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Fin de Fiesta Flamenco bring Spanish culture to Casa

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Flamenco has always in the blood for dancer Lia Grainger, who grew up in Vancouver and worked as a journalist in Toronto before moving to Spain and forming Fin de Fiesta Flamenco to make Flamenco music her life.Fin de Fiesta perfom at South Country Fair and at Casa next week. Photo submitted

 The group, which includes members from all over the world including Spain, France and Cuba plus two other transplanted Canadians, return to Canada with their new show Salvaje for several performances including the South Country Fair in Fort Macleod, July 22 and at Casa on July 25.

“I started taking classes in my 20s and then moved to Madrid to learn more. But decided to get a ‘real job’ and work in journalism in Toronto. But I kept going back to Spain. I decided to put together a group in 2012. I really enjoy it. It feels good to do it,” said artistic director/ dancer Lia Grainger, who formed the group in 2012 with Seville born guitarist Dennis Duffin and singer Alejandro Mendia, who is from Bordeaux, France.

 Recently they added Havana raised/Montreal based percussionist Hanser Santos Gomez,  Vancouver born, Seville, Spain based flautist Lara Wong and for this tour, India born, Vancouver based guest dancer Deborah “La Carmelita”

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 July 2018 09:13 ) Read more...

Canada Day celebrations busy in the city

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I wasn’t in the mood to join thousands of people celebrating Canada Day, Sunday, July 1, but thought I’d check out a couple of the city celebrations anyway.Roy Pogorzelski gives a Metis jigging demonstration for Canada Day in Henderson Lake Park. photo by Richard Amery

 I arrived at the end of celebrations in Galt Gardens as organizers were announcing the winners of a show and shine.

 As I missed the music, I wandered over to Henderson Lake park,  and threaded my way through crowds of thousands of people, dogs, food trucks and merchants.

Classic cars were on display in Galt Gardens for Canada Day. Photo by Richard Amery
 I enjoyed the Ecuadorian Social club show off their traditional dance.

I was impressed and entertained by Roy Pogorzelski showing off frenetic Metis jigging dance moves, then breathlessly tried to teach a passel of over-enthusiastic children and brave adults how to do the steps, advising them it was more important to have fun trying.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. beat EditorThe Ecuadoran Social Club give a traditional dancing demonstration for Canada Day in Henderson Lake Park. photo by Richard Amery
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 July 2018 14:12 )

Shaela Miller band plays good show for Bad Ideas CD release party

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I was looking forward to seeing the Real Ponchos again at the Slice, June 30, but unfortunately missed them, having just arrived in time to catch the first few songs of local musician Shaela Miller’s Lethbridge CD release party for her new Cd “Bad Ideas.” She had a packed house of people I haven’t seen for months and in some cases years, but who came out of hiding to support Shaela who has come a long way, becoming a finalist in then Project Wild competition, taking place in Calgary this summer.

 Shaela Miller  playing to a packed house for the CD release party for  her new CD Bad Ideas at the Slice, June 30. Photo by Richard Amery
 She basically played the more upbeat tracks from the new CD track by track, beginning with “Hard Knock Upside the head,” one of my favourites, which is also getting a lot of play on CKUA, and followed it up with the title track and then “Colour My Love” and “Cheating And Lying, which had a good chunk of the crowd trying to two step.

She slowed things down with “ Friend Tonight.” She went back a few years for crowd pleaser “Half Way in Love,“ before picking up the tempo for a Bob Wills cover “Stay a Little Longer,” but I unfortunately had to leave.

 She knows how to pick her players, so her hot band of  drummer Tyler Bird, bassist Paul Holden, lead guitarist Jon Martin and steel guitarist “Skinny” Dyck, really helped her to shine.

— By Richard Amery, L.a. beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 July 2018 13:59 )

Boots and the Hoots returns with wit and twang

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Lethbridge got to see three of four of Red Deer’s best bands, Friday, June 29.

Boots and the hoots Returned to the Owl, June 29. Photo by Richard Amery
 I always enjoy country band Boots and the Hoots as their twang and earthy humour always have me busting a gut. I caught the end of their first set of twangy old school country and jokes. They played some upbeat jukebox barnburners and followed them up with the requisite lovelorn “hurting” country ballads.

 They ended their set with George Jones’ “She Still Thinks I love Her,” some Billy Joe Shaver and back to George Jones before taking a break.

 I was all set to have another beer and listen to more Boots and the Hoots, until frontman Boots Graham suggest I check out “two of Red Deer’s best  bands, ” noting “you’ve seen me a hundred times.”
 So taking him at his word, went to the Slice.

— By Richard Amery, L.A Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 July 2018 13:45 )

Boots Graham's favourite Red Deer bands at the Slice

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At Boots Graham of Boots and the Hoots’ recommendation, I took in an overly loud show from two of Red Deer’s best bands at the Slice, June 29 — Conniferous and the duo St. Groove.Conniferous at the Slice, June 29. photo by Richard Amery
 I arrived in the middle of the set from indie rock trio Conniferous, who were sharing drummer Coltan Shell with the duo St. Groove.

 St. Groove at the Slice, June 29. Photo by Richard AmeryConniferous drew heavily from the  well of U2 and Radiohead, playing appealing, ambient indie-rock. They detuned for their last song.

 St . Groove, on the other hand, playing as a duo with guitarist Mitchell Chase and drummer Coltan Shell, played a boisterous set of scrappy, blues based rock tinged with punk along the lines of the White Stripes.

— by Richard Amery,  L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 July 2018 13:36 )
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