Rap and roots music are the order of the week this week. There are two big rap shows happening this week. The first one is presented by MASE One and CKXU. Females strut their hip hop chops during “Can She Kick it? Yes She Can,” which features Calgary’s Nki Louise and Role Model performing with local acts Pzeudo, Sam MacKey, Mwansa plus Emma Ladoceur and Dr. Drea spinning the beats and special guest DJ NickName. It takes place at the Army and Navy Club ( 5127 5 Ave South) and begins at 9 p.m. Tickets cost $8 in advance from Blueprint, Boarderline, CKXU and B.O.B Headquarters or $10 at the door.
The other big rap show happens April 11 at Studio 54 as Winnipeg duo the Winnipeg Boyz featuring Jon C and Charlie Fetteh of Winnipeg’s Most stop by. Lethbridge’s Myriad ( LRev and NoEdic) , Slick and KJ & Dha-Q will be opening the show. Tickets cost $20 but 50 per cent of all sales go to help at risk youth.
It is also a great week for roots and blues music.
Local alternative country act Dave McCann and the Firehearts release their new CD April 12 at the Geomatic Attic. Doors open at 7 p.m., with tickets costing $22.50
At the same time on April 12 the Lethbridge Folk Club brings back Montreal-based bluesman Michael Jerome Browne to the Moose Hall, April 12, beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for members, $25 for non members.
Wellness Through Living presents a fundraising concert for the building of a life skills training centre and community kitchen, April 11. Juno Award winner Derek Miller, who has won two Junos in 2003 and 2008 and toured with Buffy St. Marie, will be performing at the Southmnster United Church with special guests Dave McCann and the Firehearts. The show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $50.
There is a lot of local roots and country music this week beginning with the Lethbridge Folk Club’s open mic at the Wolf’s Den, April 11. Karen Romanchuk returns to the Mocha Cabana this weekend to play April 11 and 12.
Local country band Blacksmith plays the Slice, April 12. There is a $5 cover for it.
Also in the rock vein, Calgary alternative folk band the Ashley Hundred play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, April 11. They use traditional instruments like the glockenspiel, banjo, mandolin and whatnot to make ambient folk-tinged indie rock along the lines of the Decembrists, the Shins and Arcade Fire.
In a slightly similar vein Jesse and the Dandelions return to Lethbridge to play indie rock at the Slice, April 11 with the Provincial Archive.
Lethbridge’s the Juxtaposers return to the Owl Acoustic Lounge return to the Owl this week as well to play original classic rock-inspired music along the lines of CCR, on April 12. For more straight-ahead classic/modern rock, Soup of Flies return to Casino Lethbridge to play April 11 and 12.
And a pair of my favourite blues people return to the Slice this week to play a Thursday show, April 10. The Perpetrators’ Jason Nowicki and Romi Mayes will be celebrating Mayes’ birthday with some blues-tinged rock and roll. There will be a $10 cover.
And if you want to play some jazz music, HBO3 returns to the Slice to host the monthly jazz jam at the Slice, April 9.
Three new open mics have started out in Lethbridge.
The Onion has begun an open mic on Monday nights beginning at 9 p.m. hosted by Devin Gergel and Evan Herbst.
And the Soundgarden begins a new open mic, April 9 every Wednesday as well. Bo Diddley’s has also started open mic night again. They are going for Thursday nights from 7-10 p.m.
Lethbridge improv troupe the Drama Nutz also bring back their uncensored improv night this week.
They perform all of your favourite improv games at Club Didi on April 9. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.. There is a $10 cover.
And last but not least, on a more serious note, University of Lethbridge student Lauren Crazybull premieres her new audio documentary “Finding Clarity: Working Towards Reconciliation in Southern Alberta,” an audio documentary funded by U of L community radio station CKXU and LPIRG which examines the subject of residential schools and their impact on the community and on community members.
It premieres April 16 at Casa at 7:30 p.m. It will be broadcasted live on CKXU 88.3 FM, the doors open at 6 p.m., the event begins at 6 p.m. and the documentary airs at 7 p.m.
Romi Mayes celebrates birthday
Winnipeg blues musician Romi Mayes celebrates her birthday this week by going on tour. She celebrates her actual birthday at the Slice, April 10.
“So go easy on me,” she laughed, noting she is glad to back on the road with longtime musical partner Jay Nowicki of the Perpetrators.
Mayes has stuck close to home over the past year, playing around Winnipeg and booking tours for other artists through her company, Sure Shot Booking.
“So this time I get to book a tour for myself,” she said.
“I’ve been off the road for the past year. I can’t believe it. It’s been a fast year,” she said.
One of the highlights was playing the Windsor Hotel, a renowned Winnipeg blues joint during Junofest earlier this week.
“There was so much going on, you had to pick your party or else you’d be screwed. Jay played with the Perpetrators and we played with each other,” she said.
