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Canada Day celebrations busy in the city

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I wasn’t in the mood to join thousands of people celebrating Canada Day, Sunday, July 1, but thought I’d check out a couple of the city celebrations anyway.Roy Pogorzelski gives a Metis jigging demonstration for Canada Day in Henderson Lake Park. photo by Richard Amery

 I arrived at the end of celebrations in Galt Gardens as organizers were announcing the winners of a show and shine.

 As I missed the music, I wandered over to Henderson Lake park,  and threaded my way through crowds of thousands of people, dogs, food trucks and merchants.

Classic cars were on display in Galt Gardens for Canada Day. Photo by Richard Amery
 I enjoyed the Ecuadorian Social club show off their traditional dance.

I was impressed and entertained by Roy Pogorzelski showing off frenetic Metis jigging dance moves, then breathlessly tried to teach a passel of over-enthusiastic children and brave adults how to do the steps, advising them it was more important to have fun trying.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. beat EditorThe Ecuadoran Social Club give a traditional dancing demonstration for Canada Day in Henderson Lake Park. photo by Richard Amery
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 July 2018 14:12 )

Shaela Miller band plays good show for Bad Ideas CD release party

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I was looking forward to seeing the Real Ponchos again at the Slice, June 30, but unfortunately missed them, having just arrived in time to catch the first few songs of local musician Shaela Miller’s Lethbridge CD release party for her new Cd “Bad Ideas.” She had a packed house of people I haven’t seen for months and in some cases years, but who came out of hiding to support Shaela who has come a long way, becoming a finalist in then Project Wild competition, taking place in Calgary this summer.

 Shaela Miller  playing to a packed house for the CD release party for  her new CD Bad Ideas at the Slice, June 30. Photo by Richard Amery
 She basically played the more upbeat tracks from the new CD track by track, beginning with “Hard Knock Upside the head,” one of my favourites, which is also getting a lot of play on CKUA, and followed it up with the title track and then “Colour My Love” and “Cheating And Lying, which had a good chunk of the crowd trying to two step.

She slowed things down with “ Friend Tonight.” She went back a few years for crowd pleaser “Half Way in Love,“ before picking up the tempo for a Bob Wills cover “Stay a Little Longer,” but I unfortunately had to leave.

 She knows how to pick her players, so her hot band of  drummer Tyler Bird, bassist Paul Holden, lead guitarist Jon Martin and steel guitarist “Skinny” Dyck, really helped her to shine.

— By Richard Amery, L.a. beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 July 2018 13:59 )

Boots and the Hoots returns with wit and twang

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Lethbridge got to see three of four of Red Deer’s best bands, Friday, June 29.

Boots and the hoots Returned to the Owl, June 29. Photo by Richard Amery
 I always enjoy country band Boots and the Hoots as their twang and earthy humour always have me busting a gut. I caught the end of their first set of twangy old school country and jokes. They played some upbeat jukebox barnburners and followed them up with the requisite lovelorn “hurting” country ballads.

 They ended their set with George Jones’ “She Still Thinks I love Her,” some Billy Joe Shaver and back to George Jones before taking a break.

 I was all set to have another beer and listen to more Boots and the Hoots, until frontman Boots Graham suggest I check out “two of Red Deer’s best  bands, ” noting “you’ve seen me a hundred times.”
 So taking him at his word, went to the Slice.

— By Richard Amery, L.A Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 July 2018 13:45 )

Boots Graham's favourite Red Deer bands at the Slice

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At Boots Graham of Boots and the Hoots’ recommendation, I took in an overly loud show from two of Red Deer’s best bands at the Slice, June 29 — Conniferous and the duo St. Groove.Conniferous at the Slice, June 29. photo by Richard Amery
 I arrived in the middle of the set from indie rock trio Conniferous, who were sharing drummer Coltan Shell with the duo St. Groove.

 St. Groove at the Slice, June 29. Photo by Richard AmeryConniferous drew heavily from the  well of U2 and Radiohead, playing appealing, ambient indie-rock. They detuned for their last song.

 St . Groove, on the other hand, playing as a duo with guitarist Mitchell Chase and drummer Coltan Shell, played a boisterous set of scrappy, blues based rock tinged with punk along the lines of the White Stripes.

