Cure your Halloween hangover this week with a lot of good music.
Halloween itself, though happening on a Tuesday, featured two great shows including an Adequate Halloween at the Owl Acoustic Lounge featuring local funk rock trio Adequate, plus a karaoke night at the Slice, with Dustin Harder at the Slice.
But the rest of the week is pretty eclectic.
Barney Bentall brings back the Cariboo Express Tour back to the Southminster United Church for the Geomatic Attic, Nov. 1. The show is a special fundraiser for Youth One and features an all-star cast of characters and songwriters including host Barney Bentall, who had several hits in the ’90s including “Life Could Be Worse” and “Something to Live For,” and his co-host Matt Masters. Also on the bill are Bentall’s son Dustin, Ridley Bent and Lethbridge’s own Leeroy Stagger, to name a few. Wild Honey opens the set featuring one of barney Bentall’s daughters. Tickets are $42.50.
Also on Wednesday, Nov. 1, guitar whiz Adrian Nation performs at the Slice. Tickets are $10.
The Slice has an eclectic show on Nov. 3 with a bit of jazz, a touch of indie rock and a smattering of folk with several bands performing including local jazz rock band the Groove Apostles, Winnipeg-based psychedelic jazz group Apollo Suns, Saskatoon folk/country band Gunner and Smith and Calgary indie rock band Windigo.
The Slice has something special planned for fans of the Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie who passed away two weeks ago. Local musician Bruce Roome is hosting a special Gord Downie Tribute night, Nov. 4.
For something completely different, the University of Lethbridge opera workshop features light:dark at the University of Lethbridge Recital Hall. It will include two short operas including the sea-borne tragedy “Riders to the Sea” by Ralph Vaugh Williams, and a lighthearted romp, “Ten Belles and No Ring” by Frantz von Suppe. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 3 and 4. Tickets are $20 regular, $15 for seniors and alumni and $12 for students. If you are in the mood for some blues with a whole lot of rock, party with Coda at Casino Lethbridge, Nov. 3 and 4.
Life could be worse for Barney Bentall, who not only has his first new album out in four years, but whose Cariboo Express charity concert series leaves the station at the Southminster United Church, Nov. 1 for a quick Western Canadian tour to raise money for various Western Canadian charities. The proceeds from the Lethbridge show will be donated to Youth One.
“It’s pretty much the same cast as last year,” said Bentall, from the airport in Cranbrook, where he was about to catch a plane to Ottawa for a pair of weekend Ottawa-area shows.
“So we have Lethbridge’s Leeroy Stagger, my son Dustin, Ridley Bent, my co-host Matt Masters from Calgary and a couple of wonderful female vocalists Kendel Carson and Wendy Barber and a crack band,” continued Bentall, who scored several early ’90s hits including “Something to Live For” and “Life Could Be Worse.”
“Over the past 10 years, we’ve raised over a million dollars for Western Canadian charities. So we‘re excited to start the tour in Lethbridge,” Bentall said.
“That’s a beautiful room, that church, to play in, so we can get in the day before to rehearse for the tour,” he continued.
Part of the fun of the tour, which is designed like an old-time variety show, is song sponsorships.
“We weren’t able to do it last year, but usually we’ll get a business to sponsor each song and we’ll make up a special, humourous introduction to each one for the law office or construction company, whatever the company is, which is exactly what they used to so on the grand Ole Opry,” he said, observing Youth One has been successful in selling the spots.
He always looks forward to the tour.
“One of my daughters in Cranbrook has a band called Wild Honey who will be playing with us as well. So this year, I have two of my kids with me,” he said.
This tour serves a double purpose as it is also serving as an album release tour for his brand new CD “The Drifter and the Preacher.”
“That’s the beautiful thing about it is it’s also my album release tour,” he continued, adding the Cariboo Express performed some of the songs from the new CD during last year’s tour.
“So we’ll be playing several songs from the album,” he said, noting he wrote the song “The Miner” his son Dustin.
“That was actually my agent’s idea for us to write together. It was a really great experience and a lot of fun, so I’m surprised it never occurred to me before,“ he said, noting it will likely be one of the songs played on the tour.
