Festival season is in full swing in Lethbridge, with two big events happening this week.
The biggest one is the annual Rotary Dragon Boat Festival, which takes over Henderson Lake park, June 21-23. As usual, there is a good slate, if not familial looking, schedule of performers, providing the soundtrack to the races.
Things begin on Friday, June 21 at 5 p.m. with country musician Dusty Dee Litchfield, who will be followed by the opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. At 6:30, Chinook High School Rock & Pop program, led by Scott Davidson will be performing followed by the popular classic rockers the Chevelles at 7:15.
Things start early at 11 a.m., June 22 with local doctor band DNR starting things off they will be followed by the rose ceremony at noon, blues rock band CODA at 12:30, then Coda Blues by Global drums at 1:30 p.m. Dory Rossiter’s band Horizon is playing the hits at 2 p.m. followed by LCI Arts Academy Dance at 3 p.m., the LCI Jazz band at 3:30 p.m., Expressions Dance at 4 p.m., new classic rock and country band Lawless Murphy at 4:30 p.m., aKoustic Harmony at 5:30 p.m. featuring Kelliane Litchfield, classic rock band Old School at 6:30 and Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction close off Saturday night playing all the country and pop hits you want from 8:30-10:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 24 begins at 11 a.m. with the E-Free band followed by Karen Romanchuk at noon. Between Skies are on at 12:30 p.m. followed by Steve Keenan Bnd playing blues and blues rock at 1:30 p.m. The Steve Keenan Band has a busy weekend as they are also playing Casino Lethbridge Friday and Saturday night.
Urban Beat are on at 2:30 p.m. followed by more classic rock from Suite 33 at 3 p.m. taking you to the closing ceremonies at 4 p.m.
As usual, the Rotary Dragon Boat Festival is a free, family-friendly event.
If you love classical music, the Centric Music Festival is back with concerts every day beginning Wednesday, mostly at St. Augustine’s Anglican church.
The first concert is June 19 at 7:30 p.m. featuring pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin performing Chopin, Debussey, Enescu, Mendelssohn and Rachmoniov.
The second concert June 20 at 7:30 p.m. features members of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Trio de Moda and pianist Alison Kilgannon performing the music of Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann.
Lethbridge’s jamani percussion and flute duo (Jodi and Matt Groenheide) perform the dance of the drums, featuring musical styles from all over the world. beginning at 7:30 p.m. at St. Augustine’s Anglican Church.
The fourth concert also features local performers as soprano Madison Craig and Zain Solinski celebrate the female Muse and the reclamation of poetry by the female voice. They will perform works by Purcell, Messian, Strauss, Szmanowski and Previn beginning at 7:30 p.m. at St. Augustine’s Anglican church.
The Centric Festival winds up at Casa at 2:30 p.m with a best of, farewell collaborative concert June 23.
Tickets for are shows are $30 and $25 for under 30.
For yet another festival, Lethbridge celebrates the Sled Island festival happening in Calgary this week, with Shed Island, a special show presented by U of L-based community radio station CKXU at Theoretically Brewing, Tuesday, June 18. The event features Montreal bands Lovelet, LAPS, Andy And The Dannys and Winona Forever, Winnipeg’s Lev Snowe, Vancouver’s Garbage Dreams and Energy Slime, local bands Body Lens and J Blissette and, coming all the way from Berlin, Energy Boost.
Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. The music begins at 7 p.m.
Theoretically Brewing also has an experimental rock show on Sunday, June 23 with Psychic Pollution and An Ant and an Atom. They begin at 7 p.m. Admission is pay what you can though there is a suggested $10 donation.
Gabriel Thaine’s High Level Variety show returns to The Slice, June 18 as well. He also has a busy week. Thaine will be backing Keith Catfish Woodrow at The Slice June 22 with his band High Level Blues.
