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Biloxi Parish play energetic new music for Upside Downtown

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 Upside Downtown continued their Thursday afternoon showcase of local music, Aug. 19.


Zach Passey of Biloxi parish playing Rotary Square, for Upside Downtown, Aug 19. Photo by Richard Amery

 This time local roots rock band Biloxi Parish were on the bill in Rotary Square. As expected, they drew a younger, enthusiastic crowd as well as regulars who have enjoyed most of the afternoon concerts.


 Like most bands, I haven’t seen Biloxi Parish for a long time. Usually they pack the Owl Acoustic Lounge, but I missed their last show.


 And, like most bands, they’ve improved a lot, channelling ’70s and ’80s roots rock along the lines of Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp.


 They played a solid set of original material powered by frontman Zach Passey’s impassioned vocals.


 The tight band played plenty of catchy guitar riffs and added a few more alternative rock inspired solos.


 Karen Romanchuk and Wendy Colby play this week’s Upside Downtown concert series at Rotary Square from 5-7 p.m. , Thursday, Aug. 23.

— By Richard Amery, L.A.Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 August 2021 14:01 )

Shawn Hall excited to bring Satellite and the Harpoonist to Coulee blues Festival

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Shawn “The Harpoonist” Hall is excited to bring his new project Satellite and the Harpoonist to the Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival in Civic Field, Aug. 28.

“Hall, who is best known as one half of Vancouver based blues project Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer with Matthew Rogers, formed the new project right before  the pandemic, but got shut down like everything else, but not before spending a frantic three days in Mushroom Studios recording their new EP “Satellite Man.”


Shawn Hall brings Satellite and the Harpoonist to Civic park this week. Photo By Richard Amery

“I guess Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer will always be around, but Matthew is busy composing music for TV and films. So he’s busy with that and I’ve got this new project,” Hall said, chasing his dog through the forest on Vancouver Island.

“We’re sure excited to be playing Lethbridge. So we’ve got to drive through the fires. These are difficult times and it takes optimism,” he said.


“It’s the first time we’ve seen people,” he continued.

Satellite and the Harpoonist include Hall on harp and vocals, keyboardist Geoff Hilhorst from the Deep Dark Woods, The Boom Booms’ percussionist Theo Vincent and Brooklyn musician  Bradford Reed.


Hall started the project after meeting Brooklyn musician and King Missile III member, Bradford Reed at the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts.


“He plays this instrument he invented called the pencilina which sounds like  slide guitar played with drumsticks. He’s multi-talented and a multi-instrumentalist, which fits right in with what the Harpoonist and The Axe Murderer do,” he said, adding as soon as  he saw him at the Banff Centre in Fall 2018, he knew he had to work with him.


“We all met at Mushroom Studios and had never played together before then then. I’m really glad we did it. Then Covid shut everything down and we’ve never played together since,” Hall said.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 28 August 2021 08:25 ) Read more...

Lots of festivals and fairs this week

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It’s another great week for festivals in Southern Alberta.

 But things begin tonight with a Gabe Thaine marathon at Slice, Tuesday, Aug. 24. He will be performing original music until he runs out of music or his voice gives out beginning at 5 p.m.

Gabe Thaine performing with the Mark Hall Band, Aug.21. Photo by Richard Amery

 After that, the Owl Acoustic Lounge has their regular Tuesday night open mic.

 Their monthly poetry open mic featuring host Teri Petz is Wednesday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m.


 Taber Cornfest runs Thursday through Sunday, with a cornucopia of local acts performing on all three days.Taber Cornfest begins Thursday, Aug. 26 with Dance Images at 6:30 p.m. followed by local funkamaniacs Adequate and Ransom Notice closing the night off beginning at 8 p.m.

 Things begin bright and early at 9 a.m., Friday, Aug. 27 at the Taber Cornfest. The music begins at noon with an open mic followed by First Charger, The Mark Hall Band, Rooks, The Plaid Ramblers, Suzanne Scott and the Dusty Roads Band at 5:30 p.m,

 Breanne Urban and Detour kick off the evening’s festivities at 7 p.m. followed by Another Simple Solution and Uncovered at 10:10 p.m.

 On Friday, Aug. 28, Los Gringos get the Taber Cornfest party started at 9:30 a.m., Calgary blues/ roots musician Erin Ross follows at 11 a.m. followed by Carrie Johnson and Miranda Kohuck. Tanner James is on at 2:30 a.m. followed by Antifragile.


