This week, not only can you whoop and holler all week long with Whoop-Up Days at Exhibition Park, but the ladies rock and they don’t stop. And, just down the road, Taber Cornfest features a whole lot of great music as well.
Whoop-Up Days was set to begin on Tuesday with a big rock show courtesy of the Trews and Theory of a Deadman.
The fun continues on Wednesday, Aug. 23 for classic rockers as Canadian rock legends April Wine will be opening on the Grandstand stage with legendary southern rockers .38 Special.
Admission to that show is $59 including gate admission.
The other concerts, on the Gas King Stage at Pioneer Park, are $12 in advance, $15 at the gate.
And what other concerts we have this year. Local band Uncovered open for ’90s rockers Finger Eleven on Aug. 24. The next night, local blues rock band the Steve Keenan Band open for up-and-coming rockers the Glorious Sons.
And Saturday night, Aug. 26, is country night with rising star Jess Moskaluke, plus Theo Fleury and the Death Valley Rebels. Local rock/country combo Dory and the Weathermen open the show at 5 p.m.
There is a lot going on elsewhere in town. The Slice features a variety of music, with a sweltering helping of Winnipeg punk on Wednesday, Aug. 23 including the Uglies and The Stickaround plus local pop punk band The Youngbloods and Friends over Fame. There is an $8 cover for the show.
It is all about the blues the next night at thew Slice as Calgary blues musician stops by, Aug, 25 with Don Cassell and Salt Lake City blues musician Columbia Jones. There is $10 cover for that show.
But you can also get a taste of Erin Ross’s music at Taber Cornfest, Aug. 26, as she opens up that day’s activities bright and early at 10 a.m.
All of the usual suspects are playing Taber Cornfest this year.
They open on Aug. 24 with opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. followed by Dance Images and Calgary based songwriter Tanner James returns home to Taber to play at 8 p.m. The Dusty Roads band end night one at 10 p.m.
There are a variety of acts on Aug. 25 as Adequate, Close as Strangers, Cornucopia, the Hibikaya drummers, Filipino Society, Moon Dawgs, Trevor Panczak and Breanne Urban and Southern Flyer get down in Taber on the stage.
There is all kinds of fun for the Taber Cornfest on Aug. 26 with Erin Ross, Four on the Floor, Enslow, Hippodrome, Mark Maxwell and the Chevelles winding things up on Saturday night after the fireworks.
Over at the Owl Acoustic lounge, The Folk Roadshow returns to town featuring the worldly musical taste of Benjamin Caldwell, Dominique Fricot, Olaf Caarls and Pieter Can Vliet. Admission is by donation. Ditto for Clayton and Joelle, a Cranbrook-based folk duo who stop by the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Feb. 25.
Things get funky at the Owl with Adequate and Calgary’s Wellmanneredthieves performing Aug. 26.
If Whoop-Up Days isn’t country enough for you, local country band Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction play Casino Lethbridge, Friday and Saturday.
And, for something completely different from all of that, Galt Gardens hosts the Caribbean Carnival all day long, Saturday, Aug. 26. There will be family fun, food, a beer garden and bright colours throughout the day and music.
If you haven’t had enough fun after all of that, get ready to bang your head with a couple of high-octane, female-fuelled punk and metal shows early in the week. On Aug. 28, the Moose Hall features Vancouver punk band the Shot Talkers plus Calgary/ Okotoks metal trio Perception of Pain plus local band Drearius. There is a $10 cover for that show.
Vancouver female fronted metal band Anarcheon and fellow Vancouver metal band 2 Shadows play the Smokehouse the next night, Aug. 29 with local band Bring Your Own Bodies. The show starts early at 7 p.m. There is a $10 cover for it.
Kingston-based rock band The Glorious Sons have come a long way in a short time, so frontman Brett Emmons took some time to reflect on things before getting work on their sophomore CD “Young Beauties and Fools,” due out in October. They take a quick break from a mostly soldout U.S tour with up-and-coming American rockers Greta Van Fleet, to play Whoop-Up Days again, Friday, Aug. 25 with local blues band the Steve Keenan Band. They also played Whoop-Up Days in 2015.
“It’s great, but I don’t know if it’s because of us or because of them,” Emmons said of the U.S. tour with Greta Van Fleet. “They’re a great young rock band and we’re a rock band so it will be good to take them on the road with us.”
Emmons, relaxing on his deck at home in Kingston before hitting the road with bandmates, guitarist Jay Emmons and Chris Koster, drummer Adam Paquette and bassist Chris Huot, said he is excited to return to Whoop-Up Days.
“You’re going to be hearing everything. It will be a fun rock and roll show,” Emmons promised.
“You’ll be hearing the old stuff, the new stuff and stuff you might not hear again. It’s going to be a big party,” he continued.
