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Gord Bamford records new album with dream guests

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Canadian country star Gord Bamford is excited to be back living in Alberta and on the road in support of his eighth album “ Neon Smoke.”Gord Bamford returns to Lethbridge this week. photo by Richard McLaren
“ I was living in Nashville for the past couple of years. Now I’m moving back. I thought it would be a neat experience for my family to live in Nashville, now we’re building a house by White Buffalo. We’ve been living in an RV,” Bamford said from the middle of a very successful tour which stops by Bully’s Entertainment Centre at the Rocky Mountain Turf Club, Feb. 23 with Aaron Goodvin.

“I’ve been going back and forth from Alberta and Nashville for my whole career, but I missed living in Canada. It”s the best place to raise my family for the next phase of my life,” he said.
 In between mo

ving, he has been chipping away at his long awaited eighth album “Neon Smoke.”
I think it’s my best work. I recorded most of it in Calgary rather than Nashville,” he said.
 He recorded most of it at MCC Studios in Calgary with engineer John Gasparic and Dave Temple.

“Johnny Gasparic is a really talented engineer. He worked with Mutt Lang,” he said.
“What I liked the most about it was I could take my time and tweak things until I was happy. I’ve recorded in Nashville and they do things really fast. So I’ve worked both ways,” he said.
 “I’ve been working hard on this album. I had a hand in all aspects of it from writing, recording and mixing,” he said, adding the songs aren’t necessarily about his personal life, though “That’s What Grandpas Do,” sounds like it is about his grandpa.

“I had a song a couple years ago called ‘Stubborn Blood,” which is about my grandpa. He was stubborn, hard working, tough farmer, who farmed, rode bulls and bucking horses. So ‘What Grandpas Do,’ reminded me of it,” he said.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 20 February 2018 18:50 ) Read more...

James Barker Band entertain sold out crowd with gleeful hits

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I don’t listen to a lot of modern country music, so was not as familiar with The James Barker Band as the sold out crowd  at Average Joes on a blizzardy, cold wintery, Feb. 3.

James Barker of the James barker band entertaining a sold out crowd at Average Joes. Photo by Richard Amery
 I unfortunately missed opening acts JoJo Mason and Meghan Patrick, but arrived about midway through a hot set by the gleeful James Barker band, who were digging into a cover of country classic “Hey Good Looking,” which should have been dedicated to all of the beautiful ladies singing along right at front of the stage.

 Frontman James Barker exchanged his Stratocaster for his rhythm guitarist’s acoustic for a spirited version of Corb Lund’s “Truck Got Stuck” which hit the enthusiastic crowd’s resonant frequency, as he explained even though he lives in Welland , Ontario, he was a huge fan of Lethbridge’s own Lund.

James Barker strumming an acoustic guitar for a couple of songs. photo by Richard Amery
 He followed it up with a cover of John Michael Montgomery’s “ Sold (Grundy County Auction),” and brought up a single young man onto the stage with the band to be “auctioned off” to the young ladies in the crowd, but cracked up and couldn’t go through with it. He returned the acoustic “ before I can do any more damage with it,” and continued on with the hits, though they slowed down and sat on stools  for some slower tunes.

“Living the Dream” had everybody singing along with the chorus of “I Drink Beer, I smoke pot, I throw punches in the parking lot” and showed their hip hop/ pop side on “Chills.”

 He also tried out a few new songs on the receptive crowd.
 They were called back for an encore around 11 p.m.

— By Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 February 2018 11:13 )

Dr. Zoo's Randal Arsenault adds exotic flair to chilly night

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I didn’t want to miss Dr. Zoo’s Randal Arsenault, so I left the James Barker’s Band party at Average Joes a little early to catch Arsenault at the Owl Acoustic Lounge on a chilly and snowy Feb. 3, just in time to miss his new rock and roll side, but just in time to catch a set of Dr. Zoo World/ reggae and Celtic music.

Randal Arsenault at the Owl Acoustic lounge, Feb. 3. Photo by Richard Amery
As always they were a lot of fun, but didn’t have nearly as many people as they deserved.

 They heated up a miserable Saturday night with warm vibes and plenty of African influenced energy, which Arsenault absorbed through his 20 years spent of working in Africa.

He attempted to get the audience to help him sing along in Zulu throughout “Welcome To Africa,” which incorporated a few bars of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight,’ which did have the audience singing.

 Megan Brown added spooky fiddle and her usual haunting vocal harmonies. Arsenault played bass through the last part of the set and exchanged his acoustic guitar for electric guitar for a song.

Megan brown playing with Randal Arsenault. photo by Richard Amery
 A highlight was his version of Paul Simon’s “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.”

 They showed more of a their rockabilly and rock and roll sound on “In the Doghouse Again.”

They wound things down with a laid back, world music style version of “Johnny B Goode.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 February 2018 10:56 )

Dave McCann features new rhythm section

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I always look forward to a Dave McCann show, but missed his first set at the Slice, Feb. 2.

Dave McCann and Dave Bauer playing the Slice. Photo by Richard AmeryThe Lethbridge roots/ alt country musician had a new rhythm section of bassist Shawn Worden and drummer Kyle Harmon joining McCann and lead guitarist Dave Bauer playing pure and tasteful leads.

They opened with “Beautiful Road” from their last album and an older highlight “ Road To Cain.” plus “Dixiebluebird.”

 But they also played some new songs. “Slow Train” was a highlight.

 McCann strummed his acoustic guitar and let Bauer handle the catchy hooks of  his numerous catchy earworms.

He switched to electric guitar for a couple of songs and a couple of new songs “Can’t Have it All” which had a Bo Diddley feel and “When The Crows Come to Carry Me Home” which I love every time I hear him play it.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 February 2018 10:36 )

Fantastic females perform this week

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This is a great week to catch super talented female singer songwriters.Eric Braun plays Casino Lethbridge this weekend. Photo by Richard Amery
But first, the February edition of Windy City Opry features bluegrass including Saskatoon based bluegrass/ old time country duo Rugged Little Thing aka banjo picker/ vocalist Jille Shotton and guitarist/vocalist Ryan Shotton and Gold Ol’ Goats’ bluegrass influenced folk side project the Doggone Brothers featuring Fernie residents Clayton Parsons and Michael Hepher. The show begins at 8 p.m. sharp. There is a $10 cover.

On the weekend, Calgary based blues trio the Eric Braun band return to Casino Lethbridge, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 15 and 16.
The ladies take over on the weekend. Austin, Texas,  based, P.E.I raised country musician Whitney Rose plays her first Lethbridge show at the Geomatic Attic, Feb. 16 in support of her sophomore album “Rule 62.”
 The show begins at 8 p.m.
 Tickets are $32.50 in advance, $35.50 at the door.

Edmonton/ Kingston based songwriter Colleen Brown brings her new band Major Love, featuring members of Scenic Route From Alaska and Elijah Abrams play the Slice in support of their new single “Tear it Down” from a new self titled album to be released in August.
 Local indie rock band the Utilities will be opening the show in support of their new CD “ Heavy South.”
 The show begins at 9 p.m.
 Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 13 February 2018 12:08 ) Read more...
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