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It’s a lucky week for local music lovers

Posted on July 11, 2018 by Richard Amery

Friday the 13th will be a lucky day this week for music lovers, with a cornucopia of excellent shows coinciding with Street Machine Weekend.
Concert For A Cause 2 takes place in Galt Gardens July 13 at 6:45 p.m. with performances by Old School and Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction and hypnotist Jr. Matthew. The family-friendly concert is free to attend. Proceeds from the beer garden and donations will go to Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
Backstreet Pub has an outdoors beer garden and the music of classic rock/pop band Fast Times, who will entertain you as you get a front-row seat to the Street Wheelers Cruise on Friday evening. For another vantage point on Mayor Magrath, the Ten Ten Pub also has an outdoor beer garden. Classic rock band Who’s Yer Daddy will be performing.
If you are trying to avoid traffic, and want to bang your head Calgary punk/metal band Citizen Rage return to Lethbridge to play the Smokehouse with local metal band Extrados, punk pop band Sessions and Hockey Moms. Doors open at 8 p.m.There is a $10 cover. For something a little easier on the ears, get a preview of the Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp and South Country Fair as Calgary singer-songwriter Tara Warburton opens for local band Makiisma at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, July 13 as well.
And just down the street, get a taste of the Calgary Stampede as Toronto country rock band Johnson Crook play the Slice with the Crooked Creek Warblers.
Johnson Crook are also playing the Coca Cola Stage at the Stampede this week.
Get your twang on with Winnipeg country musician Sean Burns, who returns to Casino Lethbridge July 13 and 14. He also plays the Slice for the Windy City Opry on Wednesday, July 11.
If you’re feeling in an ’80s mood, Sound Garden presents Journey/Bon Jovi tribute Jersey Boulevard, July 13. Tickets are $5. And Cal Toth’s Duelling pianos returns to Average Joe’s July 13 as well.
The next evening, spend a night with local surf/punk band Chief Mountain who play an album fundraiser at the Slice with Frege’s Puzzle and Old Youth. Admission is $5.
If you want to jam, The Decadent Phase return to the Owl Acoustic lounge, July 14 as well.
And Lethbridge Girls Rock camp winds up with their big camp-ending showcase at the Gate, July 14 at 6 p.m. It features brand new bands from all of this year’s campers. Admission is $5 in advance from Street Legal and $8 at the door.
If you didn’t get enough Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp, check out Union Barber’s second annual Back Alley Bash featuring MTBC, Ezra Sulin, Megan Brown’s band Makiisma, Heather Light, Biloxi Parish and Rabbyt performing from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Early next week, the Smokehouse features a big rap show featuring Cryptic Wisdom headlines, Tuesday, July 17. There will also be a freestyle rap battle and performances by Open Cypher, Knox, UKS UKS, KroppHopper, Savage music Group, $Sammy & the Fiend, JPB, Pyke, J-Reds and Tour Pack. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.
Toronto-based country rock band Johnson Crook have done a lot in the last three years.
“We all come from small towns and moved to Toronto to become a country band. We we did it backwards,” observed lead guitarist Nathan Crook, who, along with his brother, drummer Trevor Cook, bassist Jared Craig and lead singer/rhythm guitarist Noel Johnson, played in other bands across Canada before meeting in Toronto.
They have done a lot since forming almost four years ago and even a lot in the last year since releasing their debut CD “The Album” and an EP in 2017.
Johnson Crook play the Slice, Friday, July 13 with the Crooked Creek Warblers.
“I’ve gotten married and our lead singer had a kid,” observed Crook, noting a highlight was working with Tom Cochrane, who sings on “Mr. Nobody.”
“Me and my brother are from Manitoba. He’s a Canadian treasure and a Manitoba treasure, so to have him on a song I wrote…” Crook enthused, adding they met Cochrane naturally.
“Our producer Bill Bell is also Tom Cochrane’s guitarist. So one day he asked us if we minded if he brought a friend. And it was Tom Cochrane. We stayed up until three or four in the morning playing our songs and his songs,” he reminisced, adding Cochrane took to “Mr. Nobody.”
“Then, we were in the studio and Bill asked if we would mind if he brought a friend and it was Tom Cochrane again and Tom asked if he could sing a verse on the song,” he said.
“There’s a video of Tom saying Noel is the best songwriter in Canada, so to have a guy like that in the band is really amazing. It means a lot to have him say something like that,” Crook continued.
In the meantime they are looking forward to the summer, which includes several big festivals, a stop at the Calgary Stampede on the Coca Cola Stage on July 14 and 15 and the Station in Edmonton with rising star Meghan Patrick, July 8.
“We’re really excited to play the Stampede,” he said. “We’ve never brought the band to Lethbridge before. Noel is from Alberta, so we’re looking forward to going there,” he said.
“We’ll be playing a lot of original music and some new songs so all of them will be new to Lethbridge. But we‘ll also play a few covers like ‘Little Sister,’and Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen songs,” he said, adding they won’t be playing any Tom Cochrane songs.
“We don’t like to play them unless we’re with Tom and we’ve been able to play with him three times,” he continued.
He noted they often get compared to bands like The Band, Tom Petty and the Good Brothers and sometimes even the Eagles.
“That’s probably because of our four-part harmonies,” he said, adding the odd comparison to rising country stars High Valley is also flattering.
He said the harmonies come really naturally.
We all have different vocal ranges. I sing really high and my brother sings really low. We have that connection as brothers. Noel and Jared sing in between that. We’ve got to the point where we know exactly where to sing in a song,” he said.
They are excited about “The Album.”
“We wanted a title that was easy to remember. And a lot has happened in the past couple of years. It really is an album. The album insert is a photo album of our lives. It seems like everybody is releasing singles. We wanted to release an album,” he said adding the EP, which was released a couple months before the album has several of the same songs, except for “Canada To Heartbreak,” which shows their more rock and roll side.
“We were playing the Via Rail series and they usually want us to play songs about Canada, so we decided we could write a song about Canada and all the places we‘ve gone,” he said.
South Country Fair songwriting competition winner Tara Warburton returns to Lethbridge for the Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp, before performing her winning song “Raise your Spirit” on the South stage at this year’s Fair.
“I’m excited about it. I didn’t know about Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp until Sil Campus (Camp organizer) talked to me about performing and speaking at the camp after the competition,” said Warburton, who grew up in Fort Macleod, but calls Calgary home.
She will be performing a lunch-time concert during this year’s camp, July 11-15 and will also be opening for Makiisma at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, July 13. She will also be performing her song on the South Country South stage at 9:15, Saturday, July 21.
She spent most of last year writing music.
“I started playing guitar when I was 16 and started writing songs as soon as I figured out a couple if chords. I’ve been playing for 20-25 years now,” she said.
“But last year, in 2017, I was sick with a serious case of chronic fatigue syndrome and started writing more to keep busy,” she said.
She just released “Raise your Spirit” on iTunes and Spotify on June 19.
She noted her song started with the first line back in 2015, but she put it aside until 2017 while she was recovering. “And then it came together in about 15 minutes,” she said.
“I just love to play,” she said, adding it is important to filter out negative people.
She will be playing a 45-minute solo set at the Owl Acoustic Lounge opening for Megan Brown’s band Makiisma.
“It’s definitely a new experience for me. It’s motivated me,” she said, adding playing live can be a challenge.
Tara Warburton and Makiisma play the Owl Acoustic lounge, July 13.

