The Lethbridge Folk Club will be opening its 40th year on Sept. 8. They don’t have anything special to celebrate except bringing back some old favourites and extending memberships.
“We thought we’d give our members a gift so we’re extending our membership season until the end of 2019,” said Lethbridge Folk Club president Morris Soenen, adding you can buy tickets for the shows at Street Legal Records. Tickets remain at $30 for non-members including a $5 membership for the rest of the season and $25 for members, $20 for students who aren’t members and $15 for students who are members.
This year’s season opens with the return of the Wardens, Saturday, Sept. 8, to the Lethbridge College Cave with Cathy Hawley opening.
“They’re wardens in Banff and Canmore. Two of them are retired and I think the other is in the grizzly bear management program. He was an IT guy,” Soenen said.
“Last time they were here, they had a slideshow of some of the pictures they took. They have a lot of stories to tell.”
Calgary-based newgrass and folk band Rotary Park play for the Folk Club on Oct. 13 with Bob Blair opening.
“Bob is a top-notch steel guitar and lap steel guitar player,” Soenen said.
A big highlight for blues fans of this year’s season is the return of Doc MacLean.
“He played the store four years ago when we were using that as the Wolf’s Den,” Soenen said.
Henk Van Ginninken, formerly known as Leon Barr, will be opening the show.
John Wort Hannam returns to the Folk Club in support of his new CD, “Acres of Elbow Room,” Jan. 12. Opening acts have not been announced for any of the 2019 shows.
Another highlight will be Bill Bourne on Feb. 23 and Irish Mythen on March 23.
“I don’t know a lot about Irish. She was (Folk Club regular) Tom Moffatt’s suggestion. He found out about her through Roy Forbes,” Soenen said, adding he is working on some excellent shows for April and May as well as next fall.
He was overall pleased with the how the last season went.
“We only had one bad show, the last show with the Spitzee Post. A lot of people were disappointed by it,” Soenen said, adding attendance was about “average” for all of the shows last season.
He looks forward to working with Lethbridge College Students’ Association again.
“They’ve renovated. There isn’t a green room anymore, so there’s more room. Jorden Ager, the general manager of the Students’ Association, is great to work with. They take care of everything for us. They take care of the bar. We just have to sell tickets,” he said.
“We’ve had requests to have our shows at places like the Owl. But people in a bar usually treat music as background music. They don’t come to listen. If you want to come and listen to a great show then come to a Lethbridge Folk Club show,” Soenen added.
Lethbridge Folk Club open mics begin on Sept. 14.
The open mics will be once a month on the second Friday of every month in the ATB Community Room at Casa from 7-9 p.m. Admission is $5 to cover room rental.