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Music community helps“busted up” supporter

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 It is always a pleasure seeing local musicians coming together to help out their own as well as their biggest fans.

Jon Martin playing  the busted Up fundraiser. Photo by Richard Amery
 The Crooked Creek Warblers playing the busted Up fundraiser. Photo by Richard AmerySo a variety of local musicians got together at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, to wind down August, Aug. 31 and raise over $2,000 for Derek Hoyle, a scenester who has always been a big supporter of local music, who had a serious workplace accident.

 I missed opening sets by George Arsene and Steve Foord, but arrived just in time for a solo acoustic set from Jon Martin of the New Weather Machine, who has been keeping a low profile on local stages while earning his masters degree and recording other artists.

Dil Jopp and Don Cassell playing  the busted Up fundraiser. Photo by Richard Amery
 He played his usual solid set of original folk rock. His strong impassioned voice rang through the room for approximately 50 people as he accompanied himself on acoustic guitar on a variety of heart-wrought originals, including one of my favourites “Sinking Like a Stone.”

He tapped into the spirits of David Bowie and Freddie Mercury and ended his set with a cover of Queen’s “Under Pressure.”

 The Crooked Creek Warblers aka Gabriel Thaine and Cris Drew added a bit of blues to the proceedings during their long set which featured  Gabriel Thaine and Chris Drew taking turns singing their songs and accompanying the other. Gabriel Thaine’s songs were more blues influenced while Chris Drew added more of a country/ folk sound. They added excellent vocal harmonies to each other’s songs.

 For a special surprise, Dave McCann made a surprises visit to the stage to play the crowd favourite “Standing in the River.”
Don Cassell and Dil Jopp finished the night with an original set of laid back folk rock featuring Dil Jopp on upright bass and Cassell seated and strumming guitar while singing.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 06 September 2017 16:35 )

Snake River play psychedelic rock show at Slice

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A decent sized crowd was on hand to listen to some rock and roll courtesy of local rock band Biloxi Parish and Regina psychedelic country band Snake River plus an Ant and an Atom on Wednesday, Aug. 30.

Snake River at the Slice. Photo by Richard Amery
 I missed Sean Warkentin aka An Ant and An Atom, but arrived in time to get my eardrums blown out by Biloxi Parish.

  The local rock band, who I saw playing as a duo the last couple of times, were back up to a quartet with bassist Caden Boyce and lead guitarist Taran Duncan adding to the impassioned vocals, rhythm guitar and anguished energy of Zach Passey and thunderous drumming of Cole Howg. They made enough noise for two or three bands, with a bass heavy set of intense rock and roll. Passey whirled and gyrated around the stage, tossing his guitar around and writhing like every one of his nerve endings were on fire.

They ended with a couple of their more exceptional originals “Odetta and X“Coyote.”

Regina’s Snake River also played a loud set  of weird, delay laden, psychedelic rock. The biting Strat of John De Gennaro, solid drums of Dustin  Gamracy and bass of Jeff M drowning out vocalist/ rhythm guitarist Christopher Sleightholm, who gave the band the air of a louder, psychedelic  and more rootsy Radiohead with a touch of Pink Floyd. DeGennaro created weird ambient sounds with a green glowing Ebow he held over his guitar strings to create sinister sounds.

— by Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 06 September 2017 16:22 )

Shit Talkers and Perception of Pain and Drearius bring metal to Onion

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A poorly advertised and last minute relocated show lead to a trio of choked touring bands  playing for a small but enthusiastic audience at the Onion, Monday, Aug. 28.The Shit Talkers at the Onion. Photo by Richard Amery

I caught the end of local metal act  Drearius who played an upbeat and menacing set of death metal tinged metal full of growling vocals and some big guitar riffs.

I never like to miss a show from Calgary/Creston metal duo Perception of Pain, who popped as a stripped down duo as they lost a bassist since the last time they played Lethbridge. Drummer Colleen Spence was a blur behind her kit, grinning as she bashed wildly away at the skins  and brutalizing her cowbell as guitarist / vocalist Tanessa van Meisel howled tortured vocals that alternately wailed and growled.

 She played beefy metal riffs with punk urgency through a brief and energetic set of originals which left bodies sweaty and ears ringing.

I never like to miss a show by East Van Vancouver Riot Grrrl / punk band the Shit Talkers, who are taking Perception of Pain on tour to Winnipeg and back.

Perception of Pain drummer Colleen Spence. Photo by Richard Amery They are always a lot of fun  when they play Lethbridge , so I hope they come back.

 They had a lot of new songs to share with the  audience, including “Shut Up” and “Eight Dicks” plus a few off their two EPs including  “East Van,” “Fukin Guys” and “ Canadian Peasant,” which ended the set just after midnight.

