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September 17, 2019 September 17, 2019

Pop music from east and west in spotlight

Posted on August 7, 2019 by Richard Amery

If last week was all about metal and folk, this week is all about pop music with pop from two different sides of the country coming to Lethbridge.
Port Coquitlam signer/songwriter/synth pop/looping musician Chersea will be visiting the Slice, Aug, 7 with fellow Vancouverites Royal Oak and local indie pop band Fawns and Tyler VandenDool. There is a $10 cover for the show.
The Slice features more pop music Aug. 9 with Toronto’s Goodnight, Sunrise plus Calgary’s Spit of the Sin and folk punk musician Jesse Stewart and Mike Desj. There is a $10 cover for that show.
There is also metal happening for those who want to bang their head with Montreal’s Born Broken, who play the Smokehouse with Calgary’s Stab.Twist.Pull, Aug. 8. Local band the Hockey Moms are also on the bill. The bands begin at 9 p.m. There is a $10 cover.
If you missed an excellent show with Dead Army at the Slice last weekend, and most people did, they return to the Slice Aug. 10 with Officer Trip.
Country rock band Rudz Crew return to Casino Lethbridge Aug. 9 and 10.
And ’tis the season for outdoor music festivals. Honker’s Pub has a free family festival, Saturday, Aug. 10, with a bouncy castle, face painting, games and performances by a plethora of local bands including Southern Comforts, Driving while Blind, Shallow Lilac, Bridgette Yarwood and the Travelling Will Dory’s aka a trimmed-down Horizon.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge features live band karaoke for long time CKXU station manager and musician Aaron Trozzo’s “Beaming Up Party,” Aug. 9.
The next night, the Owl Acoustic Lounge brings back Calgary indie rock band 36? plus Calgary pop musician/pianist Laura Hickli.
A little later, the Owl Acoustic Lounge features a big rock show with Face Cut, Outpatient and Second Narrows on Monday, Aug. 12.
And even more exciting, Jody Peck of Miss Quincy shows her Canadiana country side by playing a solo show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Aug. 14, with special guest Sarah Burton.
Peck last played Lethbridge in 2016 when she played South Country Fair and with Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer at the Geomatic Attic in 2014. Burton, who has been living in Austin for several years, was last here in 2015.
Peck is best known as the core of blues rock trio Miss Quincy, but she will be showing another side of her when she makes a long-awaited return to Lethbridge to play the Owl Acoustic Lounge with Sarah Burton, Aug. 14.
“I’ve been writing a lot of songs that don’t fit in with Miss Quincy that I wrote while working up north in the bush camp as a cook. So it’s country, but not the kind of country you hear on the radio,” Peck said from Vancouver.
Since her last southern Alberta show at the 2016 South Country Fair, she has been touring relentlessly, stopping only to recharge by working as a cook in a bush camp.
“I’ve been doing that for my whole life, since I was 4. My mom was a bush cook. So it’s very much a part of me,” she said.
“There’s no electricity and no internet, so It’s a chance to recharge and reset,” she said.
“And I’ve written a lot of songs while I’ve been there. They are very much influenced by old-school country or outlaw country,” she said, adding they are inspired by the people working and living there and the issues they face.
She plans to release her first solo album in the spring. She hasn’t released a single from it yet.
Burton and Peck start their tour in Vancouver before heading east.
“This is my first solo tour, so it is exciting but also a little terrifying,” she said, adding she is looking forward to touring with Burton.
“We’ve been friends for a number of years, but she’s been living in Texas for quite a few years. We met on the touring circuit. You meet a lot of people on the touring circuit, so it is nice to tour together,” she said.
“It’s just fun to hit the road with these songs and stories,” she continued, adding she and Burton will likely play individual solo sets and play together at the end of the night.
“I’m excited about this album and about these songs. I’m very proud of it,” Peck said, adding she is also working on new Miss Quincy music.
The third annual Wide Skies music Festival outside of Southminster United Church and Casa was blessed with beautiful weather, great music and an attentive audience,Tuesday and Wednesday, July 30 and 31.
Organizer Mike Spencer always has a good ear for the music he brings to the Geomatic Attic. So he brought back some familiar faces. I seem to recall seeing west coast soul/roots band Carmannah, but can’t place where.
I arrived in the middle of their opening set outside Southminster Church, where the road was blocked off and two stages were set up, Tuesday, July 30.
Carmannah played a really laidback set of roots music, dripping with R and B and soul, that was stultifyingly beautiful, and marked by gorgeous multi-part vocal harmonies, though they cut loose near the end for a spirited fiddle-powered jam.
I missed Megan Brown and George Fowler’s opening set on the side/tweener stage.
But local blues rock band the Steve Keenan Band dominated the two tweener sets, while the other musicians were setting up.
