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April starts with a roar for local music

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This week, April gets started with a roar. There are a lot of exceptional shows happening throughout the week.
It begins tonight as the New Weather Machine host the open jam at the Slice. If you missed them at the Esper Records launch on the weekend, make sure you catch them.
Esper Records has a showcase at the Owl this Friday. Photo by Richard Amery
 The Owl Acoustic Lounge has several local musicians  taking the stage to raise money for the Red Cross to help Japan, March 31. Fast Moving Mountains, Melinda Appenheimer, Michele Skakum and Janelle Northey, Christopher Pease and The Concorde Fallacy.
there is a silent auction as well. The items up for bids are on display now.

If you missed  the Esper Records launch party at the Slice on the weekend. There will be an Esper Records showcase at the Owl on Friday featuring Jesse Northey, Jon Martin and Leigh Doerksen.
Likewise, if you missed local bluesman Darryl Düus on the weekend at the Owl, catch him again with acoustic bluesman Papa King. They will be playing with their group the Barrelhouse Boys on Saturday. There is no cover.

Quirky folk/ rock/ humourist BA Johnston  winds up a quick tour  and the month of March with local band the Ketamines along with the Moby Dicks and Stressed Out. They have been touring western Canada over the past week and will wind up their tour at the Slice, March 31.  Hamilton’s answer to Weird Al Yankovic, Johnston  has played Lethbridge several times at the Slice and at Henotic where he had the crowd in stitches with his quirky musical take on the modern world exploring a variety of subjects from hobos, zombies, malls, boats, Tetris, helper monkeys,  stuffing t- bone steaks in his pants, accidentally stealing pants, walkmen, bedroom deep fryers and much more.
 The Slice has several great shows this week with Five Alarm Funk returning March 30 and the CD release party for Fort Macleod pop punkers Sophomore Jakes, with special guests, The Freshman Years, on April 2.

It is a good week for jazz too with the Lethbridge Jazz Society’s  tribute to Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin taking place, April 1 at the Tongue N’ Groove with the Contemporary Works Jazz Orchestra featuring  Juran Greene and Anna Vanderheide. Tickets cost $20 for non -members,  $15 for Jazz Society members.

The Unknown Culprits are back this week to bring  touch of the blues, jazz and pop to Average Joes, April 2 which will also include comedians Donovan Deschner and Marcus Beaubier in  a special Yuk Yuks comedy presentation.
On Sunday, Taber country star Corb Lund returns home to play a special benefit concert for the Brynn Lund family at the Taber Oilman’s Club. Tickets cost $40 with all proceeds going to the Brynn Lund family. The concert starts at 8 p.m.

One of my favourite “country” musicians Roger Marin returns to Lethbridge this week as well. Roger Marin, who used to tour with Fred Eaglesmith’s band, has come out on his own as a talented songwriter and storyteller. He will be at the Slice, April 3.
A new Lethbridge based classic rock/ blues band makes their debut this week as well. Jackson E plays the 1010 Pub, April 2.

I’d never been to new country bar Boss Hogs before, but couldn’t  resist a chance to listen to local country artists competing for an opening slot  at the Canadian Country Music Weekend in Fort Macleod, Aug. 12-13.
 I only caught a couple acts, including an outstanding set by one of the finalists Alyssa McQuaid, who played ‘Who Am I’ and ‘ Stay Beautiful,’ from her new CD  ‘Who Am I’ as well as a great poppy version of ‘Sweet Child O Mine.’
The other finalists are Shalisa Leisch and Karen Romanchuk with Pete Watson.

They compete in the finals on April 16. The second round of auditions in Lethbridge are this Thursday at Boss Hogs, when six more local musicians will be vying for a chance to open for  the likes of Ian Tyson, Terri Clark and Gord Bamford this summer in Fort Macleod.

 Average Joes wound up  their first month of their open for the Bands contest, Thursday, March 24.
The finalists, who will be competing  in June to open for Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show are local blues band Indagruv who won last week and acoustic trio Seven Shades from the first week.
 While  I was rooting for an excellent set by Dalliance Elixir, as singer Jolene Draper put on an excellent show despite being deathly ill and having to deal with screeching mic feedback, this week’s winner was  acoustic duo Dirt Road Dust. They not only had a crowd of loud and rowdy fans in the front row, but put on an outstanding set including  superb vocals on Joel Plaskett’s ‘Deny, Deny, Deny,’ an original and an excellent version of Paul Simon’s ‘Cecilia.’


 There were a lot of good hard rock and metal bands also competing who would be a better fit opening for Nazareth or Sweet rather than Dr. Hook,  including DeadVoice, who continued showing improvement especially on a version of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love,’ and the David Harmon Experience who played a set including Bon Jovi’s ‘That’s My Life,’ complete with talk box and Kiss’s ‘Domino.’
 I look forward to seeing who competes for the Nazareth opening slot beginning this Thursday.

Also this weekend, if you like pop music, Canadian pop stars Neverest and Juno nominated Edmonton pop band Stereos play Bully’s Entertainment Centre, April. 1. Toronto based pop quartet Neverest just released their debut EP ‘About Us,’  and have released  two singles, the title track and the latest single ‘Everything.’

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 29 March 2011 12:51 )  
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