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Starpainter stoked about self produced second album and hitting the road this summer

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Starpainter decided to DIY when they decided to make their second full length album.

Starpainter release their second album Rattlesnake Dream, June 2.  Photo by Richard Amery

“ Rattlesnake Dreams,” which is officially released Friday, June 2, just in time for an album release party, June 3 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge with Amy Nelson.

 The album is the local alt country folk rock band’s  first for Edmonton based record label Neon Moon Records.


“ They’ve been extremely beneficial for us for supporting us and for PR. They have a project management, which has been extremely helpful,” said Starpainter frontman Joel Stretch, noting he produced the album himself and recorded it at his home with bandmates— lead guitarist Joel Gray, bassist Colby Stolson and drummer Mickey Hayward.


 When they start playing live again, they will welcome new bassist  Dylan Wagner to the fold as Stolson has been driving in from Edmonton to play with them.

 They are also joined by Bailey Kate and Tyler Stewart playing organ when they play live.

 Stretch played all the keyboard parts on the album himself as well as rhythm guitar and vocals.


 They had the luxury of taking more time to write and develop the songs because of Covid.


“ We recorded it at my home, and  we were able to meet in the same room because it was a little bit looser. We weren’t locked down,” he said.


“It was challenging. But we did lots of pre-production. We chipped away at them on weekends,” he said.


“Usually we like to road test the songs before we record them but weren’t able to do that this time, he said.


“ We did less road testing for this album but we took more time to work on areas of improvement . This album captures a more homey sound,” he continued, adding live he translates all the piano parts to guitar.

“ I like it when I go to a show and the band has a different sound than on the Cd,” he said.

Last Updated ( Friday, 26 May 2023 17:31 ) Read more...

Bad Night For a Beer tour opener great night for local country musician Brayden King

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  Brayden King kicked off his Bad Night to Be A Beer tour at the Slice, Tuesday,May 16 for a  decent sized and enthusiastic audience in the mood to part to some rocking country music on a school night.

I arrived as  Beamer Wigley was doing his best Keith Urban impression.


Brayden King at the Slice, May 16. Photo by Richard Amery

 The B.C based Wigley shared his band, guitarist Roman Kozlowski, drummer Cody Mack and bassist Cam Dougall with the Weyburn, Saskatchewan born, Lethbridge based country musician, Brayden King.

 Wigley was playing his own leads like  Keith Urban and even covered Urban’s “ Somebody Like You” to wind down his set. 


 Brayden King, though he has several singles out including one he used to audition for American Idol, was also in a cover playing mood and a playing to the crowd mood.

He started off with some Chris Stapleton and worked a good sized Tuesday night audience  like a pro, getting most of them up to the stage. He and lead guitarist Roman Koslowski jumped in the middle of them and dances, with Koslowski  climbing on top one of the tables for a solo.


 He reminded me of a young Trevor Panczak, strumming his electric then switching to acoustic for an assortment of originals and covers.


Beamer Wigley opening for Brayden King at the Slice, May 16. Photo by Richard Amery

He mentioned he auditioned or American idol with  his song “Down The Road,” and played it. His originals had a pleasant accessible sound that would be right at home on modern country radio.


They slowed down a little for some waltz time in  “ Tequila and Me,” then picked up the tempo for the next single,  “ Nicotine.”


 He talked abut his mother Alana, who recently passed away and dedicated “Cover of the Rolling Stone” to her.


 “Living the Dream,”the latest single was a highlight.” He wound up his energetic set with a n eclectic mix of covers including “ Takin Care of business,” for which he got the crowd to sing along.


 They played a solid cover of Carrie Underwoods’ “ Before He Cheats” and took a left turn into some  2000s rock with “ the Killers’ “Mr Brightside.”


The band detuned for a cover of “Save a Horse Ride A Cowboy.” And King tried to rap like Eminem.


They wound up a sweaty and energetic set with a cover of AC DC’s “ Highway to Hell” before ending with the tour’s namesake “ Bad Night to be A Beer.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 25 May 2023 18:08 )

Romi Mayes returns to Lethbridge to sing Lucinda Williams

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 It is always a pleasure to see Winnipeg  singer songwriter Romi Mayes back in Lethbridge it has been  a long time since she visited and as happens a lot more often than it should, she didn’t have the crowd she deserved. So she made the typical Lethbridge mistake of  delaying the show, waiting for an audience that never arrives. And as usually happened, they all missed out big time.


Romi Mayes playing the Slice, May 18. Photo by Richard Amery

 The show brought out a lot of people I haven’t seen for a while including Corb Lund and George Arsene.


 I was hoping to hear her own music, but knew to expect otherwise as this tour is all about the music of alt country icon Lucinda Williams. She wasn't[t trying to be Williams, but definitely put her own stamp on her songs.

 She and a hot band including some of Winnipegs best roots and blues musicians new drummer Travis Maclean, D Rangers bassist Tom "Twisty Fodey"  and lead guitarists Chris Saywell (also of D.Rangers fame) JD Ormond.


