The Slice features a bit of blues this week beginning Thursday, May 30 with Winnipeg-area musician Patrick Alexandre LeClerc and Vince Andrushko. The Slice also features Calgary-based blues/funk and soul trio the Matthew Jay band, Saturday, June 1. There is a $10 cover.
The Lethbridge Community Jazz Band winds up its season at College Drive Community Church, Saturday, June 1 with A World Of Adventure featuring the Silver and Gold bands plus Joe Porter’s W.H.I.P. It Percussion Ensemble. Tickets are $15 from Casa and lcbs.ca. The concert begins at 7 p.m.
Kelly Klimchuk hosts Honkers Pub’s Friday night open mic this week.
Get ready to rock ’50s-style at Casino Lethbridge as Peter and the Wolves return
There are several indie rock shows happening this week. Local twangy indie rock band The Utilities return to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Friday, May 31, with local singer-songwriter Bailey Kate. Admission is by donation.
And Regina-based Bears in Hazenmore return to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, June 1 with local folk/country singer-songwriter Tyson Ray Borsboom and Vancouver Island pop multi-instrumentalist Prince Shima. Prince Shima, a.k.a. Bradley Kurushima, has played with Ghosts, Skylord, Lovers and Slumberland. Admission is by donation.
The Slice rocks out the end of May with Calgary rock and roll crew The Gentlmen’s Club and local rock band 21st Avenue. That show begins at 9 p.m., Friday, May 31.
Rock in June with an all-ages skate punk show at the Moose Hall, June 1, with Red Deer’s Trashed Ambulance, the Moröns and local skate punk band sessions. Tickets are $10 for the show, which begins at 8 p.m.
A sure sign of summer is the approach of the South Country Fair and the first sign of that is the South Country Fair songwriting contest finals, which is June 2 at the Slice.
The finalists are Ali Stuart playing “Like it That Way”; Chris Ryan Drew (Only Human): Chris Gheran (Old Time Feeling); George Arsene (She Sings to Her Horses); James D. Swinney (Hummingbird); Jon Martin (When Colours Fade); Joshua Beebe (Clayton Stanley); Megan Brown (Do I Work for the Devil (or Live in Hell)); Taylor Lang (Over Many Horizons); Tyson Ray Borsboom (Tell Me), who are all vying for a chance to play their song on the South stage at this year’s fair, July 19-21.
It features an exceptional lineup including Blue Moon Marquee, Captain Tractor, Peter and the Wolves, Rancho Deluxe, Petunia and the W Vipers, last year’s songwriting contest winner Tara Warburton and many more.
Nelson, B.C.-based songwriter Cam Penner and Jon Wood play the Twin Butte Store, Sunday, June 2 as well, before visiting the Owl Acoustic lounge on a busy Tuesday night, June 4. Keith Woodrow’s Slice of Blues jam returns to the Slice on Tuesday. Also on Tuesday, Leeroy Stagger and the Rebeltone Sound featuring MonkeyJunk’s Steve Marriner play a special show for the Geomatic Attic at the art gallery Mortar and Brick at 8 p.m. Stagger has just released a new album“Me and the Mountain.”
The Galt Museum and Lethbridge Historical Society combine their knowledge and resources to explore Lethbridge neighbourhoods in their new exhibit “Places and Traces.”
The exhibit includes suites of old photographs of what the city used to look like plus items including street signs, toys and clothing. There is also a video component featuring familiar faces like Mark Campbell talking about their neighbourhoods.
“It’s about how neighbours change and how the people living in them change them,” summarized Belinda Crowson, putting on her Lethbridge Historical Society hat.
Crowson, who has written several books about Lethbridge history, even learned a lot while helping put together this exhibit.
“The people living in the neighbourhoods changed the neighbourhoods,” Crowson observed, noting community organizations worked to plant trees and even rename neighbourhoods and streets.
“Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t,” she said.
“In the ’60s, students living in Hardieville being renamed,” she said.
“And people living in Parkdale were able to prevent the construction of a grain elevator,” she said.
“I hope people will see the exhibit and think about the people change their communities,” Crowson said.
Galt Museum curator Aimee Benoit found the stories of people in the community inspiring.
