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Young Guns hit the Joe

Posted on February 12, 2014 by Lethbridge Sun Times

It’s a holiday Monday next week and a long weekend, so what better way to celebrate Family Day than by going out and catching a lot of live shows with some of your best friends.

There is an excellent variety of music happening this week, mostly this weekend from classic rock to pop country to punk music.

But there were some excellent shows early in the week starting Monday when the Young Guns tour came to Average Joe’s.

Several up-and-coming young performers including Jordan McIntosh, Brett Kissel and One More Girl will all be performing beginning at 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $25.

There is a jazz jam at The Slice this week as well as HBO3 plays Wednesday, Feb. 12.

There is a lot happening for Valentine’s Day as well.

CKXU Loves You returns to the Slice, Feb. 14. CKXU Loves You 8: Pretty in Kink features several local bands including Martin Heavy Head Jr., The Ruby Plumes, the Palmers, St. Valentine’s Day Creep and many more who are all putting their own kinky twist on love songs. The music begins at 8 p.m. There is a $10 cover.

Other shows happening, Feb. 14 include local country/folk singer Karen Romanchuk returning to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, the Bryant Watson duo returning to Ric’s Grill, James Oldenburg playing the Cotton Blossom show in addition to his regular Thursday night gig there.

Classical guitarist Dale Ketcheson returns to the Mocha Cabana Feb. 14 and Feb. 15. And if you like to rock the country, Kixxsin plays Casino Lethbridge this weekend as well.

As usual there are plenty of open mics. There are open mics at Jimmy’s Pub, Feb 14, the Lethbridge Folk Club has their open mic on Feb. 14 as well and Steve Keenan has a blues jam at Honkers, Feb. 14 as well.

Studio 54 features an afternoon jam every Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. And Smokehouse is officially holding open mics every second Saturday of the month with hosts, local classic rock band Undefined.

If you like rap music, Madchild returns to Lethbridge Feb. 15 to play Studio 54 at 9 p.m., with local rappers Rise, The Fallen Ones and City Prophets. Tickets are $25.

There is a lot happening Feb. 15 as well at the Lethbridge Folk Club, which features Fort Macleod singer/songwriter John Wort Hannam and opening act Jared “Rusty” Klok at the Moose Hall beginning at 8 p.m.

Cal Toth returns to Ric’s Grill as well.

Plus former Lethbridgian Andrew Scott visits the Slice, Feb. 15.

There is some excellent rock and roll Feb. 15 with Calgary’s Go For the Eyes returning to the Owl Acoustic Lounge. And if you are in the mood for some head-banging metal, Death Pledge, Obsidian Soul, Form 9 and Killing Redemption will light up Inferno Feb. 15 as well, beginning at 7 p.m. There is a $5 cover for the show.

It’s almost like it’s a long weekend or something as there is a full schedule of events on Sunday as well.

Country star Dean Brody brings his Crop Circles and Tractor Beams tour to the Enmax Centre, Feb. 16, with special guest Cassadee Pope. Tickets cost $55-$65 The show begins at 7:30 p.m. If you remember the ’80s or want to, or listen to classic rock radio, don’t miss Honeymoon Suite’s return to Average Joe’s, Feb. 16. They will be playing all of their hits including “Stay In the Light,” “New Girl Now,” “Burning in Love,” “Wave babies” and many moreLocal band the Raw Dogs open the show beginning at 9 p.m.

For something really cool, unusual and amazing. You won’t want to miss Kytami at the Slice, Feb. 16. Especially if you like to hear the violin being taken to strange new worlds. Kytami is a founding member of popular world/celtic/dance-pop group Delhi 2 Dublin. As a solo artist, she continues to push the boundaries of what the violin can do, especially when amplified and hooked up to effects. The show begins at 9 p.m. with DJ Generic.

Last but not least, the Owl Acoustic Lounge goes punk on Monday, Feb. 17 with Winnipeg punk duo Mobina Galore, local psychedelic surf band Chief Mountain and Vancouver’s This is the Shoes. playing at 9 p.m.

