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Joey Landreth plays the blues to end year at Geomatic Attic

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The Geomatic Attic wound up the year with an excellent blues show, Sunday, Nov. 25 as Winnipeg bluesman Joey Landreth and his trio of drummer Roman Clare and bassist Meg Dolovich.
 It was a longer night than I expected. Roman Clarke opened the sold out show on the dimly lit stage with a quick solo set, singing soulful original music of 20 something problems, accompanying himself on keyboards and reminding me a little of Joel Plaskett.

Joey Landreth and meg Dolowich at the Geomatic Attic, Nov. 25. photo by Richard Amery
 I was pleasantly surprised to see local indie rock band the Utilities on the bill as well. they played  their always appealing version of chiming, folky indie rock reminding me of  the Jayhawks and the Church, back in the ’80s. They played plenty of catchy , jangly electric guitars and showed off some fine vocal harmonies.

 They played several tracks from their most recent CD “Heavy South,” but also introduced brand neRoman Clarke playing a solo set before playing drums with Joey Landreth. photo by Richard Ameryw music, which  drummer Drake McCheyne learned on the weekend as he drove in from Edmonton for the weekend and the show.
 Of course, Joey Landreth was the main event. He opened for the Sheepdogs during Whoop Up Days in the summer, but this set was a lot more subdued.

  He sang appealingly soulful vocals, backed by impressive  harmonies from his band mates.
 He played more slower blues, a lot of subtle slide solos on his guitar which reminded my of Sonny Landreth, a little funk and a few songs that reminded me of Kenny Wayne Sheppard.

 The appreciative crowd sat enraptured and clapped along in places, while Landreth  observed how exhausting  his tour had been and told a few heartfelt stories and about laying with his brother in the Bros. Landreth.
 I was getting sleepy, so left as Landreth finished a quick mini-set on his own.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 05 December 2018 10:49 )

Slice full for Kerala flood fundraiser

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Fundraisers can be an exciting opportunities to support a good cause while  seeing old friends play and discover brand new acts. All of that was in effect for a packed Slice, Friday, Nov. 23 as local musical and dramatic talent joined  forces to help the victims of the Aug. 15 Kerala Floods in India.

Ajay Jameson performs at the Kerala Flood fundraiser, Friday, Nov. 23 at the Slice. Photo by Richard Amery
I was there for the return of local blues rockers Zojo Black including Greg Gomola, returning to Lethbridge  from Edmonton, Paul Kype, bassist Tyson Maiko and drummer Brady Valgardson. But I had to wait for them until the end and discovered a lot of new bands with plenty of familiar faces.

I missed  a group called Fox Kitt, but I caught a couple of big new orchestras on the bill including a brand new ’50s doo wop band  called Frankie and the Bridge Mix including familiar faces Dil Jopp on upright bass, Erica Hunt and actress Victoria Officinalis, plus Bente Hansen playing keyboards, a full horn section and a lot more.
 They played an array of ’50s style pop ,  soul and rock and roll like “Rockin’ Robin.”

Frankie and the Bridge Mix and Latin Rev shared a few members for their performances at the Kerala Flood fundraiser, Friday, Nov. 23 at the Slice. Photo by Richard Amery
U of L Digital Audio Arts Student Ajay Jameson was up next with his band performing a set up upbeat, perky and sometimes plaintive contemporary pop music.
He was the local connection as his family is originally from Kerala. I’m not a big fan of modern pop music, so ducked out to catch a couple of other shows.

 But I got back just in time for Latin Rev, a new multi-cultural and multi-textured Latin infused band featuring several of the members from Frankie and the Bridge mix. They brought a taste of the Caribbean to the Slice, and grinned as they salsa danced together. and got most of the room on their feet though a capacity crowd has started to dwindle by then. The ones who stayed were entertained as they launched into an original song.

Zojo Black was a treat as always, especially as they haven’t been playing for a while due to Greg Gomola having moved to B.C and now Edmonton.Greg Gomola brought Zojo Black back to perform at the Kerala Flood fundraiser, Friday, Nov. 23 at the Slice. Photo by Richard Amery
 They played a comfortably familiar set of original material like “Modern Day Marilyn Monroe,” “Keep it Real” and Live My Life.” But most of their set was dominated by blues infused classic rock like their cover of Deep Purple‘s “Hush.”
A highlight was Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic.”

Paul Kype alternated vocals with Greg Gomola, singing a few more country numbers like “Sing Like Johnny Cash,” and the Rolling Stones “Miss You.”
 They also added  covers of the Violent Femmes’ “Blister In the Sun” and Tom Petty’s “You Don’t know What it’s Like” which featured Kype blowing a harp solo, and a lot more. In addition to sharing vocals, Kype and Gomola also traded off guitar solos, playing the  occasional solo in harmony.

