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Lethbridge Folk Club excited about new season

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The Lethbridge Folk Club began their new season in two new locations in September.Dr. Zoo playing the Moose Hall for the Lethbridge Folk Club, Oct. 5. Photo by Richard Amery
 While they formerly made their home downtown on fifth street south, increasing costs and fewer people coming to shows, have meant the long standing organization have been forced to reassess their situation.

Bluegrass jams take place on the first and third Fridays of every month at the Wolf’s Den’s new location at MJ Cycle 1502 2nd Ave South beginning Sept. 6.

 The club has moved most of the chairs, all of the stage, trimmed down the tables and the beer fridge and coffee maker into this new intimate location. Open mics take place on the second and fourth  Fridays of every month. The bluegrass jam begins at 7:30 p.m. Open mics begins at 8 p.m. There is a two dollar cover to attend.

“It has a capacity of 26 people. So if we fill it, then that’s great. If there’s more we can add a few more chairs and get rid of a few tables,” observed Lethbridge Folk Club president Morris Soenen adding they haven’t been getting great turnouts at their open jams.

“Everybody is holding open mics now. Bruce Roome is hosting three of them,” he said.
The folk club have installed a stage and put in a smaller sound system.

“The stage is 6 foot by 11 foot, so there is room on on the stage for three people. We got rid of a lot of the old chairs and brought a few more of them over,” he said.

“The carpet that was on the old stage is now on the floor. We also trimmed down some of the tables,” he continued adding they have also moved a lot of the decor from the old location. There will still be a bar during open mics as the club will get special events permits as they always have.
He added a sliding door so the shop in the back of the building is blocked from view.
The Lethbridge Folk Club open mics is the longest standing open stage in the city and have one of the most  supportive audiences. They welcome performers of all abilities and musical styles, though most are of the singer/ songwriter variety.
“It’s very intimate,” Soenen described.

He is excited about the Folk Club’s fall and winter season, which began with bluegrass and gospel quartet the June Bugs on Sept. 14.

Concerts will take place monthly at the Moose Hall at 1401 5th Ave. North.
“We want to support the Moose,” Soenen said.
 He is excited about the new season, which has a lot of variety including bluegrass, blues, world music and straight ahead folk and country music.

The Folk Club will host a show once a month at the Moose Hall.
 The October show, Oct. 5, featured Edmonton based world / afro/ celtic band  Dr. Zoo who include Lethbridge born violinist Megan Brown and bassist Felipe Rodriguez.

Calgary blues duo Hills and Lemelin play, Nov. 2. Lethbridge based bluegrass/ jazz folk group the Junkman’s Choir, who also include Megan Brown on violin, play  Dec. 7.
“ We do like to hire local acts when they are at that level and bands who don’t play all the time,” Soenen said.

 Winter is looking good too with Calgary bluegrass band Go For Earl playing in January, Fort Macleod songwriter John Wort Hannam playing Feb. 15 and Michael Jerome Browne playing in April. Shows have yet to be booked for March and May.
“It’s very diverse, he said.

As usual they take June, July and August off.
 Soenen is pleased to be working with the Moose.
“It should be okay. It’s a big venue.
 because the folk club don’t have an official home, they will need a lot of volunteers.
“We have to  build the PA system and amplifiers and haul everything into the venue and then out again afterwards,” he said.
“We need a secretary as well because  our last one is now living in Africa,” he said.

 Admission to the first show costs $25 and includes a membership.  Tickets to all shows cost $25 for non members, which includes a membership for the year and $20 for members. They start at 8 p.m. sharp.

A version of this story appears in the  September/ October 2013 Edition of Bridge Magazine

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Monday, 07 October 2013 14:58 )  
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