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Popes frontman cleans up life for new tour and CD

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Going to prison ended up being a blessing in disguise for Irish punk legends the Popes’ guitarist/vocalist Paul “Mad Dog” McGuinness who is enjoying taking his Paddy punk legends on the road to Canada with the Mahones. McGuinness has known Mahones frontman Finny McConnell for many years. The Popes, the Mahones and Delinquints along with DJ Ray Gange play the Slice tomorrow (Oct. 14).

Paul (Mad Dog) McGuinnessHe wrote the music for the Popes’ latest CD “Outlaw Heaven” while doing a five month stint in prison but wanted to break away from the band’s more traditional Irish sound because  Popes’ banjo player  Tommy McManaman was the driving force behind that before he passed away at the end of 2006.


“We’re rebranding ourselves. We’re not a Celtic band, we’re a rock band that sounds Irish,” McGuinness said, explaining while the new music retains an Irish influence, there are a lot of other sounds incorporated into it.


“Five years ago,  the Popes ground to a halt when Tommy died. We’re letting people know the Popes are back. We felt it was time to go to the next level. He was a huge part of that sound,” McGuinness said, adding he always liked Thin Lizzy, a  another Irish rock band who retained traditional influences.


“ I spent five months in prison but it turned into a positive experience. I had a fairly serious alcohol and drug problem. There was lots of time to realize  I was pretty lucky to be playing music for a living and that I was not making the most of my opportunities,”  he said adding he is already working on music for the next Popes’ CD.

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 October 2009 21:50 ) Read more...
 

Paddy punkers’ paradise

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Next year Kingston Paddy punkers  the Mahones are giving themselves an early 20th birthday present by recording a new CD  called “Black Irish” at the end of the year as well as touring with one their idols — the Popes as well as the Delinquints and DJ Ray Gange who was in the Clash movie “Rude Boy”.
This tour stops by the Slice tomorrow night (Oct. 14). Tickets cost $20.The Mahones’ Finny McConnell and The Popes’ Paul (Mad Dog) McGuinness.


“It’s nice to be part of the club,” enthused Ireland born Mahones frontman Finny McConnell enjoying a day off  in Canmore with his 16 tour mates.


“You know you’ve made it when you’re friends with the guys you’ve looked up to as a kid. We’re touring with a group of guys from the United Kingdom who have never seen mountains before, so we have 16 guys running around with cameras,” McConnell chuckled, adding his dad owned a couple Irish pubs so McConnell  wasn’t into Irish music when he was young. He turned to punk music until he saw the Pogues and the Popes which combined the two sounds. Shane McGowan formed the Popes after leaving the Pogues.

The Mahones formed in 1990 and since had a string of popular songs  including “Drunken Lazy Bastard,” “Draggin’ the Days,” and “The Queen and Tequila.”

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 October 2009 21:51 ) Read more...
 

Blues is something to be thankful for

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Papa King and Tyler Bird. Photo By Richard AmeryBlues fans had something to be thankful for Thanksgiving Monday, Oct. 13 at Henotic — a fantastic blues show with local favourite Papa King and Juno Award winner Morgan Davis.
Acoustic bluesman Papa King  and bassist Tyler Bird started his solid set of acoustic , finger picked acoustic blues just after 8 p.m. with a King original “Busy Boy Blues,” followed it up with a version of “Key to the Highway,” and then one of my favourite King originals “Beale Street Blues.”
His baritone voice sounded somewhat like Dr. John as he introduced the receptive crowd to some  excellent originals which warmed them up for the main event Morgan Davis. Papa King will be opening for Big Dave McLean and Doc MacLean at the Slice, Oct. 24.
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Get ready to rock for four days straight

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October is the month to rock at Henotic. There will be 30 bands playing over four days from Oct. 14-17 on both levels of the building including a lot of local acts plus a few are making their public debuts.


“This is the first time we’ve done Rocktoberfest,” said organizer Paul Lawton emphasizing it is not just garage rock bands performing. He has been behind several big multi-band festivals including  Sled Island South and Mammoth Cave Fest.The Necessities are among several local bands playing Rocktoberfest this week. photo By Richard Amery


“Sled Island south was poorly attended but since Sled island (in Calgary) has shown a strong commitment to Lethbridge bands, we’ll do it again. For now we’ll  do Rocktoberfest,” he continued.
Some of the highlights include a return visit from Regina rockers the Hot Blood Bombers and a trio of popular Vancouver bands, You Say Party, We Say Die, Shearing Pinx and Ahna. He is looking forward to seeing the Sublinguals, who opened for King Khan and the Shrines recently plus DCT from Toronto. As well as the Sharp Ends. “ They are going to be huge when they break,” he said.


Plus there are a lot of local bands including the Moby Dicks, the Neccessities, Planet Telex, Jesse and the Dandelions, the Square Waves, Smoke Stack Jacks plus newer bands including They Dead, Chief Mountain, Under the White Dime and Skull Train to Hell Town, which is made up for former members of the the New Danger Kids and Ife from the Creationists, who Lawton is especially looking forward to seeing.


“That’s going to be really good. And Shearing Pinx are  one of the biggest bands in underground music. They put on a very good live show,” Lawton said adding Rocktoberfest includes half local and half out of town bands.

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 October 2009 21:01 ) Read more...
 

Lee Harvey Osmond bringing the groove

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As you can tell from a  band naming themselves Lee Harvey Osmond, they have a pretty wicked sense of humour, but the music is one thing they take really seriously. You can hear it for yourself, Oct. 18 at the Geomatic Attic.Lee Harvey Osmond
The band is composed of members of the Cowboy Junkies (who they are currently touring with in the eastern United States), Junkhouse, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings the Cowboy Junkies, the Skydiggers, the Sadies and numerous others.
“People can sense the honesty. We play acid folk which is real folk music about real folk themes but with a lot of space. We’re in no rush to get to the first word of the song. It’s about feeling the groove and putting folk on top of it,” observed vocalist/guitarist Tom Wilson from a small  Maryland town which he can’t name. He also plays in Blackie and the Rodeo Kings and used to play in popular Canadian rock band Junkhouse in the early ’90s.
“When I was in Junkhouse, we used to dress in work boots and shirts. We got them from a  men’s wear store outside of Galt Gardens. People asked us where we got them and we said “we got  them in L.A.” They’d say Los Angeles? We’d say, no, Lethbridge. We were the only band who looked like we were late for a shift with a  jackhammer,” Wilson laughed adding the line up changes depending on the country. On the current tour, Lee Harvey Osmond is Wilson backed by the Cowboy Junkies, whose record label  the band shares.  In Canada he’ll have three members of the band  from the new record, “A Quiet Evil” including Junkhouse drummer Ray Farrugia, Aaron Goldstein, Brent Titcomb  plus Cam Malcolm.
In Europe, Lee Harvey Osmond is Tom Wilson solo.
“I wrote the songs as if I were sitting in the kitchen playing them for you over a cup of coffee or two so they would still translate in different forms,” Wilson continued  adding he had always wanted to work with Cowboy Junkies’ Michael Timmins, so this “artists’ collective” was the perfect opportunity to work together.
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