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Rock ‘n’ roll, then laughs on schedule

Posted on January 29, 2020 by Richard Amery

February opens with a lot of laughs as January ends on a rock and roll note. One Bad Son rock out the month Jan. 30 at Average Joe’s. Tickets for the makeup show for their cancelled December show cost $25.
It’s a busy Thursday because Makiisma host the open mic at the Slice, and the Sean Burns duo with Skinny Dyck wind up a busy week of southern Alberta shows at the Owl Acoustic Lounge. Admission is by donation. Aaron Landry hosts Honker’s Pub’s Friday night open mic while the Trippy Hippys host a special Saturday open mic at Honker’s Pub on Feb. 1.
Just out of town, the Geomatic Attic presents blues/rock duo Whitehorse at the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod.
Ryland Moranz opens the show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $49.50 on the main floor and $39.50 in the balcony. Later on, the Geomatic Attic features Levon Helm’s daughter, Amy Helm, at the Attic, Feb. 4. As usual, the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 members, $45 non-members.
There is something for everyone on the weekend.
Friday features the Herb Hicks quartet wth Sheena Lawson playing jazz music at the Mocha Cabana.
The University of Lethbridge Opera Society and Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra’s annual collaboration is Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 as they present two evenings of comic operettas in Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Gondoliers” at Southminster United Church. Tickets range from $25-$75. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.
If your sense of humour is to more modern tastes, the Snowed In Comedy Tour returns to the Yates Theatre Jan. 31 with Debra DiGiovanni, Pete Zedlacher, Dan Quinn and Paul Myrehaug performing beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $28 for students, $38 for seniors and $48 for adults. Jim Gaffigan will be making you laugh as he brings his “The Pale Tourist” tour to the Enmax Centre, Feb. 1. Tickets range from $61.50-$97.50 for the show which begins at 8 p.m.
Old School are playing your favourite ’80s hits at Casino Lethbridge, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. The Casino is hosting a Super Bowl party on Sunday, Feb. 2. If you aren’t a football fan, Casa features “Play Your Ukulele in Public” Day, from 2-3 p.m., Feb. 2. Reid and Writes play the Bavura Brunch at the old firehall beginning at 10:30 a.m.
And there is country and alt country happening as Rancho Deluxe celebrates George Arsene’s birthday Jan. 31 at the Slice. Down the road at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Eamon Magrath and his band will be playing roots, alt country and punk music. Starpainter will open the show around 8 p.m.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge has a busy Saturday with the Metrik Jazztet playing at 3 p.m., Feb. 1.
Later that night, Swift Current progressive rock band the Moon Runners return to the Owl with Regina psychedelic rock band The Dream Creeps.
The Slice rocks with the sounds of the Mark Hall band and Good Time Charlie playing your favourite hits.
If you celebrate Valentine’s Day, get your sweetheart something special at the Valentine’s Handmade Market from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Exhibition Park. There will also be live music there as well.
The following week, the Karen Romanchuk band return to Casino Lethbridge, Feb. 7 and 8.
The Lethbridge Folk Club have a special Sunday show on Feb. 9 with the Small Glories a.k.a. Cara Luft and JD Edwards.
Winnipeg-based the Small Glories make their Lethbridge debut at the Lethbridge College Cave for the Lethbridge Folk Club. They come hot on the heals of winning artist of the year at the International Folk Awards and getting four Canadian Folk Association Awards.
“Winning the artist of the year at the International Folk Awards was a real coup for us because you can’t apply for that like you do for the Juno Awards or Canadian Folk Alliance. And there were only two Canadians nominated for the whole thing — Dave Gunning and he’s amazing,” enthused Cara Luft, one half of the Small Glories, who is no stranger to winning accolades in the business as she won two Juno Awards with the Wailin’ Jennies.
After leaving the Wailin’ Jennies, she recorded a solo album with 54 40’s Neil Osborne, then recorded the Small Glories’ debut with them as well as the current album, “Assiniboine and the Red,” which celebrates the Canadian prairies. The Small Glories also have released two EPs.
She enjoys working with Osborne.
“Even though he’s a rock and roller, he has the heart of a folk musician,” Luft enthused.
“He really embraces the importance of the song. He doesn’t try to turn you into someone you’re not. He’s all about getting the best performance out of you that you can and for us, after the song, performance comes second,” continued Luft, who, along with multi-instrumentalist JD Edwards, make up the Small Glories.
There is a lot of banjo and fiddle on the CD. Luft plays the banjo, which is a relatively new instrument for her.
“I’m a banjo player now. I’ve only been playing banjo for nine years. And my dad is a great banjo player, so I’m surprised it took me this long to get into it,” she said.
“I played guitar and some mandolin in the Jennies and when you’ve been playing the same instrument for a long time, you get into a bit of a dry spell creatively. So I picked up the banjo during one of these dry spells,” she said.
“But JD and I play some dual guitar which is a lot of fun. And we sing together.”
Trent Freeman from the band the Fretless adds extra fiddle to a couple of tracks as well as members of Irish band Socks in the Frying Pan are also on the album.
“We met them at a festival in Denmark, and we had a song that just had to have Irish fiddle playing on it, so we asked them to be on the album and they said yes,” she enthused, adding it will just be Luft and Edwards performing for the Folk Club.
“That’s our configuration. And we make a lot of noise for two people,” she said.
“I still believe an album and a live show should be two different experiences. Though we do have stripped-down music if people want to have something that reflects the live show,” she said, adding it doesn’t make sense financially to bring a big band on the road.
“JD is married with three little kids at home, so I can’t just take him on the road for 10 days unless it makes sense because it is expensive for two people to be on the road,” she said, adding they enjoy playing the United States.
“They’re looking for something honest and genuine and real. And that’s what we embody,” she added, noting Lethbridge can expect a similar show.
“We’ll be playing a lot of the new album and songs off the other album. And we’ll be telling lots of stories about the songs,” she said.
“JD and I are really grateful we get to do this. It’s different when you’re in your 40s than it is when you’re in your 20s and even 30s, because you don’t care what people think anymore. We just want to keep playing. We‘re glad our music resonates with people, ” said the 45-year-old.
“We’re grateful we’re not only getting support from our families and a fans, but the industry now as well.”
The Small Glories play the Lethbridge College Cave for the Lethbridge Folk Club, Sunday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $30 for non members (including a year’s membership, $25 for member and $10 for students.
The University of Lethbridge Opera Workshop and Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra plus special guests Vox Musical collaborate for this year’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera “The Gondoliers.”
The show runs Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at Southminster United Church.
“It’s one of their funniest,” enthused assistant director Megan Wittig, who was part of their first full-scale collaboration of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” in 2012, has been on stage with them before and backstage for several others.
“It’s a full show with costumes and a big set,” Wittig enthused.
“There’s eight leads in this production where there’s usually only four. But we have so many talented singers, so we’re happy to do this production this year,” Wittig said, noting there is a cast of close to 30 performers, most of whom are veterans of the annual collaborations.
“And there’s a smaller orchestra, because Gilbert and Sullivan always wrote for a smaller orchestra,” she continued.
“The Gondoliers,” which debuted at the Savoy Theatre on Dec. 7, 1889, is the story of two brothers who are gondoliers, who learn they are about to inherit the throne of Barataria after the king dies, but they aren’t sure who is the legitimate heir, so they decide to rule together until their nurse Inez can identify which one is the heir. But her son ends up being the true heir.
“So it all works out in the end and it is very funny,” Wittig said.
“It is a big production. There is a lot of sound and a lot to look at,” Wittig said, adding the cast received their scripts in April and have been rehearsing at the university since November.
“It is really wonderful,” she said.
“The Gondoliers” runs at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $25-$75.

