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United Steelworkers of Montreal rock the folk out of Lethbridge

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UNited Steelworkers of Montreal guitarist Shawn ‘Gus’ Beauchamp had ‘folk music tattooed on his neck. Photo by Richard AmeryI  had never seen the United Steelworkers of Montreal before, so I was impressed with  the Montreal based roots/rock/ folk band’s supercharged performance at the Slice, July 26.

Each song was prefaced with a long, extended and usually  hilarious rant/story, while the band rocked it folk style on  guitar, tenor guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, banjo, stand-up bass and accordion.

 Band members Gern F, Felicity Hamer, Matt Watson, Shawn ‘Gus’ Beauchamp, Phil ‘Flipper’ Frumignac and  Dylan Perron traded instruments and leadGern f and Dylan Perron harmonize. Photo by Richard Amery vocal duties, though most of the vocals featured the wonderful contrast of Gern f’ Howlin’ Wolf meets Tom Waits gravelly growl with Felicity Hamer’s Macy Grey meets June Carter jazz/country tinged melodies. Some of the duets sounded like June Carter singing with Tom Waits instead of Johnny Cash.

They had a good sized crowd, especially for a Monday night, who were digging and dancing to an intense variety of songs about relationships and murder, unions, relationships and poutine, murder, guns, robbing banks in small towns and a Celtic flavoured, pipe powered song about rioting  when the Montreal Canadiens win a hockey series.

Most of their set was blazingly fast, though they slowed down slightly for a beautiful jazz tinged song called ‘Little Girl.’
Gern F was an big, gruff, affable host on stage and their musical chops, combining folk with roots, bluegrass and rockabilly with punk energy, were unstoppable.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 July 2010 11:24 )

Superb shows this week

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It is a great week for music leading up to the August long weekend.The Sunparlour Players return to the Slice this week. Photo by Richard Amery
There are phenomenal shows this week beginning tonight at the Slice with Said the Whale, Aidan Knight and We Are The City. Tickets cost $10.

Maria in the Shower, an unusual roots  band from Vancouver who features horns and harmonica and a variety of influences in their music. They were at the Slice, July 19 and are back, July 28.
 Another cool roots band, the Sunparlour Players are also back at the Slice, July 29.
There are a couple great shows , July 30.

The Slice is going rockabilly with  Hurricane Felix and the Southern Twisters, with special guests, Bent 8, while around the corner, the Mocha Cabana has  a special show with Whitehorse  based singer/songwriter Jude Waldeman, who had one of his songs recorded by Ronnie Hawkins. He will be playing from 6-9 p.m.
Five Alarm Funk also returns to the Slice, Saturday, July 31. For something a little more country, Karen Romanchuk plays the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Aug.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 July 2010 10:09 )

Ill Scarlett looks forward to Lethbridge after Chinese tour

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Mississauga based reggae rock bang  Ill Scarlett are looking forward to their first visit to Lethbridge, July 30 at Scores North with special guests Sleeping With Tuesday.Ill Scarlett play Scores North, July 30. Photo submitted by Ill Scarlett

“We’ve been out to Alberta a bunch of times, we’ve been to Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer but never had the privilege of going to Lethbridge. We hear it’s very beautiful. If it is as beautiful as the rest of Alberta, then we’re looking forward to it,” said guitarist / singer Alex Norman.

“We just love playing for people. We have a lot of fun … During the live show, we give ’er. As much as we come to  entertain people, the first thing we want to do is entertain ourselves because if we can entertain ourselves, then the rest will follow,” he added.

“It is difficult for any artist to describe their music. Because your  description of your music may not match somebody else‘s. We do rock-reggae with pop sensibilities,” he described.
It has been over a year since they released their last CD “1Up” but since then they have  done a cross -Canada tour as well as a couple tours in the United States, plus they just returned from China as part of the Transmissions program with five other Canadian bands including Toronto bands Ohbijou and Flash Lightnin’, who they were touring with.

“It was an opportunity to  go an learn about marketing opportunities in China. There were two separate tours following each other,” he said adding they played about eight different cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 July 2010 09:41 ) Read more...

Kobra and the Lotus howl

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After hearing Kobra and the Louts singer Brittany Paige sing Iron Maiden during a July 14 show at the Slice with Berserker, it makesKobra and the Lotus unloaded the metal on  the Slice, July 14. Photo by Richard Amery me wonder why more women don’t try to sing Maiden, after all it’s in the same vocal range.

 It also made me wonder what they’d sound like with a  decent sound mix.
 I couldn’t hear anything  except for Paige‘s Judas Priest meets Iron Maiden, meets  the Headpins operatic howl and the drummer who drowned out and deafened everybody else.


 I could see the two guitarists playing some pretty wild riffs and solos, but couldn’t hear them at all no matter where I was in the room, but it didn’t stop approximately 30 people there from cheering at the top of their lungs. They were tight and even tackled Metallica’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” upon which Paige did a credible job singing.
Some of the highlights were‘Cold Hearted Woman’ and  the last song ‘Battle,” which was the first time I could hear a guitar solo.

Their song called ’Chaos’ which was about chaos at the G20,  was another highlight.

Local alternative rock band  Berserker opened the show with a  strong set of  Alexisonfire meets the Foo Fighters  rock, though they have added elements of Rage Against the Machine and System of the Down.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Nazareth still ‘loud and proud’

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Nazareth lead singer Dan McCafferty brought out the bagpipes for “Hair of the Dog.” Photo by Richard Amery

Scottish rockers Nazareth are still ‘“Loud N’ Proud” as an almost sold out crowd at Coyote Joes found out, July 16.

A slice of mournful bagpipe music wafted through the air to begin with as the band took the stage and launched into a ’70s stoner rock groove before launching into the first hit of the night “Turn On Your Receiver.”

Frontman Dan McCafferty, who sounded a lot like AC DC’s Bonn Scott,  grinned and mugged for the crowd as he waved his arms,  ‘conducting ’ them to sing along with several songs, then gave them the thumbs up.

The audience really liked a couple of their ballads, but they all cheered as he introduced “My White Bicycle” as a song about the ’70s about spending a lot of time in Amsterdam.
 Guitarist Jimmy Murrison strapped on a Strat and launched into a slide powered version of ‘Bad, Bad Boy’ while bassist Pete Agnew laid down  deafening booming basslines while adding harmony vocals.

They played a couple of newer songs off of 2007’s  “In The News” album, including an ominous version of their anti-war anthem ”the Gathering.”
The classics like Shanghaied in Shanghai” were definite highlights and they even threw in a big riffed powered version of J.H Cale’s “Cocaine,” which they totally made their own.
They wound down their set with “Hair of the Dog,” and McCafferty brought out his bagpipes to play a warped version of the talk box solo of the song.

Nazarerth still knows how to put on a show. Photo by Richard Amery
My personal favourite “Holiday,” was a huge highlight and they ended with a decent version of “Love Hurts,” which had the crowd singing along and raising lighters to the sky.
 They came back for an encore including a cool newer one “See Me” followed by “Razamanaz” and, of course, “This Flight Tonight.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 July 2010 08:48 )
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