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Guerrista plays laid back grunge tinged blues

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The Slice was packed, July 10 for Vancouver based grunge blues band Guerrista, which features  former membersGuerrista visited Lethbridge, July 10. PHoto by Richard Amery of the Vespas, Pat Thom and Chris Henderson.

 Their first set featured a slower, more laid back yet heavier distorted grungy sound, which  had more in common with the Pack AD than Muddy Waters.

Lead vocalist Lyndsay Johnston has some impressive pipes which had a big jazz influence.
They added  a cover  of AC DC’s ‘Ride On,’ which Johnston sung well.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 15 July 2010 08:42 )

Fred Eaglesmith converting new souls for the Church of Fred

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Fred Eaglesmith played to a sold out crowd at the Slice, July 13. Photo by Richard AmeryThe Slice was packed to the rafters, July 13 — standing room only — with a sign hanging on the front door that read: “Tonight's performance is sold out!”

So why didn't I recognize half these faces?  Because half of the audience were Fred-Heads, that's why. When critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Fred Eaglesmith comes to town, his fans come with him — an indication of just how great he is.

At 8 p.m. sharp the Fabulous Ginn Sisters took the stage, two beautiful women from Texas with incredible skills. Their crack backing band hit every note and their voices echoed harmoniously off the walls and ceiling. The sisters from Texas remained onstage with Eaglesmith’s band throughout the evening, singing backup vocals and performing synchronized dance steps during Eaglesmith's headline performance.

I was happy to learn the Ginns will be playing the South Country Fair this weekend and after Tuesday's incredible presentation on Tuesday, I'll be eagerly waiting by the stage.

But the man of the evening was next. Fred Eaglesmith appeared quite suddenly onstage, wearing a slick top hat and suit coat; but while his outfit was sharp, his tongue was even sharper.
With over 17 albums released throughout a three-decade career, the Ontario-based folk/country genius had the audience hanging on his every word.

All that is, except for a few individuals who did not escape Fred's attention — receiving a dressing down for having backs turned and talking during performance.

“In Texas,” Fred told an amused crowd, “you don't speak loudly during a show, because you know that all every lady in the bar keeps a gun in their purse.”

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 July 2010 23:52 ) Read more...

Lethbridge looks forward to South Country Fair

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If you are looking for a little peace, love and good music , join most of Lethbridge’s folk and roots music community at the South Country Fair this weekend. At this time of year, a cadre of Lethbridgians head west to Fort Macleod every summer for the annual fair which takes place this week July 16-18. In addition a good chunk of Lethbridge’s folk community attending the fair, it is also a place where local musicians go to not only hang out and jam at the campground, but on the stage as well.George Arsene enjoys  the South Country Fair experience. Photo by Richard Amery

 “We’ve played around the campfire before, but this is the first time we’ve played on stage,” said Nicole Hembroff, vocalist and violinist for local jazz influenced indie rock band the Record Holder who play on the East Stage, Saturday afternoon at 5:30 p.m.
“We’re definitely looking forward to it. There’s definitely this sense of community at the South Country Fair of people who really appreciate musical expression,” Hembroff continued, who can usually be found volunteering at the CKXU, 88.3 tent at the fair.
“People there come from a variety of different musical, philosophical and religious backgrounds and you can strike up a conversation with any of them and they’ll say ‘isn’t this amazing.’”

To appeal to a variety of different people, there is also a variety of music (many form southern Alberta) offered from country like the Fabulous Ginn Sisters, to world music with Delhi 2 Dublin and pop/reggae/hip hop from the Wassabi Collective. In addition to a lot of traditional folk, there are a variety of popular singer-songwriters like Lorrie Matheson, Jay Crocker and Jenny Allen. There is also jazz  from Calgary trio Heather Bush and the Uppercuts, blues from David Essig and a lot of spoken word poetry at  the Lotus Land stage throughout the week.

“It’s such an honour to be asked to play,” Hembroff enthused adding  the band will be playing  most of their new CD as well as crowd favourites which didn’t make it onto the CD.

George Arsene, best known as frontman of local alt country band the Skilletlikkers, has been going to the fair for the past 13 years.
“We played it a couple years ago. We dedicated a song to (Canadian mandolin and songwriting icon who played with Fred Eaglesmith) Willie P Bennett. And his mom was in the front row because she lives in Picture Butte now,” he said.
“We were on the east stage at 11:30 and we had the biggest crowd there,” Arsene recalled.


Jenny Allen to play folk roots at South Country Fair

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Jenny Allen plays the South Country Fair, July 16. Photo by Richard AmeryCalgary based singer songwriter Jenny Allen is looking forward to playing the South Country Fair, July 16.
 She is in the middle of recording her third solo Cd, though she has three out with her trio, the Fates.

“I’m not quite country, not quite folk. I’m folk roots” said Allen, describing her sound. She will be playing with  guitarist Mel Smith and  bassist Peter Loughlin, who also plays with Dave McCann.

 Allen has been touring with Smith and Loughlin for  the past 10 years and is looking forward to playing her very first South Country Fair.

“I’ve been to the fair, but it’s been many years. It’s been a long time. I always have a lot of little festivals booked during the summer. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to play the South Country Fair,” said Allen, who was born and raised in High River.

“I’m excited about it and the new record too,” Allen said adding her show, which begins at 8 p.m. July 16, will include ‘a mix of the old and new.’
“It will range from more swing  type music to straight ahead  acoustic roots music.” she said.
“I’ll be playing a lot of new material and some old. It will be a mixture,” she said.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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David Essig looking forward to returning to South Country Fair

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David Essig is looking forward to bringing his new trio — Rick Scott and stand-up bassist Shelley Brown to the South Country Fair this summer, where he will be performing on the main stage at 6:20 p.m., Saturday night. He is also playing in a Saturday morning workshop while Scott is in a Sunday morning workshop.

David Essig and Rick Scott play the South Country Fair this week. photo submitted
“We’re playing a couple festivals this summer, one big one on Vancouver Island with Roberta Flack and Little Feat, so that’s pretty big for us,” Essig observed.

“ I really like the South Country Fair. Maureen Chambers is  an ideal artistic director for a festival. She’s always  on the grounds, lending a hand where ever it’s needed and the audiences are great. People in Alberta really get it. Get all the nuances. People really know how to listen, but they know how to boogie too,” he enthused adding he is delighted to return with the trio.

“Rick and I are neighbours on Protection Island. (off the coast of Vancouver Island, near Nanaimo). He usually sings children’s songs, but we’ve been wanting to work together for awhile,” he said they released their CD ‘Double Vision,’ in 2008. Their hour long set will feature most of that CD as well as a couple solo numbers, but will most prominently feature Shelley Brown.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 13 July 2010 11:14 ) Read more...
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