Reviews
I wasn’t in the mood to join thousands of people celebrating Canada Day, Sunday, July 1, but thought I’d check out a couple of the city celebrations. I arrived at the end of celebrations in Galt Gardens as organizers were announcing the winners of a show and shine.
As I missed the music, I wandered over to Henderson Lake park, and wandered through crowds of thousands of people, dogs, food trucks and merchants. I enjoyed the Ecuadorian Social Club showing off their traditional dance. I was impressed and entertained by Roy Pogorzelski showing off frenetic Metis jigging dance moves, then breathlessly trying to teach a passel of over-enthusiastic children and brave adults how to do the steps, advising them it was more important to have fun trying.
Shaela Miller CD release at the Slice
I was looking forward to seeing the Real Ponchos again at the Slice, June 30, but just arrived in time to catch the first few songs of local musician Shaela Miller’s Lethbridge CD release party for her new CD “Bad Ideas.” She had a packed house of people I haven’t seen for months and in some cases years, but who came out of hiding to support Shaela, who has come a long way, becoming a finalist in the Project Wild competition, taking place in Calgary this summer.
She basically played the more upbeat tracks from the new CD track by track, beginning with “Hard Knock Upside the Head,” one of my favourites, which is also getting a lot of play on CKUA, and followed it up with the title track and then “Colour My Love” and “Cheating And Lying,” which had a good chunk of the crowd trying to two-step. She slowed things down with “Friend Tonight.” She went back a few years for crowd pleaser “Half Way in Love,” before picking up the tempo for a Bob Wills cover “Stay a Little Longer,” but I unfortunately had to leave..
Miller knows how to pick her players, so her hot band of drummer Tyler Bird, bassist Paul Holden, lead guitarist Jon Martin and steel guitarist “Skinny” Dyck really helped her to shine.
Boots and the Hoots at the Owl
Lethbridge got to see three of Red Deer’s best bands, Friday, June 29.
I always enjoy country band Boots and the Hoots as their twang and earthy humour always have me busting a gut. I caught the end of their first set of twangy old school country and jokes. They played some upbeat jukebox barnburners and followed them up with the requisite lovelorn “hurting” country ballads.
They ended their set with George Jones’ “She Still Thinks I Love Her,” some Billy Joe Shaver and back to George Jones before taking a break.
I was all set to have another beer and listen to more Boots and the Hoots, until frontman Boots Graham suggest I check out “two of Red Deer’s best bands,” noting “you’ve seen me a hundred times.”
So taking him at his word, I went to the Slice.
At Boots’ recommendation, I took in an overly loud show from two of Red Deer’s best bands at the Slice, June 29 — Conniferous and the duo St. Groove. I arrived in the middle of the set from indie rock trio Conniferous, who were sharing drummer Coltan Shell with the duo St. Groove.
Conniferous drew heavily from the well of U2 and Radiohead, playing appealing, ambient indie-rock. They detuned for their last song.
St. Groove, on the other hand, playing as a duo with guitarist Mitchell Chase and drummer Coltan Shell, played a boisterous set of scrappy, blues-based rock tinged with punk along the lines of the White Stripes.

