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Ketamines and Play Guitar give a taste of Sled Island

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A busy week started on Tuesday, June 21 with the Ketamines, Play Guitar, babysitter and Fist City playing a pre-Sled Island show at the Slice.Play Guitar at the Slice, June 21. Photo by Richard Amery
 The Ketamines started off a night of extreme volume with extreme volume and sounded like the MC5 and The Stooges tossed into a blender with a handful of rusty bolts and frayed electrical wires, but you could hears some neat guitar riffs.

This time loud organ was replaced by loud guitars which drowned out Paul Lawton’s vocals. They had a fantastic Tuesday night crowd of about 50 on their feet and cheering for their tight set of noisy garage rock.


 The band I came out to see was Play Guitar who came out from Halifax for their first Lethbridge show. And while the name makes you expect some sort of Eddie Van Halen style fretboard pyrotechnics, they were in fact the exact opposite.


 They laid down intense layers of effects drenched guitar lines mixed with keyboard riffs and a solid groove.


 The vocals and the soundscapes along with a strong pop feel gave them a Talking Heads/ ’80s new wave sound.


I was impressed with the whole package and was actually hoping they’d play longer especially when the lead singer brought out an ancient electric 12 string and created weird sounds with it.

 — By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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Bluesman Bill Durst looks forward to a holiday touring

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London Music Hall of famer Bill Durst is looking forward to bringing the blues to the Tongue N Groove, July 5.Bill Durst comes to Lethbridge, July 5. Photo by David Ritchie
“I spend hours a day in the music business and months organizing this tour, so when I get in the van and get out and play, it’s like a holiday for me,” said Durst, on the road to Stratford.


 He is alternating between full electric gigs with his band for festivals including one in Jasper and another in Horsefly, B.C. as well as acoustic gigs like he will be playing in Lethbridge.


“If you’re coming  expecting to hear the band, forget about it, but if you are coming expecting  to hear some good songs and seeing a wild and crazy guy, then come on down,” he said.

He is best known for being part of the band Thundermug, which scored some mid ’90s independent radio hits including ‘Africa,’ plus three hits off their CD “Running My World including the title track as well as ‘Blue Water’ and ‘She Said.’
“In the mid-90s  there was a very little window of opportunity for independent blues artists to get a hit on the radio. But in the ’90s it went more corporate,”’ he said adding there is a bigger budget for record companies to pay for more airtime.


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Canada Day celebrations and Greg Gomola CD release a highlight of the week

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Who says things slow down during the summer? Not in the music community they don’t. I was only able to hit a fraction of all the cool things happening this week. But  this week only gets better as there are a couple great shows coming up in addition to big bashes at Henderson Lake and Galt Gardens for Canada Day.

 To get you in the mood for Canada Day, check out some wicked Canadian music.Greg Gomola releases his new CD this week. Photo by Richard Amery
 Honeymoon Suite is back in town to play Average Joes, June 30.
Honeymoon Suite has come a long way from a bar band playing ZZ Top and Genesis covers, to superstars, thanks to their big hit “I’ve Got A New Girl Now.”
Tickets cost $25 and are available at Average Joes.

For fans of more modern rock, Juno award winner Jonas Tomalty is excited about giving his band the Massive Attractions more attention.
 People know the Montreal based rock singer Jonas Tomalty by his first name, under which he recorded two Gold and near Platinum selling albums, received “Rock Album of the Year,” and “New Artist of the Year,” Juno nominations, plus toured with the likes of Van Halen and Collective Soul, however he insists it has never been a solo effort, it has always been a band effort.
Tickets cost $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

Other big shows this week include Greg Gomola’s CD release party at the Slice, July 2. His band Zojo Black features a who’s who of the Lethbridge music scene including Paul Kype, Brady Valgardson, Tyson Maiko,  with Anna Vanderheide, Darryl Düus, Brad Brouwer, Steve Keenan, Jamil Sayegh, Taylor Ackerman and Brent Hutchison. There is a $20 cover which includes the CD.
For a taste of Australia, Aussie country rockers  the Re-Mains play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, July 2 as well.
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 28 June 2011 12:34 ) Read more...
 

