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Matt Epp and Jesse Northey return to play pretty folk pop music

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Troubadour Matt Epp returned to Lethbridge  with Jesse Northey to play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Friday, May 26.

Matt Epp and Nora Kotkas at the Owl Acoustic lounge, May 26. Photo by Richard Amery

 While I missed Nora Kotkas’s opening set, she added extra vocal harmonies to Epp’s music.


Epp emitted loving and peaceful vibes as he played a solid solo set of earnest , heartfelt singer songwriter folk and pop music. He was supporting  his latest album “ Rolling Wave,” but only played a couple of the new songs.

 Instead he focused on laid back older material showcasing Kotkas’ vocal harmonies and his own strong falsetto.

He had family in the audience so was in his element playing for them. He joked, added the occasional harp solo and even vocalized trumpet sounds.

 He played a few songs from the CD  he made with Ojibway artist and musician Isaac Murdoch including “ Everything We Need,” which he described as “a song that’s close to my heart.”

 He made a point of playing his duet, “When You Know,” he recorded with Serena Ryder. Kotkas capably copied Ryder’s unique voice.

 He  talked about completing a songwriting challenge with Kotkas and played the results of one of those exercises.

a couple of  highlights from the new CD were “ Inside Out Man,” and the cheerful first single “ Made For Love.”


He ended with the beautiful ballad “This Old House,” which he recorded with Coco Love Alcorn,”  was even more beautiful with Nora Kotkas.


 Jesse Northey got a great band together to bring back some good memories of his time in Lethbridge.

 Starpainter’s’ Joel Stretch  joined him on stage for a laid back, yet quirky set of original music, as he took centre stage on keyboards. Connor Ellinger played drums and Aladean Kheroufi added bass.

 Unfortunately the crowd had thinned by the time he took the stage.

 He didn’t mind as he played his own newer music including “ Both Eyes Closed” and even a few of Jesse and the Dandelions  songs.

 A highlight  was one of the first songs he learned in Lethbridge called “ If I Could  Settle down.”

Jesse Northey at the Owl Acoustic lounge, May 26. Photo by Richard Amery

 He wound down his set with a few songs including a “dis track” inspired by John Lennon called “ Hold On Jesse.”

He ended with old favourite “ True Blue.”

— by Richard Amery, l.A beat Editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 02 June 2023 08:47 )

Chevelles play the hits for Lethbridge Amateur Wrestling

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Local classic rock titans the  Chevelles always get the pretty girls moving and put smiles on faces, usually for a good cause.

The Chevelles Scott Kanashiro at the Place, May 26. photo by Richard Amery

 This time they were helping the Lethbridge Amateur Wrestling Association at the Place, May 26.


 They played their usual mix of classic rock, ’80s pop and a few modern numbers. I arrived in the middle of a hot version of Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69.”

  There was a wedding in the house, so frontman Tim Carter gave a shout out to the bride and her bridesmaids and dedicated reggae hit “Everything Is Going to be All Right to the wedding party.

 As usual Scott Kanashiro was doing triple duty on guitar, keyboards and vocals. He switched to acoustic guitar for “Cadillac Ranch.”

 They got down with “ Play the at Funky Music  White Boy)”


 Bassist Joe Brewster (Seamus Chevelle) sang lead on a couple songs including  “ 867-5309 Jenny” and “Jessies Girl”

 he usually sings Billy Idol’s “Mony Mony,” but Carter took the lead for that one this time,' He   brought the pop on the Blackeyed Peas’ “ I Gotta Feeling (Tonight is Going to be a good night.)”

— By Richard Amery, l.A. beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 01 June 2023 19:10 )

Scenic Route to Alaska among old favourites to return to the Slice for Slicefest

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The long awaited return of Edmonton indie rock band Scenic Route to Alaska was a highlight of Slicefest this weekend.

 The trio, bassist Shea Connor, guitarist/ vocalist Trevor Mann and drummer Murray Wood had a great crowd for their Saturday, May 27 show.


 While I missed Parkland and couldn’t stay for Queen of the Worms, Scenic Route to Alaska was definitely who I came to see.


Scenic Route To Alaska  returned to the Slice for Slicefest, May 26. Photo by Richard Amery

 They’ve played as the backing band for artists like major love and the Goddamsels, but it has been a while since they played here as Scenic Route to Alaska — 2019 for Whoop up Days, which I missed.

 I caught the whole show, May 27.


