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Shovels and Rope and Little Miss Higgins show duos do it better for Wide Skies Music Festival

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The Wide Skies Music festival opened on July 30 at Southminster United Church with the first of two paid concerts showing how duos do it better.
 Little Miss Higgins and South Carolina duo Shovels and Rope opened Wide Skies in the sweltering Southminster United Church for an enthusiastic and sweating audience.Shovels and Rope perform at Southminster united Church for Wide Skies Music Festival. photo by Richard Amery
I always enjoy Little Miss Higgins, and haven’t seen her for a while.


 She  and lead guitarist Eric Lemoine focused on music from their last two albums “My Home, My Heart” and “Bison Ranch recording Sessions.”


Lead singer Jolene Higgins told stories about living all over the place and including Brooks, where her mom lives, noting she kindly consented to look after Higgins and Lemoine’s three-year-old toddler while they were on tour. She told that story to preface a new song “Belly Full of Baby” early in the set. She noted usually the song has a trumpet lead, which she attempted to whistle.

Little Miss Higgins and Eric Lemoine perform at Southminster united Church for Wide Skies Music Festival. photo by Richard Amery
 Musically, Lemoine started playing slide on dobro and switched to guitar while Higgins switched between ukulele and guitar. They had a laid back breezy, hippyish vibe.


 They picked up the tempo a little with  ABC Blues, once again inspired by trying to find time to write new music while  raising a child, and the always wonderful “Chateau Poulet.”
 they introduced a brand new song “ Top of the Mountain,” written around a poem composed by Higgins’ Auntie Joyce, who was in the audience.
One of my newer favourites “ Put The Needle on” was a highlight midway through their set.Shovels and Rope perform at Southminster united Church for Wide Skies Music Festival. photo by Richard Amery


 Shovels and Rope were on a whole other level, building a massive sound based on the multi-instrumental prowess of Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent. They didn’t say a lot in between songs as they were both busy leaping between a variety of instruments including a piano, mandolin drum kit, guitars and much more. It was  all the more impressive watching each of them switching instruments and simultaneously  playing drums and keyboards and bass on keyboards.

Their lyrics were darkly poetic stories full of passion and stunning visuals. “Gasoline,” “Boxcar” and “ the Devil Is All Around” were a few of the many highlights as was “Birmingham.”


 “ Mary and the One Eyed Man” was another highlight.
 Stylistically, they ran the gamut between noisy Neil Young and Crazy horse style rock and roll,  old country, blues, gospel, alt country and even alternative rock near the end when they decided to debut a few brand new songs. including the moving, alternative rock number “I’m Coming Out,” with a biting guitar riff.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 August 2018 10:41 )
 

Petunia spreads his music wings to include Caribbean music

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Whether he’s singing in English, Spanish or gibberish, Vancouver musician Petunia must be seen to appreciated.Petunia and the Vipers returned to the Slice last week. photo by Richard Amery
The Vancouver based musician brought his band, the Vipers, to the Slice, Sunday to perform for approximately 30 people.


 He was last here on St. Patrick’s Day for about 50. But no matter what kind of mood he is in or what sort of music he feels like playing, he is  always entertaining.

He has an inimitable yodelling voice  and a band that can’t be matched including lead guitarist  Stephen Nikleva who was at home playing jazz, country, Caribbean/ Cuban music, blues, rock and roll,  rockabilly and even Romanian music, upright bassist Joseph Lubinsky and dynamic drummer Paul Townsend.


 I arrived in time for his second set and found he was in a Caribbean/ Cuban jazz kind of mood.

And just when I was expecting  to hear steel drums, drummer Paul Townsend created a reasonable facsimile of them by wandering out from behind his kit and rat a tat tatting with his drumsticks on the strings of guitarist Stephen Nikleva while Nikleva sipped at his drink.


 I didn’t recognize a lot of Petunia’s new songs but he also performed an excellent version of “Six Days on The Road.”
He stepped aside for drummer Paul Townsend to bash out an impressive jazz fuelled drum solo and watched Nikleva play some just Paul Townsend uses Stephen Nikleva’s guitar for steel drums. photo by Richard Ameryas impressive Romanian music on guitar.


 They wound things down on more of a rockabilly note on “I Don’t Get It.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 August 2018 10:21 )
 

For Tonight play with pop music

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Edmonton’s For Tonight entertained an intimate audience at the Slice, July 28. I was looking forward to seeing a southern rock/ punk band, as they described themselves, but the reality was a little different.

For Tonight playing the Slice, July 28. Photo by Richard Amery They played a solid set of upbeat, piano powered  pop music with falsetto voices and perky vibes which sounded like a blend of Maroon 5, Ed Sheeran and a touch of Simple Plan as well as Kaleo, who they covered.

They covered a variety of music including  Johnny Cash’s “ Folsom Prison  Blues” and psyched the audience out with a few bars of “Cocaine Blues,” before segueing into Blink -182’s “ All The Small things.”


 They added a few of their original power pop/ pop punk originals  and showed their more R and B side on a beautiful cover of “Stand by Me.”

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 August 2018 09:39 )
 

Polly Dactic and Birch Barks help FLIPfest

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The Owl Acoustic Lounge hosted a fairly well attended FLIPfest fundraiser, Saturday, July 28.

Polly Dactic played a Flipfest fundraiser at the Owl, July 28. Photo by Richard Amery
 While I missed local band object_ option, I was in time for Calgary duo Polly Dactic to set up a couple of keyboards and bass.
 The quirky Calgary duo consisting of members of Blü Shorts and Hag Face.


 They played up tempo, droning techno style must featuring lots of synth and a synth sounding bass coupled with reverb soaked vocals.


 Local indie rock band Birch Barks released a new tape to end the night. They played a strong set of ambient indie rock along the lines of Radiohead and a touch of U2.

— by Richard Amery, L.a. beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 August 2018 09:29 )
 

LEMF 2018 celebrates electronic music

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Get ready to let your “freak flag fly,” at LEMF, Aug. 18 in Galt Gardens.David Fritz aka Marty Funkhauser is excited about the seventh annual LEMF in Galt Gardens, Aug. 18. photo by Richard Amery
If you enjoy electronica music, the seventh annual LEMF  (Lethbridge Electronic Music Festival) is the place to be.


“There’s people in colourful costumes. It’s a place to make a total ass of yourself in a non judgemental atmosphere. It‘s a place to let your freak flag fly,” said organizer David Fritz aka Marty Funkhauser when he is on stage. He noted the event attracted 4,500 people attending throughout the day and he is hoping for more this year with five headlining acts.
“We have five headliners this year, two from New Zealand (Cheshire and Sammy Senior), one from Australia (Slynk), one from the U.S (Joe Nice) and one from Canada (Wood N Soo),” he continued.


“Having five headliners is unusual for us, but everything just seemed to work out this year, he said, adding their performances will be staggered throughout the day, so people will be able to catch all of their sets.


“This will be Cheshire’s first tour of Canada. He‘s beginning it here,” he said.


“He plays glitch funk music, but he also plays live saxophone over top of it and he does some scratching as well,” he said.


“Wood N Soo play multi-genre soul dub and  electronica. There are two of them they play a two by four set which is four turntables and two mixers,” he continued.
“Joe Nice is a dub step guy. He’s one of the godfathers of dub step,” he said adding He is one of the few DJs still using vinyl.


“Sammy Senior plays ghetto funk and glitch hop. Slynk plays glitch hop and most kinds of funk,” he continued.


Fritz will be one of 30 DJs performing on three stages throughout the day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 August 2018 09:16 ) Read more...
 
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