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Harp madness with Carlos Del Junco at Geomatic Attic

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Carlos Del Junco brought an almost sold out crowd  at the Geomatic  Attic into his world of genre spanning Carlos DelJunco knows his harp. Photo by Richard Ameryharmonica madness, March 28.
 I arrived at the beginning of his second set and watched the Cuban born , Toronto resident  Del Junco coil his wiry frame around and array of harps like a spring as he writhed and bent every last note out of each of them. The stage was lit in blue light making it look like a scene from an old black and white photos of a beatnik cabana.
 His crazy harp playing included a bit of jazz, a lot of blues, a touch of country and one song which he described as ska influenced polka and cartoon music but which ended up sounding like mindblowing circus music.
He had a full band behind him who played in the pocket especially on Del Junco’s tribute to Robert Johnson called ‘Heaven’s Where You Dwell,’ which ended in a huge improvisational jam.
 His guitarist  seamlessly switched between a variety of styles from jazz to blues to country  to a  really beautiful  classical influenced duet with DelJunco’s mean harp, then displayed some impressive country fried chicken picking on a cool jam of ‘Got My Mojo Working’  on which Del Junco added some alien delay effects to.
The entire band got to shine on a great version of ‘Key to the Highway’ during which they all took solos.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 August 2011 11:00 )

Hillbilly humour with Washboard Hank

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Washboard Hank and Lance Loree had the croewd laughing, March 28. Photo by Richard AmerySunday (March 28)  was a great night to laugh at Henotic with Washboard Hank and guitarist Lance Loree along with Country Legs who had approximately 30 people alternately laughing and  furrowing their brows in  perplexity at Henotic.
Nanaimo’s  Country Legs’  charming disposition and self-deprecating humour made the crowd putty in her hands as she alternately played guitar, forgot lyrics and sang the happiest and funniest heartbreak  songs around, smiling as she sang sad pretty melodies with sad lyrics.
 While she has an old school country sound, when she played piano, she took on a more of a jazz influence. A couple of my favourites were ‘ Pink Shoes’,  and ‘You Bastard,’ she also sang Loretta Lynn’s ‘Loving that Country.’
Washboard Hank was at his hillbilly humourist best, cracking crude but hilarious jokes, getting the audience to sing along with something that sounded similar to cow shed.
He mugged for the crowd and sang some twisted children’s songs and several tracks from his new CD about characters as eccentric as he is like  ‘Chompy the Head Biter Offer,’ ‘Ferd and Lizer’  and the girl at the dump and Elvis living in Tweed. He also sang Stompin’ Tom Connors’ ‘Bud the Spud’ and played some impressive percussion on a variety of bells, whistles,  bike horns, duck calls,  license plates attached to his washboard and a hard hat on his head.
 He switched between guitar and banjo throughout, laughing all the way as Loree kept up with his energy, playing rockabilly and country licks.
He was an excellent energy boost for a lazy Sunday.

— By Richard Amery L.A. Beat Editor

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 31 March 2010 10:30 )

Brothers bond as Captain Keenan

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Winnipeg actor and musician Tom Keenan is looking forward to a quick tour of the west this week with his brother Patrick as part of the “Bros Before Hosers” tour which stops by the Slice on Thursday (April 1).
“It’s because when we were young, we used to  go on these long road trips with our dad and we used to call them hoser tours,” Tom Keenan chuckled over the phone from his Winnipeg home.Tom and Patrick Keenan play the slice on Thursday.
They both have new CDs out and are looking forward to introducing them to Lethbridge.
“We have a couple songs we wrote together, but because we both have new CDs out, we’ll be backing each other up with a rhythm section, playing our solo material and supporting each other,” Keenan continued.

He started playing music with his brother when he was 15.
“I’ve learned a lot about songwriting from him because he’s been writing songs when he was really young, I started pretty late,” he said
“I just enjoy singing with him. We just play off each other,” Keenan continued.
“I like the sound of us together and the fact we can always surprise each other but at the same almost always know what the other one is going to do,” he said adding the duo toured out east a couple years ago, however this tour will be the first time out west together.
“I’ve been busy acting,” said Keenan,” who is taking advantage of Easter break to tour as a musician.

