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Prairie Oyster’s Russell DeCarle focuses on solo songs and country classics at Geomatic Attic

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 Russell DeCarle is best known as bassist for ’90s Canadian county icons Prairie Oyster, but strummed an acoustic guitar and showed his blues and jazzy sides at the Geomatic Attic, Sunday, March 24 for an engaged audience.

DeCarle, strumming acoustic guitar and singing lead vocals played for a good sized crowd with guitarist  Steve Briggs and upright bassist Jeremy Holmes adding harmony vocals.


 They complemented each other just about perfectly as Holmes had just caught a plane from Kelowna and joined them in Calgary before this show.


Russell DeCarle ad Steve Briggs playing the Geomatic Attic, March 24. Photo by Richard Amery

There  wasn’t a lot of Prairie Oyster to be heard other than “Mean Streak,” which DeCarle  rerecorded and expanded for his latest solo album “ The End of the Road” and a co write with Willie P Bennett “ Goodbye, So Long, Hello.” DeCarle told a story about writing the song with Bennett which gave him the confidence to write more  story songs.


 Most of the first set was music form his solo albums, though the trio added a few deeper classic country covers from Hank Snow ( I Don’t Hurt Anymore) and Marty Robbins (The Hand’s You’re holding Now) and Charlie Rich.

 He played several songs from the new album including  touching, jazzy highlight “ Take Away Your Blue” and “ The More You Live,” which came early in the show.


 The receptive audience listened  intently and applauded after each of Steve Briggs’ tasteful, rock tinged acoustic guitar solos and Holmes’ occasional upright bass solo.

 They ended  the first set with DeCarle yodelling on “Under the Big Blue Sky,” the title track of his 2010 solo album.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 29 March 2024 12:00 )

Undefined play an array of music for Slice audience

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With most people at the Owl Acoustic lounge for Shaela Miller’s second CD release parties, local band Undefined. had the Slice all to themselves with a few folks looking to enjoy some popular cover songs, Saturday, march 23.

 The rejigged mark Hall Band including guitarist Mark Hall , lead vocalist Laurie Wintoniak, bassist Ed Knelsen and drummer Ryan Ebbinghoff.


Laurie Wintoniak singing with Undefined at the Slice, march 23. Photo by Richard Amery

 They played a mix of classic rock, pop and ’90s country music.


 The band were playing “ Hang On Sloopy,” as I arrived.


 They we”t ’80s to cover  Katrina  and the Waves’“Walking on Sunshine,” then went country with “Folsom Prison Blues.”

 The moved in to ’90s country with The Dixie Chicks ” “Goodbye  Earl,” and Carlene Carter’s “ Every Little Thing” before turning it up for a little “Old Time Rock n Roll.”

— By Richard Amery,L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 29 March 2024 11:37 )

Shaela Miller shows dark wave side at After the Masquerade album release party

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 Shaela Miller played a pair of sold out CD release shows  for her new album After the Masquerade .

 I missed the sold out show at the Slice, March 22 and the matinee at the Owl Acoustic Lounge on March 23.

But caught the show that night, though I missed opening acts Carter Felker and the Denim Daddies.

 MIller and her crack band, Bassist Paul Holden,  Taylor Ackerman on keyboards and guitar a little later in the set, drummer Tyler Bird.  Skinny Dyck on steel guitar and guitar and Austrian Banman singing background  vocals were playing the new album of original primarily  really laid back dark wave / ’80s pop style music  from beginning to end.


Shaela Miller playing the Owl Acoustic Lounge, March 23. Photo by Richard Amery

 They set down a hypnotic set of synth heavy  ’80s pop which is a big departure from the classic country sounds she has been exploring over the past few years.

 Shaela Miller’s sweet vulnerability continues to be  the common thread  throughout all of her musical faces in the new music has it has been throughout her career.

 She gave   old crowd favourite “Station,” a new dark wave sheen which shone during the show.


 One of my favourites featured bassist Paul Holden referencing the Peanuts  theme in a new song “Waterline”

They wound down her set with a few older songs including long time  crowd favourite “ Vicious Bitches, ”and a couple from her last album “ Big Hair Small City,”—“Crying Blues,”  and “ 700.”

Shaela Miller, Tyler Bird and Paul Holden at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, March 24. Photo by Richard Amery

  They also added a cover of the Yazzoo’s “ Bad Connection.”

 They were called back for an encore which included  a cover of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus.”

