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A few more fairs and much more happening this week

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As one fair ends, another couple begin.

 I only made it  to Sunday of South Country Fair  and  camera died in the heat right  before Skinny Dyck’s set.

Cousin Harley return to Lethbridge to play Upside Downtown and Casino Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Amery

 But if you missed a couple of the acts as I did, then you can catch them tonight, Tuesday, July 25.


 Ellen Froese and Toronto’s The Doghouse Orchestra are playing a post South Country Fair hangover show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge tonight, Tuesday, July 25 at 8 p.m.. Admission is by donation

 The other big local show coming up is Wide Skies Music Festival, happening Aug. 1-3 atop the downtown parking garage.

Unfortunately the Countdown to Wide Skies show with twin sisters Ibeyi  scheduled for tonight at the Yates Theatre has been cancelled.


 But there is more fun on the horizon. Tickets are available for  Wide Skies now.

 The Aug 1 show features Witch Prophet and Tanika Charles.

 Aug. 2 will be all about rockabilly with Peter and the Wolves and  Jesse Roper.


 Aug. 3 is all about the blues with Shawnee Kish and  one half of Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer Shawn Hall and Gordie Johnson of Big Sugar performing. Tickets are $120 for all three days or  $45  for each individual night.

But first, Canadian classic rock fans will flock to  the Legion Youth Centre in Taber for Cornstock, a fantastic two night festival featuring talent local acts and classic rock radio icons Toronto  with  host a “Girls  (and Guys) Night Out” at 7:45 p.m. and Honeymoon Suite n  Friday and Harlequin and Prism playing Saturday.


 Train Wreck open the show on Friday,  July 28  at 5 p.m. followed by Runaway: Bon Jovi Tribute at 6:15. p.m..

 Toronto hit the stage at  7:45 p.m. followed by Honeymoon Suite who hope ’80s nostalgia lovers will “Feel It Again” at  9:30 p.m.


Things begin at 1:30  p.m. on Saturday, July 29 with  the Dusty Road band followed by Ransom Note, Voltage  177, Another Simple Solution and Calgary based Rush tribute YYC at 6:45 p.m. Harlequin will bring that “Superstitious Feeling” to the stage at  8:15 p.m. And  Prism hope to stave off Armageddon at 10 p.m.

 The Steve McQueen band will host an afterparty at the end of each night .


Tickets are $20 weekend;$70 weekend camping $97 Early bird weekend General Admission is $141.18.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 25 July 2023 16:20 ) Read more...

Tanika Charles excited to bring reimagined music to Wide Skies Music Festival

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Tanika Charles returns to Lethbridge for Wide Skies Music Festival, Aug. 1 on the roof of the parking garage downtown.

 She is excited to  promote  her latest R and B and soul inspired  EP  ‘The Union Sessions” which will be released, July 26.

Tanika Charles is excited to return to Lethbridge For Wide Skies Music Festival, Aug. 1. Photo by May Truong


 The Toronto based Charles decided to reimagine  five of her earlier songs, mostly from her 2010 album, What, What, What” which  heavily utilized samples plus “Since You’ve Been Gone” from “ Gumption.”

“I never thought I’d  look at those songs again. But they’ve changed so much. I called on some of the best musicians, in my opinion, in Toronto and decided to reimage some of those songs. I love it. Feedback from people say it is so well engineered. It sounds so beautiful. it is crisp and clear. I’m really proud of it,” enthused the Toronto based singer Tanika Charles, noting she is also working on two new albums.

“ But now, it’s like listening to two different songs,” Charles enthused.


 She  is still touring on her last album “ Papilllon de Nuit: The Night Butterfly” which she mostly recorded over Zoom during the pandemic.


“We still recorded this one during the pandemic, we took proper precautions. But it was just so nice to be in the same room with a group of people who were just as excited to work on new music as I was when during the dark times everyone was so uninspired,” she said  from Vancouver, where she is excited to begin a Western Canadian tour with her Vancouver based band , drummer Johnny Andrews, keyboardist Jonny Tobin, guitarist Anthony Anderson and bassist JeanSe Le Doujet.


“ I feel like I’ve taken them everywhere, Mexico, Columbia. I have bands in Toronto, in Vancouver and  in Paris. That’s just how I work,” she continued.

“Without the band, I wouldn’t be anything,” she said.


She is pleased with the  R and B  feel and the lyrics.

Last Updated ( Friday, 21 July 2023 12:47 ) Read more...

Familiar faces heat up Honkers Pub’s parking lot for third annual festival

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Local talent heated up Honkers Pub’s parking lot on a sweltering, sunny Saturday, July 15  for the third annual  Honkers parking lot party.


There were a lot of familiar faces who usually play  Honkers Pub  performing for a laid back audience.

 I arrived as Luke James Bruce was finishing  a few originals to open his solo set including Southern Alberta Blues” before moving on to  a handful of modern country covers.


Luke James Bruce and Steve Keenan playing Honkers parking lot party, July 15. Photo by Richard Amery

 He played an array including Bailey Zimmerman’s  “Rock and a hard place” and Luke Combs’ “ When it Rains it Pours.”

 Staying with the rain theme he moved on to CCR’s “ Who Will Stop the Rain” as the sun beat down and the sky styled blue and cloudless.


 He added a capable cover of Nitty Gritty Dirt band’s “ Fishin’ In the Dark and ended with the Zac Brown Band’s “Country Fried.”

