The beginning of July features big festivals, metal, classical music and lots of Latin music.
Festival Latino happens in Galt Gardens, July 7 beginning at noon with plenty of Latin food and live music, dancing and a cantina bar. The event is free to attend.
Hollywood-based keytar-powered metal trio trio The Maension play the Smokehouse with Australian band Be Faced, To The Mountains and the Hockey Moms. Admission is $10 for the show which begins at 7 p.m.
CKXU features an alternative rock show at the Old Firehall, July 7 with Montreal’s Alder and Ash, Calgary’s Redress and local bands An Ant and and Atom and the Ugly Cry Club. The show begins at 8 p.m. There is a $10 cover
The Terrific Kids Collective brings in Edmonton psych rock band Dead Friends and two piece fuzz punk project Fear the Mammoth along with local act Marigold to the Slice, July 7. The show begins at 9:30 p.m. There is a five dollar cover.
The day before, on July 6, the Slice combines art and music with the art of Laurel Scott and the music of Vancouver songwriting collective Honey Tongue.
The other big event this week is the Centric Music Festival for classical music aficionados.
The opening concert is at Casa. Iberian Melodies features O of L professor and classical guitarist Illiana Matos and Dale Ketcheson. The concert begins at 7:30 though there is a pre-show discussion at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $50.
There are several Centric concerts, July 7.
At 2:30 p.m., at the Lethbridge Public Library hosts Opus 3 featuring violinist Airdrie Robinson, cellist Christine Bootland and pianist John-Paul Ksiazek.
Tickets are $30.
Concert 3, Colour and Light, features most of the Centric Music Festivals artists honouring Debussy’s centennial at La Cité Des Prairies. Tickets for the concert are $30.
Centric winds up with two concerts on Sunday, July 8. the first one “She Shines on the Earth is at 2:30 p.m. at the library featuring mezzo-soprano Camille Rogers and pianist Perri Lo. Tickets are $30.
Stories: The Closing Gala is at Cite Des Prairies at 7:30 p.m. featuring violinist Andrew Wan and pianist Ryan Kolodziej. The pre-concert discussion is at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets for the Gala performances are $50, or you can get a festival pass for $125.
The monthly ukulele jam is at Casa at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 8 as well.
Playgoers of Lethbridge is looking for a few good men and women for their October Dinner Theatre of Jamie Wooten, Jessie Jones and Nicholas Hope’s 2010 farce “Til Beth Do us Part.”
Auditions are at Casa, Tuesday, July 3 and Thursday July 5 from 7-8 p.m.
“They often write together,” said director Lori Garner, who makes her directorial debut with Playgoers of Lethbridge with this production.
“Career-driven Suzannah Hayden needs a lot more help on the home front than she’s getting from her husband, Gibby. Lately, nurturing his marriage of 27 years hasn’t been the highest priority for Gibby, but pretty soon he’ll wish it had been. Enter Beth Bailey, Suzannah’s newly-hired assistant, a gregarious, highly-motivated daughter of the South. To Suzannah’s delight, Beth explodes into the Hayden household and whips it into an organized, well-run machine. This couldn’t have happened at a better time for Suzannah, since her boss, Celia Carmichael, the CEO of Carmichael’s Chocolates, is flying in soon for an important make-or-break business dinner.
“Gibby grows increasingly wary as Beth insinuates herself into more and more aspects of their lives. In no time, she exceeds her duties as a household assistant and interjects herself into Suzannah’s career. As Suzannah’s dependence on Beth grows and Gibby’s dislike of the woman deepens, Suzannah gives Beth carte blanche to change anything in the household that ‘will make it run more efficiently.’ And the change Beth makes is convincing Suzannah that Gibby must go. When he realizes it’s Suzannah’s career Beth is really after, a newly-determined Gibby sets out to save his marriage aided by Suzannah’s best friend, Margo, a wisecracking and self-deprecating divorcee and her ex-husband, Hank, who is in the midst of his own mid-life crisis.