They have a lot of music to draw from and it has been a few years since they played here, so Scenic Route to Alaska had some new music to share as well as old favourites.


“Finding my Footing,” was a heartfelt favourite.“v Coming Back” was a highlight showcasing their vocal harmonies.


 They all featured frontman/ guitarist Trevor Mann’s plaintive voice.

 Musically they ranged from  easygoing, ambient indie  rock, alt country along the lines of  drivin n cryin and singer songwriters like Tyler Childers to more punk tinged upbeat rockers reminiscent of Spoon.


 “ Time For Yourself” was not only good advice but an upbeat  grunge tinged highlight.

 They ended with an upbeat rocker “Love Keeps” from “Long Walk Home.”


The crowd was so so, but the energy was off the charts for Slicefest at the Slice, Friday, May  26.


The Hockey Moms at the Slice for Slicefest, May 27. Photo by Richard Amery

 I missed most of the show, including Hell Diablo and Chilliwack punk band “Like Bears” but caught an intense closing set from local favourites the Hockey Moms.


The skate punk band always put on a good show with a lot of energy, fast paced rhythms and  snarling guitar for songs about drinking and partying.


They had some spooky basslines and gang vocals as the frontman leaped all over the stage. 

Slicefest ended on Sunday on a more roots county note, but I never made it to that show. 

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 02 June 2023 09:11 )

Denim Daddies and Garrys harmonize

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The Owl Acoustic lounge was standing room only for Edmonton country rock band the Denim Daddies, May 26.


The Denim Daddies at the Owl Acoustic lounge, May 26. Photo by Richard Amery

They looked like they stepped right out of the mid-’70s as they worked through   some southern rock and country rock sounds including covers and a few originals.


The Garrys at the Owl Acoustic lounge, May 26. Photo by Richard Amery

While most band choose Copperhead Road when playing Steve Earle covers, the Denim Daddies opted for a great cover of an older Steve Earle track “Good Old Boys (Getting Tough)”

 They were a lot of fun and had a lot of energy as they played an assortment of country fried covers and some hot originals like “Shuffle Ditty“ which featured some harmonized lead guitar reminiscent of Thin Lizzy.


 Most people were waiting for the Garrys— three sisters, drummer Lenore Maier , guitarist Erica Maier and bassist Julie Maier  from Saskatoon and a lead guitar player.


 They sounded like a female fronted Sadies, which isn’t surprising as Dallas Smith produced their new album “ Get  Thee To A Nunnery,” which they were playing a lot from.


They played spooky ambient indie rock and psychedelic rock  and a touch of ’50s pop and doo wop and a little bit of surf rock with plenty of haunting three part vocal harmonies.

—By Richard Amery, L.A. beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 01 June 2023 18:35 )

Red Hot Hayseeds show Owl Acoustic lounge how to swing and sing in harmony

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The Red Hot Hayseeds are bringing western swing music back again, much like Asleep at the Wheel did back in the early ’70s.


The Red Hot Hayseeds swinging at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, May 31. photo by

 The Calgary based Red Hot Hayseeds stopped by  the Owl Acoustic Lounge, May 31 to  give a sneak preview of their new album “ How the West Was Swung” which isn’t officially released until the weekend.


I caught the second set along with approximately 30 people, which included most of the  CD. As usual the band, including clarinetist Cedric Blary, Rikki Brown,  Dayna Lyn and Sydney Zadravec plus drummer Matt Dawe, upright bassist  Keith Rodger and frontman Tyler Allen and Cathy Billington  laying down fiddle for the show.


The band, clad in red to match their name brought, back a vintage 1930s and 40s feel, witch   Dayna Lyn, Sidney Zadravec and Rikki J  Browne handling most of the lead  vocals and beautifully delivering three part vocal harmonies, with each one getting to sing lead on at least one of the songs.


 Allen added subtle guitar solos on his red Jaguar Fender guitar. A highlight  was an instrumental which referenced  blues classic “ Nobody knows You When You’re Down and out.

“ They did a beautiful job of Merle Travis’ “Peaches and Cream” early in the set.”


 For something a little different from the Cd, they played a cool cover of “ Smoke,Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette.”

 They wound  up the set with a catchy number  called “ Get the Swing.”


 They ended with Zadravec yodelling her way through  “ I Wanna Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart,” with Allen playing steel guitar.

 They didn’t play one of my favourites “ Play Something We Know.”

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 01 June 2023 19:11 )
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