It seems like March has flown by.
There are several fun shows winding up a snowy March and Easter weekend.
As usual, The Owl Acoustic Lounge features lots of laughs with the monthly comedy open mic, March 28.
For something a little more cultural, the U of L Jazz Ensemble performs a concert at the University Theatre, at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday March 30.
And Easter comes early this year. As Honker’s Pub is closed for Good Friday, March 30, they have moved their weekly open mic to Thursday, March 29. Kelly Klimchuk is the host for the week. Jolene Draper hosts the afternoon open mic on Saturday at 4 p.m., March 31.
As usual the Slice also has their open mic on Thursday.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge has a special ticketed event on Thursday, March 29 with Vancouver accordion powered pun Geoff Berner who is touring in support of his latest CD Canadiana Grotesquica. He will be joined by Richard Inman. Tickets are $12.
The Owl brings back Tyson Ray Borsboom March 30 with Eric Brent West. And Club Didi features an Easter Drag Show, March 30.
The Mocha Cabana welcomes back the Herb Hicks Jazz Quartet March 31.
Over at Casino Lethbridge, The Rockin’ 58s will be playing classic rock and roll and lots more, march 30 and 31.
Rock out the end of March with a couple of excellent shows.
Calgary’s Twin Minute Detour returns to Lethbridge to play the Slice March 31 in support of their new CD “Common Pleasure.”
And local jam rock band the Decadent Phase play the Owl Acoustic Lounge March 31 as well.
April opens with a whole lot of rock, with open mics art the Owl and Onion, April 2 and an open mic at the Smokehouse, April 3.
But the Enmax rocks with the sounds of Shinedown, April 4, plus One Bad Son and punk band In This Moment. that show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $58.
Due to audience demand, Vancouver musician Geoff Berner is taking a slight departure from his usual accordion powered klezmer punk muse on his new album “Canadiana Grotesquica.”
Though there is still his usual blend of humour and serious issues, there is also plenty of accordion, except place in a more country rock context.
Berner plays a special ticketed event at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, March 29 with songwriter Richard Inman.
“These are songs people have asked if they are on a CD. And I felt just terrible that they weren’t so I put them on a CD,” Berner said.
As usual he combines razor sharp wit with serious issues, and songs he has just always wanted to play like his ode to Vancouver Canucks enforcer, Gino Odjick.
“The Algonquin Assassin’s job was to protect the Russian Rocket, Pavel Bure. But off the ice he was a fan favourite and a real gentleman. He carried himself with a certain dignity. Even after a fight, he’d be a gentleman,” Berner said.
“Super Subtle Folk Song” is anything but. But it also draws attention to issues with Berner’s unique humour.
“It‘s a fun song,” he deadpanned.
There is even Alberta content on “Never Play Cards for Money With Corby Lund.”
“I‘ve never played cards with Corb, but I’ve watched him to know that I don’t want to because he’s way too good,” Berner said.
“Rule of the Road” is inspired by Dick Montana of the Beat Farmers.
Berner takes a shot at modern country music on “Phony Drawl.”
“It’s about country singers from Vancouver and Ontario who sing with a drawl and it sounds a lot different than how they talk.”
Other than recording the new CD, Berner has written another book and toured Europe with Rae Spoon.
“I’ve known Rae since 2003 when Rae was barely 18. We went to Scandinavia for the first time. I have a pretty good career there, but Rae had never been there,” he said.
He is excited abut his new book “The Fiddler Is a Good Woman.”
“It’s a character study — 12 different perspectives of one lady fiddle player,” he said, noting the fiddler was inspired by several different people,” he said.
“The last book, ‘Festival Man’ was directly inspired by real events. And it did pretty well, so the publisher asked me to write another book,” he said.
He is excited to play with Richard Inman.
“He’s a great songwriter. And he’s from around there and he sings like he talks. I’m pretty excited to play with him in Lethbridge and Calgary,” he said.
He noted he doesn’t want people to be dissuaded from coming to the show because of the cover charge.
“I hope it doesn’t deter people. I have a policy. I’d rather have people in the audience who are really into the music. If you really can’t afford it, send me an email and I’ll put you on the list. I don’t want people to not be able to come,” he said.
