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Time away from touring renews Del Barber’s commitment to music after Covid

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Manitoba troubadour is looking forward to returning to Lethbridge to play the Geomatic Attic, Nov. 28.

 There was no dust on Barber during Covid 19 as in addition to having a baby boy four months ago and mourning the passing of his father and often co-writer,  he recorded and released  a new CD “Stray Dogs” and already has another one loaded and ready to go.


Del Barber returns to the Geomatic Attic, Nov. 28. photo by Richard Amery

“I recorded ‘Stray Dogs’ over five days in my cabin north of Winnipeg with my touring band,” said Barber, looking at the first big snowfall of this winter.

He hired Edmonton producer Scott Franchuk to come to the cabin to produce the mostly acoustic project.


“I had 20 songs and whittled them down to the nine on the Cd,” he said, adding he made the most of not being able to tour.


“ I’ve got a five year old and just had a son four months ago, so this gave me the opportunity to stay home and go through  all of my notebooks and song ideas,” he said, adding he didn’t get to road test the songs like he usually does.


“Not really. I don’t usually write about myself. I write about other people’s stories. I was able to play the songs off  my other five records first,” he said, adding these sings are more introspective.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 21 November 2021 13:22 ) Read more...

Plenty of plays and a plethora of music this week

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Actors finally are able to take the stage. Due to Covid, live performances have been far and few between over the past two years, but they make up for it this week with three  productions opening this week.


The University of Lethbridge is first out of the gate with their production of Noel Coward’s comedy of manners “Design for Living.” It runs at University Theatre from Nov. 16-20 at 7:30 p.m. each night.


Starpainter returns to the Owl Acoustic Lounge this weekend. Photo by Richard Amery

Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 seniors and alumni and $12 for students.


Next up, Playgoers of Lethbridge features “an Evening of Three-atre” in the Sterndale  Bennett Theatre, Nov. 18-20 at 7:30 p.m.

 The production features  Elaine Jagielski’s original work “ Love’s Best By.”

 Rita Peterson directs a reader’s theatre of “the Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” And Rob Berezay directs John Carroll’s  “Oh What A Tangled Web” Admission is by donation at the door.


And, last but not least, Fran Rude brings back Peter Rothstein penned  “A Christmas Truce” Erick Lichte and Timothy  C Takach composed the a capella musical arrangements, Nov. 19-21 next door at the Yates Theatre. It will be a fundraiser for the LSCO.

Tickets are $44 for the performances, which are at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 19 and 20 and a matinee on Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. They are available at the Yates Theatre and Enmax Centre  Box Office.

As with all indoor productions, due to Covid,  all attendees must have proof of double vaccination and be masked throughout the 80 minute production.


Didi’s Playhaus hosts Gommorahwood III , Impromptu’s improvised western themed soap opera, on Saturday, Nov. 20. Tickets are $15 for the show that begins at 8 p.m.


If you want to laugh, So You Think You Can Comic returns to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Wednesday, Nov. 17 with several local comedians performing beginning at 8 p.m.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 16 November 2021 10:18 ) Read more...

Great week to play the blues

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There’s a whole lot of blues and jazz this week.


 Keith Woodrow hosts  the blues jam at the Slice on Tuesday. And there will be jazz at the Watertower on Wednesdays. James Oldenburg and Paul Holden will be performing from 6-8 p.m. this Wednesday.


Harpdog Brown returns to the Owl Acoustic Lounge this week. Photo by Richard Amery

Also on Wednesday, Shaye Zadravec and guitarist Tim Leacock with special guests Bailey Kate and Joel Stretch perform at the Geomatic Attic’s downtown venue beginning at 8 p.m.

 Zadravec just released her new album “Now and Then.”

Tickets are $45 including appetizers, wine and beverages. 


Scott Davidson and friends return to the Slice on Wednesday with  the Scott Davidson band, John Matthews and North Cold performing beginning at 8 p.m..


Bluesman Harpdog Brown returns to the Owl Acoustic lounge this week. The Quadaphonic Duo featuring Harpdog Brown and Charlie Jacobson will be performing at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Nov. 12. Jacobson  will be playing drums with his feet and adding killer guitar playing to Harpdog Brown’s big vocals and harp. Admission is $15. The show begins at 8 p.m.


Also on Friday, Greg Gomola’s blues rock band Zojo Black are releasing their third CD at the Slice.

