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Country dominates local music stages

Posted on November 15, 2018 by Richard Amery

Country and folk music dominate this week with several shows for folks who want to kick it country style.
Winnipeg folk musician Cary Dow makes her Lethbridge debut at the Slice on Tuesday, Nov. 13. She is winding up a 10-ate Canadian tour in support of her new CD “Comet”and heading back to Winnipeg with her bandmates, bassist Ashley Au and guitarist Darwin Baker.
Things got loud at the Enmax Centre with the Glorious Sons and Beaches at the Enmax Centre on Nov. 13 as well with one of several big rock shows also happening this week.
In the folk vein, Calgary alt country/roots band the Wine Soaked preachers return to Lethbridge this week to play the Windy City Opry at The Slice, with Edmonton pop/folk singer Vissia. As always Windy City Opry shows start at 8 p.m. on the nose. Admission is $10.
FLIPfest features another fundraiser at the Owl Acoustic Lounge on Wednesday as well with Winnipeg psych pop dream pop band A La Mode performing at 9 p.m. with local musicians Jess Tollestrup and the Ugly Cry Club. Admission is by donation.
A sure sign of Christmas is a performance of renowned holiday opera The Nutcracker. The Moscow ballet returns with their production to the Enmax Centre with local dancers participating Thursday. Nov. 15. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $78, $58, $48 and $38.
The weekend is all about country and roots music. Breanne Urban and Southern Flyer return to Casino Lethbridge Friday and Saturday.
Country star George Canyon makes his annual visit to Average Joe’s on Friday, Nov. 16 in support of his latest album “Southside of Heaven.” Tickets are $40 on the day of the show and $35 in advance. The concert begins at 8 p.m. Edmonton folk/roots musician Matt Patershuk returns to Lethbridge to play the Owl Acoustic Lounge on Friday, as well.
For something a little different, Slice server and musician Megan Rourke celebrates her birthday Nov. 16 with a masquerade party featuring local rock band Queen of the Worms and a solo set from Vernon singer songwriter October Poppy. Masks are required so make or bring your own. There will also be some available at to door. Admission is $10.
Also on Friday, PIGS: Canada’s Pink Floyd Tribute is on the stage at the Yates Theatre beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Just outside of town, local funk trio Adequate brings the groove to McLennan’s Pub in Coaldale beginning at 9 p.m.
If you just want to laugh, Impromptu spoofs reality TV with DMTV at Club Didi beginning at 9 p.m. Admission is $5.
There are diverse shows happening on Saturday.
Street Legal Records hosts a hip hop showcase from 7-8:30 p.m. with performances by local acts ONTK, The Shed Beat Boyz, the Psychonauts with Heavy Knowledge and LRev, Ollie X and Vosh. Admission is by donation.
The Slice has a solid punk show later that night with Calgary’s the Broken Yolks, and the Difficult Brown, High River’s Shark Weak and local pop punk Sessions and Edmonton’s Loser Points. Bands begin at 10 p.m. Admission is $10.
There are a heap of Sunday shows.
Prairie huckster aka Gabriel Thaine and Eya play a matinee show at the Smokehouse from 2-4 p.m. while Broken Brothers, formerly Broken Down Suitcase play at 3-6 p.m. at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.
Also in the afternoon, the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra presents the first of two armistice-themed performances at Southminster United Church of ‘Salute,“ a concert featuring Beethoven’s Wellington’s Victory, Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin and Jenkins’ The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace, featuring Vox Musica and Chinook High School’s Women’s chamber chorus and their men’s chorus.
Tickets range between $25-$65. The second performance is Monday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m.
After their Sunday afternoon matinee, The Smokehouse takes a bit of a breather, then welcomes Montreal punk band the Gutter Demons, Edmonton’s The Devil’s Sons and Lethbridge’s Hockey Moms to the stage. The bands begin at 7 p.m. Admission is $10.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge welcomes Toronto-area alternative rock band Seas to their stage on Monday. Seas includes members of Moneen, Sights and Sounds, Choke and Black Mastiff.
Gabriel Thaine brings back his High Level variety show to the Slice on Tuesday, Nov. 20. And if you just want to sing, join Castrati’s Choir at Club Didi, Nov. 20. beginning at 8 p.m.
Manitoba folk musician Carly Dow is enjoying her current tour which comes to the Slice, Tuesday, Nov. 13.