Jan. 29
Empress (Fort Macleod) — Whitehorse
Beaches — open mic
Owl Acoustic Lounge — standup comedy open mic
Jan. 30
Average Joe’s — One Bad Son rescheduled
Slice — open mic with Makiisma
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Sean Burns
Jan. 31
Southminster United Church — Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra / U of L Opera Workshop Gilbert and Sullivans the Gondoliers
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Eamon McGrath with Starpainter
Casino Lethbridge — Old School
Slice — Rancho Deluxe
Sterndale Bennett Theatres/Yates Theatre — Snowed In Comedy Tour
Honker’s Pub — open mic with Aaron Landry
Mocha Cabana — Herb Hicks Quartet with Sheena Lawson
Feb. 1
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Metrik Jazztet 3 p.m.
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Dream Creeps with The Moon Runners
The Slice — Mark Hall band with Good Time Charlie
Casino Lethbridge — Old School
Southminster United Church — Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra / U of L Opera Workshop Gilbert and Sullivans the Gondoliers
Streatside Eatery — Paul Holden, James Oldenburg 5:30 p.m.
Enmax Centre — Jim Gaffigan, “The Pale Tourist” Tour
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic with the Trippy Hippys
Exhibition Park — Lethbridge Handmade Market
Feb. 2
Old Firehall Bavura Brunch — Reid and Writes
Casa — Play Your Ukulele in Public 2-3 p.m.
Feb. 3
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Feb. 4
Geomatic Attic — Amy Helm
Good Times — comedy open mic
Feb. 5
Beaches — open mic
Feb. 6
Slice — open mic
Feb. 7
Slice — Makiisma
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Cody Hall band with Craig Carswell
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Casino Lethbridge — Karen Romanchuk band
Feb. 8
Sandman Signature Lethbridge Lodge — Lethbridge Symphony Love Notes with Trevor Panczak
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Bazaraba, Shadow Weaver, Hypnopilot, MTBC
Slice — Gabe Thaine band, Good Time Charlie, Blue $10
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Casino Lethbridge — Karen Romanchuk band
Feb. 9
Lethbridge College Cave (Lethbridge Folk Club) — Small Glories
Feb. 10
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Feb. 11
Good Times — comedy open mic
Feb. 12
Beaches — open mic
Feb. 13
Slice — open mic
Feb. 14
The Slice — Vandendool Mini Tour kicks off with an Adequate Valentines Day $10
Owl Acoustic Lounge — The Dungarees
Honker‘s Pub — open mic
Old Firehall — Bavura Valentines Day dinner with Sheena Lawson and Herb Hicks 5:30 p.m., $30 per couple

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