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James Murdoch and Danny Michel bring crowd back to Graceland

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The Slice was sold out as a post art gallery opening crowd surged in just in time to hear a late starting set by Danny Michel, March 5.Danny Michel joined James Murdoch’s Graceland tribute  for a song. Photo by Richard Amery
 Michel, though wasn’t pleased with the sound, showed  considerable skill on the guitar and sang pretty melodies, which had the murmuring crowd hypnotized.

He sang a lot like Paul Simon, which was a perfect match for James Murdoch and friends who were playing  all of Paul Simon’s Graceland album.


But Michel was who a lot of people came to see as he grinned throughout his set, told jokes and stories and played much of his latest CD “Sunset Sea,” and crowd favourites like “Feather, Fur and Fin.”

He looped rhythm guitar and played some noisy, bluesy licks over it  in the middle of his show which also included a few bars of the James Bond theme.  Other highlights included “Wish Willy” from “Sunset Sea,” and “Tennessee Tobacco.”

He joked that this wasn't his show and said he wished he would be asked to join the Paul Simon Graceland tribute.


 It was the last show after a solid year of touring and Michel gave it all he had, he didn’t appear put out by the few chattering in the audience, as most of them sat watching quietly. He had been all over  Germany and Holland. The audience  at the Slice enjoyed him so much that they called him back for an encore.


 James Murdoch and friends were up next to deliver what they promised — almost note for note perfect renditions of Paul Simon’s 1986 “Graceland,” record, beginning with the title track which had the crowd up and dancing.


 The 10 piece group featured  a horn section, a drummer, a drummer /percussionist, two guitars including Murdoch and  a bassist, who combined gorgeous vocal  harmonies with exotic South African rhythms.


 Their vocal harmonies were spot on as exhibited during a couple a cappella moments including “Diamonds On The Soles of Her Shoes,” and a touching rendition of “Homeless,” which Murdoch prefaced by pondering if “a group of white guys from Edmonton” could pull it off. They welcomed Michel back to stage to help perform “That Was Your Mother.”


 The upbeat fretless bass laid down the exotic feel for the show and the horns, when they could hear them, kept  things upbeat and fun.


 They didn’t do badly for a band which had only been doing the Graceland tribute for three gigs. Plus all of their shows doing it have been sold out.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Upbeat pop punk and new wave with Rockets and Dinosaurs and more

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Rockets and Dinosaurs rock the pop. Photo by Richard AmeryAcross town, it was punk pop night at the Slice, March 4.

I caught an energetic set of Chixdiggit style pop punk, full of “oh oh oh” choruses from Rockets and Dinosaurs. Their tight and catchy set showed a band in their element, having fun on stage were having a lot of loud, tight three chord fun for their  upbeat and energetic set.

It ended  with 1995, about the lead singer being five -years-old and catching frogs.
 Nix Dickson’s Dylan Keating had to rush across town from his gig at the Tongue N Groove  for another gig  with Oh Lenore! at the Slice. Oh Lenore! featured Nix Dicksons’ Dylan Keating on guitar. Photo by Richard Amery

They took the audience back to the ’80s with their new wave, keyboard powered upbeat rock. The band, Alec Campbell, Alvin Lun, Dylan Keating, Joe Girgis had a lot of people dancing and were having some fun as Keating played some innovative riffs.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 09 March 2011 18:30 )
 

Nix Dicksons make surprise visit to Tongue N Groove

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Nix Dicksons played a surprise show at the Slice. Photo by Richard AmeryI heard a little bit of Matt Robinson’s solo set at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, March 4. He , just accompanied by his suitcase began on a mellow note with a set of stories and folk picking.


 But I saw lights through the window of the Tongue N Groove and had to go back to check out the action.


 It was a surprise. last minute set by Calgary based, Lethbridge College born indie-rock band  the Nix Dicksons, probably preparing for a big night at Cudos Lounge, March 5.


 They started their Tongue and Groove set slowly with a couple of the band members playing quick solo sets before declaring “it was time to rock,” which they did. They played some new songs but hadn't even played their best songs by the time  they took a break after their first set. 

They didn’t blow me away like they did at the Slice last October, but played an energetic set of Strokes meets Weezer rock, with lots of leaping around and off the stage a couple out of tune moments.

They had a lot of fans, family members and even a couple former professors in the audience, who applauded as a small group of girls danced in front of the stage.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 09 March 2011 18:24 )
 

Herky Cutler gets crowd involved

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Herky Cutler sings to a sparse audience. Photo by Richard AmeryHerky Cutler was back in Lethbridge for a two day run at the Mocha Cabana, March 4-5.


 I arrived near the end of his Friday show, where the Twin Butte musician, backed by a drum machine was strumming out classic rock hits on his Gretsch including several Beatles songs, Tom Petty’s “Running Down A Dream,” and I think one of his own called “City.” He had a good sized crowd adding extra percussion early on in the night as well.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Kory Istace vs. the Time Pirates play with old friends

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Kory Istace vs the Time Pirates returned to Lethbridge to play the Slice and reunite with old band mates, March 3.Kory Istace sings at the Slice. Photo by Richard Amery
 I arrived as the new three piece Smokestack Jacks were tearing down.


 Thanks to  outstanding mandolin and banjo, there was the aura of authentic country in the air for Kory Istace vs. The Time Pirates. with just a trace of Elliott Brood mixed with Willie P bennett era Fred Eaglesmith.


 There was some magnificent mandolin picking   a touch of banjo and a lot of upbeat authentic roots music from Istace and company.


 Kory Istace and friends at the Slice. Photo by Richard AmeryKerri Senkow added excellent backup vocals to several songs.

The band welcomed special guests on stage including Smokestack Jacks Dave Bullied as well as Taylor Ackerman and Shaela Miller who used to be in a band  with Istace back in the day, played a song from their old band then they backed her on her song “Lonely.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Thursday, 10 March 2011 01:49 )
 
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