The new CD is a slight departure for the band, known for hard-edged rockers like the title track of their debut full-length CD “The Union,” “White Noise,” “Mama ,” “The Contender” and “Heavy.”
They released a single, “Kill the Lights,” in February.
“We released that as a gift to our fans who have been waiting for us to get off our asses and release a new album,” he said.
“This new album let me focus on more of my folky stuff, though it is still rock and roll,” he said, adding lyrically it was inspired a lot by coming to terms with handling the success of “The Union,” which they recorded with the Trews’ John-Angus MacDonald, and which earned them six straight top-10 singles and a Juno nomination.
He channelled a lot of energy in the new music, working with a new team of producers — the Fast Friends, Fred, Tom and Ryan.
“I’d bring in a song and everybody would add to it and by the end of the day we’d have the skeleton of song. The next day I’d bring in another one. We did like 17 songs in 15 days. And at first I thought we’d have trouble having to choose material,” he said, adding the new producers helps enhance the band’s sound.
“I’m not a guy who can do everything,” he said, adding the new producers pushed the band just as much as John-Angus MacDonald did for their EP and debut CD.
The Glorious Songs play Whoop-Up Days, Friday, Aug. 25 at 9 p.m. The Steve Keenan Band open the show at 7 p.m. on the Gas King Stage.
Saskatchewan country/pop singer Jess Moskaluke has come a long way from releasing her music on YouTube to winning a Juno award for her last CD, “Kiss Me Quiet,” which spawned several hit singles including the title track and “Take Me Home.”
“I actually went to university for two years. I was planning on becoming a parole officer. Music was just a hobby, but it took over,” said Moskaluke from her home in Saskatchewan. In addition to the Juno award for Country Album of the Year, she won a variety of awards including CCMA female artist of the year for three years in a row, several Saskatchewan Country Music Association awards for fans’ choice, female vocal of the year, single of the year, song of the year and video of the year for “Take Me Home” and that was just this year.
“There’s a lot more to the business than singing. There’s songwriting and business meetings and marketing plans, recording and a lot of different things,” she said, adding she doesn’t know what her next goal is.
Another exciting thing Moskaluke is involved in is a new hour-long CMT documentary. “Jess Moskaluke Home Movies.”
“It airs today (Aug. 9). They followed me around while I was recording the album in Nashville. They didn’t do a lot of interviews in the studio, because that was my studio time. They were more of a fly on the wall. I got pretty used to them. But they came to my hometown, Langenburg, went to my old school and did some interviews with friends and family. It’s really fantastic. So if you want to know more about me, watch it. I’m sure they‘ll play it a lot,” she said.
Her first full-length CD, “Light Up the Night,” has a harder, more Miranda Lambert edge.
“I’ve never heard the Miranda Lambert analogy,” she said. She noted her new album will be in a similar pop-country vein.
“My fans have grown up with it, and it’s who I am. If I were to do anything different, I wouldn’t be being true to myself creatively,” she said.
She said female musicians are gaining popularity in country music again.
“It’s pretty sad we even have to have this conversation, isn’t it,” she asked.
“It’s sad that some stations refuse to play two female artists in a row, but have no problem playing four or five male artists in a row. But these things are cyclical; in the ’90s we had Michelle Wright, Terri Clark, Martina McBride, Shania Twain and a lot more,” she said.
She noted she played Lethbridge before, but couldn’t remember the details. She is bringing her band to accompany her. She didn’t want to spoil the surprise as to what she’ll be playing in Lethbridge.
“You’ll have to come to the show and see for yourself,” she laughed.
Jess Moskaluke plays Whoop-Up Days, Saturday, Aug, 26 at 9 p.m. on the Gas King Stage.
Theo Fleury and the Death Valley Rebels are on the stage at 7 p.m.
Dory and the Weathermen kick things off at 5 p.m.
Vancouver-based death metal band Anarcheon are excited play Lethbridge for the first time at the Smokehouse with fellow Vancouverites 2 Shadows and local death metal band Bring Your Own Bodies.
“We don’t really call ourselves anything. But people have called us melodic death metal,” said lead singer Kaija Kinney, who formed the band in September 2016 with bassist Sylvain Maltais. Drummer Steve Ricardo and new guitarist Clayton Bach complete the band.
“We just come together and let the music come out of us and flow,” she continued.
“Our biggest inspiration is to put pout something positive and help someone out with our music,” she said.
The band mostly plays around their home base of Vancouver, though they have also played Calgary.
“But this is our biggest tour,” she said of the upcoming Western Canadian jaunt including the Lethbridge date.
“We’re in the midst of recording a new album to be released in October and we just completed a video for the single ‘Etherus Claws,’” she continued.
“It’s pretty dark and vampiric,” she described, adding the new album will be darker.
“It will have a lot darker tone, because we have a different guitarist now,” she said.
