It is an interesting week in live entertainment in Lethbridge, which is capped off by CKXU’s sixth annual Love and Records, Saturday, Sept. 16 in Galt Gardens.
But, up first, a really busy Wednesday features the Windy City Opry at the Slice with local singer-songwriter Dave McCann and Peterborough, Ont. folk Duo the Mayhemingways. As usual it is an early show which begins at 8 p.m. Admission is $10.
Irish crooner Daniel O’Donnell returns to the Enmax Centre, Sept. 13 as well at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $85, $75, $65 or with dinner at $105.25.
The Owl Acoustic lounge features ambient art rock with Vancouver’s Douse and local performers Wint and Curtis Windover all playing.
As usual, the weekend is a busy one.
Kingston singer-songwriter Tom Savage returns to Lethbridge to rock a Friday at the Slice with Roberts Hall.
The Windy city Tattoo Weekend returns to Exhibition Park with over 100 Ink Masters, American mixed martial artist King Mo and actor Robert LaSardo, stage shows by Guinness world record holders “Monsters of Schlock,” international pin-up models, custom motorcycles, vendors, contests, beer gardens and much more.
Tickets are sold at the door for $15 per day, $35 for the weekend and $25 in advance with 12 and under getting in for free.
Get your punk on with Toronto/Hamilton punk duo Artificial Dissemination returning to the Moose Hall, Sept 15.
For the opposite to that, there is even a show in the basement of the old firehall featuring electro-pop, synth and dance pop musicians Maude, Red Lipstick Daydream and Wits and Oddbear. Admission is pay what you can.
Local roots duo The Crooked Creek Warblers a.k.a. Gabriel Thaine and Chris Drew play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Sept. 15.
Splitting the difference, Kingston singer-songwriter Tom Savage shows his rock side and will be giving a preview of his new CD “Everything Intertwined” at the Slice on Sept. 15.
There is also an open mic at Smokehouse as well on Sept. 15 with Daylan Delaney.
The big event on Saturday is, of course, CKXU’s lLove and Records, which takes over Galt Gardens from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. There will be family fun, plenty of record vendors, food trucks, art and much more. As always, there will be plenty of live music with Calgary folk/country musician Carter Felker, rockabilly band Peter and the Wolves, more folk from john Wort Hannam, Maria Livingston alternative rock from J Blissette and Fox Eyes.
Toronto world/pop musician Cold Specks will headline along with indie rock band Weaves, touring in support of their new CD “Wide Open.” There is no charge to attend this always enjoyable event.
In the afternoon, check out young talent at the Owl Acoustic Lounge for Love and Records’ Tuneful Tangle.
There are a couple of excellent post-Love and Records parties happening as well. Get ready to rock at the Slice with local rock band The Dirti Speshuls, plus garage rock/blues band Ornament and Crime and Calgary metal/alternative rock band From the Flame along with power pop band Malk and local duo Birch Barks.
The Owl has an after party with local rock band Biloxi Parish and Lake Erie acoustic rock The Jinns.
If you miss the Tragically Hip, Average Joe’s features Tragically Hip tribute The Hip Show. Tickets are $15 in advance $20 on the day of the show.
Two of the big concert groups also open their seasons this week.
The Southern Alberta Ethnic Association has a Fiesta Latina fundraiser with DJ Tizio. Tickets cost $25 and include a supper buffet and lots of Latin Music. Dinner is at 6:30 p.m.. The dance begins at 8 p.m.
The Lethbridge Folk Club opens their season with Garnet Rogers, little brother of Stan Rogers. Rogers plays the Lethbridge College Cave on Sunday, Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 for non-members including a $5 season membership.
Tickets for Folk Club shows are $25.They begin at 8 p.m.
The next night the Geomatic Attic opens a busy fall by bringing back Toronto-based psychedelic rockers the Sadies, who are touring in support of their new CD “Northern Passages.” The show begins at 8 p.m. sharp.
There is a big hip hop show at the smokehouse, Sept. 19 with L.A. MC Kung Fu Vampire and his band plus with Locksmith and local support from Pyke, The Psychonauts with Heavy Knowledge and L Rev, The Urban Voyce Show, Trey Mark, N8v Knox and Shed Beat Boyz.
Tickets cost $15 early bird, $20 in advance and $25 at the door. The doors open at 8 p.m.
