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Lots of live music and food for New Year’s Eve

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Christmas is over, so let‘s get ready for New Year’s. As expected, there are plenty of things happening this week, particularly for New Year’s Eve, which falls on a Monday night this year.

 But there are plenty of pre New Year’s Eve parties happening on the weekend.Scott Mezei is doing double duty on New Year’s Eve with New West Theatre and Adequate. Photo by Richard Amery
 But first, laugh along with the last comedy open mic of the year at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Dec. 26. Michael Moses is the host this week. There is more comedy at Club Didi on Friday, Dec. 28 with Drunk Improv happening at Club Didi beginning at 9 p.m. There is a $10 cover.

The Owl Acoustic Lounge hosts a New Year’s Eve Eve Eve party, Dec, 29 with local alternative rock bands Mombod and the Supervoid plus Calgary queer and feminist band Harsh. As usual, admission is by donation.

 The Decadent Phase and Chris Drew play the Owl Acoustic lounge, Dec. 28.  Honker’s Pub also has a New Year’s Eve Eve party and jam hosted by Frankie G, beginning at 6 p.m.
 The Watertower has live music as well.

 Local folk/country singer Karen Romanchuk performs at the Watertower Grill beginning at 8 p.m., Dec. 29.
 Just down the road, Jenn and Paul Kype will be performing and McLennan’s pub in Coaldale for the Kinsmen Club of Coaldale’s 28th annual Harley raffle.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 30 December 2018 22:12 ) Read more...

New West Theatre brings revamped Munsch-o-Rama to Casa

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The more things stay  the same, the more things change. So New West theatre is excited to revisit Munsch-o-Rama, their annual New Year’s Theatre for Young People exploration of the stories of Robert Munsch.

Don't miss Munsch-o-Rama. Camille Pavlenko and Ryan Reese are looking forward to it. photo by Richard Amery
  Jeremy Mason returns to direct the production, which includes popular Munsch stories “50 Below Zero,” “Something Good,” “Pigs” and “Thomas’s Snowsuit,” Dec. 26- Jan 5 at Casa.
“I wrote this interpretation of Munsch stories,” said Mason, who is excited to work with New West again. He is also directing  the next music revue shoe Rockers Gone Country.

“We’ve done these stories before in 2013, but  this production feels a lot different. There’s more audience interaction and  a lot of additional physical comedy,” he said.
“When it’s live theatre, every show is different,” he said.
After the run is done at Casa, the cast, consisting of Camille Pavlenko, Kelly Malcolm and Ryan Reese are taking the show to local schools.

“ We do that every year,” said New West Artistic Director Sharon Peat.
“It’s always very popular and  on a larger level it’s always a lot of fun,” she continued adding working in the schools is a good way to give back to the community. After the show closes, they will be at the General Steward  School on Jan. 7.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 22 December 2018 12:32 ) Read more...

Windy City Opry celebrates two years with Peter and the Wolves’ rockabilly

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It is great to see Shaela Miller’s monthly Windy City Opry doing so well. They almost always have great crowds, especially for a Wednesday night. I would have expected no less for this month’s show, Wednesday, Dec. 12, because it featured Calgary rockabilly trio Peter and the Wolves, who are always a good draw in Lethbridge no matter what day.Peter Cormier stands on Pedro  Lopez’s bass during Peter and the Wolves’ second anniversary Windy City Opry show, Dec. 12 at the Slice. Photo by Richard Amery
 Eve Hell on the Razors were also supposed to be on the bill, but they missed them and didn’t even see Eve Hell, who I was looking forward to saying hello to.

 Peter and the Wolves  were amazing as usual, especially as frontman  Peter Cormier had injured his hand during load in.
 I caught the end of their set, fortunately they stuck around for a second and most of the audience stayed with them despite the long set break.

 Their first set ended with a couple of tracks from their third  CD “Howlin and Prowlin,” including a couple of my favourites, “Jailbird Josephine” and “Sundae Monday Blues,” which ended the set. They also played their usual strong version of blues classic “St. James Infirmary.”

 As expected, they played straight ahead guitar/upright bass/drum driven rockabilly music, which got toes tapping and couples trying out their best ’50s dance moves. I missed the keyboard powered rock and roll potion of the show, which came earlier.