“Their effort to stop Beth at any cost sets up the wildly funny climax in which things go uproariously awry just as Suzannah’s boss arrives for that all-important dinner,” according to the official synopsis.
“I’ve been involved with The Raymond Playhouse for 37 years and thought it would be fun to try my hand at directing in Lethbridge,” she said.
The play requires four women and two men, ideally in their late 40s and 50s.
“Suzanna runs her own company, and Gibby is a weatherman; he expects her to still do householdy things even though she runs her own company,” she said.
The play takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“But it would be fun if Cecilia was actually a British woman in her 60s,” she said.
“It’s definitely not a kids’ show. It is an older cast of actors in their late 40s and early 50s. But depending on who comes out, we can adjust,” she said.
There are a lot of funny parts in the play
“There’s one part where Hank gets the Mustang in the divorce and Margo sends it to home one piece at a time, saying the divorce doesn’t say he gets it all at once,” she laughed, adding the play has a lot of fast paced dialogue so the actors will need excellent comedic timing.
“It‘s very lighthearted like a dinner theatre should be,” she said.
The dinner theatre will run in the Country Kitchen, beneath the Keg restaurant Oct. 23-27.
Garner would like to start rehearsals in mid-August.
“But it depends on the actors schedules. If someone wants to be in it, but is away for August then we can increase the number of rehearsals in the fall,” she said.
Sunday dragon boats
I only caught the last day of this year’s Rotary Dragon boat Festival. And that was mainly because I wanted to hear Karen Romanchuk and Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction who I haven’t seen for a while.
Romanchuk sang a solid set of original material and covers including ”Hallelujah” and even turned Cyndi Lauper‘s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” into a pretty cool country song.
A group of Scott Davidson’s Chinook High School musicians were up next with a scrappy set of covers.
Davidson took centre stage as lead guitarist with Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction.
They played a rushed set of modern country and classic rock covers including fast versions of Miranda Lambert’s “Little Red Wagon,” “I Want You to Want Me” Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” and Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.” They also played an excellent version of Alan Doyle’s “1, 2, 3, 4.”
The Slice had to improvise after Shaela Miller had to move her scheduled CD release party to this week due to participating in the Project Wild in Calgary.
So the Slice brought in some, new, young talent to perform.
The Decadent Phase frontman James Swinney looked and sounded like he just stepped out of the ’70s. He sounded eerily like John Denver even while playing Bob Dylan songs.
He also showed some serious fingerpicking skills on the guitar on several original songs.
He invited Chris Drew of the Crooked Creek Warblers to add extra harmonies and harmonica to his songs as well as to perform his own songs, which Swinney added harmonies to. Rowen hill joined them on stage to add extra harmonies and trumpet on a few songs they wrote together for a new musical project.
I missed Tyson Borsboom’s opening set.
The Owl Acoustic lounge was all about pop music on Saturday, June 23.
While I missed local pop band Stars from Streetlights, I was in time for the return of Vancouver based musician Lisette Xavier.
“A lot has happened since I lived in Lethbridge. For example I play music now and I don’t work at the Penny anymore,” she observed from behind her piano, in between playing preprogrammed drums and bass.
She sang appealing, catchy, heartfelt pop music.
An intimate audience gathered at the McNally Arts Centre for an afternoon of show tunes featuring the students of AC Vocals, Saturday, July 23.
“Two Fourths” of Uncovered, who had a busy day as they were also performing at the Rotary Dragon Boat Festival later in the afternoon and at Casino Lethbridge on the weekend. Jono and Danny played a quick set of ’90s hits including Matchbox 20.
After their set vocal teacher Andi Roberts’ students performed a variety of show tune hits from musicals like “Pocahontas” and “Wicked” and several others. Roberts sang a duet with one of her daughters, which was a highlight.
