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September 17, 2019 September 17, 2019

Music to lead you into Whoop-Up Days

Posted on August 14, 2019 by Richard Amery

You can take a bit of a breather this week in preparation for a wicked musical lineup for Whoop-Up Days. But there are still a couple of excellent shows beginning on Wednesday, Aug. 14 with a solo show at the Owl with Miss Quincy’s Jody Peck, playing a set of new songs inspired by working in northern B.C. as a bush cook. She will be joined by Sarah Burton, who has been living in Austin, Texas for the past several years.
Admission is by donation.
That is competing with the August edition of the Windy city Opry at the Slice, featuring Montana stomp-grass band Dodgy Mountain Men who add some blues, soul and rock and roll into the mix plus southern Manitoba country and western songwriter Joe Wilson and host Shaela Miller, opening the show at 8 p.m. sharp. Admission is $10.
Instead of The Slice’s weekly Thursday open mic, the night will rock with a superjam featuring King Bull and the Dizzy Mystics and local psychedelic rock band the Decadent Phase. Admission is $10.
The rock continues at the Slice with Red Deer’s Dusty Tucker, Calgary Thrash metal band lacuna, Edmonton thrash metal band Rising Sun and local metal band Divide and Conquer.
The Slice has an eclectic show on Saturday, Aug. 17 with local rapper Bomb Hugg, Acronym and local alternative rock duo Cope and trio the Mormon Girls
Things are considerably mellower at the Owl Acoustic Lounge with local folk/roots musician George Arsene, alt country band Smokes, Let Go and Edmonton’s Swear by the Moon performing beginning at 9 p.m. Local indie folk musician Tyson Ray Borsboom is holding an album fundraiser at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Saturday, Aug. 17, with special guest Kevin Giron. Admission is by donation.
Elsewhere, local ’90s cover band Uncovered say farewell to their lead singer Alison Hawkins at Mojo’s Pub, Aug. 16.
The Bamboo Guppies will be rocking Casino Lethbridge, Friday and Saturday, Aug. 16 and 17.
Local roots trio the Karen Romanchuk 3 help the Lethbridge Library celebrate 100 years of service with two shows, Saturday, Aug. 17.
They will be performing at the downtown branch from 1-2 p.m. then race across town to play Crossings Branch on the west side at 3 p.m.
The downtown will be bumping with the sounds of scratches, beats and bass Saturday, Aug. 17. as the eighth annual Lethbridge Electronic Music Festival features over 30 DJs performing between 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. in Galt Gardens.
There is no cover to attend the event which also features a beer garden, kids zone, food trucks, artisans and plenty of family-friendly fun.
Whoop-Up Days begins Tuesday, Aug. 20 with the Whoop-Up Days parade, but then kicks into high gear with a whole lot of country music.
Alee kicks off the StagEX festival at 7 p.m. followed by Aaron Goodvin at 8 p.m. And Corb Lund plays his first Whoop-Up Days show at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $38 at the gate and $31 in advance. Medicine Hat duo Mahoney put their own stamp on classic covers in the Let ’Er buck saloon
Wednesday is pretty eclectic with Calgary country/roots band the Mariel Buckley Band kicking things off at 7 p.m. they will be followed by Nuela Charles’ soulful pop stylings at 8 p.m.. Sam Roberts Band will rock the night away beginning at 9:30 p.m playing a plethora of their hits.
Ryan Lindsay plays the Let ’Er Buck Saloon. Tickets are $43 at the gate, $36 in advance.
Thursday will be another eclectic night on the Exhibition stage as Mohawk/African Canadian soul/R and B/rock and roll and blues band the Julian Taylor Band begin the night at 7 p.m.
Edmonton-based indie rock band Scenic Route To Alaska take the Ex at 8 p.m. And Lethbridge welcomes Burlington, Ontario-based indie rock/pop/folk band Walk Off The Earth to the stage at 9:30 p.m.
The Justin Hogg Band play the Let ’Er Buck Saloon. Tickets are $38 at the gate, $31 in advance.
Friday night is the night to rock pop style with Hamilton alternative rock trio the Dirty Nil playing at 7 p.m followed by Vancouver pop duo Dear Rouge at 8 p.m. The Arkells rock the night away at 9:30 p.m. Several country bands, the Abrams, Garrett Gregory and the Justin Hogg Band, are in the Let ’Er Buck Saloon. Tickets are $43 at the gate $36 in advance.
Whoop-Up Days ends Saturday, Aug. 24 with a whole lot of hip hop and rap with Harman B beginning at 7 p.m., the Notorious YEG following at 8 p.m. and Atlanta rapper Lil Jon closing things off at 9:30 p.m.
