Leeroy Stagger opens new art show with preview of new albums and Steve Marriner


 Leeroy Stagger and Rebeltone Sound and special guest Monkeyjunk’s Steve Marriner provided the soundtrack for a new art show at Brick and Mortar by giving an acoustic preview of their new CD “Me and the mountain,” as well as another new CD due out in the Fall, Tuesday, June 4 for a special Geomatic Attic  presentation. Rylan Moranz, Kyle Harmon, Leeroy Stagger and Steve Marriner at Brick and Mortar, June 4. photo by Richard Amery
 A good sized audience sat politely and listened, surrounded “City Life— Country Life” new artwork  from Southern Alberta artists Raymond Theriault, Adam Noonan, Kristofer Parley and Steve Coffey.
 I missed Steve Marriner’s opening set, but he added baritone and harp plus some background vocals to the band  of keyboardist/accordionist/omnichord player  Michael Ayotte, mandolinist/guitarist/banjo player Ryland Moranz, upright bassist Tyson Maiko and drummer Kyle Harmon.
 With  such a wide musical palette to draw from, the band delivered an impressive, multi-faceted set of folk and alt country music  with extra ambience and a variety of different sounds.

 They opened with the title track of their latest CD “Me and the Mountain” with Ryland Moranz  playing mandolin. His solo drew a lot of applause.
 Stagger noted  the new album is a concept album inspired by  a novel from David Korten and was a a very political works. he played severals songs from it including “ The Great Unravelling,” Mercy,” and “Fire and Fury,” which he noted was written in Scotland but changed the original name. There was a lot of politics as well as  a lot of love in his songs as Stagger sang,“Open Up Your Heart,” noting he grew up in a very “angry” family.

“ I Want it All,” which was getting a lot of play on CKXU , CKUA and some of the other mainstream radio stations, got a lot of applause.
 Stagger  told a variety of stories  abut his songs. he wrote the music at the Banff  Arts Centre and worked with Kim Richey, who was teaching there. He noted he was only home for two day from tour before going to Banff to write songs for three weeks.

He told a few tour tales about traveling in Scotland and getting turned around at the U.S. border crossing  B.C. after playing a couple shows in Spokane and Seattle.
 A couple highlights were a cover of Joe Strummer’s “Johnny Appleseed,” which Stagger followed up with his own “Joe Strummer and Joey Ramone.”
He played a couple of songs from the next album, which were really different, featuring layers of sound, effects and  harp solos from Steve Marriner. One of those , was a another tribute to one of his musical idols, Leonard Cohen.
It had more of a jazz feel and was very poetic, like Leonard Cohen’s music is.
 He wound his set down with the always beautiful “Radiant Land.”
 But they got a standing ovation and were called back for an encore, of a Leonard Cohen song “Passing Through,” for which the band  took up acoustic instruments and marched through the audience while playing and singing.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 June 2019 08:44 )