“I remember the first song I taught Dustin was Tom Petty’s ‘Mary Jane’s Last Dance,’ when he was 13, so we’ll probably play that too,” he continued.
“We’ll also probably play ‘Something To Live For.’ That song has allowed me to keep on making music. And I never get tired of performing it,” he said.
He is pleased with the new CD.
“I’ve always really admired people like Corb Lund and Ridley Bent who can really tell stories with their songs, which are incredible,” he said, adding he focussed on telling stories in the songs on his new CD.
“One of my favourites is ‘Don’t Wait For Me Marie,’ which is an epic that spans 150 years of history of Klondike gold rush, so that was a challenge. It’s actually a song we played on the last tour,” he said,
Barney Bentall and the Cariboo Express perform for the Geomatic Attic at the Southminster United Church, Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. Wild Honey open the show Tickets are $42.50.
Saskatoon’s Gunner and Smith, aka Saskatoon songwriter Geoff Smith, is excited to share an eclectic bill at the Slice with local jazz rock band The Groove Apostles, Winnipeg instrumental, experimental jazz band Apollo Suns and Calgary indie rock band Windigo, Nov. 3.
There is no Gunner in Gunner & Smith.
“There’s a lot of people named Geoff Smith who play music. So I changed it so it would be more memorable. Originally it was just me and my guitar and a buddy of mine named my guitar Rex Gunner, so it became Gunner and Smith,” chuckled Geoff Smith, taking some time to organize a 10 date in 11-day tour of Western Canada.
“I added more musicians as the sound grew,” Smith said.
He is supporting their sophomore CD “Byzantium, ” which they recorded with Andrija Tokic, who also produced the Alabama Shakes.
“He was great. We actually flew him out to Saskatoon. But he only records on analog tape so we found a studio 100 km west of Saskatoon (Sinewave Studios near Perdue) which did that,” said Smith.
“So I was in the control room and the drummer and bassist were in their own rooms. We wanted to capture as close to the sound the live experience of us playing together as we could,” he said.
“It was a pretty different experience for us. There isn’t as much room to edit, so you have to get a pretty good take the first time,” he said.
In addition to recording with Tokic, Gunner and Smith also played the Zandari Festa is Seoul, South Korea.
“It was definitely the farthest I’ve ever gone for a show. It was an industry showcase, so you had people from a lot of different countries, about nine or 10 different countries,” he said.
He and bandmates, drummer Nik Winnitowy, bassist Malcolm White, keyboardist Brent Letkeman and guitarist Graham Tilsley will be playing a short and sweet set.
“There will be five of us coming. And there‘s four bands on the bill, so it will be our higher energy set. It will be a short and sweet set,” he described, adding it will include a lot of music from the new album “Byzantium.”
He noted only one of the songs is directly about the Byzantium empire.
“I had a lot of songs that worked well together. They were about things that are no longer there, but a had an impact on your life. Though you can never go back,” he observed.
“For example, my grandmother died and I always used to spend my summers or her farm. It will always be a part of my life though is something I can’t revisit,” he said.
He is looking forward to returning to Lethbridge.
“It’s always fun and I like to visit CKXU, the community radio station. So I can visit Sean (Warkentin, CKXU’s music director) who I met when he was on tour. We’ll probably do a session there as well,” he said.
Gunner and Smith, Apollo Suns, The Groove Apostles and Windigo play the Slice at 9 p.m.
U of L Opera Workshop presents dark:light in the University Recital Hall, Nov. 3-4. This semi-staged fall concert features two one-act operas: “Riders to the Sea” by Ralph Vaugh Williams, and “Ten Belles and No Ring” by Frantz von Suppe, which musical director Blaine Hendsbee hopes will give the audience and the audience a taste of their annual February collaboration with the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra at the Southminster United Church which will focus on Viennese opera.
“We have two very contrasting one act operas,” he said of the concert.
“On the dark side, we have a dreadfully tragic story in the setting of John Mington Synge’s 1903 play ‘Riders of the Sea.’ It’s about the matriarch of a family who has lost her husband, father and five sons to the sea. So there is l just three women and one son left. Who also ends up being taken by the sea. So it’s about the relentless power of the sea,” Hendsbee said.
