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Megan Nash returns with Hamburg friends

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 I try to take Mondays off, but wanted to see yet another one of my long lost favourite performers as Megan Nash was playing the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Monday, Aug. 26 with Scotch & Water, some new friends she met in Hamburg while touring in Germany.Megan Nash playing the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Aug.26. Photo by Richard Amery

 Regina’s red headed siren Megan Nash is always a pleasure to watch and hear. She has a ragged, heartfelt, whiskey soaked voice that is immediately appealing. She played the fist set on her own and showed off some brand new music while joking  she didn’t just stand on stage and sings sad songs, but felt lucky to be able to do so.

 She played alt country / folk and dark pop with a lot of new songs about heartbreak.
 She told a story about her new dog which was influenced by Diane Keaton’s 1987 movie  Baby Boom.

 She cut her set short to make way for Scotch & Water, promising she’d be back to sing with them.
 Hamburg’s Scotch & Water played an excellent set of upbeat indie rock music, which they sung in English. 

So there were a lot of delay laden guitars. They were all multi-instruments. Bassist Samira Christmann spoke of her Iranian roots as she traded her bass for a guitar to play a song inspired by an Iranian folk song. Scotch & Water playing the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Aug.26. Photo by Richard Amery

 To make them stand out, they added some acoustic flair with a bouzouki to add some foreign flair to western style ambient indie rock.

 Nash joined them for   a few original songs and an excellent cover of  Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon,” which really suited her raspy voice.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 28 August 2019 13:50 )

Syryn and Mustakettu add Celtic influences to metal

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A lot of bands are getting into Celtic rock and going whole hog with outfits and makeup. They Slice  showed off a few of Alberta’s Celtic rockers, Aug.Syryn vocalist Sloan Voxxkills at the Slice, Aug. 24. Photo by Richard Amery 24.

 I arrived in tine for  Edmonton Celtic rock/folk metal band  Mustakettu who played an outstanding set of metal music punctuated by fiddle, pipe and flute standing apart  from ’80s heavy metal riffs and throbbing bass.

 They looked like they stepped right out of the Viking ages or a D and D tournament with tribal makeup and fur jerkins.
 The fiddle player Helvii was superb as was Eeva adding flute and whistles.

 They were a lot of fun, sounding like a more tribal Real McKenzies, but really reminded me of Unleash the Archers as they crashed into a rousing song about drinking to end their set.

 They made way for Syryn who moved in two fancy backdroMustakettu fiddle player Helvii at the Slice, Aug. 24. Photo by Richard Ameryps and a’80s style metal drum rig into place. After an extensive soundcheck, they broke into a heavy set of Celtic folk which emphasized Sloan Voxxkills’ operatic vocal an  heavy, ’80s style riffs from guitarists Byron Gorieu and Paulo Rage, but didn’t play any guitar harmonies like a lot of ”’80s style metal bands embrace.

They tossed their hirsuit heads, hammering home big thrash style guitar riffs.
 I left as they launched into a song about “killing people.”

 I missed  another set by NyghtBlaed and was too late for opening act Frege’s Puzzle

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 28 August 2019 13:06 )

Prairie Huckster embrace traditional country

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 Gabe Thaine is a man of many musical hats. He showed off a new roots/ country project  called Prairie Huckster at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Aug. 24.Steve Martin, Aya and Gabe Thaine of Priarie Huckster at the Owl, Aug. 24. Photo by Richard Amery
 Thaine and Aya alternated singing traditional country with Steve Martin adding the bottom end on upright bass.

 Aya, wearing a flower veil,  strummed ukulele, which enhanced the Hawaiian feel of a few songs while Thaine played guitar.

 One of the highlights was a cover of Bob Wills’ country classic “Stay a Little Longer,” which they ended their set with.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 28 August 2019 12:32 )

Erin Ross competes with Whoop Up Days

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Calgary blues / roots musician Erin Ross either has incredibly bad timing in Lethbridge or people don’t appreciate talent when they hear it.

