Once again, this week is an embarrassment of riches for live music lovers. The fun begins on Wednesday with this month’s edition of the Windy City Opry at the Slice, May 10. Twilight Hotel founder Dave Quanbury from Winnipeg is on the bill with John Guliak and Prairie Founder. The show begins at 8 p.m. sharp. There is a $10 cover.
It]s a tough choice on Wednesday as Edmonton musician Kimberley MacGregor is back in town with fellow Edmontonion Elliott Thomas and local musicians Burning bridge and the Silkstones’ Ryan Phillips, who all play the Owl Acoustic Lounge. Admission is by donation.
And punk shows are starting up again for the summer at the moose Hall. Lethbridge gets a special treat, may 11 at the Moose hall as New Jersey born street punk band Hudson Falcons stop by with Calgary’s Streetlight Saints and Galacticas. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance From Blueprint.
There is an excellent opportunity to learn about the music business at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, May 11 as well when Jesse Northey returns to Lethbridge to talk about the organization Alberta Music, touching on benefits, grants, CD release strategies and PR and radio. CKXU station manager Aaron Trozzo will also be making a presentation on community, growth and making videos and music.
It will be another hot weekend of blues music. Edmonton blues/funk band the Boogie Patrol return to the Slice May 12 in support of their new CD “Man on Fire.” There is a $10 cover.
Casino Lethbridge features Jenn and Paul Kype playing the blues and folk for your listening pleasure.
Saturday will be fun. If you like classical music, Tenore return to Southminster United Church, May 13 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 at the door, $20 in advance.
Things get loud at both the Owl and the Slice on may 13.
Over at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Edmonton-born, Toronto-based folk punk musician Eamon McGrath brings his band in support of his new book “Berlin-Warsawzan Express.”
And even louder, local metal band Tyrants of Chaos return to the Slice with Saskatoon’s Despite the Reverence. The show begins at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 art the door.
Things chill out a little it on Sunday, May 14 with the monthly ukulele jam at Casa at 2 p.m.
In the evening, country star George Canyon returns to Average Joe’s with local musician Mark Maxwell.
Canyon is sure to play his many hits like “Seven Spanish Angels,” “I Got This,” “Better Be Home Soon,” “Drinkin’ Thinkin’,” “Saddle Up,” “I’ll Never Do Better Than You” and “Daughters of the Sun,” and his most recent, “I Got This.”
Tickets are $35 in advance. the show begins at 8 p.m.
Punk rock shows are beginning again for the summer in the Moose Hall.
Promoter Alex Currie and Deathbridge Disease brought Calgary Celtic punk band the River Jacks to the Moose Hall last week to kick off their tour for their new CD. This week, New Jersey rock and roll punk band Hudson Falcons play the Moose Hall, May 11 with Calgary’s Streetlight Saints and the Galacticas.
“We‘ve been trying to do a Western Canadian tour for years,“ said frontman/guitarist Mark Linskey from Corpus Christie, Texas, taking a quick break from doing computer work for his day job doing as a union organizer.
“I do computer work. And as long as the work is done, my supervisors don’t mind where I do it,” he said
The New Jersey-based street punk band have been touring and recording since the late 1990s.
“We’ve been touring for so long, we have a great network of people who can play. Because some people can”t do certain parts of a tour,” he said.
The western leg of the tour includes founding drummer Alyson Cina, originally from Lodi, NJ, who currently lives in Washington, DC; guitarist Matty Davalos, originally from Minneapolis, MN, currently living in Rapid City, South Dakota; and bassist Nick Ferrero, who is from Manchester, New Hampshire
“He can play guitar or bass, whatever we need him to do,” Linskey said.
“Allison formed the band with me 20 years ago,” he said.
He said the band isn’t really a punk rock band.
“I always wanted to tour, I just thought that would be the coolest thing to travel around and play, but I didn’t start touring until I was 29,” said Linskey, who is now 47.
“And since like 1998, I’ve played like 1,600 and 1,700 shows, but never Western Canada. I’ve played Vancouver a couple of times and some of Eastern Canada. So I’m pretty excited to finally get to tour Western Canada,” he said.
“Allison and I did like 150 or 160 shows in just 2000-2001,” he said.
“I just like playing rock and roll, faster and louder,” he said.
“Some of the earlier stuff is heavier, some of the newer songs are more country,” he continued.
