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Jazz music and more winds up May

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This is the week for jazz music.

 The Lethbridge Jazz and blues Society brought the Sweet Inspiration Gospel choir to Southminster United Church,  Tuesday, May 28.

 But there is more jazz on the way.


Papa King and the Boogiemen return to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Friday, May 31.Photo by Richard Amery

James Oldenburg and Paul Holden return to the Watertower Grill for their weekly jazz night on Wednesday.

 They will also be hosting  the Owl Acoustic Lounge’s monthly jazz jam as part of HBO3  on Thursday, May 30.

 The Slice’s weekly open mic is tonight, Wednesday, May  29.

 Gabe Thaine hosts  theoretically Brewing’s weekly jam for Hunger on Thursday.


The Slice turns  things up on Thursday with a great punk rock show featuring Saskatoon’s D Beat  band Krash, Saskatoon based hardcore band Repair, Medicine hat hardcore band Western Death and local favourites the Hockey Moms. The music starts at 9  p.m. There is a $15 cover.

Lunch Date returns to Honkers Pub on Friday, May 31.


 Cal Toth and Anna McBryan bring back their duelling pianos show to Honkers Pub on Saturday. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door . The show begins at 7 p.m.


Suzanne Scott and the Dusty Roads band  return to Casino Lethbridge to rock the stage country style Friday and Saturday.


Allen Dobb and John Gogo set to play Lethbridge To finish Folk Club season

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Allen Dobb and  John Gogo are excited to be on the road again when they visit the Lethbridge Folk Club to close off the season at the Moose Hall, Saturday, May 25.


Allen Dobb and John Gogo play the lethbridge Folk Club on Saturday. Photo by Rob Jirucha

It has been a while since the two B.C based musicians have played together, so they are excited.


 Both have new long awaited new albums out this year.


 Allen Dobb released his first album, “ Alone Together”  in eight years in February.

 While John Gogo has a new album out in July. The second single “Tom Three Persons (Indian Cowboy)” The single is already picking up steam and momentum.

“I recorded a live interview with CKUA this morning. And  I got invited to playing at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame on Friday,” Gogo said, navigating traffic in Edmonton  en route to a show.


“ So we kind of built the tour around that. It was a serendipitous excuse to play seven shows in seven days,” he said. 


“ Tom was really interesting. He died in 1948, but I reached out to  his grandson. He has a really interesting story. He was the first Canadian cowboy to win at the inaugural  Calgary Stampede in  1912,” Gogo said.

Dobb noted he will be playing the grain elevator in Nanton, while Gogo is playing the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame for Tom Three Persons’ induction ceremony on Friday, May 24.

“His grandson Sheldon will be there,” Gogo said.


“It’s a  little bit out of my jurisdiction, being from Alberta. I usually write about stories and people in western Canada and B.C. ,” said Gogo who lives on Promise Island, off the coast of Nanaimo.

 Dobb is excited about his first album in eight years. He put music on the back-burner to focus on his career as  a land and resource manager consulting with farmers and First Nations about  how to make the most out of their land.


“ I never stopped writing. I’m always recording melodies into my phone  I just started  to write songs and record them. I was excited to work with my brother David to record it. A lot of people were pushing me to record them,” said Dobb, who live in  the Victoria area.


Major Love majorly excited about second album and Lethbridge tour stop

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Edmonton based indie rock/indie folk band Major Love are majorly excited about releasing  their sophomore album, “Life, Laugh, Major, Love,” on May 17  and  making a long awaited return to Lethbridge, May 18 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.

“ I know we’ ve been in the new space a couple of times,” said lead singer/ songwriter Colleen Brown, who joins Scenic Route To Alaska’s guitarist/ vocalist Trevor Mann, drummer/vocalist Shea Connor and bassist Murray Wood to play as Major Love  in between  solo shows, shows with The Great Lake Swimmers and Scenic Route to Alaska shows and albums.

The last time I saw them was in 2019 .

Major Love return to Lethbridge, May 18. Photo by Ryan Parker


“2019 . That seems possible. it’s really hard for me to remember these days. I’ve been touring a lot with other bands and my memory is getting muddier as I do more of that. So that’s very possible. I know we did a few shows in 2021 and 2022 that were more like one off  kind s of things. So I have this feeling we did get to the Owl more recently than that,” she said.


 She noted the new album has been in the works since  before covid, but most of it was written and recorded during it.

“A lot of the songs were written during lockdown, yeah. So some of it is inspired by the pandemic and the outcomes that resulted from it. The song ‘ Making the Most of It,’ is pretty squarely a lockdown anthem. I think a lot of people will recognize the feeling of feeling  stuck, like you’re  just spinning your wheels and not really sure what to so with your life anymore. I think a lot artists in particular, anybody who stayed home during the pandemic, you’ll probably get the cabin fever feeling that’s wrapped up in that song,” she said.


