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Whoop-Up Days and more fill music schedule

Posted on August 22, 2018 by Richard Amery

While Whoop-Up Days dominates Lethbridge this week, there is a lot more happening throughout the week, which culminates with FLIPfest on Friday and Saturday.
Country night at Whoop-Up Days is on Wednesday, Aug. 22 with the Road Hammers, who will be playing plenty of trucking songs and also have a new CD out. The rest of the week is all about classic rock with Prism playing all their hits like “Spaceship Superstar,” “Take Me to the Kaptain,” and “Armageddon” on Thursday. Harlequin plays their many ’70s and ’80s hits including “Superstitious Feeling,” “Innocent” and “Thinking of You” on Friday.
Dust off your spandex and do your hair up big on Saturday with a killer bill of Lee Aaron, who has released an excellent new CD “Diamond Baby” but is known for her big hit “Metal Queen.” Helix will “R.O.C.K. You” to close off Whoop-Up Days. Those shows are free with Whoop up Days admission.
But there is plenty more happening. Sam Weber and his band play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Wednesday, Aug. 22 in support of their new single “Ain’t It Strange.” And Montreal blues musician Cecile Doo-Kingue returns to Lethbridge to play two nights at Plum, Aug. 22 and 23.
Vancouver punk band Clementine play the Slice, Aug. 22 with local bands Frege’s Puzzle and HoverKraft. Admission is $10.
FLIPfest features several Fem positive and non binary acts performing Friday and Saturday night. Street Legal records features local bands Lolly Willowes and the Ugly Cry Club beginning at 7 p.m. The Owl Acoustic Lounge features heavier acts including HARSH, Mombod and Mulligrub.
FLIPfest features Lingua Franqa, Cartel Madras, Kimmortal and Witch Prophet at the Dr. Foster Penny Building, Aug. 25. The slice also features heavier acts for FLIPfest beginning at 9 p.m. with Chunder Buffet, S—t Prophet, Femi—l Fluids and HEDKS. While the Owl features folk and country including Riel, Ground Sloth Orchestra, Janette King and Bobby Dove. The Southern Alberta Art Gallery features Pollydactic, Kellarissa and Soft Cure for FLIPfest which also ends at SAAG with Amy Nelson playing for the market at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 26
The Smokehouse has a heavy show unrelated to any of the other events featuring Calgary technical death metal band Widow’s Peak, Okanagan-based blackened death metal band Apollyon, Medicine Hat deathcore band Raising the Ruins and thrash metal band Deadlights, plus Lethbridge’s Bring Your Own Bodies and Revanchist and Calgary‘s the Stricken Ones. Tickets are $10 at the door. It begins at 8 p.m.
Average Joe’s gets into the Whoop-Up Days spirit Aug 25 with a prime rib dinner and the music of country musician Julian Austin with special guest Trevor Panczak. Tickets are $20 for just the show and $45 with dinner. The music is at 9 p.m. dinner is served at 7 p.m.
If there isn’t enough entertainment in Lethbridge for you, hit the road for the Taber Cornfest where they have plenty of live music. Cornfest opens Aug, 23 with Dance Images, the Joshua Beebee band, Dusty Road band and Uncovered.
Friday, Aug. 24 features native hoop dancing, Tanner James, Tin and the Toad, Breanne Urban and Southern Flyer, the Moon Dawgs and 4 on the Floor.
The Chevelles have a busy week as they headline Taber Cornfest on Saturday with Plum Crazy, Trevor Panczak, Hippodrome, Jay Bowcott and Brooke Wylie, Erin Ross and Los Gringos. The Chevelles also play Average Joe’s on Friday, Aug. 24 with Trixx. Admission is $10 in advance, $15 day of the show Calgary blues musician Erin Ross also plays Lethbridge, visiting the Slice, Aug, 24 with George Arsene.
The Smokehouse brings back their matinee series this week with the Crooked Creek Warblers performing on Sunday, Aug. 26. Next week, get a taste of female-powered punk from Vancouver at the Smokehouse, Aug. 29 as the S—t Talkers and Daisy Stranglers visit with special guests the Hockey Moms. There will be a $10 cover.

