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Queen of the Worms make long awaited return to Slice

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It was like an early Christmas, Saturday, Oct. 9 or maybe a late Christmas as Queen of the Worms’ December show last year was cancelled due to Covid.

Queen of the Worms’ Tyler Bird, Oct. 9 at the Slice. Photo by Richard Amery

Usually we have to wait until December for Queen of the Worms to emerge from  the numerous other projects the band members are involved with. 


 A Queen of the Worms show is a unicorn show, they are so rare, people always appreciate seeing



 So as expected they had a packed house at the Slice for a show of mostly original music and mostly new music  from their brand new CD.


I was in time for their second set, which featured special guest Don Cassell adding harp and  vocals for the first co

uple of songs.


They played  an energetic set of modern alternative rock, featuring multiple vocals.

 One of their songs sounded like Sloan.


 Don Cassel added harp and extra vocals for the first couple of songs in the set.


 The audience was already asking for their favourites, including “Pussy on Wheels,” which Tyler Bird and company including bassist Paul Holden and drummer Taylor Ackerman delivered after playing a couple other songs.


Don Cassell playing with Queen of the Worms, Oct. 9 at the Slice. Photo by Richard Amery

They delved back in their back catalogue for a more  alternative rock sound later on in their set.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 15 October 2021 12:04 )

Tin and the Toad play new music and old favourites at Owl

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Nanton country/ roots band Tin and the Toad made a long awaited return to Lethbridge Saturday, Oct.  9.


I missed Badlands, but got to the Owl just in time for Tin and the Toad.


Justin Smith and Pete Loughlin playing with Tin ant the Towad at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Oct. 9. Photo by Richard Amery

As always Justin “Tin” Smith, Cody “Toad” Shearer, steel Guitarist / Lead Guitarist Steve Loree  and bassist Pete Loughlin  had stunning multi-part vocal harmonies, and a lot of twang. Everybody got to sing lead on one song except the drummer.


 I was excited to hear bassist Pete Loughlin sing my favourite “Keeping this Bar Alive.”

 They also played a lot  of new songs.

 Justin  (Tin) Smith switched between guitar and mandolin while belting out lyrics in  a big resonant baritone.

Justin Smith with Tin ant the Towad at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Oct. 9. Photo by Richard Amery

Steve Loree was amazing, singing lead, harmony and playing  steel guitar, sometimes doing all of them in the same song, while changing guitar strings.


 When Smith broke a string  on his Gretsch, he switched to mandolin, and left it to Loree to  change the string.

Loree didn’t miss a harmony or a note on his Telecaster or steel guitar and passed the Gretsch back to Smith  in time for the next song.


 They sang a lot of uptempo, catchy songs about living in Southern Alberta, farming and rural issues which had a few people  two stepping.


 A couple of the highlights were “Beautiful Girl” and “Don’t Borrow Trouble,” which had more of a vintage country feel. and featured Tin on harp.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 15 October 2021 11:17 )

Steve Keenan Band plays new CD in order at “In My Hands” release party

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Local musicians are finally  catching up on their CD release parties.


The Steve Keenan Band held their long awaited  CD release party at the Slice for their excellent new CD “ In My Hands.” Friday, Oct. 8.


 I missed Karen Romanchuk’s opening set, but was just in time to catch Keenan and company blast through the CD  in order.


Steve Keenan playing the Slice, Oct. 8. Photo by Richard Amery

 Keenan was joined by Paul Kype on guitar, bassist David Popovitch, drummer Darwin Romanchuk and Keyboardist  TJ Waltho hidden in the shadows on the side

of the stage.


 Everybody got to solo including Waltho, whose understated piano played enhanced the band’s blues and country  with a touch of honky tonk vibe.


Kype and Keenan seamlessly traded guitar solos.


 The audience made up for lack of numbers with lots of enthusiasm, applause and appreciation, right from  the country tinged “Country Buzz” and carrying on through the set.


“Country Buzz” was one of several songs featuring a hot TJ Waltho piano solo.


 They showed more of their blues side on “ Drowning Sorrows” and “Gamblers Hand.”

“ Doin’ Fine,” was a highlight as always.


They slowed down  things a bit for “In My Hands,” which Keenan said was about his daughter.


 They ended the set with the last few songs  on the CD , the always popular “Something New,” and The last track on the Cd , a crowd favourite “Whiskey Drinking Blues.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat  Editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 15 October 2021 11:12 )

Jonnor and Fawns play loud show at Owl

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 A decent  crowd was  all set for a night of rock and roll with Jonnor, Cold Water and Fawns, Friday, Oct. 8 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.

 I arrived in the  middle of Calgary duo Jonnor’s set. They played a solid set of mid to late ’90s influenced rock and roll, with just a touch of grunge.

Jonnor playing the Owl Acoustic lounge,Oct. 8. Photo by Richard Amery


 They had a lot of energy and were having a lot of fun on stage.

 I didn’t want to miss Steve Keenan’s CD release party at the Slice, so I unfortunately missed Cold Water, but got back just in time for Fawns.


I’ve loved Fawns since the first time I saw them play. Mercedes Fawns has unforgettable impassioned  vocals and Richard Charlton has a way with a catchy guitar riff.


 However I couldn’t hear any of that, because this time the bassist drowned everybody else out in an excruciatingly loud set which is unusual for the Owl.


Unless you’re Flea or the ghost of Lemmy, the bassist should not be front and centre.


I think Steve Foord was debugging the sound system, but I could only stay for three or four songs before I had to leave because of the volume.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 15 October 2021 10:52 )

Jr. Gone Wild ready to rock the Owl with new album “Still Got the Jacket”

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Jr. Gone Wild  is excited to have a new CD “Still Got the Jacket,” coming out in November and about returning to Lethbridge to play the Owl Acoustic Lounge on Saturday.


Jr. Gone Wild return to Lethbridge, Oct. 16. Photo submitted

“ We’re just excited to play anywhere, said frontman Mike McDonald.


“ We’re stoked to have a new album out that will bring us out of the  reunion band category and into the  more relevant category. So we’re excited to to do the work to support it,” McDonald continued.


 They sat down together in lead guitarist/ steel guitarist Steve Loree’s Nanton studio to record the new music in summer 2020.


 The Edmonton country punk pioneers emerged out of  Edmonton’s eclectic alternative rock  scene in the early ’80s which included the likes of SNFU.


 They were active from 1983-1995, but reunited about nine years ago. They released a single “Barricades,” which is on the new CD and recorded a countrified cover of SNFU’s “Cannibal Cafe’ for a still unreleased SNFU tribute CD.


“ It still hasn’t been released, so we weren’t sure whether to put it on this CD,” he said.


 The 16 track CD includes a note perfect of Chilliwack’s  “Fly at Night.” 


“I think it’s a little faster than the original. But I’m almost too afraid to listen to the original to check,” McDonald said.


“We had that idea back on “Too Dumb To Quit,” which Chilliwack’s Bill Henderson produced.  We talked about recording it but never recorded it, but we revisited the idea again for this album. We talked to Bill and sent to he track to him in his studio on Salt Springs Island. So he has this little guitar duet with Steve Loree at the end of the song,” he said.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 October 2021 14:57 ) Read more...
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