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Prism recording new music for 40th birthday

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Vancouver based classic rock band Prism celebrate 40 years as a band this year.

Al Harlow of Prism. Photo by Rchard Amery
 It is more or less business as usual for the band according to sole original member Al Harlow.

“We’re touring a lot. But we‘re also in the studio so we’re recording a new single or two and we’ll videos for both of them, said Prism’s frontman/ guitarist who was there in the band’s ’70s and 80s heyday when they recorded a string of hits still played to on radio today including including “Spaceship Superstar,” Armageddon,” “See Forever Eyes,” and “Take me To The Kaptain.”
“It’s hard to believe. I don’t even feel 40 years old,” Harlow chuckled.

They return to play Average Joes, June 24 with  the Bashed Tatties.

 Their pretty much annual Lethbridge show has become a tradition for the band, which includes Harlow on guitar and vocals, bassist Tad Goddard, keyboardist Marc Gladstone, and drummer Gary Grace.
“This band has actually been together longer than the original band,” Harlow observed.

The new music will be have a similar sound to their previous hits.

“Prism has that sound, that Spaceship Superstar keyboard sound. So it is similar to that. It’s still in the mixing stage,” he said, adding the band haven’t played the new songs live yet.
“We‘re pedalling as fast as our feet can spin,” he said.

He noted fans can expect to hear the hits and a lot more.
“We do what’s called the Spaceship Superstar/Armageddon sandwich. We begin with Spaceship Superstar and end with Armageddon with everything else squeezed in between them. We’re adding deep album cuts like Vladivostok and  have added ‘Open Soul Surgery,’ which we haven’t played in years,“ he said.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 20 June 2017 10:25 ) Read more...

Downway play energetic pop punk right out of the late ’90s

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The Moose Hall went back to the ”90s with Calgary based pop punk band Downway, June 3.

Downway playing the Moose Hall for an intimate audience, June 3. Photo by Ricxhard Amery
 They were all the rage in the ’90s and early 2000s before breaking up. But they are back together after a  several year hiatus, and have barely missed a beat in that time and scarcely looked as if they‘ve aged a day.

They started  off their set slowly, but soon  found their foundation and picked up steam with a solid set of short , fast bursts of catchy  and hyperactive pop punk along the lines of Blink 182 and Sum 41 with just a touch of Gob.

 They had a heap of energy with plenty of leaping around. Unfortunately less than 20 people were there to see the show. I missed opening sets from Chief Mountain and fellow Calgarians The Foul English.

— By Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 June 2017 10:54 )

Bears in Hazenmore add layers to Megan Nash 's music

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There was a lot happening on Saturday night, so I was racing all over the place to catch as much as I could, June 3.

 Bears in Hazenmore and Megan Nash playing the Owl Acoustic lounge, June 3. Photo by Richard Amery
 One show I didn’t want to miss was Megan Nash playing with fellow Saskatchewanites Bears In Hazenmore.

 Bears in Hazenmore played their own set of appealing indie rock music featuring trumpet and some excellent vocal harmonies which really shone during a set ending  version of the beach Boys hit “Kokomo,” which had a good sized crowd singing along.

The Bears’ vocal harmonies from  guitarist Brady Frank and Tanner Wilhelm hale and guitarist  Darnell Stewart plus Dalton Lam’s  trumpet and Dana Rempel’s saxophones gave Megan Nash’s music a massive sound, especially the vocals, which added a whole new dimension to her usually brand of heartfelt, plaintive singer songwriter material like “Bad Poet” and Seeker,” which were highlights I heard.

 They ended their show just before midnight with a song about “mistakes,” but were called back to play an encore of some Fleetwood Mac.

— By Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 June 2017 10:44 )

The Garrys sing pop tinged harmonies

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 The Slice had a full house for the return of local alternative rock band J Blissette.

The Garrys entertaining with pop rock music. Photo by Richard Amery
 I missed their show ending  set as well as the opening act The Owners, but I was glad to catch most of Saskatoon based female powered surf rock/ pop trio the Garrys.

I missed the owners a who opened the show and J Blissette who ended it, but caught Regina female powered pop/ punk/ surf trio the Garrys.

They  sang gorgeous harmonies, which rang true like the resurrected spirit of ’60s pop with a touch of ’80s new wave along the lines of the Go Gos and Bangles.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 June 2017 10:30 )

Sweet home Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute Swamp Music

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With so much great original music happening in Lethbridge, I often don“t get to cover cover bands and tribute bands often, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to see  Calgary based Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute Swamp Music at Coyote Joes, June 2.

 Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute Swamp music rock Coyote Joes, June 2. Photo by Richard Amery
 They had a good sized room rocking to the southern rock sounds of the ’70s as they played all of Skynyrd’s hits and lesser known favourites.

It was the one show of the year where the hackneyed joke of requesting “Free Bird” to the band on stage was not only tolerated, but welcomed with open arms, though I didn’t stay around long enough for Free Bird with so many other shows going on.

But I heard plenty of duelling Stratocaster and Les Paul guitar leads, lots of familiarities, lots of energy and a bassist who switched hats almost every song from a cowboy hat to a police helmet to a furry beefeater hat.

Swamp Music looked and sounded as if they stepped right out of 1973, with long hair, torn jeans and even a Confederate flag.

 They played plenty of favourites like the high energy “Saturday Night Special,” slower, more moving numbers like “Simple Man, ” which showed off some sweet harmonized guitar playing, the toe tapping blues boogie of “I Know A Little” and You Got That Right,” “Call Me The Breeze” and even “Sweet Home Alabama.“

— By Richard Amery, L.a. beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 June 2017 10:12 )
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