 Their first set focused on the more laid back Lucinda Williams cuts from her ground breaking 1998 album  “ Car Wheels on a Gravel Road like “ I Lost It” and “ Satisfied Mind” and “ Concrete and “Barbed Wire.”’

Saywell and  Ormond took turns playing rhythm and hot leads as Mayes added extra rhythm guitar. Ormond also added excellent harmony vocals.


 They picked up the  tempo for the end of the set with  “ I Want to See You So bad.” which featured a beautiful guitar solo from Chris Saywell.

 They wound up the first set with “ Change the Locks” which featured Mayes playing a harp solo.


 After an extended set break, they returned  for a more upbeat set focusing on the rock side of Williams’ country rock sounds around 11:15.

A couple  a shots of whiskey during the set break helped Mayes nail  Williams inimitable raspy voice.


One of Williams‘  newer numbers “You Can’t Rule Me” was an immediate highlight of the second set.  They went back to “Car Wheels on a. Gravel Road” for another highlight “ Firecracker.”

 Mayes really sold “ Drunken Angel,” Williams’ ode to the tragic life of Austin songwriter Blaze Foley.

Mayes admitted she cheated a little by playing  A Steve Earle song “ You’re Still Standing There,” which Lucinda Williams recorded with him in 1996 and cheated again for another, more bluesy number, “ Ramblin’ on my Mind.” she recorded for her debut album in 1979.

 Mayes also sold another popular Lucinda cut “Lake Charles.”

Romi Mayes on the bar at the Slice, May 18. Photo by Richard Amery


 They wound down on an upbeat note “ “Can’t Let Go, featuring solos from everyone and ended the show with “ You Took my Joy.”

Mayes was called back for  an encore, so she perched  on the edge of the bar t strum “Greenville” on her acoustic guitar.

— by Richard Amery,L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 25 May 2023 17:50 )

Rebranded Biloxi Parish play new songs as Yarboro

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 It was the same band, with a slightly different  set of music when Yarboro, formerly Biloxi Parish made their debut on the Owl Acoustic Lounge stage, Saturday, May 20, in support of their new EP “ Nights Here Die Without a Sound” they recorded with Taylor Ackerman.

Yarboro at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, May 20. Photo by Richard Amery

The new incarnation of the band have toned down a little, moving in a more laid back, Wilco style alt country/ roots rock direction than straight ahead  rock.


 They are still powered by Zach Passey‘s powerfully plaintive voice.

 Bassist Ben Wattie wore cut off shorts and fishnets as he held down the rhythm in sync with drummer Cole Howg who was fighting with a cymbal stand that kept breaking  until he could borrow a new one. Lead guitarist  Taran Duncan added background and harmony vocals.


 They picked up the tempo for more gritty roots rock to finish their short, but sweet set.

 Yarboro open this summer’s Upside Downtown Concert Series on Thursday, July 6 outside of casa.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 25 May 2023 17:38 )

Citizen Rage and No More Moments bring out the punk at the Slice

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 Citizen Rage returned to rage and hug their homies at the Slice in support of their first full length album “ Harsh Reality,” Wednesday, May 24.


Citizen Rage jamming with No More Moments, May 24. Photo by Richard Amery

  No More Moments  made a long awaited return to Lethbridge. The last time I wrote about them was 2016 when they were opening for SNFU at the Moose Hall, but just missed their set, so I was excited to see the Siksika skate punk band again, though I missed The Hockey Moms and Berserker.


 No More Moments brought a lot. of great moments, with plenty of impassioned vocals , snarling guitar riffs and gang vocals.

 They were breaking in a new bassist who fit right in.


 “ Close Call” was a highlight  about skateboarding they dedicated to Mark Russell and Citizen Rage “ Who are too old to jump,” according to the frontman.

 They got serious in a couple places especially with the plaintive “Everyone But Me”’ and  “The Way it Is” which they dedicated to “all their brothers on the street.”


 Mark Russell joined them on stage to bellow along with the “oh, oh , oh” chorus of  “Problem Child” from their Cursed Blessings record label debut “Quarter Life Crisis.”

Citizen Rage, aka bassist Mikey Bastard, drummer Chase Hamilton, guitarist Sean Adam and vocalist Mark Russell and guitarist Ross Ferguson blasted through  their usual intense set which focussed on their Cursed Blessings debut “ Harsh Reality.”


No More Moments, May 24. Photo by Richard Amery  at the Slice

 Russell bellowed “it’s great to be back in Lethbridge” as he lead the band through a high octane, loud, fast paced and short set beginning with  “Watch What you Say” about bullying.

 Their bassist Mikey Bastard spoke about  the 215 graves behind old residential schools as they  crashed into their song about the 215 called “ Given No Hope.”


 He later showed some impressive chops on a cover of Suicidal Tendencies’“ Possessed to Skate,” for which Citizen Rage welcomed No More Moments back to the stage to help out.


 But before that, they played crowd favourite“ Fuck Your Face.”

 Mikey Bastard talked about their  song about LGTBQ  rights  “ What’s it To You, which also featured No More Moments.

 They were called back for an encore of one of their 30 some second long bursts of energy.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 25 May 2023 17:18 )
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