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Plenty of music right here at home

Posted on July 10, 2019 by Richard Amery

If you aren’t going to the Calgary Stampede this week, catch some of the music right here in Lethbridge.
That means there is a lot of country and music happening this week.
Winnipeg country musician Sean Burns returns to Lethbridge the play the Windy City Opry, Wednesday, July 10 with Carolyn Mark. That show starts at 8 p.m. sharp. There is a $10 cover. He sticks around town to play Casino Lethbridge, Friday and Saturday in between gigs in Calgary for Stampede.
Kitchener fiddle-powered duo A New Ground also play Calgary for Stampede, but they stop by Average Joe’s for a free show, Thursday, July 11.
While it is Stampede time in Calgary, it is Street Wheelers weekend in Lethbridge, which means there is more live music than usual around to accompany plenty of classic cars and roadsters. Fast Times help kick off Street Machine Weekend on Thursday at Exhibition Park at 7 p.m. that will be followed by a drive-in move screening of “Days of Thunder.”
There will be a beer garden and show and shine in Galt Gardens with live music over the weekend.
That means Shakespeare in the Park is in Galt Gardens, at 7 p.m. on Thursday with their production of “Macbeth,” but hit the road on Friday night, July 12, to play the Empress Theatre at 7:30 p.m.
Back home there will be live music in Galt Gardens at Jess F.M.’s beer garden. The Concert For A Cause begins at 6 p.m. with local ’80s rock band Auld School performing. Donations will be accepted for Big Brothers and Sisters of Lethbridge.
Another annual Street Wheelers fundraising show takes place in the alley behind Union Barbershop across from Galt Gardens. Coinciding with Street Wheelers’ show and shine, the third annual Back Alley Bash begins at noon, featuring a line of performers to be announced. Donations will be taken for Misty Creek Dog Rescue and Last Chance Cat Ranch.
Coaldale-based classic rock band Good time Charlie play the 1010 Pub on Friday during the cruise. There is no cover charge for the show. They are also playing Galt Gardens Sunday, July 14 during the show and shine.
Sound Garden features Calgary cover band The Big Loud, July 12. They will be playing hard rock hits of the ’80s and ’90s. There is a $5 cover for the show, which begins at 10 p.m.
The usual suspects have live music as usual.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge features a CD fund-raising concert for local doom/folk band Makiisma who are recording their debut album with Jon Martin. Calgary singer-songwriter Tara Warburton will be joining them. Admission is by donation.
If you like your folk with a touch of punk, Toronto roots punk musician Eamon McGrath returns to the Owl Acoustic Lounge with local alternative rock duo Cope, July 12.
The next night, the Slice has an excellent rock and blues show with Taylor Ackerman and Global Acid rest plus the Rainbow Patrol, playing July 13.
To drown out the sound of roaring engines and exhaust fumes, the Smokehouse hosts a huge death metal and black metal show July 13 featuring Calgary’s Fjell Thyngor and Pecado and Lethbridge’s Ov Enochian. Doors open at 8 p.m. with the metal beginning at 9 p.m. Admission is $10 at the door.
The fun continues early next week. Gabriel Thaine’s High Level Variety show returns to the Slice, Tuesday, July 16 with Jolene Draper and the Inquisitive Few performing and hosts Gabe Thaine and Derrick Grey. Admission is by donation. The fun begins at 8:30 p.m.
And the Owl Acoustic Lounge brings back Richard Inman, who will be rumbling out his songs after Paint and Sip.
Winnipeg country musician Sean Burns is excited to return to southern Alberta for a spate of shows including a couple of Calgary Stampede shows. He plays the Windy City Opry at the Slice with Carolyn Mark, Wednesday, July 17, and will be at Casino Lethbridge Friday and Saturday, July 12 and 13.
“I’m in Edmonton now and I’m playing Soulfest in Twin Butte (July 5-6),” Burns said on Friday.
He will be joined by lead guitarist and Lethbridge’s Tyler Bird on drums, bassist Paul Holden and Skinny Dyck.
He is touring in support of an innovative new CD, “A Night of Country Music,” featuring Sean Burns and Lost Country, which he created as a pledge incentive for the University of Winnipeg radio station CKUW’s annual fundrive.
“I do a show called Boots and Saddle which is a lot like Skinny Dyck and T Bird’s Chin Up Record Club on CKXU. So I put on a show at (popular Winnipeg venue) Times Changed High And Lonesome Club and invited all of these musicians like Del Barber and Andrew Neville to play with me and the host band. So it was different to have them playing with a different band. And all of the proceeds go back to the radio station,” he said. The other guests include Skinny Dyck, Sol James, Frannie Klein, Gerry McIvor and Andrew Neville.
“It‘s getting a lot of play at the university and on community radio stations,“ he said.
He is bringing it on the road with him.
“It‘s like being on a record label; I go on tour, sell the CD, and bring the money back to the radio station. But it’s for a good cause,” he said.
One of his highlights on the CD is a cover of Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen’s “Hot Rod Lincoln.”
“I’ve been playing that song for years. My dad used to play it for me,” he said.
He is looking forward to playing two really different shows in Lethbridge.
“I don’t know who’s going on first at the Slice, Carolyn Mark or me. She’ll have two or three people with her. I’ve got the bigger band. So I’ll be playing one long set. And it will also be most of my own music. At the Casino, I have to dig a little deeper. It’s an older crowd, so I’ll be playing a lot more traditional country and people are there to dance, so I’m aware of that fact,” he said.
He recently started playing Lethbridge regularly.
“I played for 10 years without ever playing Lethbridge. But audiences there are always out to have a good time. And I’ve made a lot of friends there,” he said.
He is working on two new musical projects — A tribute to Bakersfield country he plans to release in February and an original project he plans to release in the fall.
“I’m staggering my releases. Young folks like to pepper people with singles, but I like albums,” he said.
The Windy City Opry begins at 8 p.m. sharp, Wednesday, July 10.There is a $10 cover for that show as usual.
Burns plays Casino Lethbridge at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. There is no cover for that show.
Kitchener-based folk/Celtic duo A New Ground visit Average Joe’s, July 11 in the midst of a quick Western Canada run including a couple shows at the Calgary Stampede. They are also playing the Twin Butte store, July 10 and in Medicine Hat on July 13.
The duo of multi-instrumentalist and fiddle player Claryssa Webb and bassist/drummer Ryan Dugal have released two EPS since forming at an open mic in 2013.
“We have a couple shows in Calgary including at the Ironwood on July 8,” said Dugal, who is happy to be touring out west in the spring.
“Last time we drove out west in November in the fall and it was snowing,” he said.
“The set at Average Joe’s will include lot of traditional country Scottish and Irish fiddle music but you’ll also hear some musical experiments. We like to mix it up. But if you like fiddle music, you will like us,” Dugal said, adding the duo cover a lot of musical ground, so it will just be the two of them coming to Lethbridge.
“We’re both multi-instrumentalists. Claryssa is a singer and an incredible fiddle player, but she is also classically trained. And I come from a jazz and pop background. I’ll play bass and drums and percussion,” he said, adding she is also well versed in traditional fiddle-based folk and Celtic music. She plays fiddle, cello and mandolin on their second CD, “Forge the Sky,” which they are touring in support of while Dugal holds down the rhythm end on drums, percussion, bass and guitar.
But she also includes piano and flute in her extensive musical arsenal.
“We’re really pleased with it. It’s our first real attempt at making original music together. We just got into a studio and let loose,” he said, adding they just releases “River,” the second single from their third EP “Connected.” which is due to be released in the Fall. It is a little more electronic and pop influenced.
The duo met at an open mic in Kitchener that Dugal was hosting with the band the Short Films.
“I was playing bass in the backing band who were hosting the open mic. Then Claryssa got upon stage and she was so amazing she didn’t need a backing band,” he enthused.
They were also part of Tunes For Trees, an organization whose goal is for artists to heighten awareness of climate of change and get fans to plant trees.
The Average Joe’s show starts at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 11. There is no cover.

