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Zojo Black CD release evolves into a massive jam

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As I expected, most of the blues crowd and a lot of people I didn’t recognize were at the Slice for  the Zojo Black CD release party,  July 2 at the Greg Gomola playing the Zojo Black release party. Photo by Richard Amery Slice.

 Brent Hutchinson playing sax. Photo by Richard AmeryGreg Gomola and some talented friends including Paul Kype on lead guitar, Tyson Maiko on bass and drummer Brady Valgardson were jamming up a storm with keyboardist Earl McAuley and saxophonist Brent Hutchinson.

While I missed the set where they played the CD  I caught their upbeat last song. I hung around for their tight second set  — a freewheeling jam of upbeat covers which showed Gomola’s influences.

They began with an unusual arrangement of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire,” then blasted into Three Doors Down’s “Kryptonite” before dedicating Eric Clapton’s “Cocaine” to the absent Tim Mulgrew.

—By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Exceptional piano marks Jenie Thai’s Lethbridge debut

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Jenie Thai playing keyboard at the Tongue N Groove. photo by Richard AmeryOver at the Tongue N Groove, Edmonton keyboardist/ vocalist Jenie Thai played to an intimate and enraptured audience, July 2.

She beamed ear-to-ear and danced in place behind her keyboard, playing boogie woogie and jazz tinged blues on her keyboard, which she had set to a beautiful organ/ electric piano sound. She delivered soulful vocals and scatted a little in between lines.


 She played a variety of originals as well as old blues tunes and even covered Serena Ryder’s “Melancholy blues,” almost nailing Ryder’s inimitable warble.


 She observed she had never played to such a quiet and attentive crowd before. I enjoyed her quirky lyrics and sense of humour, not to mention watching her dance, I was impressed with her vocal range, but more-so by her keyboard playing skills.


 She ended “with a song I wrote a couple days ago,” called “Michigan,” which was another soulful blues number.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 July 2011 11:18 )
 

RE-Mains blend steel guitar with blues

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The RE-Mains playing at the Owl. Photo by Richard AmeryThere were several really good blues shows happening July 2.
Australia’s the Re-Mains paid the Owl Acoustic lounge their first visit, July 2.


Their drummer didn't make the show, so they performed as a trio blending  beautifully tasteful steel guitar with harmonica and acoustic guitar and upbeat country groove bass.

There weren’t many people in the audience, but the ones impressive got the show.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Frenetic fiddle and humour mark Plaid Tongued Devil’s return

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The Plaid Tongued Devils returned to Lethbridge. Photo by Richard AmeryFor something a lot different, the Plaid Tongued Devils returned to Lethbridge to play the Tongue N Groove, June 30.


 There was a lot of minor keys, an eight stringed guitar, boundless energy, a lot of fine fiddle playing from Roxanne Young and a lot of fun thanks to charismatic frontman Ty Semaka, who didn’t seem to think things were going well as he offered to fire himself from the band no less than four times during Dino Scavo added some saxophone to the Plaid Tongued Devils’  June 30 show. Photo by Richard Amerythe show.


 They played my favourite Devils’ song “ Help I’m  A Logo,” and ended their set with an extended jam on “Bag of Snakes,” which had the enthusiastic crowd calling for more.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Honeymoon Suite takes a packed Joes back to 1986

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I made a point of being out Thursday night for a couple reasons. First of all, Canadian classic rockers Honeymoon Suite were back in Lethbridge to bring Average Joes back to 1986.Honeymoon Suite’s Derry Grehan taps a solo. Photo by Richard Amery


 Honeymoon Suite provided the soundtrack to a lot of our early years, with hits like “New Girl Now,” Burning In Love,” “Feel It Again,” and “Stay In the Light.”


 Honeymoon Suite’s Johnnie Dee. Photo by Richard AmerySo they were happy to play them for a packed room, June 30 for  a pre-Canada Day party. They began their set with a couple obscure, uptempo rockers before launching into “Stay In the Light,” the first hit of the night, followed by numerous other which kept the dance floor rocking. Lead singer Johnnie Dee showed he could play tasteful, bluesy leads on one of my favourites “Wave Babies,” which had the audience singing along.

He also added rhythm guitar throughout. He also showed he still has a pretty good set of pipes, still hitting all the high notes he did back in the day.


They had the dance floor filled during their hit ballad “What Does It Take?”


 Lead guitarist Derry Grehan showed off his inner Van Halen with a couple big riffs played on an Eddie Van Halen Music Man Wolfgang guitar, which he alternated with a battered Les Paul.


 And it wouldn’ be an ’80s party if everyone didn’t get a chance to show off in their solo spots.
 Grehan played a complicated Van Halen tapping riff during his spotlight which lead into “Bad Attitude” and even bassist  Gary Lalonde got a chance to solo which lead into “Looking Out For Number One.”

—By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 July 2011 10:46 )
 
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