Papa King and Little Miss Higgins highlights of Lethbridge Roots and Blues Festival


 Saturday’ Lethbridge Folk  and blues Festival Legacy park.

The Lethbridge Folk Club  took over Legacy Park, Saturday, Aug. 20 with roots and blues music from Southern Alberta and beyond.


Little Miss Higgins playing the Lethbridge Roods and Blues Festival, Aug. 20. Photo by RichardAmery

Several hundred people tricked in and out of three stages set all over the park. I caught part of Dr. Lar Bar’s set in the beer gardens first.


He was telling stories and singing folk songs accompanying himself on an acoustic guitar.

Ryland Moranz and his band playing the Lethbridge Roods and Blues Festival, Aug. 20. Photo by RichardAmery

 A short walk away on the main stages here most of this summer’s festivals are happening, local blues musician Papa King Cole, with bassist Dog Freeman and  lead guitarist Eric Braun got warmed up for their upcoming B.C tour with a strong set of mostly original acoustic blues music, most of it from King’s CD “Gutted To The Studs.”

 Papa King growled the vocals, stomped a bead and play rhythm guitar.

 Freeman grooved on bass and Braun added perfect solos.


 King announced they were beginning their tour in Lethbridge.

They played a lot of the audience’s favourites beginning with “Mellow Down Easy,” which he was playing on a. Cigar box guitar built by former Lethbridgian Darryl Düus, who he will be joining in B.C.


 He followed it up with blues classic “Ain’t Got You.” Then they played one of my favourites “ Busy Boy Blues.”

They dug in to their tool box for “Box of Tools,” and followed that up with another one of my favourites “Beale Street Blues,” as King noted it was about a 12 year-old kid who moved to Memphis to avoid the life of a sharecropper.


 I left for the refuge of the shady beer garden  during King’s trucking song “ 500 Horses.”


 In the beer gardens, rising Edmonton star Amanda Penner breathed heartfelt songs about mental health and relationships from her new CD  “ Honey and Heartache.”

“Bleed” was a highlight.


 The main act I wanted to see was Little Miss Higgins, but missed half of it. I rushed back over to the main stage to catch  their set of jazz tinged blues.

 She was playing as a duo with Calgary’s Kris Demeanour. She was playing tambourine and singing as I arrived, but traded that for a guitar to play some vintage 1920s jazz and blues music.


Ryland Moranz and his band playing the Lethbridge Roods and Blues Festival, Aug. 20. Photo by RichardAmery

 Their set focused in their new  concept album “Fire Waltz” about her great grandmother Florence’s journey to Canada with her two kids and  the ensuing challenges of settling in with husband, soon to be ex husband Henry.

 They played jazz tinged blues. Kris Demeanor added tasteful solos.


 And their stories and  jazzy blues took  the audience right back into the 1920s.


Ryland Moranz and his band were getting into their usual solid set of laid back, optimistic folk rock music as I was leaving the main stage.


John Wort Hannam was set to close off the afternoon festival.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 25 August 2022 15:18 )