There’s a lot of folk happening this week. But shake the snow of your shoes by dancing up a storm to the Celtic fire of Edmonton Celtic Rock band The Derina Harvey Band. They have released two albums and have released a couple new singles including “The Fallen Man’s Daughter” which they entered in the CBC Searchlight competition.
They play The Slice, Feb. 15 at 9 p.m. Admission is $10.
The Slice has something completely different on Saturday, Feb. 16 as it features a local hip hop showcase featuring the Psychonauts, Loyal & T Blaze, Sammy & the Fiend, Pyke, xRGx &Cliche, Kropp Hopper, Ty the Aboriginal, D.N.U.T and DJ Disko. Doors open at 8 p.m. There is a $10 cover.
Local folk musician Karen Romanchuk has a busy week. She plays solo at Brick and Mortar for the Traveling Dress Project Feb. 14, a new art exhibit featuring the work of 10 local photographers who photographed their own interpretation of the same dress.The event begins at 7 p.m.
The Karen Romanchuk 3 also play the Watertown Friday and Saturday night.
It is also a good week for open mics.
If you think you’re funny, test your best jokes at Good Times’ weekly comedy open mic, Thursday, Feb. 14. There is also an open mic at Thursday Thursdays at the Zoo at the U of L and at the Slice on Thursdays as well.
Beaches always has an open mic on Wednesday nights and Honker’s Pub has an evening open mic on Friday and their usual afternoon open mic on Saturday.
The Lethbridge Folk Club also has their monthly open mic at Casa at 7 p.m. on Friday. It is the second Friday of every month.
It is also a good week to laugh, with amateur night at Good Times on Thursday. Good Times features magician Alan Sands on Friday and Surrey-born, Fort McMurray-based comedian Renee Manners performing two shows on Saturday at 6 and 9:30 p.m. Admission is $10.
DMTV returns to Club Didi on Saturday as local improvisors’ take on popular television shows beginning at 9 p.m. There is a $5 cover.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge is hopping this week, especially on Saturday, Feb. 16 beginning with the LRGC family jam from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. followed by a atinee show from local bands Bring Your Own Bodies and Mercury beginning at 4 p.m. Take a breather and get ready for Regina-based math rock/ progressive rock band the Moon Runners and Calgary’s Crooked Spies. Admission is by donation. The night before, on Feb. 15, local electonica musician Vandendool kicks off a mini tour with new indie rock/pop band Fawns at the Owl Acoustic Lounge. Admission is by donation.
Get your ’90s fix on at Casino Lethbridge as they welcome back local band Uncovered for Friday and Saturday.
Just down the road, Suzanne Scott and the Dusty Rose band play KCs Pub, Feb. 16.
Local rock band Dead Army has a special show at the Lethbridge Legion, Saturday, Feb. 16. They, plus comedian Connor Christmas and musicians Ann Taylor and Nick Bohle, are playing a special fundraiser for the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Youth Dreams Bursary. There will also be a silent auction and raffle. Admission is $15 for the show, which begins at 7 p.m.
Edmonton-based Celtic rock band the Derina Harvey Band make their annual pilgrimage to Lethbridge, Friday, Feb. 15, when they return to The Slice.
They are getting ready to record a new CD and have released two songs, “Up All Night” and the more serious “The Fallen Man’s Daughter,” which they entered in the CBC Searchlight competition.
“We’re in Edmonton and getting ready to go up to Fort McMurray,” said Harvey.
“It’s -26 and -28 and they have a few degrees on us there. I think they make snow and ice there,” she chuckled.
“We have a lot of coast fans there but we‘ve been playing there for 10 years, so we have a lot of Albertan fans there too. We try to get to Lethbridge once a year too,” she added.
She noted “ Fallen Man’s Daughter” isn’t a true story.
“It’s about caregivers which can be family and friends,” she said.
“Our bass player Ed Smith’s uncle was a fisherman who was lost at sea. But the song isn’t telling his story, it is inspired by it. He was a fisherman and when the season was over, he’d work in the mines. And when that closed he went back to fishing and was lost at sea and came to untimely end which happens a lot more often than it should,” she said.