Sam Weber, not of the Weber Brothers, but the Saanich, B.C. solo artist, returns to Lethbridge to play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Wednesday, Aug. 22 in support of his new single “Ain’t it Always.”
Weber is playing three U.S. dates in Washington before returning to Lethbridge.
“It’s probably been a year since I was in Lethbridge,” Weber said, adding he will be bringing his band with him including Tyler Chester on bass, Bass, Piano, Ace Tone and vocals, vocalist Jacob Weil and drummer Marshall Wildman and Weber on vocals and guitar.
“I love playing the Owl,” he said, adding he always gets a good audience there.
He is touring in support of the new single, which is a preview of his upcoming album.
“I spent a lot of time in Los Angeles writing for the new record which will be out in the fall,” he said, adding it will be released Aug. 27.
“I was really inspired there,” he continued, adding the single is doing well.
“Response has been really good. It has 10,000 plays on Spotify,” he said.
Sam Weber and his band will be at the Owl Acoustic Lounge at 9 p.m. Admission is by donation.
The Road Hammers return to Lethbridge for Whoop-Up Days, Aug. 22 at 8 p.m.
“I’m the worst guy to ask about timelines, but it has been at least five or six years. But I’ve been to Lethbridge a lot,” observed Road Hammers co-frontman Jason McCoy en route to Nashville to record another Road Hammers album.
The Kitchener-based country musician is joined by Alberta musicians Clayton Bellamy and Chris Byrne.
“I love Alberta. Whenever I come to Alberta, I always ask why I left. I lived in Camrose until I was about seven, so my first memories are of Alberta. I grew up in Alberta though I live in Ontario,” he said.
They released their most recent album, “the Squeeze” in May 2017 featuring several hit singles including “All Your Favourite Bands,” “The Squeeze,” “Haulin’ Ass,” and “One Horse Town.”
The band’s sense of humour comes to the fore on “Haulin’ Ass,” which shows McCoy picking up “escaped convicts,” bandmates Clayton Bellamy and Chris Byrne while transporting a donkey and “No, that was no fun at all,” McCoy laughed.
“We always like to have fun with videos,” he said, adding the Road Hammers allows the members to blend their different musical tastes.
“I’m more of a traditional country guy. Clayton is more of a rock guy,” he said, adding songs are chosen according to the best, so there are a few collaborations including with hit maker Jeffrey Steele.
“He basically wrote the top of the country charts. I’ve known Jeff for years,” McCoy continued.
Gavin Brown produced the new CD.
“He has worked with Big Sugar. He’s a crazy good drummer. He loves all kinds of music and it makes a difference,” he said.
McCoy noted the band members are also involved with their own musical projects.
“I’m working on a new solo album and Chris is working on his more hard rock project,” he said.
“But we’re focusing on the Hammers,” he said, adding they have three new songs recorded, but don’t expect the new CD to be completed before 2019.
“We all bring in songs and see what works. it’s coming together organically,” he said, noting all three of the members collaborate.
The Road Hammers are known for putting their own twist in popular songs like “East Bound and Down,” “Girl on the Billboard” and more recently Steve Earle’s “Hillbilly Highway,” which was a collaboration with country/pop singer Colt Ford.
“We didn’t even get to meet him. For the video, they found a place in Alabama or Georgia which looked similar to where we shot and they put them together so it looks like we were together. So it’s totally Hollywood,” McCoy said, noting the band isn’t afraid to experiment with different musical styles like country pop and rap music.
“I’m the traditional country guy, so I’m usually the one saying it isn’t country enough, but I end up being happy with it,” he said.
The band is looking forward to returning to Lethbridge.
“We’ve had a lot of great times in Lethbridge,” he said.
The Road Hammers play the Gas King Stage at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 22. Admission is included with Whoop-Up Days admission.
There is no dust on Helix frontman Brian Vollmer, who is excited to return to Lethbridge for Whoop Up Days, Aug. 25.
In addition to touring all over the world with Helix, he released a solo album, “Vollmer,” teaches Bel Canto vocal style, toured with the Trailer Park Boys, appeared in a new animated version of the popular Canadian TV series and even voiced a video game “Concert Kings.”
“When you’ve been in the business as long as I have, you get a reputation for being reliable and professional and that leads to opportunities,” said Vollmer from his home in Kitchener.
He formed Helix in 1974, and eventually found success in the ’80s. They independently released their first album in 1979, but didn’t hit it big until their third CD “No Rest For the Wicked,” which spawned the hits “Heavy Metal Love” and “Don’t Get Mad Get Even.”
