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Minto enjoying magnificent first tour

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It helps for band members to be from all over Canada, especially when embarking on their first cross Canada tour.
Vancouver based rock band  Minto, who play Henotic, Nov. 6, are enjoying  it so far.
“We’ve had really good shows and we’ve played with a lot of really great people. And we’ve sold a lot of merch. We’ve had to order more,” said Fredericton born Minto lead singer Ryan Hoben, adding there has also been a few mishaps along the way.Minto
“Our guitar player almost died in a four wheeling accident in Morden, Manitoba. He flipped his quad over,” Hoben added, noting the guitarist, Kalvin Olafson is fine now. They were staying at Olafson’s parents’ farm for Thanksgiving.
“So we got the full fresh farm Thanksgiving experience,” he said.
Minto brings an interesting combination of country, rock, pop and folk which is reminiscent of Tom Petty and Cross Canadian Ragweed.
 They started out as straight folk combo, but their sound has evolved to be a little more Neil Young and Crazy Horse style heavier.
They recorded  their new CD (“Lay It On Me”), their first as Minto,  in Chicago with producer Steve Albini who has worked with the likes of Cheap Trick,  Nirvana and the Pixies.

“It was a little un-nerving on the first day, but he’s such a cool cat. He lives in his studio. It was the best experience of our lives. But he hates being called a producer, he’s an engineer,” Hoben enthused adding the band got a chance to check out Chicago  as well.
“It was awesome, we lived and breathed  in his studio in Chicago for two weeks. He’s got students working for him so they were bringing us coffee. It was the best experience of our lives,” he continued adding the new CD shows the next step in the band’s musical evolution.
“We started off as an outlaw country band and that seemed to work, but we’ve just started  getting progressively heavier,” he said adding the tour is going well.

DeSouza coming home

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Marq DeSouza is coming home again. For a week anyway. DeSouza, who moved from Lethbridge to Vancouver in the mid-’90s to be a musician, has released two CDs with popular Vancouver band Solarbaby and three solo CDs including his latest “… And All His Boyish Charms.”Marq De Souza and Shane Love .
He will be spending this week in Lethbridge writing with  his old friend  Shane Love and will cap off his visit  with a  gig at Henotic , Nov. 9.
“Last time I was here  ( a few months ago) I was on tour and  I didn’t have as much time as I wanted to visit with people I knew,” DeSouza said. Love will be playing double bass on stage with him.
“Two times ago when I played here, I had a full band with me, last time it was more acoustic. This time  it will be even more stripped down,” DeSouza said adding he is hoping  lots of people he hasn’t seen for a while will come out even though it is a Monday night show.
“(the different line ups)  keep me from being boring and  it keeps it fresh for the audience,” he continued.
He has not only released a New CD this year, but has also  re-released his first solo CD, “Temporary Redemption,” which he is giving away for free on his website
“It’s exactly 10 years since I put it out. When you look at things you did in the past, there are always  things you want to improve,” he said.
“It took some work because I had to transfer  it from actual tape that I recorded on a four track. I basically redid a lot of vocals and did some touching up,” he said adding there also CD versions of the project which he has available at live shows.
 He is just as proud of the new CD which has evolved since he began playing.

Pack A.D tickets won from L.A. Beat

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There are some pretty cool shows this week.
 First of all L.A. Beat is giving away two tickets to a  really cool show  featuring four rockin’ duos next Tuesday.
 Smoke Stack Jacks' Dave Bullied. Photo by Richard AmeryPopular blues tinged garage rock duo the Pack A.D. return to Henotic, Nov. 10. They put on an energetic, and intense show back in August.  They will  be playing with local blues rock duo the  Smoke Stack Jacks. On the rock end of the spectrum, local bass and drums duo  Amelia Earhart are on the bill as are pop duo, sometimes trio, Austria.
Dino Scavo has won two tickets for beingn the first person  to e-mail me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with the answer to the question  “What city are the Pack A.D based out of?” They are based out of Edmonton.
Popular Lethbridge born hard rock band, Incura, who moved to Vancouver several years ago are back for a handful; of gigs beginning  Nov. 5 at the Blarney Stone with Jesse Northey. They play an all ages gig at  the Moose Hall the next day and the  Slice for an unplugged gig on Nov. 7.
Matt Epp and the Country French both return to the Slice, Nov. 6.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 04 November 2009 14:53 ) Read more...

True blue authentic blues from MacLean and McLean

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For true blue authentic delta blues fans, a packed Slice took in  Big Dave McLean and Doc MacLean, Oct. 24. Doc MacLean and Big Dave McLean brought the blues back to its roots, Oct. 24. Photo By Richard AmeryDoc MacLean’s drawling baritone voice had a bit of warble which was simply mesmerizing  and put the listeners into a deep southern cotton field listening to pre-revolution field hollers. He added  washboard and battered National Steel guitar to Winnipeg blues god Big Dave McLean’s songs. McLean, who won a Western Canadian Music Award for his latest CD “Got Em  From the Bottom” was only too happy to return the favour, adding  some mournful harp to heartfelt and almost menacing MacLean originals like “Angola Prison Rodeo” and “Bone Train” as well as some new songs.
 Doc MacLean shared numerous stories in his slow southern drawl which put you in the middle of the delta, 70-odd years ago. They grabbed hold of the crowd from the outset, leaving no doubt as to who the main attraction was, even  going so far as to take a couple joking shots at people talking during their performances.

There were a lot of highlights including Doc MaCLean’s extended intros to songs like “Johnson Terraplane” and  “Angola Prison Rodeo.”

 Big Dave McLean also played a couple tracks from his new CD, “Got Em’ From the Bottom.” The second set was a little more uptempo which was a break from a  much lower key first set. But it was an excellent show which took the listeners back to the roots.

—by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 October 2009 13:41 )

Bluessmyth rocks it

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Bluessmyth rocked the Slice, Oct. 22. Photo By Richard AmeryCalgary power trio Bluessmyth made a triumphant return to Lethbridge, Oct. 22 where an enthusiastic crowd at the Slice dug the band’s uptempo blues infused boogie rock. There were lots of big Govt. Mule sized guitar riffs from guitarist/singer Chris Yaholkoski who also had a big Warren haynes  style voice. His brother Jason played some  intensely intricate bass and some impressive drumming from drummer Celene Yohemas.
 They worked their way through selections from all three of their CDs including several from their latest CD “Sola Grati” as well a  few Stevie Ray Vaughan covers and a superb version of “Whipping Post.”
In their second set, they spread their wings, from the primarily blues based rock of their first set into a trilogy of songs from their second CD which began with a  stunning fingerpicked instrumental called Innocence, followed by “Run For Your Life” and  “The Phoenix.”
 Then they played another moving song from the new CD called “Rosemary’s Blues” to bring the second set to a close. It was excellent and great to have them back.
— by Richard Amery, L.A Beat Editor
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