There is no cover for the show.

Ottawa-based country/pop singer Jordan McIntosh is excited about his first big tour with One More Girl and Brett Kissel.

He graduated high school a year ago and decided to pursue his passion — music.

“It’s cool to get the ball rolling,” he said, starting rehearsals for the upcoming tour in Calgary.

His older sister inspired him to sing.

“She’s three years older than me. When I grew up and wanted to do everything she was doing. I was the annoying younger brother,” he laughed.

“She’s studying to be a paramedic now, but she still sings,” he observed.

“But I find singing is a great way to de-stress,” he said.

He writes or co-writes most of his songs. So far, songs like “Walk Away” and “Grew Up in a Country Song,” are already getting played on modern country radio stations.

“It’s a really cool feeling to hear my song on the radio next to some of your favourite artists. It’s an incredible feeling. It’s hard to get my head around,” he said. “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it.”

He noted a lot of his songs come from his personal high school experiences, so there are a lot of songs about girls.

He has worked with One More Girl a few times and is excited to do it again.

“This is the first tour I’ve done. I’m pumped up about it. They have so much fun on stage, but they are so professional,” he enthused.

“I haven’t met Brett yet, but I’m pumped about that, too,” he added.

Just like everyone else

Derry Grehan is just like everyone else. When he’s not writing songs, he shovels snow like the rest of us and drives his kids all over the country for hockey games.

Except on the weekend, when he rocks out on guitar with ’80s rockers Honeymoon Suite, who come to Average Joe’s, Feb. 16.

He also spends a lot of time writing with people in Nashville like Jimmy Rankin and Patricia Conroy, to name a few.

“I haven’t been down there in eight months,” he said, from his home in Bloomington, Illinois, about two hours away from Chicago.

“My kids are in travel hockey so I’ve seen the inside of a lot of arenas, though not to play, but to watch hockey,” he said.

Honeymoon Suite played quite a few arenas in the ’80s and ’90s after scoring countless hits including “New Girl Now,” “Burning in Love, ” “Wave Babies,” “Stay in The Light” and many more.

Honeymoon Suite is in the process of writing new music.

“We have eight or nine good songs. We‘re so busy we have no time to write together. But all bands should do it every three or four years to keep it fresh for the fans,” he said.

He does feel disconnected from the rest of the band, (original members Gary Lalonde and Dave Betts plus keyboardist Peter Nunn) who all live in Southern Ontario, while he lives in Illinois.

“I do miss them. Johnnie (Dee, lead singer) will call me up and say ‘man, I’ve got some great ideas, I wish you lived down the street so we could write.’ But we have to make time to do it,” he said.

“We have some shows in Southern Ontario in March. So I’ll fly up a few days earlier and we’ll write together then,” he said.

“We have the original lineup from the ’80s and Peter Nunn may as well be. He’s been with the band longer than Rob Preuss or Ray Coburn,” he said.

They are switching up their set.

“We’re still playing all of the hits, but we’re also adding three or four songs we haven’t done for a while. Off of “Monsters Under the Bed,” we’re doing “Say You Don’t Know Me,” and “Wounded” from the “Big Prize,” he said.

“We’ve also been playing ‘Lethal Weapon,’” he continued, adding it takes some work to relearn some of the older songs.

“I sometimes have to relearn my guitar solos, but it really quickly refreshes my memory,” he said.

Honeymoon Suite and the Raw Dogs play Feb. 16 at Average Joe’s.

Tickets cost $20.

Winnipeg-based punk/pop grunge duo Mobina Galore have been all over the place before settling in Winnipeg.

The duo, including guitarist Jenna Priestner and drummer Marcia Hanson, play with local garage rock/psychedelic rock trio Chief Mountain and Vancouver band This is the Shoes, Feb. 17 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.

