The first full week of November features an eclectic slate of shows happening all over the city.
Start things off with laughter as funnyman Russell “Somebody’s Going to Get A Hurt” Peters gets you laughing at the Enmax Centre beginning at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 7. Tickets are $74, $96 and $116.
As usual there is an open mic at Beaches and the Owl Acoustic Lounge hosts the first jazz jam of the month with HOBO3 and Josh Davies.
Thursday is hopping all over town as hip hop star Classified stops by Club Lime at 9 p.m. Tickets are $30,$35 and $94 for the VIP ticket.
Calgary indie rock band the Ashley Hundred returns to the Owl Acoustic Lounge on Thursday, Nov. 8 as well.
Even Street Legal Records has a show this week as Mom Bod stop by on Thursday with Regina noise rock band Witch Knife and fellow Reginaites avant-pip band Firestarter. Admission is by donation, though there is suggested donation of $10. The music begins at 7 p.m.
Gabe Thaine hosts The Slice’s Thursday open mic this week and open mics have begun at the Zoo at the university of Lethbridge Student’s Union building.
There is good stuff on Friday, too. The Slice has jazz for dinner with the Ethan Ardelli quartet beginning at 5 p.m. After that Calgary folk/rock/alternative rock band the The Northern Coast will be performing.
Duelling Pianos with Cal Toth returns to Average Joe’s on Friday as well.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge has a big weekend planned.
Toronto-based musician Eamon McGrath returns with a brand new sound, brand new record and brand new band. Cope will open the show around 9 p.m., Friday, Nov. 9.
Local artist Jason Trotter opens a new show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge with special guests the Ryland Moranz Band and a solo performance from Shaela Miller. Admission is by donation as usual.
If you love rock and roll, two great tribute bands rock Average Joe’s on Saturday, Nov. 10.
Calgary-based Ikons: the Kiss Experience bring all your favourite Kiss smashes, thrashes and hits to the stage.
And bang your head with Damage Incorporated, a Lethbridge/Calgary Metallica tribute who will rock your socks off. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 on the day of the show.
Blues fans won’t want to miss a great show at the Lethbridge College Cave beginning at 8 p.m. Nov. 10 as Toronto based delta bluesman Doc MacLean will be touring with Africa’s best bluesman Albert Frost. Together the CanAfrica blues tour will combine the best blues and traditional African music and a whole lot more. Tickets are $25 for members, $30 for non-members. Local bluesman Henk VanGinninken will open the show.
Sunday is Remembrance Day so take some time to remember the veterans. There will be a service at the Cenotaph at City Hall at 11 a.m.
The annual Remembrance Day Service begins in the Exhibition Park South Easy Hall at 9:30 p.m. When that ends at 11:30 you can head downtown for a service at the cenotaph by City Hall.
In the evening, The Slice is hosting a special industry night featuring jazz pianist/vocalist Andrea Superstein at 8 p.m. There is no cover charge.
Start the new week off by rocking with Kingston rockers the Glorious Sons, who have graduated to the Enmax Stage with Beaches, Tuesday, Nov. 13. Tickets for the concert are $46 and $56. The show begins at the Enmax Centre at 7 p.m.
Also on Tuesday, Manitoba folk musician Cary Dow stops by the Slice, Nov. 13 as well.
This month’s Windy City Opry, Nov. 14 features the return of country band the Wine Soaked Preachers plus Edmonton pop/jazz singer Vissia. The show begins at 8 p.m. sharp. There is a $10 cover.
And Flipfest features another show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Nov. 14 with Winnipeg dream pop band A La Mode and Lethbridge’s Jess Tollestrup and the Ugly Cry Club. Admission is by donation.
Toronto musician Eamon McGrath returns with a new album “Tantramar,” a whole new new sound and a brand new band when he returns to The Owl Acoustic Lounge, Nov. 9.
“It’s a totally different band from the last time I was in Lethbridge. I’ve got Tom Murray on bass from Old Reliable and Pal Joey, and Derick Anderson on steel guitar and drummer Connor Ellinger from Jesse and the Dandelions,” McGrath noted.
“It’s reflective of the new album,” he said adding the goal on this tour is to be able to replicate the album as closely as possible on stage.
“For people who have been listening to me for a while it makes sense, because this sound has always been there. There are more layers and it’s more atmospheric. It’s more interesting and it’s different,” he described.
