An eclectic and busy week of music is dominated by Lethbridge jazz and blues Festival events happening throughout the week. But that is only some of all the great jazz and blues music happening this week as part of the Jazz and Blues Festival.
Thursday night is especially busy. There are suppertime jazz and blues concerts with Randy Epp and Don Robb performing at the Telegraph and James Oldenburg at the Firestone. Both play from 5:30-8 p.m. Johnny Summers and the Calgary jazz Orchestra and special guest Mallory Chipman play the Enmax Centre lounge at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $235.
And for the complete opposite to that, Average Joe’s hosts a great Canadian ’80s metal show featuring the Killer Dwarfs and Kick Axe beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35.
Friday, June 15 is just as busy, if not more so.
The Geomatic Attic winds up their season with Vancouver-based rockabilly trio Cousin Harley at 8 p.m. Tickets are $37.50 in advance $40 at the door. They are touring in support of their new CD “Blue Smoke: A Tribute to Merle Travis.”
Most Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival events are at the Enmax Centre.
Local jazz musicians will be performing at the food Truck Frenzy beginning with HBO3 at noon and the Steve Keenan band winding things up at 5 p.m..
If you aren’t full, Papa King plays the Suppertime blues series at Coulee brew while Dale Ketcheson plays the mocha Cabana. Anna McBryan and Cal Toth play for supper at the Firestone.
Later that night, Saskatoon blues/roots musician B.C. Read plays The Slice at 9:30 tickets are $210
Then the Mallory Chipman quartet plays the Enmax Centre Lounge at 7:30.
And completely different from that, Gabriele Thaine hosts a CD release party for his new CD “Alone In this World” at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.
And Adequate gets funky at Casino Lethbridge Friday and Saturday.
The Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival winds up on Saturday, June 16 with several shows. The biggest one is headliner Holly Cole, who plays the Enmax Centre at 7:30 p.m.
But before that there are suppertime series show at Streatside with James Oldenburg, and Randy Epp at the Firestone.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge is hopping all day long on Saturday beginning with Vancouver’s Allison Au Trio at 3 p.m. Admission is $20. Then the Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp features their most fun fundraiser — Band Swap 2018 beginning at 7 p.m. A variety of local musicians mirror the Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp by picking up an instrument, hopefully new to them, learning to pay it, and coming up with a quick set hopefully with an original they wrote for the occasion, all within the previous week.
After that The Owl hosts a Sweetgrass Youth alliance Fundraiser at 9 p.m.
The Southern Alberta Ethnic Association features the interact Club of Lethbridge’s third annual Global Gala fundraiser featuring classic rock band Dory and the Weathermen who play the Third annual Gala for the Lethbridge and District YWCA.
There will be a buffet dinner at 6 p.m., silent auction and dancers and more. Admission is $40.
And Nanaimo jazz/dance band Boomshack make their first visit to Lethbridge as well when they play The Slice at 9 p.m.
Pride Fest events happen throughout the week. One of the highlights will be Princess Rules happening at 8 p.m. at Casa featuring princess Edward reinventing her pop star persona.
You can take a brief breather, but not long as Papa King plays the matinee series at the Smokehouse on Sunday, June 17
And Alberta songwriter Sam Lundell plays the Slice, on Tuesday, June 19 in the middle of his tour. There is a $10 cover Last, but definitely not least, the Owl Acoustic Lounge features the return of Hamilton funnyman/slacker poet B.A. Johnson who is still touring in support of his new CD Gremlins 3. Local bands Open Channels and Biloxi Parish open the show. There is no cover, but get there early as it is sure to be packed.
Saskatoon blues/roots musician Brian “B.C.” Read brings the blues to the Lethbridge Jazz and blues festival, Friday, June 15 when he plays The Slice.
Read explores everything from solo delta blues to blues with a full jazz band, but splits the difference when he brings the four-piece band to Lethbridge.
“I remember being in a country rock band which opened for the Charlie Daniels Band in the ’70s at the old arena,” Read recalled, noting he is pleased to present his long time four piece band of bassist George Tennent, saxophonist/keyboardist Sheldon Corbett and drummer Laurie Currie. he will be playing guitar and harp and singing.
“I’ve been playing with Laurie for 30 years, and I’d say Sheldon Corbett is among the top three or four keyboardists and saxophonists in the west if not Canada,” he enthused.
He noted he doesn’t recall how he got interested in blues music.
