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Hot times at the South Country Fair

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Lily Faun of the Hank and Lily show.
It was a hot time in Fort Macleod July 17-19 for the South Country Fair in more ways than one. Not only was the music  top notch, but the weather itself was sweltering.
Some of Saturday’s highlights included an excellent afternoon set in the East Stage of blues/rock/ reggae from local trio Treeline which had the crowd dancing in between dips in the river despite the heat. They were competing with an excellent set of almost operatic country from Calgary’s Woodpigeon. 
Another East Stage highlight were the Screaming Jimmys who added a little rock n’ roll to a boiling afternoon.
Things got exciting at night.
 Jenny Whiteley kicked things off with a hot band which played all of her country  tinged songs off of  her  CDs “Hopetown” and “Dear” including my favourite song “Banjo Girl” off the latter.
Whiteley also dressed up in a nun’s habit and black wig to sing back up for one of the weirdest shows of the weekend— the Hank and Lily Show. Hank Pine, dressed like a cowboy from hell — metal masked and goggled like a character from the movie “the Road Warrior.”  
Meanwhile Lily Faun, dressed like a deer replete with a pair of antlers in her blond hair, made her saw shriek and pounded out eerie rhythms on the drums which had the crowd chanting along as  candies were pitched to them from the stage.
The B.C. based  duo (plus a choir including Jenny Whiteley and  the Secretaries) had the crowd cheering to their catchy country rock meets goth rock sound, which was related to their graphic novels.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 July 2009 15:28 ) Read more...

Jenny Whiteley a South Country Fair highlight

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Two time Juno -award winner  Jenny Whiteley enjoyed her first South Country Fair gig, July 17-19 in Fort Macleod.
Jenny Whiteley
Drummer Erik Allen, who played on Whiteley’s second solo CD, “Hopetown” handpicked a band including guitarist  Dave Bauer and bassist Sherry  Wray to play the South Country Fair.
“I just met Dave yesterday. He plays guitar and mandolin,” Whiteley said following her Saturday evening set, which included  “Banjo Girl” — one of the highlights off of ‘Dear,’ and which sounded great played on mandolin.
“We came in rehearsed  for a couple hours ran through the songs and called it a rehearsal. We were going to rehearse again today but it was too bloody hot. So we just hung out and saved our energy for the crowd,” she said.
 She played the Winnipeg folk festival last week where she was teaching  songwriting , went home for a couple days and then flew out to Calgary  for this show.
 “I’ve never been here before, but knowing it was Alberta and Fort Macleod, I  play Alberta quite a bit and thought maybe I’d focus on country songs. So I sent them a set list focusing on my country music and less on my folk and pop songs,” she said.
“We just kind of rocked the country a little a bit. Those guys were great. It was really good,” she said adding she enjoyed the fair.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 July 2009 15:47 ) Read more...

No shortage of action this week

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Chris Colepaugh and the Cosmic Crew play the Slice, July 23


If you only see one show this week in Lethbridge, make sure you hit Chris Colepaugh and the Cosmic Crew’s debut performance at the Slice, July 23 (Thursday), because it will be killer.

 I’ve seen them several times in other places and can assure you their shows are mindblowing if you like psychedelic blues rock with lots of jamming  along the lines of Govt. Mule  and the Allman Brothers. The New Brunswick trio have released six albums and logged thousands of road miles through intensive touring.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 July 2009 21:15 ) Read more...

Fred Eaglesmith is fantastic

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Fred Eaglesmith was in Lethbridge for an outstanding sold out show at the Slice, July 9. He had a crack band and backup singers, The Ginn Sisters who provided back up after an outstanding set of Austin country twang and gorgeous harmonies.
 Eaglesmith played a lot of great old  material including “Rev It Up,” “Alcohol and Pills,” “Indian Motorcycles,” “105,” “Freight Train” and of course “49 Tonnes”  was interspersed between earthy jokes, admonishments to the crowd to be quiet while he was singing in between a few tracks off of last year’s  twisted gospel CD “Tinderbox” including “Pray Now,” “Fancy God,” and “Get on Your Knees.”
 Even better he brought back some of the popular songs from his bluegrass CDs from a few years ago like “I Shot Your Dog,” and  “30 years of Farming,” which James King turned into a bluegrass hit. Though he didn’t play my favourite song  “Indiana Road,” you can’t go wrong with Fred whose character, sense of humour and unparalleled songwriting talent and charisma talent always shine through in any show.
—Richard Amery, L.A, Beat editor 

Music for Olympians a smash success

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July 11, a good sized crowd supported a fantastic new annual event — the Olympic Athletes Musicfest outside the Geomatic Attic, July 11, which was hosted  by the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame and the Lethbridge Kinsmen Club. The event had a double benefit — not only raising money to support skeleton rider Carla Pavan and hammer thrower Jim Steacy’s quest for Olympic gold , but to support local musicians as well. Carla received a cheque for $500 , Steacy will receive another third of the proceeds, but was unable to attend. The other third of the proceeds is being put into a special fund for 
 Several fantastic performers took the stage beginning with Karen Romanchuk  and the Constant  Remnants (Darwin Romanchuk, James Oldenburg and David Popovitch)  who  played  an entertaining set of original country music including “Tired And True” the song Karen submitted to the South Country Fair  and Calgary folk festival songwriting competitions.
 The Shaela Miller Threesome were up next with a set of darker original country as well as  Hank Williams’ “Lonesome Blues” and Elvis  Presley’s “Blue Moon of Kentucky.”
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 July 2009 16:48 ) Read more...
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