Canada Day
Canada Day celebrations in Henderson Lake Park was packed though the crowd started to disperse by the time I arrived, taking cover from some ugly looking clouds.
I wanted to see up and coming Chris Strei, who was playing a solo set of original music and a few covers. He had an appealing voice, sort of reminiscent of Chris Stapleton. But more of a tenor. He added a touch of Canadiana by covering some Blue Rodeo.
The Desert Wind Belly Dancers weren’t perturbed as the rain and wind started blowing in. The performers beamed through a frenetic set of circus themed set of uptempo dancing and an array or props and costumes including embossed top hats and swords.
The main act I wanted to see was Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction who I hadn’t seen for a while. They stuck to the hits, the hits and more hits getting the audience on their feet and shaking off the cold, to the tune of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” and Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl,” Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz,” which McQuaid sang. They also covered Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me” and a fun version of Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose.”
One of their guitarists sang a couple of the more country numbers including the Zac Brown band’s “Countrified,” and the always popular Nitty Gritty Dirt Band hit “Fishin’ In the Dark.”
Sessions at Kapow
The back of a comic book shop might seem like an odd place for live music, but it made sense for local pop punk trio Sessions. I just missed a loud set from Chief Mountain, but was in time for the catchy pop punk of Sessions which brought me back to the ’90s glory of Green Day and Blink-182. Flashing lights were synchronized in time to the music.
They sang about light-hearted, fun subjects like bad coffee and social media few other ordinary life observations.
The trio played a tight and enjoyable set.
As everyone else was on an extended break, the only other weekend show I caught was Jolene Draper and the Inquisitive Few playing in the shadows of the 1010 Pub and running through several decades worth of music.
They played their usual energetic set of pop and rock including covering the white Stripes’ “7 Nation Army.” They explored their pop side on a cover of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” with lead singer Jolene Draper bouncing up and down as she sang. They dabbled in the ’60s with their usual solid cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody To Love.“
They went back to the ’90s for the Spin Doctors “Two Princes,” and showed their heavy ’90s side on a cover of Rammstein’s “Du Hast.”
Dave McCann and the Firehearts at Casino Lethbridge
I hate choosing favourites in this city, But local alt country/roots musician Dave McCann is definitely one of my favourites, so I made a point of catching his show at Casino Lethbridge, Friday, June 29. He was at the Casino on Saturday as well — he and his solid band including bassist Shawn Worden, lead guitarist David Bauer and drummer Steve Hazlett.
He began his set with a couple of old favourites including “Road to Cain,” and “Broken Bugs,” but his mostly original set mostly focused on new songs and songs from his most recent CD “Westbound ’Til Light.”
They ended their set with a solid cover of Lucinda Williams’ “Everything But the Truth.”
Their next set included a lot more new music, beginning with “Can’t Cheat the Mountain” and ending with “Mexican Sparrow,” from the new CD.
As usual, his voice had a smooth Todd Sniderish rumble to it. The music was up-tempo country rock music.

