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JoJo Mason returning to Lethbridge on headlining tour

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Rising country star JoJo Mason is excited about “The Future.” Mason is one of the happiest fellows you’ll ever meet.
“It beats the alternative,” laughed Mason, who returns to Average Joes, May 16 in his first headlining tour. He has played here with Gord Bamford as well as Meghan Patrick and the James Barker Band.

JoJo Mason returns to Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Amery
Mason has come a long way in the past three years, releasing  four top 10 hits including  “The Future” “ Edge of the night,” “Red Dress” and “It’s All Good.””
“I did three back to back tours with Gord Bamford and became friends with Meghan Patrick and toured with the James Barker Band,” he said.
“So if you saw my playing with Gord, then you’ll know what to expect. But I don’t want to spoil it. There may be some surprises,” he said.

“I’m so excited to come back, it’s been too many months since I’ve been there,” he said.

 “I like all kinds of music. I like to blend rap, soul music, R and B music and country music,” said Mason, who is excited about his  recent single “ Future,“ which he got  hold of through Meghan Patrick.

Last Updated ( Friday, 17 May 2019 15:22 ) Read more...

Double Helix play beautiful jazz music

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The Slice featured Vancouver jazz duo Double Helix playing for owner Derek Hoyle’s birthday, Wednesday, April 29.Double Helix, Tony and Peter Chotem, at the Slice, April 29. Photo by Richard Amery

Brothers Tony and Peter Chotem, played mostly instrumental music, crouched on chairs and hidden m behind music stands.
 On of the brothers punched buttons on a drum machine for a couple of numbers, which they didn’t really need, but it freed them both up to solo.

 One played a nylon string classical guitar, they other had an acoustic.
 They played mostly originals and mostly  instrumental, though they sang a little. A couple highlights were a pretty instrumental version of Glen Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman.”

 Though they had  only a handful of people, they played a third set as a few people trickled in from the sold out Tea Party concert at the Yates.

They opened that by singing happy birthday to Derek.

 A highlight of that set, full of pretty finger picking and harmonics, was a jazzy version of blues classic “Sweet Home Chicago.”

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 May 2019 09:00 )

Ken Hamm makes long awaited return to Lethbridge with hot fingerpicking and new music

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 Ken Hamm is so talented, he usually makes my want to burn my guitar, and his Lethbridge visits are rare, so I was glad to catch a second set from the Forget, Saskatchewan based blues and folk musician at the Lethbridge College Cave, winding down the Lethbridge Folk Club’s season, Saturday, April 27.
 I missed the Karen Romanchuk 3’s set and with the freak blizzard blowing in, I was sure no other show would be as good as this one was.Ken Hamm returned to Lethbridge, April 27. Photo by Richard Amery

 Hamm grinned as he sat perched on a bar stool, as he worked his way through a set of gorgeous fingerpicked blues, folk and instrumental music on a National Steel Guitar, a banjo and acoustic guitar. He played some Robert Johnson,  Pete Seeger and lots more, leaving the 80 some people  with their jaws on the floor. At least mine was.

 He played a lot from his latest CD “Mokomon.” His version of the instrumental “Anji” was beautiful as was his cover of J.S. Bach’s ”Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring,” which he played on banjo.  He had the audience singing along with Barbados musician Eric Minns’  “You Ain’t Hurryin Me.”

 I especially enjoyed the heartfelt version of “ Tell Old Bill,” which caused a few goosebumps after really listening to the lyrics.

 He always sings brilliant renditions of blues classics. He covered Robert Johnson’s “Walking Blues,” and a great version of “Rolling and Tumbling” and an exceptional version of Leadbelly’s “Relax your Mind.”
 Of course he was called back for an encore of a new instrumental featuring some hot finger picking. While I didn’t burn my guitar, after hearing that I too humbled to play for three days.

— by Richard Amery, L.A Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 May 2019 08:55 )

Rancho Deluxe expolores Southern Alberta people and places on new CD “Lucky Stars”

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Local musician George Arsene  has a lot of reasons to be excited about the process of releasing his first Cd, “Lucky Stars” from his country rock band Rancho Deluxe.
 Not only did he record it with renown Nanton based producer Steve Loree, but in the process of recording a cover of “ Come on Train,” by his musical idol Willie P Bennett, the long time mandolinist and vocalist for Fred Eaglesmith, who passed away in 2008, got to hang out with his sister Esther and hear stories about him.