Kingston singer-songwriter Tom Savage is excited to be back in Lethbridge next Friday, Sept. 15 at the Slice.
“I’m still doing 200 gigs a year. I’ve played everywhere but Lethbridge, I’ve played Butte, Calgary, Nanton. I just go where the gigs go,” he said, taking a break from the road in Ignace in Northern Ontario.
His new CD “Everything Intertwined” comes out on Oct. 3 and he just released a video for the upbeat new single “Burnt by the Sun.”
He last played Lethbridge in 2014.
“The last CD was acoustic. This one is more electric, it’s pop rock, folk rock, blues rock, rock rock. It’s definitely not country. I don’t really know how to describe it,” he said.
“I let the songs tell me what is needed. This CD has a more existential bent. I’m just thinking that way as a middle aged rock star guy,” Savage chuckled.
“The first three songs are about life and death, then there is a heartbreak section, and back to life and death. My drummer calls it thought rock. But it’s disguised by big beats. So it won’t get you depressed,” he continued.
He recorded the CD with Rhodes/Hammond organist Tony Silvestri, drummer Bonz Bowering and bassist Seamus Cowan.
“We punched it out live off the floor in the spring and have been mixing it since then,” Savage said, adding a Gofundme campaign is helping cover costs of recording and promotion expenses.
Savage is touring on his own, though he has been working on the live sound so it sounds bigger than one man with a guitar.
“I’ve got an acoustic guitar through a PA and split the signal so it also goes to an amp. And I’ve got bass sound going through a subwoofer. It’s a huge sound. I’ve been working on it for a while,” he said.
He has been playing a lot of American dates.
“I got my American work visa. I played more America than I did in Canada in the first part of the year. And when the dollar was down, I was actually making more money,” he said, adding he played a lot of shows in South Carolina and Florida for one tour and all over Massachusetts.
“I live in Kingston, so the border is really close, so I also played a lot in upper New York state,” he said, noting American dates are interesting.
“It’s interesting with Trump. People don’t really approach you and talk about their opinions on the issues. Until they found out I was Canadian and then they opened up more,” he said, adding audiences were pretty supportive of his music.
“In new England they’re pretty reserved and more conservative, though not politically. Down south they whoop and holler, which I love,” he said.
Tom Savage and Roberts Hall play Friday, Sept. 15 at around 9 p.m.
Blueprint 11th anniversary
Blueprint Records celebrated their 11th anniversary on Wednesday night, Sept. 6 with live music at the Slice. While I missed the first couple of acts, Fast Colours and Open Channels due to an early start, I was in time for headliner Jay Arner and his band.
The band including keyboardist/vocals Jessica, bassist Adrienne and drummer Kate played a strong set of heavily ’80s pop-influenced music. So there was plenty of ambience, keyboard and catchy vocal harmonies.
Their first couple of songs sounded like more indie rock and pop influenced Strokes. But quickly moved to more ’80s synth pop and new wave music.
Shine On Music Festival
I only caught a little bit of the Shine on Music Festival at the University of Lethbridge stadium, Saturday, Sept. 2.
The grounds were beginning to look a little apocalyptic as thick smoke descended, and turned the sun a sinister shade of red. They were running an hour late, so I waited an hour for Washboard Union to take the stage. The B.C.-based trio were worth waiting for. They played a couple of their hits including their most recent “Shine,” and they went a little old school country with “Riding the Midnight Train.”
Aaron Grain thanked the audience for singing their songs back to them and led the band through a brand new song. The three main members, David Roberts, Aaron Grain and Chris Duncombe grinned ear to ear and took turns singling lead vocals.
They had tight vocal harmonies to die for, which stood out especially on a phenomenal cover of Alabama’s “Mountain Music.”
Their hearts really were in Alabama, as a cover-filled set later included another Alabama cover of “I’m in a Hurry and I Don’t Know Why.”
David Roberts beamed as he swung his washboard around his head.
Musically they played a variety of styles of music with a bit of rock, a lot of country, a touch of bluegrass and even a touch of funk.
A big hit “Head Over Heels” came near the end of the set which they followed up with a medley including “I’m in A Hurry,” Tom Petty’s “American Girl” and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” including the meaningful guitar solo part of the song.
Vancouver indie rock band Mother Mother added to the apocalyptic air with a loud, bass-heavy set of sinister indie pop music.