The Smokehouse features a big hip hop show Friday, June 21 as Wes Paul brings his Far From over tour featuring Wes Paul, Stratum 403, Screweye, Ty The Aboriginal, J Doses, Crisko, Yung Warlxrd with Kylke Sanford the Drummer. Admisison is $10 for the show, which begins at 8 p.m.
The Slice is a busy place as usual this week. Vancouver blues and roots and folk musicians Ivan Hartle and Matt Storm join local talent Tyson Ray Borsboom at The Slice, Wednesday, June 19, stopping by on their “June Bloom Tour.” Admission is $10. The Slice features local rock band 21st Avenue. Down the road, June 19, The Owl Acoustic lounge goes jazz with the Malleus Trio featuring Dominic Conway on tenor sax, Ben Brown on kit and Geordie Hart on upright bass.
The weekend is hopping as usual. The Owl Acoustic Lounge presents local rock band Biloxi parish with jazz/ alternative rock band Chasing Illusions, Off Gold and Localgirlinyour area beginning at 9 p.m. Admission is by donation.
One of my favourite new bands, Fawns return to the Owl Acoustic Lounge June 23 with local alternative rock band MTBC. Admission is by donation.
If you’re in the mood for some blues, Papa King and keyboardist TJ Waltho are at the Watertower Grill Friday and Saturday night.
The fun doesn’t end there as alternative pop duo Big Little Lions, featuring Vancouver‘s Hellen Austin and Cincinnati musician Paul Otten, return to the Owl Acoustic Lounge on Tuesday, June 25.
And get ready to get sweaty on the dance floor with Vancouver jazz/rock/R and B octet Five Alarm Funk, who make a long awaited return to thee Slice, June 25. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door.
Five Alarm Funk make a long-awaited return to Lethbridge Tuesday, June 25 at The Slice.
They have been busy with touring and releasing two albums since they last played here. Drummer Tayo Branston of the Vancouver-based theatrical funk rock juggernaut said, “It’s been too long. And Lethbridge has always been very supportive of us. But we haven’t been able to make it work.”
“But this is most excited and focused we’ve ever been. I think people are going to freak when they see us. There will be pizzas flying off the roof of the Slice,” Branston chuckled, adding they just finished recording a new CD, the follow up to their Juno-nominated “Sweat.”
They just returned from a whirlwind few days in Guadalajara, Mexico, where they were playing FIMPro for booking agents and some of the important moves and shakers in the Mexican music industry.
“We only played one show but we also had a lot of press calls. Music B.C. brought us in to be part of the B.C. Music showcase. We arrivedLate on the first day, played on the second day, had a bunch of obligations on the third and left really early on the fourth day, so it really was a whirlwind,” Branston summarized.
“It was the best week of our lives. Everybody came to all the shows and listened to all the artists and we got to meet a lot of agents and venue owners. The music was great, the food was great and everyone was so friendly,” he said.
He is also excited about the new CD.
“It’s definitely not as aggressive as our other works, like ‘Abandon Earth,” which was almost heavy metal with a concept. ‘Sweat’ was a little less aggressive. It was nominated for a Juno. we didn’t get a Juno, but that’s fine. We just want to make music. The creators and player know how to communicate exactly what we want to hear,” Branston said.
“This new CD is just very exciting, bumping dance music. there will be something for everyone to enjoy,” he said.
“We’ll be playing the album front to back in Lethbridge and we’re digging up some classics we haven’t played in years. We’ll have the props and the costumes. If you can go to a show and laugh, not at people but laugh because you’re having a great time, then that’s what we want,” he continued, noting the band has been together for 16 years.
“We formed in 2003 in a garage. We’ve never sounded better. He have 16 years of experience and we‘re a honed force to be reckoned with after 16 years.
The Lethbridge show is one of only a few indoor shows they are playing this year.
“We’re a festival band. It’s like 40 degrees inside a club on a hot day,” Branston noted, adding they have several big festivals booked this year including the Vancouver Jazz Festival, Saskatoon Jazz Festival, Laketown Shakedown on Vancouver Island, Sunfest in London, Ontario, Festival d’été in Quebec City and the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in Fredericton.
