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Jimmy Rankin leads sold out audience down memory lane

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Jimmy Rankin of the Rankin Family renown played two sold out shows at the Geomatic Attic, Oct. 9 and 10 in the middle of their Route 19 tour.

Jimmy Rankin playing the Geomatic Attic, Oct. 10 Photo by Richard Amery
 I only caught part of the Oct. 10 show in the sweltering Attic. I missed Mariel Buckley‘s opening set. But I enjoyed Jimmy Rankin and multi-instrumentalist Jamie Robinson, who took an enthusiastic audience on a journey down  memory lane. Rankin explained most of his songs were inspired by small towns on Route 19, the primary road across Cape Breton.

The duo began their set on acoustic guitars and started slowly with a pair of tenderly beautiful songs about snow and the north country painting vivid word pictures.

 He played several tracks of his latest CD “Movin’ East,” including one of my favourites, the upbeat country foot stomper “Been Away.”
 He had the audience singing along, clapping and interacting from the first note of his set.

 He chatted about growing up with his siblings in Mabou, Nova Scotia, forming the Rankin family and borrowing from his eldest sister in L.A. to fund their first cassette in 1989 , putting their mom’s address as the contact info, getting her to field phone calls, and then selling it to gas stations and grocery stores all over  Nova Scotia before they caught on with the rest of Canada, then played one of their earliest hits “Orangedale Whistle,” which Rankin noted lead to a lot of people traveling to Orangedale to see the train station in the song.
 Jamie Robinson switched to electric guitar to play a couple tasteful, Northern Pikes sounding solos and  picked up an electric mandolin for the more Celtic numbers.
 Rankin played a couple beautiful harmonica solos.

 He told the story behind a new song “Thin Ice,” prefacing it with the story  a time when people used to visit each other and  have tea, then of the  the main character John Dee, who always wore a black suit and  drowned   while walking in thin ice to get his hat which the wind blew onto the river.

 Rankin delved back into his solo catalogue and played an upbeat country song “Back Road Paradise.”

He prefaced that by talking about living in Nashville and deciding to move back home once his kids started talking with a southern accent and actually making the move after Donald Trump won the 2016 election, which drew cheers.

That song showed off Rankin’s lovely lilting tenor voice and allowed Jamie Robinson to lay down another face melting mandolin solo.
 He recorded the new album with Joel Plaskett and talked a little about that experience before playing another new song.

 I left during the rousing “Moving On,” as I didn’t want to miss Chron Goblin and Black Mastiff at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Friday, 11 October 2019 18:35 )

Whole lot of rock leading up to Thanksgiving weekend

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There is a whole lot of rock happening this week.Carter Felker returns to the Slice for the Windy City Opry this week. Photo by Richard Amery
 Open things up with Keith Woodrow’s A Slice of blues jam at the Slice, Oct. 8. Come out and play the blues.

But first, the Geomatic Attic features two big shows with Nova Scotia musician Jimmy Rankin. Rankin is “moving west” on his Songs From Route 19 tour in support of his most recent album “Moving East.” Rankin plays the Geomatic Attic, Oct. 9 and 10. Jimmy Rankin plays the Geomatic Attic, Oct. 9 and 10 at 8 p.m. each night. Tickets are $42.50 for members and $47.50 for non -members.
 In a similar vein, the Windy City Opry  features Quebec born, Calgary based folk musician Emily Triggs and Calgary country folk musician Carter Felker. The Opry begins at 8 p.m. sharp. Admission is $10.

 For the complete opposite to that, The Owl Acoustic Lounge features a big stoner rock night on Oct. 10 with Calgary’s Chron Goblin and Edmonton/Vancouver trio Black Mastiff who both have brand new albums out. Local band Facecut is also on the bill. They play the Owl Acoustic Lounge at 9 p.m. for a special ticketed event. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

 The Slice rocks on Friday, Oct. 11, with the Northern Pirate Radio Metal music bash featuring Calgary metal band Syryn, local Celtic metal band Nyghtblead, Local rock band Quick Draw and Eons of Earth. Admission is $10.

 For something a little more low key, Cal Toth and Katie LaRoque’s Dueling Pianos returns to Average Joes , Oct 11 as well.
Go country at Casino Lethbridge with Ryan Lindsay, who is performing there, Oct. 10 and 11.


