Welcome in December with live music. The biggest show of the week is rising country star Brett Kissel, who returns to Lethbridge to play the Enmax Centre, Thursday, Nov. 29 as part of his “We Were This Song” tour. Tickets are $58. The show begins at 8 p.m. Dan Davidson shares the bill.
But before that, get your fix of blues, folk, exotic music and heartfelt stories from Vancouver musician Bocephus King, who returns to Lethbridge to play a special show at the Slice on Wednesday, Nov. 28 with the Lethbridge Belly Dancers beginning at 9 p.m.
The Lethbridge Jazz Ensembles perform at the University of Lethbridge Recital hall on Wednesday, Nov. 28 as well at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 regular, $15 for seniors, and alumni and $12 for students.
Or end November with lots of laughs at the Owl Acoustic Lounge’s monthly stand-up comedy open mic Nov. 28.
There’s a whole lot of country going on this week. In addition to the Brett Kissel concert, Suzanne Scott and the Dusty Rose band return to Casino Lethbridge on the weekend.
On the more Canadiana side, Grande Prairie’s Brad Lynch band plays the Slice, Friday, Nov. 30, with Winkler, Manitoba’s Joe Wilson, who considers Waylon Jennings, Townes Van Zandt, Colter Wall and Whitey Morgan to be among his many influences.
Local roots rock band In Cahoots release their new CD at the Owl Acoustic Lounge on Nov. 30.
December kicks off with a whole lot of alternative rock.
Chief Mountain returns to the Owl Acoustic Lounge with Taylor Ackerman’s Global Acid Reset. So expect a show full of blues, rock, punk and surf music between the two acts. Admission is by donation.
Over at the Slice, Toronto rock band Ace of Wands will be blending rock and roll and classical violin and folk music. They will be joined by Edmonton indie rock band the Eclipse and local alternative rock band MTBC. Doors open at 8 p.m. There is a $10 cover.
It doesn’t end there as folk duo Artemis in the Summer play a matinee at the Smokehouse on Sunday, Dec. 2 from 2-4 p.m.
Country star Brett Kissel has a lot of great memories — winning a Juno, touring with Garth Brooks and having Garth give him his autographed guitar, touring the world, but the one thing that stands out is being able to spend time with his wife and daughters.
“Over the past 10 months we’ve done 100 shows in 10 provinces and territories and we’re doing the last five in Alberta,” enthused Kissel, while pulling into Terrace, B.C. for “another soldout show.” He brings his “We Were that Song” tour to the Enmax Centre Nov. 29.
“I feel so thankful people have got behind my music and the live show,” he said.
“It’s been three years since I’ve been to Lethbridge. So I’m excited to come back with this tour and album.”
He is touring in support of his new single, “Cecilia;” the fourth single from his CD “We Were that Song” is about his wife.
“When you’re writing a song called ‘Cecilia,’ like Paul Simon has done, it would be easy to write something soft and romantic. But I wanted to write something that is strong and upbeat, like my wife is,” he said, adding he wrote it with High Valley’s Brad Rempel.
“It’s a co-write, like most of my songs are. He’s had a lot of success with High Valley. He’s a great songwriter,” he said.
One of many highlights was touring with Garth Brooks.
“I got to open for Garth on all of his Canadian dates. At the end of the tour, he gave me his guitar and even autographed it.
“I got to play it on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. So I’m really thankful to Garth that I got to do that,” he said, adding he is most thankful for the little things like touring with his wife and two young daughters, aged 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 years old.
“They learned to walk and sleep on the tour bus and they love the band the the crew,” Kissel noted, adding after the tour, he will take some much-needed time off especially as his wife is about to give birth to their third child.
“I’m always writing. But I’m looking forward to being called my favourite title — dad,” he said.
More information about Kissel is online as he maintains an active Facebook, Twitter and Instagram presence.
Local singer Chris (Giph) Snelgrove’s mind merged with his singing teacher, multi-instrumentalist and guitar whiz Craig Baceda for a new CD, “Mind Merge.”
