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MonkeyJunk returning to play Wide Skies Reimagined

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Multi-instrumentalist Steve Marriner is excited to bring his blues rock trio MonkyJunk back to Lethbridge, July 28 for a special roof top show for the Geomatic Attic.

“I just found out it was a roof top show a  few days ago. It’s a weird venue. It’s unusual but we’ll play anywhere,” said Marriner, noting the strangest venues MonkeyJunk was played was a bank in France.


Steve Marriner playing with MonkeyJunk. Photo by Richard Amery

“It was back in 2009 when MonkeyJunk was jus starting. It was a strange festival without a centralized stage in a field. They had everyone playing in non-traditional spaces. On that festival, we played community centres and the bank,” he said, adding he is excited to return to Lethbridge. They are already playing the Calgary blues Festival and were happy to travel on down the road to play for the Geomatic Attic.


“We were supposed to play Wide Skies Music Festival for the Geomatic Attic before the pandemic, so when we got the Calgary Blues Festival gig, we checked in with Mike Spencer and he asked us to play this show with Leeroy Stagger. Of course we said yes because Leeroy is a dear, dear friend of mine,” Marriner said.


“We’ve always had a close relationship with Lethbridge,” he continued, adding MonkeyJunk will play their favourite songs.


“This will be the first show we’ve played in front of actual people in a long time, so hopefully we won’t make too many mistakes,” he laughed.


“So we’ll be playing our favourite songs and hopefully the crowd’s favourites,” he continued, taking a break from recording.


Marriner spent the pandemic learning how to produce and engineer music in the studio.

In addition to releasing his second solo CD “ Hope Dies Last,” in addition to Ontario artists like Miss Emily (Emily Fennell) as well as David Gogo‘s new album, “Silver Cup” which is to be released in October or November.


“I went out to B.C to record it in his house. He plays guitar and sings and I play pretty much everything else. I play drums on most of it and bass on most of it and some piano,” he said.

“ I’m really excited about it.”


He is also really excited about the solo album.

“With MonkeyJunk, the three of us create all the sounds. We’ll bring in backup singers sometimes, but me, Tony Diteodoro and Matt Sobb make all the sounds,” he said, adding in between Covid peaks and shutdowns, they went into the studio to write new material.


Andrew Legg brings Trader Tales back to Fort Whoop Up

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Lethbridge has a  fascinating wild west history, back when Fort Whoop Up was operating circa 1870, so local actor and director 

Andrew Legg is excited to bring Trader Tales back to Fort Whoop Up this summer. Photo by Richard Amery

Andrew Legg has dug up stories about the more interesting characters who hung around Fort Whoop up for a brand new Trader Tales, July 23 at the Fort.


“ Fort Whoop Up was only around for  a really short period of time,” said Andrew Legg, who  dug into the history once his production of  A MidSummer Night‘s Dream for The Lethbridge Shakespeare performance Society was well underway.


“ So I’ve been researching a 10 year block around 1870,” he said adding he learned stories about Fort Whoop up Founder  J J Healy and Jerry Potts and some of the more interesting characters who came to Southern Alberta from Montana, mostly, looking  to make their fortunes by trading supplies and whiskey to First Nations in exchange for buffalo robes when the fort was founded in 1869 at  the intersection of the St. Mary and Belly River, now known as the Oldman River.


 The actual Fort was actually located outside of  Lethbridge near the airport rather than in the coulee where the current replica is located.


Harpdog Brown and Papa King excited to play together again

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Local bluesman Papa King is excited to share the Owl Acoustic Lounge stage with Harpdog Brown, this Saturday, July 24.

“Harpdog is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. He’s a road musician and he’s done very well.


He’s very inspiring and very funny. He has a lot of stories,” King enthused, getting ready to rehearse for the show on his own. He noted the last time he played live was with Harpdog Brown last September at the Badlands Boogies Festival in East Coulee, 18 km Southeast of Drumheller.


Papa King will be playing the Owl Acoustic Lounge, July 24. Photo by Richard Amery

Papa King will be  singing, playing guitar and adding percussion with a foot drum and a snare. Harpdog Brown will add vocals, and harp, of course. They will joined by Bruce MacKay on piano and keyboards.


“Bruce is a professor at the University of Lethbridge. He has the best Hammond B3 sound I’ve ever heard,” he continued.


“I think this show will be the first time Bruce and Harpdog have met,” he said, adding  they will also be playing the Owl  Acoustic Lounge , Sept. 17 with bassist Doug Freeman, who is in Las Vegas now, and East Coast bluesman Morgan Davis.


“So this show is really a rehearsal for that show,” he continued.

 Papa King has spent the pandemic writing songs and working in his studios and collaborating with other musicians online.


“ I’ve been hunkering down,” he said, adding he is excited to play again.

“Steve Foord will be opening. He’ll play four songs and then we’ll play two 45 minutes set. We’ll play some Muddy Waters and some Little Milton, but two thirds of the set will be original,” King continued.


 Harpdog Brown is just excited to play with King again.

“I’ve known King since 2018, definitely 2019,” said Harpdog Brown, who was just about to embark on a big  tour in support of his most recent CD “For Love and Money” when Covid hit.


Lots of rock and laughs this weekend

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It will be another hard rocking week in Lethbridge, with fun shows happening throughout the week.

Tonight, July 20, Night Market returns to Theoretically Brewery from 4-10 p.m. There will be15 vendors, a food truck and live music. Theoretically Brewing also features Danica Sommer and Bailey Kate performing Friday, July 24.


Dave Chomiak’s Whitesnake tribute Snake Bite plays Club Lime on the weekend. Photo by Richard Amery

 The Owl Acoustic Lounge’s weekly open mic is also tonight. The Owl has a new monthly comedy show planned for  Wednesday, July 21 with  A.J Walker, Brian Smith, Donny Dennis, Xavier Quon and Zakaria all providing the laughs for the first  “You Think You Can Comic” beginning at 9 p.m.


The Centric Music Festival’s second online presentation is  Wednesday, July 21 featuring  percussionist Joe Porter, pianist Joel Goodfellow and Cellist Mark Rodgers all performing at 7 p.m.


There is a lot of drama this weekend.

 The Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society‘s Friday, July 22 show at the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens is sold out, but Trader Tales is at Fort Whoop Up on Friday. And Hootenanny’s summer production Hootenanny’s new production “The Risky, Yet Rewarding Adventure of Pearl and Dot,” is the main feature  of Arts In the park, which is at Nicolas Sheran Park, July 24 followed by Carl Brave Rock sharing Napi stories and  the band formerly known as Karen Lewis and Pam. The show begins at 1 p.m.

Good times Features Henry Sir performing two shows, Friday,July 22 at 7:30 and 9:30. Tickets are $15. And Tommy Mellor performs at Good Times, Saturday, July 23.

The weekend is all about rock.


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About L.A. Beat

L.A. Beat is Lethbridge, Alberta's only online arts and entertainment magazine.

It is designed to support music, art, drama and other cultural endeavours in and around the city.

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