George Arsene of Rancho Deluxe. Photo by Richard Amery
 But most importantly, he got to make music with friends, drummer Brad Brouwer, bassist Paul Holden, pedal steel guitarist Ryan “Skinny” Dyck and multi-instrumentalist Tyler Bird, who plays guitar, accordion, fiddle and adds background vocals to the CD.
“‘Lucky Stars’ was a great opportunity to make music with good friends,” said Arsene, who plays a lot solo as well as with Rancho Deluxe and is a frequent finalist in the South Country Fair Songwriting Competition.  Several of his South Country Fair songs are on the CD.

“I enter the competition every year, but never win,” he observed.
“We’re a hot country rock band and I just want people to hear the CD and then come out to a show and see that,” he said, noting there will be CD release parties, May 23 in Nanton at the Auditorium with  Lance Loree’s band the Pail Bunters, May 24 at the Slice and in Calgary, May 25 in the afternoon at the Ship and Anchor. They are also playing the Twin Butte General Store, June 8. And they have a good festival gig set at  South Country Fair, which is a fair dear to Arsene’s hear. They will be part of an excellent line up including Captain Tractor, Leeroy Stagger, Peter and the Wolves, Blue Moon Marquee, Curt Young, Tom Phillips, Tara Warburton, Petunia and the Vipers, Andrew Scott, Kris Demeanor and many more.

 Because of everyone’s busy schedules, he isn’t planning on doing a more extensive tour in support of  “Lucky Stars.”
Arsene enjoyed working with Steve Loree, a much in demand producer, though ran into some scheduling conflicts with band members, injuries and a few funding issues. He had to co-ordinated the busy schedules of Loree and his band mates.

“We were supposed to go up and record but Brad Brouwer got in a car accident.  Eventually Steve just brought all of his recording equipment here and set everything up and we recorded some bed tracks. I went up on my own to record some good vocals. But it was great to record it here in the garage where everything started,” said Arsene.
 Arsene’s garage is a popular hangout and home to many a late night jam session for local musicians and touring musicians alike when they play Lethbridge.
Arsene was especially excited to record “Come On Train.”

Last Updated ( Saturday, 11 May 2019 13:58 ) Read more...

Streets Alive Fundraisers among this week’s highlights

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There is a little something for everyone this week.

 Tonight country stars the Bellamy brothers, s who were all over the pop and country charts throughout the ’70s and ’80s with hits like “Let Your Love Flow,” Dancing Cowboys,” “Sugar Daddy,” “You Ain’t Just Whistlin’ Dixie,” “Lovers Live Longer,” “Do You Love As Good As You Look,” “Redneck Girl,” “For All The Wrong Reasons,” “I Love Her Mind,” “I Need More Of You,” “Old Hippie,” “Too Much Is Not Enough,” “Kids Of The Baby Boom,” and “Reggae Cowboy” and “Crazy From The Heart”, play The Yates Theatre. The show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $65.

First up, boogie woogie for Streets Alive at a special fundraising concert at Southminster United Church, Wednesday, May 8. Diane Lines celebrates swing, boogie woogie and jump blues in her show  “Jump”. It begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 with all proceeds going to support the Streets Alive mission.

Coda play The Piggy Stock fundraiser for Streets Alive this weekend. Photo by RiStock Fundraiser for Streets Alive this weekend. Photo by Richard Amery It is one of two fundraisers for Streets Alive, as local bands  local blues rock band CODA, classic rock band Good Time Charlie , Horizon and Continuum play the first annual Piggy Stock Roast Pig dinner and dance. The licensed and catered  event is at the Polish Canadian Club beginning at 5 p.m.. Tickets are $40 for adults, $15 for children under 15. They will be taking donations of food and clothing for Streets Alive.

Also on Wednesday, The May edition of the Windy City Opry features B.C. songwriter Dennis Bouwman, Calgary alt country musician Jess Knights and bluegrass/ country group the Local Group performing at the Slice at 8 p.m. sharp. As always, admission is $10.
Average Joes goes rap on Thursday, May 9 with  Odin and Evolution’s Firestarter tour featuring Alberta rappers Odin and Evolution with Craigles O’Grady, Crisko, Kropp Hopper and Chad L.A. McGhie. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10.
 It is all about rock for the weekend. Biloxi Parish, plus Medicine Hat alternative rock band Old Youth and indie rock band the Northern Coast playing the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Friday, May 10.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 07 May 2019 08:40 ) Read more...
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