For a contrast to that rising country star the Cris Buck band play the Let ’Er Buck Saloon with Karac Hendriks. Tickets are $43 at the Gate and $36 in advance.
It has been a tough but exciting year for Walk Off The Earth who had to handle losing beloved band member Mike “Beard Guy” Taylor while touring around the world and working on a new album.
They play Whoop-Up Days in the EX Stage, Wednesday, Aug. 21 with Scenic Route to Alaska and the Julian Taylor Band.
Walk Off The Earth took off in 2012 in the nascent days of YouTube, when they released a viral video of the five band members playing a cover of Gotye’s song “Somebody I Used To know,” on one guitar. Many other eye-catching videos and covers followed including collaborations with everybody from Snoop Dogg to comedian Sarah Silverman.
They won Juno awards for Breakthrough Group of the Year and Video of the Year for “Little Boxes” in 2013, and won three more Junos in 2014 for Group of the Year, Pop Album of the Year for “R.E.V.O.” and Fan Choice, and another three Junos in 2016 for Fan Choice, Pop Album of the Year for “Sing It Away” and Group of the Year. They have toured the world, released a lot of original music, which has also been a hit with fans and recently took advantage of an opportunity from Blackberry Guitars to build them a new instrument.
“They asked us if they could build us any instrument we wanted, so we sent them the schematics and the next thing we know they sent us this GuitHarpUlele,” said drummer Joel Cassady, who is pleased with where the band has ended up since “Somebody That I Used to Know” took off.
“YouTube was just starting and we got 13,000 views on the Gotye cover and it was really exciting. It just took off,” Cassady said.
“We’ve been really fortunate to work with so many talented people. Snoop Dogg was probably my favourite. He seems like such a larger-than-life character. But he’s so laidback and so articulate. He’s in his own class,“ Cassady said, adding they will try to make any collaboration work.
“We work with a lot of local musicians. Coldplay wanted to collaborate with us a few years ago, but we couldn’t make our schedules work.”
He said they choose songs to cover for two reasons — whether it is already popular and whether they can make it their own with unusual arrangements and instrumentation.
“The song has to already be resonating with people. So it has to be a banger already and we have to be able to WOTEify it,” he summarized, adding collaboration with other musicians and actors come naturally.
“A lot of them reach out to us and we reach out to others, when we have millions of views on YouTube it makes it easier,” he said, noting they are able to fly home in between gigs.
“It’s the best feeling to be able to do that. We love that we can come back home after a show especially when we’re working on a new album,” Cassady continued.
He said the new album will have a diverse sound.
“We’ve got more experimental songs like ‘Sublime’ and ‘Mr. Bungle,’ and some straight up EDM-influenced songs and pop songs. I think WOTE fans will really like it,” he said.
The spirit of keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Mike “Beard Guy” Taylor, who passed away suddenly in his home, Dec. 29-30 of natural causes, remains strong in the band. They were considering calling it quits without him, but decided to carry on with the world tour they had already booked and with making new music.
Cassady has a lot of fond memories of Taylor.
“He has this stoic and calm personality with the band in the videos, but in real life he was a goofball. He had such a great sense of humour,” he said, adding Taylor was also really dedicated to charities like MusiCounts, which provides musical instruments for children who can’t afford them, so the band is keeping his spirit of live by continuing their support of the charity.
“We can’t replace him, but Mike would have wanted us to keep going,” he continued, adding they have retired a few stage bits Taylor was an integral part of and a few musical numbers including their cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
“That was all Mike’s,” he said.
“We do a video tribute to him, though. And we have recorded tracks of him singing with us, so it’s like he’s singing with us in our monitors,” he said.
“But for touring we have hired Adam Michael as a utility player to play some of his parts,” Cassady said.
They are also proud of the live show they have developed.
“There’s the tribute to Mike. There’s a lot of energy and you’ll be seeing instruments you might never have seen before,” Cassady said, adding they will combine a lot of the covers into a “table medley.”
“But it’s still a rock show,” he said.
‘We‘re excited about any opportunity.”

