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CKXU FUNDrive and laughter this week

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If you want to fight off that St. Patrick’s Day weekend hangover with live music then come on over to downtown, where there is still a lot happening.
 CKXU Fundrive events dominate the week.
 the University of Lethbridge based community radio station is  planning on reaching their $30,000 FUNDrive goal for a new website.
 So in addition to on air giveaways, there are several big shows downtown.Kimberley MacGregor returns to Lethbridge with Curtis Glas and Makiisma. Photo by Richard Amery
Catch a diverse cross section of music at the Slice which hosts CKXU and University of Lethbridge Gutsy Club’s band wars. Local country pop band Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction, GreenBones, Orangeman, alternative rock duo Cope, Jane Doe, Sydeshow and alternative rock trio Mombod go head to head for big prizes including recording time and much more beginning at 5 p.m. There is a $10 cover to attend.
The other big CKXU Cosmic Frequencies themed FUNDrive event is the “landing party” at the Slice, Friday, March 23. The event features a variety of local bands put together for the occasion to play space themed music. Performers include  Space Band, NASA Camp Dropout, Cartwheel Galaxy, Vandendool and the Quasar Quartet and HD80606. Admission is $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

But there is a  lot more going on this week.The Owl Acoustic Lounge features their jazz jam with HBO3 and  Josh Davies on Wednesday, March 21.
 Thursday, March 22 is the night for laughter.
 There is a comedy open mic at the Zoo in the University of Lethbridge Student’s union featuring Solly  KP. There is no admission to attend.

 And Joker’s Gone Wild return to Casino Lethbridge, March 22 with Todd Ness, Shawn Gramiak and William Hannigan. The comedy begins at 7 p.m. There is a $10 cover.

The Geomatic Attic welcomes Grammy award winning bluegrass musician Laurie Lewis and the Right hands performing at 8 p.m. She is  touring in support of her new CD Blossoms (Spruce and Maple Music) Tickets range from $37.59 or $40.The Geomatic Attic has a busy weekend as the next night they welcome  Nanton/ Vulcan country band Tin and the Toad at 8 p.m. Tickets are $27.50 in advance and $30 at the door.


Todd Stewart records solo album in between new Northern Beauties album

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Calgary musician Todd Stewart is known for being part of roots duo The Northern Beauties and roots rock act Brocade, but he returns to Lethbridge, March 23 to play the Owl Acoustic Lounge with The Dudes’ Danny Vacon in support of his debut Solo Ep“ Everything you Want.”Todd Stewart plays a solo show with Danny Vacon this week. Photo submitted
““These songs are a little more personal and they didn’t quite fit in with the Northern Beauties,” Stewart said, noting he recorded it almost simultaneously with the new Northern Beauties long awaited new Cd, which they plan to release in September.

“It’s been two years sing the Northern Beauties first album. so I hope people will respond to it,” he said.
“The new Northern Beauties album is done, it’s in the can, but then we started writing more songs,” he said, adding while waiting for the release, booking tours and planning PR, he decided to work on his own project including playing a few Southern Alberta dates including at the Twin Butte Store, March 24 in addition to the Lethbridge show and in Calgary at the Ironwood on March 31.

Stewart’s solo CD features a lot of  steel guitar.
“That was a a lot of fun. I felt this style of writing required  some pedal steel guitar. It’s something I always wanted to learn how to play, with all of those long sustaining notes. It’s such a beautiful instrument. but I haven’t had the time to learn how to play it yet ,“ he said, adding he got old friend Matt Kelly to play steel guitar on it. He has known Kelly going all the way back to his days with Brocade.
“There’s still not a lot of pedal steel guitar players in Calgary. Back in 2013 Charlie Hase was the guy to go to ,” he observed, adding there is more interest in steel guitar.

Last Updated ( Monday, 19 March 2018 22:27 ) Read more...

Johnny Reid explores his love for soul on Revival tour

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Every thing is big about Scottish born/ Toronto/ Nashville based crooner Johnny Reid’ latest tour in support of his Juno nominated album “Revivial.”

Johnny Reid brings his Revivsal Tour the the Enmax Centre, March submitted
“It’s a big band and a big sound. We have three horns, three backup singers, bass, guitar and  drums.It’s going to be really exciting,” said Reid from a tour stop in Red Deer, one of many stops including plenty of smaller centres.

“That’s what I like to do— bring the music  to the people. When I was growing up, my dad was away a lot and I never got to see a lot of shows,” he continued.

“It’s going great. Response has been amazing. Jessica Mitchell  will be opening with a quick acoustic set, then us. Glass Tiger will play a medley of their hits and we’ll play a song we wrote together ‘Wae Yer Family,’” he said adding they have been friends for a long time as he produced their new album Their frontman Allan Frew is also from Scotland.
“We have that in common. They’re a bunch of great guys. And they’re really talented. We recorded their new record together. They were wondering what their next step was so I suggested reimagining their hits,” he said.

