There is barely time to take a breath from a busy Lethbridge Jazz and Blues festival week. This week not only features several shows and dances for Pride Week, but it is dragon boat weekend over at Henderson Lake park, June 23-25.
This is also the week to welcome back long-lost friends.
Darryl Düus, who returned home from B.C. to play several Blues festival shows with Papa King, hosts the Slice open mic, June 22 with Taylor Ackerman, who returns from Halifax this week. Ackerman also premieres his new band Global Acid Reset at the Owl Acoustic Lounge next week on June 30.
This week though the Owl Acoustic lounge hosts a couple of pride week shows including Victoria pop band Smoke Eaters and Toronto garage rock/pop band Peeling with local band Wint on June 20.
The Owl also host a pride week show featuring Vancouver moody pop band Supermoon and local synth pop band Open Channels, June 21.
The Owl features Megan Brown’s band Makiisma and Dempsey Bolton on June 23.
And if you remember the ’90s and the popular Big Shiny Tunes compilations, local musicians will be performing their favourite Big Shiny Tunes songs at the owl acoustic lounge, June 24.
Club Didi has a Pride Week open mic on June 21.
Coyote Joe’s also has their open mic with Dayan Delaney, June 23.
The Slice has a variety of music this week. Local singer songwriter The Cody Hall Band are doing double duty on Saturday, June 24 with a 3 p.m. slot at the dragon boat races and an evening show at the Slice at 9 p.m.
They will be playing with Ontario folk rock duo Artemis in the Summer (Justin Kennelly and Danica Sommer).
The night before they have a big rock show with local alternative rock band Supernautic and the Bad character. There isa $10 cover for that show.
The Slice features the Lethbridge debut of long-standing ambient indie rock/dream pop/atmospheric/post punk Hamilton-based band Sianspheric, with local acts Grey Scale Manor and Bryan Horvat, Monday, June 26. Sianspheric are touring in support of their new CD Writing the Future in Letters of Fire. Admission is $10 or pay what you can. The show begins at 8 p.m.
The big classic rock show of the week is at Average Joe’s on Saturday, June 24 with Prism, who play Lethbridge almost every year. They will be playing an array of their hits including “Spaceship Superstar,” “Take Me to the Kaptain,” “See Forever Eyes,” and “Armageddon,” to name a few. The Bashed Tatties open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 at the door.
There are a variety of local musicians performing for the Rotary Dragon boat Festival at Henderson lake Park on the weekend. Local country singer Dusty Dee Litchfield begins the festival at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 23. Local rock band Who’s Yer Daddy follow at 6:30 p.m,and Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction close of Friday night at 8:30 p.m..
The music begins at 11 am. on Saturday with blues band Coda followed by the Rose Ceremony at noon, local rock/ country band Dory and the Weathermen, Hibikaya drummers, local funk rock trio Adequate at 2 p.m., country singer Cody Hall, Chinook high’s Diversified, and Fast Times at 5:30 p.m. Local dance troupes are performing throughout the event.
Sunday begins with E-Free at 11 a.m., followed by Marissa Van, Chinook high School band Rough Around the Edges, Shane Painter and the Chevelles closing things off at 3 p.m. before closing ceremonies at 4 p.m.
The other big event coming up is Shakespeare In the Park’s westernized version of A Comedy of Errors, opening at Galt Gardens, June 29 so get in the mood for Shakespeare with Shakespeare in the park’s annual singing night, June 23 at the Mocha Cabana beginning at 6 p.m.
Vancouver-based classic rock band Prism celebrates 40 years as a band this year.
It is more or less business as usual for the band, according to sole original member Al Harlow.
“We’re touring a lot. But we‘re also in the studio so we’re recording a new single or two and we’ll videos for both of them, said Prism’s frontmanguitarist who was there in the band’s ’70s and ’80s heyday when they recorded a string of hits still played on radio today.
“It’s hard to believe. I don’t even feel 40 years old,” Harlow chuckled.
They return to play Average Joe’s, June 24 with the Bashed Tatties.