Toronto-based blues/soul/R and B musician Julian Taylor comes by his love of soul and R and B naturally, but also blends music of his Mohawk and African Canadian influences to his sound.
He kicks off the Ex stage, Thursday, Aug. 22 at Whoop-Up Days.
He just released a new CD, “Avalanche, which was influenced by a box of heirlooms he was looking through that his mother gave him. He got a taste of music business success with his band Staggered Crossing in 2001 and has been playing professionally ever since.
“My music is indigenous, Canadiana, rock, soul and R and B. It’s a real smorgasbord,” said Taylor, en route to doing his daily radio show on 106.5 ELMNT, which mirrors the playlist on his afternoon drive-time show.
“It’s part of my heritage. My parents listened to a lot of soul, and R and B and folk music,” he said.
He became fascinated by the stories in blues and roots music.
“For me, I got a lot of inspiration learning Bruce Cockburn and Bruce Springsteen. I’m inspired by the folklore of the music, like the story of Robert Johnson meeting the Devil at the Crossroads. I’m also inspired by gospel music. I used to sing in the church choir,” he said.
“Avalanche” is his most personal album to date, thanks to the box of heirlooms his mother gave him.
“All of my albums are personal but I was looking through this stuff, like old report cards and photos,” he said.
But the most inspiring item was a set of training boxing gloves.
“My grandpa gave me those boxing gloves. There’s just an inscription and a date: ‘To Julian from grandpa 1984’,” he said.
“I was looking at them and I remembered visiting my grandparents in Maple Ridge, B.C.,” he said, adding the songs explore a variety of topics including the passage of time, the deaths of close friends and racial issues and life as an African Canadian/Mohawk man.
“‘Take What You Need’ is about my Grandma Berta who was diagnosed with diabetes as a little girl but kept fighting,” he said.
Other songs explore First Nations philosophy of living in harmony with nature.
“We would hunt buffalo and we used every part of it. Nothing went to waste,“ he said.
“And I’ve had a lot of friends who died before they were 25, so there’s songs about that, too,” he continued.
He noted while the Julian Taylor Band hasn’t played Lethbridge, he has played here with Staggered Crossing.
“About 15 years ago, we played Lethbridge with Big Sugar,” he recalled.
“I remember people there came to party. I hope they still do.”
“The live show is a lot of fun. There is soul and R and B music, but it is a rock and roll show,” he continued, adding he will be bringing the core band members of drummer Jeremy Elliott, who also played with him in Staggered Crossing, keyboardist David Engle, Bassist Jarrod Ross and lead guitarist Derek Perry.
“We’re just excited to play. Music is life and life is music,” he said.

Reviews
Chersea/Royal Oak at the Slice
It was a night full of pop music and flashing lights at the Slice, Wednesday, Aug 7.
I arrived in the middle of a keyboard-driven set of perky pop music from Vancouver band Royal Oak, but couldn’t really see them as I was being blinded by flashing strobes, flashing everywhere except on the band members.
They sounded great with catchy keyboard hooks and had a lot of energy as frontman Austin Ledyard leaped all over the stage from behind his keyboard while wielding his guitar.
They also had outstanding multi-part vocal harmonies which shine through.
They welcomed fellow Vancouverite Chersea on stage to sing an upbeat duet.
She took the stage on her own, borrowing Royal Oak drummer/vocalist Myles Philpott. I wasn”t expecting her to have a band as she is known for creating her own personal symphonies through a whole lot of looping. But she added another keyboardist as well as a keyboardist/bassist to flush out her sound.
They played upbeat, catchy, keyboard-powered pop music, but with darker undertones, as Chersea introduced one of her songs by saying it was about living with manic depression. It was one of the songs she used her “Britney Spears mic” to loop a few extra layers of vocals and some irritating vocoder effects, which were totally unnecessary as she easily sang at least three octaves on her own, hitting ear-piercingly high notes with ease.
She thanked the 20 or so people in the audience for coming out on a Wednesday night.