“On the light side, we have a classic one-act Viennese opera which we sing in English. It’s a beautiful story called ‘Ten Belles and No Ring’ by Franz Von Suppe. It is about a father who has 10 daughters he wants to find a husband for. A suitor stops by. And it is like he has a speed date with each of them. But he doesn’t choose any of them, he chooses the maid instead. But it’s a happy ending because we don’t want to send anybody away in tears,” Hendsbee said.
“It is a perfect pair of a great tragic drama and a light-hearted romp,” he said.
“It’s a full-staged production with costumes and the performers do a great job. One of them hits a high F, which is very challenging.“
“We hope it will whet their appetite for next year‘s symphony production of Viennese operas with the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra,” he continued.
The U of L Opera Workshop’s performance of dark:light takes place in the University of Lethbridge recital hall, Nov. 3 and 4 at 7:30-9:30 p.m. each night. Tickets are $20 regular, $15 for seniors and alumni and $12 for students.
Winnipeg-based experimental jazz band Apollo Suns are excited to make their Lethbridge debut, Nov. 4 with Calgary indie rock band Windigo, Saskatoon roots rock band Gunner and Smith and local jazz/rock combo the Groove Apostles at the Slice.
Apollo Suns just released their debut Ep “ Each Day A Different Sun,” featuring plenty of groove, horns, catchy guitar riffs and a touch of spy movie flair.
“We’re doing 11 gigs in 10 days. This will be our first time in Lethbridge,” said guitarist Ed Durocher, noting they will touch base with Gunner and Smith and Saskatoon and meet up with them at the Slice.
“We absolutely love Pink Floyd. We’ve been described as psychedelic jazz rock, funk rock and have even called an instrumental Prince, though I don’t see it, but we sure appreciate it,” Durocher said.
He is pleased with their debut CD, which they released on April 8, which features the full seven piece band.
“But we’ll be a five-piece in Lethbridge. Our keyboardist Antonal Renie has several keyboards. So he covers some of the horn sections,” he said.
Durocher said connecting with audiences can be a challenge as an instrumental band.
“At first it was really frustrating, because people were just standing there and we wondered. But we talked to them after and they said they were just into the music. We’re very melody based. So now we have fun with it and we’ll get them to sing along with the melodies,” he said.
“There’s a lot of movement on stage. We’re not a stand and stare at your feet kind of band. It’s going to be a lot of fun,” he said.
Matt Patershuk at the Slice
It is always a pleasure to see Edmonton songwriter Matt Patershuk. He stopped by The Slice on Wednesday with a hot band. Too bad barely 20 people were there to see the show which featured Black Hen record company owner and uber producer Steve Dawson playing steel guitar and lead guitar.
While I missed the first set which focused on Patershuk’s new CD “The Same As I Ever Have Been,” I caught the second set. He played a couple of tracks from the new CD including the sedate “Sparrow” which drew the show to a close around 11:30 p.m.
The second set included original music plus both blues classics like Muddy Waters’ “I Ain’t Satisfied,” and some Sonny Boy Williamson as well as old Hank Williams.
Dawson played just about perfect solos, with never a note out of place and all designed to bring Patershuk’s big, soothing, velvety baritone voice to the forefront.
Patershuk also traded a few sweet solos with Dawson on the blues songs.
They brought the show to a rousing close with “That’s all Right Mama,” which Elvis Presley popularized back in the ’50s.
Angela Entz Fundraiser
It is always a beautiful thing to see the music community come together to help somebody out.
So a bevy of excellent bands took over Legends all day long, Saturday, Oct. 21 to raise $11,000 to help out Angela Entz, who suffered a debilitating workplace accident a few months ago which left her in a wheelchair. She was on hand as well as her father and assorted family and friends and a lot people jut eager to hear a lot of local talent.
I only caught a few of the performers. I missed sets from Scotch Whiskey Limosine and bluesman Keith Woodrow but I arrived in the middle of a set of classic rock from young, teenaged band, Beyond Crimson, who added some sweet melodies to Guns n’ Roses’ Sweet Child O’ Mine,” and AC DC’s “Highway to Hell” to name a few .
