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L.A. Beat

2017 fraught with peril , anniversaries and excellent live music

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Once again, we appear to be living in interesting times.  To reference an old movie, It has been a year fraught with eminent peril — wildfires, floods, smoke, terror,earthquakes, unseasonable weather aShaela Miller and ‘Skinny’ Dyck were among local musicians having a successful 2017. Photo by Richard Amerynd overall ugliness.

 Once again, we lost many of our musical icons including Chuck Berry, Tom Petty, Gord Downie, Gregg Allman, Chris Cornell,Fats Domino, Mel Tillis, Malcolm Young and Glen Campbell and Don Williams just to name a few. It has been an interesting one to say the least.
 The troubles of world be damned, there was plenty of good news on the local scene.There were a cornucopia of great shows, fundraisers and lots of new CDs from local artists including Trevor Panczak,  Silkstones, Atomicos, Groove Apostles, Cope, Junkman’s Quire, New Weather Machine and Skinny Dyck’s twenty one nighters compilations plus Tin and the Toad, to name only a few.
 Leeroy Stagger released an excellent new album, “Love Versus,” and started the Dirty Windshields Radio hour on CKUA.

 Canada celebrated 150 years and both Lethbridge College and The University of Lethbridge celebrated milestone years with festivals.

Among the many highlights of the year, Shaela Miller’s concert series the Windy City Opry celebrated a successful year. She also entered the Story Hive video competition in April. She recently competition had a successful crowd funding campaign for her upcoming new CD “Bad Ideas” which is due out early 2018.

The Slice was back in force and both the Geomatic Attic and Lethbridge Folk Club featured numerous shows. The Owl continued to bring in an eclectic variety of shows and Average Joes featured bigger names in country and rock. Plenty of new bands formed, other long standing bands broke up.

There were a couple of excellent outdoor festivals in the city as well. In addition to mainstays, like an excellent CKXU Love and Records in September, there were several other big festivals. The Geomatic Attic hosted the Wide Skies Music Festival at the Southminster United Church, July 26 and 27 featuring a lot of local acts plus the 24th Street Wailers performing outside with Deep Dark Woods and Alex Cuba. Inside they featured Lindi Ortega and roots rock pioneers Phil and Dave Alvin of the Blasters, who played an amazing show of blues and roots music.

 The University of Lethbridge celebrated 50 years with a smoke filled outdoor festival,“ Shine On,” featuring Corb Lund, Mother Mother and country band Washboard Union plus a plethora of local acts.

 Lethbridge College also celebrated their 60 year milestone with Couleefest, which featured local bands The Steve Keenan band, Hurtin’ and Calgary Celtic band Three Finger Shot.

 The Lethbridge music community cares, so there were fundraisers left and right throughout the year to help victims of wildfires, workplace accident  victims and local groups like the Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp.
 On the bad side, there has been a spate of musical instrument thefts this year. Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp had several of their instruments stolen, fortunately local classic rockers the Chevelles stepped up to help them with a concert in September to replace them and in the process raise awareness about Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp.
 Check out next week for a month by month rundown of some of my favourite live shows.

— By Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
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