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L.A. Beat

C.R. Avery to bring new music, new band and new show to Lethbridge

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There is no moss on East Vancouver musician C.R. Avery, who makes a long awaited return to Lethbridge to play Plum with his new band, Monday, Oct. 17.

 There are no musical and artistic limitations with him either. In addition to releasing 17 albums, he spent the last three years touring a full musical which evolved from his book “Some Birds Walk for the Hell of It.”
 He returns to Lethbridge in support of his brand new CD “All the Angels Didn’t Scare me,” which he recorded in Nashville with producer Ben Mink who has worked with artists like k.d. lang.

C.R. Avery performing at South Country Fair in 2013. photo by Richard Amery
“The last time I was in Southern Alberta was at the South Country Fair, three years ago and before that, I was at the Geomatic Attic. So it really has been a little bit,” said Avery, who is excited to return to Lethbridge with his band.

“I’m pretty excited to return. The South Country Fair has been awfully good to me. So when I decided to tour with the band, I wasn’t going to leave Lethbridge out, though that has been difficult with the Slice closed and Geomatic Attic not able to do everything,” he said.

 He said the musical evolved organically out of his book in to a simple performance into a full production complete with burlesque dancers.
“I always want to put on a different show. It wasn’t really challenging it just evolved,” he said adding it started out coming up with a visual aspect to the show after being asked to perform at a book festival.

“ And someone saw it and said, we want you to play here, so I just added to that show and someone saw that and wanted me to play somewhere else so I added to the show again. We did it and people enjoyed it,” he said.

“It’s not the first  book that’s been turned into a musical. Cats and Les Mis have been,” he said, noting he isn’t sure if he will do that again.
He is always looking ahead to the next project. Avery performs solo, sometimes with a string quartet, sometimes with a DJ, sometimes with a band and works with gospel group the Sojourners.

“I always look at things in terms of three year cycles,” he said.

 For now he is excited to tour in support of the new CD, which, as expected, has a more country feel to it.
“It was fun to record in Nashville. But it was fun after we were done recording in Nashville at about one in the morning and hitting the town. It was so inspirational,” he enthused, adding he spent a week there.
“And I recorded way more songs than I used. It‘s a more coherent record than usual. There’s piano ballads followed by more upbeat numbers. But then I’ve done songs with string quartets followed by rap songs with a DJ,” he said.

“I like people like Neil Young who will release an album with Crazy Horse, then an album like Crosby Stills Nash and Young, then a solo album,” he said.


He probably won’t revisit the songs that didn’t make the cut for the album.

“Some of them were great songs, but just didn’t fit. Why would I look at eight songs that didn’t make it when I have two that are gold,” he said.

“ But then I have a song from 1999 that keeps coming back. I’ve recorded it three different ways, but it never works, though it always does live,” he said.

He is excited to tour with the new band, including Chelsea Johnson, Adam Farnsworth, Dave Taylor and Dean “The machine” (who mostly plays drums but also runs the sampler) who are all multi-instrumentalists and singers.

“That’s one thing you can’t do solo is sing harmonies. Everyone rotates a little bit. I like to stand up when I perform, so it great to have piano player, so I can stand back and see a song I wrote being played on the piano, without sitting behind the piano,” he observed.

 Don’t expect to hear much older material on this tour.

“ Chuck D used to say that hip hop music is the black perspective of the news that tells the stories the newspaper doesn’t. And there is so much going on in the world today,” he said.
“I’m a songwriter. I write songs about what is happening now. I’m a folk singer. That’s the life I chose. I think 60 per cent of the set is songs I’ve written over the past six months,” he said.
 C.R. Avery  and his band play Plum at 9 p.m. Oct. 17. There is a $15 cover charge.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Thursday, 13 October 2016 13:54 )  
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