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Scott Nolan and Brandy Zdan return to Lethbridge to play new music after long hiatus

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It has been a while since underrated  Winnipeg songwriter Scott Nolan visited the Lethbridge and, like so many underrated songwriters, he never gets the crowd he deserves. Such was the case on Wednesday, May 7 when he returned to the Slice. Scott Nolan playing new music. Photo by Richard Amery

He was here last year with Mary Gauthier, but I missed his set.
 For this show he was on his own, playing guitar and harp and looping the odd rhythm to solo over with Brandy Zdan adding a few vocal harmonies and some lap steel guitar for the last couple songs of his set. So it was great to see them both.

 He played a pretty much up tempo set of country and folk music with just a touch of blues. And, even better,  concentrated on brand new songs from an upcoming CD he recorded in Alabama last year.

 But there were old crowd favourites like “Bad Liver/ Broken Hearts,” the upbeat rockabilly influenced “ Shake It Loose”, the excellent “Twister” a very peppy version of “The Last One” which was my favourite of the set and an upbeat version of “No Bourbon and Bad Radio” which ended the set.
 He didn’t talk much other than to crack the occasional joke and to make a few observations about recording in Alabama and a praise long time collaborator Joanna Miller.

 A song about moonshine, which he wrote with only one eye due to the strength of the moonshine, was a highlight of the newer songs.

Brandy Zdan plays a more rock influenced set, May 7. Photo by Richard Amery

His marble mouthed vocals sounded like a mix of Bob Dylan and Roger Marin, another underrated Canadian songwriter.
It was mostly all about  Nolan, his guitar, harp and his songs, though he subtly looped rhythms or a couple of them and played bluesy solos over them.

 One crowd favourite was his folk fuelled cover of Duran Duran’s ’80s pop hit “Hungry Like the Wolf.”
He had a table of people who drove in all the way from Nanton for his show and took a couple of requests from them, though they were pleased with his new material.

 They called him back for an encore of “Rosie,” for which he looped some rhythms and jammed on an extended blues inspired solo.

Scott Nolan playing drums with Brandy Zdan. Photo by Richard Amery
I was sad I missed most of Brandy Zdan's set. She is best known for playing with Winnipeg folk duo Twilight Hotel, who have since broken up. So Zdan has been playing a lot in Nashville and Texas for the past few years.

 She played electric guitar and sang into a pair of microphones while showing a more rock and roll influenced musical evolution.
 Her weathered voice was reminiscent of Sheryl Crow and Kathleen Edwards.
 Scott Nolan was playing drums and tapping out rhythms on  a pair of pedals, as her did for his own set, which gave  Zdan's music a more modern rock duo feel.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 May 2014 09:40 )  
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