“So this record just goes further in that direction which was already there,” he said.
“So I wanted to bring a band who can play a lot of different styles of music. There’s more emphasis on steel guitar on this album,” he continued.
“I come from the DIY punk scene. Before, I’d write an album, and live I’d turn the songs into loud punk rock songs. So there would be two different experiences — live and the recording. So that came naturally. On this album I’ve taken a less punk rock approach to things,” he said.
“The record translates really well to the stage and people really seem to like the more interesting, more esoteric sound. It’s been a really good experience,” he said.
He credited record label Saved By Vinyl for their support.
“They were really well respected in the late ’90s and ’00s, but closed up. They re-formed just because they wanted to put out my records, which means a lot. That’s been really flattering. So things couldn’t be better,” he said, adding they have been really supportive of his new musical direction.
Admission is by Donation. Local alternative rock duo Cope will be opening the show.
Toronto-based bluesman Doc MacLean is excited to be touring with South African musician Albert Frost.
The duo visits the Lethbridge College Cave for the Lethbridge Folk Club, Nov. 10 at 8 p.m.
“He’s not only on the show, he’s half the show. He’s considered to be Africa’s best bluesman performing today,” said MacLean from “beautiful downtown Vancouver” in Stanley Park.
“Our fans have been trying to get us together for quite a while now and it has finally happened. it’s probably the most fun I’ve had doing what I do,” MacLean rumbled.
“It’s similar to the National Steel tours I’ve done before, so we’re telling stories and playing music. We play acoustic guitar and he adds electric guitar. There’s no way I can do what he does.
“He grew up listening to African traditional music and western music and jazz and a lot of other things. It is a perfect mix. We meld it together. It’s a hard question what it sounds like. This is not blues from the first world, this is the blues played from another world,” MacLean enthused.
“It’s been great just how excited people are about it,” he said, adding they have had quite few sold-out shows already on this nine province Canadian tour.
“He’s the best guitarist I’ve ever played with and I’ve played with a lot of great guitarists like Colin Linden and Chris Whiteley. This is the most fun I’ve had even going back to Colin,” he continued, adding they are also writing new music together.
“But you won’t be hearing any of that. He’s pretty much convinced me to record my next album in Africa with him and African musicians,” he said, encouraging people not to miss this show.
“It’s a great opportunity. We probably won’t be doing a show like this again in small venues,” he said.
Tickets are $25 members, $30 for non members.
The Glorious Sons have had a pretty great run since they were last in Lethbridge for Whoop-Up Days last year.
But it takes a toll on the personal lives of the Kingston-based rock band band.
“My girlfriend doesn’t want to be on the damned tour bus for three months,” said Glorious Sons frontman Brett Emmons, pulling into Victoria after a successful run of American club dates.
They play the Enmax Centre with Beaches on Tuesday, Nov. 13.
“It’s like having two different lives — on the road with the band and at home.
“It’s like trying to grow two different worlds, you have to water them both,” he said, adding he has enjoyed the past three months on tour.
“I find when I get home, I go a little crazy, I don’t know what to do with myself,” he continued.
“I’ve been trying to lead a cleaner lifestyle. So I’m proud of that and feeling good about it,“ he said.
They won a Juno Award for their most recent CD “Beauties and Fools,” which spawned their most recent single “S.O.S.” and had a lot of success with the previous CD “The Union,” which got them noticed.
“It’s been a really good year for us,” he said.
He noted the current Cross-Canadian tour will feature music from both.
“On the first tour we mostly played music from ‘The Union,’ on the next one, it was mostly music from ‘Beauties and Fools.’ On this one we want to give you some from them both,” he said.
The band, also including his brother Jay Emmons, Chris Koster, Adam Paquette and Chris Hott, was impressed with the American tour.
“It was great. We’ve worked really hard to get here. We’ve mostly been playing 200-300-seat clubs. Audiences have been great, so we’re happy to play for them, he said.
“On the Canadian tour, we’re playing a lot bigger rooms, so I’m really excited to explore what that is all about,” he said.
“Last night (in Seattle) we played about 90 per cent of our whole catalogue,” he said.
“We’re constantly writing, but we haven’t had a chance to work on the songs as a band because the only chance you have to do that when you’re on tour as much as we are is during soundcheck. And at 4 in the afternoon, you’re just trying to stay awake,” he said.
