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‘Tis the season for Christmas performances

Posted on December 12, 2018 by Richard Amery

There are a couple of fun shows happening this week including a cornucopia of Christmas concerts. Wednesday night, Dec. 12 features a whole lot of rockabilly for the second anniversary of the Windy City Opry at the Slice featuring a couple of Calgary’s best rockabilly bands. Both Eve Hell and the Razors and Peter and the Wolves return to Lethbridge for the show, which begins at 8 p.m. sharp. There is a $10 cover charge.
Get ready to laugh on Friday, Dec. 14 and have a few “Puppers” with Letterkenny Live.
K Trevor “Squirrelly Dan” Wilson and the coach Mark Forward will be performing stand up sets before joining Letterkenny creator Jared “Wayne” Keeso and Nathan “Daryl” Dales to perform some beloved bits from the cult favourite Crave TV series and introduce some new bits. The laughs begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35, $49.50 or $75.
And then there are the Christmas shows. The Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society presents its beloved Christmas fundraiser of Shakespeare meets Dickens at Casa, Friday, Dec. 14 from 7-10 p.m. There will be a readers’ theatre performance of “A Christmas Carol,” Christmas carols and food from Shakespearian and Victorian times.
Tickets cost $20.
Local surf rock band Mosrite Holiday is doing double holiday duty on Friday, Dec. 14. They will be opening a live feature of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” at the Owl Acoustic Lounge first. Keyboardist TJ Waltho with be performing the soundtrack to “A Charlie Brown Christmas” with drummer Brad Brouwer and bassist Paul Holden as the show is shown in the background.
Right after their set, Mosrite Holiday rush over to the Slice for CKXU’s Holiday extravaganza. The University of Lethbridge based-community radio station have a lot to celebrate this year. In addition to celebrating the Christmas season, their long-awaited 2,900 watt transmitter went live this week, allowing people to listen to 88.3 from Claresholm to Fort Macleod to Taber. The new transmitter is the product of the previous three years Fundrive fundraising weeks and matching government grants and a lot of hard work on the part of CKXU’s volunteers and staff.
Several local bands play the CKXU extravaganza along with Mosrite Holiday including local stoner rock band Rainbow Patrol, synth pop musician Tyler Vandendool and alternative rock trio MomBod.
Admission is $10 in advance, $15 at the door. The bands begin at 9 p.m.
Club Didi hosts a Christmas special on Saturday, Dec. 15 with music, drag, dirty carols, mulled wine and more. The fun begins at 9 p.m. There is a $10 cover or $5 with a gift for Mama Didi.
The biggest Christmas shows of the week feature a Winnipeg-based fiddle virtuoso and her trio, plus the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra in two concerts at Southminster United Church. Lizzy Hoyt’s Celtic Folk Christmas happens at 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 16 and Monday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $20-$65.
For non-Christmas related shows it is all about country and roots music. Local country band the Mark Hall Band returns to Casino Lethbridge Friday and Saturday. Cal Toth brings his duelling pianos back to Average Joe’s on Friday, as well.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge is hopping on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. with the Lethbridge Girls rock Family Jam, beginning at 1 p.m. Friends of Ventus will be performing at 4 p.m. after the jam.
And local country band the Cody Hall Band plays in the evening.
The Watertower Grill and Hydro Lounge are starting to feature live music.
Sheena Lawson and Dale Ketcheson plus Billy McCarroll will be performing Christmas carols and more at the Hydro Lounge, upstairs at the Watertower Grill Dec. 14 from 8:05-11 p.m.
Early in the middle of another busy week, Gabriel Thaine brings back his High Level Variety show to the Slice, Tuesday, Dec. 18.

