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Trevor Kohlman comes home to play with friends

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Trevor Kohlman with members of Planet Telex. Photo by Richard AmeryIt is always  fun to see Trevor Kohlman back in Lethbridge. The Lethbridge pop / rock singer/ songwriter is from Lethbridge originally, but has been living in Mexico for the past few years. So it is always a treat to hear him play.

 His first set at the Tongue N’ Groove, Aug. 4 was pretty laid back pop music featuring a lot of keyboards and a drummer with a broken foot, who worked very well together, complementing his appealing melodic, pop music.

“Thanks for coming out and supporting local music. But we’re not local, we’re loco,” he quipped to the crowd of about 50 people.

They took a break soon after I arrived, but they turned on the rock  in their second set with the help of local alternative rock band Planet Telex. Planet Telex opened the show with a tight set of upbeat, catchy, alternative style originals with a few covers thrown in for variety. Planet Telex also played their own show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Aug. 6.

They switched instruments for a couple numbers including a Weezer song, with Tyson Wiebe on bass, and Quint Viskup n drums then switched back to play through a set of mostly originals with a few choice covers.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

the Devil’s music never sounded as good as it did with the Mason Rack band

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The big show I was waiting for was the return of the Mason Rack band, who played to approximate 30 people at the Slice, Aug. 5. I can see why frontmanmason Rack sets a hypnotic groove, Aug. 4. Photo ny Richard Amery Mason Rack describes his music as blues rock on steroids.

But he also showed he knows how to draw a crowd  into the show with  nothing more than the power of his voice and superb command of dynamics.

 The quiescent crowd sat enraptured as lead singer/ guitarist Mason Rack started things off with a hypnotic groove and rhythm he laid down by tapping on the side of his delay-laden Weissenborn lap steel guitar. He was lost in the moment as the crack band got lost in the groove, interrupted only by looking up as one fan’s cell phone rang and  commenting “that had better be an important call,” before getting lost in his music again.

 He played some  more slower numbers including a menacing version of “Crawling King Snake,” which he kicked off with an evil chortle as he switched guitars.  Rack showed he could play with supreme taste and capture the crowd on the edge of every note, as well as he could tear thing sup with ear-bleeding blues rock, which he did on “Seen her B4,” a crowd favourite.

 His band, bassist Nathan Archer and drummer Joel Purkess were no less impressive in their respective solo spots.

 Archer added some warm distortion to make his bass sound a little like a keyboard. He played the bass with his teeth and writhed as he danced in place.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 August 2011 17:22 ) Read more...

Hey Ocean has pop fun premiering new music

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Hey Ocean singer Ashleigh Ball reaches for a percussion instrument. Photo by Richard AmeryHey Ocean was back in Lethbridge to play a sold out show at the Slice, Aug. 3.

 Jesse Northey opened the late starting set with a solo set of originals, including some new material plus some covers.

 Hey Ocean had the audience in the palms of their hands with waves of hypnotic indie- pop melodies and enrapturing vocal harmonies.
 There was plenty of escapist pop fun, lots of percussion and lots of dancing from lead singer Ashleigh Ball and the audience clustered in front of the stage singing along with a chorus of oohs and ahhhs, doooos and daaaas.

 The band sounded like a cross between No Doubt and Jethro Tull thanks to Ball’s flute playing with a touch of Pink Floyd ambience.

 They added a variety of styles, with a  couple, sultry jazz tinged numbers, some more exotic Caribbean sounds,  a little bit of reggae and went back to the ’80s as bassist David Vertesi donned a key-tar, which segued into a massive percussion solo featuring most of the band members, then devolved in to a few samples of classic rap.Hey Ocean enjoys a percussion powered jam on a medly of ’80s hits. Photo by Richard Amery

 They  sang a cover of  the Ronettes’s ’60s pop classic “Be My Baby.”

 Ball was an adorable and talented front woman with her sexy/ cute voice and beaming smile not to mention her prowess on a variety of percussion instruments.

they played a lot of their new, upbeat and fun music from their soon to be released album including my favourite “Big Blue Wave.”

 They lest the stage with the crowd chanting “hey ocean” until they came back to play some R and B and rap.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Gord Bamford loving his day job

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It seems like every second song they play on modern country music radio is a Gord Bamford song.Gord Bamford plays Canadian country Music Week in Fort Macleod. Photo Submitted
 The Lacombe born and raised country star has had a string of hits over the course of the past three CDs including  “I Would For You,” “Little Guy,” “Stayed Til Two,” “Postcard From Pasadena,” and off his most recent CD “ Day Job”, the title track, “My Daughter’s Father” and “Hank Williams Lonesome.”

 “If every second song they play is mine, that’s great,” said Bamford, surprised to hear that. He will be a highlight of the Canadian Country Weekend in Fort Macleod, Aug. 12-13. He plays at 7:45 p.m., Aug. 13.

“It all starts with a song. I just try to write a song people can relate to,” he said.

 “ I started writing songs about eight years ago. I was fortunate to meet Byron Hill. I always tell people I’ve worked with a great tradesman. I just happened to be his apprentice,” he said adding it is important to be open minded and listen and learn when working with somebody like Hill.

 He is looking forward to being part of the Canadian Country Weekend, which includes a variety of performers including Jaydee Bixby, Ian Tyson, Tim Hus, Terri Clark, George Canyon, One More Girl, lots of Southern Albertan acts and many more.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 16 August 2011 11:51 ) Read more...

World music in Lethbridge this week

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This week is a week dominated by pretty exotic live music from traditional Polish, to alternate folk, to music influenced by Beat Poets and American The Moby Dicks start a cross Canada tour with Needles/Pins, Aug. 9. Photo by Richard Ameryurban saints.
But for something more mainstream, modern rock band My Darkest Days will be coming to the Stone on Saturday, Aug. 13.

 My Darkest Days are a modern rock band signed to Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger’s 604 Records who have a couple huge radio hits including “Move Your Body” and  “Porn Star Dancing,” which features former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde playing on the track.

 Double Jack won the opening slot for the show after winning a special band wars, Aug. 5 barely beating out Caste of Shadows, among an outstanding cast of competitors including the likes of  Lock N Load, Bent 8 and She Lies.

 Tickets for My Darkest Days cost $30. Doors open at 9 p.m with the show beginning at 10 p.m.
For classic rockers, Sweet will be at Average Joes, Thursday, Aug. 11 to play an array of their  ’70s hits including “Ballroom Blitz,” Little Willie,”, “Love is Like Oxygen” and “Fox on the Run.” Tickets for the show cost $40.

Local jazz/ pop/ rock band Dalliance Elixir will be opening the show as they won  Average Joes ‘open for the bands’ contest a couple months ago. The show begins at 8:30 p.m.
For alternative rockers and garage punks, local trio the Moby Dicks are embarking on a cross Canadian tour with Vancouver’s Needles/Pins beginning with a show tonight at the Owl Acoustic Lounge. There is no cover for the show, which is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m.

Hamilton based singer songwriter Chris Adeney aka Wax Mannequin is enjoying his latest tour across Canada with his old friends the Burning Hell.

 They are supporting a brand new vinyl split  seven inch record “Hear Some Evil,”  including  Wax Mannequin”s “Black Bells,”  The Burning Hell’s “My Name is Matthias” and pretty cool cover of ’80s hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 August 2011 15:08 ) Read more...
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