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Chris Carmichael brings back the blues

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 Nov. 21 was blues night at the Slice where Winnipeg’s Chris Carmichael along with Scotty Hills and Smokestack Jacks brought the blues to approximately 60 people.Chris Carmichael Photo by Richard Amery
 Smokestack Jacks  did it duo  style with a typically uptempo and energetic set of  slide powered original garage blues.
After that, Chris Carmichael backed by a crack trio had the crowd dancing pretty much from beginning of his set of tasteful electric blues, which  had elements of rockabilly as well as his former band , the Perpetrators.
He also  took on vocals for a couple of numbers.
—by Richard Amery L.A. Beat

Eyes of Isis and Lock n Load keeping the metal alive

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There are good things happening for the Lethbridge’s music scene in the local high schools as a Nov. 21 all ages gig at the Moose Hall will attestLock N’ Load. Photo by Richard Amery
Local hard rock  band Eyes of Isis, who brought a few of their friends on stage to share the bill with them for their CD release party.
I arrived in the midst of sizzling and super tight first gig for  hot new metal band, Lock N’ Load. They were equal parts Metallica, Judas Priest, Zakk Wylde  with a dash of Nashville Pussy and they had the crowd, consisting of almost as many parents as youth, screaming for more.
 They played for an hour and were called back for an encore of Judas Priest‘s “Hellbent For Leather” and Pantera’s “Cowboys From Hell.”Eyes of Isis Photo By Richard Amery
A unique punk band called Gender Bender were next. The singer in a  red sequined jacket and a backwards hat exclaimed “What a Treat!” in between pretty much each demented song.
Eyes of Isis closed off on a smoke filled stage as lasers and flashing light beams shot through the hall which helped set the classic rock vibe they successfully set. They were tight , rehearsed, and lead singer Jordan Davidson beamed ear to ear throughout their set which included lots of big hooks, riffs and catchy songs. It even included a  lower tempo  ballad type song which had the audience flaring up lighters.

— By Richard Amery L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 November 2009 13:32 )

Discover grant money for making music this week

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There are a lot of cool things this week as always, but for local musicians, circle Nov. 30 on your calendars for  an industry info session with representatives The Alberta Music Industry Association. They will be providing information about grant opportunities for musicians through numerous organizations including Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings (FACTOR), Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA), Canada Council, the Alberta Cultural Industries Association (ACIA) as well as X92.9 Exposure Travel Grants. Maestro Fresh Wes PHOTO ©YOUGOTTALOVE.COM
Participants will learn about the best grant or loan  to meet their needs.
 Admission is $5 or free for AMIA Members. Applying for grants requires  an AMIA membership.
 The event takes place in the GCBC Lounge from 7-10 p.m.
Industry Info Sessions are presented by the Alberta Music Industry Association who foster the excellence, diversity and vitality of Alberta artists and those involved in the Alberta music industry. Providing professional development opportunities, educational support, mentoring and training opportunities and advocate the values and interests of Alberta artists in the community.
There are several big concerts this week including  Three Days Grace, the Used and Default at the Enmax Centre (see interview in Music Beat) as well as a farewell  performance by Canadian folk icons Tanglefoot at the Wolf’s Den (also in Music Beat).

40 Sons conquer the west

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Hamilton rock band 40 Sons are starting to make a name for themselves. They won  the national Bodog Music  Battle out of 7,000 bands  a few years ago, have toured across southern Ontario and Eastern Canada and have released two EPs and even had an opening slot in Ozzfest in 2006.
 They are  getting their feet wet in western Canada on their latest tour, which brings them back to Lethbridge for the second time in six months, this time at the Slice on Wednesday, Nov. 25.40 Sons Photo by Paul Turgeon
“We played at Henotic last time, it was kind of a last minute gig our agent got us. We ended up going to the Slice after because they had an open mic, so we brought out our guitars and played a few songs,” said bassist Graeme  Hawkins adding  repeat visits to the same venues are already starting to pay off.
“We‘re starting to see some of the same people and they’re telling their friends and bringing them,” he said adding winning the Bodog competition has also helped increase their profile.
In between touring over the past seven months, they have been working on their first full length, nine song CD with producer Dale Penner in Winnipeg.
“He’s worked with people like Nickelback. It was interesting being in a studio atmosphere. It was amazing. He’s very hands on. He’s very good at what he does. He definitely knows his stuff,” Hawkins said adding the CD is in the mixing and mastering stages  and should be ready  in time for the band’s next tour, Jan. 22.
Their Nov. 25 show will include three sets, the first of covers from the likes of  the Beatles and Led Zeppelin, the second will be all original and the third will be more covers.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Rod Davis remembers playing with John Lennon