 Bruce returns to Honkers Pub, Friday, July 21 to host the open mic.


Bluesman Steve Keenan opened up his solo acoustic set by playing a couple familiar originals which will be  on his next  album including “Cindy Lou,” which he wrote for his wife who he met at honkers, noting he sat on the couch struggling until he finally came up with an arrangement for the song that he liked. He moved on to his usual set of covers including Blues Rodeo’s “Hasn't Hit me Yet”  and Bob Seger’s “ Night Moves.”


 Bruce joined Keenan on Stage  for a set beginning with Pink Floyd’s “ Wish You Were Here,” and including “ Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Pride and Joy.”


 They took turns singing lead vocals and Keenan added  bluesy flavourings to Tom Petty’s“ You Got Lucky”, “ wicked Game,” and  More Bob Seger on “ Turn the Page.”

 Bruce took a swing at “Tennessee whiskey,” and Keenan stayed with the theme for his own “ Whiskey Drinking Blues.”


They went back to the country with Garth Brooks’ “ Friends in Low Places,” as Bruce attempted to get the audience to sing along with it and “Dust on the Bottle.”


 Keenan picked up the mandolin for  Steve Earle’s “Copperhead Road” to end their set.”


The JDs playing Honkers parking lot party, July 15. Photo by Richard Amery

The JDS played a little bit of everything from contemporary pop rock, ’80s pop, ’90s rock and popular country hits.

 They opened with a hot cover of KT Tunstall’s “ Black Horse and a Cherry Tree.”


 Jackie French and her daughter Jasmine Mitchell alternated singing lead vocals.


 French sang some solid Carlene Carter on Every Little Thing.”


  Mitchell sang a heartfelt version of the Wreckers‘“ Leave the Pieces.”

 A highlight, before I had to leave was an excellent cover of the Glorious Sons “ Oh Mama.”


They had a full slate of entertainment running all day including Bruce Ranahan, Border Bound  and DanAlie.


 The event raided over $600 for Kidsport Lethbridge/ Taber. 

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 21 July 2023 10:20 )

Runnin’ With The Devil make a Zoo of the Place with ’80s rock tributes

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 The Place has stepped up as  the “place” to be for classic rock and  ’80s  rock tribute acts.


Calgary based Scorpions Tribute  The Zoo returned to rock the Place “like a hurricane,” Saturday, July 15.

Scorpions Tribute the Zoo playing July 15 at the Place. Photo by Richard Amery


Tim Saulter playing with Runnin With The Devil, July 15 at the Place. Photo by Richard Amery

They are always a solid bet for good ’80s style entertainment as they stand and deliver spot on, note perfect covers of Scorpions hits and deeper cuts.

I arrived in the middle of the pounding, detuned riffs of “321” from 2007’s “Humanity: Hour 1”


They went back to the ’80s for “Blackout,” before battling technical  difficulties and crashing into the Scorpions’ cover of the  Who’s “ Can’t Explain.”


They went back to the Blackout era with “ Dynamite.”

 They wound down their set with  “ Rock You Like a Hurricane and the band’s namesake “ the Zoo.”

 The room started to fill up as Dave Chomiak’s new Van Halen tribute Runnin with the Devil ” took their time getting ready.


 It almost was worth the wait.

 Chomiak is a talented ’80s metal  vocalist who has found his niche playing in and organizing  a network of ’80s metal tribute acts all over Alberta.

Runnin with the Devil made their debut with the band’s namesake “ Runnin With The Devil,” and ensconced themselves comfortably  in  the ’70s and early ’80s with a set full of David Lee Roth era Van Halen hits and deep cuts.


 The band , frontman Dave Chomiak, bassist Trey Banman, drummer Dean Derring and guitarist Tim Saulter were rock solid as they delivered  hits like “Unchained”  and “And the Cradle Will Rock” and deep cuts like D.O.A.,   the bluesy “Take your Whiskey Home” and “ Feels Good” and  “ Push Comes to Shove.”


Dave Chomiak singing with Runnin With The Devil, July 15 at the Place. Photo by Richard Amery

Chomiak sported ’80’s style striped spandex strutted all over the stage and onto the dance floor while belting out his best David Lee Roth Surf jock bellows and yelps taking an enthusiastic audience through the late ’70s and ’80s.


 He was more than up to the job and their guitarist  Tim Saulter capably nailed Eddie Van Halen”s guitar pyrotechnics and sheer joy of playing. 

 Banman belted out Michael Anthony’s background vocals like a boss and drummer Dean Deering was on point.

 Van Halen may be gone, but Runnin With the Devil keeps their memory and theor music alive.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 20 July 2023 15:01 )

SAband brings the weirdness on a Wednesday

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 The audience was sparse, but Vancouver psychedelic  garage band SABAND brought the weirdness, Wednesday, July 19.


SABAND playing the Slice, July 19. Photo by Richard Amery

 I didn’t catch fellow Vancouverites  Smush and  Highland Eyeway or local psychedelic rock favourites The Rainbow Patrol, but really enjoyed SABAND.

 They started with a psychedelic surf style instrumental with harmonized leads ending with shrieking feedback.


 They moved on  to a sound reflecting more Violent Femmes meets Weezer power pop with a dab of psychedelic rock.


Vocally, they reminded me of a mix of the Violent Femmes and Dickies and even a touch of Devo, but they had some tight Weezer style power pop style song-craft happening and some tasteful blues  styled solos and some more guitar harmonization.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 20 July 2023 14:22 )
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