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Festival season means lots of great musical entertainment

Posted on July 12, 2017 by Richard Amery

’Tis the season for big festivals. We just enjoyed the Rotary Dragon Boat Festival, Canada Day celebrations, the Centric Music Festival and Street Machine Weekend. Two more big southern Alberta events happen this week.
The Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens continue their 50th anniversary celebrations by bringing ’90s rock singer Amanda Marshall to the Enmax Centre. Marshall charted a number of hits in the mid ’90s including “Let It Rain,” “Beautiful Goodbye,” “Birmingham” and “Dark Horse” from her three albums including her 1995 self-titled debut, “Tuesday’s Child” in 1999 and “Everybody’s Got a Story” in 2001.
Tickets are $58 at the Enmax Centre; the July 14 concert begins at 7 p.m.
The other big event this week is the Saint-Laurent Twinning celebrations Galt Gardens, July 15 celebrating the twin city partnership with Saint-Laurent, Que., as well as the community’s annual cultural exchange program. There will be several activities happening all day long beginning at 10 a.m. with Francis First Charger followed by hoop dancer Maria Livingstone at 10:30 a.m. There will be Zumba at 11:45 an 12:45. In addition the Lethbridge Taiko association will be performing at 11 a.m. And the Lethbridge Firefighter Pipes and Drums will perform at noon.
There will be plenty of local talent as well with the Shaela Miller Band playing at 1 p.m and jazz/folk/Celtic band The Junkman’s Quire performing a bilingual set at 2 p.m.
Playgoers of Lethbridge is holding auditions this week for their October dinner theatre of “The Savannah Sipping Society,” which will take place Oct. 17-21 at the Country Kitchen beneath The Keg.
Director Lee Prindle, who directed previous productions of the “Dixie Swim Club” and “Always a Bridesmaid,” which were also written by Jessie Jones, Nicholas hope and Jamie Wooten, is looking within the group for four female actors aged 40 to 70. But open auditions will take place from 7-9 p.m. in the Casa community room, July 11 and July 12.
“This is brand new. It was written in 2016,” Prindle said.
“So I’m looking for four women with a sense of humour who can tell a joke,” he added.
“It’s about three southern women who are going through changes in their lives. One has lost her job, one has lost her husband, and one is getting a divorce because her husband was cheating on her. They meet after yoga for a few drinks and make it a regular meeting on Miranda’s (one of the girls) veranda. And they meet another woman who becomes their life coach,” he continued.
He wasn’t going to direct another production, but got talking to Playgoers’ veteran Jane Meaker about the play at Playgoers of Lethbridge recent Gala. They were planning on doing a play called “Who’s On First,” but couldn’t find a director willing to do it.
“I forgot about it, then got talked into it. Maybe I had too much wine,” he chuckled, adding this play only takes place over six months compared to the 30 years of “Dixie Swim Club” and “Always a Bridesmaid.”
He hopes to have a read though as soon as the four actors are cast, then giving them a month to learn their lines before beginning rehearsals in August.
The July edition of the Windy City Opry at the Slice, Wednesday, July 12 features Winnipeg singer songwriter Sean Burns and local country duo Burning Bridge. As always, the show begins right at 8 p.m. and there is a $10 cover.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge welcomes Edmonton-based dream pop band Tropic Harbour, July 13.
It is Stampede week in Calgary, but if you don’t want to go to Cowtown, but still want to get your fill of country, local country/pop band Breanne Urban and Southern Flyer are playing Casino Lethbridge, July 14 and 15. There is no cover for the show, which begins at 8 p.m.
On the other hand, if you want something a little more psychedelic, Calgary-based Pink Floyd tribute Pink 4Reud, play Average Joe’s, July 15. The show begins at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance $15 on the day of the show.
Toronto-based garage rock/post punk band Ghost Woman, who played the Slice last week, play the Owl Acoustic Lounge July 15.
There are also some excellent early-week shows as well.