 The event raised $1,200 which will be donated to a relief fund for the victims of the flood.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 05 December 2018 10:34 )

Mark Andrew Spencer sings appealing folk pop

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 I heard the Owl Acoustic Lounge was packed, probably because Biloxi Parish was playing there, Friday, Nov. 23. And it was, but instead, as Biloxi Parish hadn’t started yet, I was pleasantly surprised by  Mark Andrew Spencer, a former University of Lethbridge student, now based in Calgary, who seemed excited to be back among a room full of enthusiastic friends and Biloxi Parish fans. Mark Andrew Spencer and his band at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Friday, Nov. 23 . Photo by Richard Amery

His tight band  were a good fit for Biloxi Parish as they also played uptempo folk tinged rock and roll with pop sensibilities which reminded me of a young Joel Plaskett.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 05 December 2018 10:15 )

Christmas concerts and folk coming up this week

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I hate to drop a C bomb so early into December but Christmas is coming.
 So with that in mind Lethbridge is inundated with all manner of Christmas pageants and presentations, including several different versions of a Christmas Carol.
The  Church Of Latter-Day Saints, brings a musical version of a Christmas Carol to their church across from the hospital at 1912 10 Ave. The family friendly free show  begins at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 5-8.
 A little later, the Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society brings back their popular Shakespeare meets Dickens night to Casa, Dec. 14 including a reader’s theatre version of  a Christmas Carol, plus plenty of Christmas carols, food, drink and plenty of Yuletide fun.The mayhemingways return to Lethbridge to play the Slice on Saturday, Dec. 8. Photo by Richard Amery
 But this week, Fran Rude and company are tackling another Christmas Classic— Joe Landry’s radio play version of A Wonderful Life. They are presenting it as a live radio play at the Immanuel  Lutheran Church, Dec 6 and 7  featuring the talents of Tony Deys, Morgan Day, Mark Campbell, Stephen Graham, McKade Hogg, Jordana Kohn  and Sheila Matson. The event is a fundraiser for the Lethbridge Sunrise Rotary Club to produce projects in the Lethbridge. It’s A Wonderful life  runs at 7:30 p.m. , Dec. 6 and 7 and at 2 p.m. on Dec. 8. Tickets are $20 from the Enmax ticket centre.

 Thankfully Christmas isn’t all there is this week.
 There is live music every Friday and Saturday night at the newly refurbished Watertower Grill Friday and Saturday nights.
Local musician Nick Bohl is starting a regular Sunday night singer songwriter showcase at the 1010Pub every Sunday night, which opened, Dec. 2 with Bohl and Tyson Ray Borsboom performing. E-mail Nick at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to submit an example of your work to get involved. He is looking for people with an hour‘s worth of material to showcase. It begins at 8 p.m.
It’s the beginning of the month, which means HBO3  hosts a jazz jam on Wednesday,  Dec. 5 as they usually do on the first and third Wednesdays of the month.
It’s great to have Taylor Ackerman back in town and playing often with his new band Global Acid Reset. He hosts the Slice’s open mic this Thursday, Dec. 6.
 It will be a lot of fun on the weekend.

 We got a preview of Vernon based songwriter Eryn Kleyth’s talents a couple of times in the past month at the Owl Acoustic Lounge. But she brings her indie rock band She Hangs Brightly to the Slice on Friday, Dec. 7 with local progressive rock band  the New Weather Machine. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Sarah Christensen will have her art on display as well.
Down the street the Owl features an eclectic show with experimental local rock band Ghost Woman and rapper Pyke. Admission is by donation.

 If you want to laugh on a Friday night, join host Randy Webb at Yuk Yuks Comedy at Average joes, where Brittnany Lyseng and  Serana Shane  bring the yuks. Tickets are $15 in advance for the show, which begins at 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 8,  features a pretty cool contrast of shows. But first, there’s that C bomb again, take care of Christmas shopping by supporting local artisans at the Handmade market at Exhibition Park from 9-4 p.m. featuring the works of 170  artists from Southern Alberta and B.C. Admission is four dollars. Children 14 and under get in for free. After that, stop by the Galt museum for the Hawk and harvest Holiday market from 6-8 p.m. Admission is three dollars with  kids 12 and under getting in for free. There will even be live music.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 December 2018 15:54 ) Read more...

Dirty Catfish Brass band heat up the night with New Orleans jazz

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Winnipeg based New Orleans style brass band The Dirty Catfish Brass Band are making jazz music fun again.
 They played an energetic Show at the Slice, Wednesday, Nov. 21 for a surprisingly good sized Wednesday night crowd of approximately 30, some of whom remembered them from their Windy City Opry show almost exactly a year ago at the Slice.

The Dirty Catfish brass Band returned to the Slice , Nov. 21. Photo by Richard Amery
 It’s hard not to smile when hearing this cadre of upbeat horns, and  frontman Todd Martin‘s castrati vocals.

 Martin was impressive, alternately singing an a wavering, soulful falsetto and playing  Mellophone and harp.
 There wasn’t a guitar in sight. The horns did all the work, supplying additional bottom end to throbbing bass as well as punchy melodies.
I arrived in the middle of a jam on a song called “Lil’ Liza Jane.”

 The septet beamed as they rotated in place in between trading solos.

They played a lot of brassy New Orleans  jazz punctuated by  gang vocals and lots of energy. But they also turned a few popular pop songs into jazz songs.

 By request, they blasted into a hit jazzy cover of Stompin’ Tom Connors ’ “The Hockey Song.” They introduced it with a few bars of “Iko Iko” and  Saxophonist Graham  Dion  did a credible  version of a goal  and period ending buzzer on baritone saxophone to add to the humour.
 They ended their show around 11 p.m. with an encore– a mix of two songs including Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ’Til you Get Enough.”

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Friday, 30 November 2018 01:27 )
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