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September 24, 2018 September 24, 2018

South Country Fair highlights local music scene

Posted on July 18, 2018 by Richard Amery

Most of the town shuts down this week due to the South Country Fair in Fort Macleod. At least the music-going portion of Lethbridge, most of whom go to Fort Macleod to take in three days of great music and good vibes. So the two main music venues, the Slice and The Owl Acoustic Lounge, close as their staff, owners and most of their regulars all make an extended weekend out of South Country Fair.
Even Honker’s Pub is shutting down their weekly Friday night and Saturday afternoon for the weekend.
The fair features an outstanding lineup as usual including local musicians John Wort Hannam and Shaela Miller, plus Richard Inman, Wine Soaked Preachers Geoff Berner, Kris Demeanor and Carolyn Mark, Hank and Lily, The Vaudevillian, Amy Nelson, the Red Hot Hayseeds and Spain-based, Canadian, Cuban and French flamenco group Fin de Fiesta Flamenco, who also play Casa on July 25.
If you aren’t going to South Country Fair, Galt Gardens features Shelter Me: Party in the Park, July 21. There will be concessions, a dunk tank, an open-air market, bouncy castles and kids activities. There will also be live entertainment beginning at 10:30 a.m. with Zumba Lethbridge,Thomas Chiefmoon, singer/belly dancer Maddie Young, local rappers the Battlepark Super Crew (lRev, ONTK, $am Hill, Shed Beat boys and JPB) and 21st Ave follow. Fox Mandy winds up the entertainment at 2 p.m.
If you plan ahead, several big shows have been announced for later this year.
Tickets go on sale July 16 for comedian Russell Peters’ Nov. 7 performance at the Enmax Centre.
Cirque du Soleil returns to the Enmax for several shows Oct. 31-Nov. 4.
Songwriter Murray McLauchlan plays the Yates Centre Oct. 25. Tickets are $52.50.
Tickets for Letterkenny, from the hit TV show, just went on sale for their Dec. 14 show at the Enmax. Tickets cost $91.50, $64 and $48.50.

Flamenco has always been in the blood for dancer Lia Grainger, who grew up in Vancouver and worked as a journalist in Toronto before moving to Spain and forming Fin de Fiesta Flamenco to make flamenco music her life.
The group, which includes members from all over the world including Spain, France and Cuba, plus two other transplanted Canadians, return to Canada with their new show Salvaje for several performances including the South Country Fair in Fort Macleod, July 22 and at Casa on July 25.
“I started taking classes in my 20s and then moved to Madrid to learn more. But decided to get a ‘real job’ and work in journalism in Toronto. But I kept going back to Spain. I decided to put together a group in 2012. I really enjoy it; it feels good to do it,” said artistic director/dancer Lia Grainger, who formed the group in 2012 with Seville-born guitarist Dennis Duffin and singer Alejandro Mendia, who is from Bordeaux, France.
Recently they added Havana-raised, Montreal-based percussionist Hanser Santos Gomez, Vancouver-born, Seville, Spain-based flautist Lara Wong and for this tour, India-born, Vancouver-based guest dancer Deborah “La Carmelita.”
Grainger said there are many different styles of flamenco. “Some styles are very serious and tell stories about serious issues, others are very joyful and about celebration,” she said, adding artists are free to interpret flamenco as they wish.
“My style of flamenco is more athletic. It’s more percussive. There is a lot of foot stomping in time to the music. It’s very powerful,” she said.
“Deborah La Carmelita’s style is more of a relaxed Gypsy style. It’s more passionate, so it really is an interesting contrast. It’s very expressive,” she continued.
“This show is inspired by flamenco in southern Spain,” she said, adding the South Country Fair and Casa shows will be different experiences.
“We’re excited to tour Alberta. It will be the first time we’ve toured outside of Ontario and B.C.,” she said.
“The South Country Fair show will be more rumba with more of a kicking style and more of a party,” she said, adding indoor shows like Casa are a more intimate experience than outdoor festivals, of which they will be performing several this year.
“Outdoor festivals are a lot of fun.”
She is also excited to be able to perform with percussionist Hanser Santos Gomez.
“We’re so excited to have him as part of the group. He has an incredible style,” she enthused.
Fin de Fiesta’s show begins at 7:30 p.m. at Casa, July 25. Tickets are $22.

