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Makiisma gets ready to fund new CD with shows

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 I only caught one weekend gig to Shakespeare and illness but was glad it was Makiisma’s show at the Slice, Friday, July 12.

Megan Brown and her band including drummMegan Brown performing as Makiisma at the Slice, July 12. Photo by Richsrd Ameryer Keenan Pezderic, keyboardist TJ Waltho and bassist Steve Martin gave a preview of their upcoming CD which they are in the midst of recording with Jon Martin.

 They started off in a more grunge and alternative rock mood but moved on to the more dark folk Brown usually plays. She noted they have completed three of the nine songs to be recorded for their debut CD.

One highlight was “ Do I Work for the Devil or Live in Hell,” her entry to this year’s South Country Fair Songwriting competition.

She traded her guitar for her fiddle for a couple of songs and explored some jazz stylings in her vocals.
 Amy Arsene’s art adorned the walls.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 July 2019 08:56 )

Wide Skies and more festivals coming up

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 When one festival ends, another begins.
 With things getting back to normal, more or less, after South Country Fair, things start cooking again downtown with The Geomatic Attic’s Wide Skies Music Festival, happening Tuesday, July 30 and Wednesday, July 31.

Steve Marriner returns to Lethbridge for the Wide Skies music Festival. Photo by Richard Amery
Wide Skies begins with a free out door show outside Southminster United Church featuring Danny Michel, Vancouver Island soul band Carmanah and Vancouver based rockabilly trio Cousin Harley, who were just at South Country Fair. The free stage is  from 5 -10 p.m. There is also a side stage featuring  the Steve Keenan Band, George Fowler and Megan Brown of the Junkman‘s Quire and more.
If that isn’t enough, all of them will be playing a songwriter’s circle with Sofia Viola and from 10:30 p.m. until midnight.
The next day, there will be a ticketed show on the Casa stage featuring Harry Manx and Monkeyjunk’s Steve Marriner’s new project Mainline and Argentinian Sofia Viola.

 Tickets are $37.50 for the one show. Festival passes are $50.

The other big festival is the Rotary Ribfest, which takes place in Henderson Lake Park, July 26-28. There will be plenty of ribs, family fun and live music, though they haven’t announced the line up yet. Admission is free. It is not affiliated  with Ribfest which takes place over Labour Day weekend in Galt Gardens. All proceeds go back to the community through the Rotary club.

Another big charity show is the third annual Green N Yellow Camp Chili Cook off, July 26 -28 at 2006 58 St South. There will be a fire pit, chili and ribs on Saturday night and live music from the Andi Roberts Band, Tyrants of Chaos , and Bryan Horvat and more. Tickets are $22 with all proceeds going to the Alzheimer Society.
 Other than  the two big festivals, there is a fair amount happening.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 July 2019 09:22 ) Read more...

Workshops heat things up as rain drenches day two of South Country Fair

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I cut Saturday at South Country Fair in the Fort Macleod  Fish and Games Park short, July 20, because of weather.Blackfoot Medicine Speaks opening South Country Fair, Saturday, July 20. Photo by Richard Amery
 Because as much as I love live music, I’m not willing to wade through mud and dodge rain to hear it, let alone take pictures in it.
Being on duty in the CKXU booth stationed in front of the south stage, I missed all of the awesome music happening on the east stage including Tara Warburton and Rancho Deluxe plus Edmonton’s Bad Buddy.

 Luckily, Bad Buddy  was part of “Abigail Lapell at the South Country Fair, July 20. Photo by Richard AmeryThere’s a Party Going on,” which was the workshop of the weekend, sharing the stage with Jack Garton and Demon Squadron, who also had an evening set on the south stage, and Revel in Dimes, who wound up Friday night.
 Jack Garton and Demon Squadron are playing the Owl Acoustic Lounge, July 26 and are not to be missed especially if you like zydeco music and accordion music.

This workshop was worth getting soaked for. While most workshops have each participant taking turns playing a song each,  for this one, each band played three songs in a row with everyone else playing along, which lead to a really special experience as the rain started pelting down.

 They played a selection of originals and jammed on a couple of blues classics. It was going so well that Revel in Dimes lead singer Kia Warren quipped “ This is now our band. We’re taking them all on the road with us.”
 Jack Garton was especially  impressive , as he came flying out of the gate with the upbeat “ Too Much Jesus, Not Enough Whiskey,” during which he simultaneously played accordion and trumpet as well as singing.
 They carried on with a massive jam on blues classic “ Shake, Rattle and Roll,” and “Hip Shake.”