They are best known for their breakthrough hit “Rock You,” from their next album “Walking the Razor’s Edge” which was followed up by “Gimmie Gimmie Good Love” and a cover of A Foot in Cold Water’s ’70s hit “(Make Me Do) Anything You Want.” They toured Canada extensively including some memorable shows in Lethbridge at the Alec Arms.
“I remember the first time we played there we told them we were an original band but they weren’t interested. We convinced them to let us play, and said if the people don’t like it you don’t have to pay us. But they liked us a lot and we played for the rest of the shows there,” he said.
He recorded his solo CD “Get Yer Hands Dirty” with producer and drummer Gavin Brown, who has played with Sarah Harmer, Big Sugar, Great Big Sea and the Skydiggers. He included some of his favourite obscure blues and R and B songs including Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well,” Wilson Pickett’s “If You Need Me,” and other songs he enjoys plus a couple of originals.
“I also recorded ‘Rock and Roll,’ which Lou Reed recorded and which Mitch Ryder did a version of,” he said, adding he doesn’t plan on playing any of them with Helix.
“People buy their tickets to hear the hits, so that’s what we’ll be doing,” he said.
“But it’s important to make new music, that’s why I got into the business,” he said, adding he is pleased the new record has been released on vinyl.
He will be joined by most of Helix’s best-known ’80s lineup including drummer Greg “Fritz” Hinz, bassist Daryl Gray and lead guitarist Kaleb Duck, who took over the lead guitarist’s chair when Brent Doerner retired in 2014.
Helix’s fans are important.
“So we’re always around at the merch tent after the show to sign autographs and meet people,” he said.
“Metal Queen” Lee Aaron is back with a new CD of blues-tinged hard rock album “Diamond Baby,” which she is excited to introduce to fans at Whoop Up Days, Saturday, Aug. 25.
“I’ve never been to Whoop-Up Days, but it sounds like a lot of fun,” said Aaron, who last played Lethbridge in 2015 at Average Joe’s. She added she is playing a few bigger fairs this year including several around her home of Vancouver.
“They’re just so cool. It’s like you’re playing for your friends,” she said.
She is touring in support of her new CD “Diamond Baby,” which takes her back to her blues roots but also is a nod to her metal side.
“It is important to record new music and the fans enjoy it,” she said.
She is best known for a couple of early ’80s hits like “Metal Queen” and “What Cha Do With My Body,” but embarked on a successful blues and jazz career in the ’90s before returning to her rock and roll roots in the early 2000s.
“And I enjoy it. Fans seem to like the new record and the critics are enjoying it,” she continued, adding it is a nice mix of original music and her own take on an assortment of covers.
“‘I’m a Woman’ is a Koko Taylor song,” she said, adding she admires Koko Taylor for being a strong woman.
Aaron considers her self to be similar, in that she was marketed as a sex symbol and fought against it when she released her big hit “Metal Queen” in 1984. So she was drawn to songs with a female empowerment theme.
She has always like the classics “Mistreated” and “You’re No Good.”
“I was playing them before I recorded them and they went over well,” she said.
“I wrote ‘Hard Road’ on spring break in 2017,” she sad, adding she was looking back on her career.
“In The Bedroom” is a sexy and empowering song about married life.
She is enjoying the tour schedule this year, which takes her to Belgium in the new year, but also enjoys being home raising her children, aged 12 and 13.
“I like being home for them,” she said, adding she still enjoys touring.
“I got to play the Wacken metal festival last year for 100,000 people and that was amazing,” she said.
Her schedule has been taking her all over Canada this summer, playing Kitchener’s blues festival on Aug. 11, Rock Ambleside park in West Vancouver on Aug. 17 and then flying to Saskatoon for the Rock The River festival on Aug. 18 before coming to Lethbridge with Helix, Aug. 25.
In Lethbridge she will be joined by her husband John Cody on drums, bassist Dave Reimer and lead guitarist Sean Kelly.
“We’ll be playing the classics and fan favourites everyone wants to see and some new songs,” she said, adding she has been playing with this band for many years.
“I’ve been playing with Dave for 15 years, Sean for four and a half And John for at least 17,” she said.
“I met Sean four and a half years ago when he was writing his book ‘Metal on Ice.’ He’s been wonderful,” she said.
“We love Alberta. We’ve been playing there a lot this year, mostly in Calgary and Edmonton. So I’m looking forward to coming back. the people there are generally really cool,” she continued.

