This week will be a fun one.
Things get loud and a little bit weird from the start, Feb. 22, as the Slice will rock on a Wednesday with Edmonton prog rock band the Dead Fibres tearing things up with local post punk bands Wint and bubble wrap plus experimental duo the Postnamers. There is a $5 cover.
The show begins at 9 p.m. There is a $10 cover.
The next night the Irish Descendants get you into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit three weeks early, Feb. 23 at Average Joe’s. They always equal a really good and often drunken time with plenty of fiddle and plenty of ‘sociables’. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the show.
It is also an exceptional week for local music, as usual.
Daylan Delaney returns to Plum Feb. 23 to play a free show beginning at 9 p.m.
Local roots rocker Dave McCann and the Firehearts return to the Slice Feb. 24. They’ll be playing at 9 p.m.
Local country rock band the Mark Hall band returns to Casino Lethbridge for the weekend as well, Feb. 24 and 25. There is no cover for the show.
Pop country songstress Alyssa McQuaid returns to the Mocha Cabana Feb. 24.
And, Edmonton-based, Lethbridge-bred musician Jesse Northey returns to the Owl Acoustic Lounge Feb. 24 with Brenna Lowrie.
The 15th annual pretty Witty and Gay festival kicks off Feb. 24 in Club Didi with Panti Raid at 10 p.m.
There is even a show for the kids this week as the Bubble Guppies bring a “fin-tastic” time to the Enmax Centre Feb. 24 with rock and roll, comedy hijinks and audience participation. Tickets are $31.50. The show begins at 6:30 p.m.
The next night, Feb. 25, will be pretty special.
Edmonton-based folk punk band Audio/Rocketry make a long-awaited return to Lethbridge to play the Slice, Feb. 25. They just released a new self-titled CD in November.
They will be joined by local roots rockers Biloxi Parish and Worst Days Down. The show begins at 10 p.m. There is a $10 cover.
Sean Brewer, one third of Tallest to Shortest, plays a solo show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge Feb. 25.
If you love a little rock and roll, AC DC tribute Who Made Who returns to Average Joe’s Feb. 25. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the show. The show begins at 8:30 p.m.
There are several chances to laugh this week as well.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge hosts a comedy open mic on Wednesday, Feb. 22.
And Pretty, Witty and Gay events continue at Club Didi Feb. 25 with a Deez Nutz, two gay-themed improvisational shows at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Admission is $10 or five dollars per show
A show I’m really looking forward to happens on Sunday at the Geomatic Attic where jazz-tinged Toronto/Texas-based blues band the 24th Street Wailers will be holding court with local bluesmen the Steve Keenan Band.
The 24th Street Wailers have released several albums including their latest CD, released in 2015, “Where Evil Grows.” Tickets are $30 in advance, $32.50 online and $35 at the door.
And the 2017 International peace Pow Wow is at the Enmax Centre, Feb. 25 and 26. Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for 65 plus and students 13-17 and $7 for youth. The pow wow begins at 10 a.m., Feb. 25, with the grand entries at 1 p.m and 7 p.m. On Feb. 26 the pow wow begins at noon.
March will come in with a roar as Royal Tusk return to Lethbridge to play Coyote Joe’s with the Pistolwhips, March 1.
Rising country star Brett Kissel plays the Enmax Centre, March 2.
Halifax-born, Toronto, Texas-based jazz blues band, the 24th Street Wailers’ drummer/vocalist Lindsay Beaver is enjoying biding her time in Texas, south of Austin, with husband/bassist Mike Archer in between hitting the road with bandmates saxophonist Jonny Wong, lead guitarist Marc Doucet and pianist Jesse Whiteley, who are based in Toronto now.
They visit Lethbridge for the first time when they play the Geomatic Attic Feb. 26 with the Steve Keenan band.
“We’ve been rehearsing all week and they sound great. It’s expensive, but we make it work,” said Beaver, enjoying a sunny day south of Austin, watching her neighbours’ chickens run away.
“It means we have a hub here and a hub in Canada,” she continued.
“I live 25 kilometres south of Austin, which is close enough to get to see things, but not live there. There’s a lot of great music here. And we get a lot of touring acts, like the Reverend Horton Heat and the Staxx guys who usually play the smaller clubs,” she said, noting she and Archer play quite a bit around Austin.
The 24th Street Wailers also are working on a new CD which they plan to record in December. It will technically be their sixth album.
“I don’t even sell the first two anymore. We were in music school when we formed and a lot went on. I only count ‘Wicked,” the live album (as well as their newest CD ‘Where Evil Grows,’) which was released in 2015.”
She noted the new music will be different than their previous works.
“We’re influenced a lot by the Stax guys. So it’s a Stax wall of sound, but we’re still a blues band because that’s where we come from,” she said.
Songwriting can be challenging but is made easier due to talented musicians and technology.
“I write, I also play guitar, but I don’t play saxophone or keyboards, so I’ll send them the chords, lyrics and melodies and send it to them and tell them to do what you do on it,” she said.
“It sounds great,” she enthused.
They are looking forward to a brief tour, which will be about two weeks long, buttressed by a U.S tour of the same length.
“We like to tour tour Canada in the summer, and we tour the southern United States in the winter because there is no snow or mountain passes,” she said.
“We have a lot of new songs. It’s a high-energy set and we like to interact with the audience, more than just clapping. I know when I go to a show I like to be involved,” she said.