— By Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 29 March 2024 11:23 )

Whole lot of rock and roll plus Quaint Quirky and Queer for Easter long weekend

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Easter weekend rocks with Dave Chomiak’s  annual ultimate ’80s  Easter Weekend.

The weekend begins Thursday, March 28 with tributes to The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi and Alanis Morissette. The fun continues Good Friday, March 29 with tributes to Def Leppard, Dokken and Heart and the fun continues Saturday, March 30 with tributes to Van Halen, Motley Crüe and Judas Priest. Tickets are $60 for all three nights, $50 for any two nights and $30 for single tickets at the door or $25 in advance.


Danica Sommer plays  the Ultimate ’80s weekend at the Place in her Alan's tribute as well as the next night at the Slice. Photo by Richard Amery

But that’s not all.


 The rock begins tonight, Tuesday, March  26 with Chinook  High School rocks  returning to the Owl Acoustic lounge and an all ages gig at the Moose Hall with death metal band Dying Remains, Calgary metal band,  Snakepit,  Edmonton/ Fort Saskatchewan  thrash metal band Pre Breaker and local metal band Drearius.

There is a $20  cover for the show which begins at 6 p.m.


 Wednesday is all about jazz music with Sheena Lawson and the LoveCats returning to the Watertower Grill. 

It’s the end of the month  so Teri Petz returns to the Owl Acoustic lounge to host the monthly  poetry open mic.

 Steve Foord hosts the Slice’s open mic on Wednesday, March 27 as well.


HBO 3 returns to the Owl Acoustic lounge on Thursday, March 28.

 As usual Gabe Thaine hosts the weekly jam for hunger at Theoretically Brewing beginning at 6 p.m on Thursday.


 Danica Sommer has a busy weekend as her Alanis Morissette tribute plays the Place on Thursday to  open the ultimate ’80s weekend. She is also playing an acoustic opening set with Austin Phillips on Friday at the Slice. They are opening for Wanda Krein -MacKay’s new project Wildflower Whiskey which features Jack Horne Jr, Kyle Horne Skye Hurd and Reg Osmond.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 26 March 2024 11:57 ) Read more...

Dead Bob bring intense set of experimental punk rock to life at the Slice

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I haven”t  been to as many punk rock shows as I would have liked to this year, but there was no way I was going to miss No Means No Drummer Jon Wright’s new punk rock supergroup Dead Bob, who played a close to sold-out show at the Slice, March 16.


Ford Pier jumping with Dead Bob at the Slice, March 16. Photo by Richard Amery

John Wright showed his jazz chops and howling punk rock  howling vocals from behind his kit, set to the right side of the stage. Byron Slack (Invasives)  and his partner Kristy Lee Audette (Rong) added  guitar. Ford Pier (Ford Pier and the Vengeance Trio, DOA, Roots Round up, Junior Gone Wild, Rheostatics) and his partner from the pub he used to run in Powelll River before Covid shut it down, bassist Colin MacRae, who used to play in Victoria math rock band  Pigment Vehicle laid down the bottom end.

Dead Bob worked through their debut CD. beginning with “Just Breathe.”


John Wright advised bringing ear plugs  for the show during his interview a few weeks ago, which is advice I wished I heeded.

 The band  was a force of nature and tight as could be not to mention as supersonically  loud as promised .

John Roy Wright From Dead Bob at the Slice, March 16. Photo by Richard Amery

 They set down an intense groove throughout.

  Ford Pier jumped  up and and down playing his  keyboard set at the left side of the stage.

 He picked up a trombone and joined Audette’s trumpet  to add a whole lot of brass for a  couple of songs.

“ White Stone Eyes ” came early in the set.

 “ Party of One”   was another highlight.


The brass came back later in the set for a few extended jams.

In between leaping around and adding to the gang vocals,  Byron Slack also sang lead on a song.

 They wound down their set  with The album’s title track “Life Like” which showed off Audette’s vocals. 


 Of course, they were called back for an encore. A stripped down band retuirned to the stage including  Wright, Kristie Lee Audette singing and  Colin McRae settingdown a menacing bass groove fro NoMeansNo’s “Metronome.”


The rest of the band joined them for one more song.


 Calgary punk rock  Go Fuck Yourself played a surreal set of short, 10 to 20 second long songs, each punctuated with “ Go Fuck Yourself.

 Then they must have set  some sort or weird record  for longes song with the fewest. chords and fewest words— three chords and  “Go Fuck Yourself,” which they played for 20 plus minutes before making way for Dad Bob.

 I missed Queen of the Worms opening set, but they are always a fantastic.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 22 March 2024 12:14 )
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