— by Richard Amery,  L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 July 2018 13:36 )

South Country Fair coming up next week

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 The South Country Fair in the Fort Macleod Fish and Games Park is a escape from reality for a lot of Lethbridgians who gather to visit with friends and listen to music.

Most of the local music community hit the road for the Fair and Lethbridge’s two main music venues, the Slice and Owl Acoustic Lounge close during the Fair so their staff and regulars can attend.Outgoing South Country Fair mayor Washboard Hank will pass to torch at this year’s Fair. photo by Richard Amery
“It’s a step away from the every day. Folks come to not only experience and enjoy artistic performances, but to become a part of the amazing pop-up community. It is full of spirit and is many peoples annual fill up of positive vibes and human kindness,” wrote artistic director Jana MacKenzie, who has booked another exceptional South stage for the weekend.

There are a lot of familiar faces performing this year including local talent like Shaela Miller and John Wort Hannam.
 “It’s always been part of our mandate to not only bring in new performers to the area but to provide opportunities for local performers to share their craft. Shaela Miller, who has performed on the east stage, will be performing on Friday night on the main stage,” MacKenzie noted, adding she is excited to welcome former Lethbridge musician Andrew Scott to the fair this year for a ukulele workshop.
“There are several opportunities this year for our audience members to learn something new and participate in creating music. We have a ukulele workshop led by Andrew Scott on Sunday at noon. He’s bringing 20 ukuleles and will be helping folks learn how to play. We also have The Vaudevillian conducting a washboard workshop on Saturday at noon. They’ll also be bringing some washboards for folks to play around on. The one I am most excited about though, is the adult choir, led by Carolyn Mark and Hank Pine. Songs have already been released and Facebook group created. There will be two practices (one Friday, one Saturday) both at 4 p.m. Then a performance on Main Stage on Sunday,” she added.

 Returning performers include Carolyn Mark, Geoff Berner and Kris Demeanor, Oh Susanna, who performs at 7:45 p.m., July 21 and Toronto based African inspired blues musician Ndidi Onukwulu who closes the south stage at 4:45 p.m. on July 22.  She will  also be performing the Pros and Cons of collaboration workshop with Shaela Miller and Carolyn Mark, at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, July 21. John Wort Hannam returns to play a solo set at 3 p.m., July 21 and will host the Sunday Church of the Long Grass with the folk/rock duo the Dimpker Brothers and 1920s style ragtime trio the Vaudevillian who also perform at 9:30 p.m., July 21.

Victoria duo Hank Pine and Lily Fawn return to the fair this year to perform throughout the weekend. Lily Fawn will be performing a workshop with Geoff Berner and the Lemon Bucket Orkestra at 6:30 p.m. on July 20. Hank and Lily will perform Saturday night at 11:20 p.m. and Hank Pine will be taking part in a workshop with Kris Demeanor on the east Stage, July 21.
 Geoff Berner, Carolyn Mark and Kris Demeanor will be playing a Saturday night set at 6 p.m., July 21.

 As usual, there will be some world music with the Lemon Bucket Orkestra headlining July 20 at 12:30 p.m. and Spanish Flamenco group Fin Del Fiesta Flamenco
 “We’re excited to tour Alberta. It will be the first time we’ve toured outside of Ontario and B.C.,” said Fin De Fiesta Flamenco artistic director Lia Grainger, who brings the group, including members from Canada, Spain, France and Cuba featuring Seville born guitarist Dennis Duffin and singer Alejandro Mendia, who is from Bordeaux, France.
 Recently they added Havana raised/Montreal based percussionist Hanser Santos Gomez, Vancouver born, Seville, Spain based flautist Lara Wong and for this tour, India born, Vancouver based guest dancer Deborah “La Carmelita.”

They are also performing at Casa, July 25.
“The South Country fair show will be more rumba with more of a kicking style and more of a party,” she said, adding indoor shows like case are a more intimate experience than outdoor festivals, of which they will be performing several  this year.

“Outdoor festivals are a lot of fun,” she said.
 She is also excited to be able to performed with percussionist Hanser Santos Gomez.
“We’re so excited to have him as part of the group. He has an incredible  style,” she enthused.
 MacKenzie is excited they applied to the festival this year.

“They submitted. We‘re pretty excited about it,” MacKenzie wrote. They will be on the south stage at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, June 22.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 July 2018 13:16 ) Read more...
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