Bad news, everybody. While local performers, arts groups and theatrical groups were really looking forward to being able to utilize the Blank Space theatre (located at Unit 3 1416 2 Ave. S.) for upcoming performances, especially after getting an advance peek at the place at the opening gala Nov. 1, the space has been put on hold due to obstacles arising with the City of Lethbridge.
So while the board is working on complying with the proper codes and obtaining permits, the first two plays, important fundraisers for the space, have had to be cancelled.
“The Gin Game,” set to run Nov. 13-18 and Nov. 20-24 was the first to be cancelled. And unfortunately, they have also had to cancel an innovative production of “A Christmas Carol,” originally scheduled for the first two weeks of December, which would have had six actors playing all of the roles in the beloved Christmas story in front of a minimal set and utilizing music and props to convey the different characters.
The Blank Space board is continuing to work with the city to resolve the issues. So hopefully they can get a fresh start.
There is all kinds of jazz and blues happening this week in Lethbridge.
Start off the week on Wednesday as Winnipeg’s Dirty Catfish Brass band return to The Slice for a big show of New Orleans jazz and pop infused tunes beginning at 8:30 p.m. Just down the block, the Owl Acoustic Lounge features their usual bi-monthly jazz jam with HBO3 and Josh Davies on Wednesday night, as well.
On Sunday, Winnipeg’s Joey Landreth plays the Geomatic Attic, winding up their year. He was a hit at Whoop up Days this year opening for the Sheepdogs. Tickets are $32.50. As usual, Geomatic Attic shows begins at 8 p.m. sharp.
The Slice hosts a special fundraising concert for flood relief in the southern India state of Kerala, Nov. 23., Jory Kohn hosts the evening, which will be full of performances by Ajay Jameson, Fox Kit, Frankie and the Bridge Mix, rapper Latin Rev and blues band Zojo Black. Admission is a minimum $10 donation. Slightly different, local rock band Biloxi Parish return to the Owl Acoustic Lounge on Nov. 23.
If you want to rock, AC DC tribute Who Made Who returns to Average Joe’s Nov. 23 with local band Old School. Admission is $20 on the day of the show, or $50 including a prime rib buffet.
If you are in a ’90s mood, Uncovered plays Casino Lethbridge on Friday and Saturday.
But if you just want to laugh, check out Drunk Improv at Club Didi Nov. 23 beginning at 9 p.m. Admission is $10.
Things rock all over on Saturday. Maggie Hall hosts a battle of the bands at KCs Pub in Coaldale Nov. 24 beginning at 3 p.m. Competitors include e Sestra, Dead Army, Suit Jacket Society, HoverKraft, Ransum 4 barbie and New Tricks. First prize is Myolodon recorders. last year]s winners Eons of Earth will be the judge. .
The Slice features a big rock show with Chief Mountain and Saskatoon based psychedelic rock band Ecila.
Gabe Thaine puts on a show for a great cause at the Gate, Nov. 24- a folk flavoured fundraiser for the Lethbridge Soup Kitchen featuring the Crooked Creek Warblers and the Olsen Family singers. Admission is $30. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.
Also in the folk vein, Peace River’s Misery Mountain Boys return to the Owl Acoustic Lounge to play folk, bluegrass and gypsy jazz music and more. Maddie Strovold will be opening the show. Admission is by donation.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge is a busy place on Saturday as they also feature the Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp Family jam in the afternoon, followed by a special performance from Karen Romanchuk at 4 p.m. after the jam ends.
The university features a variety of concerts in late November And December. The first of these concerts is Tuesday, Nov. 27 with the University of Lethbridge Collaborative Ensemble performing in the University of Lethbridge Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.
The Dirty Catfish Brass Band out of Winnipeg show their love for New Orleans, not to mention pop music.
They return to the Slice Nov. 21.
They were at The Slice almost exactly a year ago and tenor saxophonist Kyle Wedlake is excited to return and share the band’s love for New Orleans jazz music.
“We’ve got to headline a lot of great festivals this year including the Winnipeg Jazz Festival and Winnipeg Fringe Festival,” Wedlake enthused.
The band formed back in 2011, inspired by a couple of the members’ visits to New Orleans, who brought back their enthusiasm for the raucous jazz down south.
“So it’s been seven super years,” he said.
“Most of us have degrees in jazz performance. There’s a core of us in the band but we play with a lot of different musicians. There will be seven of us in Lethbridge,” he said.
“We’re inspired by a lot of New Orleans bands, jazz bands and funeral bands. But unlike most New Orleans jazz bands, we have a frontman (Aaron Codiker), he said adding, like most New Orleans style jazz bands, they all shout along with gang vocals.
“There is still a lot of shout along vocals and gang vocals,” he said. But there is also a lot of funk and soul music and pop music,” he continued.
They have released two albums — the six song EP “Brass Riot” in 2014 and “Big Shiny Brass.”
“It’s our play on the Big Shiny Tunes compilations in the ’90s, so we did some of our favourite pop tunes like Burton Cummings ‘These Eyes,’” he said.
They have a big night of fun planned.
“We’re playing two sets. There will be a lot of fun, a lot of improvisation, songs from the albums and music we haven’t recorded yet,” he said.
In addition to having a regular gig at the Times Changed in Winnipeg, the Dirty Catfish Brass band play with a lot of other Winnipeg musicians including guitarist Joey Landreth, JP Hoe and many more.
The Dirty Catfish brass band play The Slice Nov. 21 beginning at 8:30 p.m.
Winnipeg guitarist Joey Landreth comes by his blues honestly.
“I grew up listening to my dad play the blues and my mom. There was always blues on the record player. So I come by it honestly” said Landreth, from Los Angeles, one of several west coast U.S. shows he’s playing before returning to Lethbridge to play the Geomatic Attic Nov. 25.
