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Lots of fun in store for South Country Fair

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The two main live music venues in Lethbridge close down for South Country Fair, so most of the music community will be in Fort Macleod, July 21-23.
 People come  to South Country Fair for a variety of reasons.

Washboard Hank is this year’s South Country Fair mayor. Photo by Richard Amery
“(People come) For the music obviously but also I think a lot of it is for the community. You can definitely feel it when you walk around here - the amount of love and togetherness. Everyone works really hard to make sure that all the guests have a great time. A lot of unique friendships have been made here and it's a really special place to return to, year after year,” summarized  artistic director Jana MacKenzie.

 Gillian Moranz grew up in a South Country Fair family as her parents Maureen Chambers and Trent Moranz helped found the festival over 30 years ago.

 She has been responsible for booking the East Stage for the past several years. As she has been living in Vancouver for the past year, she is excited to introduce some of her favourite new musical discoveries to the Fair.

“But we have a great line up of performers from Calgary to Edmonton to Kamloops. And we have some  newcomers, which I’m very excited about,” she said, taking a break from working as a producer with the Vancouver Folk Festival.
 Some familiar faces include Mariel Buckley who has played the Windy City Opry and who will be returning to Lethbridge the following week for the Wide Skies music Festival, plus Joe Nolan and the Dogs, roots, bluegrass duo Chicken-Like Birds, who have played Lethbridge a couple of times, local favourites Junkman‘s Quire, who have just released their new CD and Eliza Marie Doyle, who used to play with the Cracker Cats and who was most recently in Lethbridge, both as a solo performer and as a member of the Dead South.

“We also have Kitty and the Rooster who includes Noah Walker who is a great guitar player who has played with CR Avery and Jodie Ponto who is a great photographer,” she said.
“ I’m excited about Sam Tudor. He’s a really young songwriter from Vancouver who doesn’t tour often,” she enthused, adding she is also excited to present Vancouver bluegrass band Viper Central.
 She always enjoys South Country Fair.

“I have to give credit to all of the volunteers. It is pretty exciting. They have such spontaneous  energy and creativity,” she enthused.

Artistic director Jana McKenzie is excited about many things about this year‘s South Country Fair.
“Well, this is the second year of kids rock camp, they'll once again be starting off the stage on Friday and last year being its first year we've never had more people at the main stage that time of day - so we're really looking forward to that again, should be an exciting start for the kids. Another thing I'm excited about is that we've got William price coming to the fair who has recently won a Juno so that should be a good show,” she wrote from the Ness Creek Music Festival. She noted one of the changes  this year is moving the Fair’s outreach program   to the gazebo by the swimming pool

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 July 2017 09:46 ) Read more...

Eileen and the In Betweens support FLIP Fest

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Eileen and the In Betweens provided a taste of Albuquerque folk rock and activism at the Owl Acoustic lounge, Wednesday, July 5 for a fundraiser for FLIP Fest.

Eileen and the in betweens playing for Flip Feat. Photo by Richard Amery
FLIP fest is Lethbridge’s first femme-oriented music festival supporting a more inclusive music community showcasing female talent from Lethbridge and Southern Alberta, to be taking place Aug. 18-20.
 I caught the end of an opening set from local musician Tyra Whitson, who reminded me a little bit of Megan Nash, especially with her closing song “She.”

Eileen and the In betweens, started their set by lecturing an appreciative crowd about Standing rock and  “Acknowledging we are all living on stolen land ” before turning to the music.

 The quartet  began their set with a ukulele powered, reggae jam. Lead singer Eileen Shaughnessy alternated between ukulele , banjo and guitar in addition to singing lead vocals.

 All of the band members switched instruments and sang subtle  harmonies which gave them an Indigo Girls feel. n addition to Shaughnessy herself, their keyboardist also doubled on bass and guitar.

 In between discussions about First Nations, environmental  and LGBQT issues, they played a variety of laid back music from their three albums, with plenty of reggae inflections, quite a bit of pop and indie rock as well.