“So I’m pretty excited about it,”she said.
She is excited about the Lethbridge show and the tour.
“It’s our first visit. We’re a pretty energetic band. We like to interact with our audiences,” she said. “And it’s going to be heavy.”
There is a $10 cover for the Aug. 29 show. Doors open at 7 p.m
There are dozens of things you can do with apples, so Applefest took over Galt Gardens, Saturday, Aug. 12. The Sustainable Living Association presented a variety of booths offering apples, apple juice, apple bread and a variety of other apple related paraphernalia, plus other environmentally friendly options and information. There was also a lot of live music performing throughout the day.
I only caught the Jolene Draper band, featuring lead singer Jolene Draper, drummer Raz Bruce, bassist Steve Martin and lead guitarist/vocalist Bruce Roome.
They played a set of primarily Jolene Draper originals which she sang with her delightful, powerful warble. She sang songs about growing older and living in harmony with mother nature, plus a variety of covers of Fleetwood Mac, “Me and Bobby McGee,” a sweet version of Del Shannon’s “Runaway.”
Hamilton singer-songwriter Pat Maloney returned to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Saturday, Aug. 12, for a handful of people. I arrived in the middle of an extended set break and an almost empty room, which quickly started to fill, as Maloney began his second set with country classic “King of the Road.”
Most of the rest of the set was newer songs inspired by his adventures taking advantage of Kijiji ride shares.
So Maloney told stories and sang songs in his mellifluous baritone reminiscent of Tom Wilson of Junkhouse and Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, about some of the eccentric individuals he met in his travels.
An immediate highlight was “Going to Meet My Baby,” about a released convict driving to the Okanagan to meet his new daughter who was born while he was incarcerated.
Maloney accompanied himself on guitar and had a separate microphone set up for him to whistle beautiful whistle solos into.
Just to be different, he turned the Cars’ 1978 pop hit “Just What I Needed” into an impressive folk song, whilst whistling the catchy synth hook into his second microphone.
He sang other, slightly more political songs about “trying to just get along” as well. One of these, called “I’m a Unicorn,” put a more trippy twist on that theme.
He wound up his set by putting his own stamp on Vancouver-based accordion-wielding punk Geoff Berner’s “Volcano God,” which he noted he wasn’t sure how well it would go over in the “Bible Belt.”
He put his own mark on a couple covers including Joel Plaskett’s “Pine, Pine, Pine,” plus “Dang Me,” for which he provided a pretty capable yodel and John Prine’s “In Spite of Ourselves” into his own songs.
Slice — The Uglies, Youngbloods, Stickaround, Friends over Fame
Exhibition Park — Whoop-Up Days 7 p.m. April Wine, 9 p.m. 38 Special $59
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Folk Road Show
Slice — open mic
Taber — Taber Cornfest 6 p.m. Opening ceremonies, 7 Dance images 8 p.m. Tanner James, 10 p.m. Dusty Roads
Exhibition Park — Whoop-Up Days 7 p.m. Uncovered, 9 p.m. Finger Eleven
Casino Lethbridge — Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Clayton and Joelle
Mocha Cabana — Accordion melodies by Alice Tinodori
Exhibition Park — Whoop-Up Days 7 p.m. Steve Keenan Band 9 p.m. Glorious Sons
Taber — Taber Cornfest 1 p.m. Adequate, 2 p.m. Close as Strangers 3 p.m. Cornucopia, 4 p.m. Hibikaya, 5:30 p.m. Filipino Society, 7 p.m. Moon Dawgs, 6;30 p.m. Trevor Panczak, 10 p,n, Fireworks, 10:15 Breanne Urban and Southern Flyer
Average Joe’s — Dueling pianos fundraiser for Cheer Sensation $10 9 p.m.
Slice — Erin Ross with Don Cassell and Columbia Jones $10
Casino Lethbridge — Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Adequate with wellmannered thieves
Exhibition Park — Whoop-Up Days 9 p.m. Jess Moskaluke, 7 p.m.Theo Fleury and the death Valley Rebels 5 p.m. Dory and the Weathermen
Taber – Taber Cornfest — 10 a.m. Erin Ross 11 a.n, Four on the Floor 12;30 Corn contests 12;30 Zumba 2:30 p.n. Enslow 4;30 p.m. Hippodrome 6:30 p.m. mark maxwell 10 p.m. Fireworks, 9 :30 p.m. the Chevelles
Galt Gardens — Caribbean carnival 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Slice — Jane Doe, Rake Fight Connor HD
Onion — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Moose Hall — Shit Talkers, perception of Pain, Drearius $10 8 p.m.
Smokehouse — Anarcheon, Bring Your own bodies, 2 Shadows 7 p.m. $10
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Standup Comedy open mic
Slice — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Busted up Fundraiser for Derek Hoyle (ticketed event)