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Hawksley Workman reflects on growing up in the ’80s and theatre

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After 20 some years in the business, two Juno awards, a couple theatre soundtracks and 17 albums including his latest –“Median Age Wasteland” and another on the way, you’d think  Hawksley Workman might have come down with a case of writers block somewhere  along the way.Hawksley Workman plays Lethbridge , Nov. 23. Photo by Dustin Rabin
 It s not the case, now that  he has resigned himself to never becoming rich and famous.

“Bob Dylan has a quote like being rich is having the freedom to do whatever you want. And I’ve been lucky enough to carve out a living doing just that, which is difficult in Canada. And Im really grateful for that,” said Workman, looking a at a grey, dreary London day, looking forward to a sold out show  in London Ontario, one of several shows which are already sold out on this tour.
 He brings his long time band the Wolves including keyboardist Todd Lumley aka Mr. Lonely, bassist Derrick Brady and  drummer Brad Kilpatrick, to the University Theatre to play  a special show for  the Geomatic Attic, Nov. 23.

“There was a time, when I was in Sweden, spending time in studios where the sound of American radio was born, when I still thought I could get rich. I thought I could write hits for other people, but that’s not how I work. My creativity dried up because I wasn’t giving it the respect it deserved,” he said.

“I was never meant for mass consumption I guess, I was meant for a small, select group of people. I think I’m playing stuff people like,” he observed.
 he has had a “banger of a Year” full of touring, recording his own music, recording music with folks like Sarah Slean, and theatre.
He composed a soundtrack for a musical version of ’80s movie “Never-Ending Story.”

“I spent three and a half months working on the soundtrack. It was an important part of my youth. it was the only VHS tape my small rural school had, so I must have seen it hundreds of times.. One time in the early ’80s, there was a solar eclipse, so they put as all in the gym and  showed us that movie,” he recalled.
 “For the soundtrack, we didn’t have access to original elements of the movie, so I went for a nostalgic feel to celebrate the movie,” he said, adding he enjoyed working with a director.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 12 November 2019 15:26 ) Read more...

A lot of blues going down in this town this week

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There is a whole lot of blues happening during a relatively slow Remembrance Day week. The Week opens on Tuesday with Keith  Catfish Woodrow’s Slice of blues jam, Nov. 12.Papa King plays a couple of shows this week in support of his new CD. Photo by Richard Amery
But things begin on a country note as Saskatchewan born Orillia, Ontario based folk/ roots musician returns to Lethbridge to play the Windy City Opry, Nov. 13.
 The Slice also brings back Kirkland Lake born, Montreal based pop punk tinged rock band Dany Laj and the Looks, Nov. 14. They will be playing with local blues rock band Taylor Ackerman’s Global Acid Reset and local rap duo Bomb Hugg.

 Things cook on the weekend.
 The Lethbridge Folk Club’s monthly open mic is at Casa, on Friday at 7 p.m.
 The Slice welcomes back Edmonton folk/ pop duo,  The Orchard, Friday, Nov. 15. The Orchard aka Kasha Anne and Mitchell Smith also cite  the Chris Robinson brotherhood, Grateful Dead and Tedeschi Trucks band as influences. They will be joined by local  alternative  rock trio Mombod plus Calgary Celtic punks the River Jacks and the Hockey moms. Admission is $10.

Papa King and the Boogiemen have a couple “Bootleg” CD release shows coming up. Calgary’s Eric Braun and bassist Doug Freeman will be joining him at the Owl Acoustic lounge, Friday, Nov. 15. Steve Keenan will be joining them at the Slice, Nov. 23.

 Keenan and Papa King play a stripped down show at the Mocha Cabana , Nov. 16 at 8 p.m.

 Steve Keenan and his band will also be hosting the open mic at Honker’s Pub on Friday, Nov. 15.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 November 2019 09:59 ) Read more...

Barney Bentall and Grand Cariboo Express play magical show for Youth One

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Barney Bentall and the Cariboo Express delivered one of the most  beautiful musical experience of the year at Southminster United Church, Thursday, Nov. 7. As a bonus tBarney Bentall hosting the Grand Cariboo Express at Southmoinster United Church, Nov. 7. Photo by Richard Ameryhe Geomatic Attic event raised at least $15,000 for Youth One, with more to be counted as Mike Spencer they passed a couple of natty hats around for extra donations from close to 400 people in attendance.

