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Dave Alvin brings the roots to the Attic

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A sold out crowd enjoyed a quick show by Dave Alvin along with Guilty Woman Christie McWilson and  Guilty Man Chris Miller at the Geomatic Attic, March 22.Chris Miller, Dave Alvin and Christie McWilson. Photo by Richard Amery
As promised he played songs from his time with the ’80s roots rockers the Blasters, a lot of solo material, some of his favourite songwriters like Tom Russell and of course  several tracks from his new CD ‘Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women.’
Alvin and Miller took the stage right at 8 p.m. and played straight through until  close to 10 p.m.
In between fighting with tuning his guitar, Alvin told stories about hanging out with his brother Phil  around dingy Los Angeles clubs listening to blues legends like Big Joe Turner and Howlin’ Wolf, talking to them and learning how to play from them  while growing up in the early ’70s. These stories were excellent preambles to some of the blues infused highlights including “Boss of the Blues” off the new CD and another song, one of the best of the night ‘Ashgrove’ which was about one of these places. He could have ended there as it gave me and most of the audience goosebumps.

Shows for everybody this week

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This  will be an eventful week. Edmonton dance rock band  the Shout Out Out Out Out is in the city tonight, March 23. There are a couple big country gigs this week too including Reba McEntire at the Enmax Centre, March 23, plus Julian Austin is at Average Joes, March 26. Average Joes is also bringing back Jo Hikk the next night.
 For those looking to laugh country style, Washboard Hank is back in Lethbridge to play Henotic with Lindsay Coulton and the Country Legs, March 28. Admission is $5. L.A. Beat is giving away two tickets to  the Washboard Hank show to the first person to e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with the name of the best known Canadian songwriting icon Washboard Hank has toured with.
If you like AC DC, and who doesn’t, Henotic also brings in an excellent AC DC Tribute called BC DC , March 26  at 9 p.m. Tickets cost  $10 for it. However if you are the first person to e-mail me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , you can go courtesy of L.A. Beat
There is another big hip hop show at the Blarney Stone — D12, Eminem’s crew will be performing, March 26 with  the City Prophets and Global Syndicate though Eminem won’t be with them.
There are also a lot of open mics this week. Treeline hosts the opens mic on Tuesday at the Slice. Kate Maki hosts  the open mic at Henotic and there is a special jazz jam on Wednesday at the Slice with the David Renter Quartet. As usual there are open stages at the Good Earth Coffee House and at Beaches Pub on Thursday. Plus this week the Folk Club has their open stage at the Wolf’s Den, Friday night.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 March 2010 13:35 ) Read more...

Wild T and the Spirit return to Lethbridge

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Toney Springer, aka Wild T of Wild T and the Spirit knows what people like — Jimi Hendrix and lots of  it.
Wild T and the Spirit return to Lethbridge, March 29.He was getting tired of the whole Hendrix tribute act he was doing, so much so  that he wrote a song about it, ‘Buried Alive’ from his latest CD ‘Fender Bender,’ but people keep asking him and paying him to do it. He’ll be back in Lethbridge, March 29 at the Slice.
“I’d be Whitney Houston if they paid me  enough to do it,” laughed Springer, repeating  one of his favourite lines from a previous interview he did with L.A. Beat.
“We get a lot of requests for Foxy Lady. A lot of guys drool over the guitar playing, but whenever we play ‘Foxy Lady,’ the girls sigh and say they’re playing that for me,” he continued adding the trio is learning more Hendrix songs for their set.
“We’re gong to give ‘Hey Joe’ a rest though,” he said adding ‘Stone Free’ is one of the new additions to the band’s repertoire.
“We get a lot of requests for Foxy Lady. A lot of guys drool over the guitar playing, but whenever we play ‘Foxy Lady,’ the girls sigh and say they’re playing that for me,” he continued adding the trio is learning more Hendrix songs for their set.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 March 2010 12:41 ) Read more...

Kiwanis festival is a lot of fun with lots of talent

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The Kiwanis Music and Speech Arts Festival has been a showcase for up and coming talented performers for the past 80 years. It’s been a way for  musicians and performers to get their performing feet wet and pick up a  few tips on their performance from experienced adjudicators, not to mention win a few prizes.Erinn Roberts tells Carole Roberts who she thinks should perform at the Stars of the Festival Concert, March 27. Photo by Richard Amery
The first big show to end the first week of the two week festival  is tonight’s (March 20) Third Annual Musical Theatre Showcase, which gets underway at 7:30 p.m. at the Yates Centre. It features some of the best musical theatre performances from the past week.

“We had over 100 entrants in musical theatre. They had costumes and props and make-up. It was amazing,” enthused Carole Roberts  who is enjoying her fifth year as the festival’s executive director, she said, pointing out Stephen Nguyen and Matthew Blackburn’s performances in Piano Concerto — Classical-12 and Under and Provincial National Pianoforte solo  respectively as highlights so far.
“They did concerts that left us speechless,” Roberts said adding this year’s festival has over 1,400 entrants and 5,000 participants including members of bands, orchestras and choirs.

“We’re seeing more this year,” she observed adding this week has included not only musical theatre but vocals, piano, solo instrumentalists, choruses, choirs and bands.
“It’s growing each year,” she said adding the entrants are choosing unique  numbers to perform, utilizing the Internet and YouTube for extra hints and ideas about their performances.
“It’s been great. The adjudicators have noticed they’ve really been refining their performances.”
Concerts have been happening throughout the week at  the Yates and Sterndale Bennett Theatres, as well as at the Lethbridge Public Library Theatre Gallery, Note-able Music, Southminster United Church, St. Augustine’s Hall.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 20 March 2010 16:46 ) Read more...

Alvin, a guilty man and a guilty woman at the Geomatic Attic

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Two guitars, one guilty man, one guilty woman, and a lot of roots-rock mayhem with a touch of blues and folk. That’s what people checking out Dave Alvin at the Geomatic Attic, March 22 will experience.
“There’s been all girl pop bands  like  the Go Gos and all girl punk bands like Sleeter-Kinney and all girl bluegrass combinations, but there’s never been an all girl roots rock band, well other than me,” said Alvin over the phone, eating lunch en route to two weekend gigs in Calgary.Dave Alvin and some guilty women will play the Geomatic Attic on Monday, March 22.

“So when people  see it, it’s so muscular and powerful. It’s just amazing , the looks on their faces.  Especially on the women, they say ‘we could be doing this,’” Alvin enthused adding he won’t be bringing all of the guilty women, which includes some of Austin’s best female performers ( Cindy Cashdollar on steel and lap steel guitar, Weissenborn; electric guitarist Nina Gerber; violinist Laurie Lewis, bassist Sarah Brown; drummer Lisa Pankratz or violinist Amy Farris who passed away last year. But he will be bringing Guilty Woman vocalist  Christy McWilson who used to play in ’90s grunge band  the Picketts and Chris Miller from  Alvin’s Guilty Men band.
“It’s a lot more looser but we all know how to play. I’ll be playing  music from throughout my career,”  Alvin said.

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