“We worked on the song for a few years because we really wanted to be really sensitive about the subject.”
“But it’s about caregivers who are affected,” she added. “My dad was a heavy machine operator in the mines and when they closed, he found another job because he had to. Because in addition to being a heavy machine operator, he is also a father and a father’s job is to support his family.”
The song has resonated with listeners after plays on CKUA and CBC and a moving video which got 100,000 views in a week it was released, Oct. 19.
“We started getting messages and letters from people asking us ‘how did you know my story.’ Which meant a lot but it was also a little awkward,” she said, adding before that they released another single at the beginning of summer.
“‘Up All Night’ is a lot more happy,” she laughed.
“But we decided to enter ‘Fallen Man’s Daughter’ in the CBC Searchlight competition. The CBC Searchlight competition has helped a lot of bands elevate to the next level,” she said.
The Derina Harvey band also includes Steve Pinsent, guitarist Scott Greene and relatively new fiddle player Jessica Blenis.
“She’s really, really talented. She not only plays fiddle, but she is a great singer. She’s a delight. She adds that fourth harmony vocal. Scott, our guitar player, also plays banjo. Actually it’s a six-string banjo. So we’ve added that sound,” she said, adding the Lethbridge audience can expect to hear the two new singles, some of their popular covers like “Last Saskatchewan Pirate” and “Galway Girl.”
“We‘re also playing some songs we haven’t recorded yet. So we‘ll have those and the classics,” she continued.
More information about the Derina Harvey Band and a link to vote for the CBC Searchlight competition is at http://www.derinaharveyband.com.The Derina Harvey band play the Slice, Friday, Feb. 15. Admission is $10.
I joined the cruise ship Norwegian Pearl for the Outlaw Country Cruise 4 last week as an excuse to get out of the cold (Yeah, right) for a few days and in the process catch a whole lot of really good bands who seldom, if ever, get up to our neck of the woods.
I usually listen to bands even hipsters have never heard of, so it was really cool to commune with people from the U.S. and Canada and as far away as Ireland even, who not only have heard of bands like Govt. Mule and the Bottle Rockets, but who are really into them. Unfortunately there were no Bottle Rockets this year, who were on last year’s cruise, and no Govt. Mule. But there was a lot of really amazing music and, of course, pleasant surprises.
This year, I finally caught a couple of Steve Earle shows, who I missed last year because his band was competing against bands I really wanted to see like Blackberry Smoke, but this time I caught the set of hits, which was supposed to open the cruise but had to be rescheduled like several shows due to a downpour in Tampa.
The Outlaw Country Cruise is put on by Sirius XM’s Outlaw Country station every year, so they feature plenty of bands ranging from outlaw country, alt country, punk and traditional country playing on five stages all over a boat which is basically as big as a small town. It really is all about the music, and communing with people who love the same type of music as you do. A few people noticed my CKXU sweatshirt and immediately asked if I knew Corb Lund, when I told them I was from Lethbridge, which was pretty cool.
So I spent a solid five days running around a boat an around a couple stops in the Bahamas trying to catch as much as I could, the only difference being I wasn’t taking pictures or writing a review of them, which was a weird feeling on its own as I feel horribly out of a place at a live show without a camera and a purpose. It was a challenge as a lot of bands and artist were competing with others I really wanted to see like country legend Bobby Bare, who I only caught during a workshop/mutual admiration session with Steve Earle, pianist Terry Allen and Lucinda Williams, who was in awe to be on the same stage with legends. Earle noted he doesn’t usually play request but was happy to play a couple obscurities for Bare and Allen.
There were a lot of highlights. Willie Nelson’s presence was felt on the first night in his daughter Paula Nelson’s band. She did an admirable job of both crooning out jazz and singing twangy old-school country.
Another Nelson daughter, Amy Nelson, was brilliant in twisted folk duo Folk Uke along with Woody Guthrie’s granddaughter Cathy.
The main draw for me this time was the fantastic Texas alt country/rock band The Old ’97s playing all kinds of catchy songs that should be hits, but I only caught them once, though I caught their frontman Rhett Miller, who was also playing a few guitar pulls and solos slots.
