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Canada Day celebrations among week’s highlights

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Canada turns 150 years old this year, so Lethbridge is going all out to celebrate with live music, July 1. But before that, there is quite a lot going on for live music.

 Chicago roots/American/bluegrass band  the Way Down Wanderers visit the Slice, June 28 in the middle of their first visit to Canada. They blend elements of folk, rock, traditional music, bluegrass and much more into their unique sound from their 2016 self titled debut CD as well as their brand new live CD.The Matadors return to Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Amery
For the complete opposite to that, London, Ontario based psychobilly/ rockabilly  band the Matadors return to Lethbridge, June 28 as well when they return to the Moose Hall with local punk bands the Scallywags and Gender Bender. The show begins at 9 p.m.

 For something different again, The Owl Acoustic Lounge hosts their month end stand up comedy open mic on June 28.
While Canada Day activities dominate the weekend, there are a couple cool shows happening.
 Taylor Ackerman, who used to play with Treeline and Toques and Beards is taking advantage of a month back home in Lethbridge after spending the past 10 months in Halifax to play a pair of local gigs.

 He brings his new blues rock project Global Acid Reset (which also features drummer Matthew Rederburg and Cory Fischer ) to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, June 30 with Don Cassells’ new project In Cahoots. Global Acid Reset plays the Slice on Canada Day with local roots rock collective Unbroken Circle. There is a  $10 cover for that show.
Shaela Miller returns to the Slice on June 30 with local roots group Rancho Deluxe and Megan Rourke. Admission is $10.

For Canada Day, Vancouver based funk orchestra Five Alarm Funk are part of a busy Canada Day line up at Henderson lake, which begins at 11 a.m. with the Lethbridge Community Band. They will be followed at noon by the Dramatic Measures Choir, the Hibikaya drummers at 12:10, New West Theatre at 12:30 p.m., the Lethbridge Thai dancers at 1:10, Munya Maturuse at 1:30 p.m., the Troyanda Ukrainian Dancers at 2:20 p.m., local funk/R and B/disco collective Hippodrome at 2:50 and the opening ceremonies at 4 p.m..

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 June 2017 08:50 ) Read more...

Five Alarm Funk to help ring in Canada Day in Lethbridge

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Vancouver based funk band Five Alarm Funk plan to “Sweat” in support of their new album, when they drop the funk on Henderson Lake Park to celebrate Canada 150 festivities.

Five  Alarm Funk bring the funk for Canada Day. Photo by Richard Amery
“It’s been 14 years and six albums. And this album is our most mature album yet. It’s opened a lot of doors for us,” said Tayo Branston, one of the two drummers in the funk fuelled behemoth which includes Gabe Boothroyd - Guitar; Oliver Gibson - Guitar; Jay Smith - Bass; Tom Towers - Congas; Ricki Valentine - Timbales; Eli Bennett - Sax and trumpet player Kent Wallace.

“We wanted to capture what it feels like to be at  a concert. The last album “Abandon Earth’ was a concept album. It was almost a heavy metal album. On this album we went back to our roots of heavy funk, afrobeat  and reggae,” Branston said, adding they are excited to play Canada Day in Lethbridge.

“Our live show is the best it’s ever been. We have new costumes and new props we’re breaking out. I don’t want to spoil things, but the gorilla and the sharks are our in full force. They’ve become a symbol for Five Alarm Funk. They’re big, powerful animals,” he said, promising a spectacle for Canada Day.

“We’re also working on new music which we’ll be playing which you won’t hear unless you’re at the concert,” he said, noting the band has been touring a lot in the United States and Canada since releasing the album in March. They played Follyfest in Fredericton on June 23 before flying back to Vancouver the Coastal Jazz Festival, which kicks off a big tour including Canadian and American dates.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 June 2017 08:23 ) Read more...

Taylor Ackerman goes back to blues rock roots with Global Acid Reset

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They all come back eventually. Taylor Ackerman, who was a member of several popular local bands including Treeline and Toques and Beards, returns home from Halifax for a month to introduce his new musical project GloTaylor Ackerman plays with Global Acid Reset. Photo by Richard Amerybal Acid Reset with a pair of local shows, June 30 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge and July 1 at the Slice.

He noted he has spent the past 10 months living in Halifax rediscovering his blues/rock roots, while looking after his two year old while wife Arianna Richardson earns her MFA. Be has also been dipping his toes into the thriving east coast scene.

 He has been recording new music while in Halifax with drummer Geoff Arsenault including the new single “Bangladeshi T-Shirt” which is officially released on June 30.

“ He’s a great drummer. He has played with Ray Bonneville and just finished a tour with Matt Anderson,” Ackerman said, adding he planned the trip home with a handful of shows including  the two Lethbridge shows plus a show at Verns in Calgary on June 29 and a show at Soulfest in Twin Butte on July 7.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 June 2017 08:09 ) Read more...

Way Down Wanderers wandering up to Canada for first time

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Peoria, Illinois based roots/ bluegrass band the Way Down Wanderers are wandering up to Canada for the first time  next week for a quick tour including a stop at the Slice on Wednesday, June 28.The Way Down Wanderers play Lethbridge on Wednesday. Photo submitted

The Americana/roots quintet’s self titled debut CD has won them several awards after being released in February 2016. The Way Down Wanderers are  vocalist/ guitarist Austin Thompson;
Collin Krause- Vocals, Mandolin, Violin, Electric Guitar ;  John Williams- Vocals, Upright Bass; John Merikoski - Drums, Percussion and banjo/fiddle player Travis Kowalsky.
They are excited about the Canadian tour.

“This will be the first time we’ve ever played outside of the United States, so we’re just excited to see the land,” said vocalist/guitarist Austin Thompson.

The roots of the band began in Peoria where Austin Thompson and Collin Krause were part of a band for a different singer.

“When that fell apart, Collin and I decided to form a band where we had a little bit more control over what we were doing. And when that fell apart, I decided to try writing songs myself. John Williams was studying jazz and he joined us,” said Thompson travelling from Peoria to Chicago where most of the band are based. Newest member,  banjo player Travis Kowalsky, lives in the northern Michigan city of Alpena.
“He’s a great fiddle player, so we asked him to play with us,” he said.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 25 June 2017 10:56 ) Read more...

Twin Peaks bring new music to intimate Wednesday night audience

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Wednesday shows can be hit or miss.Twin Peaks playing the Owl acoustic Lounge, June 14. Photo buy Richard Amery
 I was sad to only see a handful of folks on hand to hear Fort. St. John duo Twin Peaks at the Owl Acoustic Lounge on Wednesday, June 14.

I was at the Windy City Opry at the Slice, which drew most of the Wednesday night roots and folk crowd, and thus likely most of Twin Peaks’ people.

 But Lindsay Pratt and Naomi Shore sang heartfelt original music including several new songs. They sang lovely harmonies. Shore played pretty piano while Pratt strummed her guitar.

I missed their ukuleles though, which must have come earlier on in the set. Shore had a tough new song about her ex boyfriend fearing her called “Not Today,” in a similar vein, “threatening love song” “ Wild Card,” was a highlight ending the set.

— By Richard Amery, L.A.Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 June 2017 14:36 )
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