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Astral Swans return with new music

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Calgary musician Matthew Swann is psyched to present a new Astral Swans tour at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Saturday, May 19.Astral Swans return to Lethbridge this week. Photo submitted
 On May 18, He releases “Strange Prison,” the long awaited follow up to his debut 2015 album “All my Favourite Singers Are Willie Nelson.”
 He has released two singles “Controls” and “What Are You Going to Do With Yourself.”

Swan worked with a couple of different producers for the new CD including long time collaborator Dan Mangan, who released the first album on his own record label Madic Records, Paul Chirka, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra sound engineer and the Preoccupations’ Scott Munro.

 The album also included contributions from fellow Calgary musician Rena Kozak aka Child Actress and several other guests including electronica artist Tigerwing.
“ There‘s a lot more production  on this record, Swann said, adding he recorded the last record in his living room with his friend Brad Hawkins of Ghostkeeper.
 He noted Chirka helped  provide the more orchestral sound of the album.
“He has a lot of expertise in recording,” Swann said, noting he recorded the album last summer at the different studios.
“ And it was great to work with Dan. He put out the last album,” he said.

Last Updated ( Friday, 18 May 2018 14:08 ) Read more...

Wildwood blend traditional and alternative country

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Edmonton based singer songwriter Tanyss Nixi is excited to make a long awaited return to Lethbridge to play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Friday May 18 with her new musical project Wildwood.
Nixi has played a variety of music from pop, folk and even punk music, but found connected with traditional country music and outlaw country music.
 She joined forces with Dave Johnston of Edmonton roots rockers the Fuzz Kings and rockabilly band the Confusionaires.Tanyss nixi and Wildwood play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, May 18. Photo Submitted
 Wildwood combines elements of all of their influences on their new CD “Laverne.”

After a pleasant chat about what happened to the Slice, Nixi noted she  is looking forward  to bringing  Wildwood to Lethbridge, which can get pretty wild.

“I remember at our CD release party David was playing on a guitar and was soloing standing on  an amp and fell into the drums. But he kept playing, because, you know, the show must go on,” Nixi  reminisced.

“But I’m not promising anything like that or any shenanigans,” she chuckled, adding he was all right.

a. She noted while Johnston is drawn to  Bruce Springsteen and more alternative country artists like Jason Isbel and the Drive by Truckers, the songs he sings on the CD including “Onward through Life,” “Half As Rich As youA re Lonely,” and “Little Girl,” give the band a more Blue Rodeo  feel.

“I don’t think he’d be disappointed by a comparison like that,” she said , adding she is  drawn to older, traditional country music, and indeed sings  a version of “It’s Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” on the Cd.
“I’m usually known for playing more folk , solo singer-songwriter material which is  very soulful but it’s pretty dirge-like. I love it, but it isn’t exactly foot tapping music,” she said, adding Wildwood allows her to explore her more traditional country orientated side, not to mention her more ‘foot tapping’ side.

Last Updated ( Friday, 18 May 2018 13:57 ) Read more...

Jared and the Mill play indie roots rock from Arizona

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 The Slice was surprisingly packed on a Wednesday night for a fun show featuring Phoenix, Arizona indie rock/ alternative country band Jared and the Mill and Edmonton rock band Altameda.Jared and the Mill played their first Lethbridge show, May 2. Photo by Richard Amery
 I missed Ghostwoman’s opening set.

Jared and the Mill played a short, but sweet set of upbeat country rock music along the lines of Wilco and Son Volt.

But, after fighting with a feedbacking banjo, broke up the set to play a couple of songs acoustically in the midst of the chattering audience. But that allowed them to show off some excellent vocal harmonies, which was unfortunately lost in the talk.

Altameda played the Slice, May 2. Photo by Richard AmeryThey returned to the stage to end their set an a peppy note.

Altameda closed the show with a more country-rock tinged set which reminded me of Jason Isbell. They played a loud set of catchy country tinged rock music powered by piano and lots of guitar.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 09 May 2018 11:17 )

MTBC play Pixiesish alternative rock at Slice

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 The Slice had a good crowd in the mood for ’90s style alternative rock, Saturday, April 28.

MTBC  playing their own music at the Slice, April 28. Photo by Richard Amery
 I only caught the last song of local punk band Sessions.

 But I was in time for MTBC, who I always seem to miss. They played a loud, bass heavy set of modern, Pixiesish  alternative rock.

They featured Quint Viskup on guitar, Silvana Campus on bass and vocalist, frontman Rob Cooper playing guitar and thunderous drummer Garwin Poff.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 09 May 2018 11:04 )

Utilities entertain again at the Owl

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 My timing was a little off, Saturday, April 28, but I caught most of a set from local folk rock band the Utilities at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.

The Utilities were back at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, April 28. Photo by Richard Amery
 They played their usual set of original , melodic   country and folk tinged rock music, most of it from their new CD.

 They sounded a like a mix of  the Jayhawks and ’80s pop band the Church with a smattering of Vancouver  style jangling, ambient indie rock along the lines of Said the Whale and Jesse and the Dandelions.

—by Richard Amery, L.A, Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 09 May 2018 10:55 )
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