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Ferguson more than just a funnyman

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Toronto guitarist Wendell Ferguson is  not only pretty witty, but he’s also an impressive guitar player. Ferguson, who plays  the Wolf’s Den, March 6 with Katherine Weatley for the Lethbridge Folk Club, is the first to admit his mouth gets him in trouble, however he is also quick to admit Wheatley’s down to earth and sensitive personality and stage presence provides a great counterbalance to  his wicked and often politically  incorrect humour.
“She’s so sweet, people have been calling our tours, the ‘loved her, hated him tour,’” laughed Ferguson from his home/ studio in Toronto where he works as an in demand session player.
“She can make you cry, I can make you laugh. It can get pretty emotional,” he continued.
“My mouth used to get me  fired pretty regularly. I have a strange sense of humour. I don’t have a filter between my brain and my mouth. What ever I say just comes out of my mouth,” Ferguson said.
“ I used to play with Terry Sumsion and he’s a pretty big fellow. One time we were on stage and someone pulled the fire alarm. So I said ‘Watch out, Terry’s backing up.” So he got mad at me and fired me. The next year, he’d  be mad at me or forget about it and hire me again the next year,” Ferguson chuckled adding Katherine has also been subjected to some of his off colour jokes on stage.
“She’ll get mad at me as well. And she’ll say ‘don’t ever tell a joke like that on my stage again.’ I’ll say something but I’ll pay for it later. I know I’m an arsehole,” he said.
It’s not all about the jokes, Ferguson is also an exceptional guitarist. While he has played on CDs by Toronto humourists the Arrogant Worms, he also won the Canadian Country Music Association Guitar Player of the Year from 1995-99.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 02 March 2010 12:46 ) Read more...

Maurice looks forward to playing the Olympics before coming to Lethbridge

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Victoria power pop band Maurice is looking forward to beginning their tour on their major label  debut ‘Young people with Faces,” which began in Vancouver with an Olympic gig opening for Randy Bachman at a bar in Surrey before coming to Henotic, March 4.Maurice plays Henotic March 4.
“Our former booking agent got the job booking entertainment for the Olympics, so we called him. We’re playing right after the gold medal hockey game. The site is set up with big TVs so people will be there just to be there. It could be celebration or anti-climactic, but it has the potential to be really special,” said vocalist/guitarist Jean Paul Maurice adding he went to film camp with Randy Bachman’s daughter and his parents live in Randy Bachman’s neighbourhood on Salt Springs Island.
“Randy is a legend, so it will be great to meet him,” Maurice continued adding he is excited about the March 2 release of the new CD.
“We had some trouble with record companies and management companies,” he continued adding the CD was recorded and mixed back in 2008, though they added two new songs, ‘Kerosene’ and ‘How You Spend Your Time.’
Last Updated ( Saturday, 27 February 2010 16:58 ) Read more...

Kobra and the Lotus to bring back the rock

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Calgary power metal band Kobra and the Lotus, who come to the Slice to play with Lustre Creame, Feb. 27, have come along way in less than a year.
 They have toured the United Kingdom and Europe and  will release their debut CD, “Out of the Pit,” March 9. It was produced by Greg Godovitz from popular ’70s rock band Goddo and features Triumph’s Rik Emmett soloing on the Kobra and the Lotus’s version  of Motorhead’s ‘Ace of Spades.’
“We didn’t have a thought in out head that we could have success in the music business. We were just sitting around and writing songs for fun,” said singer Brittany Paige, a classically trained vocalist who studied for eight years at the  Mount Royal Music Conservatory with Elaine Case, before quitting singing for a few years. She answered an ad  to be in a band with guitarists Chris Swenson and Matt Van Wezel and connected with them musically.
“It was amazing,” she said adding they have been playing together for two and a half years. Kobra and the Lotus solidified its line up  last March with  drummer Griffin Kissack and bassist Ben Freud.
Paige didn’t have much trouble moving from singing opera to singing metal.
“That’s an easy question. They (opera and metal) are so similar.  Both  are very powerful types of music . A lot of metal has a very classical sound. The transition just happened. Look at people like Bruce Dickenson and Halford, they have a very operatic sound,” she said agreeing  their song ‘Legend’ gave her a chance to show off her voice.
“I feel like I have a lot of different techniques, I just wanted to show my other side. Hopefully we will write more like that one. I just enjoyed writing it,” she continued.
The band started writing songs together and recorded them at a Calgary studio.
“We were just getting together  and writing songs for fun. We were told to polish up our music and get a producer and they said Greg Godovitz had just moved to Calgary,” she said adding he agreed to produce them and started recording at Metal Blades Studio in Mississiauga. He asked Rik Emmett to record a solo for “Ace of Spades.”
“He’s a really fun character. He got to the studio and he was so pumped up and he’s got this really long fingernail. he came in and laid down that solo in one take. He’s definitely got some sot of stage presence and he embraces all sorts of music,” Paige enthused.
“ It was definitely a real honour to have him definitely. We hung out  for a bit and talked. He said some real encouraging things,” she said adding the band’s guitarists listen to everything  from Metallica to Pink Floyd and some of her operatic training comes out on ‘Legend,” an eight minute epic.
Kobra and the Lotus’ metal  leans a lot on the more classical metal of  Iron Maiden and Judas Priest and more of a rock influence, so it means they don’t really fit into the Calgary metal scene.


The Void and Phantom Creeps keep crowd hopping

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 The Phantom Creeps at the Slice, Feb. 20. Photo by Richard AmeryLocal modern rock band the Void played a tight set at the Slice, Feb. 20. They had a lot of catchy guitar hooks,  pleasant melodies and  excellent  guitar solos in the background. They  combined several modern influences like the Foo Fighters with just a little  bit of Weezer.
Local psychobilly tinged punks the Phantom Creeps followed with a tight set of original songs which had the audience bouncing in front of the stage and singing along with almost every word.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor

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Kevin Kane plays laid back set with the Necessities

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Upstairs at Henotic, Feb. 19, the Grapes of Wrath and Leeroy Stagger band member Kevin Kane  put on an enrapturing solo show featuring a lot of laid back solo material. Kevin Kane playing a solo set at Henotic, Feb. 19. Photo by Richard AmeryHis crystal clear tenor voice captivated the crowd who erupted with enthusiasm during a couple of  Grapes of Wrath numbers including ‘Peace of Mind’ and ‘All the Things I Wasn’t’ as well as a couple of choice covers including David Bowie’s ‘Ashes the Ashes’ and the Kinks’ ‘Waterloo Sunset.’ His guitar playing was sedate and impressively tasteful.
 The Necessities. Photo by Richard AmeryAfterwards, the Necessities took the stage with a full band, much to the delight of   a couple exuberant audience members. Having bassist Matt Robinson and a drummer really help flush out the band’s sound. They played  crowd favourites like ‘Mary Magdalene which is powered by an exotic sounding acoustic guitar riff. Vocalist / guitarist Steve Foord’s voice is very similar to Rob Thomas’ voice especially on their song about carnies.

— By Richard Amery, L.A Beat Editor

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