The hits never get old for Honeymoon Suite

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Honeymoon Suite has come a long way from a bar band playing ZZ Top and Genesis covers, to superstars, thanks to their big hit “I’ve Got A New Girl Now.”
Now, 25-some years later, they have the luxury of playing big festivals on weekends and spending time at home with the kids and writing songs.
“For a classic rock band like us, that just makes sense,” said guitarist Derry Grehan, from his home in Bloomington, Illinois, whHoneymoon Suite Play Average Joes, June 30.ere he has lived for the past eight years. They will be playing every weekend until October.
 The Canadian classic rockers will be playing Average Joes, June 30.
“We’ve got a lot going on this summer. We’re getting out there. We’re playing every weekend. It‘s hot weather. I hate winter. There’s nothing like it, playing rock and roll outside in 80 degree weather and there’s thousands of people. That’s the best feeling,” he enthused.
“We’re not  a young band, trying to prove ourselves. We did all that in the ’80s. We worked out asses off,” he said adding it is still work.
“We usually fly to a gig, and then fly to the next one. We spend a lot of time in airports.  there are a lot of 18 hour days.
 He can’t choose his favourites among a cornucopia of hits like ‘New Girl Now,’ ‘What Does it Take,” and ‘Stay in The Light.’
“Those songs have been really good to me, so playing them never gets old, playing them for 90 minutes and playing my guitar on stage,” he enthused.
The band doesn’t see much of each other when they aren’t playing.
“We don’t see much of each other, especially when I’m in Illinois. We’ll see each other at the airport. Everybody has got other musical side projects,” he continued.


“I can’t believe we’re still doing this 25 some years later. It’s still a thrill for me to see the older fans who grew up with this music and the newer fans who are just discovering us. I feel blessed. I’m not ready to retire yet,” he continued.


“We’ll be playing some of the best. All of the hits, because that’s what people want to hear and maybe some newer songs,” he said adding looking back on their career, it is tough to choose a specific highlight.

“There have been a lot of highlights. Johnny and I demoed “New Girl Now” and sent it to  a local radio station Q107 who were running a contest. And that started everything. We put out an album and the next thing we knew  is went gold and we were on tour with people like ZZ Top. the year before that we were a bar band playing covers of Billy idol and Genesis, six nights a week,” he said.

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 28 June 2011 11:57 ) Read more...
 

Jonas and the Massive Attraction is all about the band

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People know Montreal based rock singer Jonas Tomalty by his first name, under which he recorded two Gold and near Platinum selling albums, received “Rock Album of the Year,” and “New Artist of the Year,” Juno nominations, plus toured with the likes of Van Halen and Collective Soul, however he insists it has never been a solo effort, it has always been a band effort.Jonas and the Massive Attraction are coming to Lethbridge, June 29. Photo by Michel Laurion


“We’re road dogs. That’s what we love to do, be on the road, getting out there and converting new fans to the music,” enthused Jonas Tomalty, frontman of Jonas and the Attractions, taking a few days off at home in Montreal “for a couple days to do my laundry, before going back on the road.”

So, with a new record label and another hit album on his hands , 2010’s “the Big Slice,” he is doing a lot of press to set the record straight and to draw attention to his latest tour which comes to Essies, June 29.


 “ The album has done really well. It’s sold 15,000 copies. We’ve had two Top 40 hits and one Top 10, ‘Big Slice,’ and ‘Seize the Day.’ It‘s the first album under the name Jonas and the Massive Attractions. It was important to me that the band got credit,” he continued adding their former record company wanted to promote him as a solo performer.


“We’ve been just knocking on doors of radio stations where they are playing our music and seeing if we can do interviews with them,” he said.
“I can’t wait to begin the conversion process and getting the sound out there,” he said. They have been booked for several big summer music festivals including several in Quebec and are pushing their way into Ontario as well as out west. They have several festivals on the western seaboard of the United States with bands including Seether and My Darkest Day.
He and band mate, guitarist Corey Diabo have spent a lot of time forging the band’s sound.

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