Alfred Chow a.k.a. Tennyson King is excited to bring his own music to Lethbridge, Tuesday, July 31 at the Slice.
He has played Lethbridge several times with other musicians including Sarah Burton and the hip hop collective the Vibonics, five years ago.
This time he is touring in support of his bright new CD and new single “Coast,” which was inspired by extensive travels in Australia.
“The tour’s been going great,” said Toronto-based Chow, where he is beginning his Western Canadian tour. The Lethbridge show is at the tail end of the tour before he goes to Europe and then back to Australia.
“I spent a lot of time playing music and lying in the back of my van, staring at the stars on the Gold Coast,” he reminisced, adding that experience helped make the new CD and single more uplifting compared to the more serious, morose debut self-titled EP.
“This album is a lot more positive than the other album,” he said, adding the rest of the new album is in a similar vein to the first single.
“There is a lot of escapism in the music and the songs on this album,” he continued, adding it will officially be released in November.
He has a lot of touring ahead of him including his first tour in China in October, and back to Australia for the winter and a trip to Brazil to work with Carlon Hardt and Cesar Barbosa who made and directed the psychedelic video for “Coast.”
“The next video for ‘Beach’ will be more of a live-action video. ‘Coast’ has a lot of photos from my photo album from Australia,” he said.
“l just love travelling. It’s just such a beautiful thing to discover new places. Music is my excuse to travel.”
While he will sometimes play with a band, such as the band of Australians he uses while there, he will be playing solo shows in Western Canada including in Lethbridge.
“The band gives a more full sound. But the solo shows are more stripped down and intimate. I’m a storyteller, so I’ll tell stories about my travels,” he said.
“I hope people will come out and enjoy it.”
Tennyson King plays the Slice, Tuesday, July 31 at 9 p.m.

Reviews
Winnipeg-based country and roots musician Sean Burns gets better every time I see him. Lately that is every couple of months as he tends to play handfuls of gigs around a regular gig at Casino Lethbridge, where he was this past weekend in addition to the Windy City Opry at the Slice, on Wednesday, July 11.
Usually with the early-starting Opry shows, I only catch the end of them due to being on the air from 8-10. Luckily, Burns and a crack band including, steel guitarist Ryan Skinny Dyck, drummer Tyler Bird, bassist Paul Holden and lead guitarist Ryan Funk were in the mood to play a lot.
They had a decent Wednesday night audience of around 40 people two stepping to upbeat tracks from his new CD “Lost Country: Music for Taverns, Bars and Honky Tonks,” heartfelt ballads several trucking songs and, of course, country classics like “Swinging Doors” and “Streets of Bakersfield.”
He wound things down around 11 p.m. with “one of his own songs,” “Don’t Let the Highway Get you Lost.”
Dyck played sighing steel guitar while Funk added hot guitar solos throughout.