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Not many people can claim they were replaced in a band by Paul McCartney and played with John Lennon, but Rod Davis can.
Davis met  the nucleus  of the Quarrymen (who would eventually morph into the Beatles) — Pete Shotton, Nigel Walley, Ivan Vaughan and Geoff  Rhind and Lennon while at St. Peter’s  Sunday School.
“ I actually knew John when I was five or six years old because we were in the same class at Sunday school, which doesn’t do a lot for his image. And various other people were in the same little class,” said Davis who is opening for New York bluesman Guy Davis on a three week North American tour including several Canadian dates, including two at the Geomatic Attic, Nov. 24-25. Both shows begin at 8 p.m. Tickets, which cost  $35 in advance, $40 afterward can be obtained by  e-mailing Mike Spencer at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . It’s actually due to the original Quarrymen reuniting that Rod Davis is touring with Guy Davis. The two Davis’ met through Guy Davis’ manager, who ran into one of the Quarrymen and brought them over to  the United States to tour. Guy and Rod hit it off so when Guy toured England he kept in touch.Rod Davis
“He knows I enjoy a lot of blues and Guy stayed with me a couple times, so we’d do a lot of back porch picking and we got on very well indeed. I did a short  spot for one of his gigs in New York and it went over very well, so he said why don’t you open for me  on this tour of Canada, so here I am,” Davis said adding  he got into a lot of different music since leaving the original Quarrymen, especially traditional bluegrass and folk. Some of the band’s repertoire remains in their set list. They have been touring pretty regularly since reuniting in 1997 with the original line up other than Lennon. They reunited at the fortieth anniversary of the Cavern, where the Quarrymen and lots of other bands got their start.
 “I didn’t know John terribly well until I went to school at the 11ths, a secondary  school at 11, because John lived on the other end of the hill and I had plenty of opportunity to get up to mischief on my side of the  hill without going over to his side, so it wasn’t until we went to Quarry Banks school, which is of course where the name the Quarrymen came from, that I got to know him better,” Davis continued adding  like many British youth in the mid ’50s, he was inspired by popular skiffle musician Lonnie Donegan’s version of an old Leadbelly  song, “Rock Island Line” to pick up  an instrument. In his case, the banjo.
“They were actually difficult to get hold of because they were in such demand — banjos and guitars. I turned up on the Monday morning and  there was my friend  Eric Griffiths … I told him ‘I reckoned I got a banjo yesterday.’ He asked if I wanted to be in a  group. I mean he knew I couldn’t play it  because I just admitted I bought it the day before and I asked if  who else was in the group. He said Shelton on the washboard, Bill Smith on tea chest bass, me on guitar, and John Lennon on guitar. So I said ‘ oh yeah that sounds good’ so fine I was in. They were only  three chords ahead of me so I soon caught up an there we were and that’s how I joined the Quarrymen,” Davis continued, adding he is only bringing a guitar for this tour, though he may borrow a banjo from Guy Davis.  Rod Davis will be opening the shows with a half hour set then join Guy after his set for a couple numbers together.
Davis played with the Quarrymen during all of the members’ fifth year of school before they parted ways. But he has fond memories of John Lennon, though he didn’t really recognize the budding talent in the 15-year old Lennon.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 22 November 2009 12:16 ) Read more...
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