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A variety of music for Whoop-Up Days

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Exhibition Park will be alive with the sound of music for Whoop Up Days, Aug. 23-27.

Kim Mitchellplays Whoop Up Days, Aug. 25. Photo by Richard Amery
 There is a lot of variety this Year on the Gas King stage, where concerts will be happening every night.

 Whoop Up Days begins with country night, Aug. 23 starting with Trevor Panczak performing at 7:30.
 he will be followed by Nashville based, Kitchener born  country star Jason Blaine takes the stage at 9:30 p.m.
 He has penned a number of hits including  “Cool,” “They Don’t Make ’em Like That Anymore,” “Rock it Country Girl” and his latest hits “Dance With My Daughter,” “Countryside” and “Spotlight.”

“I remember the first time I heard one of my songs (‘That’s What I Do’) on the radio. I had a song on the radio, but hadn’t received any royalties from it yet so I was still playing clubs for very little money. I was still learning how to play music. I was pulling into a club in Ontario and heard it on the radio and knew then it was meant to be,” said Blaine from Nashville, getting ready to write material for a new CD.
He plays Whoop Up Days on the Gas King Stage, Tuesday, Aug. 23.

“That was way back in 2003, 13 years ago. It reached number eight on the charts and stayed there for months. When I did receive my royalties, I was able to live off it for a year  so packed up my three month old daughter and wife and moved to Nashville. It funded the album. That song ended up being a real gift,” he related, adding he hasn’t played it for several years.
“No, it hasn’t been part of the set for years. I’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of hits on the radio over the past four or five years and those are what people want to hear. I feel people might not remember the older songs,” he said.

“I know as a music fan I’m always disappointed when I go to a show and they don’t play the songs I know,” he said.
“So I play the songs they know. I also have some special things planned. This year we lost a great leader in country music — Merle Haggard, so we have a special tribute to him. We also lost another great man, Glenn Frey.
 My dad took me to school by listening to The Eagles and Merle Haggard when I was a youngster,” he said.
 He always enjoys playing Lethbridge.
“I’m sure I’ve been there. We toured last fall and we’ve played the Calgary Stampede at least seven times on the Nashville North Stage,” he said.
“I love playing Alberta. It’s always a good time,” he said.
 Jason Blaine Plays Whoop Up Days at 9 p.m., Aug. 23. Trevor Panczak performs at 7:30 p.m.

 The next night, Aug. 24  is all about modern rock and alternative rock.
 Calgary band Ten Minute Detour are on at 7:30.
Oshawa , Ontario based duo The Standstills will follow.
The Standstills have several hits on modern rock radio including “Orleans.”
 They have been spending much of the summer touring the festival circuit, opening for some pretty  big names and even went to France. They have just released “Shotgun,” the third single off their most recent EP “From The Devil’s Porch” which has produced radio hits “Orleans” and “Rise of the Fall.”

 In October they will be touring with ’90s Canadian rock icons Our Lady Peace and I Mother Earth, but first, they play Whoop Up Days, Aug. 24 with Calgary’s Ten Minute Detour.
They enjoyed playing in France on the east coast island of St. Pierre Miquelon off the coast of Newfoundland.
“It was an experience,” said Standstills guitarist/ vocalist Jonny Fox, which also includes long time partner Renee Couture on drums.

“It was a lot of fun. We met a lot of people who were super nice and showed us around. They were very accommodating. We had a day off so they took us on a full tour of the island,” he enthused, adding the show itself went great.
“Everyone was singing along. They knew the lyrics, which was great because we didn’t know if our music was circulating and it is. So the response was great,” he said.
He has fond memories of the first time they heard one of their songs, “Orleans”  on the radio.
“Renee and I were working outside putting up a shed. It must have had 1,000 screws. We put one side on backwards and we wanted to get it done before dark. We were at each other’s throats, but we got it done, so we went and had a beer. We were dirty, exhausted and defeated and our song came on the radio and the bartender was singing along. She knew all of the words. We gave each other a look. We didn’t say ‘that’s our song.’ But it was a good feeling— the best feeling when you’re feeling defeated. It was a really cool experience,” he said.

 Things are going great for the duo, who are excited to tour with Our Lady Peace and I Mother Earth in October.
“We grew up listening to them. If you were a kid in the ’90s and didn’t know who Our Lady Peace and I Mother Earth were, then  you were living under a rock. And the best thing is that we’re there at their request. So we’re really excited they support our music,” he enthused.
The Standstills have been working hard since forming in 2008.
“We work really hard as individuals at creating great music and a great show. But it really is a team effort. The record label has helped a lot and our management team do a lot behind the scenes who have really helped this to be a really exciting year. We’re really excited about it,” he said.