It was the same case for another big draw, the Drive By Truckers, who used to include Jason Isbell. The two main frontmen, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, also played heartfelt solo sets on other stages on other days.
I caught bits and pieces of their shows, and got to hear “Hell No I Ain’t Happy,” which finished a set on the main, pool deck stage.
I caught their main show on the last day in the Stardust theatre on floors 6 and 7 and was impressed by a set-ending cover of the Ramones “The KKK Took My Baby Away” and a moving version of “What it Means” before ending with “Surrender Under Protest.”
I caught a couple of bands who were supposed to be on the cruise last year but had to cancel due to health issues, namely Webb Wilder and Dan Baird, who is best known as the Georgia Satellites’ frontman, but has a hot band called Homemade Sin with Warner Hodges, who also founded country punk pioneers Jason and the Scorchers.
I only caught Webb Wilder once, in time to hear “Powerful Stuff,” a song his band wrote that was recorded by the Fabulous Thunderbirds. He noted he was also one of the first bands to record Steve Earle’s earliest songs, “The Devil’s Right Hand.”
It was great to see Dan Baird a couple of times, one on the main pool deck stage and again on another stage in the entrance atrium, which is where most of the coolest shows happened. Like pianist Jason D Williams, a phenomenal pianist, drawing heavily from the spirit of Jerry Lee Lewis, playing the piano with every possible appendage. Apparently he also jammed with Mojo Nixon’s band and ended up breaking the piano on a jam with Mojo’s pianist, which I missed as it was one of several shows where I couldn’t actually see the stage for all the people in front of of it.
Baird, Wilder, Hodges, Rosie Flores and John Doe from the punk band X plus host Mojo Nixon participated in a great workshop/live session about cow-punk (a mix of country music and punk rock), during which all of them pretty much said how much they hated the label cowpunk, as they just wanted to be in a rock and roll band when they started out, coming to that mix independently.
John Doe was definitely a highlight. He played with Texan artist Jesse Dayton’s band for his main show on the atrium stage, which included country music, rock and roll and even some old X songs. He also played in an excellent workshop with the Mastersons’ Bonnie Whitmore, Rhett Miller and a cool new up-and-comer from Dallas, Jonathan Tyler.
The other band I really wanted to see was Reckless Kelly, an Austin, Texas band transplanted from Idaho. I only caught a couple of their shows, missed their excellent song “On the Radio” and their great cover of Alejandro Escovedo’s “Castanets.” But I caught them backing folk icon Joe Ely in a collaboration they named JERK. Ely also played an excellent set with the Flatlanders aka Jimmie Dale Gilmour and Butch Hancock, who were also playing solo set.
The Reckless Kelly show I caught began with another Alejandro Escovedo cover “Always a Friend.”
They had a pretty inspirational moment on the pool deck stage as the clouds set in, asking the audience using their drink packages to bring them Pina Coladas, otherwise they’d play the “Pina Colada” song over and over again until that happened, “Even though we don“t know it.” They were good for their word, playing the verse they did know of the “Pina Colada” song several times until they received more drinks than they could possibly consume. So they shared the drinks with the front row after playing “Pina Colada” once more.
I also got new appreciation for up-and-coming country songstress Margo Price, performing on the pool deck six months pregnant, belting out heartfelt songs. She showed she is also an exceptional drummer, playing a dual drum solo with her drummer during the part of her second show.
And I came back exhausted, but also inspired.
Trews at Average Joe’s
Hamilton/Toronto-based, Nova Scotia-born band the Trews always put on a truly enjoyable show as they returned to Average Joe’s to heat up a chilly night, Tuesday, Feb. 5 with a good, long, solid set of hits, new tracks and obscurities. It was lots of fun, lots of soul and lots of solos.
I was saddened to have missed opening act Altameda, but arrived three songs into a solid set of soulful contemporary Canadian rock music, which focused heavily on their brand new, long-awaited album “Civilianaires.
I arrived during “Vintage Love,” the first track from new CD. “Leave it Alone” was also a highlight. But they interspersed some of their bigger sing-along hots in throughout to the set like “Hope and Ruin,” and their always popular “Sing Your Heart Out,” which a good-sized audience was happy to do.
