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Allan Roy Wilson tunes in to music community for new CD

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Allan Roy Wilson’s music has hit the right note with people all over the world, but he wasn’t going to take a rest during Covid last year. He just released his first full length, 10 song CD “ I Just Want You To Come Home” at the end of 2020.

Allan Roy Wilson has released his new CD I just want you To Come Home. photo by Richard Amery
“I started releasing the songs two and a half years ago between 2018 and 2019. I thought if I can write seven songs, then I can write three more,” said Wilson, noting all of the songs on the CD are the only ones he had for the project.
The well known member of the McKillop United Church band and local cover bands got inspired by the events of 2020 and Covid to write three new songs to complete the long awaited new CD.

 Three tracks, “You Should Not Walk Alone,” “Roadhouse” and “Love And Grace (Everywhere),” have already received crescendos of praise from fans all over the world on social media platforms.

He engaged an all star local orchestra to help fill out the sounds he created.
“I went into the studio with 99 per cent of the songs written. So I had a good idea of what I wanted the songs to sound like before I went into the studio,” he said.
“It’s like directing a film. I had the script written and gave everyone their parts,” he described, noting he had to work around his musical guests’ schedules as well as Covid protocols.

“When I decided not to put together a band for this project, it meant I could bring in who I needed. I would tell them what I wanted to hear and let them go with it,” Wilson explained, noting lead guitarist Steve Keenan added a hot solo for “Music Makes Me Fly.”

“It only took two takes. They were great. I asked him if he wanted to do another take and he said nope, we’ve got it,” Wilson said.
Moberly studio owner James Odenburg, who produced the Cd, also added lead guitar on most tracks and bass on “Music Makes Me Fly”and “You Should Not Walk Alone,” one of the earliest and most popular tracks. Wilson sings lead vocals and plays mandolin and rhythm guitar on his CD.

Oldenburg’s bandmate Paul Holden, who also plays with several local bands including Hippodrome, plays bass on most tracks. Hippodrome saxophonist Ryan Heseltine adds sax to a couple of tracks. Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra cellist Mark Rodgers and bassoonist Robert George play on several of the tracks.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 February 2021 17:40 ) Read more...

Taylor Ackerman’s Global Acid Reset open 2021 with new single from upcoming EP

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There’s no moss on local musician Taylor Ackerman.

 He is first out of the gate to release new music in the new year as “ Stand Tall,” the first single from Taylor Ackerman’s Global Acid Reset’s upcoming new Ep “Encephalon,” will be released Jan. 8
 The rest of the five song EP will be released online on Feb. 5.

 Like last year’s CD, “Perfect Vision,” “Encephalon” will only be available online.

Thew five song EP includes three originals and covers of the Sadies’ “Talking Down” and Lee Hazelwood’s “Cold Hard Times.”
“‘Stand Tall’ is a song I wrote about 10 years ago and played with Toques and Beards, ” said Ackerman, who chipped away at the project in his downtown studio space throughout Covid last year and played live in between lockdowns.  It is about longstanding musical venue the Slice.

“This is a more rock and roll version. The original version was more of an acoustic singer / songwriter version because I was really into (Winnipeg musician) Scott Nolan, who is a really excellent storyteller,” Ackerman continued, adding he borrowed his talented friends when they were available to record on the new songs.

“I also changed the key because my voice is lower than it was then,” Ackerman added.

The new EP features Dustin Gegel playing drums on most tracks. Tyler Bird plays bass on most of the tracks including  “Stand Tall” on which he also plays drums.

 Don Cassell sings on “Stand Tall,”  sings harmonies on others and plays harp throughout the CD,  which reflects Ackerman’s long affinity with the blues.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 January 2021 18:01 ) Read more...

Lethbridge Theatre troupes adapt to a post Covid world

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It is said that William Shakespeare wrote some of his greatest works including King Lear in the middle of a plague. As Covid 19 shut down most live entertainment for the year, local theatre troupes have explored the depths of their imaginations to cope with a crazy year in 2020.

Cole Fetting  performs in Shakespeare in the Park’s Merry Wives of Windsor. Photo by Richard Amery
 Theatres were among the venues forced to close due to Covid. So they found other ways to get their art to their audience, mostly going the online route.

New West Theatre’s popular December holiday show is a huge part of a lot of Lethbians’ holiday celebration. Not being able to have live shows, the  talented cast recorded videos of themselves performing Christmas classics, which they released during the holiday season. They utilized their own radio station 90.7 f.m. to broadcast a quick three song soundtrack to accompany a beautiful new light show at the Yates Theatre.

 Perhaps taking a cue from country star Gord Bamford, they turned their annual August production into an outdoor  “Live at the Drive in” show. Audiences could watch their variety show of ’50s and ’60s jukebox hits from their comfort of their vehicles while listening to the music on the radio. In July, they performed classic radio plays including Alfred Hitchcock’s “39 Steps, ”  Sherlock Holmes’ “Murder at the Casbah,”  “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” and two episodes of Flash Gordon.

