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Exhibition Park ready to Whoop it up this week

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It’s been a long time since we’ve whooped it up.

Organizers are excited see an abbreviated Whoop Up Days come together at Exhibition Park beginning tomorrow, Sept. 2 and going until Sept. 4, as Covid cancelled last year’s Whoop up Days.


Mike Warkentin is excited about this year’s Whoop Up Days, Sept. 2-4. Photo by Richard Amery

“So far so good,” said Exhibition Park Chief operating officer Mike Warkentin, watching a slightly smaller Midway come together.


“The purpose of Whoop Up Days is to bring the community together, but the priority is to do it in a safe and responsible manner, he continued.


 Due to Covid, the Midway is 20 per cent smaller, but there is more space in between attractions.


“ It’s 20 per cent smaller, but it occupies the same amount of space,” he said.


 Organizers have had to overcome the challenges of construction occupying most of Exhibition Park as well as Covid.


“We’re strongly urging you wear masks and to sanitize your hands. Our staff will be masked and be given Covid rapid tests before their shifts,” he said adding the Midway operators were given the opportunity to opt in as well.

All patrons will be given a temperature check as they go through security.


“ But if you aren’t feeling well, please stay home. There will be a Whoop Up Days next year and we’ll be happy to see you when you’re feeling better,” he said.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 September 2021 14:37 ) Read more...

Whoop Up Days and a whole lot of live music and laughter for long weekend

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Whoop Up Days dominates a long weekend chock full of live entertainment.

 But several major summer festivals also continue this week.

 But first, Good Times restarts their regular Tuesday night comedy open mic tonight, Aug. 31. Everyone is welcome to come down and lay down their laughs, ha has and yuk yuks. Doors open at 7:30 with performances beginning at 8 p.m.


Bailey Kate is performing at this week’s Upside Downtown at Casa on Thursday. Photo By Richard Amery

 The Owl Acoustic Lounge’s regular Tuesday open mic is also tonight, Aug. 31.


 Things start to take off on Thursday, Sept. 2. Upside Downtown continues at Casa with Bailey Kate performing from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday..


The Slice’s open mic starts around 8:30 -9 p.m.


A stripped down, free Whoop Up Days opens at Exhibition Park on Sept. 2 with local acoustic favourites Uncovered playing everything from ’90s favourites, ’80s metal like Def Leppard and modern pop like Katy Parry, the Weeknd and Lady Gaga on the Gas King Stage in Heritage Hall beginning at 6 p.m.


Whoop up Days continues with country musician Ryan Lindsay playing the Gas King Stage on Friday, Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. He has won Country Music Alberta awards  for Album of the Year and  Horizon Male Artist of the year.

Honker’s pub has their usual Friday night open mic at 8 p.m.


 Casino Lethbridge features country band Driven Friday and Saturday beginning at 8 p.m.


 The Owl Acoustic Lounge features Danica Sommer, Spencer Jo, Ol’ ben and Bob Scallywag for a  night of high powered folk music on Saturday beginning at 9 p.m.

 On Friday, Sept. 3,  The Owl has a  aloud show planned with Calgary based Fem positive alternative  rock band Slut Prophet, local lo fi rock band Body Lens and  Rhinestone NDN  who is  Dri Hiev]s Dan Auger's new electronic project beginning at 9 p.m. 


Owl co-owner Steven Foord will be roasted at Good Times , at 8 p.m. by local comedians Cole Howg, Connor Christmas, Dwayne Smith, Mark Andrew, Johnny Pogo and host Faris Hytiaa. Tickets are $20.

 And the Owl aocustic Lounge welcomes back Hamiton funnyman B.A. Johnston with Open Channels on Tuesday, Sept. 7. 

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 September 2021 08:52 ) Read more...

Steve Keenan Band help Spectrum Ale Works celebrate second anniversary

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 Local microbrewery Spectrum Ale Works celebrated their second  birthday with three days of live music.


 While I missed sold out performances of Duelling pianos on Friday and a sold out  night with Adequate on Saturday.


The Steve Keenan Band playing Spectrum Ale Works, Aug. 22. Photo by Richard Amery

 But I made a point of being there to see the Steve Keenan Band playing to a good sized afternoon crowd on Sunday, Aug. 22.


 Steve Keenan used to play rhythm guitar with Paul Kype and Texas Flood so the show was a reunion of sorts as it featured Paul Kype on guitar on vocals, taking over from keyboardist TJ Waltho who had another commitment.


Bassist David Popovich and drummer Darwin Romanchuk provided a rock solid rhythm section for Kype and Keenan to play over.


 The duo had a double Strat attack, trading solos and  harmonizing with each another throughout.


 They started their second set with an amped up jam on “Crossroads” on which they traded solos.


The set was a pretty much equal mix of familiar blues standards and originals, many from his most recent CD “In My Hands” including “ Dream Train” and “ Doin’ Fine.” and delved into his back catalogue for “Linda Lou.”


They tried their hands at ’70s Eric Clapton with “Lay Down Sally.”

 Of course, with the Texas Flood background, they had to pull out some Stevie Ray Vaughan, so they played “ Pride and Joy.”

 They wound down the afternoon with  “Can”t you See and  blues classic “ Got My Mojo Working.”

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 August 2021 14:24 )

Mark Hall band welcome Gabe Thaine to the fold to sing Tragically Hip

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 The Mark Hall  band welcomed Gabe Thaine to the fold as vocalist and keyboardist at the Slice, Saturday, Aug. 21.


There are many iterations of the Mark Hall Band including their Tragically Hip tribute the Hip Trip for which Thaine has just taken over lead vocal duties.


Gabe Thaine singing with the Mark Hall band, Aug. 21 at the Slice. Photo by Richard Amery

They began the set I caught with several familiar Hip covers beginning with “Little Bones,” followed by “New Orleans is Sinking” and slowed things down with “Bobacageon,” with Thaine doing his best Gord Downie impression.


 Bassist Jack Horne and guitarist  Mark Hall added background vocals.


 Hall sang lead on ’90s county hit “Dust on the Bottle” as Thaine danced behind the keyboards.


 Horne sang Johnny Cash“s “Folsom Prison Blues and they wound up their set with Hall singing Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Gimmie Three Steps,” before taking a break.

— By Richard Amery, L.A.Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 August 2021 14:14 )

Biloxi Parish play energetic new music for Upside Downtown

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 Upside Downtown continued their Thursday afternoon showcase of local music, Aug. 19.


Zach Passey of Biloxi parish playing Rotary Square, for Upside Downtown, Aug 19. Photo by Richard Amery

 This time local roots rock band Biloxi Parish were on the bill in Rotary Square. As expected, they drew a younger, enthusiastic crowd as well as regulars who have enjoyed most of the afternoon concerts.


 Like most bands, I haven’t seen Biloxi Parish for a long time. Usually they pack the Owl Acoustic Lounge, but I missed their last show.


 And, like most bands, they’ve improved a lot, channelling ’70s and ’80s roots rock along the lines of Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp.


 They played a solid set of original material powered by frontman Zach Passey’s impassioned vocals.


 The tight band played plenty of catchy guitar riffs and added a few more alternative rock inspired solos.


 Karen Romanchuk and Wendy Colby play this week’s Upside Downtown concert series at Rotary Square from 5-7 p.m. , Thursday, Aug. 23.

— By Richard Amery, L.A.Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 August 2021 14:01 )
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