“I like to say the blues found me,” he said.
“I also listen to a lot of folk, country and rock and roll music. when you look at the history of it, the blues is in all of it, ” he continued. “I play roots and blues music, but I also like horns.“
Tickets for B.C. Read are $20. The show begins at 9:30 p.m., Friday, June 15 at The Slice.
Vancouver-based guitarist extraordinaire Paul Pigat is excited to pay tribute to one of his idols Merle Travis on the latest Cousin Harley album “Blue Smoke: The music of Merle Travis.”
Cousin Harley wind up a busy few weeks at the Geomatic Attic, June 15.
“It’s been about two years since I was at the Geomatic Attic,” he said, adding he has been playing Merle Travis songs in concert for many years, so he chose some of his favourites for the new CD.
“I was working on a new solo album, then I realized Nov. 27 would have been his 100th birthday, so I shelved the solo album and got the boys together for this album,” he said.
“I’ve been playing Divorce me C.O.D., Fat Girls, and So Round, So Firmly Packed, for years, and which are on the edge of being politically incorrect,” he observed.
“ There were so many songs to choose from. I wanted songs that he was known for like “16 Tons,” which is a darker song, but I also wanted to show his sense of humour, so I chose songs like ‘Divorce me C.O.D.,’ and ‘Fat Girls,’” he said, adding he hasn’t heard any complaints about the songs not being politically correct.
“I haven’t heard a word about it,” he said.
Pigat will be bringing his long time rhythm section of drummer Jesse Cahill and crazy bassist Keith Picot to the show.
He noted Cousin Harley allows him to combine a lot of his musical interests.
“There’s rockabilly, bebop and punk rock. I try to present it in a way so so people will want to listen to it,” he said.
The show begins at 8 p.m. Friday, June 15. Tickets are $37.50 in advance, $40 at the door.
While it isn’t officially part of the Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival, Nanaimo-based jazz/dance band Boomshack plans to get your feet moving at the Slice Saturday, June 16.
“This will be our first tour off the Vancouver island experience. We’re just playing four shows in Alberta and four in B.C.,” said trumpet/trombone player Dave Bamford from his living room in Nanaimo, where he is hanging out with drummer Graham Villette.
The band formed after meeting and making music together through the jazz program at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo.
“We were really influenced by two local bands playing a lot. And we enjoyed playing together and making music together,” Villette added.
The band expands on their jazz roots by incorporating a variety of musical styles including Latin, funk, rock and pop.
“And a lot of reggae,” Bamford added.
“We want to create a sound including a lot of our influences, but it definitely is not jazz,” Bamford said.
“And we’re influenced a lot by Five Alarm Funk from Vancouver. Though we aren’t as theatrical,” Villette said.
“There’s no sharks flying across the stage,” he chuckled.
“We’re used to playing jazz music and wearing suits on stage, though we don’t in this band,” Bamford continued.
“Internationally we’re really influenced by Snarkfish and Australia’s Cat Empire. We love the Cat Empire. We love how they combine so many styles,” he said.
“Our music is fast-paced, exciting dance music. Our lead singer and tenor saxophonist Theo (Hughes-Ridgway) comes up with the most creative ideas,” Villette said.
“It’s so much fun. We experiment with funk, hip hop and rock. There‘s so much energy,” he enthused.
“And we’re all multi-instrumentalists so there’s a lot of jumping around between instruments. We don’t want any one song to to sound the same as the others,” Bamford added.
Boomshack play The Slice June 16.
Bears in Hazenmore/Sparkle Blood at the Owl
The well-oiled machine that is Regina-based indie rock band Bears in Hazenmore wound down an extensive tour at the Owl Acoustic Lounge June 2 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.
I just caught the end of local band Birch barks, who had a full band then trimmed it down to two for their last song.
Bears in Hazenmore are always easygoing fun.
They played appealing indie rock with plenty of delay laded guitars. And you can’t forget the piercing note of their French horn, ringing clearing through the dimly lit room for an enraptured audience.
They sang pleasing harmonies reminiscent of ’80s pop duo the Pet Shop Boys.
They played music off their brand new CD as well as brand new music which they haven’t recorded yet.
I had to leave Bears of Hazenmore early because I wanted to catch at least some of Dave McCann and the Firehearts’ set at Casino Lethbridge, Saturday, June 2.