It has been a while since Winnipeg fiddle virtuoso Lizzy Hoyt has performed her folk show in Lethbridge.
She was last at the Wolf’s Den, performing a solo show in 2013.
“I was also there about a year-and-a-half ago performing with the Ventus Women’s Choir,” said Hoyt, who is excited to perform with her long time Edmonton-based band mates, upright bassist Keith Rempel and guitarist/mandolinist Chris Tabbert and the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra for two shows at 3 p.m.,Sunday Dec. 16 and Monday, Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
“That isn’t something I get to do very often,” Hoyt said, noting she has only performed with a symphony once before — in 2016 with the Symphony of the Kootenays.
“I’m always excited to work with new musicians,” continued Hoyt, who was dabbling in opera a few years ago.
“I’m really excited to be performing with all those extra sounds and textures,” she enthused. She will be playing fiddle, guitar and Celtic harp and singing.
Preparing for a show with band mates in another city takes a lot of preparation.
“I’ve been playing with the trio for 10 years. So we know the music. We communicate a lot. They do a lot of work on their own and I believe the symphony is also doing a lot of work on their own,” she said.
“We’ll come in the day before and rehearse to tighten things up,” she added, noting the concerts will be a good blend of music.
“It is a little bit more Christmas-focused. There will be folk with the trio, tender ballads and a lot of lively fuddle tunes. And a little heavier on Christmas music, because ’tis the season,” said Hoyt, who released “A Christmas Song CD” in 2011.
“So we’ll be a playing a lot from that and a few others, so we’ll expand on it. Most of them are older Christmas carols from the British Isles and France so people may not be familiar with some of them,” she said.
She released her first CD in 2017, over 10 years ago, so she can draw from that as well as her Vimy DVD and her two most recent CDs “Home” from 2011 and “New Lady on the Prairie,” from 2014.
“That is my most recent CD. I’ve been doing a lot of touring with the trio. And I’ve a had a lot happening personally,” she said, adding she is starting work on a new CD.
“It’s just in the beginning of the stages. I’ve been writing a little bit and choosing what songs to records. I’d like to have it out in time for the season next year,” she continued.
Tickets for Series 3 — Lizzy Hoyt’s Celtic-Folk Christmas start at $25, and are available anytime at http://www.lethbridgesymphony.org or Monday through Friday, 1-5 p.m. by calling 403-328-6808, ext. 101.

Reviews
In Cahoots CD release party
The Owl Acoustic Lounge seems to be the place to be lately, as most of the shows I’ve attended there tend to be packed wall to wall. It helps if familiar faces and their bands are releasing new CDs.
So local band In Cahoots, featuring vocalist/ukulele player and Bodhran player Eya Kelly, vocalist/guitarist/harmonica player Don Cassell and bassist/vocalist Dil Jopp had a full house at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Friday, Nov. 30.
They were performing two varied sets to reflect the diversity of their new CD “Across the Coulees.” I caught the end of their first set, which mostly featured Eya Kelly singing lead vocals and playing ukulele on the more laidback folk songs including the title track “Across the Coulees.” After that, they augmented their sound as Dil Jopp switched to electric bass, Brad Brouwer took a seat behind the drum kit, guitarist Patrick Thom had to hook up his amp and axe and Cassell took over on lead vocals. Cassell sang like John Fogerty , strumming acoustic guitar and blowing harp solos and drawing enthusiastic applause from the audience.
Cassell sang the more up-tempo, gritty rock tracks from the album as well as a song from the Juxtaposers, one of his previous bands. But he also sang a pretty, more Spanish-flavoured number called “Don’t Go Away.”
They also played a few covers including the Band’s “Ophelia” and “Johnny Too Bad, ” which had more of a reggae feel.

It is great to have Taylor Ackerman back in town and even better to see him returning to his blues rock roots with his band Global Acid Rest, featuring his dad Pat Ackerman on bass and drummer Dustin Gergel.
I caught their second set at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Saturday, Dec. 1.
They had a decent crowd as Ackerman was just hitting his stride with an excellent cover of Blackberry Smokes’ “Ain’t Much Left of Me.”
He stayed true to his blues rock muse. So he supplied plenty of big riffs, wah wah pedal-soaked guitar solos and a voice which reminded me of Kenny Wayne Shepherd in a few places.
He switched guitars to play a couple slide powered numbers and dug deep for his covers including a superb, slide-powered cover of the Perpetrators’ “I Must Be Crazy.”
He went back in time for a Captain Beefheart cover “Twist Ah Luck.”
They also played some Lynyrd Skynyrd but wound up their second set with an original “Who I Am” and another song about playing with a lot of different does as Taylor Ackerman does do.
The Slice featured a big ambient rock show, Saturday, Dec. 1 for a sparse audience. While I missed local alternative rock band MTBC and Toronto‘s “Ace of Wands,” I was just in time for Edmonton indie rock, dream pop band The Eclipse.
Lead singer/guitarist Brandi Bailey led the band through a solid set of jangly, ambient indie rock music. There were plenty of pretty guitar playing and keyboards backed by a solid groove. Bailey reminded me of fellow Edmontonian Colleen Brown and her band was reminiscent of Brown’s band Major Love plus Jesse and the Dandelions. Their set went by rather quickly. They ended by teasing the crowd with a few bars of the Beatles and an Alvvays cover to end their set.