The March 29 show begins at 9 p.m. There is a $12 cover.
Calgary rock band Ten Minute Detour return to Lethbridge to play the Slice, March 31.
They made their Lethbridge debut in 2016 at Whoop-Up Days opening for the Standstills. Now they are supporting their second CD, “Common Pleasure,” which they recorded in Nashville in seven days last February with producer Lincoln Parish, former guitarist for Cage the Elephant.
“He joined them when he was like 14. He’s already done the rock star thing which is what we want to do and he’s our age — 26. But for him it’s been there, done that,” said Ten Minute Detour frontman Andrew Shier, who is joined by bandmates, bassist Mike Stokes, guitarist Jordan MacNeil and drummer Ross Watson.
“He’s produced some huge songs. So he was able to help is trim a little of the fat,” he continued.
“He‘s a lot more knowledgeable,” he said, adding they went in to record a song a day and stayed around to write three more because they were so inspired.
They have already released three singles from it including “Betty,” “Woodshed,” and “Poli-Shore”
“Poli-Shore is one of those. We’re pretty pleased with it.
Our bassist was playing a polo-rhythmic rhythm so that’s where the Poli comes from,” he said.
“We love playing live. We played a lot of the songs live before, so we got a feel for what songs people like,” he continued , adding the next single and video will be for “McNally’s.”
They enjoyed being in Nashville and got to check out some of the talent playing there.
“It has this reputation of being all about country music. But we stepped off Broadway and went to East Nashville and got to see a lot of cool things. It’s not as country as it’s been portrayed,“ he said.
“It was so cool. Everyone was super nice and super friendly,” he enthused.
They have a lot of driving ahead of them in support of the CD, which was released on March 16. They will be coming to Lethbridge from Vancouver and Revelstoke. We’re just excited to play. We feel lucky we get to do this,” he said.
Ten Minute Detour play the Slice, March 31.
University of Lethbridge-based community radio station CKXU raised $24,282 from the past week”s FUNDrive to put towards creating a new website with generous donors and a variety of special events including the Cupcake Carnival on Sunday, Karaoke and a big battle of the bands at the Slice, March 21.
Due to being on the air, I only caught the soundcheck of winners Jane Doe, who were wielding electric 12 string guitars. Alternative rock ’90s alternative rock band Mom Bod placed second and alternative rock duo Cope tied for third place with GreenBones.
I caught a loose set of ’90s and alternative pop punk from Medicine Hat-born duo Sydeshow. The guitarist/vocalist Nate Thomas and drummer Carter Potts took a bit of time in between songs but when the two dug in they really connected and played tight,
They played several brand new song and a cover or two including ’90s pop and even a punked-up version of Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69.”
Mombod a.k.a. guitarist Mandy Fox, bassist/vocalist Silvana Campus and drummer Amberlea Parker brought a good sized crowds back to the ’90s hey day of the Riot Grrrls, playing an upbeat set of alternative rock along the lines of L7 and Hole.
They also played some brand new songs about being a mom opening with a Lethbridge-centric song including the lines “What’s going on at the Owl, what’s going on at the Slice.”
Sil Campus sang most of the lead vocals for their set, though Mandy Fox blood curdlingly screamed the last song of the set.
Everybody and their dog was out in force for St. Patrick’s Day, as expected.
Honker’s was doing triple duty on March 17, filling the room early with St. Patrick’s Day revellers as well as regulars celebrating the popular northside pub’s 21st birthday, not to mention their regular cadre of Saturday jammers. I caught a few who I never see anywhere else including an excellent duo, Joy and Laurie, who sang and harmonized on a variety of songs ranging from “Teach Your Children Well,” “Amazing Grace” and “Delta Dawn.”
The only other act I was able to catch on a day which included some impressive talent including Steve Keenan and Paul Kype and Jolene Draper, was Emilie Ross, who played a decent set of modern and alternative rock including a version of Radiohead’s “Creep,” some White Stripes and others.
The Windy City Medieval Faire held a pretty successful, though late starting, fundraising interactive murder mystery, “Kill Me I’m Irish” at The Galt Museum, March 17.