July 11
Beaches — open mic
Slice — Incredible Woman, Touching God, Ghost Woman ( p.m. $10)
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Paint and Sip
Slice — Windy City Opry with Sean Burns and Bobby Dove $10
July 12
Slice — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Mark Karsten Vigilante Principle book launch
July 13
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Sound Garden — Journey/Bon Jovi tribute Jersey Boulevard
Galt Gardens — Street Wheelers Concert for a Cause for Big brothers and Sisters with Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction and old School 6:45 p.m.
Smokehouse — Citizen Rage with Extrados, Sessions and Hockey Moms $10 8 p.m.
Average Joe’s — Dueling Pianos with Cal Toth
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Makiisma with Tara Warburton
Slice — Johnson Crook with Crooked Creek Warblers
Casino Lethbridge — Sean Burns
Backstreet Pub — Fast Times Street Machine Weekend
1010 Pub — Who’s Yer Daddy
July 14
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Galt Gardens — Street Wheelers
Slice — an Evening with Chief mountain
Casino Lethbridge — Sean Burns
Owl Acoustic Lounge — The Decadent Phase
The Gate — Lethbridge Girls Rock camp showcase
July 15
Smokehouse — matinee
Galt Gardens — Street Wheelers
Backstreet Pub
Union Barbershop – Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp back alley bash 11 a.m,-6 p.m.
July 16
The Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Onion — open mic
July 17
Smokehouse — Cryptic Wisdom
July 18
Beaches — open mic
July 20
Casino Lethbridge — Suzanne Scott
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Fort Macleod — South Country Fair 5 p.m. Opening set – Crown the new mayor. After Washboard sings a few.
5:30 p.m. Kidz Rock
6:30 p.m. Super Subtle Folk SongsSuper Subtle Folk Songs with Geoff Berner, Lemon Bucket Orkestra, and Lily Fawn (Circus Acts Insomniacs?
8 p.m. Slammers (3 poets: 3 minutes each): Kennedi O’Brien, Roylin Picou, and Johnny Macrae
8:30 p.m. Kacy & Clayton
9:30 p.m.Songwriting competition 2nd place: Cathy Hawley
9:45 Shaela Miller 11 p.m.Etienne Fletcher
12:30 a.m. Lemon Bucket orchestra
July 21
Casino Lethbridge — Suzanne Scott
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Fort Macleod South Country Fair South Stage
11 a.m. Kiko the Elf
noon NIA Workshop
1:30 The Pros and Cons of Collaboration: Carolyn Mark, Shaela Miller, Ndidi Onukwulu
3 p.m. John Wort Hannam
4:145 Volunteer photo
4:45 Rev Sekou
6 p.m. Geoff Bernere, Carolyn Mark, Kris Demeanor
7:30 p.m. Slammers (2 poets: 5 minutes each): Shone Abet Thistle / Xam Eitsirhc
7:45; Oh Susanna
9:15 1st Place Songwriting Winner: Tara Warburton
9:30: The Vaudevillian
11 p.m. Circus Acts Insomniacs
11:30 Hank and Lily
12:45:Boosh and the Dip
East Stage
noon Amy Nelson
1:05 The Red Hot Hayseeds
2:10A Demeanor to Pine For: Hank Pine and Kris Demeanor Song Swap 3:15 Christie Rose
4:20 The Yardbird Sweethearts
5:25 Soda pony
6:30 Wooden Horsemen
July 22
Fort Macleod Fish and Game park — South Country Fair
South stage
11 a.m. NIA Workshop
noon — Church of the Long Grass: John Wort Hannam,
The Dimpker Brothers, The Vaudevillian
3:15 Fin de Fiesta Flamenco
2:45 Adult Choir
3: Slammers
3:15 Sunday Gospel w/ Rev. Sekou, Boosh & The Dip, and Wooden Horsemen
4:45 Ndidi Onukwulu
Kris Demeanor close off
East Stage
noon The Big Grass Jam
1:05 Richard Inman
2:10 On A Back Dirt Road with Oh Susanna, Christie Rose, Kacy and Clayton
3:15 Wine Soaked Preachers
Smokehouse — matinee
July 23
The Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Onion — open mic
July 24
Smokehouse — open mic

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