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Tyler Vandendool says goodbye— for now

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 An impressive  Tuesday night   crowd showed up at the Slice , Nov. 30 to bid adieu to local synth pop musician  Ty VandenDool, who is relocating to Calgary.


Ty Vandendool played a farewell show at the Slice, Tuesday, Nov. 30. Photo by Richard Amery

 I caught the end of  the early starting show, and aptly most of VandenDool’s set was  “leaving” themed.


 Vandendool danced as his two keyboardists and a bassist soloed.


 Vandendool may be  young, but his heart definitely  lives the ’80s.


His sound is very much influenced by ’80s synth driven pop music.

 I arrived in the middle of his song “Don’t Go.”


 After a few more  songs about departure,” the appreciative audience called him back for an encore. to emphasize the ’80s influence, he tackled a-ha’s  1985 hit “ Take on Me” and he almost hit the high falsetto of the chorus.,” which drew applause.


As so many young people who leave Lethbridge, Vandendool will be back. He played his new single noting “ I’ll have to come back in February to support this single,” he said.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor 

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 December 2021 16:18 )

Del Barber brings new music and stories back to Geomatic Attic

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I always look forward to seeing rural Manitoba singer songwriter Del Barber, so was excited to catch his whole show at the Geomatic Attic, Sunday, Nov. 28.


I expected it to be completely sold out, but it was not. Del Barber and band mates lead guitarist Austin Parachoniak, drummer Ivan Burns and bassist/steel guitarist Ryan Funk played a laid back set for an appreciative audience in the  Geomatic Attic’s main venue.


Del Barber at the Geomatic Attic, Nov. 28. Photo by Richard Amery

As expected he focussed on songs from his most recent CD “Stray Dogs.”

But hedelved into his back catalogue, punctuating the music with stories about the songs and the people who inspired them as well as a few jokes.


 He had a real Hayes Carll mixed with Blues Rodeo , a touch of Todd Snider mixed with a little Tom Cochrane vibe throughout, but had the band come up to the mic at centre stage to sing a few stripped sown songs bluegrass style, which showed off his band mates’ vocal harmonies.


“ 62 Richmond” an older song about a tall tale teller, was an early highlight. Barber mused “I can’t believe I’m 38 years old, have two kids and  have songs that are 10 years old that I”m still playing,” as bassist Ryan Funk switched to steel guitar.


 he talked abut his dad who recently passed away and noted he wrote a lot of songs with him including a highlight about  a homeless couple in Winnipeg, dedicating “Ronnie and Rose” to them

“Big Smoke ” was another highlight.

The band ended his first set with an excellent cover of Ian Tyson’s  Someday Soon.”


Ryan Funk, Austin Parachoniak, Ivan Burns Del Barber at the Geomatic Attic, Nov. 28. Photo by Richard Amery

Their  second set was a little more upbeat and featured a lot more stories, including one about a ”tough  as a two dollar steak woman” who works at the gas stop in Virden, Manitoba.


“ I thought she deserved a song,” he quipped as he introduced “No Easy Way out.”


 he dedicated a pair of acoustic songs to his dad, including “ Just A Little Heat,” which was about his dad comparing himself to a car, not a failed romance as one writer described it.


Several  songs were inspired by hanging out in bars including “ Friends Like Us.” which was definitely a highlight of the show and one of the more Hayes Carll sounding songs.


 The line “Destined for Hell or a Wal mart parking lot” drew a few chuckles from the enraptured audience.


He ended with  with a slower song,  “Meantime” the single from the new CD.


But he was called back for an encore.

He noted  he doesn‘t usually get political in his songwriting, noting the next song was political, as he ended with “Dead Skunk In the middle of the highway.”

 the Geomatic Attic has several shows coming up in December. The next show is MonkeyJunk guitarist Tony D and Eric Braun and the new downtown location, Thursday, Dec. 2. 

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 December 2021 16:13 )

Hell Diablo brings back menacing rock and roll

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 Tyler  Brownfield debuted his new band Hell Diablo at the Slice,Saturday, Nov. 27 Brownfield, who was in local psychobilly band the Phantom Creeps almost 10 years ago, has now joined forces with Lethbridge’s busiest man in music Taylor Ackerman to record the new Hell Diablo CD “ Blood Is the New Black.”

Hell Diablo's Taylor Ackerman and Tyler Brownfield at the Slice, Nov.27. Photo by Richard Amery


For the CD release party at the Slice, Nov. 27, the recruited bassist Shawn Worden and drummer John Brooks to play pretty much all of the new CD , which also includes a few Phantom Creeps songs.