“I’ve actually been doing vocal lessons with Craig and we ended up working on these songs together, which is pretty cool,” said Snelgrove, who was formerly the lead singer for local metal band To The Mountains.
“This CD more is more classic rock, which is different for both of us as Craig usually does a lot of Yngwie Malmsteen shredding. When To The Mountains fizzled, I started collaborating with Craig,” he said.
Baceda plays, drums, guitar and bass on the CD while Snelgrove provides his lyrics, voice and some keyboards.
He had a lot to get off his chest lyrically, so the CD explores his feelings after his divorce as well as his love for the mountains.
“I spend a lot of time driving in the mountains for work,” he said, noting he spends a lot of time as a property tax assessor in the Crowsnest Pass.
“I love just being in the mountains. ‘3 Peaks’ is about that,’” he said.
“I’m really proud of the lyrics. There’s a lot about work and life and being divorced. Though ‘There Exists’ was inspired by Deepak Chopra’s ‘Shadow Effect.’”
“I think a lot of people will identify with the lyrics,“ he continued.
“They are really palatable.”
“Mind Merge” is available on iTunes, Napster, Google, YouTube and Spotify.
He is currently chasing radio airplay for the CD.
Local country musician Trevor Panczak is up for several ACMA music awards including male artist of the year, rising star, video of the year for “Cheap Shades,” album of the year for “Where I Go To Come Back” and fans’ choice.
“And my bassist, Ray Banman, has been nominated for musician of the year,” Panczak said, noting he made the top-10 finals, and expects to hear if he made the top five in mid-December.
“I’ve been nominated for awards before. They just show what I’m doing is on the right track,” Panczak said.
The top five perform at the ACMA awards weekend in Red Deer, Jan. 26-27.
“That’s a great excuse for artists to socialize, because running in the same circuit, we don’t often get to see each other,” Panczak said.
ACMA members in good standing a.k.a. members who have paid their $5 membership fee, can vote for fans’ choice. People in the industry vote for other categories.
He said an important effect of being nominated award is the increased visibility he gets.
“It increases your profile and that leads to more gigs,” he said, adding he has had a busy year of playing.
“I’ve played from Westlock to Bassano and everywhere in between,” he said, adding his next big local gig is New Year’s Eve for Esmerelda’s.
Members can vote through http://www.abcountrymusic.ca/.
Winnipeg-based New Orleans-style brass band The Dirty Catfish Brass Band are making jazz music fun again.
They played an energetic Show at the Slice Nov. 21 for a surprisingly good-sized Wednesday night crowd of approximately 30, some of whom remembered them from their Windy City Opry show almost exactly a year ago at The Slice.
It’s hard not to smile when hearing this cadre of upbeat horns, and frontman Todd Martin’s castrati vocals.
Martin was impressive, alternately singing an a wavering, soulful falsetto and playing mellophone and harp. There wasn’t a guitar in sight.
The horns did all the work, supplying additional bottom end to throbbing bass as well as punchy melodies.
I arrived in the middle of a jam on a song called “Lil’ Liza Jane.” The septet beamed as they rotated in place in between trading solos. They played a lot of brassy New Orleans jazz punctuated by gang vocals and lots of energy. But they also turned a few popular pop songs into jazz songs
By request, they blasted into a hit jazzy cover of Stompin’ Tom Connors ’ “The Hockey Song.” They introduced it with a few bars of “Iko Iko” and saxophonist Graham Dion did a credible version of a goal and period-ending buzzer on baritone saxophone to add to the humour.
They ended their show around 11 p.m. with an encore — a mix of two songs, one of which was Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ’Til you Get Enough.”
I usually try to take Monday nights off, but I made a point of catching alternative rock supergroup Seas. And I was glad I did as their incendiary show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Monday, Nov. 19 was an excellent candidate for best alternative rock/punk show of the year, as an enthusiastic audience of approximately 25 would likely agree. The band, which blends members of Moneen, Choke, Molten Lava! and Black Mastiff bassist Clay Shea, have been around long enough to know their stuff and showed it.
They sounded like a more souped up Lemonheads and a heavier Doughboys thanks to vocalist Crisp Hughes, whose voice was a dead ringer for both bands’ lead singers.