He also tours schools as part of a traveling production called ‘Beneath the Banyan Tree’ which played in Calgary and Banff during the Fall, but has a week off from it because of Easter.

He has been in several plays and films including starring in a controversial Sean Garrity independent film called ‘Zooey and Adam’ which played film festivals across  Western Canada last year.
“It was a pretty powerful movie,” he said.
“ I was a musician first. I never knew I was going to be an actor. It just happened. I like performing. I like being able to explore what’s beneath the surface and decoding the expressions of one’s soul,” he said.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 March 2010 14:29 ) Read more...

Lots going on for Easter week

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If you are staying in Lethbridge for Easter weekend, there are a couple of cool shows happening. Romi Mayes, one of my favourite Winnipeg musicians, plays Henotic, Monday, April 5 with Matt Masters. Admission is $10. The show begins at 9 p.m. They sold out shows in Calgary and Edmonton this past week.
 Mayes’ latest CD “AcThe Phantom Creeps and Smokestack Jacks play the Slice, April 2. Photo by Richard Amery hin’ In Yer Bones” was nominated for a Juno award this year. And you have to love a woman who can name drop Kerouac in the middle of a blues song, check out the interview and video for “Not The Other Dame.’
Another cool Winnipeg duo, Captain Keenan consisting of  brothers Patrick and Tom will be playing the Slice, April 1.
They both have new CDs out and are looking forward to introducing them to the west.
Other cool shows this week include  B.A. Johnston, who returns to Henotic with his unusual poetry and music. Henotic also  brings in Seattle dance rockers Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head,  March 31. L.A. Beat is giving away two tickets to Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head. If you want to check out this show, just e- mail me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Also on Wednesday, March 31 the Slice is bringing back popular roots rockers Wax Mannequin and  the Burning Hell.
Local blues/rock duo Smokestack Jacks and the Phantom Creeps have a gig at the Slice, April 2. However, simultaneously, Shane Philip who makes unusual and catchy music on a variety of instruments including the didgeridoo, returns to Henotic the same night.
Classic rock fans will be at the New Coast Hotel for a show by classic rockers Kenny Shields and Streetheart, April 2.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 March 2010 12:25 )

Mayes excited to play with new band

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If you‘ve got  an “Achin’ in Yer Bones” for some beautifully rendered roots and country music with a touch of the blues and a rock and roll edge for your Easter Monday, you won’t want to miss Romi Mayes at Henotic, April 5.
Her latest CD “Achin’ In Yer Bones” has  been nominated for a Juno award this year.
“It was really unexpected. You never know until you release it,” Mayes said, en route to a gig in Saskatoon.
“It’s juried by random people in the music industry. So it is really subjective. I had no expectations whatsoever, but it is great to see the CD has a lifespan longer than a year,” she said.Romi Mayes plays Henotic, April 5.
“It’s my first Juno nomination, so it’s pretty exciting,” she said adding she is even more excited about having her own band including Perpetrators’ guitarist/vocalist Jason Nowicki, drummer Ryan Voth and bassist David Landreth.
“I’m enjoying this band so much, I don’t think I’d ever want to play solo again especially when you get lucky and have these great guys. It’s a lot more exciting,” said Mayes.
“I really like to see the audience rocking, and it’s really frustrating as a duo or solo. But  it’s a lot more exciting playing with a band. It’s exhilarating to be able to watch the audience and watch their faces light up,” she said.
“ These guys free me up from stresses and they help with the driving,” Mayes enthused, adding she feels lucky to have Jason Nowicki on board.
“He’s been my best friend for 20 years. I’m a huge Perps fan. I was fortunate he had some time off from the Perpetrators, when he joined the band in September (Landreth also joined in September while Voth joined in December), that he was able to juggle between both. He still plans to dominate with maximum ‘perp’etration,” she enthused, adding the band works well together.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 March 2010 12:14 ) Read more...
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