The 24th Street Wailers and Steve Keenan Band play the Geomatic Attic beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 advance, $32.50 online, $35 at the door.
Outrun the Arrow and Dirti Speshuls
Local rock band Outrun the Arrow had a very good turnout at the Slice Feb. 11 for their video shoot for their song “The Middle.”
But local rockers the Dirti Speshuls, had an enthusiastic audience properly warmed up with popular hits and choice covers.
I arrived as frontman Todd Carter, bassist Rick Beres, drummer Dean wilson and guitarists Jon Vornbrock and Con Cole (playing a few choice harmonized guitar leads) segued from the Strokes’ “Last Night“ into Tom Petty’s “American Girl.”
A couple of originals, the slower “You’re What I’m Missing” and “Deadbeat Debbie,” about a girl without a job, were highlights.
As always, Todd Carter was a charismatic frontman, shouting “Are you warmed up?” at the crowd. They were by the time Outrun the Arrow took the stage. They are always good fun. As always, Bridgette Yarwood was a charismatic lead singer, leaping all over the stage — a pint-sized ball of energy, shouting out lyrics to heartfelt originals in an almost operatic range. Her brother Richard played big guitar riffs and other brother Brendon pounded out a huge rhythm on the drums backed by bassist Brian Kostersky.
It was a loud show and I was getting blinded by Terminator strobe lights, so I had to leave for another gig, but not before an array of high-powered, upbeat originals and, of course, their always excellent metal cover of Cyndi Lauper’s ’80s hit “Time After Time,” which resonated with the crowd, who started a mosh pit early in the set.
They were to play “The Middle” three times for the video shoot, but I missed that. I always love hearing it.
CKXU Loves You, Groove Apostles, Adequate
Things got a little funky as U of L-based community radio station CKXU held a soldout CKXU Loves you show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Feb. 11.
I missed seeing a new band Hunneycut, but arrived in time to catch one of my favourites, the Groove Apostles. As usual, they played a strong set of pop and ’70s soul and rock and roll, which was apt as the theme of the night was the 1970s.
They were powered by Shelby Wilson’s huge voice, a crack two-man horn section of trombonist Kevin Jackson and Vaughan Henning, also playing guitar,and some superb guitar playing from Fei Fei Du.
Keyboardist Daniel Yaretz added extra soul. And the groove came courtesy of drummer Daniel Best and Matthew Hellawell.
They alternated between contemporary pop like Gnarls Barkley’s “Maybe I’m Crazy,” and classic rock like Three Dog Night’s “Joy To The World.”
They ended their set with a jazzy version of the Beatles’ “Come Together,” which featured a Cuban jazz breakdown mid solo.
Local funk rock trio Adequate weren’t about to be outfunked, though.
The multi-instrumental trio of Scott Mezei, Keenan Pezderic and guitarist Josh Thorlakson always play a solid set of groove-laden funk and pop music.
The trio, dressed in their finest disco era clothes, began with the theme from Shaft which segued into a medley of pop rap hits including “Bust A Move” and the Prince of Bel Aire theme. They dipped back into the ’60s with “You Make Me Want to Shout,” then explored the depths of ’70s R and B and ’80s with “Play That Funky Music” and “Electric Avenue,” featuring Pezderic singing while drumming.
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Stand Up Comedy open mic
Slice — Dead Fibres, Wint, Bubble wrap $10
Average Joe’s — The Irish Descendants 7:30 p.m. $15 advance $20 day of show
Plum — Daylan Delaney 9 p.m. Cover none
Slice — open mic
Slice — Dave McCann and the Firehearts
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Jesse and the Dandelions/ Brenna Lowrie
Casino Lethbridge — Mark Hall band
Club Didi — Pretty,Witty and Gay Panti Raid 10 p.m.
Mocha Cabana — Alyssa McQuaid
Enmax — Bubble Guppies 6:30 p.m. $31.50
Slice — Audio/Rocketry with Worst Days Down and Biloxi Parish
Average Joe’s — Who Made Who with Loss of Control
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Sean Brewer Casino Lethbridge— Mark Hall band
Club Didi — Deez Gay Nutz 8 p.m. 10 p.m. $5 cover per show comedy
Coyote Joe’s — open mic
Enmax Centre — 2017 International Peace pow wow 10 a.m
Geomatic Attic — 24th Street Wailers with Steve Keenan Band $30 advance , $32.50 online, $35 door
Enmax Centre — 2017 International Peace pow wow 10 a.m
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Onion — open mic
Coyote Joe’s — Royal Tusk with the Pistolwhips 8 p.m.
Slice — open mic
Enmax Centre — Brett Kissel
Slice — open mic
The Zoo (U of L) — Sidestepping the Sun with No Devil Lived On 8:30 p.m.
Slice — Johny 2 Fingers and the Deformities,A Trozzo and the electric Few, Mormon Girls $10 9 p.m.
Yates Theatre — An Explosion of Word Dance 6:45 p.m. $26 adult, $21 kids
Average Joe’s — Yuk Yuks Comedy with Todd ness, Eric Steel and Dan Hymus
LA Cite Des Prairies — Lethbridge Symphony Extras B Latin Fever Museaus with Dale Ketcheson and Musaeus
Doors: 7:30 p.m., concert: 8 p.m.
Dale Ketcheson, guitar Full Experience – Post-Concert Meet & Greet with Tapas