music on youtube to winning a Juno award for her last CD “Kiss Me Quiet,” which spawned several hit singles including the title track and “Take Me Home.”


Her new single, “Kill Your Love” a preview of her upcoming third album, due out in October, is currently shooting up the charts.
Moskaluke, who plays Whoop Up Days on, Saturday, Aug. 26, never expected she’d win a Juno award so quickly.
“The music business is so unpredictable. I started writing songs with a woman Tiffany Vartanyan and we decided to put them up on Youtube. I wanted to work with Tyler Ward and ended up doing so. I set a list of goals and winning a Juno was on the list, but I never expected to achieve it so soon,” Moskaluke said from her Saskatchewan home.
“I actually went to university for two years. I was planning on becoming a parole officer. Music was just a hobby, but it took over,” she said.

Finger Eleven plays Whoop up Days , Aug. 24. Photo by Richard AmeryIn addition to the Juno award for Country Album of the Year”, she won a variety of awards including  CCMA female artist of the year for three years in a row, several Saskatchewan Country Music Association awards for fan’s choice, female vocal of the year, single of the year, song of the year and video of the year for “Take Me Home” and  that was just this year.

 


“ There’s a lot more to the business than singing. There’s songwriting and business meetings and marketing plans, recording and a lot of different things,” she said,” adding she doesn’t know what her next goal is.


“I’m pretty content. I’d like to win another Canadian Country Music award because they are in Saskatoon this year on my mom’s birthday. (The awards are Sept. 7-10 this year.)
She is working on a new album,which will be in a similar pop/country vein.


“My fans have grown up with it, and it’s who I am. If I were to do anything different, I wouldn’t be being true to myself creatively,” she said adding she is already playing the new songs live.
“ A song called ‘Camouflage‘ is pretty popular and, of course “Kill Your Love’ is doing pretty well,” she observed.


She noted she played Lethbridge before, but couldn’t remember the details. She is bringing her band to accompany her. She didn’t want to spoil the surprise as to what she’ll be playing in Lethbridge.
“You’ll have to come to the show and see for yourself,” she laughed.

 The Trews open  Whoop up Days, Aug. 22 with Theory of a Deadman. Photo by Richard Amery
Jess Moskaluke plays Whoop Up Days, Saturday, Aug, 26 at 9 p.m. on the Gas King Stage.


Theo Fleury and the Death Valley Rebels are on the stage at 7 p.m.
 Dory and the Weathermen kick things off at 5 p.m.
Tickets for Theory of a Deadman and  The Trews on the Grandstand stage cost $59 including gate admission as do tickets for April Wine and .38 Special, Aug. 23.


 All other concerts are included with regular gate admission.
In addition to the music, there is fun for the whole family. Lethbridge Olympians Rachel Nicol, Heather Steacy, Ashley Steacy and Zach McAllister lead the parade, bright and early at 10 a.m., Aug. 22.
 on the fairgrounds, look for 25 rides including four new rides, Cristina the Crazy Hooper, Hypnotist Terrance B Dailey, the president’s Choice Superdogs, the Beshano Bike Stunt show, stunt ventriloquist Tim Holland and the Canada 150 pavilion and many other attractions.
 Bucking and Barrels is Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m.each night and there will be fireworks bringing the show to a close, Saturday night, Aug. 26 at 11 p.m.
 Gate admission is $12 in advance $15 at the Gate.

  A version of this story appears in the Aug. 16,2017 Edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times/Shopper
— by Richard Amery, L.A. beat Editor

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