“But that’s not until September,” he enthused.
Tickets for the Lethbridge show are going fast. They are $20 in advance at the Slice and $25 at thew door while they last. The show begins at 8:30 p.m.
Applefest held a successful fundraiser Thursday, June 13 at The Slice, raising $1,510 through a silent auction and donations to buy a variety of items needed for a community apple press. they exceeded their listed goal of $1,374.
I caught the first couple bands playing before the open mic.
On the DL, featured bassist Dil Jopp, Danica Sommer on vocals and a couple other players I didn’t recognize.
They began with a stirring and long version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” which featured pretty vocal harmonies.
Jolene Draper and the Inquisitive Few, with special guest Gabe Thaine on drums, played their usual solid, heartfelt yet abbreviated set of heartfelt pop and rock music including their cover of Portishead’s “Glory Box.” Wednesday.
Give Em Hell Boys, Windy City Opry
Shaela Miller always has a great ear for music, so I knew Edmonton’s Give Em’ Hell Boys, would be a success at this month’s Windy City Opry Wednesday, June 12 at the Slice.
As usual, I only caught the end of the early show. But I was impressed to hear a variety of different music during a solid set of toe-tapping honky tonk and country music, plus a few choice covers.
The quartet has a strong Bakersfield sound similar to Dwight Yoakam and featured pleasing multi-part harmonies, and lots of Telecaster twang from the hirsute Quinn Clark, lead guitarist Charlie Scream, bassist Lindsay “Bootsy” Cline also adding sweet female harmonies and Eric The Drummer.
They put their own stamp on Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game,” brought out the rock on “Bring It Back To You,” and ended with a mash up of a couple Waylon Jennings songs including “Good Hearted Woman.” But showed off some substantial blues chops on Jimi Hendrix]s “Voodoo Chile.)
And just because they could, turned Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades, into a pretty decent twangy country song before being called back for an encore of a sweet amped up bluegrass song.
The next Windy City Opry is July 10 featuring Carolyn Mark and Sean Burns at the Slice.
Judas Priest at the Enmax
Though the bassist is the only original member, I had to check out Judas Priest at the Enmax Centre, Monday, June 10 playing one of the loudest shows I have heard.
They brought the metal, the duelling lead guitars, big riffs and Rob Halford’s eardrum-piercing shrieks, which were all the more impressive considering he’s 70 years old and was just recovering from bronchitis. Unfortunately Uriah Heep had to cancel due to a serious illness requiring their singer to be hospitalized.
I feel I should be listening for more Judas Priest. I didn’t recognize most of their songs. They opened with a new song “Necromancer,” from the new CD “Firepower,” featuring Halford dressed in a vibrant purple cloak and wielding a staff. One of the guitarists sported reflective aviator sunglasses, which I wished I’d brought to block out seizure-inducing strobe lights which were really starting to annoy me.
“The Sentinel,” was an early highlight as was “Heading out To the Highway.”
Halford stalked up and down the stage and off to don a variety of different leather studded trench coats and jackets.
Despite the strobes, they had an impressive multi-media show featuring graphics of Robocops, planets and asteroids for one of the few slower songs, Viking war ships and even some old images of the original band members and fans. There was also a disturbing one featuring medieval torture images interspersed with a cawing raven which made me want to track down the inventor of the strobe light. That song, “Traitor’s Gate,” from their latest CD “Firepower” was a highlight as was the catchy as hell “No Surrender” also from “Firepower.”
They saved the classics until the end of the night. Halford, with a shaved head and silver goatee, left the stage during one of many duelling lead guitar breaks from Richie Faulkner and Andy Sneap and returned with his flame embossed motorcycle for “Hell Bent For Leather,” which he bestrode as he sang. Above him flashed images of an array of motorcycles, bikers and bike races.
They followed that up with arguable their best known song “Breaking the Law,” and wound up the encore with “Living After Midnight.” I was surprised they didn’t play “Turbo Lover,” but especially was surprised not to hear “You Got Another Thing Coming.”