“We have a lot of video talking with people about their communities. And I went out to speak personally to people as well, she said adding she was fascinated by how people viewed their communities and used them. “In the ’50s, groups of kids built underground caves with multiple rooms in them beneath vacant lots. And another girls who liked roller skating judged her neighbourhood by how smooth the roads were and how easily she could skate them,” Benoit said.
“I love listening to people’s stories and experiences in their neighbourhoods,” Benoit continued.
“This exhibit tells the stories of these neighbourhoods’ past. So I hope people will explore Lethbridge and think about our own contributions to their neighbourhoods,” she said.
“Places and Traces” runs at the Galt Museum May 25-Sept. 8 during regular museum hours.
Extra, extra, read all about it, Lethbridge Musical Theatre has joined forces with Chinook High School to bring award-winning musical “Newsies” to the Yates Theatre, Nov. 1-9.
“This project is a hybrid project with Lethbridge Musical Theatre and the choral and musical theatre program at Chinook High School,” said director Dave Mikuliak, who is excited to be directing the first main stage Lethbridge Musical Theatre production is several years. The massive cast of 60 will include a combination of students and community members. so there are separate auditions for the public are June 5 from 7-9 p.m. at the Country Kitchen, but you need to sign up for a slot through Lethbridge Musical Theatre’s new website, https://lethbridgemusical
Auditions for students are June 4 at Chinook High School. Chinook students will have their own auditions, as “Newsies” will be part of their curriculum, which focuses on acting, singing and dancing.
“We did ‘Les Mis,’ which is more singing and dancing and ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ which is more book-based, so I’m excited to continue that with ‘Newsies’,” Mikuliak enthused.
The 2012 Broadway show is inspired by the 1899 New York newsboys’ strike, which also inspired a 1992 movie.
“Though the musical and the movie are quite different,” said Mikuliak, who is excited to combine the energy and budget of LMT and Chinook High School.
“So the newsies will be youth, though it’s written so they can be girls, too, as that part of the show is written for higher-register voices. And the adult characters can be adults,” he continued, adding there are some familiar names like newspaper tycoon Joseph Pulitzer.
“Lethbridge Musical Theatre hasn’t done a mainstage production at the Yates Theatre for about four years, so it is very cool to be able to help bring that back now they‘re in a financial position to do something like this,” said Mikuliak, who has been involved in many LMT productions over the years including “Guys and Dolls” and “Oliver.” The last LMT mainstage production was “Guys and Dolls” in 2014, though they have put on a couple of smaller shows to raise funds including “Nunsense” and “Nunsense 2.”
“It’s funny, but a lot of the cast probably weren’t even born when I directed my last LMT show. So it’s pretty special to be back,” he chuckled, adding he was excited to research the background for the show.
“It’s about children’s rights and worker’s rights and union rights,” he said, adding there are some parallels to “Oliver,” which was based on Charles Dickens’ novel “Oliver Twist.”
“They both took place during the Industrial Revolution and both involved children in the workforce, who, for lack of a better term, were abused.”
He is looking forward to having a good cross-section of the Lethbridge theatre community involved in the production.
He hopes to have the production cast in June. There will be an intense eight-week rehearsal period beginning after the Labour Day weekend.
“it’s a very high-energy show and it’s a Disney show, so it’s very family friendly,” he said.
While “Newsies” features many roles for youth, they are also looking for students aged current Grade 8 (so next year they would be Grade 9 students) and older. If organizers need to cast a role or two with students aged younger than that, they will do a separate audition call following this first round of auditions.
Patrick Alexandre LeClerc plays with a lot of people including Little Miss Higgins and the F Holes, but he is excited to bring his blues rock trio back to Lethbridge to play the Slice, Thursday, May 30.
Upright bassist/vocalist LeClerc will be joined by his band the Nor’ Westers guitarist Dwayne Dueck and drummer Jeff Laird. Vince Vandrushko is also on the bill.
They released their last CD, “In the Blood,” in 2018, which they recorded in Nanaimo at the Risque Disque Record studio.
“I really wanted to feature the dynamics we have when we play live on the CD,” he said.
“We’ll be playing those songs and road testing some new songs,” said LeClerc, who is currently putting the finishing touches on a new concept album about Metis’ and First Nations’ role in the Red River Resistance in Manitoba.
