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Canada Day and more on music schedule

Posted on June 26, 2019 by Richard Amery

The local music scene takes off for summer. With the Dragon Boat Festival over in Henderson Lake Park, it is on to Canada Day.
There is a full day of fun, live music and dance scheduled for Monday, July 1 beginning at 11 a.m. with the Lethbridge Community Band. The afternoon features the Good Timers at noon, followed by Mexicanos Sin Fronteras, Coda blues band at 1 p.m., the Thai Culture group after that, new classic rock band Lawless Murphy at 2 p.m., followed by Champion Tae Kwan Do, Kavanagh and Hepher at 3 p.m., the Troyanda Ukrainian Dancers at 3:40 and LCI Dance Academy closing off the afternoon at 4:30 p.m. Local blues rock band the Steve Keenan band takes you to supper time, beginning at 5 p.m.
Up-and-coming country singer Chris Strei gets the evening underway at 6 p.m. with his brand of country music inspired by Johnny Cash and Chris Stapleton. The Desert Wind Belly Dancers perform at 7:10 followed by Alyssa McQuaid playing country and pop music at 7:40 p.m. They will be followed by the Lethbridge Swing Dancers and Hibikaya Drummers who take you to 9 p.m. when the headliners, The Matchstick Skeletons, begin. They are a new soul and funk-infused band formed by Head of the Herd veterans Neu Mannas and Matty Carolei. They have just released a new EP, hot on the heels of a successful tour with the Headstones. They will take you to the fireworks display at 11 p.m.
But the fun begins early this week, with a whole lot of rock and roll happening this week.
Things get hard at the Slice June 26 with New Brunswick punk/crust rock band Hard Charger stopping by in support of their new CD “Vol. 4 Take The Guff and Suffer,” along with Hermosillo, Mexico alternative/progressive metal band Lost Nebula and local new metal band Drearius. Admission is $10 with bands starting at 9 p.m.
And, it being the end of the month, that means the Owl Acoustic Lounge has their monthly comedy open mic on Wednesday, June 26.
The end of the month also means it’s time for Teri Petz’s poetry open mic at the Owl Acoustic Lounge the next day, Thursday, June 27.
James Swinney’s country alias Corduroy Brown hosts the Slice’s weekly open mic on Thursday as well.
Swinney has a busy week as his progressive rock, band the Decadent Phase plays the Slice on Friday, June 28.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge features Kelowna-based bluegrass band Under the Rocks on Friday.
One of my favourite roots rock acts Dave McCann and the Firehearts return to Casino Lethbridge this weekend to play music from their new CD Westbound Til’ Light and much more Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.
Saturday should be interesting. Jon Vornbrock’s rap project Bomb Hugg plays the Owl Acoustic Lounge, June 29.
Down the road, the Slice has a big rock show featuring Saskatoon funk-tinged rock band Harlot and the Tramp, local pop punk band the Youngbloods and Calgary songwriter Mark Andrew Spencer.
Then take a breather on Sunday and psych up for a stellar Canada Day celebration in Henderson Lake Park.
And that’s just the start of an outstanding July.
Toronto synth pop group Zinnia share the stage at the Slice with local alternative rock trio Mombod, ,July 3. A little later, Adrian Chalifour, who was on the TV show “The Launch,” but played with his indie folk/pop band Towers and Trees, plays a new venue, Dwell Urban (Jonny Bean’s Coffee, 418 13 St. N.), July 5.

