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Doc MacLean to play African influenced Delta blues in Lethbridge this week

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Bluesman Doc MacLean took some time to reevaluate his life and career while spending most of the pandemic in South Aftrica.


 MacLean makes a long awaited return to the Slice on Friday, Oct. 29 to play a fantastic double blues bill with Paul Kype and Texas Flood.

 He is glad to be back on the road.


Doc MacLean and Albert Frost playing the Lethbridge Folk Club in 2018. Photo by Richard Amery

“It’s great to be back. I’ve a had a lot of cancellations because of Covid. Most of the venues have paid me anyway. So the venues are really looking out for the artists,” said MacLean from Creston B.C, noting his Thursday show in Calgary at the Blues Can and the Lethbridge show are still a go.

 He spent most of the pandemic locked down in Kwa Zulu Natal,  South Africa.


“I was locked down in Africa, I hardly played at all. You couldn’t have live music, alcohol sales and cigarette sales were banned and the military was enforcing it,” he said.


 “But it would have been worse if I’d been in a city. I was out on the edge of the jungle with monkeys and things. I was still deciding whether it was worth doing this thing,” he said, adding he was happy to not have to think about booking tours and taking care of the all the things that go on behind the scenes of being a touring musician.


“At least I could wander through the jungle and take a dip in the ocean,” he said, adding while he didn’t play a lot of music, he focussed on writing his books.


“I’ve been touring for over 20 years. It’s about my career and the people I’ve met I’ve been writing a blog for years, so there was a lot of material to draw from. I just need to go through it all,” he said, noting he’s considering a semi-permanent move to South Africa.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 October 2021 12:32 ) Read more...

Halloween and a lot more happening this week

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Celebrate Halloween for four straight days of Hellacious fun this week.

Even though Halloween is on a Sunday this year, everybody is getting into the spirit this week, but the fun really begins on Tuesday.


Jolene Draper and the Inquisitive Few play a couple of Halloween shows this weekend. Photo by Richard Amery

 Makiisma will be featured in an episode of Hoku series Rise UP about the effect of Covid on touring musicians.

The filming is at the Slice on Tuesday, Oct. 26.


 Makiisma will be joined by Calgary singer songwriter Kyley Styles supporting his album  ‘Creating my Colours,’ Edmonton rap rock band Revolution Engine, Mexican hard rock band the B34st, Vancouver musician Tim Steinruck and Edmonton heavy rock band Sun of the Moon. Tickets are available online for $16.93. The show is from 8-11:30 p.m.

 Good Times’ Comedy open mic is Tuesday. Brittany Lyseng returns to Good Times, Oct. 29 and Oct. 30.

 As usual there is a lot happening at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.

 Their usual weekly open mic is on Tuesday.


 Because it is the last week of the month, the Owl’s monthly poetry open mic is Wednesday, Oct. 27.

 The next night, the Owl Acoustic Lounge turns up the volume with Edmonton Psychedelic noise punk band  the Dead Fibres, Vancouver alternative rock band Brass who have a new single “Winning Hand” and local alternative rock duo Cope. Admission is by donation.

The Slice’s usual weekly open mic is on Thursday as is Good Times’ weekly comedy open mic.


 There are Halloween parties and then some this week. 

Unfortunately Stage Fright: the Def Leppard Experience and local Volbeat Tribute Rebel Angels’ show at Club Lime has been cancelled, but there is a lot going on elsewhere.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 31 October 2021 12:33 ) Read more...

Plenty of Petty with the Decadent Phase

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I caught the end of  a set from James Swinney’s hippy rock band the  Decadent Phase at the Slice, Saturday, Oct. 16.

The Decadent Phase at the Slice, Oct. 16. Photo by Richard Amery

 Their set  focussed on Tom Petty hits while featuring some fantastic guitar playing and lots of blues rock jams including the  Allman Brothers’“ Blue Sky.”


 Swinney sunck an original in to a set dominated by trippy covers Tom petty’s “Jamming me” and “ You Wreck Me Baby.”


 They added a  cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “ Somebody To Love” and  and went back to Tom Petty with “Running Down A Dream.”

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor


Alt country pioneers Jr. Gone Wild bring new music to Owl

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Edmonton/ Nanton Alt country pioneers Jr. Gone Wild graced the new  Owl Acoustic lounge Stage, Saturday, Oct. 16.

 Saturday nights are sacred because my blues show the Hotrock Blues Beat is  from 8-10 p.m. on CKXU 88.3 F.m. So anything else happening in that time is missed.


 But I sure hurried down to the Owl Acoustic Lounge afterwards to catch Jr. Gone Wild, who are always a guaranteed good time.


Mike McDonald of Jr. Gone Wild At the owl acoustic Lounge, Oct. 16. Photo by Richard Amery

 They were supposed to start at 9 p.m. so I missed most of their show.


 I caught  a great version of  “Downtime” from their 1995 album “Simple Little Wish,” but most of the second part of the show was songs from their excellent new album “ Still Got the Jacket.”


 Jr. Gone Wild are the perfect mix of country groove and punk rock energy.

But they showed some classic rock chops on their energetic version of  Chilliwack”s “Fly at Night,” which is the new single from the album.


New drummer Quinton Herbert, who was already shirtless by the time I arrive, sang the falsetto harmony melody of “Fly at Night,” while Steve Loree  played a lot of hot solos.


Frontman Mike McDonald traded a few lead licks with Loree.


 They played one of my favourites “Rhythm of the Rain,” which was a highlight of the show and brought out a couple of the quirky covers from the new CD including  the Beat Farmers‘ “Southern Cross” They wound down their set with Steve Loree belting out “ Barricades,” another highlight from the new CD, which featured Mike McDonald playing a

 Jr. Gone Wild at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Oct. 16. Photo by Richard Amery

 mournful harp solo.


 They ended their show with the apt original “The Last One” which is also the last song on the new CD.

 But they were called back for an encore, so they turned the Ramones “She‘s the One” into a two stepping country song.

 They followed it up with their upbeat catchy cover ofPaul Revere and the Raiders’,“Him or Me (What’ll it Be?).

— By Richard Amery, L.A Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 October 2021 11:37 )

Bridgette Yarwoood debuts new band at the Slice

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Like a lot of musicians, Bridgette Yarwood  has  been keeping a low profile because of  Covid.


She debuted a brand new band at the Slice, Friday, Oct. 15.


Bridgette Yarwood brought her new band to the Slice, Oct. 18. Photo by Richard Amery

She used to be in a couple really good original hard rock bands including Outrun the Arrow with her brothers, but Yarwood, along with bassist Ian Morrice, drummer Beau Sommerfeldt and lead guitarist Mel Gaydos are now focussing on crowd pleasing covers.


 Yarwood unleashed her massive voice while playing some keyboards  on a variety of hits spanning the ages including the Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” and Journey’s “Any Way You Want It.”


  Gaydos sang a solid version of Pagliaro’s 1975 hit “What the Hell I Got.” and showed off his guitar chops on Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Pride and Joy.”


She belted out well worn classics like CCR ’s “Born on the Bayou,” but really shone on more blues and soul influenced numbers including Sam Cooke’s “Bring it On Home to Me,” which she dedicated to her husband Elliott.


 Morrice also sang a few songs hidden in the shadows on the side of the stage.


 Chris Drew opened the show with heartfelt set of original acoustic folk/ country music.

 The Bridgette Yarwood band is playing  the Canadian Brewhouse on Friday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 including a drink.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 October 2021 11:26 )
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