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Bente Hansen and Jesse Plessis to play Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Band on pianos

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Local pianist Bente Hansen is excited to stretch her fingers to play The Beatles‘ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club band album in it’s entirety with good friend Jesse Plessis, May 18 in the University Theatre.

“We’ve performed it three oBente Hansen practices playing Let it Be as Jess Plessis is reflected on her piano.  Photo by Richard Ameryr four times. Jesse got the rights to it. I don’t know how that boy does it but he did this incredible arrangement of it for two pianos,” said Hansen, noting Plessis will be returning from Montreal to practice the show with Hansen for about a week before the show.

“The first time we performed it was for the first year Jesse did the Centric Music festival. And we had about two days to practice it,” she said adding they have performed it twice in the Southminster United Church and once in Calgary.

“Now we’re at a certain level with it. So every time we play it we take it to the next level. So it is definitely an event,” she continued.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 May 2017 09:40 ) Read more...

Everything from folk to metal and rap and laughter this week

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May begins with a little something for almost everyone from rap to classical music and whole lot of roots.Right out of the gate, on Wednesday, May 3, there are a couple big shows.Back Porch Swing returns to play the Lethbridge College Cave for the Lethbridge Folk Club on Saturday. Photo by Richard Amery
 The Slice features a big rap show featuring Red Deer rapper Blazeon3 and Windsor rapper Geoff English touring on the the Road to the Reign tour. They will share the stage with Brayden Blieve Bonnettt and Sevan Bannayan plus local support lRev, Heavy Knowledge, Urban Voyce and TreyMark. The show begins at 8 p.m.

The first big punk show of the Spring/ summer is also May 3 with Calgary Celtic tinged punk band the River Jacks at the Moose Hall. Chief Mountain and the Scallywags are also on the show which begins at  8 p.m. There is a $10 cover.

 The complete opposite to all that happens at the Yates Theatre where the Ukrainian dance club presents Vesna, their annual celebration of spring. It will feature performances with  the Filipino Dance Club as well as Mexicanos Sin Fronteras. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, It begins at 7 p.m.

A highlight of the week is sure to be Hamilton based roots quartet Elliott Brood who return to Lethbridge to play Average Joes, Thursday, May 4. They are  going to give people a taste of their upcoming CD “Ghost Gardens” as well as old favourites.
Tickets are $25 in advance, $20 at the door. The show will begins at 8:30 p.m.

The weekend will cook with a cornucopia of different entertainment happening.
 It begins at 6 p.m. with Rigo the Latino performing at the Mocha Cabana.

The Slice has a great roots rock show with Vancouver singer songwriter Rodney DeCroo, who brings his band back to Lethbridge in support of his new CD “Old Tenement Man.” Bryce Jardine and Sean MacPherson are also on the bill. There is a five dollar cover for the show, which begins at 9 p.m.

 For the complete opposite to that, local punk band J Blissette kick off their tour at the Owl Acoustic Lounge with Saskatoon based psychedelic country band Snake River and feminist punk the Shiverettes. Admission is by donation.
 If you want  to hear some classic rock, Steel Cut play Coyote Joes, May 5 as well.

 Just out of town, if you want to hear some roots and country music, Louisiana Hayride play the Empress Theatre on Fort Macleod at 7:30 p.m.. Tickets are $45.
There are a lot of chances to laugh this week too.

 Yuk Yuks comedy returns to Average Joes with Kerry Unger, Dion Arnold and Randy Webb taking the stage at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.

 And if you are a Trailer Park Boys fan Randy and Mr. Lahey will be making you laugh, May 6 at Soundgarden. Dan Hymus will be making you laugh first at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25.

The weekend is a great night for roots and country music.

 On Saturday, May 6, there are several great shows.
The Lethbridge Folk Club presents western Canada string band Back Porch Swing swinging back to the Lethbridge College Cave beginning at 8 p.m. Poet and storyteller Ken Sears opens the show.
On the other side of town, The Geomatic Attic presents the CD release party for local roots rocker Leeroy Stagger’s new CD “Love Versus.”

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 02 May 2017 11:59 ) Read more...

