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Peter and the Wolves play piano powered rock and roll

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 A revamped Calgary based rock and roll band Peter and the Wolves showed a new side to their sound at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Friday, July 7, not to mention a new line up.

 Frontman Peter Cormier stretched his fingers of some  finger bleeding piano instead of his usual Gretsch. They also had a new drummer as well as special guest in Mercury Audio’s Dylan Sadlier-Brown on upright bass.
 Instead of their usual upbeat rockabPeter Cormier of Peter and the Wolves plays some hot piano at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, July 7. Photo by Richard Ameryilly sound, this show showed more of  the piano powered rock and roll of the ’50s and ’60s.

Cormier proved to be equally adept on keyboard as he is on guitar as the trio played plenty of Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Charles and even  Hank Williams’ “You Win Again” on piano. They got an enthusiastic crowd’s toes tapping. They even had a pair of swing dancers working up  a sweat in front  of the stage, who were just as entertaining as the jaw dropping piano based rock and roll of the band.

Peter Cormier of Peter and the Wolves jumps off Dylan Sadlier Brown’s bass at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, July 7. Photo by Richard Amery
Cormier switched back to  guitar in the middle of a song for the last few songs of the set and put on a show there as well. He added a few originals , “and ended with “Jailbird Johnny” and a hot cover of the Stray Cats “Rock This Town,” followed it up with blues classic “St. James Infirmary,” and ending Buddy Holly’s “ All my Love, All My Kissin’ (Oh Boy)  punctuating the hyperactive set by leaping high in the air off Sadlier-Brown’s bass.

 — By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 20 July 2017 09:40 )

Wide Skies Music festival features familiar faces and Dave and Phil Alvin

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Mike Spencer is excited to welcome back a lot of old friends  to Lethbridge to play the Wide Skies Music Festival, outside the Southminster United Church, July 26 and July 27.
“ Everyone except for Mariel (Buckley) has played the Geomatic Attic before,” observed Spencer, who has brought in most of the artists performing the two shows, to the Geomatic Attic, to play his popular concert series.
“There are two main reasons I’m doing this at Southminster. One, we received a heart of the City Grant and two, because we wanted to have a really good backup plan. The event is rain or shine. So if it rains on Wednesday, we can move into the Southminster United Church. They have always been excellent to us so we wanted to show it off as a venue so hopefully more people will wan to to book it,” Spencer said.

Dave and Phil Alvin play Wide Skies music Festival next week. Photo courtesy Yep Roc Records
“It’s called Wide Skies, because it is a good description for Southern Alberta, but it also reflects the feel of inclusiveness.  The idea is it is open to everyone,” Spencer continued, adding a bonus is being able to book bands who have not only played the Geomatic Attic before, but who are also in the area, playing either or the South Country Fair, July 21-23 like Lindsay beaver and the 24th Street Wailers or the Calgary Folk Festival the following weekend like Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin.

 Dave Alvin is pleased to be part of the festival.
“I have played Lethbridge before about six or seven years ago. I had my guitar player Chris Miller playing with me. Lt was  a room in an industrial  area of the city.  To look at it, you wouldn’t have known it was a venue. But I’d always had a great time playing the Calgary Folk Festival, so when this show came up, I said hell yes, ” observed Dave Alvin, who returns to headline the Wide Skies Music Festival, July 27 with  his brother Phil Alvin and the Guilty Few including members of Dave Alvin’s two previous bands, The Guilty Women and the Guilty Men including guitarist Chris Miller, drummer Lisa Pankratz and her husband Brad Fordham on bass.

Dave and Phil Alvin were part of Downey, California based rockabilly / roots revivalists, the Blasters, always the outsiders, who cut their teeth in the late ’70s and ’80s, playing a variety of  shows from opening for 18,000 angry Queen fans to playing with some of the wildest  Los Angeles punk bands of the early ’80s including Fear, X, Social Distortion and Angry Samoans. Dave Alvin left the Blasters in 1986 and has since embarked on a successful solo career, most recently reuniting with his brother Phil for two CDs, “Common Ground Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin Play and Sing the Songs of Big Bill Broonzy”— and their most recent CD, 2015’s  “Lost Time.”

