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Maurice and Armchair Cynics play Cure-influenced pop

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Victoria’s Maurice played a tight set of Cure influenced original upbeat pop rock, which was almost note for note like their  brand new CD ‘Young People With Faces.’ There were excellent vocal melodies Armchair Cynics guitarist/ singer Kenn Coutu. Photo by Richard Ameryreminiscent of April Wine’s Myles Goodwin and some catchy piano playing a swell as excellent bass playing. Also on the bill was Victoria’s ‘Armchair Cynics’ who had a more of a reggae feel to their upbeat guitar pop. Their bassist wandered through the crowd, up the stairs while playing then back down onto the stage again.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor

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Darren Johnson sounded like Tom Waits

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Darren Johnson played to a small but appreciative crowd at the Slice.  Photo By Richard AmeryIt was great to see Calgary based bluesman Darren Johnson back in Lethbridge. He played the Slice, March 4
 He sang like a  tall, thin, bald Tom Waits, accompanying himself on guitar. He has an impressive voice and played a lot of laid black blues including a mellow version of ‘Cocaine,’ The approximately 25 people cheered appreciatively after each song.
 His second set was even more laid back than the first.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 10 March 2010 15:40 )
 

Stone Iris plays energetic show for sparse audience

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Edmonton based rock band Stone Iris didn’t have many people out, March 3 at the Slice. But regardless, they put on an energetic show which exhibited a variety of influences including reggae, more modern 90’s rock and evenStone Iris at the Slice. Photo by Richard Amery some ’70s style riff rock of the ilk of Aerosmith. Throughout they featured excellent vocal harmonies and guitar hooks and were a lot of fun.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 March 2010 15:56 )
 

Endangered Ape back with a roar

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Endangered Ape blew away eardrums at Henotic. Photo by Richard AmeryThe loudest show of March 6 was the return of Endangered Ape at  Henotic, which had both levels jumping and bouncing off the walls thanks to a massive house music and dance party downstairs and a garage rock/ punk show in the GCBC Lounge. I caught parts of local band Fist City as well as a couple numbers from Bikeland.

Because their crazy live shows are the stuff of Lethbridge legend, I stayed around for Endangered Ape who didn’t  take the stage until after past 1 a.m.. They sounded super tight with loads of energy and waves of ear piercing feedback and crazy keyboards which had the crowd moshing like it was the early ’90s.

The singer waded into the crowd, sang to them individually, rolled all over the floor, and was stripped down to his shorts by the second song, several members of the audience took off their shirts as well. And before I knew it, the ear ringing experience was over.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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Clown prince of folk music tears audience’s ears off

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If admission was charged per note, a close to full house more than got their money’s worth before the second half of Toronto guitarist/funnyman Wendell Ferguson and Katherine Wheatley’s show, March 6, even began. Ferguson ended the first set at the Lethbridge Folk Club’s Wolf’s Den with one of my favourites ‘Throw Another Fiddle on the Fire,’ then started his second set by giving host Wayne a wet willie, much to Wheatley’s disgust, who asked Wendell how he could get away with something like that and how the  almost full house could laugh at it.Wendell Ferguson and Katherine Wheatley at the Wolf’s Den, March 6. Photo by Richard amery
 He showed how he can get away with cracking hilarious off colour jokes and wet willies by blowing everyone away with his Chet Atkins inspired guitar playing beginning with two of his  ‘Cranky Christmas’ songs including “Why Does Every Christmas Have So Many Chords,” which included pretty much every chord ever invented and probably a couple  he invented himself as well as most Christmas carols.
As per usual, Wheatley’s more country folk flavoured, more ‘normal’  originals  were a mellow counterpoint to Ferguson’s goofy, gap toothed, big kid yet self-deprecating humour. But she showed she was no slouch on the guitar as well. She told some of the stories behind her songs including one about growing up surrounded by boys and being the only female guitar player in her neighbourhood.
They played well off of each other, adding solos and vocals to each other songs.
Ferguson and Wheatley met during the recording of Wheatley’s song ‘Main Street,’ which was a major highlight of the show. Ferguson’s solo on that included some blazing Chet Atkins style fingerpicking and excerpts from about a dozen Beatles songs and Smoke on the Water. Impressive. Wheatley ended by having the crowd sing along with ‘Moon River.’ It was enough to make me want to burn all of my guitars. Excellent.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 March 2010 15:33 )
 
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