 They are excited to make their Lethbridge debut at Whoop up Days.
“I don’t think I’ve ever played there, at least not that I can remember,” he said, adding he wants to show off everything the band can do during their show.
“We have lots planned. We have heavy songs and blues songs and songs with a lot of groove— all of the styles of music that we love,” he said.
“I always liked bands like Led Zeppelin, who could take the listener on a journey. We want to do that,” Fox said.
“And we’ll have a 40 minute drum solo,” he chuckled.
 He said the band takes things day by day.
“We have no plans. We focus on the next show and the next song,” he said.
 More information can be found at
 The Standstills play the Gas King Stage in Exhibition Park, Aug. 24 at 9 p.m. Ten Minute Detour begins at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 25 is classic rock night as Kim Mitchell returns to Whoop Up Days. He last played Whoop Up Days in 2012.
 Mitchell is known for numerous ’80s and ’90s hits including “Patio Lanterns,” “Rock and Roll Duty,” “Easy To Tame,” “Go For a Soda,” and  first came to prominence on Canadian stages with Max Webster in the 1970s.
 He played local blues rock band Zojo Black at 8 p.m. Kim Mitchell performs at 9 p.m.

Metalheads will be in their element at Whoop Up Days on Friday, Aug. 26.
 Local classic metal band Tyrants of Chaos are on stage at  7:30 p.m. They just released a new CD. Their music would find a home with fans of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.
Meanwhile, Hamilton hard rock juggernaut Monster Truck take a breather in Lethbridge before spending September in Europe to tour with Nickelback.
Monster Truck are supporting their latest CD “Sittin’ Heavy,” which has already spawned three hit singles “For the People,” Don’t Tell Me How to Live” and the latest “The Enforcer.”
 They have already toured  Europe twice this year and are all set to return for a month long tour with Nickelback.

 But in the meantime the band, who draw heavily from the well of heavy ’70s riff rock along the lines of Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Foghat,  are already writing new material though the album was just released in February.
“The only reason we‘re writing now is because we have a month off and we just wanted to get a head start on it and we want to put out the best product possible” said guitarist Jeremy Widerman. Bandmates Jon Harvey (bass & lead vocals), Brandon Bliss (organ & vocals) and drummer vocalist Steve Kielys complete MonAngel Forrest plays Whoop Up Days, Aug, 27. Photo by Richard Ameryster Truck.
They are excited to return to Europe in October. They played Europe when they released  the album and returned to play several European music festivals.
“Audiences there are just really enthusiastic about all kinds of music. And we’re starting to get a really  good following over there. Especially during the album release tour there,” he continued.
He noted it is difficult to tell if  they have fans who regularly return  to their shows.
 “It’s hard to tell at festivals, but we get to play for a lot  of new fans. During the album release tour, there were people who  had seen us before and brought friends this time. It was fantastic. It was a great experience,” he said.
 They are excited to return to Europe with Nickelback.

“We’ve toured with them before. We toured Australia with them and that was great,” he said.
“ Just check out  our website and look at some of the locations we‘re going to with Nickelback and you’ll see why were‘ so excited about it,” he enthused.
 He said Monster Truck has a special relationship with Lethbridge. They play here every couple of years.
“Lethbridge is one of the first places we played out west when we toured with the Deaner’s band ‘Nightseeker,” he said.
“For Whoop Up Days we can pack a solid 75-90 minute set with a lot of rock  in the show. It’s going to be a straight ahead 90 minute rock show,” he continued.
 Blues and roots night  wind up Whoop Up Days this year on Aug. 27.

 Rising country star JJ Shiplett performs at 6:30 p.m. followed by Montreal based blues musician Angel Forrest at 8 p.m.
Even though you may not have heard of Angel Forrest, she has been an integral part of the Quebec music scene for the past 29 years. Her 2013 CD “Mother Tongue Blues”  helped her break though the Quebec border into the rest of the country, while she hopes her latest CD “ Angel’s 11” will help push her even further.
“I can’t wait to come to Lethbridge and see it. I don’t get to western Canada very often. I’ll go to Vancouver, B.C. and Calgary,” she said.

She will be joined by her partner Denis Coulombe and  guitarist Ricky Paquette, one of the Angels 11 guitarists on her new CD, which included some of Quebec and Ontario’s most talented guitarists like Steve Strongman, Paul DesLauriers, Cory Diabo and Steve Hill
“I have worked with all of them over the past 29 years,” she said.
A terrific tribute to the Band — “ the Last Waltz are on at 9 p.m.
Admission to the concerts is included with gate admission to Whoop-Up Days.

Gas King Stage, Pioneer Park | TUESDAY, AUGUST 23
JASON BLAINE – 9:00 pm

Gas King Stage, Pioneer Park

Gas King Stage, Pioneer Park

Gas King Stage, Pioneer Park

Gas King Stage, Pioneer Park
“Roots & Blues Festival Day” Beer Gardens Open at 3:00 pm
ANGEL FORREST 7- 8:30 pm

 A version of this story appears in the Aug. 17, 2016 edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times
 — By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 August 2016 11:33 )  
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