Hudson Falcons sound a little like a more punk rock Bruce Springsteen.
“That’s the greatest compliment. I have more in common with a guy like him than I do with someone like, say, the Sex Pistols,” he said, adding he didn’t listen to a lot of punk growing up.
“I didn’t know what punk rock was. I knew the Clash and the New York Dolls and that was it until a the punk rock kid in new Jersey gave me a mix tape with bands like Sham 69 and the Vibrators and The Stiff Little Fingers. When I heard the Stiff little Fingers, I said, yes, that’s what I want to do,” he enthused, agreeing he had a similar reaction to hearing bands like uncle Tupelo and Jason and the Scorchers for the first time.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to see Jason Ringenberg play in New Jersey and it was the same reaction — that’s what I want to do,” he said.
“They play with a lot of balls and that’s the way we do it.”
They are looking forward to the show.
“We always play like it’s the end of the world. Whether it’s for three people or 300 people or somewhere in the middle. You can’t just phone it in. In fact, if there’s only 30 people, you almost have to play better, you almost owe them more because they’re the ones who came out to see you,” he said.
The crowd often dictates the set.
“We don’t just come out and play the album. We have like six albums. We play some from all of them. And we’ve spoken to people in the area, and they seem to want to hear the heavier songs. As a songwriter that’s a compliment. So we’ll play them and some slower, not ballads, but more country songs. Even if I am more partial to the newer songs,” he said.
Tickets are $15 in advance from Blueprint. Doors open at 8 p.m. The show will end by midnight.
Edmonton-based blues band the Boogie Patrol are psyched to present their long-awaited new CD “Man on Fire” to Lethbridge at the Slice, May 12.
“The last studio CD was in 2011 and we all got involved in other projects and lost a drummer and a keyboardist. We released a live album, ‘Alive,’ last year to let people know we were still alive,” observed frontman/harp player Dan Shinnan. The core of the band, Shinnan, lead guitarist Yuji Ihara and bassist Nigel Gale, have been playing for about 10 years.
The newish members, drummer Emmet VanEtten has been playing with them for two years and guitarist Chad Holtzman has been playing with them for a year and a half.
“They’re both phenomenal musicians.”
Shinnan is glad the new CD allows the band to show off the new, funkier sound of the band and the new members.
“It’s been a goal of ours for years,” Shinnan said.
“It shows off our love for the Stax sound. It is a very full sound,” Shinnan said, noting the CD features a lot more horns to reflect the band’s love for ’60s and ’70s R and B and soul.
The CD was officially released on April 28.
They recorded it in Winnipeg with producer Murray Pulver, who has played with the Crash Test Dummies and country band Doc Walker.
“Working with Murray was terrific. He’s really easy-going. We spent five or six days in the OCL studio and it was so much fun, we didn’t want to leave. It was like ‘awww, we have to go home now,’” he said.
“Murray plays everything. Often a producer will help create the sound. But he just let us play and catered to what we were feeling. he sang some background vocals. I feel great about it. it has a special place for me,” he said, adding now the CD has been released, the band is excited to bring the music on the road.
“We want to expose as many people to the Boogie Patrol as we can,” he said.
And we‘re getting lots of love for the CD,” he continued.
“We toured to Saskatoon and Ottawa. We’re all over the place.”
The Boogie Patrol were a success at the memphis Blues challenge a couple years back. And they hope to return with the new CD.
“We were representing Edmonton. We definitely held our own there and there were blues bands from all over the world,” he said.
“Emmett moved to Edmonton and Chad and Yuji live in Calgary, so that’s a bit strange. It’s been interesting being a long distance band, but we make it happen,” he said.
For now, they are excited to return to Lethbridge.
Get ready to rock and roll and hoot and holler, it’s a Boogie Patrol show,” Shinnan said.
Edmonton-born, Toronto-based musician/author Eamon McGrath decided to tell the stories he want to in a different way, using a word processor rather than a guitar and a microphone.
Eamon McGrath and his band, bassist Lee Klippenstein, who also plays in the Slates; pedal steel/ electric guitarist Darrek Anderson, who also plays in The Dungarees, and The Guaranteed; and drummer Jerf Sebastian, who played in early-2000s Vancouver punk band The Doers, play the Owl Acoustic Lounge on Saturday, May 13.
He is supporting the release of his new book, “Berlin-Warsawzan Express,” by bringing his band on the road and playing some music.