Local country band Hurtin’ revisited the ’70s and ’80s at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Saturday, Aug. 11.
They had an enthusiastic audience of around 20 listening to a variety of music like the Oakridge Boys’ “Elvira” which showed off the vocal harmonies of Shael and Keenan Pezderic.
Dustin Gergel held down the rhythm while Scott Mezei filled out the sound on guitar and keyboards. They ended their first set with “Elvira.”
When I returned, they were well into a hot cover of Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5.” They kept up the pace with a spirited version of John Michael Montgomery‘s “Sold (The Grundy County Auction)”
Piper and Carson at the Slice
Hamilton-via-New York musician Piper Hayes sang the hits with Carson Ritcey-Thorpe including folk-tinged versions of “Johnny B Goode” and “Suzie Q” but also played some pretty originals like “Hand To Hold On To.”
There wasn’t a very large audience, but they were in the mood to dance so the duo played their more up-tempo numbers. They showed off some pretty acoustic guitar playing and sang lovely vocal harmonies

August 22
Exhibition Park — Whoop-Up Days 8 p.m. The Road Hammers Ryan Lindsay band (In Heritage Hall 4-11 p.m.)
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Sam Weber
Beaches — open mic With Devin Gergel
Slice — Clementine with HoverKraft and Frege’s Puzzle $10 9 p.m.
Plum — Cecile Doo Kingue

August 23
Plum — Cecile Doo Kingue
The Slice — open mic
Exhibition Park — Whoop-Up Days 8 p.m. Prism, Ryan Lindsay band (In Heritage Hall 4-11 p.m.)
Taber— Taber Cornfest 6pm-6:30pm – Opening Ceremonies
6:30pm-7:30pm – Dance Images
7:30pm-8pm – Joshua Beebe Band
8pm-10pm – Dusty Road Band
10pm-12am – Uncovered
August 24
Average Joe’s — The Chevelles with Trixx $10 advance $15 at door
Slice — Erin Ross with George Arsene
Owl Acoustic Lounge — FLIPFest
Casino Lethbridge — Maple Sugar Canadian Rock Tribute
Exhibition Park — Whoop Up Days 8 p.m. harlequin, Ryan Lindsay band (In Heritage Hall 4-11 p.m.)
Street Legal Records FLIPfest Street Legal Records:
7 PM – Lolly Willowes
8 PM – Ugly Cry Club
Owl Acoustic Lounge 10 PM – HARSH
11 PM – MomBod
12 PM – Mulligrub
Taber —Taber Cornfest 11:00am-12:00pm – High Fitness Demo
1pm-1:15pm – Native Hoop Dancing
1:30pm-3:30pm – Tanner James
3:30pm-4:45pm – Tin & The Toad
4:45pm-5:15pm – Taber Charity Auction Presentation
5:15pm-7pm – Southern Flyer
7pm-8:30pm – Moon Dawgs
8:30pm-9:50pm – 4 on the Floor
10pm-12am – Adequate