Texassissippi Soul Man Danny Brooks and Lil Miss Debi set to play a variety of music this weekend

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Texassissippi soul man Danny Brooks and Lil’ Miss Debi (Middlebrook Brooks) are excited to play Lethbridge for the first time at the Slice, Saturday, May 6.Danny Brooks and Lil Miss Debi play Lethbridge this weekend. Photo submitted

 The Toronto born duo have been living in Llano,  Texas, west of Austin for the past seven years, taking in a whole lot of great music and experienceing some amazing stories.

“We love it here. We live in Texas in the middle of nowhere in hill country but it is so beautiful,” said Brooks calling immediately after receiving an e-mail  while driving Highway 94 en route to a show in North Dakota.
 Brooks is an interesting character. He is a blues and soul musician and inspirational author and even spent time in prison for committing a break and enter  as a result of a serious a substance addiction, which he managed to conquer.

He has released seven Cds including “The World Is Not Your Friend,” which was released in 2015 and showcases their current stripped down show of Brooks on guitar and harp and his wife Debi on suitcase, cymbal and cajon, box drum.

“We make a lot of noise for a duo,” he said.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 02 May 2017 11:47 ) Read more...

Rodney DeCroo inspired by working with Lorrie Matheson

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Vancouver based singer songwriter/ author/ poet Rodney DeCroo is glad to be coming back to Lethbridge in support of his new CD “Old Tenement Man” at the Slice, May 5, which is also when the CD is officially released.

“I didn’t make it to Lethbridge the last time I toured Canada. Jesse (Freed) has always been booked up. So it’s been about five years since I was there,“ said DeCroo.

Rodney DeCroo returns to Lethbridge this week. Photo submitted
DeCroo recorded the CD with well known Calgary producer Lorrie Mathesoon.

“He’s a really laid back guy and I haven’t always got along with producers. But he really corelated the songs to make sure they come from a natural place,” he continued.
“Lorrie really pushed me to make them the best they could be,“ he said.

“ But he also got me to listen to music I wouldn’t have l thought to listen to before,“ he said, noting he gained a new appreciation for bands like Mara and especially the Cure’s Robert Smith and even dipped into a little bit of John Coltrane jazz music.

“Though playing that is a little beyond my capabilities. I like the way he approaches a song,” he said.

Those influences never made it into the CD which does have more of a rock edge than his usual folk based singer-songwriter style, though there are plenty of folk style stories being told.
“ He really expanded my musical palate. He just really got me excited about playing music.”

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 02 May 2017 11:07 ) Read more...

JJ Shiplett has “something to believe” in after working on new CD with Johnny Reid

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Calgary based country/ soul singer JJ Shiplett just wants to get better at his craft.

JJ Shiplett returns to Lethbridge this week. Photo submitted
 He is riding high on his latest CD “Something to Believe In,” which he co-produced with Johnny Reid, who he  spent most of last year touring with.

“ I travelled all across the country and it was really special. I’m trying to avoid saying it gave me something to believe in,” chuckled Shiplett, who returns to Lethbridge, May 6 to play with Leeroy Stagger for the Geomatic Attic at the Chinook High school theatre.

“ I started the tour with an EP of four songs from the album. I did a lot of travelling back and forth to Nashville and Calgary. And I had a lot of long conversations with Johnny about the music,” Shiplett said.
“It was quite the experience. We wanted the  songs to be the best representative of me. Basically he helped trimmed the fat. I painted pretty broad portraits and he brought them more into focus,” Shiplett said.

“Now I just want to get out there and play the songs for people.”

He has had some pretty high profile gigs this year.
“I just played the CCMAs with Lindsey Ell. And I played South By Southwest In Austin. I’ve never seen that many people before. And there were like 2,500 bands playing. I also played  in the Juno Cup against former NHL Hockey players like Gary Roberts. After that we had the Juno Cup jam, which was hosted by Devin Cuddy. I got to see a lot of friends I haven’t seen in a long time, because when I’m touring the west they’re touring the east.

 Shiplett is sometimes compared to Chris Stapleton, but the new CD  shows his voice shares similarities with Johnny Reid, which is completely coincidental.

“Johnny and I have the same raspy voice. I don’t know how he got his, but I got mine through years of mistreating my voice. There is only so much whiskey you can drink and how much you can smoke , though I have cut the smoking in half,” he observed
“ But he must have heard something in my voice that he could get behind, so I am grateful to him and his team for getting behind me,” he said.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 02 May 2017 10:43 ) Read more...
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