Priestner is from Edmonton originally, then moved to Fernie where she met Hanson. They moved to Vancouver for a while, then decided to settle in Winnipeg.

“We didn’t know anybody in Vancouver, but Marcia has family and friends in Winnipeg, so we decided to go there,” Priestner recounted, taking a break from digital media classes.

They are working on their first full-length CD, which they recorded with John Paul Peters, who produced the most recent Propaghandi CD.

“We loved the sound of the Propaghandi CD and we’d never heard of him before but as soon as we found out who produced it, we knew we were on board with it,” Priestner said.

“He’s given us some amazing ideas to help us with our songs,” she said.

“It will be a full-length, eight-song CD. We’re pretty excited about it,” she said, adding once it is complete, they hope to get a record label on board. They hope to release the finished CD in the fall.

She is excited to be back in Alberta, particularly in Lethbridge.

“We were just there at the end of July. This time, I think we’ll be playing a bunch of new songs. We’re better live performers now and more comfortable on stage. It’s going to be a lot of fun. We’re super pumped to be back,” she continued.

There is no cover charge for the show, which will begin at approximately 9 p.m.

New Weather Machine tackles Dark Side of the Moon

Local progressive/psychedelic rock rock band The New Weather Machine with special guest Jesse Plessis on piano played to a packed house at the Slice, Feb. 1 which even included Mayor Chris Spearman.

I caught them in the middle of a hot set of ’70s-sounding originals featuring Jon Martin on lead guitar and vocals, Jason Oakes on guitar and vocals, plus a crack rhythm section of Paul Holden on bass and drummer Brad Brouwer. And Jesse Plessis playing piano in the shadows on the lefthand side of the stage. They played a huge, ambient original “Waiting for Tomorrow” and ended their set of originals with a big riff rocker.

The next set had been hinted at in promo material for the show. They decided to take on playing Pink Floyd’s epic “Dark Side of the Moon” from beginning to end.

This was impressive. A spotlight shining on a mini-disco ball hanging from the Slice lights, which put stars on the walls and which added the psychedelic air to the atmosphere.

They even had the sound effects of voices and the cash register from the album.

They did a credible job of the CD with Plessis playing some excellent piano, and Martin adding note for note guitar solo. His voice even sounded like Roger Waters and David Gilmour.

“Money” was a highlight, yet they still managed to put their own stamp on the music.

“Us and Them” turned into a psychedelic jam.

Amy Bronson returns for hometown show

It was great to see Lethbridge songwriter Amy Bronson perform one last time in Lethbridge before she moves to Toronto.

She had a good-sized enthusiastic audience at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Feb. 1.

I caught the very end of a sweet set of folk music from Joal Kamps and Bronson’s first set, but was glad to hear her again.

She played a variety of songs including capable covers of Hank Williams and Geoff Berner-penned song as well as a couple form her latest CD “Couer d’ours grizzli” and from her debut CD “I’m Allergic to This Deodorant.”

Her cover of Geoff Berner’s “Ode to Vancouver” was excellent.

She played crowd favourite “Canada,” her “political feminist folk song.” She played a brand new song “Master of Your Time” and ended with “The Nitrogen Cycle Song,” another crowd favourite from her debut CD.

Tin and the Toad celebrate their rural roots

It was a packed house at the Slice, Jan. 31, for Nanton/Vulcan based roots/country quintet Tin And the Toad’s CD release party for their debut CD “Roots to Ramble On.”

The opened with the with upbeat “ Rhythm of My Soul,” and followed it with “Hwy 23,” the first track on the CD.

Steve Loree played guitar and steel guitar and sang impressive vocal harmonies with vocalist/guitarist/mandolinist Justin “Tin” Smith and guitarist Cody “Toad” Shearer, who took turns singing lead vocals and bassist Pete Loughlin who also added to the harmonies.

They performed a variety of songs about southern Alberta. Some of the highlights were “Keeping this Bar Alive,” “Don’t Borrow Trouble” and my new favourite “Reminders,” which came midway through the set.