They didn’t have many people left by the time I arrived around 11:30 p.m. But most of them were happily two stepping to a set of mostly original music , much from their most Recent CD “Circle of light” as well as a few obscure country songs from Gram Parsons and the Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses.”
Dave Bauer played tasteful leads, while McCann uncannily resembled Todd Snider in voice and manner.
Shawn Worden grooved and writhed as he played bass and Kyle Harmon was unstoppable behind the skins.
Blueprint Farewell at the Slice
Lethbridge bid farewell to Blueprint Records, who passed the torch on to Street Legal Records after 12 dedicated years of supporting Lethbridge’s music scene not to mentions supplying plenty of vinyl gems to everyone.
I bought some of my favourite punk and blues records at Blueprint and got him to order in some of my other favourites I couldn’t find anywhere else, so it is sad to see owner Mike Molloy move on. But the scene sent him off in style with lots of live music. Lots of folks will miss him and they showed up in force for their farewell show. I saw faces I haven’t seen in years.
While I missed an opening set by local rock band Biloxi Parish, I was in time for an incendiary set by alternative rock duo Sparkle Blood who played a hot set of catchy White Stripes-tinged punk.
A live show from open Channels is far and few between, so any time I get to see them, it is a treat. As usual they embraced their inner ’80s child, playing a solid set of very much ’80s-influenced keyboard based pop and new wave music thanks to Jane Edmundson’s keyboards. They will also be opening for B.A. Johnston at the Owl Acoustic Lounge on Tuesday, June 19.
Their bassist Tony Zucco sang most of the lead vocals this time, with the guitarist Jeff King singing less than usual.
Local alternative Rock trio Mombod finished off the night with their usual set of ’90s Riot Grrrl and grunge influenced music.
Southminster United Church — Lethbridge jazz and blues Festival Sweet Inspiration Gospel Concert with Marcus Mosley $10, 7:30 p.m.
Slice — Windy City Opry with Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra
Telegraph — Lethbridge Jazz and blues Festival suppertime blues series with Randy Epp and Don Robb
Average Joe’s — Kick Axe with Killer Dwarves 8 p.m. $35
Slice — open mic
Enmax Centre (Canadian Western Bank Lounge Lethbridge jazz and blues Festival Johnny Summers and the Calgary jazz orchestra $35 7:30 p.m.
Plum — Lethbridge Jazz and blues Festival lunch series with Randy Epp and Andrea Walker
Firestone — Lethbridge Jazz and blues Festival suppertime blues series with James Oldenburg 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Geomatic Attic — Cousin Harley $37.50 $40
Enmax Centre — Lethbridge jazz and blues Festival Jazz and more Food Truck Frenzy. noon HBO3 with Michael Carter: 3 p.m. Calling all Superheroes and princesses; 5 p.m. Steve Keenan Band
Enmax Centre (Canadian Western Bank Lounge Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival — Mallory Chipman Quartet 7;30 p.m. $35
The Slice — Lethbridge jazz and blues Festival. BC Read 9:30 p.m. $20
Coulee Brew — Lethbridge Jazz and blues Festival suppertime blues series with papa King Trio 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Firestone — Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival suppertime blues series with Anna McBryan and Cal Toth 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Mocha Cabana — Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival suppertime blues series with Dale Ketcheson 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Gabriel Thaine CD release
Casino Lethbridge — Adequate
Southern Alberta Ethnic Association — 3rd Annual Global Gala for Lethbridge and District YWCA with Dory and the weathermen
Enmax Centre — Lethbridge jazz and Blues Festival Holly Cole
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Lethbridge jazz and blues Festival Saturday jazz Break with Allison Au Quartet 3 p.m. $20 7 p.m. -10 p.m. 9 p.m. Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp Band Swap
9:30 pm. Sweetgrass Youth alliance Fundraiser
Pridefest Streatside Eatery — Lethbridge Jazz and blues Festival suppertime blues series with James Oldenburg 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Firestone — Lethbridge Jazz and blues Festival suppertime blues series with Randy Epp 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Slice — Boom Shack
Casino Lethbridge — Adequate
Club Didi— princess Rules Princess Rules – 8 pm nightly at Casa. Tickets available through Pride. Princess Edward is back and bigger than ever! In Princess Rules, Princess Edward reinvents her pop star persona and goes rogue to produce her new show. But when mysterious floating orbs threaten her career and even her life, she must learn how to listen to her true self before she loses everything. afterparty with DJ Rabbyt
Smokehouse — matinee with Papa King