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L.A. Beat

February looks like a hot month for music

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Though there’s snow on the ground, February looks pretty hot on the concert scene.The Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra celebrates their fiftieth birthday this week. Photo by Richard Amery
 If you like bigger shows, there are a couple for you including a rescheduled Down With Webster show at Bully’s , Feb. 22. If you like country music, Emerson Drive will be in town at the Yates, Feb. 24 with special guest Ridley Bent. And the Geomatic Attic will be bringing in the Sadies this month as well,  Feb. 15.
 The Lethbridge Folk Club is bringing in Tim Hus for people who love storytelling singer-songwriter. He’ll be playing with special guest Dusty Dee, Feb. 19.

This week is another good one.  But it’s all about comedy this weekend. Pickle has a two day run at Cudos Lounge Friday and Saturday.
 Also on Saturday, after the UFC fight, The Blackjack Comedy Tour, featuring Matt Billon and Mike MacDonald, comes to Average Joes, Feb. 5.

The best show of the week will be the return of jazz/blues combo Little Miss Higgins, Feb. 2
Other excellent shows will be a two day run at Casino Lethbridge with Leeroy Stagger, Feb. 4-5. And if you missed the Prairie  To Oceans tour late last year, make sure you catch singer/songwriter Kelly Tschritter, who was part of that tour and who returns to the Mocha Cabana, Feb. 4.

 This week is especially special for the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra who will be celebrating their fiftieth birthday at Southminster United Church, Feb. 7. Musaeus as well as  the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra’s string quartet will all be performing former music director J-P Christopher Jackson’s  composition Badlands; a Tone Poem as well as Louis Spohr’s  Concerto For String Quartet, Leonard Berstein’s selections from West Side Story as well as Tchaikovsky’s Romeo And Juliet Overture, to get people prepared for Valentines Day. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.

Speaking of birthdays, art studio/ northside venue The Naag Gallery celebrated their first birthday , Jan. 26.
 A good sized crowd of about 50 enjoyed the new bar they installed as well as more alternative roots music from Shotgun Jimmie, Jay Baird, Forest Tate Fraser and a new  group called Zoo Company.

 Zoo Company was up first with a variety of Zoo Company playing at the NAAG Gallery’s first birthday, Jan. 25. Photo by Richard Ameryfamiliar faces from local bands including Endangered Ape, Amelia Earhart and vocalist Tony Zucco. They played a solid set  of original more old school punk and garage rock. Paul Lawton hammered away on the drums, and Ryan Grieve held down the bottom end on bass.

 Forest Tate Fraser was up next with a more laid back, slower country folk which contained elements of psychedelic Pink Floyd and Crazy Horse era Neil Young.

Jay Baird was up next playing electric guitar on his own. He chatted engagingly with the crowd and got them to clap and stomp along with him. Shotgun Jimmie joined him on drums to end the set.
 Shotgun Jimmy was the main event, joking  about losing advance copies of his new CD at the train station in Edmonton. He had a new CD anyway, put together just for this show called  “NAAG Setlist” and spoke of a new CD coming out soon and played a variety of older tracks as well as a few countryish new ones.

With no place for garage rock and punk bands to play since Henotic closed, it looks like the NAAG is going to step up and fill this void.
 This week, on Feb. 5,  the NAAG features Friendo, Stalwart Sons and local band Fist City who use the NAAG as a rehearsal space. Admission is five dollars. the show is to begin at 8 p.m.
Tonight, Toques and Beards host the open mic at the Slice and Devein Gergel hosts the open mic at Cudos Lounge.
 It is also a special week for Essies, who are re-opening after extensive renovation with a three day party featuring country band Sweet Tequila. The offical opening is on Thursdsay night, Feb. 3.
Also this past week, The Blarney Stone on Mayor Magrath Drive reopened and hopefully will be bringing in live music again

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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