“It was awesome. We’re a local act and we still sold out our show with so much else going on,” she enthused.
She doesn’t have a new CD to support, but just wanted to be on the road for spring.
“I just want to be on the road for my birthday. I’m looking forward to it. I was playing with drummer Chris Carmichael, but it will just be me and Jay this time. I haven’t done this electric duo show for a while,” she said.
“I haven’t done a lot of writing,” she said, adding she is starting to write new songs.
“They should be congruent to my others, but there will be a freshness to them,” she said, adding she is excited to be back on the road again.
“I’m really excited to play five shows in Alberta again and see some friends we haven’t seen on some time, so we’re really stoked about it,” she said.
Mayes and Nowicki play the Slice, Thursday, April 10. There is a $10 cover.
Michael Jerome Browne embraces traditional blues
Montreal-based bluesman Michael Jerome Browne is excited to spread the word about traditional blues.
He will be returning to Lethbridge to play the Moose Hall April 12 for the Lethbridge Folk Club.
“It has been three or for years since I’ve played in Lethbridge,” he observed from his home in Montreal.
“I’ve played for the Lethbridge Folk Club three or four times,” he said.
“But I get to Alberta at least once a year,” he said, adding he was just playing for the Calgary Folk Club in September and will return again on this tour, which also includes several other Alberta and B.C. dates.
He has a busy schedule of taking care of his two daughters aged 8 and 11 plus tours Europe with American-born, Europe-based musician Eric Bibb.
“I’ve played with him for about 10 years. He hires me to play guitar when he tours Europe,” he said.
“The next CD will be blues classics by people like Mississippi John Hurt, Robert Johnson and Blind William McTell, all of the old blues guys from the 1920s and ’30s that I grew up listening to. But I always put my own stamp on them. I never play them note perfect,” he said.
He said the new CD won’t be out until the fall.
He is going to show all sides of the blues for the Lethbridge Folk Club.
“I’ll be playing some of those songs and new songs and songs from all of my albums and a little bit of Cajun music. I’m going to really mix it up with different sounds, styles and textures,” he said.
He performs solo, though he has worked with a band in the past.
The show begins at 8 p.m. at the Moose Hall, with B.A. Markus opening the show. Tickets cost $20 for members, $25 for non-members.
Slates CD release parts a success with varied bill
Multi-band shows a can be a blast when done right.
The April 2 CD release party at the Slice was an example of this because of the variety of performers sharing the stage.
Two diverse local acts started the show, which began around 9:30 p.m. with the Yeah Dads.
I hadn’t seen them for a while and was happy to catch them. They played a solid set of delay-drenched surf/garage rock music which featured catchy ’60sish guitar riff and haunting vocal harmonies which gave them the sound of more spooky Blue Oyster Cult playing garage rock.
Local punk trio Advertisement were next with a short, loud and fast set of more intense, dissonant punk music. They ended with a slightly slower, more detuned metal influenced song.
One band really surprised and impressed me — Regina’s These Estates. While I went in expecting a more straight forward pop punk sound, i was pleased to hear a diverse set of influences ranging from rootsy Canadiana along the line of the Northern Pikes mixed with a touch of Neil Young and Crazy Horse all soaked in the broth of ’90s alt country along the lines of Wilco.
They played most of the songs from their EP as well as their full-length album “The Dignity of Man.”
Some of those highlights were “Virtue+Valour” and the catchy, punk-edged “Pay Me Some Attention.” He played some tasteful guitar solos and appealing Rhythms played at excruciating volume levels.
He switched to bass as bassist Mason Pitzel took the guitar for the last song off the set.
The Slates played a solid set of very ’90s-influenced rock music form throughout their catalogue but focusing on their latest CD “Taiga.”
They sang appealing meat and potatoes rock and roll melodies and plenty of tasteful guitar solos and big riffs.
The Ruby Plumes finished the show, but I missed their set.
Big Dave McLean has a good time playing the blues
It is always a good time when Winnipeg bluesman Big Dave McLean comes to town.
He doubled his audience to about 10 people when he returned to the Slice, March 31. He didn’t mind. He growled his way through an excellent set of traditional blues classics and a few instrumentals and invited a guitarist up from the audience to play rhythm so he could blow some hot harp.
I only caught the last two sets but was impressed. He told a few stories and jokes and schooled the enthusiastic audience eon he history of the blues, as per usual.
“Rollin and Tumbling,” “Hoochie Coochie Man” and a laid-back version of “Sweet Home Chicago” were highlights and he got the audience singing along “You’ve Got to Love Somebody.”
He slowed things down with “Raining In My Heart,” on which his voice dripped with soul and sadness.
He ended the second set with Jimmy Reed and Omar Dyck’s “Highway.”
Everybody stuck around for his brief second set which he began after a quick break.
He put down his electric National guitar and picked up a steel body National to play some solid slide guitar.