Last Updated ( Monday, 08 November 2021 18:10 ) Read more...

Peter and the Wolves return to rock the Owl with high octane rock and roll

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 Calgary rockabilly band Peter and the Wolves pulled out all the stops and all of the tricks for an incendiary set at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Nov. 6 for a close to full house.

Peter Cormier on Pedro Lowe's upright bass at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Nov. 6 . Photo by Richard Amery


 They always bring it and they were properly primed by the time I arrived for  their second of three sets.

Frontman Peter Cormier sang lead vocals, plus played piano and guitar.

Meg Thompson added saxophone and lead vocals on a couple songs including a hot version of  “ I Just Want to make Love to You ” while Jason "Pedro" Lowe on upright bass and Willy Garcia on drums held down the rhythm. Everybody added harmony vocals for the rollicking rock and roll show.

Peter Cormier playing guitar behind his head at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Nov. 6 . Photo by Richard Amery


The dance floor was packed with people showing off their best ’50s dance moves.


 Cormier, the consummate showman, started off the set on keyboards.

 he played a variety of classic rock and roll including several Ray Charles songs, plus several of  his originals including some brand new songs to appear on  a new Peter and the Wolves album.



Meg Thompson played a lot of hot saxophone and everybody added harmonies.


 They even added a touch of gospel for an original  called “ We Don’t need the Lord to show Us Love,” which showed off the band‘s vocal harmonies.


 Most of the room was dancing to a rollicking cover of Sam Cook’s “Twisting The Night Away.”


 Thompson followed that up by belting out Willie Dixon”s Blues classic “ I Just Want to Make Love to You.”


“Don’t Get Wise With Me” was another hot highlight as were a couple Gene Vincent songs including “ That’s the Trouble With Love.”

Peter Cormier and Meg Thompson at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Nov. 6 . Photo by Richard Amery
Last Updated ( Monday, 08 November 2021 17:33 ) Read more...

Slice celebrates sweet 16 with sweet music from Shalea Miller, Starpainter and Queen of the Worms

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Any city with a music scene worth it’s salt has a core of key bars and venues that support and nurture the scene. Musicians meet other musicians there, form bands  play there a lot and if they are lucky enough to stay together, improve tenfold there.


Starpainter’s Joel Stretch singing at the Slice’s Sweet Sixteen show, Nov. 5. Photo by Richard Amery

The Slice has been the cornerstone of the Lethbridge original independent music scene for the past 16 years, so The Slice celebrated the past 16 years with some of their long time performers taking the stage, Friday Nov. 5.

A lot has happened since then. Bands have formed, played shows, made albums, disbanded and reformed under different names. It got pretty drunk out a lot of times and a lot of great songs were performed. Fans and band members have moved on, married, had children and some have unfortunately passed away.

Shaela Miller thanks the Slice for their support at the Nov. 5 Sweet Sixteen celebration. Photo by Richard Amery


 The Slice itself almost passed on in 2016.

Luckily Jesse Smith took up the torch, and now Derek Hoyle is keeping this bar alive.


 It was fitting that Slice favourites Starpainter, Shaela Miller and Queen of the Worms would play the sweet 16 anniversary party as they have been mainstays at the Slice pretty much from the beginning..


 Starpainter (Lead guitarist /slide guitarist Joel Gray, drummer Mickey Hayward, lead vocalist/guitarist Joel Stretch and bassist Colby Stolson opened the show with a solid set of ’90s style alt country music reminiscent of  Wilco and more particu

larly Son Volt and pleasant ambient indie rock.


They focused on songs from their debut CD “Bury Me with my Family.”


“Gray’s slide guitar bit through the chatter of a full house of friends who, thanks the Covid and the above, hadn’t seen each other in a long time.

Stretch also played several brand new songs in addition to songs from their debut album.


 They started  their set on a more ambient, mellow indie rock kick, then kicked things up a notch by the end of their set.


The gestation of the Shaela Miller band including lead singer Shaela Miller and band mates, lead guitarist Taylor Ackerman, Steel guitarist Ryan Skinny Dyck, drummer Tyler Bird and bassist Paul Holden pre date the Slice to the glory days of the Tongue N’ Groove. I’ve been privileged to watch them all grow throughout the years.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 07 November 2021 14:08 ) Read more...
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