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Indie rock and alternative meets with MTBC and Astral Swans

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A good sized crowd caught a diverse bill at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, May 19.

Astral Swans returned to Lethbridge last week. Photo by Richard Amery
 I caught the end of Conversations With Bears aka Calgary musician Lucien Lahey’s set.

He strummed dirty electric guitar and sang haunting indie rock in a spooky falsetto, which was well suited to fellow Calgarians Astral Swans set.

 But before them, local alternative rock band sounded a little out of place with their noisy, ’90s style alternative rock. Conversations with bears, aka Lucien Lahey, at the Owl Acoustic Lounge. photo by Richard Amery

The band including Quint Viskup on guitar, drummer Garwin Poff, Sil Campus on bass and trading vocals with guitarist Rob Cooper, who was seated for this show, having injured his back. As usual, their loud set had a very strong Pixies influence with Sil Campus’ haunting background vocals.

I hadn’t seen Astral Swans for a few years .

They delivered a strong set of spooky, indie rock. They playing an appealing set of really relaxing , multi layered, introspective ambient indie rock punctuated by bursts of microphone feedback.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 May 2018 13:47 )

Wildwood combines country and alt country with a few choice covers

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 I was looking forward to Edmonton alternative country quartet  Wildwood, featuring Tanyss Nixi and The Fuzz Kings’ David Johnston plus bassist Mitch Diesel and drummer Scott Lingley, but only caught half of their May 18 show at the Owl Acoustic lounge.

I arrived just in time for  a great cover of Chris Knight/ Cross Canadian Ragweed’s “ Cry Lonely,” sung by Nixi, who followed that up with “Rich People” from Tanyss Nixi and David Johnston of Wildwood. photo by Richard AmeryWildwood’s new Cd “Laverne.”

She traded lead vocals with Johnston, who sang the more Neil Young and Crazy Horse tinged alternative country, while she  sang the more classic country  songs including an upbeat cover of Johnny Cash’s “Cry,Cry, Cry” which wound down their first set.

Dave Johnston sang another highlight from the CD in the second set “ half As Rich As You Are Lonely,” with Bruce Springsteen swagger.

They traded vocals on a couple songs and Nixi turned things totally country on “Lonely All The Time.”

 They made things a little more rock and Roll with “Let the Juke Box Keep on Playing.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 May 2018 11:42 )

Gabriel Thaine and Megan Rourke play country and roots music

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The Slice has a decent sized audience for l a last minute show featuring Gabriel Thaine and  Megan Rourke, May 18.

Megan Rourke at the Slice. photo by Richard Amery
 Thaine sang a few country and blues songs and turned the  Beatles “All My Loving” into a country song.

 I hadn’t heard Megan Rourke perform for a while so it was great to hear her sing a more simple folk / roots stylings than her usual more experimental folk music. A Gillian Welch song was among the songs she played.

— by Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 May 2018 11:37 )

Holly Cole exploring hypnosis and new music

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Halifax born, Toronto based crooner Holly Cole makes her first visit to Lethbridge to headline the Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival, Saturday, June 16 at the Enmax Centre.
 She just released her first CD in six years called “Holly ” with  her “unbelievable” band  including long time pianist Aaron Davis, bassist George Koller, drummer Davide DiRenzo and horn player Johnny Johnson.

 She has taken a few years away from the music scene to work on other projects and spend time with her mother who passed away.
So what has Cole, who scored a hit cover of “I Can See Clearly Now,” with her beloved trio of David Piltch and Aaron Davis, back in 1993, been doing since her last album.
“Nobody’s asked me that quite so bluntly. But mostly I was spending some time with my mom.

“We knew she  was dying and I wanted to spend as much time with her as possible. But she understood, if I wasn’t out on tour, she suggested I study something. So I became a registered hypnotist. Mom always said I have a very hypnotic voice, ” Cole said, from the coast of Nova Scotia, raving about an old 1845 house she and her business partner bought and are renovating to rent out.

“I love it. It’s a huge project. It used to be a post office and a barrel factory. it has a greenhouse,” she said.
“When I think about it, I’m approaching it the same way I approach music. I think about and care about the history of it. I think of the people who lived in the house, who they were, how they lived. When i look a a song from the ’30s or 40s, I think about the people who were listening to it, wrote it and then I just put a modern twist  to it,” she said.

 She noted she focuses on paediatric hypnotherapy, so she could help children.
“It’s not stage hypnotism. That entertainment. But kids today are so stressed out and anxious. I never heard of those words until I was an adult,” she continued.
“I also learned a lot about self-hypnosis. You can hypnotize yourself to do anything. But you have to really want to. I hypnotized myself to stop smoking and  haven’t for quite a few years now. I can also hypnotize myself to go to sleep in about 45 seconds. So now I can  fall asleep anywhere, on, busses or on planes. I never used to be able to do that,” she said.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 May 2018 11:31 ) Read more...

Scotty Kipfer took his time for debut “Taking My Time”

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Up and coming country star Scotty Kipfer is excited has truly taken his time to release his debut album at the  age of 35 after a career spent in all aspects of the music business from radio to A and R.
The first single “Falling Like the Rain,”  from  the album “Taking my Time” dropped last month.Scotty Kipfer is in the middle of a promo tour in support of his new album “Taking my Time.” Photo by Richard Amery
He wrote “Taking my Time,” with Nashville songwriter Ryan Sorestad, a fellow Canadian transplant from Saskatoon, who moved to Nashville who worked on a lot of the songs on the upcoming CD with him including  the single “ Falling Like the Rain.”.

 Kipfer  spends most of his time on the road, but splits home time between Nashville and Milverton, Ontario.

“ I’ve never been afraid of the work,” said Kipfer enjoying a coffee on the Good Earth , one several stops on a Cross Canada promotional tour for the new CD and single.
“I’ve really taken my time with my first CD. I’m 35 now, but  I spent a lot of time  working on my songwriting and learning about the business. This  has always been the end game for me to pursue a music career,” he said.
He draws inspiration  from life experiences .

“There ’s a place for truck and beer and party songs. I want to draw from real life experiences,” he said.
“ Story songs are the cornerstone of the Grand Old Opry,” he continued.

“ I want  to make people feel compassion and write about experience people find relevant to them,” he said.
 He is enjoying touring Canada on a promo tour.
“ It’s been nice to  tour Canada  talking about this project,” he said.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 May 2018 10:21 ) Read more...
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