“It’s been great, we’re two-thirds of they way through it,” Dow said from Vancouver.
She is touring in support of her second CD “Comet,” with her trio including bassist Ashley Au and guitarist Darwin Baker. She also plays guitar and banjo and sings.
“So we have three-part harmonies, which are great,” she said. “I’ve played with Ashley for five years and Darwin engineered the last two of my albums.”
She is pleased with the tour and the response to the new CD, which was released, Oct. 19.
“It’s 10 tracks. It’s all of my original material. A lot of the songs are about people and their relationships to their natural surroundings,” she said.
“Musically it is similar to my last album,” she added, adding it has received positive response.
“For the past two weeks it’s been at the top of the roots and blues charts. So that’s exciting,” she said.
Her bandmates figure prominently on the album, but there are a few special guests.
“My band plays on most of it but I worked with strings this time. I had Julian Bradford playing cello and Murray Jowett playing viola. So that was really inspiring working with strings,” she continued.
She is looking forward to her Lethbridge debut.
“I’ve never played there before. But my colleagues in Winnipeg always talk about Lethbridge she said.
“I play clawhammer banjo and guitar,” she said.
She is planning her second European tour for next year.
“We were there last year and audiences loved it. They really like Canadian music and particularly banjo music,” she said.
“They really enjoyed my stories. I don’t actually live in the Winnipeg, I live out in the bush. They couldn’t believe it when I told them stories about black bears wandering through my backyard,” she chuckled. “So we’re going back in the new year, though the dates haven’t been finalized yet.”
They are playing a late announced tour stop at The Slice.
“We’re going back to Winnipeg. Weeknight shows can be difficult, but sometime you have to play them,” she said.
“We have clawhammer, banjo, guitar and bass, so it’s kind of roots and roll,” she said.
Carly Dow plays the Slice Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 8:30 p.m.
Vernon-based folk/indie pop musician Eryn Kleyh aka October Poppy makes her second visit to Lethbridge in about as many months when she plays Megan Rourke’s masquerade party at the Slice, Nov. 16.
“When I was playing Vancouver last week, people were asking me what they high points and low points and the high point was Lethbridge and getting to share the stage with three kick-ass women (Kimberley MacGregor and Jenny Allen at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Sept. 15).
“It was my first time playing out of province anywhere as October Poppy. But I spent a few years living in Calgary, so I’m no stranger to Alberta,” she said from Vernon, taking a break from her day job as a silversmith. She will spend the winter making silver jewelry, working at the local ’80s and ’90s radio station the Beach and working on a new EP, including the first single, “Howl.”
“I wrote ‘Howl’ when I was driving down to Colorado to visit my best friend. I was driving home all alone and thinking about a major life change, so when I got back, I moved from Vancouver to Vernon,” she said, adding she moved back home with her parents and younger sister.
“The best thing is, everyone in my family is musical, as well. My younger sister plays violin and piano and sings as well. So when we sing together, it’s the closest I can come to singing harmonies with myself,” she said.
“We’ve done that on stage before and it sounds amazing,” she enthused.
She is also playing Red Deer on Nov. 15.
“I’ve got my winter tires on, but I’ll think I’ll take the winter off and hunker down and build things and work on the EP, which will come out in early 2019,” she said, adding the music is inspired by experiencing life changes, personal growth and heartbreak.
“I was dating a guy and broke up with him three times in one year, so there is a lot about heartbreak and a lot of things people will relate to,” she said.
“I’ve had a lot of personal struggles, but out of that comes a lot of personal triumph,” she said, adding she is looking forward to playing a masquerade party.
“I love to dress up. I play dark, moody music, so my costume will reflect that,” she said.
While she brought banjo player/violinist Megan May with her last time, she will be playing on her own for this show.
She will be bringing her Band She Shines Brightly to The Slice on Dec. 8, as well.
Seas returns to Lethbridge to play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Monday, Nov. 19 in support of their brand new record “Cursed” which was just released on Nov. 9.
“Five years ago, I had a pretty serious accident. I had a lot of bad things happen to me that year. So a lot of the lyrics stem from that period of time when I was stuck on my couch and couldn’t do anything,” said guitarist/vocalist Crisp Hughes, who is also part of alternative rock band Moneen.
