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The Utilities with Jon Martin and the Lovers
Fri, Nov 29


Time: 9 p.m.
Cover: by donation

The Utilities
are a Lethbridge-based twangy rock band. They​ have an energetic and guitar-heavy live show, showcasing strong songwriting and an affinity for late-60s and early-70s folk and rock.​ Their work is genuine.

Joel Stretch - Guitar, Vocals, Keys
Colby Stolson - Bass
Drake McCheyne - Drums, Percussion
Tyson Wiebe - Guitar, Vocals
Mick Hayward - Keys, Guitar

 Unlikely circumstances gave first life to The Utilities in the Year of our Lord, 2010 - a lifetime ago. The Utilities have an energetic and guitar-heavy live show, showcasing strong songwriting and an affinity for classic folk and rock. "Heavy South," their newest and best record, was a challenge to create. Many of the usual suspects that cause bands to falter made themselves known over the course of its creation: band members got married, had kids, finished degrees, moved to new cities. However, unlikely circumstances continue to favour The Utilities; a family-like bond from years spent together and an unwavering belief in their material propels the band to new heights on "Heavy South."

"Heavy South" finds The Utilities sounding relaxed and confident, refining the strengths of their previous releases. Melodic, lyrically-focused folk rock songs are the heart and soul of the record, with a handful of pleasant detours adding colour. These are the warmest recordings the band have released to date; The Utilities dig into sounds of the late 60s and early 70s more seriously than they have on previous releases. "Heavy South" fixates on circular patterns: work weeks, weather patterns, daily exchanges. "Heavy South" is an inviting record that rewards repeated listens, perfect for every season.

Jon Martin and the Lovers

Jon Martin - lead vocals, guitars, songs
Joel Gray - electric guitar, slide guitar, vocals
Jason Oakes - guitars, vocals
Max Hopkins - keyboards, vocals
Paul Holden - bass guitar, mandolin

Jon Martin and Lovers is a gang of pals from southern Alberta that got together in 2019 to make a hazy blend of Alt-Country, Americana, and British pop music. Led by singer and songwriter Jon Martin, …and Lovers guides audiences across fields of enveloping melodies and through tales of fragile love.

Martin had the idea for the band in early-2019 after a bout of inspiration yielded pages full of songs that needed a home. He reached out to a few friends he had worked with in past projects and met along the path. A few phone calls, wobbly nights, and group vocal recording sessions later, Joel Grey (guitar, slide guitar, vocals), Jason Oakes (guitar, vocals), Max Hopkins (keyboards, vocals), and Paul Holden (bass) were recruited and Jon Martin and Lovers was formed.

Jon Martin and Lovers’ music focuses on craft, honesty, and raw energy—with a healthy dose of guilty pleasures from the pop and experimental music worlds. In addition to having a shared love of studio production and Americana/Alt-Country, each member is an experienced musician and songwriter with the ability to pick up whatever instrument that is in front of them, bash it around, and make music. The band is currently recording brand-new music at Martin’s studio, Green Recording Company, in Lethbridge, AB, and collaborating with UK-based drummer Emily Dolan Davies (Brian Ferry, The Darkness, Kim Wilde).

The band's first release was a dual-single featuring the songs "Young Heart's and "Here Right Now" on September 20th, 2019. The Los Angeles music blog LA on Lock said:

"It is hard to believe this is the debut single from Jon Martin and Lovers because 'Young Hearts' already has that big epic band sound. I hear Wilco, and Drive By Truckers, and a dash of Old 97s to this one and i can't wait to hear where the band goes from here with their blend of Americana/Alternative/Indie Rock sound. 4 out of 5 "

The song "Young Hearts" was a finalist in the 2019 Ship and Anchor Songwriting Competition (Calgary, AB) finals, while the song "When Colours Fade" was a placing finalist in the South Country Fair Songwriting Competition (Lethbridge, AB). Jon Martin and Lovers is will release a full-length debut LP in late-2019/early-2020.


Owl Acoustic Lounge
411 3rd Ave South
T1J 0H2
Country: ca


Lethbridge, AB

Owl is Lethbridge’s newest Lounge in the same building which had Mood, Squeaky’s Pub before and O Riley’s before that. They feature live acoustic music and excellent food. 

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