Erin Ross playing the Slice, Aug. 23. Photo by Richard Amery
 It might be a little of both. This time she was competing with the Arkells at Whoop Up Days, which I cut short so I could catch her at the Slice, Friday, Aug. 23.

 I was just in time, as she was winding up an upbeat set of catchy alt country and blues music backed by Tyler Bird on bass and a drummer. She played a heartfelt, yet uptempo autobiographical song which was new to me.

As usual, she has a lovely, enrapturing voice. And she ended her set too soon.

She was brandishing her blonde Telecaster for a more alt-country sound rather than the straight ahead delta blues she usually plays. She sometimes brings a banjo, but I didn’t see it this time.

 I didn’t stick around for Alleviate, who were most of the audience, because I wanted to catch Gillian and Ryland Moranz who were done at the Owl Acoustic Lounge by the time I arrived.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 28 August 2019 12:21 )

Arkells and Dear Rouge celebrated Whoop up Days with energetic pop

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Hamilton based pop/rock band Arkells brought the party to pop and rock night at Whoop Up Days, Friday, Aug. 23.The Arkells Max Kerman at Whoop Up Days, Aug. 23. Photo by Richard Amery

 But first, fellow Hamiltonites The Dirty Nil showed why you should never miss the opening act as quite a few people did, though there were quite a few Dirty Nils fans in the front row, wearing Nils merch and calling out requests for their favourites including Motel 8 from their most recent record Master Volume.

The Arkells’ max Kerman singing with the Dirty Nil. Photo by Richard Amery
The scrappy alternative  rock/ punk trio (guitarist/vocalist Luke Bentham; drummer Kyle Fisher and bassist Ross Miller)  played an energetic set of loud, bass heavy original music from their four albums. They were a violent contrast to to keyboard powered pop of Dear Rouge and the Arkells more accessible alternative rock/ pop music.

Their bassist Ross Miller looked like a young Paul Simonon (bassist for the Clash).
 As a special surprise, Arkells frontman Max Kerman grinned as he joined the Dirty Nils on stage  to shout out background vocals on their song “Fucking Up Young.”

 They sounded like a more emo Big Star with a touch of Husker Dü. They played a catchy Big Star cover and played a hyperactive  set of jagged punk edged rock and roll with a lot of leaping around and Pete Townsend windmills.

 They had the audience properly warmed up for Dear Rouge who insisted the exuberant audience party with them.

 The last time I saw  Dear Rouge was at the Gate Church in 2015, though they played Rail Jam at the university in 2016. The husband and wife  duo of Danielle and  Drew McTaggart added a drummer and a keyboardist/ bassist to amp up they synth driven, toe tapping pop stylings.

Danielle McTaggart strutted around the stage in a glittering turquoise shorts and shirt, belting out lyrics and pounding at her keyboards shouting at the creaming crown “Are you ready to dance?”Dear Rouge’s Danielle McTaggart at Whoop Up Days. Photo by Richard Amery

They played several familiar hits and added an LCD Sound System cover of “North American Skyline.”
 They have improved a lot, found their groove and looked really at home on a big stage.

 The Arkells were ready to party in to the night, opening their energetic set with  their latest hit “Hand Me Down.”
“Frontman Max Kerman shouted it had been 10 years since they were last in Lethbridge and were glad to be back.
 A horn section joined them in the second song, a love song,  and were an upbeat  brass fuelled highlight of the show especially on hits like “Knocking At Your Door.”

The Dirty Nil’s drummer Kyle Fisher and bassist Ross Miller. Photo by Richard Amery
They played a lot from their latest CD “Rally Cry,” but also played all of their hits, which had  the audience singing along. “Saturday Night” and “People’s Champ” were a highlight of these.

Midway through their set, Max Kerman opened up the gates and invited everyone  to come and join the party in the  premium section. He jumped into the middle of them and sang with them shortly after.

 They played an upbeat set of catchy guitar driven power pop and alternative rock anthems chock full of good vibes and lots of energy that reminded me a lot of the Trews.

 They ended their set officially with “Private School,” and were called back for an encore.

— by Richard Amery L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 28 August 2019 11:35 )
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