“I’m very excited to release this book. I pitched as a novel/fictionalized memoir. I’m a songwriter, but I wanted to find a different method to tell these stories,” he said, noting the book reflects his experiences as a touring musician as it is about a young songwriter and a Canadian abroad and exploring a foreign culture in Europe.
“But the experience of a songwriter travelling Europe on a train in the mid-2000s are absolutely true because that’s what I did from 2009-2012. Though some aspects have been exaggerated and some names of people and cities have been changed to reflect the story,” he said.
“I had a really extensive tour of about 300 dates in support of the last album and was starting to get burned out. I was really questioning if it was worth it to suffer for your art. So that part of the book is 100 per cent true,” he added.
“I was taking some time and starting to write down some of my experiences and that’s when the book came about,” he continued, adding the project took on of a life of its own, which led to the publishing deal and subsequent tour.
He noted the story has captured a moment in time.
“A lot has changed even since then with the emergence of right-wing movements and Brexit,” he observed, adding he wanted to focus on Warsaw to Berlin.
“I could write a story about touring Canada too. But people like to hear stories about different places. It’s fun to look at things from different perspectives. I was approaching it as a stranger observing the culture,” he continued, adding he released three EPs in two years.
He noted the Lethbridge show will have a diverse sound.
“There will be loud punkish music and more tender, delicate stuff. It will really run the gamut. We‘re really excited to play,” he said.
Eamon McGrath and his band plays the Owl Acoustic lounge, May 13 at 9 p.m. Admission is by donation.
Nova Scotia-born, Calgary-based country star George Canyon is a very inspirational man.
He has charted numerous hits including the most recent, “I Got This,” earned his pilot’s licence and is the go to national anthem singer for Calgary Flames hockey games (when he’s not on tour and he does all this while living with Type 1 diabetes, for which he has become a prominent advocate.
He plays Average Joe’s May 14 with Lethbridge singer/songwriter Mark Maxwell.
“I was actually just in Lethbridge. I flew in and landed at the airport and played a few songs and met some people,” said Canyon, doing press for the upcoming tour which, other than a hometown show in Calgary on May 13, begins in Lethbridge the next day and about his upcoming new album.
He has been busy working on his new record.
“These songs take me back. I grew up listening to a lot of different kinds of music, so the new music isn’t traditional country music, but the new songs take me back to my earlier works. There are true George Canyon songs” he said, adding he is mostly working in his own studio outside of Calgary.
“I recorded the last CD in four different studios. You can do a lot through email,” he observed.
He is already excited about a couple of the new songs.
“There’s one called ‘Better Off In Love’ that I think will be the next single. Though I don’t pick the singles. I have a great team behind me who do that. But it isn’t a ballad, it’s a great two-stepping song. Because i know my fan base loves to two-step and dance and have fun,” he enthused.
He noted it was inspired by watching his two children grow up.
“Time moves fast. My son is now 18 and my daughter is in Grade 11 now,” he said.
“By the Grace of God, they don’t have diabetes. The type I have isn’t hereditary,” he said, emphasizing how easy the disease is to control with new technology.
“I feel better than I ever have. I like to inspire children and show they don’t have to be controlled by it,” he said, adding he enjoys working with children.
The other project he has going on is a children’s album.
“I have a children’s album that is done but am trying to figure out the right time to release it. There’s a song on it called ‘The Fart Song’ it that is always really popular when I play it for children. I have a feeling that will be my legacy,” laughed Canyon, who has an extensive legacy of hits dating back to 1999.
He said his show will include the hits and perhaps a few new ones.
“I’ll also play some country classics by Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, because my fans love that music as do I,” he said.
George Canyon and Mark Maxwell play Average Joe’s Sunday, May 14 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35 in advance.
Elliott Brood at Average Joe’s
Is it a bad thing that Elliott Brood are one of my favourite live acts, but I can’t name one of their songs? I know I always enjoy them as do the rest of their many Lethbridge fans who gleefully danced the dust off their shoes.
The Hamilton based roots/folk/rock trio returned to Lethbridge for another spellbinding performance, this time at Average Joe’s May 4.
They are working on new music and played a couple of the new songs but focused on older material which had most of the audience dancing sweatily in the jammed back room of Average Joe’s.
Mark Sasso played plenty of upbeat banjo and some guitar while Casey Laforet was a blur, doing triple duty on acoustic and electric guitar, vocals and stomping away at bass pedals. Drummer Stephen Pitkin held a relentless beat behind the skins.
