Lethbridge celebrates Halloween pretty much all week long. There were several early Halloween parties, Oct. 26. But everything starts to really happen the day before Halloween, Oct. 30 at the Lethbridge College Barn where the Deep Dark Woods and special guests the Sumner Brothers play. The Geomatic Attic presents this show, which begins at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:30, music at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 members, $32.50 on members, $35 door.
The big actual Halloween party is at Inferno Nightclub and Shisha Lounge where Delhi 2 Dublin and Shred Kelly will rock the joint and get those toes a tapping. So get your dancing shoes on, Oct. 31.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge celebrates HOWLoween on Oct. 31 with Calgary blues/rock band Go For the Eyes and Redrum Triumph.
And Jesse Northey is officially leaving Lethbridge with one last show as Jesse and the Dandelions, the New Weather Machine and Cosmic Charley at the Slice. There is a $5 cover.
November kicks off with a blast. There are a couple big shows happening to kick off the month on Nov. 1. Lethbridge Comicon happens at the Italian Canadian Club Nov. 1-2 with lots of excitement and special guests including Brett the Hitman Hart and, fittingly for Halloween, ’80s scream queen Linnea Quigley.
If you want to rock, up-and-coming blues/rock Vancouver rock band Head of the Herd come to Scores with the Glorious Sons, Nov. 1. Tickets are $15. And the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra has its second chamber series concert of the season, Nov. 1 with trumpeter Josh Davies.
The Slice has an unusual show Nov. 1. Bands as bands features The Delawares performing as Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band; The Void performing their Ramones set, the Ruby Plumes performing as the Smiths, the Yeah Dads as the Modern Lovers, the New Weather Machine being Queen, Shaela Miller performing Nancy Sinatra, Mwansa Mwansa performing Aretha Franklin and Loco Ono performing as Fleetwood Mac. The show begins at 8 p.m. There is a $10 cover.
Last, but not least, if you love the blues it is a good week for you. You won’t want to miss Calgary acoustic blues duo Hills and Lemelin as the Lethbridge Folk Club brings them to the Moose Hall Nov. 2. Tickets are $20 for members, $25 for non-members. The show begins at 8 p.m sharp.
That show is the same night as the return of Winnipeg blues rock trio The Perpetrators, who ring in the Slice’s eighth birthday Nov. 2 by introducing their new CD “Stick ’Em Up.”
And blues lovers will also enjoy Papa King playing the Owl acoustic Lounge Nov. 2 with Dil Jopp, Darryl Düus and Tyler Bird.
Early next week, Brock Zeman returns to the Slice on Nov. 4.
Delhi 2 Dublin are excited about bringing the party to the Inferno Nightclub and Shisha Lounge with Shred Kelly for Halloween, Oct. 31.
“We’re trying to sell Shred J Kelly on this idea of costumes, but they haven’t bought into it yet,” said tabla/electronics player Tarun Nayar, who just returned from playing a couple of music festivals in the southern United States including Texas, Arkansas and North Carolina.
“It’s supposed to be a surprise, so I can’t say any more. It’s loosely based on us dressing like each other. We love Shred Kelly. We’ve played a lot of festivals with them. And their banjo player (Tim Newton) has got on stage with us and jammed,” he continued.
“We love Halloween shows. People are always ready to come out and party,” he enthused.
Delhi 2 Dublin don’t do gruelling six month cross Canadian tours anymore, preferring short bursts of touring.
“We just play where people like us. So we don’t play Sudbury, Ontario for $500 any more. We’re getting older. We find we make more money and have a lot more fun when we just tour in short bursts,” he said. They still average 150 shows a year, though they are concentrating on touring the United States, United Kingdom, Europe and Australia next year.
“We have a pretty big sound that really gets to big crowds. Most people down south play blues or roots or bluegrass or country music, so by the time we play, they’re ready for something different,” he said.
“We’re always different. Nobody else is doing mash ups of bhanga and Celtic music,” he continued.
“I don’t think people always like us, but we’re definitely unique” he said.
He noted Lethbridge has always been very supportive.
“Lethbridge is always been one of our favourite places to play. It is an interesting small city. but it has a lot of kids and people who really like to party. And Shambala (an annual electronica music festival in Salmo B.C.) is near there, so there is that culture,” he said adding concert promoter Lorinda Peel has been with them since the beginning.
