Southminster United Church is the place to be for big shows this week. The church celebrates 100 years with the Raise the Roof concert series continuing March 9 at the church at 7 p.m. The third of three concerts to recognize its 100th anniversary features talented community musicians who have participated in worship services at Southminster. The program will offer an eclectic collection of jazz, gospel and classical music. The performers include Lottie M. Austin, piano; Alicia Bigras, soprano; Bridge Brass; George E. Evelyn, bass-baritone; McKade Hogg, tenor; Dale Ketcheson, guitar; Calista Lonsdale, flute; Trudi Mason, trumpet; Brynna Pokarney, flute; Joe Porter, percussion; Southminster Chancel Choir – Joanne Collier, director; Tom Staples, French horn; Anna VanderHeide, vocals and Mary Lee Voort, piano and organ.
Tickets cost $20 each, and are available at the Southminster Church Office, Dove Christian Supplies and Long & McQuade. Children 12 and under are admitted free.
The next day, the Southminster United Church hosts another Geomatic Attic show as B.C.-based guitarist Harry Manx will be blending East Indian music with American blues. He will be joined by Clayton Doley and Kevin Breit, March 10. The show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $37.50.
There are excellent shows all over this week. First up is a fundraiser at Average Joe’s for their cook, Lorne Miller, who remains in hospital after being hit by a vehicle while cycling home from work Jan. 26.
The show is March 6 with country songwriter Tebey and Leah Daniels. Admission is $15.
There is a lot of local rock and roll this week as well.
Lethbridge record label Norwegian Blue has two big shows celebrating Windy Records Compilation. The first show was March 1 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge with Steven Foord, Lustre Creame, Cosmic Charley and Planet Telex all performing. The next show is at the Slice, March 7. It features the Junkman’s Choir, Mormon Girls, Dirti Speshuls, the Ruby Plumes, Betterhalf and The Palmers.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge goes rockabilly March 7 with Calgary’s Mercury Audio, along with special guests Sparkle Blood.
Around the corner, get a taste of Australian DJs as Bombs Away perform at Inferno March 7. Tommy Shades and Sketch Coleman perform dubstep club and remixes. There is a $15 cover charge for the show, which begins at 9 p.m.
Local bluesmen Papa King and Darryl Düus are at the Smokehouse March 7.
If you want to bang your head, the first Bloody Maple Leaf metal show of the year takes place at the Vent in Coaldale, March 7, with Death Toll Rising, Ides of Winter, Tramp Stamper and Trancide. Doors open at 8 p.m., with bands beginning at 9 p.m. There is a $10 cover for it.
If you are in Coaldale, you can also check out some excellent country music with Treeline and Shaela Miller plus Hurtin’ playing Sidelines, March 8 at 8 p.m. There is a $15 cover for the show.
In the city you can rock out to Guns N Roses tribute Nightrain at Average Joe’s, March 8, with special guests Rex. Suzie Vinnick is playing a house concert as part of the Home Routes Concert series at Valerie McQuaid’s house, March 7. Admission is $20. Contact Valerie at firstname.lastname@example.org or call call 403-320-1082 if you want to hear some awesome Canadian acoustic blues music.
Local bluesmen Papa King and Darryl Düus have two shows this week. They are at the Smokehouse March 7 and at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Saturday March 8.
Last but not least, Calgary indie rock/folk band Locomotive Ghost return to Lethbridge to play the Slice, March 8 with special guests, the Void.
For something slightly different, the Galt Museum features the second annual Nerdfest Redux.
“We had people last year asking us whether we were going to do this event again,” explained trivia night host Chris Roedler, who is co-organizing it with Leslie Hall.
“We want to get a lot of the first timers who were here last year to come back. So if that’s what it takes, that’s what we’ll do,” he continued, adding some of the highlights from last year were watching people enjoy it including one person bringing a 12-pack of Mountain Dew.
“So we knew he was going to be there for the night,” he said.
And Roedler’s dad came to the trivia night on his own, and joined a team which eventually won the whole thing.
There will be lots of prizes for the trivia night/game night, March 7.
The events begin March 6 with the Drama Nutz performing “Hysterical History.”
Day two, March 7, begins from 7-9 p.m. with trivia night with special hosts including “pop culture aficionado” Leila Armstrong, Kapow Comics’ Wallie Desruisseaux, artist and Norse enthusiast Darcy Logan, University of Lethbridge new media specialist Gord Taylor and comic expert Eric Dyck to name a few.
