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Streets are alive with the sounds of cars and classic rock

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As usual Street Wheelers Weekend meant the streets were packed with custom cars racing up and down and all around down town for the annual Street Wheelers cruise night, Friday, July 13.

Rob Habetler of Old School playing for Street machine Weekend, July 13. photo by Richard Amery
And for classic cars, you need to have a classic rock soundtrack. 

This year’s Concert for a Cause for Big brothers and Sisters was pleased to provide it so they moved their beer gardens next to the road in Galt Gardens so a packed park full of patrons could enjoy a cool beverage while watching the cruise.

While I missed Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction’s set, I was in time for a new band of old favourites called Old School who played pretty much what you hear on 94.1.

So there was a lot of ’70s and ’80s Can con pop music.

They featured keyboardist Rob Hebetler,  Doug Sokoloski on lead guitar, vocalist/drummer Jamie Kaufmann, bassist Scott Mezei. 

Anna McBryan filled in for extra vocals.

The Street Machine Weekend Cruise, July 13 outside of Galt Gardens. Photo by Richard Amery
 They opened with Prism’s “Spaceship Superstar after a false start and continued with Loverboy’s “Working for the Weekend, which Jamie Kaufman sang.

McBryan sang a credible version of the Black Crowes’ “Hard To Handle.”

 They also played a little INXS and Habetler killed it on keyboards for Burton Cummings’ “ My Own Way to Rock” while McBryan did her best Burton Cummings style vocals.

—by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Thursday, 26 July 2018 08:46 )

Wonderful music planned for Wide Skies Music Festival

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The second edition of the Wide Skies Music festival will be bigger and better, July 30-Aug, 1 at Southminster Church.Skinny Dyck and Frinds play the side stagefor Wide Skies Music Festival, July 31. Photo by Richard Amery
 Mike Spencer’s new, expanded Festival has grown to three days including two paid ticket concerts bookending a fantastic outdoor festival outside of Southminster United Church.
Spencer caught several bigger acts  who are also playing The Calgary Folk Festival and Kaslo Folk festival as well as the Kaslo Folk Festival.
The festival begins with with  Shovels and Rope and little Miss Higgins, Performing at the Southminster United Church, Monday, July 30; a big free outdoor show with Brooklyn born/Switzerland raised, Canadian based blues musician Shakura S’Aida, Vancouver blues duo Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, The Weber Brothers and a south stage  with side stage organizer Skinny Dyck and Friends  plus Calgary songwriters Tom Phillips and Shaye Zadrevec; and  another big, ticketed big show at Southminster United Church, Wednesday, Aug. 1 with Frazey Ford and the Cave Singers.
“Getting Shovels and Rope and the Cave Singers was a real coup for us,” said Spencer.

 He is expecting a good turnout for this year’s festival, which will feature an expanded beer gardens for New west Theatre, artisans and food trucks plus Two Guys and  Tops Pizza.
“Last year, we had 1,100 people at the outdoor festival, this year we’re expecting 1,500,” he said.
“Our goal is to create an inclusive high impact, small footprint event that has really good music and shows off our local talent and artists and showcases our home town,” Spencer summarized adding a Heart of the City Grant helped partially fund the festival this year.

In addition to the music, local artists Eric Dyck and Carson Morton will be creating chalk art on the sidewalks during the festival.
“ Wow, we’re going to have to work our butts off,” said Shawn Hall, the Harpoonist (harmonica player and singer) of Vancouver blues/soul duo Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer upon being told that they will be headlining the free outside show, which opens wth a two piece Weber Brothers (Sam and Ryan Weber) , then Vancouver based, Swiss born, Brooklyn born blues musician Shakura S’Aida.

“We used to cross paths with the Weber brothers all the time. We haven’t seen them for years. They have such an interesting history with ‘The Hawk’  Ronnie Hawkins,“ Hall continued from his Nanaimo, who is excited about  the Wide Skies line up.
“We’re coming in a day early so we can see Shovels and Rope,” said Hall, who will be joined by “Axe  Murderer” Matthew Rogers and singer Dawn Pemberton.
“She’s the queen of B.C. Soul. She’s got her a whole bunch of things— her choirs and she’s in a funk band,” said Hall,“We’ll be playing a lot from their new album “Apocalipstick” and we‘re reimagining songs from the older albums like ‘Roll With The Punches,” which we did a video for years ago. And I’m experimenting things like a vocoder. I’m putting my voice through it as well as the harp. But there’s no laptops on stage,” he said.

 The Weber Brothers are excited to play Wide Skies Music Festival as a duo, which they have been doing a lot this summer.
They are touring a lot as a duo.
“ We used to play as a duo all the time when we started 15 years ago,” observed Ryan Weber, noting the full band still plays together.
“ The keyboards and the other guitar add a lot to the music, but playing as a duo is exciting. You can’t hide behind the band it’s more stripped down and intimate,” Sam Weber added.
“ I’m playing more guitar in the duo,” he continued.
 They are still touring in support of  the new CD “Patches,” which was released last November.
“It’s a collection of three or four groups of older songs that didn’t  fit in with the other albums. So it really is patches,” Ryan Weber described.
“And we can play most of them as a duo,” Sam Weber added.
 He said “Patches” incorporates a lot of the different musical styles the band listens to.
“We soak up everything we listen to, so it comes out in our music,” he continued.