The afternoon ended with a rare performance by Roberts’ jazz combo Black Tie Affair, Featuring Sheldon Arvay on guitar, drummer Brent Hogan and a bassist filling in backing Roberts’ vocals during a brief set of jazz crooner standards including “Girl From Ipanema.”
Average Joe’s, Eve 6 Blind Melon
Average Joe’s took a step back into the ’90s, Friday, June 22 with Blind Melon and Eve 6 playing to an enthusiastic crowd.
Blind Melon, are best know for their hit “No Rain showed they are much more then their best known hit. I arrived a little late and missed founding member Chris Thorn playing banjo in between playing groovy riffs and fitting solos on guitar. But I arrived in time to see him break out the mandolin for a song.
Their set was all about jamming, big grooves and guitar solos.
Their lead singer Travis Warren sounded uncannily like heir original singer Shannon Hoon, who passed away from a drug overdose in 1995.
They had a a lot of die hard fans in the audience, who were surprised Blind Melon was the opening act, yet they sang along with almost every word including and most prevalently “No Rain” which came near the end of the set.
I wasn’t as familiar with the music as most of the audience were, but I enjoyed the experimentation and jamming, though not so much the eye blinding strobes and lasers shooting into the audience. Warren also showed he was a pretty talented guitarist as well, plucking an acoustic in between scampering and writhing all over the stage.
Long, mellow jams were the order of the set, though they picked up the pace on “Galaxie,” near the end of the set.
After a break, Eve 6, played an energetic, hit heavy set of late ’90s/early 2000s pop punk music. Bassist Max Collins, wearing dark sunglasses, ran back and forth across the stage, traded mics with guitarist Jim Siebels.
“Open Road” and “Think Twice” came early in the set.
Collins joked one of their big hits “Here’s to the night,” had become to go to prom song in the 2000s, but he rededicated as a tribute to Eve 6’s audiences. They played one of my favourites “Amphetamines” and I had to leave for another gig.
Edmonton songstress Ann Vriend brought her own band to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Friday, June 22.
I caught Vriend winding up their first set, by belting out a soulful version of Aretha Franklin’s “R-E-S-P-E-C-T,” so was glad they played a second set.
She had a solid band behind her including a talented keyboardist Brennan Cameron, who allowed her to let loose on the microphone, such as on a beautiful version of “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman,” which opened the second set.
They had a lot of groove a throughout. Vriends voice dripped with soul throughout as set of a few choice covers and mostly original material including the outstanding “Everything is Going to be Fine,” which she noted will be on her next album.
Slice — open mic
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Slice — Art and music show with Laurel Scott and the Honey Tongues
Casa — Centric Music Festival Opening Gala Concert I: Iberian Nights
Friday, July 6, 6:30 pm pre-concert discussion, 7:30 pm concert
Casa, ATB Community Room
Iliana Matos, guitar
Slice — Dead Friends, Fear the Mammoth, Marigiold 9:30 p.m. $5
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Firehall — Alder and Ash with An Ant and an Atom, Redress and Ugly Cry Club 8 p.m. $10
Galt Gardens — Latin festival noon-9 p.m.
Smokehouse—The Maension, Be Faced, Tyrants of Chaos, To the mountains, Extrados and the Hockey moms 9 p.m. Tickets?
Southern Alberta Ethnic Association — Latin Festival
Lethbridge Public library — Centric Music Festival Saturday, July 7, 2:30 pm
Smokehouse — matinee 4-6 p.m.
Casa — July Ukulele jam
Lethbridge Public Library — Centric Music Festival Concert IV: She Shines on the Earth
Sunday, July 8, 2:30 p.m.
Lethbridge Public Library Main Branch Theatre Gallery
Camille Rogers, mezzo-soprano; Perri Lo, piano
pre-concert discussion, 7:30 p.m. concert
Salle Louis-Phillippe Cormier, La Cité des Prairies
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Onion — open mic