I haven’t seen Band of Brothers for a while but caught a short set for the trimmed down trio which featured a excellent vocal harmonies and a lot of popular hits including the Beatles’ “Love Me Do,” as well as Pagliaro’s “What The Hell I’ve Got.”
They also added CCR’s “Have You Seen the Rain,” some Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” and The Eagles ’“Take It Easy.”
I only caught the first few songs from Dory and the Weathermen who are always entertaining. They played tight versions of “Addicted to love” and “Bad Case Of Loving You,” and some Beatles in “Day Tripper,” before I had to leave.
Local hard rock/metal band Quick Draw ended the night with a set of mostly original hard rock and metal music, which drew heavily from the ’90s alternative rock and metal. But they also added some innovative covers including putting a metal twist to Dead or Alive’s ’80s one-hit wonder “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record),”a capable cover of the Misfits and a spot on cover of Weezer’s “Say it Ain’t So.” They welcomed founding guitarist William Harder to add some big riffed, duelling guitar fun and a more of a classic metal edge.“Won’t Go Down Without a Fight” was one of several set highlights.
Frontman Rory Freeman’s voice reminded me of One Bad Son’s Shane Volk.
Scotchtoberfest Bashed Tatties
Things got a little Scottish at Average Joe’s Oct. 20 for Scotchtoberfest IX, the Lethbridge Firefigthers Pipes and Drums’ annual fundraising show for the Alberta Firefighter Burn Camp for Children.
I missed opening sets from local funk rock trio Adequate and the Lethbridge Firefighters Pipe and Drums themselves, but caught a freewheeling jam from the Bashed Tatties, featuring several individual members of the Firefighters, taking on a few different instruments for different songs.
Drummer Brady Valgardson, who usually plays country music with Corb Lund, anchored the music behind the kit, easily donning his rock and roll hat for a variety of covers.
Cal Toth, who is a regular fixture at Average Joe’s with his Duelling Pianos show, beamed as he sang lead vocals on several songs and danced behind his keyboards and even brought out a keytar for a version of Kansas’s “Dust in the Wind” which also featured Adequate’s Scott Mezei on acoustic guitar.
Some of the highlights included U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name” and a bass-heavy version of “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” which featured some hot fiddle playing.
An intimate audience enjoyed the CD release party from local jazz/folk/Celtic collective The Junkman’s Quire, Oct. 21 at the Owl Acoustic lounge.
I arrived in time to hear fiddle player Megan Brown playing guitar and singing lead vocals while special guest Ryland Moranz added extra banjo to a sweet version of the Pogues’ “Dirty Old Town.”
Frontman George Fowler took up guitar and sang a song about people in big trucks “driving right behind my little Honda” while Megan Brown played some duelling fiddle with Tom Scott for a more Celtic inspired number “ Round and Around.”
A highlight from the album was a more jazzy number “Swing in Five” featuring Ross Samuel on saxophone.
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
Casino Lethbridge — Coda
U of L Recital Hall — U of L opera workshop Dark/Light 7:30 Regular $20 | Senior $15 | Alumni $15 | Student $12
Honker’s Pub — Open mic
Casino Lethbridge — Coda
Mocha Cabana — D’arcy Kavanagh Ian Hepher
The Slice — Gord Downie Tribute Night with Bruce Roome
U of L Recital Hall — U of L opera workshop Dark/Light 7:30 Regular $20 | Senior $15 | Alumni $15 | Student $12
Honker’s Pub —afternoon open mic
Onion— open mic
Owl Acoustic lounge– open mic
Slice — Texas King
Geomatic Attic — Gordie MacKeeman and the Rhythm Boys $37.50 7-11 p.m.
Slice — Windy City Opry with Dirty Catfish Brass and Hornell and Sneddon
Slice — open mic
Geomatic Attic— Skinny Dyck and the Chicken Catchers 7 p.m.
$25 advance, $27.50 online, $30 door
Average Joes— Dueling pianos with Cal Toth
Slice— Young Wisebloods