 Get your dancing shoes on at 4:45 p.m. with Hippodrome. Suite 33 follow at 6:30 p.m., then Lawless Murphy and The Chevelles wind things down at 10:15 p.m.

 The Raymond Music Festival is back on Saturday, Aug. 28 in Victoria Park beginning at 11 a.m. Between Skies, Coda, Saints and Sinners, Bruce Peterson and Ranahan, Skies of Rigor, Whiskey Gap Country, SI, A Little Bit of Nothing, Rebel Angel, 21st Avenue, Sail on Silver Girls, Nevermore, Good Company will be performing throughout the day.

 In case of rain, the event will be moved to  the Raymond Ice Arena.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 August 2021 13:05 ) Read more...

Syryn tops big local rock night at Slice with tales of piracy

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 Saturday night was all about metal. In addition to Tyrants of Chaos and the Andi Roberts Band tackling the ’80s at the Cité Des Prairies, the Slice was all about modern metal and alternative rock, Aug. 14.

An almost full house was there to enjoy a variety of local acts.


Syryn entertaining at the Slice, Aug. 14. photo by Richard Amery

 I arrived for the last song from Alumnus, who played sludgy stoner rock with a touch of progressive rock,  which was a little reminiscent of Tool.


 21st Avenue, who are also playing the Owl Acoustic Lounge this weekend, played a set of alternative rock and metal which touched on a variety of sonic experiences encapsulating most of the ’90s. They played a set of mostly upbeat original music, which had a bit of a Red Hot Chili Peppers funk punk, some reggae and some psychedelic rock. One song ever featured a rap break. Another song had a Rage Against the Machine feel.

 They were mostly playing music from their new CD.


 Calgary pirate metal band Syryn, took awhile to set up, and didn’t get on stage until well past midnight. I was looking forward to seeing them again as I enjoyed them last October, when they were played the Slice in between plague outbreaks.


 They set up a full multi-media experience featuring lyric videos and seafaring images.


 They sang of piracy, seafaring, drinking and classical themes.

 Vocalist Sloan Voxxkills  showed off her magnificent operatic voice which was just as impressive as I remembered.


 They had big riffs and searing guitar leads with Pablo Rage and Byron Gorieu and were a lot of fun. Bassist Lyxx Rose and drummer Bryan Campbell were locked in as a super tight , bombastic rhythm section

 Like the last time, “Unbreakable” was a highlight. but they also had a few new songs.

— By Richard Amery, L.A.Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 August 2021 15:41 )

Tyrants of Chaos bring ’80s metal back

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Everybody was in their  hot, sweaty, sexiest  hair metal era finest for a rescheduled ’80s night at La Cité Des Prairies, Saturday, Aug. 14.

Tyrants of Chaos  going ’80s at Cité des Prairies, Aug. 14. Photo by Richard Amery

 the event was originally supposed to happened last year, but, like everything else , was cancelled because of Covid 19.

 So everybody was in the mood to party with the Andi Roberts Band and Tyrants of Chaos, who were covering their favourite ’80s songs.

 The  audience was dressed in their favourite ’80s outfits including spandex, exercise outfits, leather, and big hair wigs.

One guy was even running around the front stage with a fake microphone.


 I missed  the Andi Roberts band’s set of  pop and rock music.

 But I arrived  in the middle of the Tyrants of Chaos, loud, hot sweaty set of ’80s metal.


They had blinding lights shining on the band and were shaking the walls with their volume.

Frontman Phil Sirias shrieked window breaking high notes.

 Guitarists Curtiss Vaselenak and Arik Wagner laid into some harmonized guitar leads to die for while Ryan Dyck thundered away on the drums at the back of the stage.


 Wagner  was the only band member to go full ’80s spandex. Sirias sported a  Run DMC sleeveless shirt and shorts while Vaselenak opted for torn jeans.

 I arrived in the middle of a hot cover of the Scorpions’ “No One Like You,” which featured harmonized guitar leads.

 They tore up  Dio-era Black Sabbath with a cover of  the epic “Children of the Sea.”


For more mainstream ’80s rock, they knocked out a cover of Quiet Riot’s “Bang Your Head.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 August 2021 15:15 )
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