They had an abundance of energy, with the towering Hughes leaping all over the stage and bobbing his dreadlocked head.
Main members Crisp Hughes and Adrian Mottram flew in for this set of Western Canadian shows, and picked up a massive rhythm section of bassist Clay Shea and drummer Tristan Helgason a scant few days before, but sounded like they had been playing together for years.
The rhythm was absolutely massive with thundering drums and floor shaking bass reverberating throughout the room. Musically they were an almost perfect blend of heavy and melodic.
As a bonus, it being a weeknight, their set was short, sweet and to the point, focusing on their new CD “Cursed,” as well as bringing out a couple of older songs, ending the show nice and early.
I missed an opening set from local alternative rock band Supervoid, who apparently were playing a lot of new songs.
They were called back for an encore including a Dinosaur Jr. song.
Gutter Demons at Smokehouse
I keep missing punk and psychobilly shows, so I made a point for catching he gutter Demons at the Smokehouse, Sunday, Nov. 18, especially as I missed their May visit.
They had an enthusiastic audience of around 20 punk rockers, some of whoo started up a brief mosh pit but quit due to lack of enthusiastic.
I missed local band the Hockey Moms, but was in time for Edmonton’s The Devil’s Sons. They have a horn section on their new EP “Black Moonshine,” but brought the core four-piece including upright bassist Fernando De Les Diablos, drummer Q Mike, vocalist/guitarist Brad Graves and lead guitarist Kylie Wyote.
They played all of the new EP and quite a few more. Some of the highlights were “Revenge is Mine,” and an old rockabilly style number which Elvis Presley recorded called “I Got Stung,” which took on more of a punk rock feel in the hands of The Devil’s Sons. They showed off their ’50s side again on “Bye Bye Baby Love.”
As I missed the Gutter Demons’ May visit, I was glad I caught them this time. I previously compared them to Motorhead playing rockabilly music, which was an apt comparison, as they even cover Motorhead’s “Damage Case” on their latest CD “No God No Ghost No Saints,” which they focused on for this show. They ended with an encore of “Damage Case,” around 10:10 p.m., which was really welcome on a Sunday night.
The Montreal-based trio played that and a lot more supercharged and super fast rockabilly, rock and roll and psychobilly music.
“Devil’s Hand” was one of several songs featuring some hot guitar playing.
I haven’t seen Breanne Urban and Southern Flyer for a few years, so I made a point of catching one of their sets, Friday, Nov. 16 at Casino Lethbridge.
They were a delight as they worked though a solid set of a variety of country and rock hits.
Breanne Urban took turns singing lead vocals with Tom Hudson, backed by lead guitarist John Malcolm, drummer Bob Gammon and bassist Les Kesler. Bruce MacKay played keyboards and even busted out the accordion for a couple of songs including John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Cherry Bomb” just as I arrived.
Breanne belted out an excellent version of Gretchen Wilson’s “Redneck Woman,” but for the most part was holding back and almost completely drowned out by the band. Though she sang subtle vocal harmonies which broke through.
Hudson belted out an excellent version of “Cadillac Ranch” and an excellent version of Confederate Railroad’s “Trashy Side” and the Rolling Stones’“Honky Tonk Woman.”
Malcolm even sang lead on Hal Ketchum’s “Small Town Saturday Night.”
The room was full with most of the people two stepping and having a good time, with a couple of birthday parties celebrating to local live music and plenty of familiar hits.
Country star George Canyon made his annual visit to Lethbridge for a close to sold out show at Average Joe’s, Friday, Nov. 16.
You know George Canyon is going to be a good time, and a solid bet for entertainment because he plays his hits and other popular hits in spades and gets you up on your feet. He’s big and affable and you just want to party to his music.
He had a solid band behind him, all sporting Team Canada hockey jerseys, including a guitarist, bassist and drummer plus keyboardist Mike Little, who brought out the accordion for a couple of songs including “Good Day To Ride,” and a little later, Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.”