They had a decent crowd, but I wasn’t expecting to see as many empty seats. But the ones who were there were into it, banging their heads and singing along.
Halford’s voice was all the more impressive as he not only hit those excruciating high notes, but also tempered it for some really impressive melodies.
Saturday, Jazz in the Park
I wasn’t able to catch a lot of Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival due to other commitments, but made a point of stopping by Galt Gardens, Saturday afternoon,June 8, for Jazz in the Park.
I arrived near the beginning of a long Latin jam from Montuno West, which included members from Cumako and Bomba.
Everybody soloed a lot. The bassist laid down funky grooves, and the percussionist pounded his djembe drums with steadfast glee.
Velle Weitman and Kootenay Soul blended jazz music with roots music on an excellent set, including songs like the Zutons/Amy Winehouse]s “Valerie,” a beautiful version of Aretha Franklin’s “You Make me Feel Like a Natural Woman,” which soared through the park as the rain clouds parted. Velle Weitman showed off her beautifully heartfelt voice throughout , but busted out her fiddle for a spirited version of “Orange Blossom Special,” which was a great contrast to the horn powered jazz and R and B music of the rest of their set.
Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp band Swap
I had to cut Jazz in the Park short June 8 as I had volunteered to play in a band for the Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp Band Swap at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, which was in the afternoon this time, following the LGRC family jam.
The event mirrored what the Lethbridge Girls Rock Campers do in that they get together, usually learn an instrument, form a band and rehearse a set to be played at the end of the week, which is what we did.
Organizer SIl Campus and her band played a quick set of alternative rock, with Campus playing bass as usual.
My band included Chris Hibbard on vocals and the rest of Sil Camus’s usual band MomBod aka drummer Amberlea Parker and guitarist Mandy Fox. I played cigar box guitar to open and was joined by my bandmates for a quick set of punk and ska music by the Interrupters, Social Distortion and Bikini Kill. We also tackled the Rolling Stones “Paint It Black.”
The “professionals” were next with Gabe Thaine playing guitar and keyboards and Megan Brown playing fiddle and singing. They played a set of mostly original blues and roots music, featuring and original from Brown and another from Thaine.
Club Didi— Where The Two Spirit Lives 8 p.m.
Smokehouse— Bubba and Randy’s unfiltered comedy open mic
Theoretically Brewing— 6 p.m. Shed Island mini festival with Winona Forever, Lovelet, Lev Snows, Garbage Dreams, LAPS, Energy Boost, J Blissette, Body Lens, $15 advance $20 at door
Slice — High Level Variety Show with Gabriel Thaine
Owl Acoustic lounge— Pride week drag bingo 8 p.m.
Slice— Ivan Hartle with Matt Storm and Tyson Ray Borsboom
Beaches— open mic
Owl Acoustic lounge Malleus Trio
St. Augustine’s Anglican Church: Charles Richard Hamelin $30 , $25 7:30 p.m.
Owl Acoustic lounge—
Slice— open mic
Good Times— Amateur night
St. Augustine’s Church — Centric Music Festival Concert:II Trio de Moda and Alison Kilgannon
Owl Acoustic lounge—Biloxi parish, Chasing Illusions, Localgirlinyourarea
Slice— 21st Avenue
Smokehouse— Far From over, Wes Paul, Stratum 403, Screwbye, Ty The Aboriginal, J Doses, Crisko, Yung Warlxrd with Kylke Sanford the Drummer $10
Casino Lethbridge— Steve Keenan Band
Watertower Lounge— Papa king TJ Waltho 8-11 p.m.