July 10
The Slice — Windy City Opry with Carolyn Mark and Sean Burns 8 p.m. $10
Beaches — open mic
July 11
Galt Gardens — Street Machine Weekend, Fast Times 7 p.m.
Average Joes — New Ground Celtic duo
Slice — open mic with Devin Gergel
Good Times — Amateur comedy night
July 12
Galt Gardens — Street Wheelers weekend.
1010 Pub — Good Time Charlie Dead Army 7-11 p.m.
Sound Garden — The Big Loud 9 p.m. $5
The Slice — Makiisma party
Casino Lethbridge — Sean Burns
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Eamon McGrath with Cope
July 13
Casino Lethbridge — Sean Burns
Galt Gardens — Street machine weekend
Smokehouse — Black Saturday with Fjell Thyngor, Pecado, Ov Enochian
Slice — Keith Catfish Woodrow and High Level Blues band
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Taylor Ackerman’s Global Acid Reset with Rainbow Patrol
July 14
Galt Gardens — Cars and Guitars Street Machine Weekend with Good Time Charlie
Union Barbershop — Back Alley Bash
July 15
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
July 16
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Richard inman
Smokehouse — Unfiltered comedy open mic with Randy and Bubba
July 17
Beaches — open mic
Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden — 7:30 p.m. stories and song with For our ‘Shakespeare Evening’ in Nikka Yuko on Wednesday July 17 at 7.30 pm
July 19
Fort Macleod — South Country Fair
Casino Lethbridge — Ryerson Road
Good Times — Amateur Comedy night open mic
July 20
Casino Lethbridge — Ryerson Road
Fort Macleod — South Country Fair
Owl Acoustic Lounge — closed
Slice — closed
July 21
Fort Macleod — South Country Fair
Owl Acoustic Lounge — closed
Slice — closed
July 22
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Country Casanovas and open mic
July 23
Theoretically Brewing — Mauno
Slice —Tennyson King with Max Hopkins

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