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Lethbridge College bringing in new school year with Couleefest

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Lethbridge College welcomes students and the community to campus for the third annual Couleefest, Sept. 14 and in the process gives everybody a chance to not only hear some excellent music, but get a feel for everything the College has to offer.

Sidney Wakaruk is excited for Couleefest this year. Photo by Richard Amery
“ It started as a way to celebrate our sixtieth anniversary,” said community development officer Sidney Wakaruk.
“And now we’re going into our third year of the event,” she continued, adding there are special events planned.

There will be a family fun area including a petting zoo, bouncy castles, Kodiaks Athletics area and a dunk tank, more than a dozen food trucks, a what the junk vintage market, an indigenous craft area plus a beer garden.

 Live music will be happening on the Brighter Together Stage, with The Corey Hotline, 21st Avenue, Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction, and The Cayley perfoming from 1 -5 p.m.
 The Nova Scotiables play the stage at 5 p.m. during Kodiaks Happy hour and Leeroy Stagger winds things up at 6 p.m.

Last Updated ( Monday, 09 September 2019 22:19 ) Read more...

New West Theatre embraces the life and music of Buddy Holly in Buddy

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New West Theatre explores the life of rock and roll icon Buddy Holly in their new musical “Buddy; the Buddy Holly story, running at 7:30 p.m. each night Sept. 4-21.
The 12 member cast of the Alan Jones penned rock and roll musical all multi-task, playing different instruments as well as characters.

Fraser Elsdon plays Buddy Holly in New West Theatre’s production ofBuddy: The Buddy Holly Story. Photo by Richard Amery
“ It’s great I get to work with a really big band,” enthused musical director Kathy Zaborsky, who also plays  Vi Petty.
“ This show is pure joy. It’s a celebration of rock and roll,” she enthused.
“It’s a biography of Buddy Holly. It’s a musical that tells the story of his life from his hits to the his last show before the plane crash,” Zaborsky continued.

“ We have 12 cast members which is large for a rock and roll musical,” she said.

 There are several familiar faces on the cast including Garrett Mallory Scott, who was in Shakespeare in the Park this year, New West Theatre veteran Rylan Kunkel, Jocelyn Brayne who returns to New West after a few years hiatus and Lethbridge singer Mwansa Mwansa who returns home from Toronto for this show. The cast also includes  Tony Zappone, Daniel Sequeira, Joel Gray, Zach  Peterson and Theo Lysyk.

“We’ll see Buddy Holly and the Crickets being forced to play country music against their will when they record at the Decca Studios. Then they go to New Mexico to record Nor-Va-Jak studio and play rock and roll. And they end up in New York where Buddy meets and falls in love with Maria and I won’t reveal any more than that,” Zaborsky said.
 The productions also includes several  people who have performed in the  show before including Fraser Elsdon, who plays Buddy Holly and Nayeli Abrego, who plays his love interest  Maria Elena and Marlena Walker. Elsdon, not only looks like Buddy Holy, but does a great job of performing his songs and showing his stubbornness  in terms of his music.
“ You’re the nicest guy in the world, unless it’s about your music, then you’re stubborn,” quips Hipockets Duncan, his first manager and the first DJ to give Holly a break.

 The first half of the show shows Buddy Holly and his band the Crickets as young, hungry, up and coming musicians determined to play their music their way. It explores a hectic 18 months in 1957 leading up to their final concert , Feb. 3, 1959.

They work on their version of  rock and roll in studios in Lubbock, has run ins with DJ/ manager  Hipockets Duncan, gets sent to New Mexico to record with Norman Petty and writes a string of popular hits, changes the name of Cindy Lou to Peggy Sue to appease his bassist, who’s girlfriend is named Peggy Sue. Garrett Mallory Scott adds a lot of comic relief to an already hilarious show first as Norman Petty and later as the Big Bopper. Holly’s hits are well represented in the show including “Peggy Sue”, “That’ll Be The Day”, “Oh Boy”, “Not Fade Away”, “Everyday”, “Rave On”, “Heartbeat”, and “Raining in My Heart,” to name a few. That eventually leads them to New York, where they bravely play the Apollo Theatre, because music has no colour. There, a sassy Mwansa Mwansa sings a beautiful soulful version of “You Make me Want to Shout,” and warns the Crickets that they’d better be good or else they’ll be dead. I wanted to hear more of her, so her version of “Shout” and her sassy humour is much welcomed.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 04 September 2019 10:20 ) Read more...

