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Matadors try out new music at Moose Hall

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London, Ontario horrorbilly / “Lucifarian gospel” band The Matadors always equal a good time. They had their best Lethbridge turnout yet at the Moose hall, June 28.

The matador's Hooch parkins and the devil at the Moose Hall, June. 28. Photo by Richard Amery
 I caught most of their supremely tight set, which focused on newer material as well as a lot of slower material.

 One of their new songs was  a straight ahead punk song while another was a genuine ’50s style ballad.

 They also threw in some upbeat rockabilly and highlights including “Teenage Sluts” all powered by frontman, Hooch Parkins’s hot guitar playing as a devil figure clad in red and black cloak hovered over him. Other than that there wasn’t much  to do with the devil in their set, which was all about hot guitar playing, thumping upright bass and unstoppable drums.

 A couple fans were calling out “Liquor Store,” which appeared to confuse Parkins, who, by the end of the show,  told his band mates he figured out they meant one of their older songs  “Drinking and Driving.”

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 05 July 2017 22:53 )

Way Down Wanderers show young pups can shred bluegrass style

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Chicago/Peoria based bluegrass/folk quintet the Way Down Wanders are a group of fresh faced youth who are so talented you just want to smack them.

They made an auspicious debut at the Slice, June 28 playing their own brand of mutant bluegrass music The Way Down Wanderers at the slice, June 28. photo by Richard Amerywhich sounded like the D Rangers on speed— sorry the D-Rangers are the D-Rangers on speed, but mixed elements of pop and folk which sounded like a blend of Blind Melon and Birds of Chicago, thanks to the pleasing tenors of vocalist guitarist Austin Thompson and vocalist Collin  Krause, who was doing triple duty on vocals, harmony vocals as well as on mandolin and fiddle, often within the same song.

Krause joked the band’s first  trip to Canada (The Lethbridge show was only their second Canadian show ever) was the first time he was allowed to drink legally.

And I believed him though he punctuated that comment with a laugh. He played both fiddle and mandolin with virtuosity belying his young years.

 They mostly  played  original material, but also put their own twist on Tom Petty’s American Girl, which gave  each band member  an opportunity to show off their substantial instrumental chops.

 Travis Kowalsky played impressive banjo, while drummer John Merikoski was just as impressive on the spoons, as his fingers were a blur during a couple songs, including an acoustic version of Blind Melon’s  ’90s hit “No Rain,” which there performed in the middle of a surprisingly strong and very enthusiastic Wednesday night audience.

And upright bassist John Williams ably held everything together. They were impressive. Krause and Thompson’s vocals melded together beautifully giving the band a huge vocal sound.

— By Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 05 July 2017 22:45 )

Dragon Boat Races a lot of fun.

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 I only caught a little bit of the Dragon Boat entertainment at this year’s Rotary Dragon boat Festival.The Hibikaya drummers have added a samurai to their ranks. Photo by Richard Amery

 I caught most of the Hibikaya drummer’s performing and discussing traditional Japanese  drumming. They even  had a fully armoured Samurai overseeing the show in the sweltering, sunny heat. Little kids dance in front of the performers on a plywood floor and everybody seemed to be having a great summer night.

 On Saturday afternoon, June 24, Dory and the Weathermen played  their usual solid set of country, pop and classic rock hits . Some of the highlights included Carrie Underwood’s  “ Two Black Cadillacs” and their revamped cover of Genesis “ I Can’t Dance” as well as a cool version of the Beatles’ “Day Tripper.”

The Rotary Dragon Boat Festival is always a lot of fun. Photo by Richard Amery— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat EditorDavid Rossiter and his young padawan photographing Dory and the Weathermen at the 2017 Rotar Dragon Boat Festival. Photo by Richard Amery
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 05 July 2017 17:27 )

Prism plays all the hits

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Vancouver based classic rockers Prism always play an exceptional show of their many ’70s and ’80s hits. Their June 24 show at Average Joes was no exception. Prism’s Al Harlow at Average Joes, June 17. Photo by Richard Amery

I missed sole original member Al Harlow’s always impressive guitar solo, but arrived in time to catch drummer Gary Grace’s drum solo at the end of “Mirror Man,” featuring Al Harlow playing his guitar through a talk box. Harlow left the stage to change costumes during the drum solo. I also arrived in time for the panty removing ballad portion of the set including “Take Me Away” and “Night to Remember” which had a good sized audience dancing close.

 They picked up the pace with  one of my favourites  “Don’t Let Him Know” before officially ending their set with “Armageddon.”

Of course they were called back for an encore of another favourite “Take Me To The Kaptain” which followed Marc Gladstone’s keyboard solo.

—By Richard Amery, L.A Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 05 July 2017 17:06 )

Local musicians celebrate ’90s music

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 A good chunk of the Lethbridge music community relived their youth by a freewheeling night of Big shiny 90s covers at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, June 24.

Jolene Draper and Quint Viskup were among the many local musicians playing  a Big Shiny 90s night at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, June 24. photo by Richard Amery
I arrived during one of many instrument switches as Jolene Draper took the stage with bassist Steve Martin, Quint Viskup and Chris Lipinski, who played the Goo Dolls’s “Iris.” A who’s who of Lethbridge’s scene was on stage including Silvana Campus, Mickey Hayward and many more, just to name a few of them.

Tyson Wiebe only had a couple of days to pull the event together and organize who would be playing what instrument on what song, so it was impressive just because of that. They brought back a lot of memories good and bad played a lot of ’90s music good and bad. They covered both obscure as as well as overplayed ”90s hits like the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Californication” to long forgotten one hit wonders like Semisonic’s “Closing Time,” which aptly drew the show to a close.

Wiebe returned to lead  the band through Blink 182s “What’s my Age Again.” which was the last song before “Closing Time.”

— by Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 05 July 2017 16:51 )
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