This week, the Slice and the Geomatic Attic are the places to go from great live music.
The Slice features several excellent alt country and folk shows coming up this week.
Calgary-based musician Cam Penner, brings his unique, experimental take on country and blues music on Oct. 24.
The next night, Edmonton songwriter Matt Patershuk returns to the Slice, Oct. 25 in support of his third CD “Same as I Ever was,” featuring Steve Dawson who will be playing in his band.
On the weekend, local Turbonegro tribute band Dudes from Nowhere will be performing Oct. 27. The Slice features rock trio the Due Clause on Oct. 28.
Halloween is on a Tuesday this year, but start your celebrations on the weekend.
Calgary based rockabilly trio Peter and the Wolves return to the Owl Acoustic Lounge on Oct. 27. The Owl features a night of garage rock Oct. 28 with local band J Blissette plus Mark Sultan of The King Kahn and the BBQ Show. Local rock band Biloxi parish are also on the bill.
Band your head for Halloween as the U of L Headbanger’s society presents Halloween Havoc Oct. 27 with local rock bands Quick Draw and Bring your Own Bodies plus Peterborough 1979-era metal band Molomokai who play what is likely the final show at the Smokehouse.
Admission is $10 in advance, $15 at the door. The show begins early with the first band playing 7 p.m. There will be prizes for best costume.
For the complete opposite to that, The Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra opens their Chamber concert series at Cité Des Prairies, Oct. 27 by celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday. It features the Musaeus string quartet and pianist Graeme Roset. Tickets are $35. The concert begins at 7 p.m.
For something completely different than that, Club Didi is also hosting a Halloween party with horror movies, Halloween games and pumpkin carving. There is no charge to attend. They have their monthly Panti Raid party, Oct, 28.
For a taste of the blues, Sean Burns returns to Casino Lethbridge Oct. 27 and 28.
There is a lot of fun planned for Sunday.
Save your liver for Sunday night as Saskatoon rockers One Bad Son return to Average Joe’s hot on the heels of their hit single “Scream for Me” and hot new CD Made in the Name of Rock and Roll.”
Edmonton-based alternative rock band Whale and the Wolf open the show. at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 on the day of the show or $25 in advance.
For a complete contrast, Penticton spoken word artist Shane Koyczan performs at the Chinook High School theatre for the Geomatic Attic on Oct.29 beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $32.50.
The Geomatic Attic has another big show at the Southminster United Church Nov. 1 as Barney Bentall and the Cariboo Express return to Lethbridge with an all-star line up including Ridley Bent, Matt Masters, Angela Harris, Wendy Bird, Kendel Carson, Barney Bentall and Bentall’s son Dustin Bentall. Tickets are $42.50. The show begins at 8 p.m.
Halloween itself features a couple of shows. Local funk rock trio Adequate play an Adequate Halloween, Tuesday, Oct. 31. While over at the Slice, Dustin Harder hosts a Monster Mash Karaoke night.
A lot can happen in a year. Saskatoon-based rock band One Bad Son are eager to return to Lethbridge, Oct. 29 at Average Joe’s with a semi-new bassist and and a new record in hand.
“Made In the Name of Rock and Roll” was officially released on Oct. 13, but “Raging Bull,” a new song they tested out in Lethbridge during their last show here has already reached number one on the charts with the second single “Scream For Me,” is already heading up the charts,”
“It’s not even out yet and it’s already our best album yet because we have a number one hit,” enthused new Calgary resident frontman Shane Volk, rehearsing with the rest of the band in Saskatoon.
“So it’s been good. We recorded half of it in Vancouver and the other half in Toronto with Gavin brown, who has worked with Three Days Grace and Billy Talent and Metric. He really got our songwriting and performance to the next level,” Volk added.
“We took a bit longer to do this one but it sure worked,” he continued.
One Bad Son welcomed aboard new bassist Steve Adams, as well.
“(Adam) Granty left the band in the summer so we hired Steve and took him to Germany. We’ve known him for years.
“He used to play with us in the early days. So he’s been really good,” Volk continued, noting the band has been touring non-stop since their last visit to Lethbridge, last December.
“We’re touring for two, two-and-a-half months until Christmas. It starts in Red Deer and Lethbridge is third on the list that should be good. Lethbridge audiences are so supportive and rowdy, he said, noting they will tour Western Canada first, followed by Eastern Canada then return to Saskatchewan for Christmas.
“And we’ll end in Saskatoon like we always do and recharge for Christmas,” he continued.
“Then we hope to go back to Germany and the United Kingdom in the new year.
“That was our first time in Germany. We had great audiences there. We got some great response,” he continued.
They are looking forward to Lethbridge.
