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JoJo Mason excited for first tour opening for Meghan Patrick and James Barker band

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Regina born, Vancouver based “country/soul” singer Jojo Mason is all about the good vibes with a little bit of good luck and good timing.

 Mason never even thought of being a singer. He wanted to be a professional hockey player and moved out to Victoria to play junior hockey until he injured himself. However a fortuitous meeting at a party withJoJo mason plays Lethbridge, Feb. 3. Photo Submitted producer Dan Schwimmer who was struggling with a line in a song about drinking moonshine out of a Mason’s jar, until he met Mason, who was doing just that.

 They struck up a quick rapport and friendship and Schwimmer ended up taking Mason under his wing.

 Now Mason has released his debut hit album “Both Sides of the Bar”  and several  hit singles including “It’s All Good,” “Good Kind of Love” and “Red Dress” and has begun a tour with country stars the James Barker band and Meghan Patrick, who stop by Average Joes, Feb. 3.

 “It’s going great brother,” rumbled Mason from Halifax, where they just kicked off the cross Canada tour.

“The first show was sold out. It was crazy. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the tour,” he enthused, noting he is excited to have 20 minutes to be opening for the rising stars.
“I’ve never played with them before. This is my first tour and they’ve been so generous,” Mason continued.

“I’m sharing a bus with Meghan and her band and we’re sharing a couple of band members. We’ve been laughing a lot,” he said.

Mason has been pleasantly surprised  by the success of his debut CD, having carefully chosen which songs he wanted to record for it.
“Dan has a lot of songs to choose from,” Mason observed, adding it was easy to choose the ones that resonated the most with him.

“I met Dan at a party about three or four years ago. It’s nice to have someone like him to mentor me and have my back,” he said.
“He kind of took me under his wing. I had moved to Victoria to play hockey, but got a herniated disc and couldn’t play, so I was in a dark place. I went to the party. He was working on a song about  drinking out of a Masons jar. And I was drinking moonshine out of a mason’s jar hat I bought at a liquor store and we started talking and struck up a fast friendship. Eventually asked me if I could sing and I said ‘shoot, I could try,’” he said.
While he didn’t take him seriously at first, Mason gave Schwimmer a call and they started working together.

Last Updated ( Monday, 29 January 2018 17:57 ) Read more...

Boots and the Hoots come back for Windy City Opry

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Boots and the Hoots always play an entertaining show in Lethbridge and they play here quite often. They returned to the Slice for the January edition of the Windy City Opry, Wednesday, Jan. 10 for approximately 30 folks braving bone chilling winter weather. This show as no exception. There was plkenty of earthy jokes and catchy traditional country style songs.

Boots and the Hoots played the Windy City Opry at the Slice, Jan. 10. Photo by Richard Amery
Unfortunately I missed opening sets by Kory Istace and Aryn El Hefe, but Boots and the Hoots aka Boots Graham and lead guitarist Tyler Allen played an exceptional show for the enthusiastic audience and broke in new upright bassist  Dick Curtis in the process.

Frontman Boots Graham thanked Istace and El Hefe for playing excellent solo sets, quipping he was thankful they didn’t have backing bands behind them.

 They played a solid set of original, quirky country music including “Lower the Bar” and crowd favourite “Whisk All The Drinky,” as well putting their own unique twist on traditional country like the Big Bopper/ George Jones hit “White Lightning.”

And Hank Williams’ “Honky Tonk Blues,”which kicked off a quick encore set they played at the request of host Shaela Miller.

— By Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 January 2018 09:50 )

Hippodrome heats up a chilly January night

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Hippodrome came ready to party and heat up  a cold January night, Jan. 6 at the Slice. I arrived in the middle of a hot, sweaty set by the local  R and B, pop, disco band and a floor full of enthusiastic dancers.

Juran Greene of hippodrome at the Slice, Jan. 6. Photo by Richard Amery They played a usual strong set full of toe tapping, booty shaking hits  including “That’s the Way I Like It,” and “the Beat Goes On.”

Erica Hunt, Shawna Romolliwa and Juran Greene shared lead vocal duties, with Greene being the affable party host as always.

 The band was tight as usual, with  the horn section and rhythm section all locked in.

 Greene was enjoying himself to full measure, belting out “Mustang Sally,” and shone on “Soul Man.”

 They showed their bluesy side with “Flip, Flop and Fly” and their disco side on songs like “Burn, Baby Burn.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 January 2018 09:27 )

Richard Inman tells stories and sings new songs

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Richard Inman returned to  the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Jan. 6 to play a solid, heartfelt set of original music for an enthusiastic  audience.

He told stories about playing gigs in rural Ontario and finally relocating in Central Alberta, noting you can get physical copies of his CDs on,  and sang in a big baritone reminiscent of  country star Travis Tritt.Richard Inman singing heartfelt songs, Jan. 6. Photo by Richard Amery

He was backed by a steel guitar player and lead guitarist for most of his set, but played a few newer songs on his own.

He sang a lot of sadder songs, but picked added a couple more optimistic numbers.

 In addition to his own material, he also played an excellent cover of Ray Wylie Hubbard’s “Drunken Poets Dream.”

 The Crooked Creek Warblers were also on the bill, but I missed their set.

— By Richard Amery, L.a. beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 January 2018 09:19 )

Things get back into full swing this week with jazz jam and Flipfest fundraiser

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Things pick up this week, beginning tonight at the Slice with a big rap show featuring Evil Ebenezer of SDK plus West Coast O and J Marsh. There will be local support from the PSychonauts, Pyke, ONTK  and JPB.

 Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets James Oldenburg plays gigs with Bandemonium and hosts the jazz jam at to Owl Acoustic Lounge with HBO3. Photo by Richard Ameryare $10 in advance $20 at the door.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, Jan. 17,  the Slice features a special FLIPfest fundraiser with Montreal’s Duchess Says, Windsor, Ontario’s Partner and local band W.I.T.S.

Duchess Says are members of the Church of Budgerigars who formed in 2003 to spread the word of the Duchess (spiritual Budgie) through synth powered indie rock.

 Partner are  best friends Josée Caron and Lucy Niles who released their debut CD in πIn Search of lost Time” who were named best new band in Canada by the Globe and mail. W.I.T.S Are a local synth pop band.

 Tickets are $15 from the Slice or Blueprint or $20 at the door. It is a fundraiser for this year’s edition of FLIPfest, a  multi-venue Femme positive music festival which was a highlight of last year.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 16 January 2018 09:52 ) Read more...
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