It will be followed by an all-night games night featuring games like Dungeons and Dragons, Artemis and Magic the Gatherer plus whatever patrons want to bring. “If the pop culture trivia is popular, we’ll keep going with that,” said Galt Museum community programs co-ordinator Leslie Hall.
“Games really do bring people together,” Hall enthused. “And with the pop culture trivia, I remember watching those ’80s TV shows so it feels like my experiences are a part of history.
“People don’t just sit around and play cards with each other anymore.
“We want to bring that back,” Roedler said. There will also be characters from Hatrix Theatre’s April 15-20 production of Spamalot wandering around answering questions and taunting you French style. There will also be food and a bar.
Admission is with Galt Museum admission — $3 for students, $6 for adults under 60. It is a 14-and-up event though there will be a bar, so Hall and Roedler expect people to act responsibly. They will have their intern Tony doing a survey of students this week at the University of Lethbridge this week outside the Helen Christou Gallery. She will be handing out passes to those who participate.
Locomotive Ghost celebrate with Winter
Locomotive Ghost are just about to release the last instalment of their vinyl EP/digital download series based on the seasons.
“Winter” was to be officially be released March 1 at the Big Secret Theatre in their home town of Calgary. The indie folk rock quartet, who describe themselves as “indie-folk rock for nerds and lovers,” will follow that show with a brief Alberta tour including stops in Red Deer and Coleman which comes to Lethbridge March 8 when they play the Slice with the Void.
“Winter” was actually the first of the seasons EPs which inspired the band to embark on the “Seasons” project, which involved the band releasing a series of EPs inspired by each season. It features layers of different instruments and lyrics examining themes of science and love and winter.
“We re-recorded the whole album with different members than we had when we started it,” said guitarist/pianist/vocalist Mike Buckley, who started Locomotive Ghost back in 2010 with Ben Nixon (bass, ukulele, vocals, engineering) while attending the music program at Selkirk College in Nelson.
“We re-recorded ‘Bye Bye Higgs Boson’ in a completely different key and changed the arrangements on others. And Paul sings lead vocals and plays lead guitar instead of violin on another,” he said.
The current line up also includes Paul Orton (guitar, keyboards and vocals and drummer/percussionist Mac McDougall. They are adding a saxophonist and a violinist for the EP release party, though they won’t be bringing them to Lethbridge. “It is a challenge to learn the songs as a four-piece. I’ve been learning the saxophone lines on the guitar,” he said.
He is happy the project is completed. The next step is to re-release all four seasons on a 16-track CD.
“It was pretty stressful releasing it on vinyl. A week ago, we weren’t sure if we’d have them in time for the release party. But we have them now. And a lot of people either don’t want to download, or they don’t own a record player. They still want the CD,” he said.
They are looking forward to returning to Lethbridge as it has been almost a year since they were last here.
“We’re looking forward to playing with the Void. We’ve never heard them before. So we’re excited about that. Our set will be pretty faithful re-creations of the songs with a lot of instrument swapping because people really seem to like seeing that,” he said.
The show begins at 9 p.m., the Slice, March 8.
Harry Manx caught in social media storm after guitar stolen
Losing a guitar is like either losing an arm or a girlfriend for a professional musician like Harry Manx.
So he panicked just a little bit when a miscreant swiped his prized 20-string Mohan Veena — a custom built Indian instrument blending the sounds and styles of a guitar and a sitar — from an airport luggage turnstile in Chicago. Luckily thanks to an outpouring of support on social media which mainstream media soon picked up on, the perpetrator was nabbed trying to steal another piece of luggage.
Manx is glad they caught the miscreant.
“I have to go to Chicago and pick it up and talk to the detective; the detective said all of the media attention really put the heat on him. And the guy already had a long record with rape and armed robbery,” Manx observed, adding he will be glad to get his Mohan Veena back.
“I’ve had it for 20 years. I watched the guy craft it and learned how to play on it,” said Manx from Quebec.
“I’ve had to learn how to play all of my songs on just the guitar. It felt like I lost my girlfriend,” he said. Maybe even worse.
“Just don’t tell my wife,” chuckled the B.C.-based musician who plays Southminster United Church to play a show for the Geomatic Attic, March 10 with special guests, Australian Hammond organist Clayton Doley and guitarist Kevin Breit. The Mohan Veena is a key component to his east-meets-the-west blend of the blues and East Indian music
Manx, never one to look on the dark side of things, was touched by the outpouring of support once word spread.
“I have another one at home, but it’s in pieces. I would have had to fly home and put it back together. But three guys offered me Mohan Veenas and I’ve had people offer me guitars. It has brought a lot of attention. It really couldn’t be better PR,” he chuckled.
