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Emerson Drive flying high with latest hit “Just Got Paid”

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Emerson Drive are glad to be back on the road in support of their new hit single “Just Got Paid,” which was released in May and has become an immediate fan favourite.
 The Grande Prairie born, Nashville/Maine  based band play Average Joes, Sept. 24 with Mark Maxwell opening the show at 8 p.m.

Emerson Drive’s Brad Mates playing Average Joes last year. Photo by Richard Amery
 Emerson Drive are known for recording numerous hits in their past 20 years as a band, including “ I Should Be Sleeping,” “I’ve Had My Moments,” “ She’s my Kind of Crazy” and “Countrified Soul,” and many others including “Just Got Paid.”

“That was written by Tebey (Ottoh and Jared Sciullo, Dee Jay Silver, ) and  a couple of guys from Nashville. It’s doing great,” said  Maine resident  and Emerson Drive frontman Brad Mates, rejoining his bandmates guitarist Danick Dupelle , drummer-Mike Melancon and keyboardist Dale Wallace  in Nashville to rehearse for the  quick Canadian tour, which includes the Lethbridge stop.

“ We’ve known Tebey for 10 or 12 years, so he knows  what songs we like and the sound we‘re going for. It (“Just Got Paid”) is a great summer song. And people like it. We were playing a festival and within a few seconds, they were singing it back to us. So we looked at each other and we grinned ear to ear,” Mates said.
 They were considering  recording a full length CD but may just release new music as singles.

“ We‘re about half done it. But we like it when a song comes in that just beats all the others we’ve already recorded,” he continued.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 September 2017 10:28 ) Read more...

Divinity carefully craft new concept EPs and sound of metal

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Calgary extreme metal band Divinity have been carefully crafting their show and their sound for 20 years.Divinity play the Smokehouse this week. Photo submitted
 After several line up changes and instrument shifts within the band, they re-released two previous EPs and a new third EP together as a concept album “ The Immortalist.”

They play the Smokehouse with Vancouver metal band Expain and the Avulsion.

“ Sean (Jenkins, vocalist) and I formed the band around 2001 02 2002, observed guitarist James Duncan, noting they just added  a second guitarist, Gord Olson who joins vocalist Jeff Waite, bassist Keith Branston and Duncan’s brother Brett on drums.

Duncan noted the band takes a lot of time to create the many layers of their music.
“There’s 30 or 40 guitar tracks and a dozen vocal tracks. So I had to decide what to play live. Even the synth parts were written on guitar,” he said having the second guitarist helps the band play more of the songs, not to mention gives them the opportunity for harmonized leads.

 He noted Olson is a long time friend of the band who they asked to join about four years ago, but was unable to  due to other commitments.
“We can play really heavy rhythms and go right into a harmonized lead sections like Iron Maiden it really fills out the sound,” he said.

While the album is meant as a concept album, Duncan said the individual songs  stand on their own, so they aren’t playing it in order.
“We thought about doing that, but instead we want  to draw people into the show by playing a couple of our loudest, heaviest  songs,” he said.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 September 2017 09:07 ) Read more...

The Sadies busy with new CD and collaborations

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The Sadies make a long awaited return to Lethbridge to open the Geomatic Attic’s new season, Monday, Sept. 18.The Sadies play the Geomatic Attic, Sept. 18.  Illustration by Jeremy Bruneel
 Guitarist/ vocalist Travis Good, plus his brother Dallas, drummer Mike Belitsky and bassist Sean Dean are touring in support of their latest  album “Northern Passages,” which they recorded in their parents’ basement.

“We sent our parents away on vacation and took over their house,” Travis Good chuckled.
“It’s where Dallas and I started playing in punk bands,” Travis Good said, taking a quick breather at home after playing a couple of successful shows in New York City
“But the most important thing was we could take our time on the songs. Dallas produced it, Usually we get a producer and take him somewhere, but it was nice to not have to be on the clock,” he said.

Over their 20 years playing together, the band have been blessed to play and record with a number of famous musicians ranging from punk legend John Doe of X to The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie, not to mention Neko Case, R&B legend Andre Williams, The Mekons’ Jon Langford, Jon Spencer, Robyn Hitchcock, John Doe, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Neil Young.

“ The album took us a long time, though not as long as the album with Gord. That took longer because we had to work around our busy schedules, so we would go in and record one song then we’d go on tour on our own for a few months and come back and do another song,” Good said, noting they just completed a tour with Blue Rodeo.

“We haven’t had a lot of success so to speak , but that’ s success in our books, getting to play with these people. My list is getting shorter,” he enthused.

 Good looks at collaborations as a break for the band.
“Other bands take a break from each other to do their own projects but when we take a break, it’s to collaborate with someone as the Sadies. So we take a break together,” he said.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 14 September 2017 15:59 ) Read more...

