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Bridgette Yarwood back to show off beautiful voice

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Bridgette Yarwood has been keeping a low profile over the past three years, focusing on teaching singing, so it was great to see and hear her back on stage at the Watertower Grill, Sept. 2Bridgette Yarwood was playing the Watertower, Sept. 20 and 21. Photo byn Richard Amery0. where she was performing Sept. 20 and 21 with her new guitarist Mel.

 She sat crouched behind a set of keyboards, strumming an acoustic guitar and belting out blues, jazz and classic rock covers, which really showed off her magnificent vocal range. For his part, her lead guitarist  played tasteful leads on acoustic guitar.

 Yarwood sounded gorgeous as usual and delivered her typically huge vocals.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Thursday, 26 September 2019 22:36 )

Jill Barber dedicating latest tour to you

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Jill Barber dedicates her new tour to you, her fans, as she kicks off a busy October at the Geomatic Attic, Saturday, Oct. 5 when she plays the Yates TheaJill Barber returns to Lethbridge, Oct. 5. Photo by Rachel Picktre.
The Juno Award Winner and multiple East Coast Music Award winner last played a Geomatic Attic show in 2014, but she swears she has been back since then.
“I was there with my son. But I know I came back with my daughter. Of course now they’re three and six, so they stay home. They’re retired and my husband holds down the fort,” she chuckled from her Vancouver home, where she is on a 10 day break in between touring legs.

“I just toured Ontario. Now I’m on a 10 day break. And then I’ll start again in Regina. That’s my reality now, so I don’t have to be away for a month at a time, she said. She isn’t wasting time at home, she is busy at work on a new all original French language album, which his a contrast from her straight ahead pop album 2018 “ Metaphora” which produced the number one hit “Girl’s Gotta Do.”

“Whenever I record a new album, I think a lot about what kind of record I want to make. I don’t just go ahead and do it, she said.
“Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of pop music and I think there are a lot of really exciting things happening in pop music. So it just felt right” said Barber, who is best known for playing piano and crooning sultry jazz music, though she sings pop just as well as jazz.
 She completed a full band tour of the new album when it was released last year, but will be playing this tour with her trio, drummer Morgan Doctor and pianist Johnny Spence, freeing her up to sing and play guitar.

“Only when needed though. I’m in the audience a lot,” she said.
The current tour, called “Dedicated to You,”  has  been a hit with audiences, who have an opportunity to share their stories about how Barber’s songs have affected them.
 “They have a chance to request their favourite songs, tell me their stories and have the opportunity to tell them over the mic at the show. though there is no pressure,” she said.
“It has been really meaningful and career affirming. We’ve had a lot of really special moments,” Barber continued.

“I’ve been playing for 16 or 18 years. It has been a lot of fun to play these songs and hearing what they mean to people,” she said, adding it is a lot of work, contacting people with their stories.

“I make a spreadsheet of the stories and songs and have a pretty idea of what the set will look like,” she continued, adding she technically takes requests right up until the day of the show.
“Some Lethbridge people have already contacted me,” she said. Fans can contact her through her website to request a song and make a dedication.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 September 2019 11:58 ) Read more...

ArtsDays and Oktoberfest this week

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ArtsDays provides most of the live entertainment this week.
 It kicked off as always, with Word on The Street on Saturday, Sept, 21. But there is a lot more happening.
 The always popular SOAR Cabarets have been moved  from May to coincide with ArtsDays and to accommodate students, who have usually left by May. TKaren Romanchuk plays several times this week for ArtsDays. Photo by Richard Ameryhey are Wednesday Sept. 25 and Sept. 26 at casa.

 Soar Cabaret 1, Sept. 25 features Michael Bartz, Austin Caller, David Gabert, Garrett Mallory Scott, Integra Contemporary and Acoustics (ICE), local rock band Marigold, opera singer Megan Wittig.