“People really care about this kind of thing,” he said. The story almost immediately had 80,000 views which quickly expanded to over five million. He has a busy year of touring in support of last year’s CD “Ohm Suite Ohm,” with the schedule including stops all over Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia.
He will also release a new CD later this year.
“It will be called ‘20 Strings and the Truth’ though maybe I should call it ‘Crime Doesn’t Play,’” he chuckled.
Harry Manx, Clayton Doley and Kevin Breit play the Southminster Church for the Geomatic Attic, March 10. The show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $37.50.
MonkeyJunk bring the blues to the Barn
It is always a lot of fun when Ottawa-based blues trio MonkeyJunk come to town. They definitely don’t monkey around on stage as they showed stellar musicianship and an absolutely tight set of rock tinged blues music to approximately 140 people at the Lethbridge College Barn enjoying the Geomatic Attic presentation, Feb. 26. They got a lot of the audience dancing in front of their stage and the rest tapping their toes.
While I missed Paul Kype and Texas Flood’s opening set, I was impressed as always with MonkeyJunk. They blend Tony D’s sweet guitar licks with Matt Sobb’s stunning drumming and Steve Marriner’s hot harp playing and unique bass sound courtesy of his baritone guitar tuned down to A.
No less impressive was Marriner’s magnificent tenor vocals.
The band concentrated on music from their latest CD “All Frequencies” but played music from throughout their repertoire, plus some obscure covers. “Small Town Evil” was a highlight from earlier in their career.
While Marriner doesn’t play keyboards anymore on stage, he had his hands full enough with vocals and baritone guitar. He even put that aside for a couple of songs to show off his prodigious harp chops.
They also embarked on intense jams on several tracks including one that must have lasted 20 minutes on an old Lazy Lester song “Sugar Coated Love” which showed off the harp.
The new tracks were a hit with the audience including “You Make A Mess” and “Why Are People Like That” — one of several songs Marriner sang about “jerks.”
They showed their more sensitive side with a touching slow blues song abut death called “Long Gone” written with another harp master Paul Reddick.
They picked up the tempo again after that with another jam with a big guitar solo and a thunderous drum solo. They ended their show with one of my favourites off their last CD “To Behold” called “Mother’s Crying.”
They were called back for an encore of ’60s rock and roll classic “Bad Love.”
Charlie Major sings the hits solo
Ottawa-based country star Charlie Major played a stripped down acoustic show at Average Joe’s, Feb. 25 for an almost full house.
He captivated the crowd from the beginning, who sat quietly paying attention as he started with some of his slower and mid-tempo hits but had a lot of them dancing by the end of the show. He had them in the palm of his hand early in his set with “Do it for the Money,” and had them dancing “Side By Side.”
He played a couple excellent new songs including “A Night To Remember” and told a few tales between them.
“I’m Gonna Drive You Out of My mind,” drew a lot of applause an d got a few more dancers in front of the stage or it.
Upbeat country rockers like “Life’s Too Short, The Night’s Too Long” and “ Keep On Living” translated well to just an acoustic guitar. In fact all of them did. You could hear every word he sang, though not so much his stories. “Some Days Are better” had people singing along as did crowd favourite “It Can’t Happen To Me.” But he knows his way around a lyrical hook and showed it. He sang an excellent mix of tender ballads and insightful stories. I enjoyed “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know.”
By the end of the show, one woman threw her thong on stage at him during the last song of his set. It landed right on his guitar.
When he returned for the encore, he put it on his mic stand and then knocked it off, saying “It wouldn’t be right to sing with that there.”
Al Lukas sings
Al Lukas played an intimate show of gravel-voiced blues at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Saturday, Feb. 22.
He had a decent-sized crowd paying attention as he sang a few blues classics, but mostly focused on original material.
Doucette plays the blues
It was an average crowd who were a lucky crowd who got to see Vancouver-based classic rocker Jerry Doucette at Average Joe’s, Feb. 21
It may have been the last appearance for a while for Doucette as he is undergoing shoulder surgery in the near future. He had a stool set on stage at the beginning of the show, but knocked it aside as he stood up and rocked it. He gave a shout-out to Lethbridge guitarist Paul Kype who often plays lead guitar with him, but who had his own gig in Calgary that same night. He seamlessly traded leads with guitarist Al Walker anyway. They both shone.
While he is best known for his mega hit “Mama Let Him Play,” he is also an impressive blues picker.