Jay Arner helps Blueprint celebrate 11 years

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Blueprint Records celebrated their eleventh anniversary on Wednesday night, Sept. 6 with live music at the Slice. While I missed the first couple of acts , Fast Colours and Open Channels due to an early start, I was in time for headliner Jay Arner and his band.

Jay Arner playing the Slice, Sept. 6. Photo by Richard Amery
 The band including keyboardist/vocals Jessica, bassist Adrienne and drummer Kate played a strong set of  heavily ’80s pop influenced music. So there was plenty of ambience, keyboard and catchy vocal harmonies.

Jay Arner and his band celebrating Blueprint's eleventh anniversary. Photo by Richard Amery Their first couple of songs  sounded like more indie rock and pop influenced Strokes. But quickly moved to more ’80s synth pop and new wave music.

— By Richard Amery, L.A.Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 September 2017 11:29 )

Shine on Music festival features good tunes with Washboard Union and Mother Mother

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 I only caught a little bit of the Shine on Music Festival at the University of Lethbridge stadium, Saturday, Sept. 2.Washboard union’s Dave Roberts playing the Shine On music festival, Sept. 2. photo by Richard Amery

 The grounds were beginning to look a little apocalyptic as thick smoke descended, and turned the sun a sinister shade of red. They were running an hour late, so I waited an hour for Washboard Union to take the stage. The B.C. based trio were worth waiting for. They played a couple of their hits including their most recent “Shine,” and they went a little old school country with “Riding the Midnight Train.”

 Aaron Grain thanks the audience for singing their songs back to them and lead the band through a brand new song.

The three main members, David Roberts, Aaron Grain and Chris Duncombe grinned ear to ear and took turns singling lead vocals.
 They had tight vocal harmonies to die for, which stood out especially on a phenomenal cover of Alabama’s “Mountain Music.”Mother Mother playing Shine On music festival, Sept. 2. Photo by Richard Amery

 Their hearts really were in Alabama, as a cover filled set  later included another Alabama cover of “I’m in a Hurry and I Don’t Know Why.”
David Roberts beamed as he swung his washboard around his head.

Musically they played a variety of styles of music with a bit of rock, a lot of country, a touch of bluegrass and even a touch of funk.Youngbloods frontman Kyle Hogan takes a giant leap during their Battle of the Band performance, Sunday, Sept. 3. Photo by Richard Amery.
A big hit “Head Over Heels” came near the end of the set which they followed up with  a medley including “I’m in A Hurry,” Tom Petty’s ”American Girl” and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” including the meaningful guitar solo part of the song.

 Vancouver indie rock band Mother Mother added to the apocalyptic air with a loud, bass heavy set of sinister indie pop music.
 Their usual synth heavy pop music featured more of Ryan Guldemond’s guitar with the keyboards of Molly Guldemond and Jasmin Parkin staying in the background though their vocal harmonies rang through the smoky air.
They began their set with  a few of their more popular sings including “Love Stuck” and “Let’s Fall in Love.”

The Awd Fellows and Adequate win the Shine on Battle of the bands, Sept. 3. Photo by Richard Amery
 “Monkey Tree” came a little later in the set.
 They even added a loud Led Zeppelin cover of “Dazed and Confused” as I was wandering over to CKXU for my radio show, so I missed headliners Corb Lund and Dallas Smith.
 I got to the excellent battle of the bands at the Stadium the next day, Sept. 3.

 They had a diverse line up of local bands beginning with the Awd Fellows featuring local fun  rock band Adequate, but featuring Shael Pezderic playing bass instead of the usual Scott Mezei joining band mates Keenan Pezderic on drums and vocals and guitarist Josh Thorlakson, who ended up winning first prize a package from hosts Cottonwood Records, with their set of tow tapping, funk and rap music.

Local rock band Scotch Whiskey Limousine only gave a brief taste of what they could do with their three song set, which abandoned keyboards and saxophone for a set of straight ahead, soulful rock and roll. They ended up taking second place in the competition.

 Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote junction added a dose of country music with a quick set of covers and originals.
 A new young band, Nevada Place played two songs  of soulful pop and even some Fleetwood Mac.

 Another young band Diversified showed their rock side in a set wScotch Whiskey Limousine took second place in the Shine On Battle of the Bands, Sept. 13. Photo by Richard Ameryhich included a boisterous version of Guns N’ Roses ‘“Sweet Child O’ Mine.”

 Local pop punk band the Youngbloods, finished the night with a third place  show of hyperactive, energetic and super tight pop punk / emo music.
It was great to see them in the daylight as they always perform an entertaining show, but usually in the wee hours of the morning.

—by Richard Amery, L.A Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 September 2017 11:22 )
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