“We’re seven years old now, and it’s funny but it has taken a while to figure out what our sound it,” he said.
“We started as a live band. We’ve really honed our sound. We used to have a really big, wall of sound thing, but now we’re more focussed on songwriting. But now we focus on telling a story and making a song, so things have become more simple,” he said.
The live show keeps expanding.
“It will be a different set. We’ve added a new stage and new instruments. We’re playing most of the songs from ‘Turn Up The Stereo’ and some old classics,” he said.
“Sara (Fitzpatrick) has this crazy new pedal on her fiddle ( a Line 6 guitar amp simulator), so she sounds like the mutant fiddle player from Mars,” he enthused.
“We’ve also added a couple new Indian percussion instruments we carry around (a dholak). And we have keyboards on stage, so we can play a lot more live instead of having everything sequenced. So it’s a lot more fun but there’s a lot more jumping around on stage playing everything,” he continued.
Delhi 2 Dublin and Shred Kelly play the Inferno Nightclub and Shisha Lounge, Oct. 31 at 9 p.m. Tickets are $25.
Vancouver-based blues rock band Head of the Herd have taken off since winning Vancouver radio station CFOX’s “New Seeds” Contest, of which previous winners have included Nickelback, Matthew Good and Bif Naked, to name a few.
They are just about to release their second CD “By This Time Tomorrow” of which the title track is already shooting to the top of the charts.
They play Scores Nov. 1 with Glorious Sons.
One of the perks of winning the contest was meeting a variety of people in the business like Garth Richardson, who has worked with bands like Rage Against the Machine and Finger Eleven members Rick Jackett & James Black who produced six and three songs respectively.
“We recorded demos of about 30 songs and sent it to them and said ‘have at ’er,’” described Head of the Herd frontman/ harmonica player Neu Mannas.
“They took these songs from demos and made them into something way bigger and better,” he said.
Probably the biggest surprise of the lot was the first single, “By This Time Tomorrow,” the first single off the upcoming album.
“Originally it was going to be this weird spooky thing at the end of the CD,” he said.
“When we recorded the first record, we had never played live before and we added organ, bass and harp to enhance the songs. This is more of a band record,” he said.
Winnipeg blues rock trio The Perpetrators are back with their long awaited brand new CD and a semi new line up. They premiere their new CD “Stick ’em Up” in Lethbridge Nov. 2 at the Slice where they will help ring in the Slice’s eighth birthday.
“I basically recorded this CD by the seat of my pants,” said frontman/guitarist Jason Nowicki while getting ready to play a couple g quick shows with Romi Mayes in northern Ontario. He had a variety of different players on the CD, new bassist John Scoles is on four songs, founding member Ryan Menard is on five and David Landreth plays bass on two.
For drums, longtime drummer Ryan McMahon is on seven of the 10 tracks, while Ryan Voss is on the other three.
“All of these guys are so busy, he said.
“Ryan has a one-year-old now and he had a good full-time career job,” he continued.
So Nowicki has been keeping busy touring with Romi Mayes and just completed a Home Routes solo acoustic tour as well, which brought him to Lethbridge a couple weeks ago.
“Romi is singing on this CD, too. She’s never been on a Perps album, he said.
“I had some time banked with Les Milne at Bedside studios. We’ve recorded all of the Perpetrators albums with him. He completely renovated this old church and turned it into a great room, so it was just the three of us rocking out,” he said, adding it was a different three of them each session. He said he was panicking a little bit the night before.
“It was a fly by the seat of your pants kind of record. I didn’t chart it out or anything. . . So the night before Ryan Voth and David Landreth were to come in, I had no idea what I was going to bring in the next day. I was in my room with my guitar and pieces of songs and lyrics, ” he said, adding they were able to goof around in the studio and came up with an album full of songs he was proud of.
They re-recorded a few off his duo project with Ken McMahon, K-Mac and Howik’s Punk Blues Explosion, choosing “Smokes and Chicken,” “Shake It” and “Bad Man,” which have become popular live favourites.
“We just decided which ones got the best response live,” he described.
And despite the disorganization, he is pleased with the result.
“I really think it is the best Perpetrators album we’ve done,” he said.
“I am super, super proud of this record. ‘Shake It’ is bilingual, so I’m proud of that, too. It adds a different sound,” he said.