The Fates return to sing beautiful harmonies

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 Only one thing is better  than hearing a woman sing and that’s three of them harmonizing together. That’s why it was so wonderful to have Calgary based folk trio the Fates back in town, not only to sing on my radio show the Hotrock Blues Beat, but to play at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Aug. 31.

The Fates playing the Owl, Aug. 31. Photo by Richard Amery
 The last time the trio of Jenny Allen,  Lin Elder and Lori Reid were in town was a show for the Lethbridge Folk Club in 2016, so with was great to have them back.

 It is  a magical feeling listening to them sing together again like a three person Indigo Girls
 I caught most of their last set of the night.

 The three alternated on acoustic guitars and a variety of percussion instruments including a cajon box drum. They also took turns singing lead vocals and added gorgeous harmonies throughout.
 They played a couple from the 2018 CD “ Therapy,” as well as a couple brand new songs.
 Allen played banjo on a couple of songs as well.

Allen sang a catchy song “ Some Days We‘re in Love” written by an ex-boyfriend, saying they like to play songs by their friends and the ex counts as a friend.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 03 September 2019 11:22 )

Sun Up Sun Down add groove to screamo

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Edmonton emo/ screamo rock band Sun Up  Sun Down put a new twist on the genre at the Slice, Saturday,  Aug. 31.

 Sun up Sun Down is the sound of a woman in pain. I have no idea what front woman Kitrina Brodhecker was screaming and yelling about. She jumped all over the stage and into the appreciative audience of approximately 25 including band members.Sun Up Sun Down’s Kitrina Brodhecker at the Slice, Saturday, Aug. 31. Phoro by Richard Amery

 Unusually instead of loud, dissonant, distorted, high energy guitar, here band of guitarist/ vocalist Adam Mountford, bassist Brielle Morrison and drummer Ayden Limon Falcon laid down a tight, laid back groovy backdrop for Brohecker to do her thing over top of.

She put on quite the emotional show, she wandered through the audience, bellowing into her mic and almost fainting  onto table tops and  the edge of the stage from the efforts of her exertion.

 I missed a solo show by Sil Campus as well as local band Morii.

 I caught the last couple songs from Calgary alternative rock/ screamo trio Still There.

 They were as expected. They played, loud, impassioned, high energy emo/ screamo rock with the drummer doing most of the screaming.
 I would have stuck around, but I didn’t want to miss a long awaited visit by the Fates.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 03 September 2019 10:42 )

Freshfest and more for Back to School week

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  As a U of L student, I’m allowed to attend Freshfest ’19, though I’m usually there anyway to cover it for the paper. It is only open to students and guests of students.Max Hopkins is one of several local musicians playing Freshfest at the U of L. Photo by Richard Amery
The Freshfest Jamboree outside the Student’s Union building, Sept. 6 is pretty rap and hip hop heavy this year. But it is such a popular event that the cheap tickets even sold out before they even announced the lineup. I already feel out of touch, not recognizing most of the line-up.

 Rapper Classified is the headliner. I’ve seen him perform a couple of times. He puts on an excellent show.
 I’ve never heard of Grandson.  Grandson aka Jordan Edward Benjamin’s website, not to mention several of the headliners’s websiters are less than useless as they don’t even have bios. Wikipedia says he was born in New Jersey and moved to Toronto. He won a SOCAN prize for his song  Blood/Water in 2019.

He comes here after an extensive American tour and are playing the Gateway in Calgary the night before Lethbridge.
Also on the bill are New York rapper Bryce Vine, Halifax singer songwriter Ria Mae, 604 Records songwriter Ralph, Chedda Cheese and talented local rapper Trey Mark, local folk singers Max Hopkins and Bailey Kate and Ollie X.
 The Jamboree is 4:30 -11 p.m., Sept. 6. Tickets range from $30-$45. The event is only open to students or guests of students.
 Speaking of blasts from my past, back in the day, most students used to call the Duke of Ellington Pub on Columbia Blvd. their second  home.
Over the years it changed to Pop’s Pub. But they are reopening as the Duke this week with a big parking lot party, Sept. 7 with local band  21st Avenue. Also on Sept. 7, the Geomatic Attic starts their new season with Texas/ Nashville songwriter Hayes Carll. Unfortunately that show is sold out.

 But there is more happening.
 If you are new to town and are looking for live music and comedy, there are lots of options.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 03 September 2019 09:02 ) Read more...
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