I was glad to get out on a Tuesday for Peterborough Folk duo Mayhemingways’s July 10 show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge as I missed their February show.
But I still missed their first set.
Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Benj Rowland and drummer percussionist Josh Frewings played a variety of songs from their latest CD “Skip Land,” a highlight called “Alberta Rose and a few choice covers.
Rowland took turns on Tenor guitar, banjo and accordion, while stomping rhythm on bass pedals while Frewings added harmonies and pounded out the beat with a delicate hand.
Rowland played some excellent clawhammer banjo for a couple of songs and witched to accordion for exceptional covers of Dire Straits’ “Walk of Life” and Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City, which were worth the Tuesday night out on their own.
Tyson Ray Borsboom, Clayton and Joelle
Cranbroook couple Clayton and Joelle returned to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Friday, to sing gorgeous harmonies and chat with an engaging crowd about their newlywed bliss, Friday, July 6.
I only caught the last song from local songwriter Tyson Ray Borsboom, who opened the show with a solo set of music and had the audience clapping along with his last song.
Clayton Parsons and Joelle Winkel have got married since their last visit to Lethbridge, so their show was about love and marital bliss.
Parsons strummed guitar for most of the set while Joelle added sweet harmonies, picking up a guitar a little later.
They played roots and country music and even had a touch of gospel. In between songs they told stories about meeting as the eldest members of the Good Ol’ Goats and talked about their marriage, with Joelle gushing about her new husband’s ability to make beautiful music out of challenging situations. Clayton followed that up by playing a song about his new bride.

Honey Tongues at the Slice
Saxophonist Jen Davidson brought back a lot of happy memories July 6 at the Slice, as she brought her new band, Vancouver music collective the Honey Tongues, who were the soundtrack to an art show opening of new works by Laurel Scott decorating the walls of the Slice.
I remember her playing many a great show with Circus jazz folk group Blackberry Wood, and she brought the same gleeful intensity to the stage with the Honey Tongues. The orchestra played a wild set of jazz-tinged roots music with lots of banjo, fiddle, upright bass, keyboard and saxophone. They played an array of musical styles, with a touch of ’80s synth pop which reminded me a little of the B-52s in places and smooth sultry jazz in other places and straight ahead R and B music in others.
They had a lot of energy as various band members raced across the stage to sing and whistle into different microphones and play a variety of different instruments.
“Waking the Dead” was an uptempo highlight.

July 18
Beaches — open mic

July 20
Casino Lethbridge — Suzanne Scott
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
Galt Gardens — Shelter Me party in the Park 10:00 – 10:30AM – Opening Ceremonies
10:30 – 11:00AM – Zumba Lethbridge
11:00 – 11:45AM – Thomas Chiefmoon
11:45 – 12:15PM – Maddy Young- Singer and Belly Dancer
12:15 – 1:30PM – Battlepark Super Crew (LRev, ONTK, $am Hill, Shed Beat Boyz and JPB)
1:30 – 2:00PM – 21ST Avenue 2:00 – 3:00PM – Fox Mandy Casino Lethbridge—Suzanne Scott
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
July 25
Beaches — open mic
Firehall — Body Lens, Hooded Fang, Nikki Fierce $10 advance, $15 at door 8 p.m.
Owl Acoustic Lounge — stand up comedy open mic
Casa— Fin se Fiesta Flamenco
Slice — Castenges
July 26
Owl Acoustic lounge— poetry open mic
July 27
Mocha Cabana — Herb Hicks jazz Quartet
Average Joe’s — Dueling pianos with Cal Toth
Slice — Shane Larmand
Casino Lethbridge — The Rockin’ 58s
Honker’s Pub — open mic with Jolene Draper
Slice — Shane Laramand
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Soda Pony with MTBC
July 28
Casino Lethbridge — The Rockin’ 58s
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Slice — For Tonight
Owl Acoustic Lounge — FLIPFest presents object option, Birch barks, Polly Dactic
July 29
Slice — Petunia And the Vipers
Smokehouse — matinee
July 30
The Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Onion — open mic
Southminster United Church — Geomatic Attic Wide Skies Music and Arts Festival $55-$105
Great Canadian Barn Dance – Dory and the Weathermen 12-4 for GCBD Music scholarship program for August band camp.
Club Lime — party on the patio with Honeymoon Suite, Cody hall band, Auld school and Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction
July 31
Southminster United Church — Wide Skies Music festival Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer
Slice — Tennyson King (Wide Skies after party)
Smokehouse — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Wide Skies afterparty

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