“I have relatives who were on all sides of the issue, so doing the research has been interesting,” LeClerc said, adding he has learned a lot about the rebellion during his day job as a riverboat historical tour guide in Winnipeg, on which he works with the Perpetrators‘ Jay Nowicki.
He recruited a lot of indigenous and local musicians to play on the concept album including members of JD and the Sunshine Band, a group of homeless musicians who recorded a well-received CD “Soaking Up the Rays” in 2016.
“We have 18 to 30 musicians playing on it including a 10-person choir. It’s been a lot of fun.”
He said he has shifted slightly away from the roots of the F Holes into more rock and roll.
“I go through stages. I’m playing more rock and roll. There was a lot more blues on the last record. But I love John Prine-style roots music,” he said.
“The concept album is going to be more different, because there are horns on a couple of songs.”
He is still playing a lot with little Miss Higgins.
It has been a few years since Brandon born, Nelson, B.C.-based musician Cam Penner has been to Lethbridge and released new music.
He returns to southern Alberta June 2 at Twin Butte Store and Tuesday, June 4 for a special show at the Slice with his partner in music, Jon Wood. He is supporting his new CD, “At War With Reason,” which is a big departure from his folk roots.
“This CD is really different,” said Penner, who spent 19 years living in Calgary, then moved to the Kootenays, just outside of Nelson, about eight years ago.
“I built a studio just outside of Nelson and work at the homeless shelter,” he said, adding that has been occupying most of his time in between multiple tours overseas.
“I was touring non-stop for five or six years and decided to a take a year off to spend time with my family and settled into my studio and started recording whatever I felt like,” he said, adding he started experimenting with different sounds and textures, which lead to the different sound.
An upcoming tour of the United Kingdom inspired him to release his experiments on the new CD. “I listen to a lot of different music like hip hop, indie rock and alternative rock and I started to really enjoy being back in the studio and just making beats,” he said, noting he didn’t miss it during his time off, but regained his love for music while recording the CD.
He drew a lot of inspiration from the people at the homeless shelter.
“People there have a lot of very inspiring stories,” he said.
He noted the new CD is resonating with a variety of people.
“I have a variety of people at my shows including people in their 60s and younger people,” he said.
“It sounds good. it’s wonderful and intriguing. It seems to make people feel something,” he said of the CD.
“I just wanted to make whatever music I wanted to make. It feels relevant and it has a pulse… It’s definitely a different sound than the folk and roots music I started out playing.”
“I definitely felt more confident and not as worried about what people would think about it,” he continued.
He will be playing with frequent collaborator Jon Wood.
“He’s super talented. He can play anything. So he’s my go-to guy,” Penner said.
“I’m really excited about it. We both have synthesizers and pedals and samplers,” he added.
“So come out on a Tuesday at the Owl. I love Alberta and we don’t play there enough.”
“You will be wowed and you will be moved,” Penner promised.
Mike Edel, D.O.A. at the Slice
You never know what shows people will show up for, especially on a Tuesday. So I was pleasantly surprised to see the Slice standing room only, Tuesday, May 21 , for what I thought would be mostly D.O.A. fans, however most of them were there to see Seattle ’s Mike Edel and his trio.
I missed opening act Tyson Ray Borsboom, but caught most of Edel’s solid set of appealing, delay-laden indie rock.
The affable Edel told stories and played songs from his new CD “Thresholds,” singing in an appealing tenor voice along the lines of Dan Mangan, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, Donovan Woods and a touch of Ed Sheeran.
Edel beamed on stage, dancing with his guitar, knocking of layers of delay-soaked ambience along the lines of Brian Eno era U2.
One of many highlights was “Go With You,” which he dedicated to his dad Larry, who I think may have been in the audience for the Alberta-born Edel, who moved to B.C. and recently Seattle.
Most of the audience left after Edel’s set, leaving a couple dozen local punks waiting for Vancouver-based punk legends D.O.A., which left frontman Joe Keithley a little taken aback by the strange lineup for the night.
Nonetheless, D.O.A. crashed into a wild set of high-voltage “hits,” or most popular songs from a band who you’d never hear on contemporary radio.