December 11
Enmax — Three Days Grace with Nothing more and Bad Wolves
December 12
Beaches — open mic
Slice — Windy City Opry with Peter and the Wolves $10 8 p.m.
December 13
Slice — open mic with Casey Hellewell
The Zoo — Thursday Thursdays Open mic

December 14
Enmax Centre— Letterkenny Live $91.50, $64, $48.50 8 p.m.
Slice — CKXU Holiday Extravaganza with Rainbow Patrol Vandendool MomBod, Mosrite holiday, A Very Terrific Christmas, $10 advance from Street Legal , $15 at door
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Casino Lethbridge —Mark Hall band
Owl Acoustic Lounge —TJ Waltho with Brad Brouwer and Paul Holden Charlie Brown Christmas With Mosrite Holiday
Average Joes— Dueling Pianos with Cal Toth
Watertower Grill/Hydro Lounge — Sheena Lawson, Dale Ketcheson, Billy McCarroll
December 15
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — LGRC Family jam and Matinee 2 p.m. 9 p.m. Cody hall band Casino Lethbridge—Mark Hall band
Club Didi — Didi Christmas special
December 16
Southminster United Church 3 p.m. — Lethbridge Symphony Lizzy Hoyt’s Celtic Folk Christmas $20-$65
Smokehouse — afternoon show with TBA
December 17
Southminster United Church 7:30 p.m. — Lethbridge Symphony Lizzy Hoyt’s Celtic Folk Christmas $20-$65
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Onion— open mic
December 18
Slice — High Level Variety show
December 19
Beaches — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Jazz jam with HBO3 and Josh Davies
Galt Museum — Holiday music with Chris Roedler 2-3 p.m.
Slice — Stephan Hegerat CD release part
December 20
Average Joe’s — One Bad Son 8 p.m. $30 advance $3 day of show
Slice Taitanium WTF variety show with Harley Page Real Green Fairy and Fatt Matt
The Zoo — Thursty Thursday open mic
December 21
Slice — XMas meltdown with King Mammoth, Spit of the Sin and Medicine Hat’s Nephilim’s Noose $10 doors 8 p.m show 9 p.m.
Owl Acoustic Lounge — The Silkstones, Hoverkraft
Casino Lethbridge-Fast Times
Honker’s pub — open mic
Club Didi‚ showtunes singalong
City Hall — AC Vocals Christmas concert
December 22
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Rancho Deluxe
Slice — Ian Morrice and the Decadent Phase
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Casino Lethbridge — Fast Times
December 26
Beaches Open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge —Stand up Comedy open mic with Michael Moses
December 27
Slice — open mic
The Zoo — Thursday Thursday Open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — poetry open mic
December 28
Club Didi — Drunk Improv
Casino Lethbridge —Rudz Crew
Average Joe’s — Dueling Pianos with Cal Toth
Honker’s Pub — open mic
December 29
Casino Lethbridge —Rudz Crew
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — NYEEEMomBod, Harsh, Supervoid
December 31
Onion — LEMF New Year]s Party
Slice — New year’s EveParty Doors Tribute with the Morrison Phase
Owl Acoustic Lounge —NYE with Adequate and guests
Club Didi — New Year’s Panti Raid 10 p.m
Soundgarden — Unzipped $10 7 p.m.
Italian Canadian Club — Bamboo Guppies $50
Casino Lethbridge — hippodrome $75 buffet 7 Hippodrome 9 p.m.
The Coast Hotel — The LA Chefs new year‘s eve with the Chevelles and Cal Toth $79
KCS Pub —Blame Andi 9 p.m.

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