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L.A. Beat

United Steelworkers of Montreal rock the folk out of Lethbridge

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UNited Steelworkers of Montreal guitarist Shawn ‘Gus’ Beauchamp had ‘folk music tattooed on his neck. Photo by Richard AmeryI  had never seen the United Steelworkers of Montreal before, so I was impressed with  the Montreal based roots/rock/ folk band’s supercharged performance at the Slice, July 26.

Each song was prefaced with a long, extended and usually  hilarious rant/story, while the band rocked it folk style on  guitar, tenor guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, banjo, stand-up bass and accordion.

 Band members Gern F, Felicity Hamer, Matt Watson, Shawn ‘Gus’ Beauchamp, Phil ‘Flipper’ Frumignac and  Dylan Perron traded instruments and leadGern f and Dylan Perron harmonize. Photo by Richard Amery vocal duties, though most of the vocals featured the wonderful contrast of Gern f’ Howlin’ Wolf meets Tom Waits gravelly growl with Felicity Hamer’s Macy Grey meets June Carter jazz/country tinged melodies. Some of the duets sounded like June Carter singing with Tom Waits instead of Johnny Cash.

They had a good sized crowd, especially for a Monday night, who were digging and dancing to an intense variety of songs about relationships and murder, unions, relationships and poutine, murder, guns, robbing banks in small towns and a Celtic flavoured, pipe powered song about rioting  when the Montreal Canadiens win a hockey series.

Most of their set was blazingly fast, though they slowed down slightly for a beautiful jazz tinged song called ‘Little Girl.’
Gern F was an big, gruff, affable host on stage and their musical chops, combining folk with roots, bluegrass and rockabilly with punk energy, were unstoppable.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 July 2010 11:24 )  
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