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 July 2017 07:17 ) Read more...

‘Skinny’ Dyck presents steel guitar and southern Alberta talent on new compilation

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Local musician Ryan (Skinny) Dyck aka Danny Dyck is excited to present his new compilation of 20 mostly southern Alberta musicians called Twenty-One Nighters.

Skinny Dyck playing with Carter Felker. Photo by Richard Amery
“There are 10 local and 10 non local artists. We recorded each of the songs in one night, just band in a room kind of thing,” Dyck said.

“They are all friends of mine and people I’ve played with,” he continued , adding he plays steel guitar on all of the tracks.

 “But it isn’t a steel guitar album. The compilation showcases  the artist rather than me playing. Other than three of four of them, most of the songs have never been released them before. They‘re songs I know from seeing the artists play them live or songs they have given me on a demo,” he said.

“There are very few overdubs and the vocals are live, which is unusual these days,” he continued.

The compilation includes a variety of roots/ country artists including local musicians Shaela Miller, John Wort Hannam, Dave McCann, Steve Foord plus Taylor Ackerman and co producer Tyler Bird, Calgary musicians Carter Felker, Amy Nelson and Tom Phillips. There are also songs from Southern Alberta artists Justin Smith from Tin and the Toad and Lance Loree.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 July 2017 07:01 ) Read more...

Lindsay Beaver and the 24th Street Wailers bring the blues to Southern Alberta

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Austin/ Toronto based blues band Lindsay Beaver and the 24th Street Wailers, have never experienced South country Fair before.

“We’ve never played the South Country  Fair before, but we’ve played the North Country Fair and if it’s anything like that it will be fun,” said drummer/ lead singer Lindsay Beaver, from a tour stop in Sioux City, Iowa.

Lindsay Beaver and the 24th street Wailers are playing Wide Skies music Festival South Contry Fair and on Wednesday, July 26. Photo by Richard Amery
“It’s a really relaxed atmosphere and we got to meet  some really great people like Wendell Ferguson, whose show is part music and part comedy. He’s a great musician,” she said noting the Halifax/ Toronto born band band plans to play a lot of new music during their two Southern Alberta shows in two weeks including the South Country Fair and the Wide Skies music Festival in Lethbridge the following week.

 The band has undergone  a few changes. They had to say good bye to a couple of long time members including saxophonist Jonny Wong and keyboardist Jesse Whiteley.
“ They just didn’t want to tour anymore.  They were getting burned out. It was hard for them. We’re in Austin (Beaver and husband/ bassist Mike Archer) and they have to fly down here. But we‘re still friends. I treated them as band members, not just sidemen,” she said. Guitarists Marc Doucet and Josh Fuller complete the band’s line-up, adding she was worried about continuing without a saxophone player.
“So far, so good. So far there haven’t been any complaints and we were worried about that. But we’re more of a grown up band now. The show is more about the songs and the performance and less about the schtick,” she said, adding they could have hired another saxophone player, but didn’t want to.

“There are plenty of guys in Austin we could have hired to play saxophone, but we didn’t want to. It’s still us. We still play swing and blues. I still write the tunes and book the shows,” she said.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 July 2017 10:46 ) Read more...

Slow week in Lethbridge due to South Country Fair

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If you aren’t going to South Country Fair this week, there are a few options for live entertainment.Fast Times play Casino Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Amery

 Unfortunately Streetheart’s scheduled show at Average Joes on July 22 has been cancelled due to the illness of frontman Kenny Shields.

Local classic rock/pop band Fast Times return to Casino Lethbridge, July 21 and 22. They begin at 8 p.m. each night.

Things get funky at the Slice after South Country Fair on Tuesday, July  25 as Niagara funk collective My Son the Hurricane get things hot and sweaty on a Tuesday  night. The 14 piece behemoth have a full horn section, an MC and mix New Orleans jazz with funk, jazz and a little hip hop. Admission is five dollars.

— By Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 July 2017 10:34 )
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