It is all about local music at the Slice, as The Supervoid, Cope and Scotch Whiskey Limousine will open for Chicago rock/pop duo North by North. There is a $5 cover for the show.
On Tuesday, July 18, The Smokehouse features another big rock show including Edmonton alternative rock band On The Frontline, who will be joined by local rock band White ChocolateThunder, Greyscale Manor and Vandendool. There is a $10 cover for the show, which begins at 7 p.m.
The Slice hosts a big rap show on July 18 with Vancouver rapper Snak the Ripper who will be joined by special guests Brevner, Jaclyn Gee, JUNK and D-rec plus local supporting acts the Psychonauts, Trey Mark, Urban Voyce and tha Kid, the Don and TruFam, FeleterSnatch and SMG Crew. Tickets are $20 in advance $25 standard and $30 at the door.

FLIP Fest Fundraiser at Owl
Eileen and the In Betweens provided a taste of Albuquerque folk rock and activism at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Wednesday, July 5 for a fundraiser for FLIP Fest.
FLIP Fest is Lethbridge’s first femme-oriented music festival supporting amore inclusive music community showcasing female talent from Lethbridge and southern Alberta, to be taking place Aug. 18-20.
I caught the end of an opening set from local musician Tyra Whitson, who reminded me a little bit of Megan Nash, especially with her closing song “She.”
Eileen and the In betweens started their set by lecturing an appreciative crowd about Standing Rock and “Acknowledging we are all living on stolen land” before turning to the music.
The quartet began their set with a ukulele powered, reggae jam. Lead singer Eileen Shaughnessy alternated between ukulele, banjo and guitar in addition to singing lead vocals.
All of the band members switched instruments and sang subtle harmonies which gave them an Indigo Girls feel.
In addition to Shaughnessy herself, their keyboardist also doubled on bass and guitar.
In between discussions about First Nations, environmental and LGBQT issues, they played a variety of laidback music from their three albums, with plenty of reggae inflections, quite a bit of pop and indie rock as well.
Their music also had a strong social justice theme. One highlight about water usage, called “Keep It In The Ground” had a toe-tapping shuffle feel. “Everything Is Alive” was another highlight.
Canada Day entertainment
As expected, Canada Day had Henderson Lake packed with Canada Day revellers.
It was sweltering hot and already crowded at noon for a day full of great fun and excellent music.
I caught an impressive set of Japanese drumming from the Hibikiya drummers, who also played Henderson Lake the last week for the Rotary Dragon Boat races.
The main thing I wanted to see was New West Theatre’s preview of their new “Homegrown” show.
The cast was dressed in colourful red and white Canada-themed outfits. They performed an array of Canadian music to be included in the show. So they sang great harmonies, added a few dance moves and shared that cheerful “Up With People” vibe they are well known for.
They took a break to let Ben Price (Benton Neufeld) perform a couple of magic tricks while fighting technical difficulties.
Global Acid Reset at the Slice
It is always great to see Taylor Ackerman. The talented local guitarist and songwriter moved away to Halifax with his girlfriend and young son while she attended school. But both were back to share their latest artistic endeavours.
While I missed the first show of Taylor Ackerman’s new musical project Global Acid Reset at the Owl Acoustic Lounge on June 30, I caught the first set of Canada Day performance at the Slice.
Ackerman and Lethbridge band mates bassist Cory Fischer and drummer Matthew Rederburg played blues-tinged rock and roll based on Ackerman’s new songs. Rederburg is an impressive drummer keeping time like a well oiled watch, Fischer added groovy bass to go along with Taylor’s tasteful leads and dirty rock and roll guitar playing which sounded a like a more laidback Neil Young and Crazy Horse.
His new single “Bangladeshi T-Shirt” came early on in the first set. He brought out “Brown Shoe Blues,” a song from the Juxtaposers, one of many local band Ackerman used to play with before moving to Halifax.
Adrian Sutherland, the lone member of Unbroken Circle able to make the gig opened the show with experimental rock which involved Sutherland looping riffs and playing over them.
