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Fans and friends say so long to Mwansa Mwansa

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A good sized crowd sang and danced at the Slice, June 2,  in honour of beloved local singer Mwansa Mwansa, who is leaving to seek her musical fortunes in Toronto in July.Mwansa Mwansa playing her farewell show at the Slice, June 2. Photo by Richard Amery

 As usual, she was backed by a crack band of drummer Brad Brouwer, bassist Paul Holden, guitarist James Oldenburg and special guest Aaron Collier playing keyboards.

She sang soulful favourites like Alicia Keys‘ “How Come You Don’t Call Me,” and  Alabama Shakes’ “Hold On,“” then welcomed up a couple of her students and friends to sing a  a couple songs.

She was called back for an encore  and the show ended just after midnight.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 June 2017 10:08 )

Vultures tear up Smokehouse with hot metal

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The Smokehouse is starting to hold metal shows. I finally caught the end of one, June 2 featuring Victoria metal hardcore band Vultures.Vultures playing the Smokehouse. Photo by Richard Amery

 They had the best crowd yet at one of the shows and Vultures entertained a frothing mosh with loud, angry, sludgy metal/punk music.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 June 2017 09:59 )

Hollerado touring the world on “Born Yesterday”

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Manitock, Ontario based rock band  Hollerado are excited to play a last minute show at the Slice on Friday, June 16.Hollerado return to Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Amery
 “ We‘ve been touring non-stop since November. We’ve toured U.S., Canada, 11 countries in Europe and Russia for the first time,” observed frontman Menno Versteeg, proudly stating the band learned how to  say “I lost  my penis” in Russian from their two new Russian road managers.
“We were bored and wanted to learn Russian. That’s where we met them, in Russia. We keep adding to our motley touring crew,” Versteeg chuckled.

“We were there for four or five days. We opened for Sum-41 for 7,000 or so people and had our own show the next day which was sold out with 100 or so,” she said.

 Versteeg and band mates guitarist Nixon Boyd, drummer Jake Boyd and bassist Dean Baxter are touring ins support of their new CD “Born Yesterday” which was released in April and the hit single of the same name.
 “It got up to number two. We’re still looking for that number one, but we’ll take number two,” he said, observing the next single “I Got You” has just been released and serviced to radio.

 In between non stop touring and learning unusual phrases in Russian, they have also found time to battle various Internet trolls coming out of the woodwork to complain about their song “Grief Money” and video, featuring Donald Trump.

“The song and video are pretty self explanatory about what we think of what is happening down there. But most of the problem is with Internet trolls. One guy who is apparently a promoter in Toronto. We looked through his Twitter and he has been basically going through musicians’ accounts who talk about politics and basically telling them to shut up and sing. He even went after Jann Arden, who is a Canadian icon and a sweet person and very well spoken about politics. So we sent him a message asking him why he would do such a thing and shared it with all of our musician  friends. It exploded, so I guess we got control of our own little corner of the internet,” said Versteeg, who would rather get excited about “Born Yesterday.”

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 June 2017 09:39 ) Read more...

Cornucopia of music this week with jazz fest and more

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This week is all about the Lethbridge Jazz and blues festival. There are a cornucopia of events happening for jazz and blues music fans.Twin Peaks return to Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Amery
 The bigger  events are ticketed events, but there are also several free events happening throughout the week, but mostly on the weekend, when things really start to cook.

While things officially  began last weekend , June 9 with the Young Lions concert and  Japanese born, New York based guitarist Nobuki Takamen performing at the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens, the first big  fun and free event is the jazz jam, which happens, June 13e at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.

The next big Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival event is the Sweet Inspiration Gospel  concert at Southminster United Church featuring Anna McBryan. It begins at 7:30 p.m. on June 14 .

Tickets are $10.

The Festival is taking over the Enmax Centre Lounge, June 15 as  the Lethbridge Big Band will lead the audience on a tour of big band music through the past 100 or so years. That show begins at 7:30p.m. Admission is $30.