Their pretty much annual Lethbridge show has become a tradition for the band, which includes Harlow on guitar and vocals, bassist Tad Goddard, keyboardist Marc Gladstone, and drummer Gary Grace.
“This band has actually been together longer than the original band,” Harlow observed.
He has fond memories of the early years of Prism.
“Rocket (Norton, original drummer) and I were roommates. He was working on his own project and I was working on Al Harlow stuff and we started trading tapes. That eventually became the Seeds of Time (in the 1960s) and then Prism. Bruce Fairbairn was making his name as a trumpet player and producer. So he started calling in favours. I think every musician in Vancouver is on the first Prism album,” he said, adding the band also included a lot of hits penned by songwriter Jim Vallance.
“Everything happened really fast for us when we discovered a young, hungry singer named Ron Tabak (who died in a cycling accident on Dec. 24, 1984). That’s when we really started to gell. There were weeks when we had two or three singles on the charts at the same time,” Harlow said.
The new music will be have a similar sound to their previous hits.
“Prism has that sound, that ‘Spaceship Superstar’ keyboard sound. So it is similar to that. It’s still in the mixing stage,” he said, adding the band haven’t played the new songs live yet.
“We’re pedalling as fast as our feet can spin,” he said.
He noted fans can expect to hear the hits and a lot more.
“We do what’s called the ‘Spaceship Superstar/Armageddon’ sandwich. We begin with ‘Spaceship Superstar’ and end with ‘Armageddon’ with everything else squeezed in between them. We’re adding deep album cuts like Vladivostok and have added ‘Open Soul Surgery,’ which we haven’t played in years,” he said.
Tickets are $20 in advance $25 at the door. The show begins at 8 p.m.
Twin Peaks, Owl
Wednesday shows can be hit or miss.
I was sad to only see a handful of folks on hand to hear Fort. St. John duo Twin Peaks at the Owl Acoustic Lounge on Wednesday, June 14.
I was at the Windy City Opry at the Slice, which drew most of the Wednesday night roots and folk crowd, and thus likely most of Twin Peaks’ people.
But Lindsay Pratt and Naomi Shore sang heartfelt original music including several new songs. They sang lovely harmonies. Shore played pretty piano while Pratt strummed her guitar. I missed their ukuleles though, which must have come earlier on in the set. Shore had a tough new song about her ex-boyfriend fearing her called “Not Today,” in a similar vein, “threatening love song” “Wild Card,” was a highlight ending the set.
Calgary/bluegrass/folk/jazz/folk rock band Rotary Park always draw a crowd, even on a Wednesday. So they had an attentive audience paying attention and dancing to a solid set at the Windy City Opry show at the Slice, Wednesday, June 14.
As usual, they sang stunning four and five part vocal harmonies. NIcki McRae was busy, singing vocals and alternating between mandolin, guitar and box drum. The quintet including Alex Ginella — vocals/guitar/fiddle/harmonica; Nicki McRae – mandolin/vocals; Liam Testa – vocals/guitar; Matt Coldwell – vocals/double bass; Tanner Day – vocals/banjo, oozed talent from every pore. Ginella played fantastic fiddle throughout. As always, their Pink Floyd medley was a highlight as they turned “Time” into a peppy bluegrass foot stomper, which began with a few bars of “Another Brick In the Wall,” I didn’t want to miss Twin peaks at the Owl, so sadly left after they wound down their set with a couple of upbeat folk infused originals including “Falling Again.”
Unfortunately I missed Carter Felker’s opening set.
A good crowd took in the annual Lethbridge Girls Rock Band Swap fundraiser at the Slice, Saturday, June 9.
The event mirrors the Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp (July 24-28 this year) in that a group of musicians meet, rehearse a couple times, ideally write a song together and play a set of music at the end of the week. Usually the girls learn an instrument during the week as well.
For the fundraiser, several familiar faces formed band with other experienced musicians and some talented newcomers.
Even I got up on stage to play with Bente Hansen, Adrian Sutherland and Amberlea Parker.
Input/output, featuring Silvana Campus, opened up the show playing bass and vocalizing.