July 12
Slice — Windy City Opry with Sean Burns and Burning bridge
July 13
Slice — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Tropic Harbour
July 14
Enmax Centre — Amanda Marshall 7 p.m. $58
Casino Lethbridge — Breanne Urban and Southern Flyer
Average Joe’s — Duelling pianos with Cal Toth and Friends
Honker’s Pub — open mic
July 15
Slice — Silkstones
Galt Gardens — Junkman‘s Quire Shaela Miller Band Saint-Laurent 50th anniversary Twinning celebrations 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Casino Lethbridge — Breanne Urban and Southern Flyer
Average Joe’s — Pink 4Reud a Tribute to Pink Floyd 9 p.m. $10 advance, $15 day of show
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Coyote Joe’s — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Ghost Woman
July 17
Onion — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Slice — North by North with Supervoid, Cope and Scotch Whiskey limosine
July 18
Slice — Snak the Rapper $20 early bird, $25 standard, $30 at door 9 p.m.
Smokehouse — White Chocolate thunder
July 20
Slice — open mic
July 21
Smokehouse — Open mic with Daylan Delaney
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Slice — closed for South Country Fair
Owl Acoustic Lounge — closed for South Country Fair
Fort Macleod Fish and Game Park — South Country Fair: 5 p.m. opening set
5:15: Kidz Rock camp
6 workshop Animal Party! (Workshop): Kitty & the Rooster, Viper Central, Chicken-like- Birds(hosted by Ted Gallon)
7:15: poet
7:30: Coig
8:45: William Prince
10 p.m. Songwriter: George Fowler
10:15: Slocan Ramblers
11:30 :Entangados
12:45: Munyas Matause
July 22
Average Joe’s — Streetheart Farewell Tour 8 p.m. $35 in advance $40 at door
Honker’s Pub — afternoon
open mic 3-7 p.m,
Coyote Joe’s — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — closed for South Country Fair
Slice — closed for South Country Fair
Fort Macleod Fish and Games park South Country Fair South stage
noon: Dance workshop
1:30 Gordie Tentrees and Jaxon Haldane 2:45: poet TBA
3 p.m. Justin Lacroix
4:14 p.m. Volunteer Photo
4:45 p.m.: isle of the Strong Workshop with Door (Workshop): McQuaig (host), Spencer Murray, Junkmans Quire
6:15 p.m.: Dana Sipos
7:30 p.m. Patiernce of a working man Willie P bennett Tribute with Washboard Hank, Gordie Tentrees, Jaxon Haldane, Scott Nolan 9 p.m.: songwriter:Carter Felker
9:15 p.m. SpencerMurray and Pipeslinger 10:30 p.m. Lindsay Beaver and the 24th Street Wailers
11:45 p.m.: McCuaig
1 a.m. Bad Pop East stage
noon-1 p.m. Sirens of Song Mariel Buckley, Eliza Doyle, Dana Sipos 1:15 Junkman’s Quire
2:20 -3:10 Viper Central
3:25 p.m.: Sam Tudor
4:30:Kitty and the Rooster
5:35 p.m.: Joe Nolan and the Dogs
July 23
Fort Macleod Fish and Game Park — South Country Fair: 11 a.m. Blackfoot Medicine speaks
12:30 p.m. Words on Words Workshop with Ben Rogers & the Bloodred Yonder (host), Scott Nolan, Sam Tudor 1:30 p.m. Eliza Mary Doyle
2:50 poet TBA
3:15: Scott Nolan
4:20 Dance til You Drop workshop with 24TH St. Wailers (host), Joe Nolan, Copperhead East Stage
noon: Lil Jill’s Big GrAss Jam
1 p.m.: Chicken Like Birds
2:05: let’s Duet workshop with Mayor Washboard Hank, Mountain Muriel, Maureen Chambers (host), Mark Sadlier Brown, Bev Bruce
3:20 p.m. Mariel Buckley
July 24
Onion — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
July 25
Slice — My Son the Hurricane $5

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