“Then we hope to go back to Germany and the United Kingdom in the new year.
“That was our first time in Germany. We had great audiences there. We got some great response,” he continued.
They are looking forward to Lethbridge .
“We’ll be playing a lot of music from the new record. And, as usual it will be big and loud, but with a slightly different visual aspect. It will be so cool to be in Lethbridge when we have a new record out. We’ll have some of them there. They will be available where ever you get records these days, iTunes, Spotify,” he said.
The show begins at 8 p.m., Oct. 29 with Whale and the Wolf. Tickets are $25 in advance.
Peter and the Wolves bring back the spirit of rockabilly when they return to the Owl Acoustic Lounge Oct. 27.
They have undergone a drastic lineup change since releasing their debut CD “Here Come Peter and the Wolves” in 2015 as well as a change in sound to incorporate more boogie woogie and rock and roll piano.
“It’s about half and half piano and guitar now,” said frontman/guitarist/pianist Peter Cormier, noting they are currently working on their third CD.
“First we’ll probably release a 45 and probably release the full length album later,” Cormier said.
They released their second CD “Papa’s Going Out of Town!” in 2016.
“We recorded it live with two microphones and modelled it off the sound the sound of the Sun Records sound,” he said.
“Two of the guys from the first album have moved away and Angela left the band,” he said, noting he has a rotating cast of friends playing with the band now.
“Dillon Pates is playing drums now. But for the Lethbridge show, my friend Dylan Sadlier-Brown will be playing bass with us, who was playing the last show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge. We had Pedro (Lowe) playing with us for Love and Records in September,” he said.
He is enjoying incorporating piano into Peter and the wolves’ sound.
“Over the past few years I’ve a been inspired a lot by people like Fats Domino and Jerry Lee Lewis. There was a ‘Viva Las Vegas Tour,’ which featured a lot of impressive piano players,” he said noting he taught himself to play piano.
“I had a working knowledge of blues scales, so I enjoy playing with them,” he said.
He is looking forward to returning to Lethbridge.
“Our goal is just to make people dance. At Love and Records we had a lot of dancers out. I just hope people will come out and dance and have a good time with us,” he said.
Penticton, B.C. spoken word artist Shane Koyczan returns to Lethbridge with a unique show at the Chinook High School theatre for the Geomatic Attic Oct. 29.
“I don’t like to call myself a poet, because people have very specific ideas about what poetry is,” said Koyczan, recovering from a cold in Penticton.
“So my show is part poetry, part standup comedy and part storytelling,” Koyczan continued, noting while he often performs with a backing band “Short Story Long,” this show will be solo.
“It’s expensive to bring a band along on tour,” he observed, adding when he does perform with the band, he looks at it the same way as scoring a film.
Koyczan speaks about a variety of personal issues including growing up, figuring out what to do with your life, depression, friendship, trolls and numerous observations of society as well as touches on political issues.
“There is so much to talk about with politics today,” he said, he said noting he hopes his performances will spark intelligent discourse.
“There are always opposing forces. People might not agree with what I say, but It is important to have these conversations,” he said.
He doesn’t know what pieces he will be performing for the Lethbridge show.
“It’s all about what emotions will connect with the audience. A lot of it depends on what I’m feeling that day — what I feel like talking about,” he said.
He enjoyed his first time performing in Lethbridge and expects he will enjoy his return.
“It was two or three years ago and I thought it was a strange fit for me. I was looking for the venue and was wondering if I was in the right place. It was an unusual venue, in another business. It was not what I expected. But I called the owner and it ended up being a great experience,” he said, noting he is playing more theatres.
Tickets are $32.50 for the show, which begins at 8 p.m.
Bend Sinister, Band of Rascals
Vancouver rock band Bend Sinister’s more or less annual show at the Slice is always something to look forward to, So I didn’t want to miss their Wednesday show, Oct. 18. Unfortunately I missed an opening set from fellow B.C. rockers Band of Rascals.
But I arrived in time to catch a “greatest hits” show from a band that doesn’t have any hits, but who should have a lot of them.
The organ powered ’70s-inspired groove rockers have been around for 15-odd years and dedicated part of their show to playing a song from each of their recording right up to their current EP “The Other Way.” They were featured on local radio station 98.1 the Bridge and played the song they played there as well as a new song called “The Beach.”
As usual frontman/keyboard/organist Dan Moxon jumped and dance d behind his organ while delivering powerful, soulful vocals. The band, drummer Dickey Neptune, bassist Matt Rhode, wearing his usual Daniel Boone hat and sleeveless T-shirt and guitarist Joseph Blood were joined by J.P Maurice, whose shirt Blood was sporting, to add extra keyboards and guitar.