They played all of them for their set, wedged between Public Execution and Queen of the Worms.

 Hell Diablo are a solid, sleazy , snarling desert rock and roll band somewhere in between Queens of the Stone Age without Josh Homme’s high notes and Nashville Pussy without the female talent and a touch of the Supersuckers.


Their set included a couple Phantom Creeps songs and ”the Bright Side” a Those Poor Bastards song that the Phantom Creeps covered.


The Creeps covers came early in the set including one of my favourites “ Cold Hearted Man.”

Hell Diablo’s Tyler Brownfield and Shawn Worden. Photo Richard Amery


Brownfield snarled out the “fucking bullshit” chorus of that song early in the set.


He snarled  F bomb laden lyrics and ground out menacing riffs on his Gretsch, while Ackerman played most of the solos, though there were some sweet  dual leads. Ackerman’s wah wah laced solos enhanced the Queens of the Stone Age vibe and added a psychedelic rock feel to several songs.


 Worden missed nary a note, even when he broke his bass strap and Brooks hammered home the rhythm behind the skins.

They wound down their set with the title track of the new CD “ Blood is the New Black.” and ended with another highlight “Hellbound Heroes.”

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 03 December 2021 12:59 )

Blues and University concerts among this week’s highlights

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Celebrate the first week of December with  a lot of live music. The blues is the thing this week.

The week begins early with local synth pop musician Ty Vandendool, who has a  farewell party at the Slice on Tuesday, Nov. 30 before he  leaves Lethbridge for greener pastures.

The show begins at 7 p.m.. Admission is by donation.

Paul Kype and Texas Flood play Casino Lethbridge this weekend. Photo by Richard Amery


As usual there is also a comedy open mic at Good Times on Tuesday. Good Times features  Brad Semotiuk and  Celeste Lampa on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m.. Tickets are $16.64.

 Also for comedy, Drunk Improv: Extra Eggnog Edition is happening at  Didi’s Playhaus on Saturday, Dec. 4. The showbegins at 7 p.m. Admission is pay what you can. 

 Things are picking up at the university.  The U of L wind ensemble  performs at University Theatre, Wednesday, Dec. 1. Tickets are  $12 students and alumni, $15 seniors and $20 for adults. The U of L Jazz Ensemble performs at University Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 4. Their “ Back  In Swing” show features the music of  Duke Ellington, Thelonius Monk, Bob Mintzer, Benny Golson and more. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.

 The Watertower’s regular weekly  jazz night is 6-8 p.m., on Dec. 1 as well.

 The Owl Acoustic Lounge‘s monthly jazz jam is  Thursday, Dec. 2. HBO3 and Ryan Heseltine play at 8 p.m. 


 MonkeyJunk’s Tony D plays the blues at the Geomatic Attic’s downtown venue, Thursday, Dec. 2. Eric Braun will be opening the show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35.

 As usual the Slice weekly open mic is on Thursday.


Classical music fans will want to check out a free afternoon show at Casa with the Unconventional  Trio. on Friday, Dec. 3. Trumpeter Josh Davies, bass trombonist Nick Sullivan and pianist Deanna Oye will be performing works by Eric Ewazen and Arthur Frackenpohl, a famously hilarious operatic duet by Rossini, and a pair of songs by Michael Hennagin, originally for voice and based on some of the poetry of Emily Dickinson. The free concert begins at 12:15 p.m.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 November 2021 10:36 ) Read more...

All the Hip hits with The Hip Trip Tragically Hip tribute

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Local Tragically Hip tribute the Hip Trip were having fun with wireless units as they played all the Hip hits for an appreciative audience at the Slice, Friday, Nov. 19.

Gabe Thaine singing with the Hip Trip at the Slice, Nov. 19. Photo by Richard Amery

 I missed the first set, but caught frontman Gabe Thaine playing a quick solo set of acoustic numbers to open the second set.


 He did his best Gord Downie impression on “38 Years Old” before  guitarist Mark Hall, bassist Jack Horne and drummer Raz Bruce joined him on stage for the electric portion of the show.

 Hall and Horne spent most of the set in the audience experimenting with wireless units for their instruments, though you couldn’t see them, with most of the lights turned off.

“I wish I had a wireless,” Thaine quipped.


 hall handled both  Tragically Hip’s guitar parts.


 All the hits were there including “New Orleans is sinking and “Wheat Kings.”


 Thaine noted “We’re out of Tragically Hip songs, but we’ll be back for another set,” as the band ended the Hip portion of the show with “Twist My Arm” and a couple  mellower moments with “ Long Time Coming” and “ Courage.”

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 25 November 2021 16:32 )
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