A newer song, “Bar Star,” with the catchy refrain “Electric in the Dark,” was a newer highlight.
The Trews sure know how to heat up an audience, despite not having a lot to say in between songs. Frontman Colin MacDonald’s vocals dripped with soul and oozed passion. His brother, lead guitarist John Angus, was happy to stay in the shadows of a dimly lit stage and knock out tasty solo after tasty solo, though he’d wander into the audience during the end of a set to stand on a pool table for a solo during one of many extended jams on their more popular hits.
You could really notice how much the band has changed over the years upon listening to the more pop and alternative rock-influenced newer songs compared to the massive riffs and blues influence of some of their older material.
They stripped everything down to the bone for a very enjoyable acoustic set, featuring all of the band gathered in front of the stage strumming acoustic guitars, bass ukulele plus a melodica plus random percussion. They ended that up with a new song “Amen” which Colin MacDonald said was about saying goodbye to someone they have known for a long time. “No More Saying Goodbye” was similarly themed. They turned things back up again for “Power of Positive Drinking” and another new song, “Jericho.”
John Angus wandered into the audience to solo on top of a pool table and returned to the stage to play his big Les Paul behind his back during one of the jams on one of their bigger hits.
Keyboards were also prominent throughout the show, with plenty of keyboard solos on songs like “Paranoid Freak,” one of many songs which had the audience clapping along.
They wound things down with a big jam on “Poor Old Broken Hearted Me,” which included a few bars of blues rock classic “Going Down” and the Trews played “Tired of Waiting” before leaving the stage for a while before returning for a long encore.
That started slowly and picked up the pace with “Highway of Heroes,” which also had the audience singing along, their lighters held aloft.
They played some of Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” and ended with “Hold Me in Your Arms,” which included a mid-song segue into the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage,” before breaking back in to “Hold Me in your Arms” and calling it a night right before 11 p.m.
Beaches — open mic
Slice — Windy City Opry with Petunia and the Vipers $10 8 p.m.
Firestone — James Oldenburg 6-8 p.m.
Slice — open mic
Mortar and Brick — Karen Romanchuk for Travelling Dress Project
Good Times — Comedy open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Dating Game
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Vandendool mini-tour kick off with Fawns $10 suggested donation
Slice — the Derina Harvey band $10
Good Times — Magician Alan Sands $10
Club Didi — DMTV
Watertower — Karen Romanchuk Trio
Casino Lethbridge — Uncovered
Casa — Lethbridge Folk Club open mic 7 p.m.$5
Good Times — Renee Manners
KCs Pub — Dusty Road Band 8 :30 p.m.
Watertower Grill — Karen Romanchuk trio
Lethbridge Legion — Dead Army
Owl Acoustic Lounge — LGRC Family Jam 4 p.m. 9 p.m. Moon Runners with Crooked Spies
Slice — Blast Zone Hip Hop showcase
Club Didi — Panti Raid
Casino Lethbridge — Uncovered
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Open mic
The Slice — High Level Variety
Beaches — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — jazz jam with HBO3
Average Joe’s — The Irish Descendants 7:30 p.m. $20 advance, $25 day of show
Good Times — Comedy open mic
Slice — open mic
Firehall — Touching God, Trigger Warning, Cope
Good Times — roast battle $10
Firehall — Dusty Tucker, For A Life Unburdened, Lacuna , Eons of Earth 8:30 p.m.$10
Empress Theatre — Red Moon Road 7:30 p.m. $37.50
Slice — Chase the Bear with the Decadent Phase
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Bands as bands 8 p.m.
Club Didi — New Play Reading
Casino Lethbridge — Fast times
Lethbridge College Cave — Lethbridge Folk Club Bill Bourne
Good Times — Shawn Gramiak $10 6 , 9:30 p.m
Slice — Erin Ross with George Arsene
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Papa King and the Boogiemen
Club Didi — Naked Monologues 9 p.m. $10
Casino Lethbridge — Fast times
Enmax Centre — International peace powwow