 Soar Cabaret 2, Sept. 26 features Michael Bartz, Sydney Murdoch, Zach Polis and Ashley Thomson who is bring back her one woman production of Elise Forier Edie’s 2011 play the Pink Unicorn, which she performed at SAAG  in June for Pridefest.

There is no cover charge this year. But donations will be accepted. The cabarets run from 7-9 p.m.
ArtsDays ends with A Family Affair on the Square, Sunday, Sept. 29. The event, which begins at 11 a.m.,  features performances from The Lethbridge Ukulele Jam, Southern Alberta Trombone Collective, Jon Martin and the Karen Romanchuk 3.
Karen Romanchuk has a busy week. She is also playing solo shows at Casa at 4 p.m., Sept. 28 and next door at Mortar and Brick at 7 p.m.

It’s hard to believe how fast September has flown by. That means there are a lot of end of the month events including  The Owl Acoustic Lounge’s stand up comedy open mic, Wednesday, Sept. 25.
 The Owl’s monthly poetry open mic with Terri Petz is Sept. 26.
 And Devin Gergel Hosts the Slice’s open mic on Thursday.

And get in the mood for Oktoberfest at Good Times, Where Polkaholix  play a pre-Oktoberfest party beginning at 8 p.m.
Oktoberfest takes over Exhibition Park, Sept. 27 and 29. There will be plenty of oom pah pah , German flavoured fun with Alpen Scatz getting you dancing. Admission is $10. Oktoberfest begins at 4 p.m each day.

Gabe Thaine has a busy week. He is playing with his folk/country trio Prairie Huckster, Sept. 24 at Theoretically  Brewing with alt folk musician Rory Taillon. On the weekend, Thaine releases his lates CD “Monster ” at the Slice, Sept. 28 with Fredericton musician Colin Fowlie. Admission to that show is $10 in advance, $15 at the door.
Friday features an eclectic array of  entertainment. The Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens  and Little Lethbridge Opera Company bring a performance of madame  Butterfly to the stage. The event will be outside, but will be moved to the Galt Museum if the weather is bad. Tickets are $30. Dr. Carly Adams will speak about Nikka Yuko’s current exhibit at 6 p.m. followed by Madame Butterfly.

 Breanne Urban and Southern Flyer will be playing country and pop music at Casino Lethbridge this weekend. Rydell will beat the Watertower Grill for the weekend as well.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge is buzzing this weekend. They have a big rock show on Sept. 27 with Winnipeg rock band Alone i Walk opening the night at 9:30 p.m., Calgary‘s Homeless In Hawaii following and local rock band the Cayley at 11:15. Admission is by donation.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 September 2019 20:12 ) Read more...

Rob Lamonica and Johnny O play Mexico inspired blues

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The Slice had a whole lot of blues on Friday, Sept. 20 with  Colorado bluesman Johnny Ohnmacht plus phenomenal Mexican born keyboardist Rob Lamonica and lead guitarist Igancio Nacho Chavez.

Rob Lamonica playing the Slice, Soet. 20. he has two other shows this weekend. Photo By Richard Amery
 Lamonica has several other shows this weekend, at the Stoketown Cafe, Sept. 21 from 11:30-2:30 p.m. with host Keith Woodrow and a special Sunday night  show at Telegraph Taphouse, Sept. 22. The trio played an intimate evening for an enraptured audience of  approximately 50 people at the Slice.

 Ohnmacht held centre stage, holding down the rhythm, but stepped back to watch Lamonica’s fingers fly over the old 88s.
 I arrived at the end of their first set, but was glad I stayed for the second.

 They opened with an extended jam on blues classic “Stormy Monday blues,” on which each of the three soloed soulfully and drew applause for their prowess.

 Ohnmacht played a couple of his own including  “ If the Phone Doesn't”t Ring, It’s Probably Me,” which drew grins, a  couple of dancers and more solos.

Johnny O playing the Slice, Spet. 20. Photo by Richard Amery
He also played a laid back, exotic tinged  , more mellow song he noted he wrote while living in Mexico.