Nowicki has already submitted it for Juno Award consideration.
Kelowna-born pop/“fine folk rock” band The Grapes of Wrath still have it. They played for a good-sized crowd at the Geomatic Attic, Oct. 22.
Their second set included a lot of sweet jangling guitar pop music and a nice mix of their ’80s and early ’90s hits, some beautiful Simon and Garfunkel vocal harmonies and lots of tracks from their brand new CD “High Road.”
Lead guitarist Kevin Kane took turns singing lead with bassist Tom Hooper and each added spine tingling harmony vocals as drummer Chris Hooper added the beat.
They had a utility man Patrick adding extra acoustic guitar and keyboards.
They wound down their show with the big hits “All The Things I Wasn’t” and “Peace Of Mind,” but the three core members returned for an encore of spirited versions of Cheap Trick’s “Surrender” which Kane described as “the first song we ever played on stage at Tom’s seventh-grade dance” and a poppy version, thanks to the beautiful vocal harmonies of the Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy in the U.K.”
Sadies at Geomatic Attic
If the Ramones played roots music, it might have sounded something like the Sadies, who visited the Geomatic Attic, Oct. 21 for a good-sized crowd. I’m going to need a new set of ears as the Sadies tore them right off right from the start as they played several fleet-fingered spaghetti western/surf-edged instrumentals that were so fast they were over almost before they began. The first song with vocals, “Too Much Blood,” was apt as their screen behind them was showing graphics that looked like blood stains.
The tall, gangly Good Brothers Dallas and Travis, dressed in western suits, looked like they stepped right out of an old western movie, played incendiary leads, drawing on everything from country to bluegrass but played them with punk intensity as they took turns singing lead and singing haunting harmonies. Bassist Sean Dean stood back and grooved while drummer Mike Belitski, his arms a blur, looked like one of those toy, wind up drummer monkeys.
They played a blend of country, roots, spaghetti western instrumentals and surf music played with punk energy right down to Travis Good glaring at either his guitar or his fiddle like he was possessed by the spirit of Johnny Ramone himself.
They payed a lot of the music from their new CD “Internal Sounds,” plus tracks mostly taken from their albums the “Darkest Circle” and “New Seasons,” plus a lot of surf infused instrumentals.
The soft-spoken Dallas Good politely thanked the enraptured audience after each song. Dallas Good alternated between a couple of vintage Telecasters while his brother changed up between a pair of beautiful, battered Gretsch guitars when he wasn’t tearing the strings off to bow and his fiddle.
Perhaps because I was sitting in the front row being deafened by the drums, I couldn’t hear much of the stage banter, vocals or the song titles, but it was fantastic. They were concentrating on more recent releases particularly their hot new CD “Internal Sounds.”
In the second set, someone called out a request for an older song “Tell her Lies and Feed Her Candy,” which after some discussion, they played after Dallas grinned, “If you had said ‘Free Bird,’ I would have come out there.”
Jesse and the Dandelions CD release
Jesse and the Dandelions capped off their CD release party at the Slice, Oct. 18, with an enjoyable set of perky indie pop music. Frontman Jesse Northey played guitar and sang with a touch of ’80s pop feel while the band was locked in including keyboardist Joel Stretch who crouched over the keyboards.
They played the music form their new CD “A Mutual Understanding.” and delved into their back a catalogue for an enjoyable evening which had much of the floor full of dancers. They ended with their over of the Violent Femmes’ classic “Blister in the Sun.”
While I missed it, apparently Yes Nice’s frontman was forced to broadcast his performance on a video screen.
Fellow Edmontonian made good use of the screen too, displaying a variety of animation including rock musicians, while he jumped around in the shadows and played ’80s inspired pop music on guitar. He also had quite a few people dancing in front of the stage.
I caught the tail end of a set from Philip Bosley and Matt Keighan who used to play with the Roger Marin band. They had a good-sized crowd listening fairly intently to their folk and country stylings, Oct. 18. They took turns singing lead vocals on their own songs and added extra rhythms.
Cowpuncher tore the Slice apart Oct. 12.
While the Fast Romantics couldn’t make the show for the dual CD release party due to van issues, it left the stage free for Calgary quintet Cowpuncher to tear things up.
