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L.A. Beat

Gentleman George Canyon brings the hits plus lots of humour and stories

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Country star George Canyon brought 26 years of experience in the business and a plethora of hits and new material to Average Joes, Feb. 22 for the first of two Lethbridge shows supporting his brand new, long awaited new album,“ I Got This.”

Mike Little and George Canyon at Average Joes, Feb. 22. photo by Richard Amery
 Canyon was full of jokes and stories and noted it had been a while since he played smaller clubs.

 The full house, mostly excited young women, were clustered in front of the stage though a lot of people sat watching from the back of the room. By the end of the show, one of them had climbed up on stage and tried to kiss Canyon before being escorted off the stage by security, prompting the ever gentlemanly Canyon to quip “There’s only one woman I kiss, my best friend and wife. But I’m from Nova Scotia so we hug everyone.”

 He began his set with Sunshine from his 2011album “Better be Home soon,” and carried on with “Pretty Drunk Out Tonight,” from his 2008 CD “ What I Do,” before breaking into the first of several new songs “ Only the Radio Knows.
 He has a lot of hits to choose from so Canyon promised  a few different songs for the next show.

“ Sesame Street,” one of my favourites from the new CD wasn’t  among the newer songs, so perhaps he was saving it for the next day. But newer songs “The Green Side” and “Chasing Cars,” fit right in with his older material.
 This set included songs from throughout his career.
 “Betty’s Buns” was another older highlight as was “ Who Would You Be” which was one of several songs which had the audience singing along.
“This is the best crowd we’ve had on the tour,” he said adding he’d write a note excusing  people from work the next day,” not that they needed it, as the show began at 8 p.m. and was done by 10:30 p.m.
 He alternated between introspective ballads and  chicken fried foot stompers like “ Saddle Up” which he played after noting he wrote it with Johnny Reid and thanking the audience for supporting him over the years.

he dedicated his best known ballad “ Slow Dance,” to his wife and debuted a brand new song called “Haunting Me,” an aptly named haunting mid tempo ballad.
A couple other crowd favourites followed with “ Bonanza” and “ Good Day To Ride,” which he noted he wrote about his horse.  It was several  tracks to feature keyboardist Mike Little on accordion.

 He told a story about working with “baby making music king” Richard Marx and played another older song “Surrender.” He then told a story about growing up in the ’80s and wanting  to be lead singer of an ’80s band.

“Spandex is cool. No it isn’t. But I’m going to go on tour with the whole band dressed in spandex, except me,” he joked, before playing his career making cover of Crowded House’s ’80s hit “Better Be Home Soon,” the title track of the 2011 album he made with Richard Marx.
 He thanked the audience for making it  a gold record.

 He wound down his set with one of my favourites “Drinking Thinking” the new single “ Daughters of the Sun” plus  a cover of Johnny Cash’s “ Ring of Fire,” featuring Mike Little on accordion, which had the audience singing along.
 He ended the show by inviting the audience to come back tonight, promising a different set andGeoge Canyon tell stories to  the crowd at Average Joes, Feb. 22. Photo by Richard Amery his current hit  I Got This,” but was called back for an encore of Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues.”

George Canyon and his band (Mike Little (Keyboards & Accordion), Adam Dowling (Drums), Michael Lent (Bass) & Jay Buettner (Guitar)) return to Average Joes tonight at 8 p.m.
 Tickets are $50 at the door.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 February 2016 16:48 )  
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