He sang another pretty original “ Whiskey Drinking Woman,”    which was beautiful. I had to look twice at a wah wah pedal solo, I thought was being played by Chavez, however Lamonica had hooked up a wah wah to his keyboard for a more rock and roll experience.

 The three were completely locked in with each other, respectfully stepping back to let the other solo.
 Lamonica was impressive, his fingers a blur as he tickled the ivories. They invited Keith Catfish Woodrow on stage to sing another blues classic with the band.
 Johnny O will be bringing his trio back to the Slice for another show, Oct. 19.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Saturday, 21 September 2019 12:34 )

B.A Johnston brings back the funny

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When life gets you down, Mrs. Brown, just let B.A. Johnston take you to town. If his well tried antics don’t make you at least smile, you probably don’t  have a soul or a sense of humour.B.A. Johnston jumps off the bar at the Owl Acoustic lounge, Sept. 16. Photo by Richard Amery
 So even though I probably should have been studying, instead I went to  see him at the Owl Acoustic lounge, Monday, Sept. 16. I was glad I did, his 40 some minute ling celebration  of the strange and unconventionally, definitely put me in a better from of mind for school.

 But first, I finally caught  local rap duo Bomb Hugg’s goofy take on rap music  proved to be an excellent choice for an opener.
 2PUCK AKA Jon Vornbrock and 2Nicecube aka Tony Rosaine rapped about hockey and racism and forgetting where they parked their car. They even dedicated a rap to old friend mr. Personal. 2NiceCube even added a couple of trumpet solo over pre-recorded beats.
 Their goofy take on a well wBA Johnstoon at the Owl Acoustic lounge, sept. 16. photo by Richard Ameryorn genre took me back to the ’80s when you had  goofball acts like the Fresh Prince and Morris Minor and the Majors.
 They don’t take themselves too seriously and neither does B.A Johnston.

 As usual he opened his show with a recording of “Werewolves of London,” and wandered through the audience with a  sparkler in each hand, cracking jokes about Medicine Hat, laughing “ Don’t applaud that.” as he played a newer song “In Love With Geddy Lee.”. He noted he has a new album coming out in 2021 called “Werewolves of London, Ontario.”

 Most of the audience had seen B.A. before and knew most of his songs by heart, gleefully singing along with old favourites like “Jesus Is From Hamilton”  “Deep Fryer In My Bedroom,”  and “ My Heart is a Blinking Nintendo” as he wandered through the crowd like a demented leprechaun, fed people their own drinks,  jumping off chairs, rolled around on the floor, wandered behind the bar to feed bartender Braeden a bottle, and later even jumped off the bar.
As usual, he stripped off identical “What Are You Looking at Dickhead sweatshirts,” chortling “ I’ll be you saw that coming,” adding you can get them in Hamilton for a buck apiece or six for a dollar.
 He played  quite a few new songs from his latest CDs “ The Skid is Hot Tonight ” and “ Gremlins III.”
 “Drive Through Beef” was a highlight and he added a new twist to the wandering through the crowd, feeding them their own drinks bit, by jumping off a chair with a  pitcher full of cheezies and wandered through the crowd, feeding them to the audience while playing a new song called “Cheezie Dust.”

Bomb Hugg at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Sept. 16. Photo by Richard Amery
 He bashed a battered acoustic guitar, pounded at a couple of keyboards and had other beats  playing through a Discman, he called an IPod original, which allowed him to weave through the audience trailing a long mic cord which people patiently stepped around.
I was glad to hear “A Day Off is a Day off,” which has become a crowd favourite as  is the new single “We’re All Going To Jail, Except for Pete , He’s Gonna Die.”
he wound down his set with another favourite “My Roommate is a Couche Tard,” before playing a request for “ I Want to Punch A Squirrel.”
He ended with “McDonalds Coupon Day,” and ended up standing in the bathroom sink for an encore of “ i Want To Drink in a Bar Filled With Aliens.”

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 September 2019 15:57 )
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