They played most of the new EP including the highlight “Get Along” and a variety of relentlessly optimistic sounding ’70s-inspired (ranging from Deep Purple to Steely Dan) crowd favourites, which had most of the audience of about 40 people dancing in front of the stage.
Their older materiel showed more of their progressive rock influence.
They wound down an intense and entertaining set with crowd favourites “Be All Right” and “I Got You” before dedicating their song “Rock and Roll” to Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie, who passed away last week.
Whitehorse and Terra Lightfoot for Geomatic Attic at Southminster United Church
The power of music is not only that it heals, but that it also allows you to escape your troubles for a while. So a fantastic Geomatic Attic show, Oct.17 at the Southminster United Church featuring quirky Ontario psychedelic rock/alt country/blues/pop duo Whitehorse who were backed by a crack band and surprise special guest Terra Lightfoot, was just the medicine needed on an apocalyptic Tuesday night fraught with gale force winds and wildfires, not to mention the passing of Canadian musical icon Gord Downie.
So a good-sized crowd of several hundred, whooped, hollered and sang along and forgot about the troubles of the world for a while.
Probably the best opening act of the year, alt country musician Terra Lightfoot was a pleasant surprise that pretty much made my year as I didn’t know she was opening until the day of the show.
She brandished a battered Gibson SG throughout an array of crunchy alternative country and rock music as her band kept step with her through a fast-paced set of songs from all of her albums, focusing on her latest CD “New Mistakes.”
She traded the SG for a very cool custom built acoustic guitar, observing she is always willing to support women doing cool things and noting a female luthier friend of hers built that guitar on which she showed substantial fingerpicking licks on a solo acoustic version “You Get High.” Her band rejoined her after that.
Throughout her set she and in an immediately appealing hugely soulful voice along the lines of Rita Chiarelli and Bonnie Raitt, which made her set a tough act to follow.
As the wind howled outside the church, Whitehorse proved they were more than up to the task, as they played mesmerizing music covering all of their albums and a cornucopia of genres in front of a hypnotizing light show.
Usually Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland play all of the instruments and incorporate looping in their set. For this set with their crack band of keyboardist Gregory MacDonald, who also plays with Sloan, guitarist Ryan Gavel on guitar and drummer John Obercian in tow, they could relax and spread their wings, though they still switched instruments pretty much every song with Doucet trading one beautiful Gretsch Falcon for another, and McClelland switching between bass, electric guitar and acoustic guitar.
They also took turns singing lead vocals and harmonies adding eerie effects by singing through telephone receivers attached to their microphone stands.
They sent the band away mid set for a spine tingling set showcasing their gorgeous vocal harmonies and acoustic guitar.
They had the front row singing along with some of their better known songs.
Near the end of the set, one fan experienced a medical emergency and fell in his seat during their menacing version of Chuck Berry’s “Nadine” so they stopped the show while another fan called 911 helped him walk to to ambulance.
Once they knew he was taken care of and was going to be all right, they continued their song and wound things up with a few more up tempo alt country/ psychedelic rock numbers including the popular “King Down Your Door,” from their latest CD “Panther in the Dollhouse.
A couple of the show highlights were from the new CD including “Manitoba Death Star,” which Doucet introduced by talking about growing up in Winnipeg and his mother setting up a facility for homeless people.
Of course they were called back for an encore, which including a spooky version of Neil Young’s “Ohio.”
The Moulettes came to Lethbridge all the way from the UK to blow some minds and melt some hearts, Oct. 15 at the Geomatic Attic on a busy Sunday night which was competing with Foreigner at the Enmax Centre and a sold out Lethbridge Folk Club show featuring Connie Kaldor.
The Moulettes were well into a trippy set of experimental pop/rock psychedelic rock which enraptured a good-sized crowd by the time I arrived.
They featured operatic vocal harmonies, featured some groovy, jazz-infused bass and Hannah Miller’s inimitably spooky lead cello which had the hair standing on my forearms a she shared vocal harmonies with guitarist Raevennan Husbandes, with whom she shared lead vocals.
Jim Mortimore provided complex bass lines, creating innovative textures as well as groove.
Overall, the set was pretty laid back, though they picked up the pace in places.
Along with drummer/vocalist Ollie Austin’s background vocals, they created nature inspired soundscapes which were equal parts jazz, alternative rock and pop and classical music, by using their instruments to create a variety of textures that sounded British.
Miller chatted about nature and some of the animals that inspired a lot of the songs. including a Japanese puffing fish. “Behemooth,” was one more up-tempo alternative rock inspired highlight with it’s plodding detuned rhythm.
A highlight was a song about growing up and having to make choices about what to do with your life, which featured a heartbreakingly beautiful lead cello solo, which used Miller’s custom built five-string cello, allowing her to explore higher violin frequencies.