“I’ve been to Lethbridge a lot because I used to play guitar in a lot of country bands like Emerson Drive and Doc Walker,“ said Landreth, who opened for the Sheepdogs at Whoop Up Days in the summer.
“That was a great show .Any day you get to watch the Sheepdogs is a great day,” he said.
He is also in a band with his brother Dave in the Bros. Landreth, but this tour is with bassist Meg Dolovich and drummer Roman Clark.
“I’ve literally been playing with Meg since the eighth grade and Roman is this amazing producer and singer songwriter,” he said.
He grew up in a house full of blues music, which inspired him to play slide guitar.
“I’ve always been a fan of slide guitar players.
“There was always blues on the turntable. There was Ry Cooder, Bonnie Raitt, Elmore James and A guy named Sonny Landreth, who is no relation to me. But whenever you come across someone with your name, you look it up. So I’d listen to him a lot,” Landreth said.
He is working on another Bros. Landreth CD, but is pleased to tour with the trio in the meantime.
“The trio is a lot more experimental. There’s a lot more improvising. The Bros. Landreth is more song oriented and singer/songwriter style,” he said.
He has been touring a lot.
“I’ve been touring for pretty much the last three months,” he said. It ends on December 2 and I’ll slow down,” he said.
Joey Landreth plays the Geomatic Attic, Sunday, Nov. 25. Tickets are $32.50 the show begins at 8 p.m.
Brooks-based roots band The Wine Soaked Preachers make an impression. So I was glad to see them back for the windy City Opry at The Slice, Wednesday, Nov. 14. The Windy City Opry usually draws a decent crowd and they had one this night. But as usual, I missed most of the show including and opening set from Edmonton’s Vissia.
The Wine Soaked Preachers, dressed in matching red cowboy shirts and black pants, were in the middle of a solid cover of cowboy classic “Big Iron,” but soon added a few of their own songs.
There was plenty of shuddering upright bass and sighing steel guitar and a voice reminiscent of the D Rangers’ Jaxon Haldane.
Frontman Jay B switched to electric guitar as he noted it was tough to get friends out on a weeknight and played a song they wrote about it called another night at the Bottom of the Bottle.”
“Lethbridge Provincial Jail Blues,” inspired by a conversation with a man in Brooks who worked there, was a highlight of the set.
They were called back for an encore of Corb Lund’s “Time To Switch To Whiskey.”
A FlipFest fundraiser was winding down at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Nov. 14 by the time I arrived in the middle of a set break.
After a long few minutes setting up, Winnipeg’s A La Mode took the stage at about 11:20 p.m. for a quickly dwindling crowd of approximately 20 people. They played a bright set of keyboard-powered pop music. The Winnipeg quartet, including keyboardist /vocalist Dominique LeMoine and electric guitarist Ava Glendinning, plus bassist Gage Salknikowski and drummer Kerrigan Salknikowski, embraced a two-female and two-male configuration so you couldn’t avoid a comparison to ABBA especially due to the bright vocal harmonies between the guitarist and the keyboardist, while the guys kept time on bass and drums. They played addictively catchy pop with a melancholy edge. Some of their songs included “Bummer Summer” and “Just Go Home” about a a man in his 50s who was out at shows every night to remember his recently deceased son.
Sat IKONS Kiss tribute Average Joe’s
It was tribute night at Average Joes, Saturday, Nov. 10. While I missed local Metallica tribute Damage Inc. I caught the last couple of songs from Calgary’s IKONS: The KISS Experience. they were dressed in full ’70s costume, and had a Kiss Flashing in lights behind the stage. They played a tight set and looked and sounded the part, playing Kiss classics including “ I Was Made For loving You,” and “Rock and Roll All Night,” one I didn’t recognize “ Let Me Go Rock And Roll” and ended with “ Detroit Rock City.”
Doc MacLean Alfred Frost Folk Club
It is always a treat when Doc MacLean plays the blues in Lethbridge. His return to the Lethbridge Folk Club on Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Lethbridge College Cave was no exception as approximately 50 people admired his work.
He is always joined by other talented people. this time is was the pride of South Africa Albert Frost, who was in the middle of a hot solo set, while MacLean took a seat at the back of the room to watch.
Frost played some exotic acoustic guitar, looped a lick of it and switched to electric mid song, produced a violin bow and did his best Jimmy Page impression over the repeating riff.
MacLean returned, donned his National steel and played a “spiritual song“ while Frost added a subtle solo.
Frost played another song, with MacLean accompanying him.
I was in time for two of my Doc MacLean favourites as MacLean howled out “Angola Prison Rodeo.”
They were called back for an encore of “Jelly Roll Blues.”
Maclean wandered into the audience for the last couple notes and the duo bowed good bye.
The Slice — The Dirty Catfish brass band
Owl Acoustic lounge — jazz jam with Josh Davies and HBO3
Club Didi — Castrati’s choir
Slice— open mic with Tyler Bird
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Biloxi Parish
The Slice — Kerala Flood relief with Fox Kit, Latin Rev and Guests
Average Joe’s — 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
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, 4 p.m.Karen Romanchuk 9 p.m. Misery Mountain boys/Maddie Storvold
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Casino Lethbridge — Uncovered
Geomatic Attic — Joey Landreth
Smokehouse Afternoon Gabe Thaine
The Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Onion — open mic
University of Lethbridge Recital Hall — University of Lethbridge Collaborative Ensemble
Slice — Bocephus King and Lethbridge Belly Dancers
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Standup Comedy open mic
Beaches Pub — open mic
Enmax Centre — Brett Kissell with Dan Davidson
Slice — Open mic with James Kanaroski