He still has a fine voice and his guitar chops are impressive. He played a lot of blues classics which he gave a rock and roll twist as well as some of his laidback ’70s-style “Mama Let Him Play” era songs including “All I Wanna Do” and the bluesy “Down the Road.”
He added more blues than usual to these tracks.
I had to leave before he got to his signature song “Mama Let Him Play.”
Local rock band Dated Delay were impressive.
I hadn’t seen them for a while. But they sang wonderful vocal harmonies as they played an array of classic hits ranging from the Beatles to Sum-41.
They put their own punk-tinged stamp on all of them. Most impressive was turning Bill Haley and the Comets’ ’50s classic “Rock Around the Clock” into a bona fide pop-punk song. They even played a catchy original.
Boogie Patrol are a blast
It is always a blast when the Boogie Patrol comes to Lethbridge.
The Edmonton-based blues quartet played a beautifully soulful set of blues and R and B music which had an enthusiastic crowd dancing and cheering at the Slice, Feb. 21. Their set seemed to feature a lot of new music as well as tracks from their last two CDs.
But most of it seemed to be new music which had most of the crowd getting all hot and sweaty on the dance floor.
They didn’t have a keyboard player, but that wasn’t missed much as guitarist Yuji Ihara supplied gorgeous leads while frontman Dan Shinnan blew stunning harp solos and danced and writhed in front his microphone, wringing every last drop of soul out of each and every note.
Ihara and Shinnan got the crowd pumped up and even jumped off the stage and wandered amongst them, blowing that beautiful harp and playing shining leads. Remaining on stage, bassist Nigel Gale and drummer JJ stayed locked in while their band mates wandered, dancing with the audience while not missing a note.
They ended their set with “Bathe With Your Woman,” a crowd pleaser from their last album.
Average Joe’s — Tebey with Leah Daniels — fundraiser for the Miller Family $15
Cotton Blossom Lounge — James Oldenburg
JImmy’s Pub — open mic
Wolf’s Den — bluegrass jam
Casino Lethbridge — Bandemonium
Mocha Cabana — Dana Honey
Ric’s Grill — Bryant Watson Duo
Slice — Windy Rock Compilations Planet Telex, Mormon Girls, Dirti Speshuls, Ruby Plumes, Junkman’s Choir, Betterhalf, The Palmers
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Mercury Audio and Sparkle Blood
Smokehouse — Darryl Düus and Papa King
Inferno — Bombs away $15 9 p.m.
The Vent — The 1st Bloody Metal Show of 2014!
with: Death Toll Rising, Ides of Winter, Tramp Stamper and Trancide; $10 at the door; doors at 8 p.m., bands at 9 p.m.
Casino Lethbridge — Bandemonium
Mocha Cabana — Dana Honey
Ric’s Grill — Cal Toth
Smokehouse — open mic
Slice — Locomotive Ghost with the VOid
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Papa King and Darryl Düus
Sidelines (Coaldale) — Treeline and Shaela Miller with Hurtin 8 p.m. $15
Average Joe’s — Nightrain — a tribute to Gun and Roses with Rex
Southminster United Church — Raise the Roof for Southminster United Church 7 p.m $20
Southminster United Church — Harry Manx $35 advance, $40 at door
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Slice — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Devon Coyote
Slice — jazz jam with HBO 3
Ric’s Grill — Bridgette Yarwood
Owl Acoustic Lounge — L.A Beat open jam
Average Joe’s — Dr Hook
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Lethbridge Public Library Trivia night
Honker’s Pub — Open mic with Steve Keenan
Jimmy’s Pub — open mic
Wolf’s Den — open mic
Scores — Shamrocks and Shenanigans with the Real McKenzies and the Boids and Lethbridge Firefighters Pipes and drums $20
Geomatic Attic — Ray and Aretha Tribute show $35 advance, $40 at door
Mocha Cabana — Lori Williams Freeman
Ric’s Grill — Sheldon Arvay and Band
Inferno — Strong V and Raymundo launch party
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Spencer Jo and the River Jacks
Slice — Blackberry Wood
Inferno — Fox Eyes with SS Doom, Soggy Moccasins and Penitentz
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Kalle Mattson
Italian Canadian Club — St Patrick’s Day Party with the Junkman’s Choir $35 7 p.m. Slice— Ann Vriend
Geomatic Attic — Ray and Aretha Tribute show $35 advance, $40 at door
Moose Hall — Lethbridge Folk Club Back Porch Swing
Mocha Cabana — Carla Olive
Ric’s Grill — Cal Toth
Geomatic Attic — Alastair Christi with Bent 8