Steve Loree’s “Crossing Place” was another highlight

Other highlights included “Been Here Way Too Long” which sounded like a Steve Earle song. There were a lot of prominent faces from the Lethbridge music community in the audience including Leeroy Stagger and Dave McCann, whose bassist Pete Loughlin also plays in Tin and the Toad.

They wound down their first set with spooky, swamp country of “Market Wave” and “Wind on the Trees.”

Unfortunately I missed the opening set from Rancho Deluxe.

Erin Ross sings the blues

It is always a pleasure to see Calgary blues/folk musician Erin Ross.

She was in a more country mood as she played for a decent-sized crowd at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Jan. 31.

But she showed her influences from country to blues and even played some countrified AC DC on a cool version of “Have A Drink on Me.”

She even countrified an old B.B. King song and put her own stamp on a laid-back version of folk classic “Freight Train.”

She switched to a four string tenor guitar for “the shortest and saddest song I have ever written,” and focused on the blues for the rest of her first set. She ended with her own songs including “Sweet Thing” and an excellent new song called “Gasoline.”

Feb. 12

Slice — jazz jam with HBO 3

Ric’s Grill — Bridgette Yarwood

Feb. 13

Cotton Blossom Lounge — James Oldenburg

OWl Acoustic Lounge — Trivial Night

Feb. 14

Slice — CKXU Loves You

Cotton Blossom Lounge — James Oldenburg 6-10 p.m.

Owl Acoustic Lounge — Karen Romanchuk

Jimmy’s Pub — open mic

Wolf’s Den — open mic

Mocha Cabana — Dale Ketcheson

Ric’s Grill — Bryant Watson Duo

Casino Lethbridge — Kixxsin

Honkers — Open mic with Steve Keenan

Studio 54 — Madchild and guests $25

February 15  Inferno — Death Pledge, Obsidian Soul, Form 9 Killing Redemption 7 p.m. $5

Owl Acoustic Lounge — Go For the Eyes with The Revival

Casino Lethbridge — Kixxsin

Mocha Cabana — Dale Ketcheson

Moose Hall — Lethbridge Folk Club John Wort Hannam and band with Jared Rusty Klok

Ric’s Grill — Cal Toth

The Slice — Andrew Scott

Feb. 16

Enmax Centre — Dean Brody with Casadee Pope Crop Circles and Tractor Beams

Average Joes — Honeymoon Suite with the Raw Dogs

Slice — Kytami

Feb. 17

Owl Acoustic Lounge — Mobina Galore with This is the Shoes and Chief Mountain

Feb. 18

Slice — open mic

Feb. 19

Ric’s Grill — Sheldon Arvay and Scott Kanashiro

Owl Acoustic Lounge — L.A. Beat open jam

Feb. 20

Enmax — Hedley with Danny Fernandes, JRDN and Alyssa Reid

Empress Theatre — J.P Cormier and Adrien AuCoin

Cotton Blossom Lounge — James Oldenburg

Feb. 21

Owl Acoustic Lounge — The Ruby Plumes and Theodore Cashmere

Empress Theatre — J.P Cormier and Adrien AuCoin

Mocha Cabana — Herb Hicks with Sheena Lawson

Average Joe’s — Doucette with Dated Delay

Ric’s Grill — Anna Vanderheide and James OIdenburg 7-10 p.m.

Casino Lethbridge — Billie Vegas

Jimmy’s Pub — open mic

Wolf’s Den bluegrass jam

Honker’s Pub — blues jam with Steve Keenan

Soundgarden — The Chevelles

Slice — The Boogie Patrol

Feb. 22

Studio 54 — open mic

Casino Lethbridge — Billie Vegas

Owl Acoustic Lounge — Al Lukas

Mocha Cabana — Herb Hicks with Sheena Lawson

Ric’s Grill — Cal Toth

Slice — Fourth Wave Freaks Zine party

Smokehouse — open mic

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