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My Son Ted add Celtic spirit to Lethbridge Folk Club

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 The Lethbridge Folk Club welcomed Calgary Celtic-folk band Calgary Celtic band My Son Ted,  formerly known as Tir na n’Og to the Lethbridge College Cave, Saturday, Nov. 26. The six-piece band played a variety of original and traditional Celtic - folk songs.


My Son Ted playing the Lethbridge College Cave For the Lethbridge Folk Club, Nov. 26. Photo by Richard Amery

The sextet had a small but enraptured audience sitting on the edges of their seats with sprightly pipe solos and beautiful vocal harmonies.


 They played a few originals in the last part of the show that I caught but mostly Celticized popular covers of classics like Pink Floyd‘s “Wish You Were Here” and Simon and Garfunkels’ “ Cecilia” which showcased their vocal harmonies and some fine fiddle playing. 


They also showed off multi-part vocal harmonies on a revamped version of Hank Williams’ “ I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”


 They explained their band name, saying they borrowed it from a Bruce Springsteen song “Mrs. McGrath,” which they played.


They wound up their show with a solid original suitably  called “ Where the End Begins,” written by their piper and acoustic guitarist in 2013.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 November 2022 16:16 )

This week already sounds a lot like Christmas

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It‘s already looking a lot like Christmas and I’m not talking about the snow and cold weather.

Biloxi Parish return to the Slice, Dec. 2. Photo by RichardAmery

 This week features two big Christmas concerts at the Enmax Centre.


Tonight, Nov. 29, Tom Jackson, And Tom McKillip  brings  Stories, Songs and Santa Causes to the Enmax Centre to raise money for local charities. Tickets are $63 and $74, The Show begins at 7:30 p.m.

Quebec born, Medicine Hat raised Country singer Terri Clark brings her first Christmas show to the Enmax Centre,Thursday  Dec. 1. Tickets are $59 and $71. The show begins at 7:30 p.m.

 The Amy Bishop Christmas Special is at the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod, Dec. 2. Tickets are $25. Tickets are $35.


The Lethbridge Community Band’s 29th annual Mayor’s Christmas Concert is Saturday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. The Lethbridge Silver and Gold bands will be performing with special guests the Alegre Choir directed by Kathy Matkin-Clapton . Admission is $15 for adults. As always, the event is a fundraiser for the Lethbridge Food bank and Interfaith Food bank.


 Global drums is also getting in on the Christmas action as they bring A Heavy Metal Christmas  at the university of Lethbridge Theatre , Friday, Dec. 2.This year's concert features the Zimbabwe Marimba Band, plus the Brazilian Samba, Steel Bands, Percussion Ensemble, and Chamber Percussion Ensemble. Tickets are $20 adults, $15 seniors and Alumni and $12 students and children.


On Sunday, Dec. 4, the Collaborative Ensemble Concert will be in the university  Recital hall at 7:30 p.m.


Also Dec. 2, the Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival society present  the Johnny Summers Christmas Special at Southminster United Church. Summer is  a multi-instrumentalist, trumpeter, arranger, vocalist and composer who o brings his talents to the post of director of the Calgary jazz Orchestra.The show begins at 7 p.m.  Admission is free for those under 18, $10 students and Seniors and $20 for adults.

A little later in the month TJ Waltho , Aaron Trozzo, Paul Holden and Brad Brouwer bring their annual Charlie Brown Christmas and A Ventures Christmas to  several local venues beginning with an early show at Spectrum Ale , Dec 17. They will be at the Owl Acoustic Lounge that night and they will be at the Slice, Dec. 22.


Also looking ahead, The Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society presents Shakespeare meets Dickens at Casa, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. Christmas show to several local venues including an early show at Spectrum Ale, Dec. 17 and at the Owl Acoustic Lounge later that night. They will be at the Slice, Dec. 22.


If it’s too early to think about Christmas, then get ready to rock this week.

The Owl Acoustic lounge’s weekly open mic is tonight, Tuesday, Nov. 29.

 Paul Holden and James Oldenburg return to the Watertower Grill to play some jazz music,  Wednesday, Nov. 30.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 November 2022 09:56 ) Read more...

Tom Jackson spreading the love for local charity with Stories, Songs and Santa Causes tour

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Tom Jackson hopes people will spread the love for Christmas with his new show, Stories, Songs and Santa Causes, Nov. 29, a new cross-country tour that stops by the Enmax Centre to raise money for local food banks and family services agencies.


“ Call somebody and tell them that you love them and then tell them to call somebody else  and ask them to tell them that you love them and I guarantee in five minutes the world will be a better place,” encouraged Jackson.

 He emphasized that  “Songs, Stories and Santa Causes” is not  the Huron Carol, his popular variety show that has raised  money for local charities since 1987 featuring a combination of up and coming and well known country and folk musicians singing in the Christmas season, but it is it’s spiritual successor.


“ We were stymied for two years because of Covid, so we recorded  a virtual show and gave it to the organizations so they could raise money,” he said.

The 74-year-old, whose philanthropic efforts have raised an estimated $250 million in cash and in-kind food banks and disaster relief since the 80s, began his national Stories, Songs & Santa Causes tour Nov. 24 in Edmonton and wraps it up on Dec. 16 in St. John’s.


