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Boots and the Hoots returns to Owl with new Hoots and music

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 I caught Boots and the Hoots, aka Boots Graham who has recently located to Drumheller.


Boots and the hoots at the Owl Jan. 15, Photo by Richard Amery

Boots was playing with new Hoots including upright bassist Keith Roger and new fiddle player Catherine Roberts.

 They played a solid set of traditional country and quirky original country and roots music.


They opened  with Johnny Cash’s “Cocaine Blues,” with Boots putting his name into the song and substituting Drumheller prison for Folsom.

 He played an original called “Hobo.”  which was a little slower and featured an upright bass solo and a fine fiddle solo.


 He followed that up with the king of country trucking songs Roger Miller’s “Doo Whacka Doo.”

Boots Graham and Catherine Roberts at the Owl Jan. 15, Photo by Richard Amery


After that, he played his own trucker ditty about about hitchhiking with a trucker without a radio, in return for singing classic country songs.


 He  continued on with a cover of Waylon Jennings’ “ I Don’t Think Hank Done it this Way” featuring another upright bass solo and a fiddle solo.


 He  played a couple of originals including  a song about hangovers called “ I’ve had Worse Days.”


He ended his set with  a fiddle powered cover of George Jones’ “White Lightning.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 January 2022 15:32 )

Tyrants of Chaos play new songs at Slice

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Saturday nights are radio show nights for me, so they are sacred. With everything starting early because of Covid, I missed most of Tyrants of Chaos’s show at the Slice, Saturday, Jan. 15 and missed Rebel Angels , the local Volbeat tribute who opened the show.

Tyrants of Chaos returned to the Slice, Jan. 15. Photo by Richard Amery

 But I arrived in time to catch the end of  Tyrants of Chaos’s Set who where  introducing a number of high energy metal tunes to an enthusiastic audience.


 I was expecting the Slice to be packed as Tyrants of Chaos usually fill the house, but there was plenty of space to be had by the time I arrived.


 They channelled the spirit of the New Wave of British Heavy metal, so you could hear a lot of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden in their music.


They had plenty of galloping riffs and a lot of harmonized guitar leads from Curtiss Vaselenak and Arik Wagner.


Tyrants of Chaos's Arik Wagner solos at the Slice, Jan. 15. Photo by Richard Amery

 Sean Simpson and Ryan Dyck provided a thunderous rhythm over Phil Sirias’s shrieking , multi octave vocals.


“Hostages” showcased the dual lead playing.


“Mass Psychosis was another highlight near the end of the set.

 They wound up  their show with a more lighter themed song  about NASCAR.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 January 2022 15:18 )

Sunshine and music for YQL Winterfest

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We had a freak January warm spell last week so there wasn’t  much snow for the first YQL Winterfest, Friday, Jan. 14.


Adequate’s Josh Thorlakson playing YQL Winterfest, Jan. 15 at Casa. Photo by Richard Amery Ice Sculptures were part of YQL Winterfest at Casa. Photo by Richard Amery

 But you could feel winter returning as local singer/ songwriter Karen Romanchuk kicked off the week long celebration of  winter on Rotary Square outside of Casa. She  paused in between a solid set of original music to warm her hands on the heating unit placed to the side of the stage in between songs..

 A handful of people  shivered in the cool breeze.



Romanchuk played a set of mostly new original music mostly written during the pandemic.

“Walking ”was a highlight right off the top as was  “When it’s All Said and  Done.”

 Her raspy , emotive voice reminded me of Lucinda Williams.


 She told a few stories, warmed her hands and played a solid set of music.

 A highlight near the end was “ Feeling Fine.”


Adequate played the official kick off to Winterfest Saturday afternoon, Jan. 15.

 There was also the ice sculptures and booths  from local community organizations. The Nikko Yuko Japanese Gardens was on hand to  supply samples of their custom hot chocolate, one of several business  offering  specialized hot chocolate on the weekend. 