Lethbridge gave a musical send-off to talented couple Victoria Madge and Cole Dempsey, who are travelling to Peru for six months.
Several musicians got up to play at the Slice, Saturday, Aug. 3 including the duo, who haven’t played live very often.
Madge showed off her big, beautiful songs they had been playing at weddings including Queen’s “You’re my Best Friend.” Dempsey played some pretty acoustic guitar to accompany her. He stood out with some nimble picking on a David Francey song.

Max Hopkins at the Owl
A decent crowd was on hand at the Owl Acoustic Lounge Aug. 2 for I Am the Mountain and local folk musician Max Hopkins.
Calgary’s I Am the Mountain played an upbeat set of sexy pop and R and B music punctuated by trumpet and trombone solos and multi-part vocal harmonies.
Hopkins’ original folk music from his upcoming EP came alive with the help of a crack band led by bassist Richard Charlton, who lent it a more indie-rock air.
King Mammoth at the Slice
Unfortunately not a lot of people were on hand at the Slice for psychedelic rock trio King Mammoth Aug. 2.
They played a loud and entertaining set of grinding stoner rock. They started off slowly, but quickly picked up the pace with plodding grooves and heavy riffs.

August 14
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Miss Quincy and Sarah Burton
Beaches — open mic
Slice — Windy City Opry with Dodgy Mountain men
August 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
Mojos — Uncovered Ali farewell party
August 17
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Tyson Ray Borsboom Kevin Giron
Casino Lethbridge — Bamboo Guppies
Slice — Bomb Hugg with Acronym, Mormon Girls and Cope
Galt Gardens — LEMF
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Tyson Ray Borsboom fundraiser with Kevin Giron
Lethbridge Public Library — Karen Romanchuk 3 1-2 p.m..
Crossings Branch Library — Karen Romanchuk 3-4 p.m.
August 18
Bavaru Catering (Old Firehall) — Brunch 10:30 a.m. Jake Pratte
August 19
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
August 20
Slice — High Level Variety with Gabe Thaine
Exhibition Park — Whoop-Up Days: Corb Lund, Aaron Goodvin, Alee; Let ‘Er Buck Saloon — Mahoney
Taber Exhibition — Taber Cornfest
August 21
Beaches — open mic
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
Taber Cornfest — Lawless Murphy
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 andGillian 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 — Beginning of the End with SYRYN, Mustakettu, Nyght Blaed, Frege’s Puzzle $10
Watertower Grill — Tanner
Taber Exhibition — Taber Cornfest Uncovered
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 25
Bavaru Catering (Old Firehall) — Brunch 10:30 a.m. Karen Romanchuk
August 26
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Megan Nash, Scotch and Water
Onion — open mic
August 27
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Drink and Draw with Eric Dyck
August 28
Owl Acoustic Lounge — poetry open mic with Teri petz
Beaches — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Standup Comedy open mic
August 29
Owl Acoustic Lounge — poetry open mic with Teri Petz 7 p.m.
Slice — open mic with Corduroy Brown
Good Times — Amateur Comedy night
August 30
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Richard Inman
The Slice — Petunia and the Vipers
Casino Lethbridge — Jolene Draper and the Inquisitive Few
Boss Pub and Pizza — Loyal T and T Blaze, Christian Archibald, Bee, K.O. and Vixxen, Darien KIng 8 p.m.
August 31
Casino Lethbridge — Jolene Draper and the Inquisitive Few
Slice — Sun Up Sun Down with Still There and MomBod
Owl Acoustic Lounge — the Fates
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic

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