“Last year we did 13 shows in western Canada. This year we’re going from Vancouver to St. John’s, Newfoundland,” he said, noting he is looking forward to performing live with long time musical director Tom McKillip and multi-instrumentalist John MacArthur Ellis.


“People will be 10 feet away. We’ll be able to see their faces,” he said adding it won’t just be Christmas songs.

“Most of the songs will be familiar and some won’t,” he said, adding  he is excited to involve the audience in the show  by getting them to sing along.

Last Updated ( Friday, 25 November 2022 12:22 ) Read more...

John Borra and Emily Triggs play laid back folk and roots at the Slice

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It was a busy Tuesday in Lethbridge, Nov. 22. With Ron James bringing the laughter to the Yates Theatre  and Amy Nelson hosting the Owl Acoustic Lounge’s open mic.

 So it wasn’t too surprising that Toronto musician John Borra and Calgary based songwriter Emily Triggs didn’t have the audience they deserved at the Slice, Nov. 22.

John Borra and Emily Triggs singing togehter at the Slice, Nov. 22

 I always seem to miss Quebec born, Calgary based singer songwriter Emily Triggs, so was glad she was still playing when I arrived.

She told some stories and praised tour mate John Borra.


 She introduced a song  “ Summer in Las Vegas” about Las Vegas in the 1960s  by telling a story about  her and her husband hated it when  they visited it a few years ago.


 She noted her song was about   Las Vegas in the 1960s, and featured the chorus “ Drop the bomb.”


 She sang beautifully and talked about growing up in Quebec with her mom and sang a song in French.


John Borra sang a. short, but sweet solo set including  solo songs and songs from his Cassettes in Common” CD, featuring a songs from a who’s who of the Toronto punk and alt country scene.


 He opened with  a catchy number “ She Leaves Like a Train” which included one of many sweet harp solos.


 He sounded like a mix of Canadian talent including Murray MacLachlan,  Gordon Lightfoot and even Gord Downie in places.


One of the highlights was a cover of Art Bergmann’s “ Sleep” from  “Cassettes in Common.” Another highlight was “ Marie” from the same CD which also had a waltz feel.


Emily Triggs joined him to sing harmonies for the last couple of songs including  “Blue Wine” and “ Who’s Picking On You.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 23 November 2022 16:26 )

Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar and Steve Marriner bring the soul to Southminster United Church

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Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar brought the blues, a lot of soul and a heap of good vibes to Southminster United Church for a decent sized crowd, Thursday, Nov. 17 for a Geomatic Attic/Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Society co-production.

The Alberta born Toronto based Martin finally got to play the Lethbridge show for her latest CD “ The Reckless One,” which had been cancelled because of Covid a few months ago, so she was overjoyed to be back on stage, especially backed by a crack nine-piece band.

Samantha Martin with Steve Marriner at Southminster United Church, Nov. 17. Photo by Richard Amery

 As a bonus, Steve Marriner was also on the bill , supporting his latest solo CD “ Hope Dies Last.”


 He played  solo with an acoustic guitar, which was a change from his usual loud blues infused rock he plays with MonkeyJunk.

 But he added  extra percussion by stomping on a slab of wood set at his feet.

Marriner played a few solo tracks, He opened with “ Trouble” but focused on the new CD. One of the highlights was “Coal Mine,” a co-write with Blackie and  the Rodeo Kings’ Tom Wilson.


Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar at Southminster United Church, Nov. 17. Photo by Richard Amery

 He also played “Enough” which features Samantha Martin, so I halfway expected her to make an early appearance on stage, but she didn’t. Marriner observed both “The Reckless One” an “ 

Hope Dies Last” were nominated for Juno awards, but they lost out to Colin James.


 He played a tribute he wrote for John Prine. He talked about the pandemic, noting  “It‘s okay not to be okay” and sang a song about that before ending with “Long Way Down” from the solo CD.


Samantha Martin bounced around the stage, despite being pregnant, and howled soul into her microphone. She launched into an uplifting set with  the apt “ Love Is All Around,”  the first track from the Reckless One”bringing a little gospel to the church.


The ’50s flavoured “ All That I Am” featured a sweet  piano solo.

She welcomed Steve Marriner back  to the stage to sing a beautiful duet.

The Edmonton born, Toronto based singer talked about being pregnant and bringing her partner on tour with her to help her pull on the thigh high leather boots she was wearing.


 She sang  in a huge, raspy, voice  that oozed soul, reminiscent of Amanda Marshall, Alannah Myles and Sass Jordan with a touch of Janis Joplin. 


Martin talked about  looking for “Mr. Right Now” and sang about that.


 She delved back into the last CD “ Run To Me” for  the exceptional “Good Trouble,” then slowed things down with “ I’ve Got a Feeling.”



Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar’s horn section at Southminster United Church, Nov. 17. Photo by Richard Amery

The band was fantastic, with the three piece horn section which added just the right amount of brass, never overpowering the songs , tasteful guitar and keyboard solos.

 She introduced their revamped  funk fuelled cover of Bob Dylan’s “ Meet Me In the Morning,” which allowed everyone to solo.


They wound down the set with “ I’ve got a Feeling and played another song about working hard.


 She introduced the band as they vamped on a few bars of R and B classic “ Papa Was A Rolling Stone,” before  ending the set with “Loving You Is Easy.”

 They were called back for an encore.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 23 November 2022 16:16 )
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