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Windy City Opry packed for Jess Knights and the Local Group

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The Windy City Opry had a big night on Wednesday, May 8 with three bands featured. I really wanted to see Jess  Knights, but missed her set as well as Dennis Bouwman, but was just in time to be blown away by a group of young bucks from Saskatchewan called the Local Group. The Local Group at the Windy City Opry at the Slice, May 8. Photo by Richard Amery  

The multi-instrumentalists looked to be barely out of their teens, but had boundless energy and musical chops to match.


 The upright bassist was in the middle of a Irish pipe solo as I arrived, which immediately made me think of Winnipeg’s the Dühks.

But they showed substantial musical chops on several bluegrass numbers, as they gathered around a single mic to harmonize and taking turns to unleash blazing solos on mandolin, guitar and banjo. The upright bassist switched to fiddle near the end of their set.


 They switched instruments throughout their set as well.
 They played a lot of traditional bluegrass, but also added a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Cocaine Blues,” which they turned into a bluegrass song.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 15 May 2019 09:13 )
 

Tyrants of Chaos and Despite the Reverence bring the metal

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It was all about metal and hard rock at the Slice, Saturday, May 4.Despite the Reverence at the Slice, May 4. photo by Richard Amery
 I arrived midway through an intense set from Tyrants of Chaos and was surprised not to see the place packed as it usually is for Tyrants’s brand of ’80s style  New Wave of British  Heavy Metal.

So there were plenty of  big guitar riffs and the occasional harmonized guitar solo with frontman Phil  Sirias shrieking his head off, hitting high notes that would do either Bruce Dickinson or Rob Halford proud. They played several tracks from their latest EP “…Into Oblivion” including “Trench Foot,” “Chaos Train,” and even dug deep for an older song “ Metal Gods.”


They ended  their set, with an homage to one of their idols Anthrax.


 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan’s “ Despite The Reverence had more of a punk feel. They played in front Curtiss Vaselenak and Phil Sirias of Tyrants of Chaos at the Slice, May 4. Photo by Richard Ameryof stacks of amps which seemed a little too loud for the Slice, but they kept the volume to a reasonable level.


 Their frontman reminded me of  The Headstones’ Hugh Dillon. They played a tight set chock full of big riffs and a lot of energy.

—  by Richard Amery, L.A.Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 15 May 2019 09:10 )
 

Local musicians pay tribute to Janis Joplin and James Taylor

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Local musicians got together for a tribute night to some of their favourite ’70s icons at the Owl Acoustic LounJolene Draper  does her best Janis Joplin impersonation at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, May 4. Photo by Richard Ameryge, Saturday, May 4. While I missed Corduroy Brown’s version ofJames Taylor, I caught some of Gabe Thaine’s Cat Stevens.


 Jolene Draper went all out for her version of Janis Joplin.


 She dressed in her best tie dyed hippie dress and big glasses, and did her best to imitate Janis Joplin’s heartfelt whiskey soaked raspy voice. She was reaching for a few of the higher notes, but had the spirit through obscurities and better known songs like “Me And Bobby McGhee.”


 She had a solid band behind her including bassist Steve Martin, lead guitarist Braeden Rouse and keyboardist TJ Waltho and drummer Keenan Pezderic.

— by Richard Amery, L.A.Beat editor
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 15 May 2019 08:56 )
 

D.O.A.'s Joe Keithley reconciles political career with punk

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D.O.A. frontman Joe Keithley is a busy man. In addition to preparing for  the Vancouver based hardcore punk pioneers’ fortieth’ anniversary tour a  CD ‘1978—”, including early demos and rarities,  running his record label Sudden Death Records, Keithley has been putting his motto Talk-Action=0 into action as a newly minted member of Burnaby City Council.

D.O.A. returns to Lethbridge to play the Slice, Tuesday, May 21. Photo by Richard Amery
“ I ran on the Green platform and there’s a lot of common ground with mayor Mike Hurley,” said Keithley who has been fighting against demovictions and for creating affordable housing in Burnaby. He has a long history of political activism and environmentalism.


“ City council is a lot different than provincial and federal government where there is a lot of stomping and booing. These are eight people you’re working with for the next four years and you have to really listen to their ideas and work with them. It is so important to co-operate to get things done,” Keithley continued.


“People look at all the stomping and yelling in government and people and ask we‘re paying millions of dollars for this? They all do that except for Elizabeth May who stays away from that, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a Green party member,” Keithley continued, adding there was a steep learning curve upon being elected to council.


“ It’s a lot of responsibility,” he said.
“I ran for the Green party provincially and lost. (in 1996 and 2001) But when I got elected in October,  I told the band we‘d be taking a break while I learned how to do this job. Because all I’ve ever done is played music for 50 years and played with D.O.A. for 40 years. But we already had some of these tour dates booked before I got elected,” he said, adding he will be taking some homework on the road to read during downtime.


“We’ve been doing a lot of weekend shows. But during the summer there is more time between council meetings.”
He takes a brief respite from fighting for affordable housing in Burnaby by taking D.O.A on a quick tour which comes to the Slice, Tuesday, May 21. He shares the stage with Vancouver/ Seattle folk musician Mike Edel.


“I don’t know him, but I’m glad to hear it because we used to have a punk band, a new wave band, an experimental band and a reggae band playing the same show,” said Keithley, noting people tend to have a pretty narrow definition of punk rock, so with barely 50 people in the original scene, they put a variety of different genres on the same bill.


 He is excited about the new double record compilation.


“We released a studio album ‘Fight Back’ last year and it did really well. Then Ron Obvious, who used to work with Bob Rock found some old demos. Because Bob Rock, who went on to become really famous and still is, used to record punk bands at night for free or for not much money,” said Keithley, noting he decided to turn those demos and other early demos as an double LP set, not only to celebrate the band’s 40 year history, but to remember a lot of early D.O.A members, who passed away in the past few years. The demos date from around 1972 to about 1982

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 15 May 2019 08:49 ) Read more...
 

Lots of fun scheduled for May long weekend

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I seem to write this every week, but this week is really an eclectic week.
Things start off with Keith Woodrow’s monthly blues jam at the Slice, Tuesday, May 14.
The Slice goes indie with Victoria emo band Mystery Lover playing the Slice on Wednesday, May 15 in support of their debut CD  “The Death of Young Love.” They will be joined by local ’90s style rock band MTBC (Molly The Boy Cat).

The Parsons aka Clayton and Joelle return to Lethbridge this week. Photo By Richard Amery
 For the complete opposite to that, in the afternoon, traditional country musician Floyd Sillito plays a special afternoon show at Galt Museum with special guests, Medicine Hat duo Otto and Karen Pahl.


 The Slice is all over the place this week. They welcome Fredericton based string band The Montgomery Street band who play string band music plus bluegrass, newgrass and maybe even a little mariachi music. They will be joined by ragtime guitarist CA Jackson
Down the street, country/pop star Jojo Mason brings his first headlining show at Average Joes, Thursday, May 16. He has been to Lethbridge several times with Gord Bamford and once with the James Barker band and Meghan Patrick. he is touring in support of his latest hit single “Future.” He has also hit number one with “Red Dress” and “It’s All Good.”
 Tickets are $20 in advance. The show begins at 8 p.m. sharp.


For laughs, Good Times features the Roast of owner Johnny Pogo on May 17 at 9 p.m. Mike Dambra is  one of the roasters. The show begins at 9 p.m Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door.
 Kathleen McGhee performs May 18 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., Tickets are $10.

 

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 May 2019 12:36 ) Read more...
 
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