There was Irish stew and Irish beer and a handful of people learning their characters, dressed an an array of green and nineteenth century, early twentieth century Irish outfits.
There was lovely harp playing as well.
The Lethbridge Folk Club didn’t have a great turnout for their March 17 presentation of High River newgrass band, the Spitzee Post band, at the Lethbridge College Cave. Only 18 paid attendees were in attendance.
I caught them in the middle of a break, but caught a solid second set which opened with the Waterboys’ “Fisherman’s Blues” and showed off lead singer Joe Gore’s mandolin.
They switched instruments throughout the set. Rhonda Shippey alternated between acoustic guitar and banjo. Gore traded his mandolin for a guitar, lead guitarist Wayne Corner alternated between a national steel guitar for slide guitar and an acoustic guitar. upright bassist Coralee Gore thumped and shuddered out rhythm. Craig West played some hot fiddle throughout the set.
They also played a Steeldrivers song “The Ghost of the Machine.”
Gore had a big raspy voice along the lines of Steve Earle or Dr. John with just a touch of Chris Stapleton.
Just to show off their diverse musical tastes, they played a very cool original called “Reggae Rider,” which blended bluegrass with reggae music.
Average Joe’s was packed with St. Patrick’s Day revellers, March 17. Local jazz/folk/celtic band Junkman’s Quire were in fine form, showing off the prowess of fiddlers Megan Brown and Tom Scott who traded maracas for his fiddle for an outstanding fiddle duel.
Kilt wearing Megan Brown was singing to wind up the set, though a kilted George Fowler took up his cello and sang the last song of the set I caught. Fowler added percussion, guitar and cello throughout.
They entertained a full dance floor before taking a break.
Adequate bring the funk to any party. This time, they brought the funk and the noise to a full Owl Acoustic lounge for St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.
Keenan Pezderic sang lead vocals while playing bass instead of from behind the drum kit where he usually is when I see them.
Scott Mezei gleefully smashed away at the drums while adding vocals to a variety of funk and R and B.
I arrived in the middle of “You Sexy Thing,” and stuck around for some James Brown’ “Get Off of that Bed” and an excellent version of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.”
Petunia and Nathan Godfrey at the Slice
It is always fun to see Petunia test out new material. He returned to the Slice for St. Patrick’s Day to entertain approximately 50 people, promising to return later in the year with a full band.
Petunia and lead guitarist Nathan Godfrey played their usual gripping set of traditional country inspired music. Petunia yodelled and told stories, noting he was recording another new CD.
I caught part of the third set of local blues rock quartet Coda at Legends. They had a busy March 17 as they were playing Honker’s 21st birthday bash earlier in the night as well. I caught them on two breaks before finally catching part of their last set.
Frontman/lead guitarist Sheldon Shekaliak, bassist Rick Maddeaux plus a drummer and a keyboardist, played a tight set of blues and blues rock music including “She Caught the Katy” and “Before You Accuse Me.”
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Standup Comedy open mic
University Theatre— u of L Jazz Ensemble 7:30 p.m.
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Geoff Berner and Richard Inman $12
Slice — Open mic
Honker’s — open mic with Kelly Klimchuk
Club Didi — Easter Drag Show 9 p.m. $10
Casino Lethbridge — Rockin’ 58s
Mocha Cabana — Herb Hicks Jazz Quartet
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Tyson Ray Borsboom and Eric brent West
The Slice — 10 minute Detour
Casino Lethbridge — Rockin’ 58s
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Decadent Phase
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic with Jolene Draper
Onion — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Smokehouse — open mic
Enmax — Shinedown with In This Moment and One Bad Son
Slice — open mic
Average Joe’s — Yuk Yuks Comedy tour with Todd ness, William Hannigan and host Randy Webb 8:30 p.m. $15 advance, $20 at door
Slice — Crooked Creek Warblers
Honker’s Pub — open mic
KCs Pub — Dory and the Weathermen 8 p.m.
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Painting the blues with Papa King and the Boogiemen and Deirdre Earl 8 p.m.
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Empress — John Wort Hannam – Songs4Ken with Mike Stack, Brooke Wylie, The Polyjesters, John Rutherford, Annie Froese $25 7:30 p.m.