The Steve Keenan band played an array of upbeat blues and country tinged originals, breaking out a few blues classics like BB King’s “The Thrill is Gone” and other well-known modern blues hits like Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s “Blue on Black.”
It is always a treat when Danny Michel returns to Lethbridge. He easily held the crowd’s attention with just him, his guitar and a lot of stories. Musically, he stuck to his most popular more exotic songs including “Feather, Fur and Fin,” “Tennessee Tobacco,” “Whale of a Tale,” “Wish Willy” and “ Who’s Going to Miss You When You’re Gone.”
He sang in an appealing, lilting tenor voice and a really tender feel on the guitar.
He was also performing a ticketed event, later on, a songwriters circle with Cousin Harley and Sofia Viola, which I missed.
But I was mostly there for Vancouver rockabilly trio Cousin Harley. They stayed old-school rockabilly. I didn’t even hear one song from their most recent CD “Blue Smoke, a tribute to Merle Travis.”
Nonetheless, there was plenty of twang and hot picking from frontman Paul Pigat as they played the most spirited show of the festival.
I missed most of the next night’s event due to being on stage with Shakespeare in the Park. So missed another set by Sofia Viola, who, by most accounts, pretty much stole the show.
I was there to hear Harry Manx and MonkeyJunk’s Steve Marriner, expecting the hear music from their most recent CD “Manx Marriner Mainline: Hell Bound for Heaven.” I may have missed that, but caught a bad case of great blues from the duo, which mostly focused on Manx’s rumbling baritone and stories.
Marriner added lead guitar and some hot harp solos, while Manx Plucked a couple of different guitars including a cigar box guitar set up as a lap steel, and of course, his Mohan Veena, which he brought out for the encore of “Crazy Love.”
They played a beautifully mellow version of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire,” which Manx prefaced with a long story about playing it at a Bruce Springsteen tribute show with the Boss himself sitting in the front row, and who, afterwards, told Manx how much he liked the version.
They also played some blues classics like “I Can’t Be Satisfied,” which Manx introduced by talking about learning how to play the blues as a boy.
It was all about metal and hard rock at the Slice, Saturday, July 27.
I caught the end of new Celtic rock band Nyght Blaed’s set of energetic Celtic rock. I could barely see them due to minimal lights on the stage, but I could hear them.
They sported Celtic tribal tattoos, and the lead singer Cordell shrieked while playing spirited pipe lines on a bank of keyboards. He was telling a variety of stories too, but I missed them.
I mostly wanted to see Dead Army.
Unfortunately frontman Rob Morrison had lost his voice and after the first song, turned over lead vocals to new member Nick Bohle, who has been all over the place this week, acting in Fort Whoop Up’s “Life on the Whoop Up Trail,” and filming the Wide Skies Music Festival.
Bohle proved to be an exceptional frontman, channelling his early ’90s angst, sounding like a blend of Eddie Vedder, Our Lady Peace and I Mother Earth.
That freed Morrison up to concentrate on soloing and rhythm guitar though Bohle added a little of each of those as well.
The band’s sound referenced ’80s shred-style two-handed tapping and a whole lot of ’90s alternative rock. The rhythms were pure ’80s heavy metal delay-laden guitar
Bohle sang in an impressive howl. The vocals were also drenched in delay, so I couldn’t understand a word of Bohle]s between song banter.
But the audience loved them and called them back for a heavy cover of the Beatles’ “Come Together.”
They will be back at the Slice, Aug.10.
I only caught their workshop at South Country Fair, July 20, but Jack Garton and Demon Squadron impressed me so much that I had to see them play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Friday, July 26.
Quite a few people remembered the accordion and trumpet-powered roots rock band. But they started later than expected, so started their first set with the aptly named “Better Late Than Never,” from their CD “Move That Mess Around.”
They were fantastic, especially watching Garton simultaneously playing trumpet and accordion whilst singing in an appealing tenor that reminded me of Dustin Bentall mixed with a touch of Don Henley, with their vocal harmonies lending an Eagles feel.
The accordion and trumpet added a more Mexican feel in some places and pure Louisiana zydeco music in others.
Joel Fernandes played lead guitar that fit just about perfectly.
In addition to other originals, they played a couple of well-chosen covers which they put their own spin on including blues classic “My Babe,” which had a good-sized crowd singing along.
The bluesy “I’m Coming Home” was a highlight as well.
Their more straight-ahead country songs sounded like the Zac Brown Band.
They played a sweet, smooth set of music encompassing a lot of different genres.
Pits Planet Earth at the Slice
The Slice was rocking to the pop music, Friday, July 26.
I caught the end of Red Deer pop rock band Pits Planet Earth.
They were winding down an energetic set of keyboard-powered pop and rock music by the time I arrived.
They had a lot of big pop hooks and funk-tinged bass groove plus multi-part vocal harmonies that overall reminded me of bands like Dear Rouge.
Rebecca Raabis led the band on guitar and vocals, putting on an enjoyable performance.