 After a long set break, the trio returned to the stage at 11:15 to knock off a hot version of Hank Williams“ Long Gone Lonesome Blues.”

 A highlight after that was “Ain’t Nobody going to Love Me like the Devil Do.”
 Cormier and company took advantage of their second set to try out a few new songs and some deep cuts from Chuck Berry.

 They also welcomed Windy City Opry host Shaela Miller on stage to play country classic “Thanks A Lot” with them.

They ended their spirited second set  with Cormier performing at a popular old school rockabilly trick, by playing guitar while standing on the end of Pedro Lowe’s upright bass.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 December 2018 10:42 )

Tin and the Toad and Mayhemingways make excellent double bill of roots music

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It is always a pleasure to have Southern Alberta roots/ country band Tin and the Toad back in Lethbridge.

The mayhemingways and Tin and the Toad jam together. Photo by Richard Amery
 I was lucky they were still playing  by the time I arrived at the Slice, Saturday, Dec. 8. Justin “Tin” Smith, Cody “Toad” Shearer, steel guitarist/ lead guitarist Steve Loree and drummer Ryan Shearer were joined by Tyler Bird on bass, filling in for Pete Loughlin. They played their usual toe tapping, heartfelt set of alt country and roots music. As usual, their multi-part vocal harmonies were a highlight.

Headliners, the Mayhemingways’ Benj Rowland joined them on stage to play accordion for a song. They ended their set with their exceptional country version of SNFU’s “Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump.”

I always look forward to seeing Peterborough duo  the Mayhemingways back in Lethbridge. They always get a good crowd. They even have people who travel from out of town to come and see them, and with good reason— they always put on an amazing show. Benj Rowland was multi-tasking on guitar, banjo and accordion also stomped out a rhythm on bass pedals and sang dark lyrics, but made them sound downright ecstatic. Drummer Josh Fewings gleefully pounded the skins and sang harmonies.

They mostly played originals music from their last two CDs, “Hunter St. Blues” and “Skip Land” but Rowland rocked the accordion on an excellent cover of Dire Straits’ “Walk of Life.”

 His appealing tenor voice reminded me of Mike McDonald of Jr. Gone Wild.

 A couple of highlights I recognized were “Trouble in the Basement,”  “Dirty Small Town Crush” and “Hunter Street Blues,”  which featured Tin And the Toad returning to the stage to jam.
They also played a solid country of the Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 December 2018 10:33 )

New Weather Machine and She Hangs Brightly entertain with experimental rock and ’80s pop

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It is always great to see Jon Martin and the New Weather Machine play.

Martin was backed by drummer Kyle Harmon, bassist Paul Holden and guitarist Jason Oakes. I caught their last couple set of impassioned, slightly slower than usual progressive rock at the Slice, Friday, Dec. 7, where they were opening for Vernon pop/rock band She Hangs Brightly.Eryn Kleyh sings with she Hangs Brightly, Dec. 7. Photo by Richard Amery
 As usually they played big riffs, a big groove and featured Martin’s impassioned vocals and jam fuelled leads.

It was wonderful to see Eryn Kleyh backed by her band She Hangs Brightly, including guitarist Dean Gordon-Smith, drummer Ken McGregor and loquacious bassist Luke  Kowalski.

 She has played here twice this year as a solo act, but having her band behind her really fills out  the sound of her music.

 Together they played appealing, catchy pop rock music showcasing Kleyh’s  beautiful powerful voice, which was reminiscent of No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani especially on a song called “Tragedy.”

 They played quite a few upbeat originals including “Part of Third Pack” and “Part Time Fool.”Jon Martin playing with the New Weather Machine, Dec. 7 at the Slice. photo by Richard Amery

 Kleyh danced and weaved in front of the microphone like she was a hippie at a folk festival, closing her eyes blissfully, while her bandmates played psychedelic solos.

 The spirit of the ’80s was strong in She hangs Brightly as they broke out some choice covers including an impressive rendition of  Martha and the Muffins’ “ Echo Beach,” and an excellent version of the B-52’s “ Love Shack,” one of several featuring Luke Kowalski singing lead vocals.

Kowalski took centre stage on a countryish number from his country band as Kleyh left the stage to go to the bar for a break.

 — By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 December 2018 10:20 )
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