 A variety of Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival related shows happen on the weekend.
  Several groups will be performing for the  Food Truck Frenzy at the Enmax Centre, June 16. Performances from The Rocky Mountain Dixieland band, Calling All Princesses and Superheroes and the Sandwich Quartet will be playing free shows beginning at noon, June 16.
 There will be suppertime jazz shows over the dinner hours on Friday at several local restaurants. There is no cover for those either.
And the first major concert of the festival features Alberta trumpet player Al Muirhead, who will be joined by special guests including Laila Biali and Vern Dorge at the Sterndale Bennett Theatre, June 16 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 for the show.
 And have some Sandwich for afters at the Owl Acoustic lounge at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $20.

Saturday will be a big day for the Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival, June 17. beginning with the free Jazz At the Park in Galt Gardens at noon. Performers include Mwansa Mwansa, Sandwich, Papa King, Hippodrome and the Rooster Davis Group.
A variety of performers will be at various restaurants downtown for  Supper Club jazz after that including Papa King and Darryl Düus playing Coulee Brew and pianist Randy Epp playing the Telegraph Taphouse
 And Canadian blues rocker Colin James brings his band to the Enmax Centre, At 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $39.50 and up.

 After that there are a couple of choices as well. Edmonton based New Orleans , piano powered jazz combo The Rooster Davis Group plays the Owl Acoustic Lounge at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $20. That concert will also be broadcasted live on CKXU 88.3 f.m.
Last, but not least, local blues favourite Papa King and his band play the Coyote Joes at 9:30 p.m. There is a $20 cover for that.

If you aren’t a jazz or blues fan, there are plenty of options this week.
The Windy City Opry hosts their regular monthly show at the Slice on Wednesday with Carter Felker and Calgary bluegrass/ folk/country band Rotary Park. that show starts early at 8 p.m. There is a $10 cover for it as usual.

 Also on the quirky folk side of the spectrum, northern B.C. ukulele powered duo Twin Peaks return to the Owl Acoustic lounge, Wednesday, June 14 as well.

The Owl will be a busy place this week.
 On June 16, they are doing double duty. At 7:30 p.m., Kimberley MacGregor returns to Lethbridge with her behind the Grind tour featuring Levi Cuss, John Guliak, who played the Windy City Opry last month and Curtis Phagoo for a free, early show at 7:30, before clearing the stage for the Lethbridge Jazz and Blues festival’s Sandwich show at 9 p.m.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 13 June 2017 10:34 ) Read more...

Jeffrey Straker proud to play for Pride Week and work with Royal Wood and Murray Pulver

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Regina based songwriter Jeffrey Straker is pleased to be part of a pride week show at McKillop United Church Hall, June 19.Jeffrey Straker plays McKillop United Church, June 19. Photo Submitted
He is touring in support of his new CD “ Dirt Road Confessional,” which he recorded with a variety of high profile producers including Royal Wood and Murray Pulver, which were each an inspirational experience  in their own unique ways.

He is pleased to play a Pride Fest show.

“ It feels great to be part of Pride Fest shows. I play about 100 shows a year, not all of them pride shows. They are always a lot of fun. Pride shows in bigger places like Toronto are always incredibly big parties. Pride shows in smaller cities like Regina and Lethbridge are more about reminding people  that they are here and to make everybody feel accepted in the group, he said.

Straker will be playing piano and singing  the Lethbridge show with fellow Regina musician Danny Jones, playing double bass and guitar.

“So I’m playing this show for pride and because I have new music to share,” he said, adding he is excited about the more folk/ pop underpinnings of his sixth album.
 he enjoyed working with Royal Wood and engineer Lawrence Katz.

“I did something I never have before. I went in, wrote a song and recorded it from start to finish in one day. I did two songs that way,” he said.

“We started early, well early for a a musician, but not for me as I’m a morning person, at 10 a.m. And because  We‘re all players, we all had lots of ideas. So it was a really amazing experience.” he said, adding working with Murray Pulver was also an amazing experience, but in a different way.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 13 June 2017 09:59 ) Read more...
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