He will be flying out with guitarist Adrian Mottram, who produced the new record, to join drummer Clay Shea from the band Choke and Black Mastiff and drummer Tristan Helgason from Molten Lava! and Pet Blessings, who form the backbone of Seas for their 11-date Western Canadian tour.
Hughes noted Moneen and Seas share some similarities.
“Most of Seas, Eric Hughes and Peter Krpan are also in Moneen, but it’s different because I play a more of a songwriting role in Seas, while I didn’t in Moneen, because Kenny (Bridges, Moneen vocalist/guitarist) is such a great songwriter. But there are some similarities. I come from a more ’90s indie rock perspective,” he said.
“And I’m more the atmosphere guy. I produced the album and Crisp asked me to play guitar with the band,” added Adrian Mottram, who is also in the band Sights and Sounds.
“I’m happy to just play guitar in Seas. I’m more of a songwriter in Sights and Sounds,” he said.
They have played Lethbridge a lot.
“Moneen used to play Lethbridge a lot in the 2000s,” Hughes said.
“And Seas played The Slice about five years ago. So we’re looking forward to coming back and hanging out with people, meeting people and having some pizza,” he continued.
They want to make the most out of the experience.
“We‘re flying in on Tuesday (Nov. 13) and jamming for a couple of days with Craig and Tristan and heading out,” Hughes said.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to catch a CFL game along the way too as we’re in Winnipeg, Regina and Calgary,” Mottram enthused.
“It’s a great opportunity, being on tour. We have to take advantage of it when we’re co-ordinating with bosses and day jobs,” he continued.
“I love this album. It’s upbeat so it’s a lot of fun to play,” Hughes said.
Seas play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Monday, Nov. 19 with local alternative rock trio the Supervoid. Admission is by donation.
I’ve interviewed Lacombe-based country star Gord Bamford, but always seem to miss his shows.
While he barely cracked a smile throughout his hit-heavy set Nov. 6 at Average Joe’s, his bandmates beamed as if they were in a blissful place especially bassist Lisa Dodd, who grinned, laid down some sick country bass licks, sang stunning lead vocals on a couple of songs and even better, sported a T-shirt from one of my favourite bands, Nashville P—y, which I wasn’t expecting to see at a country show.
His hot band dialled right in, supplying hot guitar and an unstoppable groove.
As a pleasant surprise, instead of having special guests Jo Jo Mason and young up-and-comer Jade Eagleson open the show like most bands would, Bamford himself opened at 7:30 sharp with a couple of his bigger hits “Heard it In a Song” and “Stayed ’til Two.” He worked though catchy boot stompers and sad ballads, peaking with “Red Dress,” before making way for Jo Jo Mason to sing an all too brief four-song set of some of his hits including “It’s All Good,” “Good Kind of Love” and “Something to Wrap My Heart Around” as Bamford rejoined him to sing “Groovin’ with You.” Mason was a breath of fresh air, as much as I hate pop country, because he looked as happy as a pig in Parliament just to be on stage, playing with Bamford’s band who never missed a beat.
Mason even rapped a little bit, which I could have done without.
As Mason beamed and left the stage, Bamford resumed his set with “Drinkin’ Buddy” to which he got the close to sold-out Tuesday night crowd to sing along with.
He looked happier as he picked up an acoustic guitar and told a story about working with Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy on “Ain’t it Grand.” Lisa Dodd sang the duet with him.
After playing his big hit “Ain’t It Friday Yet,” he once again made way for Jade Eagleson, calling him the future of country music and noting he liked him because he was country, growing up on an Ontario farm.
“He’s on his first tour and he’s trying to keep up,” Bamford said.
Eagleson sang in a vibrant, youthful baritone. He sang his big hit “Got Your Name On it,” and played a couple others before Bamford returned to sing Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.”
Bamford returned for more hits, ending with “Where a Farm Used to Be,” and was called back for an encore of “Breakfast Beer.”
As a special treat, he ended the show by unleashing the band for a blistering version of “The Devil Went Down To Georgia,” featuring a medley of a variety of classic rock hits including “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 ”and “Eye of the Tiger,” featuring Dodd on vocals again and the two guitarists tearing up the fiddle solos.
Maggie Hall held a successful fundraiser at KC’s pub in Coaldale, Saturday, Nov. 3. The place was already getting busy for one of several birthday parties happening simultaneously with the event which was to raise money for Hall’s sister in Ontario, whose family lost their home in a fire.