“ The songs all have different focuses. So that’s definitely not the only thing that was holding them together. There are songs about death and songs about aging and music industry and just the state of the  world. They’re always reflective, but my songwriting is always reflective and introspective at times. And you know there are some love songs for good measure,” she added.

 Major Love released an advance single “One Woman” for International Women’s Day.


“One Woman is a song we’ve been performing for years now. Our first record came out in 2018 and I think I wrote the song some time in 2017. So it just kind of missed the boat on that one. We started recording those songs in 2015. this project took a little bit longer to get things done. Because Scenic Route obviously have their own project. And I have my own solo projects. So  I think that song is an anthem for women in the sense that it really not just for women though. The idea behind it is just really the sense I think a lot of us came up with is to have that bootstrap mentality like I’ve got to do things on my own and prove myself. And I think some of us get kind of isolated and we have everything riding on our own shoulders and we forget that we’re tribal. That we used to live in communities really closely together and depend on each other. And I think that’s what we‘re built for is to depend on one another and support one another. And be really in community,” she said.

“So for me part of it what it’s talking about is untraining myself from that old way of living, isolating myself and forcing  myself to do everything on my own versus a much more sustainable long term and healthier way of being which is to recognize the value that other people have and to ask for help and get better at giving and receiving. So that’s a big part of it. There are definitely other elements also points to the way our society are really divided like polarized right now. And I think as long as we‘re polarized and arguing with each other over things that maybe aren’t really important or probably will never be able to agree on, there are a lot of things we could be doing that we can agree on and would probably benefit everyone. So looking for common ground and not getting mired in identity politics that separate us unnecessarily,” she said.


‘One Woman’ features some amazing background vocals which she credits to  Scenic Route to Alaska.


Whoop Up Days to feature Big Sugar and Emerson Drive plus lots of local talent

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There is some Big news for this year’s Whoop Up days, set for Aug. 20-25 at Exhibition Park. Big Sugar will be headlining an excellent week of live music which also includes  up and coming country star Kyle McKearney and Canadian country stars Emerson Drive who  are winding down their  “One For the Road” farewell  tour by closing out Whoop Up Days on Saturday, Aug. 25.

Cody Hall Playing whoopUp Days theme Grow up Western at the Whoop Up Days 2024 launch. Photo by Richard Amery

 There are also a variety of different local acts slated to play the  Original 16 Stage, which will be again in the middle of the midway.


“The original 16 stage  will  be in the middle of the midway again, except a lot bigger,” said Paul Kingsmith, Lethbridge Exhibition, director of community relations, who is excited about the lineup.

“ We just signed the contract with Big Sugar yesterday at 5 p.m. It ’s part of a move back to booking bigger bands,” he said.

 As always Whoop Up days  is bringing local acts to fill out the live music line up for the five day extravaganza.


 Some of the highlights on  Aug. 20 are Rebel Angels 50s , Coyote Junction and Dj Chris Fakir who closes out each night. Jon Martin and the Lovers , Yukon Yacht Pop princess Paris Pick and neo funk, soul, jazz R and B group Natural 20 will be highlights on Aug. 21.


 Tyson Ray Borsboom  and Brother Bicker Band open for  Kyle McKearney on Thursday, Aug. 22. McKearney is an up and coming country star whose brand new album “ A Travellers A Lament,”  won the CCMA Alternative Country album of the year and and earned Album of the Year honours at the 2024 Country Music Alberta Awards.

Local blues rock trio Taylor Ackerman’s Global Acid Reset and  Josh Dillon play before Big Sugar on Friday, Aug. 23.

Justin Sutton and Cody Hall play before Emerson Drive.

 The schedule still has slots open. It can be found at


 The Blackfoot Confederacy will be providing live entertainment every afternoon at 3:30 p.m.

 Cody Hall’s new single “ Grow up Western,”  was selected as the official theme song of Whoop Up Days this year.


“ It’s a really cool partnership,” said Hall, who will be also be playing the Whoop up Days parade with his band  on Aug. 20.

“ I just released the single  in April 15 and had the meeting with Whoop Up Days  right after that,” he said.


“That’s where my head is at with my writing these days,” he said, noting  the song’s theme of growing up in  western Canada, whether you live  the western  agriculture farming/ rodeoing/ ranching lifestyle reflects the theme of Whoop up days as a community  festival geared to everyone, not just people who live the agricultural lifestyle.


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L.A. Beat is Lethbridge, Alberta's only online arts and entertainment magazine.

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