Emmons said the pairing with Beaches is a great match.
“We‘re both loud rock bands,“ he said.
Tickets for the concert are $46 and $56. The show begins at the Enmax Centre at 7 p.m.
Funky Halloween with Adequate at the Owl
Local funk rock trio Adequate split Halloween night with the owl Acoustic Lounge’s monthly comedy open mic for Halloween, Oct. 31.
As expected the place was packed with an assortment of costumed revellers including aliens, monsters and Starfleet Command.
As the comedians warmed up the audience, Adequate warmed up by improvising backing music to comedian and host Lakshijit Singh Gill’s routine according to topics as diverse as India and airports.
They laid down the funk with an assortment of catchy, toe tapping ’70s-style funk and disco music. Their set was familiar, but as usual I enjoyed their mashup of a variety of tunes including the theme from “Shaft” and the theme to the TV show “Fresh Prince of Bel Air.”
Birds of Chicago at the Geomatic Attic
The Geomatic Attic was hopping this past week, but I only caught one show and was lucky to have made it for that.
I missed the opening act, but was excited to catch the always lovely Birds of of Chicago, made even more beautiful by the addition of guitar maestro Steve Dawson to the fold of JT Nero and Alison Russell.
They opened a stultifyingly beautiful set dripping with stories and oozing dollops of soul from Russell’s gorgeous voice, with the upbeat “Alright Alright.”
Russell alternated singing lead vocals with her husband and they each added perfect vocal harmonies throughout.
Dawson added guitar pyrotechnics with fabulous fingerpicking and cascades of crystalline harmonics. He added subtle slide guitar to a couple of songs on, which focused on their last two CD including “Love in Wartime” and “American Flowers,” which they recorded in Dawson’s Henhouse studio in their new home of Nashville.
They played such a mellow set that I was nodding off. Surprisingly, though “Love In Wartime” is their new rock album, the brighter, more up tempo moments came from the acoustic “American Flower.”
Nero noted there needs to be more love in the world, so Russell crooned out “Superlover.”
She was all the more impressive as her voice dripped dollops of soul, but she alternated between banjo and clarinet, sometimes in the same song. A couple of the highlights were that song as well as the title track and “Lodestar.”
Another highlight was a rare cover which they recorded for “American Flowers” featuring Dawson and Russell while Nero left the stage to “visualize the rest of the set.”
The duo played a beautiful bilingual version of Hoagy Carmichael’s jazz standard “Stardust (Etoile d’Amour.)”
Nero told a touching story about a good friend and inspiration who died too young and played a tribute song he wrote for him called “Hold Steady, Rock Slow,” also from the “American Flowers” CD.
Default and Age of Days at Average Joe’s
Sundays can rock if you want them to. So a close to a sold-out crowd piled into Average Joes to relive the late ’90s and early ’00s with Age of Days and a reformed Default, Sunday, Oct. 28.
I must be getting too old for this, because I’ve never hated a lighting person more than I did at this show because of the spastic monkey randomly pushing buttons throughout the night, which was so distracting from the music, I had to retreat to the back of the room to avoid having a seizure about three songs in.
I feel I should be more familiar with opening act Age of Days, who played a solid set of upbeat alternative rock, which was immediately recognizable as coming from the ’00s and ’10s along the lines of bands like Finger 11, Nickelback, and, of course, Default, who the lead singer noted took them on their first tour.
They opened with a detuned uptempo 2012 track, “Bombs Away.”
In places they sounded like a detuned Bon Jovi, so they had a big booming groove, guitar hooks and vocals reminiscent of Jon Bon Jovi himself.
They played a great heavy cover of Roxette’s hit “She’s Got the The Look.”
Another highlight was “She’s So Serious.”
Dallas Smith exchanged his cowboy hat for a trucker’s hat and his rocker’s face for Default. I feel I should be more familiar with them, having grown up listening to them. But there wasn’t any country to be heard within a country mile of this show.
They played a loud, long, intense set of detuned, radio friendly ’90s-style alternative rock.
As promised in my interview with Dallas last week, Default had a bigger, beefier, heavier sound with the addition of his guitarist from his country band, who stayed in the shadows.
They played a supremely heavy and loud set which had an enthusiastic audience screaming.