I arrived in the middle of a set of classic rock and country from the Mark Hall Band, who were playing early for one of the parties.
The trio welcomed a special guest to sing a couple songs with them including “Me and Bobby McGee.”
After that, local singer/vocals teacher Andi Roberts sang a variety of pop and classic rock music accompanied by backing tracks.
She covered U2’s “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” a few ’90s moments and even tackled “What A Wonderful World.” A friend texted her during her set, a request for Heart’s “Alone,” which brought her set to a fitting close.
Things got loud, dark and detuned at The Slice for a big Stoner Rock show on Saturday, Nov. 3.
While I missed Iron Tusk and Chief Mountain, I caught most of a blisteringly loud and massively-detuned show from Calgary’s Bazaraba.
The trio played an intense set of post grunge stoner rock which was equal parts Black Flag and Soundgarden and Kyuss, with more modern influences like Black Thunder and Monster Truck. They shouted out three-part gang vocals and the drummer sang lead on several songs
Calgary/Lethbridge stoner rock band Hypnopilot played a great deal slower, laying down a big, slow, ponderously heavy groove.
They had more of an Alice in Chains, grunge era feel. They ended with a big jam on a Black Sabbath cover as an encore.
Performers usually are able to ignore people chattering during their set. That wasn’t the case for Edmonton indie folk/pop duo F&M who played a pretty set of really chill, laid back originals music featuring the guitar and vocals of Ryan Anderson and his wife Rebecca playing singing, playing “chiming planetarium sounds” on organ, sometimes guitar and even accordion, by request.
Ryan Anderson quipped “Thanks to some of you for listening and others for not knowing there’s a band playing.” The chattering crowd applauded each song nonetheless. More people trickled in from the Reuben and the Dark’s concert at Southminster United Church as F&M laid down a super laidback, mellow, melancholy and ambient groove as the two harmonized beautifully together.
Their song “Wish You Were Here,” not the Pink Floyd classic, could have been called “Wish You Weren’t Talking.”
They played a lot of songs from their new CD “Lessons From Losers” including the title track.
By request, Rebecca Anderson picked up her accordion for a few songs.
Nov. 13
Enmax Centre — Glorious Sons and the Beaches
Slice — Carly Dow
Nov. 14
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
Nov. 15
Enmax Centre‚ Moscow Ballet’s The Nutcracker $78, $58, $48, $38 7:30 p.m.
Slice— open mic with Ian Morrice
Nov. 16
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
Club Didi — DMTV 9 p.m. $5
McLennan’s Pub Coaldale — Adequate
Nov. 17
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.
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Nov. 18
Southminster United Church — Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra Salute 3 p.m.
Smokehouse — Gutter Demons with the Devils Sons and the Hockey Moms 7 p.m. $10
Owl Acoustic Lounge 3 p.m. matinee with Broken Brothers (Formerly Broken Down Suitcase)
Smokehouse — Afternoon with Prairie Huckster 2-4 p.m.
Nov. 19
Onion — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Seas with Supervoid
Southmin-ster United Church — Lethbridge Symphony Salute 7:30 p.m. Orchestra Salute 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 20
Slice —High Level Variety show with Gabriel Thaine
Nov. 21
The Slice — The Dirty Catfish brass band
Owl Acoustic lounge — jazz jam with Josh Davies and HBO3
Club Didi — Castrati’s choir
Nov. 22
Slice — open mic with Tyler Bird
Nov. 23
Owl Acoustic lounge — Biloxi Parish
The Slice — Kerala Flood relief with Fox Kit, latin Rev and Guests
Average joes- Who made Who with Old School $20 show $50 prime rib buffet and show 7 p.m.
Club Didi — Drunk Improv $10
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Casino Lethbridge — Uncovered
Nov. 24
KCS pub — Battle of the Bands
Slice — ECILA with Chief mountain
The Gate — A Folk Benefit Show for Lethbridge Soup Kitchen with Crooked Creek Warblers and The Olsen Family Singers7:30 p.m $30
Owl Acoustic Lounge — 2 p.m. LGRC Family jam, 9 p.m. Misery mountain boys/Maddie Storvold
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Casino Lethbridge — Uncovered
Nov. 25
Geomatic Attic Joey Landreth
Smokehouse — Afternoon Gabe Thaine

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