 They played their usual spirited set of upbeat funk and dance music, focusing on original music from their debut CD for a slightly bigger audience. “Pipe Dream” was one of those highlights. 


They spent some of their set jamming on funk and R and B classics like the Isley Brothers’ “You Make Me Wanna Shout” belted out by drummer Keenan Pezderic.


 Guitarist Josh Thorlakson crooned a solid version of Lou Reed’s “ Take a Walk on the Wild Side” in between adding layers of sound and playing a guitar solo behind his head.


Karen Romanchuk playing YQL Winterfest, Jan. 14 at Casa. Photo by Richard Amery

 Scott Mezei grinned as he got lost in the groove of his bass.


“Take A Walk on the Wild Side” turned into a jam of late ’80s and early ’90s rap including a few bars of “Bust a Move.”

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 January 2022 14:47 )

Shaela Miller hosting youth songwriting camp this weekend

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Shaela Miller is giving back to the community by hosting  a two-day youth songwriting workshop at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Jan. 22 and 23.


 The workshop has a capacity of 20 and was half full as of  Jan. 17.


Shaela Miller hosts a youth songwriting camp this weekend. Photo by Richard Amery

The camp is for youth aged 12-18.


 Numerous local business sponsored the event so admission is pay what you can.

 Long and McQuade is providing  complimentary instrument rentals for the camp's duration.


“Students need to have an interest in  songwriting and music,” said Miller’s manager Jessica Marsh, noting ideally they should have   familiarity with a musical instrument and  or their voice.


Shaela Miller, Amelie Patterson, Biloxi Parish’s Zach Passey and Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp’s Silvana Campus will be mentoring the students.


 Amelie Patterson has taught songwriting workshops at the Banff Centre.


The other mentors are familiar faces on the Lethbridge music scene including Starpainter’s Joel Stretch, Mercedes Fawns, Makiisma’s Megan Brown, Steven Foord, Taylor Ackerman and Bailey Kate.


 The morning sessions feature the mentors playing their songs and explaining the stories behind them and  the techniques they used to create the melodies and the moods of the songs.


Last Updated ( Monday, 17 January 2022 16:15 ) Read more...

Comedy, classical music concerts and youth songwriting camp this week

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With the Covid of it all, it’s tough to write a week’s preview without anything changing during the week.


 But so far, it looks like another busy week beginning with the Owl Acoustic Lounge’s open mic on Tuesday,  Jan. 18.

Makiisma plays the Owl Acoustic Lounge on Jan. 21.

 On Jan. 20, The Watertower has a jazz night. Trumpet player Don Robb and pianist Randy Epp’s ’s Standard Time Jazz Duo performs Jan.19 from 6-9 p.m.


 Scott Davidson returns to the Slice with  mid week live music, Wednesday, Jan, 19. This week’s performers include Davidson, John Matthews, Nebula, Brett Jones and Megan Schritt. The music begins at 7:30 p.m.

 There is a lot of comedy this week, beginning with So You Think You Can Comic returning to the Owl Acoustic Lounge stage Wednesday, Jan 19.


 Good Times cancelled their shows last weekend  due to Covid, but  are making up for it this week. Nigerian Canadian comedian Ola Dada performs a special Thursday night show at Good Times, Jan. 20  with Faris Hytiaa and Miles Greenway beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15.


On the weekend, Good Times brings back Todd Ness who will be performing at 8 p.m., Jan. 21 and 22 at Good Times. Tickets are available through Showpass for $16.67.

As usual, the Slice has an open mic on Thursday.

 Honkers Pub has a ticketed show this weekend instead of their usual open mic on Friday.

 Cal Toth and Anna McBryan bring dueling pianos to Honkers Pub beginning at 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 21. There is a $10 cover for the show.

 The Mark Hall band host Honkers Pub’s afternoon  open mic on Saturday, Jan. 21.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 January 2022 09:37 ) Read more...
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