 Their music also had a strong social justice theme. One highlight about water usage, called Keep it In The ground was a highlight which had an toe tapping shuffle feel.“ Everything Is alive,” was another highlight.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 July 2017 07:41 )

Canada Day heats up Henderson Lake Park

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As expected, Canada Day had Henderson Lake Park packed with Canada Day revellers.

New West Theatre enjoying Canada Day fun. Photo by Richard AmeryThe Hibikaya Drummers at Canada Day in Henderson lake. Photo by Richard Amery
 It was sweltering hot and already crowded at noon for a day full of great fun and excellent music.

 I caught an impressive set of Japanese drumming from the Hibikaya drummers, who also played Henderson lake the last week for the Rotary Dragon Boat Races.

 The main thing I wanted to see was New West Theatre’s preview of their new Home Grown show.

 The cast was dressed in colourful Red and white Canada themed outfits. they performed an array of Canadian music to be  included in the show.

So they sang great harmonies, added a few dance moves and shared that cheerful “Up With People” vibe they are well known for.
 They took a break to let Ben Price (Benton Neufeld) perform a couple of magic tricks  while fighting technical difficulties.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 July 2017 07:36 )

Global Acid Reset features new Taylor Ackerman music

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It is always great to see Taylor Ackerman. the talented local guitarist and songwriter moved away to Halifax with his girlfriend and young son while she attended school. But both were back to share their latest artistic endeavours.

Taylor Ackerman returned to Lethbridge to perform new music with Global Acid Reset. Photo by Richard Amery
While I missed the first show of Taylor Ackerman’s new musical project Global Acid Reset at the Owl Acoustic Lounge on June 30, I caught the first set of Canada Day performance at the Slice.

Ackerman and Lethbridge band mates bassist Cory Fischer and drummer Matthew Rederburg played blues tinged rock and roll based on Ackerman’s new songs. Rederburg is an impressive drummer keeping time like a well oiled watch, Fischer added groovy bass to go along with Taylor’s tasteful leads and dirty rock and roll guitar playing which sounded a like a more laid back Neil Young and Crazy Horse.

His new single “Bangladeshi T-Shirt” came early on in the first set. He brought out “Brown Shoe blues,” a song from the Juxtaposers, one of many local band Ackerman used to play with before moving to Halifax.
 Adrian Sutherland, the lone member of Unbroken Circle  able to make the gig opened the show with experimental rock which involved Sutherland looping riffs and playing over them.

— By Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 July 2017 07:27 )

Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens and twinning celebrations this week

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It is the season for big festivals. We just enjoyed The Rotary Dragon Boat Festival, Canada Day Celebrations Centric Music Festival and Street machine Weekend. Two more big Southern Alberta events happen this week.

Sean Burns plays the Windy City Opry on Wednesdasy, July 12. Photo by Richard Amery
The Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens continue their 50th anniversary celebrations by bringing in ’ 90s rock singer Amanda Marshall in to the Enmax Centre. Marshall charted a number of hits in the  mid ’90s including “Let It Rain, ” “Beautiful Goodbye,”  “Birmingham” and “Dark Horse” from her three albums including her 1995 self titled debut, “Tuesday’s Child” in 1999 and Everybody’s Got a Story in 2001.

 Tickets are $58 at the Enmax Centre, the July 14 concert begins at 7 p.m.

 The other big event this week is  the St. Laurent Twinning celebrations Galt Gardens, July 15 celebrating the . There will be several activities happening all day long beginning at  10 a.m. with Francis First Charger followed by hoop dancer Maria Livingstone at 10:30 a.m. There will be Zumba at 11:45  an 12:45. In addition the Lethbridge Taiko association will be performing at 11 a.m. And the Lethbridge Firefighter Pipe s and Drums will perform at noon.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 11 July 2017 10:30 ) Read more...
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