Frankie and the Bridge Mix bring back the spirit of the ’50s

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Frankie and the Bridge Mix have found a niche among Lethbridge cover bands—1950s pop music.Frankie and the Bridge Mix at the Slice, Sept.27. Photo by Richard Amery
 There are lots of cover bands that focus on the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, but none that just focus exclusively on the ’50s. Enter Frankie and The Bridge Mix, who packed the Slice for their first official gig, Sept. 27.

 There is definitely a need for people to just cut loose and dance and have a good time, so it was great to see the Slice packed with people doing all of the above. I didn’t get to many gigs last week due to school, snow and sickness, but was glad I caught that one.

 They feature three of Lethbridge’s best singers, Erica Hunt, Ashley Thomson and Victoria Officinalis, who each took turns singing the  hits of the 50s. Erica Hunt and Ashley Thomson also added duelling kazoos, taking the place of  horn sections which were a prominent feature of ’50s pop.

 They were a lot of fun as they blasted through two minute gems of sugary sweet pop, nonsense music, doo wop, rock and roll and surf music, encouraging the audience to pull out their best swing dance and ’50s moves.

Some of the highlights were “Sea Cruise,” Rockin Robin’,” Lollypop, Lollypop, and “Rama Lama Ding Dong,” which let everyone show off their vocal range and harmonizing abilities.
 I’ve heard Erica Hunt and Victoria Officinalis sing before, but seldom get to hear the very animated Ashley Thomson, who was not only hilarious, but showed an impressive vocal range throughout the set
 Guitarist Frank Daigle ended their first set with a sinister version of Link Wray’s instrumental hit “Rumble.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Saturday, 05 October 2019 16:53 )

Chron Goblin returning to Lethbridge with new music

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Calgary stoner rock band Chron Goblin hope to break out of that genre with their fourth CD “Here Before.”

Chron Goblin return to Lethbridge, Oct. 10. Photo submitted
 They kick off a tour in support of the new CD with Black Mastiff at a  special ticketed event at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Oct. 10.
“We didn’t want to get stuck in the stoner rock genre. And I’m more of a progressive rock rock guy,”  said long time bassist Richard Hepp, noting he is pleased with the CD’s cleaner sound.

“ So we recorded it at OCL studios just outside of Calgary in Strathmore. half of the house is a residence and the other half is a soundproofed recording studio. A lot of big name country guys come there to rehearse for their shows a t the Saddledome or other venues, which we didn’t know when we started recording last summer. So they’d stop by to see what was going on,” Hepp said, adding he had to work  until five and came by to record after that, so he didn’t actually get to meet any of the country guys.

 The band includes vocalist  Josh Sandulak, guitarist Devin ‘Darty’ Purdy and drummer Brett Whittingham.
 They started to play together just over 10 years ago.

“Brett and  Darty started jamming together while living in residence in university on some thrash metal, but that didn’t work out. They asked Josh to sing and he‘d never sang anything before, then I joined. I was the guitar player. I never even thought of playing bass and now I love playing bass,” Hepp summarized, adding the band made a conscious decision to record elsewhere with people who weren’t  focused on alternative rock and stoner rock.

“Josh sings punkish, but also really clean. you can understand what he’s saying.  But they used to distort his vocals and the guitar. And even my bass was all fuzzy.
 This time everything was a lot more clean,” he said.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 02 October 2019 12:27 ) Read more...

Jimmy Rankin to play two Lethbridge shows on Songs from Route 19 tour

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Jimmy Rankin hits the road on a tour meant to be a tribute to small Cape Breton towns.Jimmy Rankin plays two shows at the Geomatic Attic next week. Photo by Tim Brennan
 It has been 30 years since the Rankin family released their first album, but Rankin has had a successful solo career for several years.
His new tour “Songs from Route 19,” tour stops at the Geomatic Attic, Oct. 9 and 10.
 It is in support of his new CD “ Moving East, which was released last fall.

“ I just moved back to Halifax  two years ago,” said Rankin, who has been spending a lot of time writing and recording in Nashville. He wanted to record his latest CD back home in Nova Scotia.

“There are a lot of little towns on Route 19  all around Cape Breton,” he said, adding the songs on the new CD are inspired by the towns and the people who live there.
It has been quite a few years since Rankin played Lethbridge. He will be joined by multi-instrumentalist and guitarist Jamie Robinson who was with him  for his Christmas show in Lethbridge  in 2012 as well as another solo show in 2012

“I can’t believe it’s been seven years,” Rankin said.
“ I remember the Geomatic Attic. It was a nice, small venue,” he said.

He is excited about the new CD, which he recorded with  Joel Plaskett.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 08 October 2019 17:24 ) Read more...
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