August 7
Beaches — open mic
The Slice — Chersea, Royal Oaks, Fawns Vandendool
August 8
Smokehouse — Born Broken, Stab Twist Pull
Slice — open mic with Jaymze Joseph
Good Times — Amateur night
August 9
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Aaron Trozzo’s Beaming up party with live band karaoke
Slice — Jesse Stewart with Mike Desj, Goodnight, Sunrise Spit of the Sin
Honker‘s Pub — open mic
Casino Lethbridge — Rudz Crew
August 10
Honker’s Pub — outdoor Festival noon- midnight with the Southern Comforts, Driving While Blind, Shallow Lilac, Adequate, Bridget and the management, Travelling Will Dories
Owl Acoustic lounge — 36?, Laura Hickli
Casino Lethbridge — Rudz Crew
The Slice — Dead army with officer Trip
Theoretically Brewing — Morii, Bad Bodies Doreen $10
August 12
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Face Cut Outpatient Second Narrows
August 13
Twin Butte store — Miss Quincy
Slice — A Slice of Blues jam with Keith Woodrow
Smokehouse — Bubba and Randy’s unfiltered open mic
August 14
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Miss Quincy and Sarah Burton
Beaches — open mic
Slice— Windy City Opry with Dodgy Mountain men
Aug. 15
Slice — open mic superjam with King Bull and Dizzy Mystics
Good Times — amateur Night
August 16
Slice — Dusty Tucker with Rising Sun and Lacuna
Casino Lethbridge — Bamboo Guppies
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Owl acoustic Lounge — Smokes Let Go, George Arsene, Sweat by The moon
August 17
Casino Lethbridge — Bamboo Guppies
Slice — Bomb Hugg with Acronym, Mormon Girls and Cope
Galt Gardens — Lethbridge Eletronic Music Festival
Honker’s Pub— afternoon open mic
Owl Acoustic lounge— Tyson Ray Borsboom fundraiser with Kevin Giron
August 20
Slice — High Level Variety with Gabe Thaine
Exhibition Park — Whoop-Up Days: Corb Lund, Aaron Goodvin, Alee
Let Er Buck Saloon Mahoney
August 21
Exhibition Park — Whoop-Up Days: Sam Roberts Band, Nuela Charles, Mariel Buckley
Let Er Buck Saloon Ryan Lindsay
August 22
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Baby Jey ghostwoman
Slice — Open mic with In Cahoots
Exhibition Park — Whoop-Up Days: Walk Off The Earth, Scenic Route to Alaska, Julian Taylor Band
Let Er Buck Saloon Justin Hogg Band
Taber Exhibition —Taber Cornfest
August 23
Casino Lethbridge — Mark Hall band
Slice — Alleviate with Erin Ross
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Moranz and Moranz, Ryland and Gillian Moranz
Watertower Grill — Tanner
Exhibition Park — Whoop-Up Days: Arkells, Dear Rouge, The Dirty Nil
Let Er Buck Saloon —The Abrams, Garrett Gregory, Justin Hogg Band
Taber Exhibition — Taber Cornfest
August 24
Casino Lethbridge — Mark Hall band
Galt Gardens — Shelter me party in the Park
Slice — Les Cornneilles de;’ouest Beginning of the End with SYRYN, Mustakettu, Nyght Blaed, Frege’s Puzzle $10
Watertower Grill — Tanner
Taber Exhibition — Taber Cornfest
Exhibition Park — Whoop-Up Days: Lil Jon, Notorious YEG, Harman B
Let Er Buck Saloon — Chris Buck Band, Karac Hendriks
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Prairie Huckster
August 26
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Megan Nash, Scott and Water

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