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Ryland Moranz entertains full house at Owl

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Everybody loves Ryland. So it was no surprise that Ryland Moranz and his band including a fiddle player, upright bassist Tyson Maiko and drummer Kyle Harmon, played to a packed Owl Acoustic Lounge, April 6 and had everyone eating out of the palm of their hands.
 Opening act Anthony Thielen had them warmed up with some pretty picking and singing.

Ryland Moranz returned to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, April 6. photo by Richard Amery
 Moranz opened his set solo on the banjo for a couple of songs from his solo CD  and switched to guitar his fiddle player joined him for the next song and  the rest of his band joined him for upbeat, perky and almost overly optimistic sounding folk and roots music.

 It was a beautiful as always, especially “ Big, Beautiful World” and “Lay me Down.”

Ryland Moranz puts such genuine joy into his performances, that it is hard not to leave the room with a smile on your face. So I was kind of sad to have left early to catch another gig.

— by Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 April 2018 09:52 )

Pill Crusher and Rampant Lion revisit the ’90s

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I missed  local roots band the Crooked Creek Warblers’s opening set at the Slice, April 6.

Rampant Lion at the Slice, April 6. Photo by Richard Amery
 The would have been a weird contrast to the noisy ’90s style alternative rock and punk of Calgary’s Pill Crusher and Rampant Lion.

 Calgary punk trio Pill Crusher including Mike Elliott ,Tyler Burton and Nick Baldock played layers of loud, dissonance alternative rock and punk with a strong Pixies edge.

 They had a familiar, noisy alternative rock sound but also branched  out for a touch of more pop tinged punk music.

Vancouver alternative rock trio Rampant Lion were different again. They played more e melodic alternative and indie rock.

—By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 April 2018 09:44 )

Lethbridge Jazz Festival features superb talent including Holly Cole

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The Lethbridge Jazz festival announced their lineup up this week.Don Robb announces the line-up for the 2018 Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival. Photo by Richard Amery
 The eighth annual Lethbridge Jazz and blues festival is  June 8-16 all over the City, but the major events  are centred around the the Enmax Centre.
 The festival begins at the Gate , June 8 with the always popular Young Lions concert featuring plenty of talented young musicians performing beginning at 12:45 p.m.
 Jazz at the park in Galt Gardens, June 9 features an all local lineup beginning at noon With Papa King and the Boogiemen followed by Paul Kype and Texas Flood, ,Hippodrome, new band the Metrik Jazz Tentet and the Lethbridge Big B and at 4 p.m.

The festival welcomes several new venues including the Stoketown Cafe which hosts a blues brunch on June 10 at noon, with a performer to be announced.
The Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens brings back New York based, Hiroshima born guitarist Nobuki Takamen, who was a highlight of last year’s festival. this time he brings a band Tickets, available through are $35.

Jazz jams have always been a staple of the festival and jazz music in general. The Owl Acoustic lounge hosts the jazz jam again this year, June 12 at 7:30p.m.
The Sweet Inspiration Gospel  Concert is another popular draw.

 Marcus Mosely hosts this year’s concert at Southminster United Church, Wednesday, June 13. Admission is $10.
 Johnny Summers and the Calgary Jazz Orchestra return to the festival this year to play the Canadian Western bank lounge, upstairs  at the Enmax Centre, where several big shows will be happening due to losing the use of the Yates/ Sterndale Theatre due to renovations. They play everything from Harry Connick Jr.  and Michael Bublé to Frank Sinatra. They will also be performing a tribute to Tommy Banks, who passed away last year, with  Mallory Chipman, Banks’s grand-daughter and popular jazz musician in her own right.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 April 2018 09:33 ) Read more...

Great stories will mark this week

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Storytelling is the essence of great songwriting. This week’s highlights include some performers who have interesting stories to tell.
 Winnipeg musician Dave Quanbury was forced to leave the United States where he had been calling Austin, Texas home for several years, but had to return home.

The Ashley Hundred return to Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Amery
 The experience of being separated from his new bride and friends and bands inspired him to  write a new album, “ Still life With Canadian,”  for which he is touring in support of including  a stop at the Slice, April 21.
Vancouver Island musician Kat Kado, got inspired by an interesting part of Canadian history — the story of Cougar Annie,which inspired a constantly expanding one woman multi-media show— Cougar Annie Tales
 She visits Lethbridge for the first time , Sunday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m.

Lethbridge welcomes the Watoto choir to the First Baptist Church, April 20 at 7 p.m. The choir includes orphans and vulnerable children from Uganda who bring worship music from the Watoto Church in Uganda.
 Watoto Church formed during the civil war in Kampala, Uganda and placed thousands of orphans in families, empowered vulnerable women, rescued babies and former child soldiers and sent children“s choirs all over the world. Admission to the concert is free, though donations to Watoto will be accepted.

Classical music fans will want to be at La Cité Des Prairies for The Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra Chamber series C featuring Musaeus String quartet performing Dmitri Shostakovich’s Adagio-Allegretto;
Franz Schubert’ String Quartet in E Flat Major and Antonín Dvořák’s String Quintet in G Major.
 There are lot of other fun shows happening as well.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 April 2018 09:19 ) Read more...

Dave Quanbury turns U.S ban into something positive

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Though it might not have seemed like it at first, Getting banned form the United States may be the best thing that ever happened to Winnipeg musician Dave Quanbury, who returns to the Slice, April 21 in support of his new album “Still Life With Canadian.”

“ It’s about me getting banned from the United States for five years,” said Quanbury, who was last in Lethbridge last May.

Dave Quanbury returns to Lethbridge this week. Photo submitted
 He was living in Austin with his wife, who was attending university in the Texas capital, when authorities found he didn’t have a green card, which forced him to move back to Winnipeg in 2014 and caused him to undergo an existential crisis and a tough period of self reflection and life assessment.

“I married my wife there, but it’s not enough. I could have applied  for a green card, but didn’t. So that was definitely part of it,” noting he got turned away trying to cross the border.
“I had no funds, no stuff, no  job or home and had to move in with my sister and I had to couch surf,” he said.

“I couldn’t see my wife. I was playing in several bands down there. I had a life down there. My friends had to send me my stuff and I had to give away a piano I had down there because I didn’t know what else to do with it,” he said, noting that experience inspired him to write songs.

“I wrote more in that first year than I ever had before. I was inspired by that existential crisis and extreme depression. I wrote all the songs on my own and had to turn it in to something I thought people would want to listen to,” he said, adding it also lead to a stylistic change.

“When I was in Austin, I had just released an album of New Orleans inspired big band music. When I moved back I started using more drum machines and synthesizers, he said, adding it is also a far departure from the folk and country music he made with his popular duo with Brandy Zdan in Twilight Hotel.

“I still sing some of the songs I sang with them, but wouldn’t want to try to sing the songs Brandy sings. Nobody wants to hear that,” he chuckled, adding he hasn’t seen her for years.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 April 2018 09:04 ) Read more...
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