Stephanie Cadman, Dustin Bentall, Matt Masters, NBarney Bentall and Leeroy Stagger play with the Grand Cariboo Express, Nov. 7. Photo by Richard Amery
 As he has over the past 14 years, Bentall rounded up an all star line up of Canadian roots and country talent for the show, including Leeroy Stagger for just the Lethbridge show, which kicked off this year‘s tour.’ They brought a lot of joy and love to the Southminster Church in an extensive show that ended around 11 p.m.

Most of the donations came from local businesses who sponsored individual shows, so Bentall and co-host and organizer Matt Masters had a riot cracking jokes at each other’s expense and cracking each other up in the process while mentioning the sponsors to introduce each song.
 Each musician got to shine on their own  song, sometimes including the other guests and sometimes with just the host band The Gold Rush All Star Band. For the most part, the other key musicians took a seat off stage to watch  the others performing.

Barney Bentall was in a nostalgic mood, concentrating on his hits and deep cuts from the ’90s, though he began  the show with “ The Miner,” from his latest Cd “the Drifter and the Preacher, which included everyone. But for the most part, Bentall concentrated on music from his 1995 album Gin Palace with a couple highlights including “Atikokan Annie” and “Oh Shelly,” which he noted was inspired by Sheldon Kennedy after partying with the Detroit Red Wings all night before a big game against the Flames.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 January 2020 14:09 ) Read more...

Zachary Lucky reflects on youth on Midwestern

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Saskatchewan born, Orillia, Ontario based musician Zachary Lucky is excited bring a new bluegrass sound to the  Windy City Opry at the Slice, Nov. 13 in support of his new CD “Midwestern.”

Zachary Lucky returns to Lethbridge, Nov. 13 for the Windy City Opry. Photo by Tom Wood
 He was last in Lethbridge in 2017 to play the Windy City Opry with Kent McAlister.

“ It’s been too long,” Lucky said, adding his last record “Everywhere A Man Can Be” was released in 2016.
 The new, independently CD has done well. Since it was released in Oct. 18, it has hit the top of the Canadian Folk and Roots Music charts.
“ It’s doing well. It‘s got some good response from people,” he said.

“ As I’m getting older, I’m beginning to see the world a little differently. There has been a lot of big changes in my life that have informed the music,” he said.

“ I’ve been thinking a lot about where I am in life. And what my parents” live was like when they were my age, in Saskatchewan,” he said.
Lucky moved to Toronto, then quickly to Orillia to be closer to his in-laws. Orillia, is north of Toronto and the home of the world famous Mariposa Folk Festival, which is also where he met his partner.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 06 November 2019 10:57 ) Read more...

The Wild! rock the Slice for Halloween

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Kelowna based rockers the Wild! made a long awaited returned to Lethbridge to tear up the Slice stage for Halloween,  with a wild set of loud rock and roll  which drew heavily from the well of AC DC.Dylan Villain playing with the Wild! for Halloween. Photo by Richard Amery
 The show was sold out past capacity, but it didn’t look like it.

There was plenty of room for elaborate costumes, masks and elbow bending room. There was a lot of all three.
I missed opening act 21st Avenue, but after a while, was in time for the Wild!.

 They began with the blistering bluesy riff of their first big hit “Roadhouse,”  from their debut EP “GxDxWxB” and took off from there.

There was a lot of big blues riffs, gang background vocals and the throat shredding vocals of frontman Dylan Villain, who kept wandering off stage for a different guitar in between songs and in between channelling the spirit of Bonn Scott with just a touch of Robert Plant and a smattering of Nazareth.

Dylan Villain jumps. Photo by Richard Amery
But AC DC are the Wild!’s spirit animal.
 They sang a lot about drinking and partying, raising hell and overall having a good time, which made them the perfect soundtrack for a Halloween party.

 They played a lot from their most recent  CD “ Wild At Heart,”
“Best of the West,” was up next, before they went back to their debut EP for “Banger.” They followed that up with “Helluva Ride,” one of their newest singles.

They sprinkled the hits throughout the set including “ Straight to Hell,” which followed their latest single “Playing with Fire.”

Another newer song “Attitude,” was pretty much a straight ahead punk song.
 They had a lot of energy, lots of  big riffs and bluesy solos.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 05 November 2019 13:03 )
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