“ It’s an honour to open for Shovels and Rope,” said Jolene Higgins of Little Miss Higgins, on her way back from a quick tour out west for the Vancouver Folk Festival. She will be performing as a trio with Patrick Alexandre Leclerc, her partner Eric Lemoine on banjo, guitar and steel guitar and Higgins playing guitar and baritone ukulele.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 July 2018 09:43 ) Read more...

Big festivals coming up in next couple weeks

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Southern Alberta is deep in the middle of music festival season. South Country Fair  was last weekend in Fort Macleod,  there are a couple of other big ones coming up in the next couple of weeks.If you enjoyed Soda Pony at South Country Fair, catch them again at the Owl with MTBC this week. Photo by Richard Amery
Mike Spencer and the Geomatic Attic are  geared up for the second annual Wide Skies
Music Festival at the Southminster United Church, July 30-Aug. 1. Spencer has booked an all star line up including Shovels and Rope who open the festival at a ticketed event with Little Miss Higgins, July 30. There is a big free outdoor festival the next day outside the church opening with the Weber brothers, Vancouver blues musicians Shakura S’Aida and Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, plus an excellent second stage featuring Danny Dyck and the Chicken Catchers and Calgary songwriters Tom Phillips and Shaye Zadrevec.

 The festival continues at Southminster United Church with another paid ticketed gig featuring Frazey Ford and the Quiet Revolution and Seattle’s the Cave Singers.
 There are also afterparties at the Owl Acoustic Lounge with The Weber Brothers and at the Slice with Tom Phillips, July 31. The Weber Brothers also play Twin Butte store, on Sunday, July 29.

 Festival passes are $105 which include admission to Shovel and Ropes and Little Miss Higgins on July 30 (tickets are $60 plus a five dollar service charge for that concert otherwise) and Frazey Ford and The Cave Singers on Aug 1 ($50 plus $5 service charge otherwise) as well as the July 31 afterparties at the Owl Acoustic Lounge featuring the Weber Brothers and at the Slice with Tom Phillips. Otherwise admission is $10 for each of those. Passes also include priority seating in the church if it rains during the free outdoor festival and a swag bag.

 The following week  features  Bigwood 10 just off Research Centre Road, Aug 3 featuring an all local all star line up of Leeroy Stagger and the Rebeltone Sound, John Wort Hannam, Shaela Miller, Dave McCann and the Firehearts, local hard rock band the Dirti Speshuls, Taylor Ackerman’s Global Acid Reset and local rock band Hoverkraft. Tickets are $25 at the gate, $25 in advance with the music beginning at 6 p.m.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 July 2018 11:42 ) Read more...

The Weber Brothers enjoying stripped down shows as a duo

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The Weber Brothers are excited to return to Lethbridge to play two shows as a duo for the Wide Skies Music Festival as well as  at the afterparty at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, July 31.

The Weber Brothers return to Lethbridge for Wide Skies Music Festival next week. Photo by Richard Amery
The Wide Skies Music festival has been expanded to three days for their second year, beginning with  Shovels and Rope and little Miss Higgins, Performing at the Southminster United Church, Monday, July 30; a big free outdoor show with Brooklyn born/Switzerland Raised, Canadian based blues musician Shakura S’Aida, Vancouver blues duo Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, The Weber brothers and a south stage  with Skinny Dyck and Friends; and  another big, ticketed big show at Southminster United church, Wednesday, Aug. 1 with Frazey Ford and the Cave singers.

 Ryan and Sam Weber are never afraid to try something different. Since their last Lethbridge appearance they released a new CD called “Patches,” as well as an epic length single“ Last Days of the Broken Hearted Jester” and an accompanying comic book to go with it to illustrate the story created by artist Sheldon Sveinson.

“People really seem to like it,” said guitarist/vocalist Ryan Weber, who, along with brother, upright bassist Sam form the core of the Weber Brothers band. He noted the epic nine minute long song didn’t really fit with anything else the band were doing at the time, so they wanted to do something special with it.

“Sheldon was really interested in doing a comic book for the song, so he really went with it,” Ryan Weber continued.
“ It was definitely an opportunity for us,” added Sam Weber.
They are touring  a lot as a duo.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 July 2018 10:53 ) Read more...

Frazey Ford to finish up Wide Skies Music festival with new music

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Vancouver musician Frazey Ford returns to Lethbridge with her band the Quiet Revolution for the Wide Skies music Festival, Aug, 1 at Southminster United Church with the Cave singers.
 It will be a rare chance to see Ford this summer, who is working on new music.

Frazey Ford plays the Wide Slkies Music Festival, Aug. 1. photo submitted
“ We’re not doing a ton of  gigs this summer,” said Ford, a  founding member of folk trio the Be Good  Tanyas, who she formed with Trish Klein and Samantha Parton back in  2000 and played together for a solid decade.
“ The were a good representation of the music I grew up listening to,” said Ford.

“ Trish was in my band for years,” she observed, adding she is always expanding her musical horizons. She went to Memphis to record with some of the classic soul musicians for her last album, and is writing new music for her debut  album for the record label Arts and Crafts.

“ I was with Nettwerk for years but decided to change,” she said.
“I’ve released  two singles with Arts and Crafts. but I don’t know when they will release the album. It’s two thirds written and I’m simultaneously recording,” she said.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 July 2018 10:40 ) Read more...
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