One of the highlight featured Sasso and Laforet on ukuleles. They got the crowd to sing along with the ohh ohh ohs of another song. They both switched to electric guitar for some of the newer songs. Just for something different, they folkified CCR’s “Green River.”
RiverJacks/Scallywags at Moose Hall
Punk shows at the Moose Hall are my favourite sign of spring. Alex Currie and Deathbridge rang in spring Wednesday, May 3 with some most excellent Celtic punk courtesy of Calgary’s River Jacks, who kicked off a tour in Lethbridge in support of their brand new CD “Strange Adventure.”
They played a short, sweet set of upbeat, quick-tempo songs powered by some deadly accordion, which made me wonder why all punk bands don’t have an accordion player.
It gave them a great, perky sound reminiscent of the Mahones and Dropkick Murphys. So there was plenty of raucous gang vocals and slashing guitar riffs.
They played pretty much all of their new CD and some crowd favourites, which had the audience of almost 30 shouting along.
I missed an opening set from Chief Mountain, but arrived in time for a long-awaited set of drinking-inspired punk from local trio the Scallywags. They sounded pretty good, considering they haven’t practised (not even Skype practised according to their guitarist/vocalist) in a long time. They played an exuberant set of fun punk with plenty of gang vocals and loud guitar.
Blazeone Seven at the Slice
Rap shows make me feel old, but I made a point of catching the end of a show at the Slice, May 3, with Red Deer rappers BlazeOn3 and Geoff English because local internet radio station jessfm.ca was supporting the show.
They had a decent and enthusiastic audience hipping and hopping and bouncing in front of the stage, jumping and shouting along. Two guys danced and tapped at a computer keyboard blasting beat at eardrum shattering volumes, while Geoff English and BlazeOn 3 paced all over the Slice’s stage. I believe one of the opening acts Seven jumped on stage for a number.
They got to show their melodic sense during a couple of the slightly slower numbers.
Vancouver folk/country/roots/old-time singer Petunia always equals a good time as he did, April 29 at the Slice, no matter what mix of musicians he has with him.
As expected for a duo show, Petunia and the talented Nathan Godfrey performed a somewhat sedate show which showcased Godfrey’s bluesy slide guitar playing as well as Petunia’s more quirky side as well as kazoo playing. Spookier, darker numbers sounded like they were being haunted by the angry spirit of Hank Williams as they incorporated a melting pot of styles including roots, country, folk, jazz and assorted weirdness. They played original material and obscure covers including Jimmy Rogers’ “My Love” and some early psychedelic music
Petunia talked about the movie “The Musicianer” he’ll be shooting in June.
There weren’t as many people as I expected, but a decent-sized and, more importantly, attentive crowd listened and even danced for a few numbers before the duo took a set break.
Slice — Windy City Opry with Dave Quanbury and John Guliak
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Kimberley MacGregor Elliot Thomas, Ryan Phillips, Burning Bridge
Moose Hall — Hudson Falcons
Slice — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — 7 p.m. Alberta music information session
Casa — Lethbridge Folk Club open mic
Mocha Cabana — Keith Woodrow
Slice — Boogie Patrol
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Casino Lethbridge — Paul and jennKype
Slice — Tyrants of Chaos with Despite the Reverence
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Coyote Joe’s — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge—Eamon McGrath with Mick Hayward
Casa — ukulele jam 2-3 p.m.
Average Joe’s — George Canyon $35 advance $40 day of show 8 p.m.
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Onion — open mic
The Slice — The Mahones $15
University Theatre— Jesse Plessis and Bente Hansen present Sg. Pepper’s lonely Hearts Club band 7 p.m
Slice — open mic
Mocha Cabana — Leon Barr
Owl Acoustic lounge — Queen of the Worms
Casino Lethbridge — Mark Hall band
Coyorte Joe’s — Who Made Who
Queens Hotel (Fort Macleod) — Angel Singers — Kiit Kiitokii with Curt Young — 9 p.m.
Owl Acoustic Lounge — 1:30-4 p.m. Family jam, 9 p.m. Geoff Berner, Carolyn mark, Kris Demeanor $10 ticketed event
Casino Lethbridge — Mark Hall band
Smokehouse — open mic with Daylan Delaney (First tuesday and third Friday of the month) 8 p.m.
Honker’s — open mic