 He noted his show will focus on the new album.

“I really like this album, so I’m going to play a lot of songs from it,” he continued, adding he has been blessed to have a lot of popular songs, so also plans on including as many of them as possible.
Reid is honoured to be nominated for a Juno award for the album.
“It’s never been about the awards, but it is nice to be legitimately recognized by my peers. It means a lot that It‘s up for album of the year” he said.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 March 2018 13:59 ) Read more...

The White Buffalo and Matthew Barber entertain sold out Attic with upbeat folk

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The Geomatic Attic was more than sold out for Southern California songwriter The White Buffalo and Toronto songwriter / folk musician Matthew Barber, Tuesday, March 6.The White Buffalo aka jake Smith entertaining a sold out crowd at the Geomatic Attic. photo by Richard Amery
Neither of them were used to an audience who listened as attentively as the Geomatic audience did, sitting in the dimly lit room.


 Barber recalled playing the old Tongue n Groove years ago and began strumming acoustic guitar and plaintively singing original folk covering tracks from his last several  albums, though he didn’t play his  2005 minor hit from a few years ago “The Soft One.”

Matthew Barber opening for the White Buffalo,March 6. Photo by Richard Amery
 He switched to piano for the second half of his set to introduce a few songs from his brand new upcoming album “Phase of the Moon” including the title track and new single “Back to You.”
His appealing tenor voice reminded me of a mix of John Lennon and Michael Bernard Fitzgerald with a touch of Paul simon by the end of the set.

“Got to make a Living ” was a highlight.

 The White Buffalo aka Jake Smith and band mates bassist Chris Hoffee and new Drummer Zach St. John started off strong, loud and aggressive with “Hide and Seek” from the new CD “Darkest Darks, lightest Lights.”

 He played a few crowd favourites from it including applause generating  “ The Observatory, ” which was recently on the TV show “This Is Us, ” and ‘Border Town/Bury Me in Baja” and “Avalon,” but didn’t play my two favourites “Night Stalker Blues” and “Robbery.”  He also didn’t play his plaintive cover of House of the Rising Sun,” which was part of the TV show Sons of Anarchy. But there were plenty of highlights.

 His intense set showed he had completely mastery of his big, soulful, resonant baritone voice, which was a mix of Eddie Vedder and Darius Rucker, easily transitioning between heart-tugging ballads and raucous rockers.

The tight band easily kept step including the drummer, following along on an iPad.

The bassist leaped around and added harmonies.
“Come Join the Murder,“ from the last episode of Sons of Anarchy was a highlight midway through the set.

“Darling, Darling“ was another highlight. Smith melodically whistled solos into the microphone  during some of the mid tempo and slower numbers.
“ Home is in your Arms,” was reminiscent of Chris Stapleton.

“Damned if you Do” was another highlight.

The White buffalo jake Smith and bassist Chris Hoffee. photo by Richard Amery
I also enjoyed the perky “Joe and Jolene,” after which he slowed down for a moment before picking up the tempo then drawing the show to an uptempo close. Of course he received a standing ovation and was called back for an encore, which he began solo, before asking his band to return.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 March 2018 11:44 )

Tri-Continental return with hypnotic show of experimental world music

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 The Geomatic Attic has had a nice string of sold out and close to sold out shows, so it was no surprise close to 100 people packed the place on Sunday, March 4 for the long awaited  return of Tri-Continental aka Madagascar Slim, Bill Bourne and Lester Quitzau plus drummer Michael Treadway.

Madagascar Slim playing with Tri-Continental at the Geomatic Attic,  Sunday, March 4. photo by Richard Amery
 I arrived at then end of the first set but was glad I stuck around for the second.

 It was like being at a folk festival in the dead of winter as the three took turns playing their songs and singing while adding what they needed to the others. Treadway grinned as he added drums and an assortment of percussion  to everything.

 Each of the three captivated the audience with their presence, especially Bourne, whose voice was hypnotic.

Lester Quitzau opened the second set with a delay soaked instrumental piece full of  enrapturing slide guitar reminiscent of Sonny Landreth and a brace of chiming harmonics, to which he later added the poems of Buddhist poet Cold Mountain for lyrics. His slide added an extra level to everyone else’s songs.

Madagascar Slim laid down a solid groove and played exotic Madagascar style blues and jazz music for a highlight called “Boh,” which was a tragic love song. Tri-Continental at the Geomatic Attic,  Sunday, March 4. photo by Richard Amery
 He switched to bass to help out Bill Bourne, whose spooky, teeth clenched voice was just plain hypnotic over some beautiful acoustic guitar picking.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 March 2018 11:24 )
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