You might not know Vancouver-based funk/rock/soul band The Matchstick Skeletons, but you may remember drummer Matty Carolei and frontman Neu Mannas from their previous band Head of the Herd, who played Lethbridge with The Glorious Sons and Finger 11 a few years ago.
The Matchstick Skeletons return to Lethbridge to headline Canada Day in Henderson Lake Park.
“I put a bullet in Head of the Herd after the Finger 11 tour,” observed Mannas, who took some time to regroup as the Matchstick Skeletons with Carioli and multi-instrumentalists Ryan Stead and Colin Friesen.
They spent a successful two-month tour with the Headstones and released their debut EP “The Know How” on Feb. 7.
“We road-tested the songs for two months with the Headstones, and the audiences were singing along after the second verse and they had never heard the songs before, so we knew they were special to us and those were the ones we put on the EP,” said Mannas, noting the blues-based rock of Head of the Herd took a backseat to the more funk and soul he and Carioli enjoyed as kids.
“This is really the band we’ve wanted to form since we were teenagers,” Mannas said.
“This is more about the funk and soul that we love,” he said, adding there is still a blues influence.
“Though the blues is still there, more in the lyrics, though not as much in the music.”
“It is music you can shake your a– to or bang your head to,” he continued.
You might remember Adrian Chalifour from his folk/pop band Towers and Trees; on the other hand you might have recognized him from the reality TV Show “The Launch.”
He’s returning to Lethbridge to play Jonny Bean’s Coffee (Dwell Urban Venue, 418 13 St. N.), July 5 in support of his new single “Open Heart,” and en route to a couple of Calgary Stampede shows.
He noted his solo project includes familiar faces from Towers and Trees including Dave Zellinsky and drummer Brady Zomer and a new bassist, Bailey, who makes his debut with the band.
“I decided to change the name because Towers and Trees has always had a rotating lineup and I got tired of explaining it. And I was always the primary songwriter,” said Chalifour, adding getting valuable exposure on the March 5 episode of “The Launch” also contributed to the name change. He enjoyed the experience of being on “The Launch.”
“I went there with the intention of being launched, but I was just happy to be there. I’m 34 and I was definitely the oldest person competing. But I had a great panel including Nile Rogers and Scott Borchetta who discovered Taylor Swift. And they really liked what I was doing and it was really genuine,” he continued, adding that was really gratifying.
“Especially for a musician like me who has been really flying under the radar.”
“But I learned a lot of things that will help me expand my reach and got to know Maddy Storvold who did get launched,” he said, adding he felt honoured to be on the same stage with so many talented artists, not to mention the all-star panel.
He was excited by the experience but is really excited about the new single, “Open Heart,” which dropped June 21 and features a video starring drag queen Jimbo Insell.
“I wanted a super-talented, really colourful personality to tell the story against a backdrop of a drab industrial area,” he said, adding the song is about not being afraid to stand out.
“I got to work with Shiraz, a really talented videographer who I’ve always wanted to work with and he was able to pull that together. Jimbo was really the perfect individual for it.” he said.
“And Jimbo did it so well, that it is really his story now.”