The band were amazingly tight and heavy. The bassist was an especially enjoyable sight to watch thrashing around and banging his head. Dallas jumped all over the stage with his microphone, howling and screaming.
Their big hit “Wasting My Time,” came near the end as expected. He raved about how excited the band was to be opening for the Stone temple pilots this year.
And to emphasize their ’90s influence, they were called back for a solid encore of Soundgarden’s “Outshined.”
Halloween started early with several shows happening, Saturday night, Oct. 27. While I missed the Friday shows, everything was happening on Saturday, so things got a little sloppy as I only hit a few Halloween parties, being exhausted and voiceless from scaring kids at the CKXU Fright Hall all day long.
I got back to the old Firehall just in time for a trimmed down Queen of the Worms, featuring frontman Tyler Bird, Jon Martin on bass and a drummer hidden behind a demon mask.
They played upbeat, catchy alternative rock which sounded just a little like the Tragically Hip mixed with alt country.
Around the corner, Jolene Draper and the Inquisitive Few were holding court for a full house for MTBC’s album release party.
While I wasn’t able to stick around for MTBC’s set, I caught the end of Jolene Draper and the Inquisitive Few’s set and the beginning of some laid-back indie rock from Evergreen.
Draper, dressed in elf ears, sang soulful pop and R and B, playing original music and popular ’60s and ’70s pop.
As usual, the Chevelles were celebrating Halloween at Average Joe’s. Dressed in blood-splattered smocks, they ran through their usual variety of hits from the ’60s to today and had a good-sized crowd dancing.
I haven’t seen Taylor Ackerman and Global Acid Reset, but caught a quieter set of blues rock from the trio including Ackerman on guitar and vocals, his dad pat on bass and drummer Dustin Gergel.
They played mostly quirky roots rock from their new EP, but unfortunately didn’t have the crowd they deserved.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Onion — open mic
Average Joe’s — Gord Bamford with JoJo Mason 7:30p.m. $40 advance $50 day of show
The Slice — Piraña with Chief Mountain and guests $10 9:30 p.m
Enmax — Russell Peters 8 p.m.
Beaches: open mic
Owl Acoustic lounge– Jazz jam with HBO3 and Josh Davies
Club Lime — Classified
Street Legal Records 6:30 p.m. Mombod, Firestarter, Witchknife admission by donation
Slice — open mic with Gabriel Thaine
Owl Acoustic lounge_ Ashley Hundred
Average Joe’s — Due;ling Pianos with Cal Toth
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Eamon McGrath with Cope
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Casino Lethbridge —Ryerson Road
The Slice — the Northern Coast with dinner time jazz with Ethan Ardelli Quartet
Lethbridge College Cave — Doc MacLean and Albert Frost with Henk Van Ginninken 8 p.m.
Average Joe’s — Ikons, a tribute to Kiss and Damage Inc. A tribute to Metallica 8 p.m.$20 in advance $25 day of show.
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge —Ryland Moranz band and Shaela Miller Jason Trotter Art opening
Casino Lethbridge —Ryerson Road
Slice — industry night with Andrea Superstein
The Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Onion — open mic
Enmax Centre—Glorious Sons and the Beaches
Slice— Carly Dow
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Flipfest presents A La Mode, Jess Tollestrup,Ugly Cry Club
Slice — Windy City Opry with Wine Soaked Preachers and Vissia
Beaches — open mic
Enmax Centre‚ Moscow Ballet’s The Nutcracker $78, $58, $48, $38 7:30 p.m.
Slice — open mic with Ian Morrice
Yates Memorial Theatre — PIGS: Canada’s Pink Floyd Tribute Outside /In Canadian Tour 7 p.m. Tickets $48.50
Average Joe’s — George Canyon and guests
Casino Lethbridge — Breanne Urban and Southern Flyer
Slice — Megan Rourke’s masquerade birthday bash with Queen of the Worms, October Poppy and Guests
The Owl Acoustic lounge — Matt Patershuk
Honker’s Pub— open mic
Casino Lethbridge—Breanne Urban and Southern Flyer
Slice—Peter’s birthday bash with Loser Points, the Difficult Brown, The Broken Yolks , Shark Week, Sessions$10 8:30 p.mm.
The Owl Acoustic lounge—
Honker’s Pub— afternoon open mic