A couple of slower songs, including “See That My Grave is Kept Clean,” were highlights of the set.
Treeline and Shalea Miller examine older songs
Treeline and Shaela Miller delved into their back catalogue for their second set, March 29 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.
The Lethbridge roots/country act played a variety of Shaela Miller’s older, solo songs as well as songs from the previous Treeline albums.
Perception of Pain rock the Inferno
A late-starting metal show at Inferno, March 29, meant I had to forgo a couple of other shows, but I did want to see Claresholm/High River female metal duo Perception of Pain featuring guitarist/vocalist Tanessa Von Meisel and drummer Colleen Spence who were sharing a bill with local metal band Penitentz.
When they took the stage around 10:40 p.m. they supplied a lot of big, snarling classic riffs and thunderous drumming for a small but mighty head-banging audience. Von Meisel howled, shouted and snarled original lyrics and even sang a little. She told a few stories about the songs including a really good one about the pets lost in last year’s floods in High River
While they billed themselves as a metal duo, they had more in common with punk music owing to the lack of guitar solos. They sounded like a mix of a faster Pack A.D. and Kittie. They played a tight set though they lost most of their audience to a smoke break while she stopped to change a broken string after which she returned to finish the set. I missed Penitentz unfortunately.
Paul Kype CD release party a long time coming
Lethbridge bluesman Paul Kype debuted his long-awaited new CD, aptly titled “Long Time Comin’” for a sold-out Slice, March 28.
They began around 9:45 p.m. with one of Kype’s older originals, “Freight Train,” played a Stevie Ray Vaughan song and then concentrated on the new CD with “Rattle My Chains.”
Kype slowed things down with an older song he wrote about a cowboy friend of his called “Cowgirl” which appears on the new CD and picked up the tempo with “Long Time Coming.”
After “Heed the Call,” he welcomed lead guitarist Greg Gomola to the stage to take the band through to the end of the first set with a couple of capable covers of “Hush” and the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”
The band, which included Earl Mcauly on keyboards and Brady Valgardson on drums and bassist Craig Erdman were tight as they let Kype sing in his powerful voice and play a lot of hot leads, though he also had a lot of catchy rhythm.
Mcauly’s organ and keyboard sounds always enhance Paul Kype’s music and did so in spades.
Slice — Jazz jam with HBO 3
Owl Acoustic Lounge — L.A. Beat open jam
Club Didi — Wednesday Night Nutz: Uncensored improv Doors 7:30 p.m. Cover $10
Soundgarden — open mic
Slice Romi Mayes $10
Cotton Blossom Lounge James Oldenbug
Bo Diddley’s — open mic
Slice — Jesse and the Dandelions with the Provincial Archive
Casino Lethbridge — Soup of Flies
Wolf’s Den — open mic Lethbridge Folk Club
Jimmy’s Pub — open mic
Honkers Pub — Blues jam with Steve Keenan
Average Joe’s — Dueling Pianos with Cal Toth
Owl Acoustic Lounge — The Ashley Hundred
Mocha Cabana — Karen Romanchuk
Studio 54 — Winnipeg Boyz $20
Southminster United Church — Derek Miller Wellness Through Living 8 p.m. Tickets $50
Mocha Cabana — Karen Romanchuk
Moose Hall— Lethbridge Folk Club Michael Jerome Browne and BA Markus
Geomatic Attic — Dave McCann and the Firehearts Cd release party
Casino Lethbridge — Soup of Flies
Ric’s Grill Moose Hall — Folk Club presents Michael Jerome Brown
Slice — Blacksmith $5 local country band
Owl Acoustic Lounge — The Juxtaposers
Army Navy Airforce Club — Can She Kick it With NKI Louise and Role Model, Pzeudo and Sam Mackey
Smokehouse — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Open mic
Onion — Open mic 9 p.m.
Slice — open mic
Slice — Doug Hoyer, Christian Hansen, Mark Mills $5
Owl Acoustic Lounge — L.A. beat open jam
Enmax Centre — Florida Georgia Line with Dallas Smith and Chris Lane Here’s to the Good Times Tour Tix are $39, $49, $59+fees
Scores — Mike Pickle Dambra $15
Slice — Miss Quincy
Owl Acoustic lounge — library trivia
Cotton Blossom Lounge — James Oldenburg
Bo Diddleys — open mic
Mocha Cabana — Herb Hicks Jazz Quartet
Casino Lethbridge — Shane Chisholm
Average Joe’s — Monsters of Mock with Blaze of Glory (Bon Jovi tribute, Aerosmith Rocks (Aerosmith tribute), Who MAde Who (AC DC tribute). $30 9 p.m.
Jimmy’s — open mic
Wolfs Den — bluegrass jam
Honkers — Steve Keenan Blues jam
Slice — The Faps
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Kacy and Clayton