Slut Prophet at the Owl
The Owl Acoustic Lounge was the place to be for alternative rock.
On Saturday, they featured feminist punk band Slut Prophet playing for local band marigold’s tape release party, June 15.
While I missed Marigold, and opening act Broke Til Friday’s first gig, I was impressed with Slut Prophet as always, screaming out fem positive music that reminded me of the X Ray Spex, but sans saxophone and fellow Calgarians the Shiverettes. They played a tight set of hyperactive punk music that was enjoyable as always.
Pride variety at the Slice
The Slice kicked off Pride Week in Lethbridge with a variety show, June 15. I wasn’t able to stay long. But the room was full, drag queens were in their flamboyant glory, smiles were all around. There was a rap duo on stage when I arrived just before midnight, but I couldn’t understand a word they were saying due to delay-drenched vocals.
Breanne Urban at Casino Lethbridge
It is always a pleasure to see Breanne Urban and Southern Flyer. So I made a point of catching some of their Friday, June 14 show at Casino Lethbridge, where they were holding court for the weekend.
Breanne Urban kicked off their second set of Friday with a heartfelt version of Amanda Marshall’s “Let It Rain.”
She alternated 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 brought out the accordion for a couple of songs.
She was in a Reba McEntire sort of mood and belted out some solid covers of her songs including the bluesy “Why Haven’t I Heard From You.”
She showed off some substantial pipes on the always-moving Journey classic “Don’t Stop Believing.”
Hudson belted out one of my favourites, “Fishin’ In The Dark.”
They slowed things down for some Little Big Town and Malcolm also sang the Zac Brown Band’s “Countrified,” which featured McKay’s accordion, as the rest of the band added harmonies.
But a highlight of the set was an upbeat original “Just Fine.”
I had to cut that short to catch another of my favourites, Shaela Miller at the Slice as they broke into “If This is Love.”
As expected, the Slice was packed for a much anticipated local show from Shaela Miller, Friday, June 14.
She and band mates “Skinny Dyck” on steel guitar, drummer Tyler Bird , bassist Paul Holden and lead guitarist Jon Martin started with a couple of older songs including “Station” before playing most of Miller’s most recent CD “ Bad Ideas.” including the title track, “Bad Ideas,” “Hard Knock Upside the Head,” and the heartbreaking “I Never Wanted.”
They also played a few brand new songs.
Martin’s guitar solos added a more rock and roll feel to Miller’s more country sounds.
They ended the set with a couple other older songs.
Chief Mountain at the Owl
The Owl Acoustic Lounge had some loud rock and roll for their Sled Island Kick Off Party, Friday, June 14.
I missed local alternative rock trio MomBod, but the place was packed wall to wall for the show, most of whom were smoking outside between bands, so I was able to get a ringside seat for Calgary band Strip Mall. They played a tight set as their lead singer writhed around her microphone yelling out lyrics in delay-soaked vocals, which were only matched by the delay on the guitars.
I always look forward to seeing Chief Mountain. They always play a tight and energetic set of surf-tinged punk music, but this time, because of the bass drowning out everyone else including the drummer, they were excruciatingly loud, while their frontman took off his shirt midway through the set.
They added a couple brand new songs into their set, which is always great to hear.
June 26
The Slice — Hard Charger, Lost Nebula, Drearius
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Standup Comedy Open mic
Beaches — open mic
June 27
The Slice — Open mic with Corduroy brown
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Poetry open mic with Teri Petz
June 28
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
June 29
Owl Acoustic 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
July 1
11 a.m. Lethbridge Community Band
12:00-12:45 The Good Timers
12:40: Mexicanos Sin Fronteras
1 p.m. Coda Blues 1:40 .m. Thai Culture Group
2 p.m. Lawless Murphy
2:40: ChampionTae Kwon Do
3 p.m. Kavanagh and Hepher 3:40 P.m. Troyanda Ukrainian Dancers
4:30 p.m. LCI Dance Academy 5 p.m. Steve Keenan band
6 p.m. Chris Strei (Country) Catch Chris Strei’s original mix of inspiration from Chris Stapleton, Johnny Cash, and High Valley in Alberta this month!Visit 7:10 Desert Wind Belly Dancers 7:40 Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction (country/pop) 8:30 p.m. Lethbridge Swing Dancers
9 p.m. Hibikaya drummers
9 p.m. Matchstick Skeletons http://www.thematchstickskeletons.com
11 p.m. Fireworks
Galt Museum — Canada Day Carnival
July 2
Smokehouse — Unfiltered comedy open mic with Randy and Bubba
July 3
The Slice — Zinnia
Beaches— open mic
July 4
Slice — open mic
Good Times — amateur night comedy open mic
July 5
Twin Butte Store — Soulfest
Time: 5 p.m.
Tickets: $85 for weekend $40 for Friday
Carolyn Mark
Kyle Owen Band
Heather Blush and the Uppercuts
Sean Burns
Kitty and the Rooster
Peter and the Wolves
Boots and The Hoots
Plaid Tongued Devils
Plus a special Children’s Performance by Rattle and Strum!
Slice — Plaid Tongued Devils
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra $20 at door $15 in advance
Dwell Urban Venue — Adrian Chalifour
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Watertower Grill — Eric Braun
July 6
Twin Butte Store — Soulfest
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Watertower Grill — Eric Braun
July 7
Twin Butte Store — Soulfest
July 8
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Onion — Open mic
July 9
Smokehouse — Randy and bubba’s unfiltered comedy open mic
Opry with Carolyn Mark and Sean Burns 8 p.m. $10
Beaches — open mic

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