They played an addictive blend of country, rock and Arizona rock music along the lines of the Refreshments mixed with Cross Canadian Ragweed an a touch of Alejandro Escovedo and Al Perry.
There was a lot of catchy hooks, guitar solos and good humour which a had a good-sized, though not sold out, crowd moving. They played upbeat rock, straying more to the country side in the first set.
Charismatic frontman Matt Olah sporting an air force truckers hat at the beginning of the show, jumped all over the stage.
“Does anybody want to be held like a small baby, like me,” Olah grinned.
He told a story about a friend who got into a serious accident, then asked an audience member to stop talking while he was, then brought her up to the stage to tell everybody what she was talking about. When she said her friend took him home one time, he laughed and said “That’s true. That happened.”
They then played his song about his friend who got injured.
Their second set started of more country, than took off on a more straight-ahead rock direction, which is where stand-up bassist Harley Hoeft, dug in and turned things up a notch.
One of the highlights of that set was the upbeat “Hooscgow,” which came from an EP they released earlier in the year.
They also played a lot of highlights from their new CD“Ghost Notes.” including the stand out track “Raised on Rock N’ Roll’
“Back of Vans” stood out and the guitar riff of “Acetaminophen” was a real brain worm.
They wound things down with a solid cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Gimmie Shelter.”
Tanner James and Dylan Keating returned to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Oct. 19.
James used to play in Calgary/Taber indie pop band the Nix Dicksons, but strutted his stuff on his own with steel guitarist Dylan Keating.
James has released his new CD “How To Ruin Your Life with Women.”
He wasn’t playing a lot of it when I was there, though. The duo played capable covers of “Wagon Wheel,” for a chattering crowd, not paying much attention, among others.
They played a few tracks off the CD in their second set including and excellent “The Highway Stole Your Heart.”
Another standout was a pretty song which had the catchy chorus “The heart is like the ocean.”
Slice — Phillip Bosley
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Scores — Sit Down Servants 8 p.m. Cover $20
Slice — open mic
NAAG — Drama Nutz Murders Monthly Undead and Dying 7 p.m. $10
Owl Acoustic Lounge — L..A Beat Jam
Slice — Snapbacks and Throwbacks with DJ Fuze, Aerosubtle, Urban Voyce, Felter, MAseOne and Pzeudo
LC Barn — The Deep Dark Woods with the Sumner Brothers $32.50
Inferno — Delhi 2 Dublin with Shred Kelly
Owl Acoustic Lounge — HOWLoween! Go For the Eyes with Redrum triumph
Slice — Jesse’s going away party with Jesse and the Dandelions, New Weather Machine and Cosmic Charley $5 9:30 p.m.
Italian Canadian Club — Comic Con
Casino Lethbridge — Sarah Beth Keeley
Scores — Head of the Herd with The Glorious Sons 9 p.m. $15
Mocha Cabana — Dale Ketcheson
Southminster United Church — 7:30 p.m. Chamber Series II Josh Davies Trumpet
Tomaso Albinoni Concerto for Trumpet and Strings, “Saint Marc”
Leopold Mozart Trumpet Concerto in D Major
Eric Ewazen A Hymn for the Lost and Living
Claude Debussy String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 10
Ástor Piazzolla Café 1930
Slice — Bands as bands $10 8 p.m.The Delawares as Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band The Void as The Ramones The Ruby Plumes as The Smiths The Yeah Dads as The Modern Lovers
New Weather Machine as Queen
Ms. Shaela Miller as Nancy Sinatra Loco Ono as Fleetwood Mac $10 at the door, getting started bright and early at 8pm sharp! Costumes are very encouraged!
Jimmy’s Pub — open mic
Wolf’s Den — Lethbridge Folk Club bluegrass jam
Casino Lethbridge — Sarah Beth Keeley
Mocha Cabana — Dale Ketcheson
Italian Canadian Club — Comic Con
Slice — the Perpetrators
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Papa King with Dil Jopp and Darryl Düus and Tyler Bird
Ric’s Grill —Sheldon Arvay and Band
Wolf’s Den — Hills and Lemelin Lethbridge Folk Club Ric’s Grill — James Oldenburg
Owl Acoustic Lounge — L.A BEat open jam
Geomatic Attic — Steve Coffey and the Lokels with Tin and Toad and Petunia $32.50