 Guitarist  Liz Mantle sang most of the vocals though her band mates, bassist Michelle Duff, guitarist Brooke Fujiama and drummer Nadja Feutlinske also sang lead on a couple of songs and added gang vocals to the other songs.
 They played a tight and furious set of up tempo punk and ’90s Riot Grrrl rock.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 06 September 2017 16:13 )

Adequate bring the funk and the fun with ’70s inspired rock

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Things got a little funky at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Saturday, Aug. 26. Adequate guitarist Josh Thorlakson at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Aug. 26. Photo by Richard Amery

While just I missed Calgary’s “Well Mannered Thieves,” I was in time for another fun set of ’70s R and B, disco and funk from local trio Adequate who have delved even further into the ’70s by adding synth bass and keyboards played by Scott Mezei, who had just got off stage from the last performance of Barn Dance with New West theatre. Guitarist/ vocalist Josh Thorlakson added a talk box to his guitar to add just a little extra ’70s  fun.

They also added more psychedelic ’70s lights to enhance the greasy air of Studio 54 debauchery.

 Drummer Keenan Pezderic, hit those castrati high vocal notes on a number of songs in the set which they began with a medley which included “Shaft (with Pezderic adding Scott’s name in the place of Shaft) and the fresh prince of Bel Aire theme song, so you knew the night was going to be a lot of fun.

They played plenty of disco hits like “Brick House”, some rare Rick  James  and a sexy version of Dr. John’s “Right Place, Wrong Time.”
 They also added a new Josh Thorlakson original called “Get the Funk Outta My House.”

—by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 06 September 2017 15:57 )

Glorious Sons rock Whoop Up Days with Steve Keenan band

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 I didn’t catch a lot of whoop Up Days this year, but made a point of catching the glorious return of Kingston rockers the Glorious Sons, Friday, Aug 25. The Glorious Sons rocking Whoop Up Days, Aug. 25. Photo by Richard Amery

The Glorious Sons’ Brett Emmons and bassist Chris Huot rocking Whoop Up Days, Aug. 25. Photo by Richard Amery
 But first, I got a chance to be blown away again by hot local blues rockers the Steve Keenan Band, who happily jammed on older Steve Keenan songs like  one of my favourites “ Whiskey Drinking Blues” as well as some new , more country inspired originals inspired by Keenan’s experience raising his daughter.

 They also cut their musical jobs with some inspired jams on blues classics like Eric Clapton’s “Lay Down Sally” and BB King’s ”The Thrill is Gone,” for which, Keenan and lead guitarist Pete Watson effortlessly traded guitar solos as if they shared on brain and four sets of fleet fingered hands.

Rhythm section,  drummer Darwin Romanchuk and bassist David Popovich played completely in synch as if they too shared a single brain.

 By the end, rambunctious  Glorious Sons fans had gathered up close to the fence separating the Gas King stage and the audience to get a closer look and listen to the long awaited, rare performance from the local bluesmen, as a cadre of cops gathered backstage to keep an eye on the stage, and the bustling crowd.

 The Steve Keenan band ended their set with a hot version of the driving blues rocker “Going Down,” one of my favourite blues classics, done by everybody from Govt. Mule to Colin James.

 The police presence ended up being necessary  as the Glorious Sons started their high energy set. Security admonished them to step back from the fence as a couple idiots started throwing cans at the band, which lead lead singer Brett Emmons, brandishing a mic stand and a bottle of whiskey to admonish them about  throwing things at the band. He ended up throwing his mic stand at them, though it never cleared the fence.

The Steve Keenan band rocking Whoop Up Days, Aug. 25. Photo by Richard Amery
In the meantime, the Glorious Sons delivered a hot, sweltering set of uptempo rockers including hits like Heavy” “Lightning” and “ The Union” which had everybody singing along and a couple of others I didn’t recognize, but which many of the people in the front row sang along with. The new single “Everything is All Right” was a laid back highlight.

More introspective, piano powered newer songs like the new singles were counterbalanced by new harder edged rockers like “Sometimes The Devil Is all You’ve Got,” and another outstanding, heart-wrenching rocker  “Shotgun.”
Emmons played a hot harp solo during “Mama,” conducted a crowd in the sing along of the chorus and and eventually sat on the edge of the stage, whiskey bottle in hand, and ended up wandering up to the fence to get the audience to help sing along with the more popular numbers like “Heavy”.
 They wound down their set with the single from earlier this year “Kill the Lights” and “ I’m Your Wrecking Ball.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 September 2017 08:34 )
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