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Clown prince of folk music tears audience’s ears off

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If admission was charged per note, a close to full house more than got their money’s worth before the second half of Toronto guitarist/funnyman Wendell Ferguson and Katherine Wheatley’s show, March 6, even began. Ferguson ended the first set at the Lethbridge Folk Club’s Wolf’s Den with one of my favourites ‘Throw Another Fiddle on the Fire,’ then started his second set by giving host Wayne a wet willie, much to Wheatley’s disgust, who asked Wendell how he could get away with something like that and how the  almost full house could laugh at it.Wendell Ferguson and Katherine Wheatley at the Wolf’s Den, March 6. Photo by Richard amery
 He showed how he can get away with cracking hilarious off colour jokes and wet willies by blowing everyone away with his Chet Atkins inspired guitar playing beginning with two of his  ‘Cranky Christmas’ songs including “Why Does Every Christmas Have So Many Chords,” which included pretty much every chord ever invented and probably a couple  he invented himself as well as most Christmas carols.
As per usual, Wheatley’s more country folk flavoured, more ‘normal’  originals  were a mellow counterpoint to Ferguson’s goofy, gap toothed, big kid yet self-deprecating humour. But she showed she was no slouch on the guitar as well. She told some of the stories behind her songs including one about growing up surrounded by boys and being the only female guitar player in her neighbourhood.
They played well off of each other, adding solos and vocals to each other songs.
Ferguson and Wheatley met during the recording of Wheatley’s song ‘Main Street,’ which was a major highlight of the show. Ferguson’s solo on that included some blazing Chet Atkins style fingerpicking and excerpts from about a dozen Beatles songs and Smoke on the Water. Impressive. Wheatley ended by having the crowd sing along with ‘Moon River.’ It was enough to make me want to burn all of my guitars. Excellent.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 March 2010 15:33 )

Southern Accord Chorus loves to sing

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The Southern Accord Chorus considers themselves Lethbridge’s best kept secret.the Southern Accord Chorus performes at the College Drive Community Church. Photo by Richard Amery
“Not that we try to keep it a secret,” said Carol Quan, president of the  Southern Accord Chorus.
The  30 member female chorus including members from all over Southern Alberta including Milk River, Picture Butte, Warner and Hill Spring, practice every Wednesday night just outside  of Lethbridge. It includes women of all ages and backgrounds who enjoy singing four part harmonized a cappella music
 Right now, they are looking forward to a show at the College Drive Community Church, March 13 with the Hearts of Harmony from Red Deer. While the Southern Accord Chorus are usually found performing private and special functions, they have a big show like this one every two years, though this is the first one  they are performing with another chorus. They will be performing with the Red Deer group, March 20 in Red Deer.
“We’re always looking for new members. We’re always interested in people who are interested in learning how to sing and are looking for this type of challenge,” added co-director Janice Atkins, adding  learning to sing in a large group is a challenge, but also a lot of fun. The members are required to record their parts and listen  and learn from them.
“This show is going to be a lot of fun. There will be 50 voices combined with the Red Deer chorus,” she enthused.
“ I think it‘s going to be fantastic to be singing with all of these voices,” she said.
“If we didn’t like the songs, we wouldn’t be singing them so we’re performing all of our favourites,” Atkins added.

Stephen Fearing and Carson Downey among great shows this week

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There are several great shows happening this week.
  Open mics are going to be a highlight this week beginning tonight with Halifax area rocking blues trio the Carson Downey Band  who are hosting the blues jam, March 9, as well as per a full show on March 10. They are not to be missed by anybody considering themselves fans of energetic blues rock and face melting guitar. Also tonight, the Lethbridge Writer’s Group has their second meeting at 7 p.m. at Humpty’s downtown.Stephen Fearing plays the Geomattic Attic this week. Photo Submitted

An outstanding show is at the Geomatic Attic the next day. Juno award winner and one third of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Stephen Fearing plays Geomatic Attic, March 10. Andy White is also on the bill. The show starts at 8 p.m. Also on Wednesday, Karen Romolliwa hosts Henotic’s open mic. Jazz/blues duo Twilight Hotel are also back in Lethbridge, March 11 to play the Slice. Their shows usually sell out.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 March 2010 12:34 ) Read more...

Double Jack has high hopes for latest EP

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Local grunge rock band Double Jack released their third EP at a well attended EP Release party, March  5 at the Blarney Stone.Double Jack at the Blarney Stone, March 5. Photo by Richard Amery
Double Jack played to the enthusiastic crowd with their brand of detuned grunge which also added elements of Pantera and Soundgarden. They played a set of originals to begin with, including several tracks from their latest EP. Some crowd highlights were ‘Into the Blood’ and ‘Bullets’ as well as old crowd favourite ‘Dr. Pain’ and a song about  a nightmare.
“I like the sound of this one better. It’s heavier but is also has ballads because we can still write ballads when we have to,” said Double Jack singer/guitarist Marc Belisle adding they should have the complete CD, which hasn’t been titled yet, out within a month. They recorded it with Dave Kahllil at Icepick Studios.
“This one is crisper sounding and tighter.”

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 March 2010 16:53 ) Read more...

Shaela Miller excited about CD release party

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Popular local singer-songwriter Shaela Miller is looking forward to releasing her long-awaited full length CD “Love is Brave,”  March 13 at the Bill Kergan Centre.Shaela Miller is excited about her new CD. Photo by Richard Amery
“We’re all very pleased . It’s well worth the wait,” said the soft spoken Miller of the 11 track release. It includes “Loving You” which was the winning song of the South Country Fair Songwriting competition last year as well as a couple from her previous self titled EP, ‘Station’  and ‘Vicious Bitches’ and newer crowd favourites like ‘Scared Love,’ ‘Country Love Song’ ‘Halfway in Love,’ and ‘Lonely’ plus several others.
While there is a theme of lost and longing for love throughout her songs, Miller insisted they aren’t about her.
“They aren’t about my break-ups. They are about love and how love can make a person feel,” she said adding her songwriting process is difficult to describe.
“That’s all it takes. I have to feel it, then I pick up my guitar and play it. But I have to feel it,” she said.
“These are the songs I wanted  to record. Some of them are older, but I needed to make a really good recording of before moving on, ” she continued adding ‘Loving Me ’ was always going to be on the CD.
“You’ve got to put the award winning song, on the album,” she said adding she is very pleased with how ‘Vicious Bitches,’ came out as well as how different ‘Station’ turned out.
“‘Vicious Bitches’ is not that different, though it is much better. And Station is a lot different.”
Last Updated ( Sunday, 07 March 2010 15:40 ) Read more...
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