Their usual synth heavy pop music featured more of Ryan Guldemond’s guitar with the keyboards of Molly Guldemond and Jasmin Parkin staying in the background though their vocal harmonies rang through the smoky air.
They began their set with a few of their more popular sings including “Love Stuck” and “Let’s Fall in Love.”
“Monkey Tree” came a little later in the set.
They even added a loud Led Zeppelin cover as I was wandering over to CKXU for my radio show, so I missed headliners Corb Lund and Dallas Smith.
I got to the excellent battle of the bands at the stadium the next day.
They had a diverse lineup of local bands beginning with the Awd Fellows featuring local fun rock band Adequate, but featuring Shael Pezderic playing bass instead of the usual Scott Mezei joining bandmates Keenan Pezderic on drums and vocals and guitarist Josh Thorlakson, who ended up winning first prize a package from hosts Cottonwood Records, with their set of tow tapping, funk and rap music.
Local rock band Scotch Whiskey Limousine only gave a brief taste of what they could do with their three-song set, which abandoned keyboards and saxophone for a set of straight ahead, soulful rock and roll. They ended up taking second place in the competition.
Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote junction added a dose of country music with a quick set of covers and originals.
A new young band, Nevada Place played two songs of soulful pop and even some Fleetwood Mac.
Another young band, Diversified, showed their rock side in a set which included a boisterous version of Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ mine.”
Local pop punk band the Youngbloods finished the night with a third-place show of hyperactive, energetic and super tight pop punk/emo music. It was great to see them in the daylight as they always perform an entertaining show, but usually in the wee hours of the morning.
Moon Runners at the Owl
Swift Current psychedelic rock band Moon Runners played an excellent show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Sept. 2.
I missed Red Litmus, but was impressed as aways with the Moon Runners, who played a quick set of experimental rock that displayed some impressive musical chops and styles including ’80s metal fretboard tapping, a touch of blues, funk and a whole lot of fun. Coupled with the vocals, they sounded like emo-funk music.
They ended with a 15-minute-long epic-length song including all of their influences and more, with jagged rhythms, a bluesy solo and a tormented groove. Their set was all the more impressive as the show was the first with a bassist named Dave.
Enmax — Daniel O’Donnell
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Douse (YVR) with WINT and Curtis Windover
Slice — Windy City Opry with Dave McCann and the mayhemmingwaysMaud, Red Lipstick
Slice — open mic
Mocha Cabana — Ian Hepher and D’Arcy Kavanagh
Moose Hall — Artificial Dissemination
Club Didi — DMTV’s got talent $5
Honker‘s Pub — open mic
Slice — Roberts Hall and Tom Savage
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Crooked Creek Warblers
Smokehouse — Open mic with Daylan Delaney
Old firehall — Maud, Red Lipstick Daydream, Wits, Oddbear 9 p.m. pay what you can
Southern Alberta Ethnic Association — Fiesta Latina Fundraiser with DJ Tizio $25 6:30 p.m.
Honker‘s Pub — afternoon open mic
Slice — Dirti Speshuls, Ornament and Crime, From the Flame
Owl Acoustic lounge — 1 p.m. CKXU Love and Records Tuneful Tangle Afterparty The Jinns and Biloxi parish
Average Joe’s — The Hip Show $15 advance $20 day of show 8 p.m.
Galt Gardens — CKXU Love and Records
Lethbridge College Cave — Garnet Rogers $15 advance, Children $10, CAD member $25, non member $30 8 p.m.
Onion — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Geomatic Attic — the Sadies $37.50 7-11 p.m.
Owl Acoustic Lounge — B.A. Johnston with J Blissette
Smokehouse — Kung Fu Vampire and Locksmith
Enmax Centre — Love the ’90s tour with Vanilla Ice, Salt N Pepa with Sinderella, Rob Base, Young MC, C+C Music Factory featuring Freedom Williams
Casino Lethbridge — Joker’s Gone Wild $10
Mocha Cabana — Alyssa McQuaid
Slice — Happy hour Fridays with Gabriel Thaine 5:30-T7 p.m.
To The Mountains, Quick Draw, From the Flame
Smokehouse — Pimpton Canadian Tour with Kwame Dolo, Dusty Wallace, Trey Mark, lRev, Heavy Knowledge $10 advance, $15 at door 7 p.m.
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Joel Bryant and Pete Watson
Average Joe’s — Chevelles Classic Cruiser party 7:30 p.m. $5 after 7:30 p.m.