August 25
Smokehouse — Matinee 3-6 p.m. Crooked Creek Warblers
Casino Lethbridge — Maple Sugar Canadian Rock Tribute
Dr. James Foster Penny Building Art gallery — Flipfest 10 PM – Lingua Franqa
11 PM – Cartel Madras
12 AM – Kimmortal
1 AM – Witch Prophet
SAAG— Flipfest 7 PM – Pollydactic
8 PM – Kellarissa
9 PM – soft cure
Slice — Flipfest 9 PM – Chunder Buffet
10 PM – S—t Prophet
11 PM – Fem—l Fluids
Owl Acoustic lounge — Flipfest 8 PM – Riel
9 PM – Ground Sloth Orchestra
10 PM – Janette King
11 PM – Bobby Dove
Dr. James Foster Penny Building — Flipfest 10 PM – Lingua Franqa
11 PM – Cartel Madras
12 PM – Kimmortal
1 PM – Witch Prophet
SAAG— Flipfest 7 PM – Pollydactic
8 PM – Kellarissa
9 PM – Soft Cure
Honker’s Pub — no jam
Average Joe’s — Julian Austin with Trevor Panczak $45 with prime rib buffet $20 for concert. Dinner 7 p.m., Concert 9 p.m.
Exhibition Park — Whoop-Up Days 7 p.m. Helix 8:30 p.m. Lee Aaron Smokehouse — 8 p.m. $10 Widows Peak, Bring Your Own Bodies, Apollyon, Raising the Ruins, Deadlights, Revanchist, Stricken Ones $10
Taber — Taber Cornfest 10am-11pm – Los Gringos Band
11am-12:30pm – Erin Ross & The Rhythm Method
12:30pm-1pm – Corn Tasting / Zumba
1pm-2:30pm – Corn Eating Contest
2:30pm-3:45pm – Jay Bowcott & Brooke Wylie
4:30pm-6:30pm – Hippodrome
6:30 p.m.- 8:30pm – Trevor Panczak
8:30pm-9:50pm – Plum Crazy
10:10pm-12am- The Chevelles
August 26
SAAG FLipfest market with Amy Nelson 2 p.m.

August 27
The Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Onion — open mic
August 28
Smokehouse — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — the Utilities with Biloxi Parish
August 29
Beaches — open mic With Devin Gergel
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Standup Comedy open mic
Smokehouse — S—t Talkers with Daisy Stranglers and the Hockey Moms.
August 30
Slice — open mic
Galt Gardens — Ribfest
August 31
Slice —The Morrison Phase Doors tribute Decadent phase
Owl Acoustic lounge — Tyson Ray Borsboom and Friends
Casino Lethbridge — Who’s Yer Daddy
Mocha Cabana — Rigo the Latino
Average Joe’s — Dueling pianos with Cal Toth Honker’s Pub— open Mic
Sept. 1
Casino Lethbridge — Who’s Yer Daddy
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open Mic
Sept. 2
Club Lime — DJ Booda Hip Hop Heart Memorial show with Kyprios, Transit, City Prophets, F Bomb, Sin Sane,Pyke, the Psychonauts with heavy Knowledge and L Rev, DJ Fuze 9 p.m
Sept. 4
Theoretically Brewing — BAEL, Hello Moth and An Ant and An Atom $10 8 .m.
The Slice — Pack A.D.

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