They played some of their most popular numbers including “The Enemy,” but without the old lyrics as on their new CD of reissued demos “1978.” They played “World War 3,” “Class War,” and I was really pleased to hear one of my favourites, “2+2.”
They barely touched on their most recent studio album “Fight Back,“ only playing “You Need an A— Kicking Right Now,” from it and “Just Got back From The U.S.A.,” which they also recorded several years ago.
They also didn’t play one of my absolute favourites, “Disco Sucks.”
Keithley was an absolute demon on his battered Gibson SG, knocking out Who-like riffs like there was no tomorrow. He did high kicks at bassist Mike Hodsall, who returned the favour in between bashing out thunderous riffs on bass, trading Pete Townshend-style windmills with Keithley and leaping high in the air as drummer Paddy Duddy bashed away at the skins.
In a more fair world, you would hear D.O.A. on the air with their big catchy hooks and riffs and even guitar solos, which Keithley played behind his head and with his teeth. But instead they remain, and have been for the past 40 years, our own little secret, shared only by thousands of punks all over the world. Just not here.
They wound up a short, but sweet set with their incendiary cover of “War (What is It Good For?).” Of course, they were called back for an encore of Irish punk classic “Alternative Ulster” and “F——d Up Donny.”
Homeless in Hawaii at the Slice
The Slice had a big night of punk and power pop, Saturday, May 18. I only caught one band, who ended up being Calgary’s Homeless in Hawaii, and was really impressed if only because I loved that the frontman Tanner Cyr had a speckled silver Gretsch guitar just like mine.
They played a really tight set of mid-’90s-style power pop along the lines of the Lemonheads and Gin Blossoms and a touch of Jimmy Eat World, but also added a funky groove and plenty of hot guitar solos, through a set of mostly original music that had my toes tapping.
Cyr put his Gretsch to good use on a solid cover of Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”
Adequate at the Owl
Adequate made things a little funky at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Saturday, May 18, as usual. They’ve been adding more original material like “Get the Funk Out of My House,” which guitarist Josh Thorlakson sings. It fits perfectly in with their usual high-energy set of R and B, soul, disco and funk, like Rick James’ “Give It to Me.”
Scott Mezei, playing bass for the part of the set I saw, added more vocoder throughout their set, which had a good-sized audience on their feet, dancing up a sweat.
As usual, Keenan Pezderic sang most of the lead vocals from behind his drum kit.
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Standup Comedy open mic
Beaches — open mic
The Slice — Patrick Alexandre LeClerc with Vince Andrusko
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Owl Poetry open mic
Good Times — Amateur night
Owl Acoustic Lounge — The Utilities with Bailey Kate
The Slice — The Gentlmen’s Club with 21st Avenue
Casino Lethbridge — Peter and the Wolves
Honker’s Pub — open mic with Kelly Klimchuk
Casino Lethbridge — Peter and the Wolves
Moose Hall — All-ages skate punk show The Moröns, Sessions, Trashed Ambulance
College Drive Community Church — A World of Adventure, Lethbridge Community Band $15 7 p.m.
Slice — Matthew Jay band
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Bears in Hazenmore, Prince Shima, Tyson Ray Borsboom
Twin Butte store — Cam Penner
The Slice — South Country Fair Songwriting Contest finals, 7 p.m.
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Cam Penner
Mortar and Brick — Geomatic Attic presents Leeroy Stagger and the Rebeltone Sound with Steve Marriner
Slice — Slice of Blues jam with Keith Woodrow
Smokehouse — Bubba and Randy’s unfiltered comedy open mic
Beaches — open mic
Slice — open mic
Good Times — Amateur night comedy open mic
The Slice — Too Soon Monsoon, Kane Incognito, Biloxi Parish
Galt Gardens — Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival Young Lions Concert 12:45-4:30 p.m.
City Hall — Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival Kaley Kinjo and the Hypocrites 7 p.m. $45 advance $50 at door
Galt Museum — Skate of the Art fundraiser$25
Owl Acoustic Lounge — VandenDool, Friends of Foes, Max and the Minimums
Theoretically Brewing — CKXU Summer kickoff with Tyra Whitson, Chief N’ Council, Taylor Ackerman’s Global Acid Reset