I missed his show-opening version of “The Hockey Song,” which was an apt way to open his Made In Canada tour stop, not to mention a great way to present his latest album “Southside of Heaven,” which features the Stompin’ Tom Connors classic.
His hit-heavy set was interspersed with jokes and stories and little tidbits of Canadian history.
So all the familiar mid tempo rockers and heartfelt ballads were there including “Slow Dance,” which had a good sized crowd doing just that, “I Believe in Angels” and “Never Do Better Than You.”
Another highlight from the new CD was “Your Old Man’s Son,” but the show was all about his multitude of hits, interspersed with Canadian trivia,
Because the show was Made in Canada, he dedicated the middle of the show to a tight acoustic medley of Canadian artists including Gordon Lightfoot, Anne Murray and Ian Tyson.
He was supposed to play a version of The Tragically Hip’s “Blow at High Dough,” but I missed it as there were other to shows I wanted to see.
He did play one of his early hits- a countrified cover of Crowded House’s “Better Be Home Soon.” and the always popular version of “Rhinestone Cowboy.”
I ducked out after one of Canyon’s newer hits “I Got This.”
Matt Patershuk at the Owl
It is always a pleasure to see La Glace based folk/country singer Matt Patershuk, so I was glad to arrive just in time for his second set at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Friday, Nov. 16.
He was in the mood to share some music and relax a decent sized crowd with his big soothing . rumbling baritone voice, which reminded me of Edmonton folk singer Scott Cook.
He was joined by a drummer, lead guitarist and upright bassist to add a big, rockabilly style bottom end.
He rode the edge of traditional ’50s-style country music and gut shaking slide blues, switching between a battered acoustic guitar and a old white Telecaster for the more country songs.
He played a variety of new originals plus a few choice covers of songs by bluesman Sonny Boy Williamson and Hank Williams.
His originals were heartfelt and though provoking, especially one based on the Greek myth of Atlas.
But he was equally adept at playing old blues including an excellent cover of “Jump, Jive and Wail,” which worked even without a horn section.
Queen of the Worms at the Slice
Local alternative rock band Queen of the Worms celebrated Megan Rourke’s masquerade birthday party with a whole lot of alt country-tinged rock music at the Slice, Friday, Nov. 16.
A Small, but enthusiastic audience danced in the dark, sporting a variety of fancy masks.. Frontman Tyler Bird was joined by bassist Paul Holden and drummer Clayton Smith for the show.
They played a variety of original material ranging from roots rock to blues with a touch of country and a lot of alternative rock.
University of Lethbridge Recital Hall — University of Lethbridge Collaborative Ensemble
Slice — Bocephus King and Lethbridge Belly Dancers
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Stand-up Comedy open mic
Beaches Pub — open mic
Enmax Centre — Brett Kissel with Dan Davidson
Slice — Open mic with James Kanaroski
Mocha Cabana — Herb Hicks jazz Quartet
Average Joe’s — Dueling Pianos with Cal Toth
Casino Lethbridge — Suzanne Scott and the Dusty Rose band
Slice — Brad Lynch band
Owl Acoustic Lounge — In Cahoots album release party
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Slice — Ace of Wands, The Eclipse, MTBC
Casino Lethbridge — Suzanne Scott and the Dusty Rose band
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Chief Mountain with Taylor Ackerman’s Global Acid Reset
Smokehouse — Afternoon with Artemis in the Summer 2-4 p.m.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Onion — open mic
Beaches — open mic
Slice — open mic
The Zoo — Thursty Thursday open mic
The Slice — She Hangs Brightly with the New Weather Machine
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Chief Mountain ad Global acid Reset
Honker’s Pub— open mic
The Slice — Mayhemingways with Tin and the Toad
Honker‘s Pub — afternoon open mic
U of L — Global Drums Fall concert
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Synthpop Saturday with Hello Moth, Vandendool
Southminster United Church — Mayor’s Christmas Concert with Lethbridge Community Silver and Gold bands, Magrath Elementary School Choir 7 p.m. 415 regular 12 and under free
Smokehouse- Afternoon with Redliners 2-4 p.m.
Casa — ukulele jam