They received a standing ovation and returned for a couple more songs.
Connie Kaldor at Folk Club
Back in the day, in the ’90s, Connie Kaldor was the first Lethbridge Folk Club show I attended. I remember her strumming an acoustic guitar for most of that show.
So I was glad to catch part of her soldout Lethbridge Folk Club show Oct. 15 at the Lethbridge College Cave. It was just great to see the second sold-out Folk Club show in a row.
This one was a family affair as she was accompanied by her grown children playing violin and adding operatic vocals.
She let them show their skills in solo numbers in addition to accompanying her.
She was playing keyboards for most of the set I heard. One son sang gorgeous tenor on the operatic and apt for Lethbridge “Let The Wind Blow Through,” which was a tough act to follow for the violinist Alex, who was still not be outdone on a beautiful bluesy version of “Ain’t No Sunshine,” which was impressive as he was simultaneously singing and playing violin.
Kaldor told a story about touring with Stan Rogers and being inspired to sing sea shanties “which is difficult to do when you live in Saskatchewan.”
So she talked about writing a “She Shanty,” and ended the set with an amazing feminist anthem, “Come All You Women,” which pretty much brought the house band in time for intermission.
The Smokehouse shook all night long, Friday, Oct. 13 with the howls, growls and detuned menace of all manner of death meta, power metal and punk influenced metal bands playing Dethfest.
I only caught a couple of acts as I dodged a mosh pit happening in front of the stage during Calgary death metal band Stab.Twist.Pull’s ferocious set full of sludgy guitar, growling/howling vocals and the bassist doing some pretty cool fretboard tapping to begin their show while their frontman leaped, howling into the midst of the frothing crowd.
The band I really wanted to see was Calgary’s Citizen Rage who are a pretty wild contrast as they played really anger fuelled more hardcore punk than metal music while surprisingly positive frontman Mark Russell frequently exhorted the crowd to get along with each other and come together as a community.
They played a variety of snarling crowd favourites and songs from their new “Pink” EP including “Not this Time” and the highlight “Breakdown.” As always, they played an intense sweaty, angry yet fun-filled set.
Slice Tallest to Shortest/Dirti Speshuls
Edmonton rockers Tallest to shortest are always a blast when they visit Lethbridge. At times it seems like their Lethbridge shows are jinxed. I missed the last one, and the previous two were cancelled to illness and a car accident respectively, so I made a point of catching them.
They play a unique brand of Local power pop/alternative rock band, a trimmed down the Dirti Speshuls featuring guitarist/vocalist Jon Vornbrock, frontman Todd Carter, bassist Rick Beres and the relentless rhythm of drummer Dean Wilson played a solid set of catchy ’90s rock-inspired by bands like Treble Charger, or mostly new material, which made me look forward to a new CD from them.
They ended their set with a cover of the hives’ “(Hate To Say I Told You So) Because I Wanna.”
Tallest to Shortest also focused on newer songs, but included one of my favourites “Tomato, Tomaato.”
They also played newer, more experimental songs that reminded me of Devo.
Their music ran the gamut of groovy guitar rock, quirky funk and reggae and a touch of pop. But it was mostly all about uptempo, loud, guitar driven rock. One of their more quirky highlights was “Your Mattress And Me.”
They wound down their set with a great cover of the Cars’ “Just What I Needed.”
Slice — Matt Patershuk
Owl Acoustic Lounge — standup Comedy open mic
The Slice — Open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Peter and the Wolves
Slice — Dudes from nowhere Turbonegro tribute
Honker’s Pub — Open mic
La Cite Des Prairies — Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra Extra A Canada’s 150th with Musaeus
Smokehouse — Bring Your own Bodies, Quick Draw, Mokomokai 6 p.m. bands 7 p.m. $10 advance, $15 door
Casino Lethbridge—Sean Burns
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Mark Jackson (BBQ), Mark Sultan aka BBQ, J BLissette, Biloxi Parish
Slice — the Due Clause
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Casino Lethbridge — Sean Burns
Average Joe’s — One Bad Son with Whale and the Wolf $25
Chinook High School theatre Geomatic Attic — Shane Koyczan $32.50 7-11 p.m.
Onion — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Owl Acoustic lounge — An Adequate Halloween
Slice — Monster Mash karaoke with jam and Dustin Harder
Southminster United Church Geomatic Attic — Barney Bentall’s grand Cariboo Express ($42.50 7-11 p.m.
Slice — Adrian Nation $10
Slice — open mic
Mocha Cabana — Ian Hepher and D’arcy Kavanagh
Slice — Windigo, Gunner and Smith Apollo Sons, Groove Apostles