Henderson lake— Rotary Dragon boat Festival
Dragon Boat Festival Entertainment Line Up 2019
SOUND BARRIER ENTERTAINMENT
Friday June 21
Casa— centric Music Festival Concert III jamani drums : Dance of drums, 7:30 p.m. $30, $25 under 30
HendersoN Lake— Dragon Boat Festival Entertainment Line Up 2019
5:00 pm Dusty Litchfield Dusty Dee has a familiar, toe tapping sound; it won’t take long before you’re singing along. Songs to dance to. Songs to sing along with. Songs that tell a story. Songs about home. “Dusty Dee has a distinctive voice and a quirky sense of humor … as well as a knack for telling a good story” https://www.reverbnation.com/dustydee
6:00 pm Opening Ceremonies 6:30 Chinook High School Rock & Pop program, led by Scott Davidson
7:15 pm The Chevelles “The Chevelles” live rock n roll performances have been entertaining cities and communities across Canada for well over 14 years. Every show they create is aimed at making each party a night to remember, and filling the dance floor with universally appreciated hits from the dawning of Rock n Roll and each decade afterwards.
8:45pm Desert Wind Belly Dancers Belly dancers, yes! An eclectic group of women who study, practice, teach, and add their own style to the art of belly dance.
9:15 – 10:30 pm Chevelles http://thechevellescanada.com/
10:00 pm LAST CALL in the BEER GARDEN
11:00 pm Closed Big Thank you! to Perlich Bros. Auction Market Ltd. for sponsoring the Chevelles!
Water Tower Grill— Papa King and TJ Waltho
St. Augustine’s Church— Centric music Festival Concert IV Madison Craig and Zain Solinski 7:30 p.m.$20, $25 under 30
Water Tower Grill— Papa King and TJ Waltho
Casino Lethbridge— Steve Keenan Band
henderson lake park— Rotary Dragon boat Races Saturday June 22 SOUND BARRIER ENTERTAINMENT
M.C. Dory Rossiter Dory Rossiter is the Weather Anchor/Community Coordinator for CTV Lethbridge. She is very active in supporting not-for-profit groups and charities and sits on many community boards and committees. She also sings with the cover band “HORIZON”.
11:00 am DNR
DNR is an all doctor band that has a wide and eclectic mix of music. Our music repertoire ranges from oldies, and Motown, to funk, rock &roll, country and contemporary pieces.
12:00 Rose Ceremony 12:30 pm Coda Blues Formed in 2015, CODA is a Blues/Classic Rock band working out of Lethbridge, Alberta. The band consists of Sheldon Shukaliak – Guitar/vocals, Cory Rasmussen – Keyboards/vocals, Rick Maddeaux – Bass/vocals, Ben Lamb – Drums.
1:30 pm Global Drums
Global Drums is comprised of community members and university students who share a passion and interest for world percussion. Founded in 2005 with a group of four, Global Drums has grown to over 50+ members. Based in Lethbridge, Alberta, the group performs percussion music from around the world including, Steel Band, Polynesian Ensemble, African Drumming & Dancing, Japanese Taiko Group, Brazilian Samba Batteria and Classical Percussion Ensemble. http://globaldrums.ca/about.htm
2:00 pm HORIZON
HORIZON is a five-piece cover band that plays a variety of rock, country, blues, and pop. Members include Keith Duff on drums, Bill Weiler on guitar and vocals, Bruce MacKay on keyboards and vocals, Bob Peters on bass and vocals
and Dory Rossiter on lead vocals. Music should be fun to do, provide lots of smiles and fill the soul. Not just a band…but good friends as well !
3:00 pm LCI Arts Academy Dance LCI Dance academy is a high level dance program at Lethbridge Collegiate Institute? Dancers train in all styles for the duration of the year and incredible opportunities throughout the year to work with celebrated Canadian dance artists and perform in multiple venues throughout Lethbridge. Geordan Olson Dance Educator Director LCI Arts Academy Dance
3:30 pm LCI Jazz band 4:00 pm aKoustic
4:30 pm Lawless Murphy Formed in October 2018 Lethbridge’s newest band Lawless Murphy has a full night selection of music from the 50s straight thru into the the millennium..From Two steppin country to blazing 80s hair metal ballads to todays top hits..Lead vocals/keys/saxophone-Cameron Clark..Lead Guitar-Kevin Vezina…Drums-Mike Hoffman..Bass Duane Kiever..