The Front Doors played an eclectic set of alternative rock and ’80s hits including Corinna Thiessen bowing a saw accordion, keyboards and an omnichord. They covered a-ha’s ’80s hit “Take On Me” and IXS’s “Never Tear Us Apart”and “I Put a Spell on You.”
Crooked Smile ended the show with a set of female driven covers (wither chosen by the females in the band or written by including some Tool and ended with some L7.
Calgary surf band the 427s made a long awaited return to Lethbridge, Friday, June 8 to play an awesome show of instrumental music inspired by surf music, cheesy ’50s of black and white films spy movies, showing on a screen behind them. The band, dressed sharply in suits, were tight and a lot of fun. Guitarists Rob Day and Chris van Keir, bassist Eve H — and drummer Wrayne Ramone played a fun set of upbeat, catchy, twangy, instrumental music
Eve and Chris Van Keir ended their first set by wandering onto the dance floor and stood on a couple of tables to play “Squad Car.”
They started set 2 on a slower, sultry note as Van Keir switched to a gorgeous Gretsch guitar while Rob Day switched to an acoustic guitar, but soon picked up the pace.
Local surf rock band the Atomicos opened the show, but I was unable to catch them.
Club DIdi — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Supermoon/Open Channels pride week
Slice — open mic with Taylor Ackerman and Darry Düus
Mocha Cabana — Shakespeare in the Park singing performance
Slice — Supernautic with the Bad Characters
Smokehouse — open mic with Daylan Delaney (First tuesday and third Friday of the month) 8 p.m.
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Makiisma/Dempsey Bolton
Casino Lethbridge — Uncovered
Henderson Lake — Dragon Boats 5:00 pm – Dusty Dee Litchfield
6:00 pm – Festival Opening Ceremonies
6:30pm – Who’s yer Daddy
8:00 pm – Desert Wind Belly Dancers
8:30pm – Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction
Slice — Cody Hall band
Average Joe’s — Prism with the bashed Tatties 8 p.m. $20 advance, $25 at door
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Big Shiny ‘90s night
Casino Lethbridge — Uncovered
Coyote Joe’s — open mic
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic’
Henderson Lake — Dragon Boats 11:00am – CODA Blues
12:00 pm – Rose Ceremony
12:30 pm – Dory & The Weathermen
1:30 pm – HIBIKYA
2:00 pm – Adequate
3:00 pm – Cody Hall
3:30 pm – Urban Beat
4:00 pm – Chinook High school band, Diversified
5:00 pm – Canadian Rocky Mountain Cloggers
5:30 pm – Fast Times
7:00 pm – TBA
Henderson Lake — Dragon Boats 11:00am – E-Free
12:00 pm – Marissa Van Hell
12:30 pm – Chinook High school band, Rough Around The Edges
1:30 pm – Expressions Dance
2:00 pm – Shane Painter
3:00 pm – The Chevelles
4:00 pm – Festival Closing Ceremonies & Medal Presentations
Slice — Sianspheric/Greyscale manor/ Bryan Horvat $10 or pay what you can
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Onion — open mic
Moose Hall — the Matadors
Slice — the Way Down Wanderers
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Standup Comedy Open mic
Mocha Cabana — Dale Ketcheson
Slice — Rancho Deluxe
Coulee Brew — Paper Hayes
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Global Acid Reset (Taylor Ackerman) with in Cahoots
Casino Lethbridge — Texas Flood
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Slice — Taylor Ackerman Global Acid Reset with Unbroken Circle
Henderson Lake — Five Alarm Funk, Dan Davidson, Blake Berglund, Biloxi Parish, Fast Times, Hippodrome, Munya Mataruse, New West THeatre, Dance Troupes Choirs
Galt Gardens — deFunk, Slynk, Monster Truck, DJ Fuze, Streeter, Freddy J, DJ Digaboo, Universal Fallout,Kidzone, food trucks
Casino Lethbridge — Texas Flood
Smokehouse — Doom Squad, St8 Gutta, BGK, Fortunato
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Coyote Joes — open mic
1010 Pub — Dope Vibe moon, no cover, 8 p.m.