Their March production of Dear Johnny Deere, inspired by the music of Fred Eaglesmith was really well done, but they had to cancel their last few shows due to Covid restrictions imposed in March.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 23 January 2021 14:00 ) Read more...

Ryland Moranz explores vintage mediums for new single from new CD ‘XO, 1945’

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Ryland Moranz is exploring old school film making for the second single from his  second CD XO 1945. The entire CD has a vintage sound, featuring a lot of banjo and band mate Leeroy Stagger’s band bacRyland Moranz performing at South Country Fair in 2019. Photo by Richard Ameryking Moranz on 12 tracks reflecting on the past.
“ It features the Rebeltone band. It’s like a Leeroy Stagger album if Leeroy took a break,” Moranz said, noting it was one of the last CDs recorded in Stagger’s Rebeltone Studios, before he moved to Victoria. It features bassist Tyson Maiko, drummer Kyle Harmon keyboardist Michael Ayotte and Calgary fiddle player  Calvin Vollroth. George Fowler also adds some cello to the songs.
“ And Leeroy is singing back ground vocals in it,” Moranz said.

A lot of the  music was inspired by  discovering an old banjo from the 1890s  in the music store in  San Rafael , California, tuned to an unusual tuning.
“ It was in Open C, which was pretty common . So a lot of the songs are in open C, but there’s also songs with the band and songs on my own,” Moranz said, noting the new single “ Where Are My Blue Eyes,” is among the songs recorded in open C. That is the follow-up the the debut single “ If I Had Wings,” which was released in October.

 He tapped in the the many talents of  Evan Uschenko for the new video, which he shot on 16 mm film.
“He’s really talented and is interested in that style of film making like me,” Moranz said, noting Uschenko also filmed the video for the first single “ If I had Wings.” which features Moranz flying at the Lethbridge Airport.

“He filmed that too. I’ve had my pilot’s licence since I graduated from high school, so we rented a plane from the Lethbridge Airport. He was standing right next to the runway and I was afraid I’d hit him,” Moranz said.
The new video was a lot less dangerous, but a lot more time consuming as Moranz hand painted every frame.

“I’ve always been interested in old analog formats like film It’s very  much old school. There’s no digital enhancement,” he said.
There was no deliberate theme to the CD.

“But a friend pointed out that the songs all look at the past. So it turned out being a postcard to a time which I never experienced, but still affects everyone today. And it feels like you were there,” Moranz said.
 Some of the songs are three or four years old,  dating back to Moranz’s first solo album.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 19 December 2020 13:16 ) Read more...

Owl Acoustic Lounge to soar into new nest with community Kickstarter support

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A phoenix isn’t the only bird that can rise from the ashes. After a tough 2020, In 2021 The Owl Acoustic Lounge plans to fly higher and faster into a new location out of the ashes of the Covid pandemic, which has devastated the arts and entertainment industry and everybody who depends on it and enjoys being part of it.Steve Foord in his element — on stage. Photo by Richard Amery

 Owl Acoustic Lounge co-owner Steve Foord is overwhelmed by the community response to a super successful  Kickstarter campaign launched Dec. 16 which, in less than 24 hours, doubled the $7,500 goal they set to build a beautiful new stage in the Owl Acoustic Lounge’s new nest at 606 3rd Ave South, the former home of the More For Less Thrift Store.
“It’s a great location with the SAAG right across the street. Then we looked inside it and fell in love with it. We decided to invest in ourselves,” said Owl Acoustic Lounge co-owner Steve Foord said, adding they decided to launch the Kickstarter campaign to gauge public interest.

 As of this writing, 229 backers raised $15,113 on the Kickstarter campaign, effectively doubling the $7,500 they earmarked for the new stage, which will feature the names of everyone who contributed to the campaign which was one of the perks you can bid on. Foord noted there are over 450 names that have to be added to the stage, so he has to figure out the logistics of how to do that that. The rest will be put towards a new bar and other features of the venue.

“It’s been crazy. We really didn’t expect this. It really caught us off guard,” he said, adding they will leave the Kickstarter campaign going for the remaining 28 days. He said moving will be a challenge, but it is important to maintain the Owl’s “Keep it Weird” character.

“It’s wonderful to have some good news and it has been exciting to see the community get behind  this,” Foord said.
 “This pandemic is not going to last for ever and when it ends, live music will be back and we intend to be there,” he said.
“We’re in favour of the 3rd Ave revitalization and we’re excited to be part of it,” Foord enthused, adding they were already considering a move, as working on a diminished capacity to meet new social distancing regulations  was challenging. So they started considering a move.

“ We took some time to plan and we decided to bet on ourselves. We’ve been here for little over 10 years, so we looked at some new locations and said “Let’s go for it,” Foord said.

Last Updated ( Friday, 18 December 2020 15:45 ) Read more...
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