5:30 pm TBA 6:20 pm MC 10 min
6:30 pm Old School Band
8:30 – 10:30 pm Alyssa McQuaid & Coyote Junction Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction create an ensemble of talented musicians supplemented with excellent harmonies. Together their passion, talent, and drive collides to form something truly memorable and special. A stylistically unique Country Rock party band from day one, the members of Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction have been singing, performing, and playing in sync as if they’d been together their entire musical careers. Throughout the course of the band’s union, they have won over the hearts of music lovers from all walks of life. http://www.coyotejunctionband.com
10:00 pm LAST CALL for Beer garden 11:00 pm Closed Watertower Lounge— Papa king TJ Waltho 8-11 p.m.
The Slice— high Level Blues band with Keith Woodrow8:30 p.m.
Owl Acoustic Lounge— Fawns with MTBC
June 23 St. Augustine’s Church— Centric music Festival Concert V Farewell Collaboration 2:30 p.m. $30, $25 under 30
Henderson lake park— Rotary Dragon Boat Races SOUND BARRIER ENTERTAINMENT
M.C Dory Rossiter Dory Rossiter is the Weather Anchor/Community Coordinator for CTV Lethbridge. She is very active in supporting not-for-profit groups and charities and sits on many community boards and committees. She also sings with the cover band “HORIZON”.
11:00 am E-Free band 12:00 pm Karen Romanchuck Karen Romanchuk is a singer/songwriter who was born and raised in small town Alberta to hard working parents who taught her, above all else, to believe in herself. She doesn’t try to be or sound like anyone else because “art” is all about-being unique. She strives to “move” people with her soulful music and writes to extend her personality to the listener. Check out more about her at http://www.reverbnation.com/karenromanchuk
12:30 pm Between Skies Between Skies was formed in Lethbridge in the late summer of 2018. They play mainly soft rock and pop music. Between Skies is: Sydnee Roberts – vocals and keyboards ,Isaac Neufeld – drums, Matthew Erdmann – bass and Jake Hills – guitar
1:30 pm Steve Keenan band The Steve Keenan band is a Blues rock band from Lethbridge Alberta featuring Steve Keenan: Guitar and vocals, David Popovitch: Bass,Darwin Romanchuk: Drums and Gary Drayton: Keyboards and backing vocals. http://www.stevekeenanband.com
2:30 pm Urban Beat
3:00 Suite 33
Suite 33 has been perfecting the art of live entertainment in hundreds of venues all over North America for the last 18 years. From thousands in attendance to private parties of a few hundred, to intimate club gigs of a few dozen, crowds can’t help but get caught up in the awesome energy exploding from the stage. Any audience is captivated by the irresistible feel-good atmosphere. suite33.ca
4:00 pm Closing ceremonies Theoretically Brewing— Psychic Pollution with an Ant and An Atom
Owl Acoustic Lounge— open mic
Onion— Open mic
OwlAcoustic lounge- Big Little lions
Slice— Five Alarm Funk $20 advance $25 at door
Smokehouse— Bubba and Randy’s unfiltered comedy open mic
The Slice— Hard Charger and Guests
Owl Acoustic Lounge—Stand Up Comedy Open mic
Beaches— open mic
The Slice- Open mic with Corduroy brown
Owl Acoustic Lounge— Poetry open mic with Teri Petz
Casino Lethbridge— Dave mcCann and the Firehearts
The Slice- The Decadent Phase and guests
Owl Acoustic Lounge—Under the Rocks
Honker‘s Pub— open mic
OwlAcoustic Lounge— Bomb Hugg
Casino Lethbridge— Dave mcCann and the Firehearts
The Slice- harlot and the Tramp with youngbloods and Mark Andrew Spencer
Honker‘s Pub— afternoon open mic
5 p.m.Steve Keenan Band
7:40 Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction
Galt Museu,— Canada Day Carnival