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Lethbridge College Band Wars brings different audiences and bands together

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Smokestack Jacks won the Lethbridge College Band Wars, Jan. 21. Photo by Richard AmeryThe great thing about a band wars, like the  Jan. 21 event at the Lethbridge College Barn, is it not only brings together a variety of bands who may not have actually seen each other play before, but their fans as well, who may not have, and, in fact  had not, heard of a lot of the other bands.  Headbanging fun with Enceladus. Photo by Richard Amery

Not everybody hits as many different venues as I do every night , so I’d seen most of the performers before. But it helped to draw in a crowd, that each band was given tickets to sell to their own fans.

 But here’s the thing, there are so many different venues featuring live music in Lethbridge periodically, but there is barely any crossover in bands at the different venues, or for that matter their audiences, who barely ever set foot in any of the other venues, at least to my eye.Pilgrimage of the Lost played slower, grungier rock. Photo by Richard Amery

Which made it all the more  the pleasant surprise  for most of the sold out crowd to see the local talent they had never heard, but are playing in their own backyards.
I missed excellent sets by the Living Luca and  Matt Robinson,  who usually is a solo folk and blues music singer, but who had his own band this time including Leeroy Stagger.

I arrived in time to see a solid, though bass heavy set by local punk/ metal band Kenzi Kill, who I’d seen at an all ages gig on the north side a few months ago.

Blues rock duo Smokestack Jacks won the $800 grand prize and $25 equipment rental from Long and McQuade thanks to an energetic and inspired  set with guitarist/ vocalist Dave Bullied sporting a lone ranger mask and racing across the stage to sing out of all three mics on the stage, Geoff McDonald, also wearing a Lone Ranger mask kept the beat and played an impromptu drum solo while Bullied changed guitars and tuned  up. They played a set familiar to me and a lot of the crowd including “Fat Ass,” “Rocket Ship,” and  crowd favourite ”Whiskey.”

Another duo, Penny Fortune, took second place with a set of more laid back R and B and rap powered by keyboard, computer and guitar.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 27 January 2011 18:38 ) Read more...

Andrew Scott returns home for a couple shows

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Andrew Scott returned to Lethbridge for a couple shows. Photo by Richard AmeryIt’s great to have Andrew Scott and his wife Julie back home in Lethbridge for a few days.

 They played a couple gigs for their fans this past week, at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Jan. 21 and at the Slice  Jan. 20.

 I caught their brief set at the Slice, which was part of a well attended multi-band gala performance organized by Anthony Pittarelli.

 Paul Kype and Texas Flood featuring  Steve Keenan and guests started things off by playing pretty much the same set they played last week, opening with Sweet Home Chicago,” one of Steve Keenan’s originals and Lynard Skynard’s “Simple Man.”

Andrew Scott and his wife Julie set off a barrage of screeching feedback before playing a variety of upbeat alt-country songs including some old Turncoats songs and brought Shaela Miller as well as Kyle Harmon on stage to help harmonize.

Craig Cardiff returns to combine samples with folk music

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Craig Cardiff enraptures a good sized Wednesday night crowd. Photo by Richard AmeryA respectable sized Wednesday night crowd was in the audience for  folk/pop singer songwriter Craig Cardiff, Jan. 19.

The Ottawa based musician hasn’t been to Lethbridge in about three years, but spoke with the crowd like they were old friends hanging out in his living room rather than at the Slice.

He asked them to choose what songs they wanted to hear “a song about Wal Mart or a song about the Deer Hunter video game.

When they shouted they wanted to hear the Deer Hunter song, he recorded severals snatches of conversation and then played and sang over them, a song about people in a bar being distracted by Deer Hunter instead of listening to the musician.

By the end of his first set, he had a lone couple waltzing in the aisle to his melodies and extended the song so they could keep dancing before  taking a break.

“It feels nice to be back,” I’d like to come back in the fall,” he said after his set adding  he has been keeping busy at home, writing for film and taking care of his daughter back in Ottawa.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Hurricane Felix and the Southern Twisters provide Gretsch powered rockabilly mayhem

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With so many competing shows taking place Saturday, Jan. 22, I was both surprised and impressed to see good sized crowds at allDino Caravaggio of Bent 8. Photo by Richard Amery of them, though some of them showed up late.
A good sized crowd started to trickle into the Tongue N’ Groove for their rockabilly showdown with Bent 8 and Hurricane Felix and the Southern Twisters.

 Both bands alternated sets throughout the night beginning with Bent 8 featuring Dean Wilson on drums. They played a variHurricane Felix at the Tongue N’ Groove. Photo by Richard Ameryety of popular covers including Elvis Presley’s “Baby Let’s Play House,” and Johnny Cash’s “Get Rhythm.”


Hurricane Felix and the Southern Twisters played  a couple excellent sets of upbeat rockabilly with double Gretsch  mayhem, a little steel guitar and stand up bass. it was a tight, well played set.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Sold out crowd enjoys John Wort Hannam

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The Lethbridge Folk Club featured a sold out show, Jan. 22,  featuring John Wort Hannam and his band — Tyler Bird on stand up

John Wort Hannam and his band played a sold out show at the Wolf‘s Den. Photo by Richard Amery

 bass, Brad Brouwer on drums and fiddle player Scott Duncan.

I only caught the tail end of the first set and missed opening act Dalliance Elixir. However was impressed with Hannam’s stage presence and voice, with which he captivated the crowd.

 There was  a lot of tasteful fiddling, and Bird was digging in on the bass  and added some accordian. Brouwer kept a steady, laid back beat.
 Hannam grinned throughout his set as numerous audience members sang the lyrics  below their breaths with him.

 He ended his first set with “10,000 Acres from  his “Two Bit Suit” CD which he said the band had only performed twice in front of an audience.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 26 January 2011 11:28 )
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