 Bad Buddy, which featured solo artist Alex Vissia on bass, played a quick set of loud, profanity laced fun, including a cover of the Beatles’ “ Helter Skelter,” which they joked they wrote.
 Vissia switched from bass to guitar to sing a more ’50s doo woo wop style number.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 20 July 2019 23:40 ) Read more...

South Country Fair 2019 begins with lots of rock and roll

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It always seems that South Country Fair is plagued by  unpleasant weather on the first day. It is also Leeroy Stagger playing South Country Fair. Photo by Richard Amerya given that the attendees don't seem to mind at all.
 I was able to get to the Flor macleod Fish and Games Park, Friday, July 19, in good time due to Macbeth being canceled due to weather.
 While parking, I heard Ali Stuart belting out “Like it That Way,” her second place entry in the South Country Fair  songwriting contest.
 I was just in time for a gripping set  from Leeroy Stagger and his hot band including Ryland Moranz, keyboardist Michael Ayotte, long time bassist Tyson Maiko and drummer Kyle Harmon.

 The started off slow, with some newer songs but including  favourites like “ I Want it All,.”
 They explored their pop side more on a couple new songs like “Strange Attractor,” the single from their next CD. They also showed their love for punk music on “ Joe Strummer  and Joey Ramone.”
 I was really looking forward to Edmonton born, Salish B.C. based  blues/jazz trio Blue Moon Marquee as it has been a while since I had seen them.

Guitarist/vocalist AW Cardinal, and bassist/drummer/ singer Jasmine Collette had added a keyboardist since I last saw them,  which allowed them to further explore the worlds of jazz/ shuffle and  gritty traditional blues.
 They played a lot of new music from their brand new record “ Bare Knuckles and Brawn.”
  A highlight was a song about rats, which iAerial artists performing during Blue Moon Marquee’|s set at South Country Fair. Photo by Richard Amerysn’t on the new CD.

  They played  sweltering blues warming up a chilly and rainy night. As always,  Cardinal growled out a  gripping version of  blues classic “St. James Infirmary.” While they were playing, aerial artists performed a variety of tricks hanging from a hoop, placed next to the stage.

 Peter and the Wolves are always a lot of fun. Now they have expanded  their lineup to include three back  up singers, one of whom plays saxophone and  another playing frontman Peter Cormier’s guitar, they are able to further  explore vintage rock and roll sounds and for Cormier to focus on piano.

Cormier also played some rapid fire  guitar solos, and playing it behind his head.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 20 July 2019 23:04 ) Read more...

A New Ground explore new ground in Lethbridge

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A dismal audience was on hand at Average Joes, Thursday, July 11 for Kitchener based multi-instrumentalist duo a New Ground.A New Ground  Claryssa Webb and  Ryan Dugal at Average Joes, July 11. Photo By Richard Amery
 Granted they were competing with Shakespeare in the Park’s production of Macbeth, and  the always popular Thursday open mic at the Slice , but most particularly the first night of Street Wheelers at Exhibition Park.

 But they deserved a bigger audience, especially considering how good they are.
 The duo, consisting of fiddle player/singer/ drummer/ mandolinist and guitarist Claryssa Webb and singer/guitarist/drummer Ryan  Dugal.
They began their second set with Webb playing fiddle and Dugal  accompanying her  on “the D Set, because it is in the  key of D,” which included a handful of Celtic and French Canadian fiddle powered instrumentals.

They followed that up by Dugal giving his guitar to Webb for a Fleetwood Mac cover that showed Webb was a talented as a vocalist as she was a fiddle player and everything else.

 Dugal added harmonies and drums for that song.
 He picked up guitar again for one of several more pop tinged originals, this one called “The Maze.”

 They took advantage of the pretty much empty room to try out a few new originals form their upcoming new CD.
 These were also more in the pop vein, with Dugal singing in his impassioned tenor voice, which was reminiscent of the likes of  Dan Mangan and Michael Bernard Fitzgerald. He even hit some impressive falsetto notes.

 But even more impressive was Webb playing fiddle and then a weird looking mandolin while simultaneously playing drums and singing harmonies.
They wound down the show with a  couple of spirited covers  of Yo Yo Ma and then some Bjork, which showcased Webb’s impressive fiddle and her voice on the Bjork cover.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 July 2019 11:52 )
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