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L.A. Beat

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The L.A. Beat

Lots of different kinds of music and drama this week

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Things pick up after a relatively slow week in Lethbridge due to South Country Fair.
 Some of the highlights this week are at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.
Nelson born, Montreal based “chill jazz” band Tofu Stravinsky make their first visit to Lethbridge to play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, July 25. They play laid back jazz music featuring keyboards and the sultry vocals of Sarah Orton. Locomotive Ghost were also expected to perform but had to back off the bill. There is no cover for the show which begins at 9 p.m.Bend Sinister return to Lethbridge, July 23. Photo by Richard Amery

The Owl Acoustic Lounge has a great folk show featuring Victoria musician Oliver Swain’s Big Machine, who stop by Lethbridge, July 24, taking a break from the summer folk festival circuit. Swain has played with a variety of well known folk and roots acts including the Bill Hilly band and Scruj MacDühk. He plays stand up bass, banjo and sings. He won’t be bringing the Big Machine to Lethbridge, though they are joining him for all of the folk festivals he is playing this summer. He will be accompanied by longtime collaborator Glenna Garramone. There is no cover for that show either. They bring back rock band Windborn, on July 26.

 The Slice crashes into action after taking a few days off  for the South Country Fair with organ powered alternative rock band Bend Sinister on July 23, who closed off the South Stage on Saturday night at the Fair.

 The Slice welcomes back local blues band Paul Kype and Texas Flood, July 25. Also for blues fans, Papa King, Darryl Düus and Evan Uschenko play the 1010 Pub, July 26.
 And for something a little different, welcome rapper/ beatboxer Hachey the MouthPeace on Monday , July 28.


Oliver Swain loves singing with sister from another mister Glenna Garramone

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Victoria musician Oliver Swain is enjoying a busy summer of playing folk festivals in  all over the west coast and larger centres like Vancouver, Winnipeg and Calgary.

Oliver Swain returns to Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Amery
“That's what I do. I finish my tour in the Spring and play folk festivals in the summer. Then I record something new in the fall and winter when things aren’t as busy,” he said.

He just finished playing the Winnipeg Folk Festival last weekend, and stops by the Owl Acoustic Lounge, July 24 with long time songwriting partner Glenna Garramone en route to the Calgary Folk festival on July 27.
 He loves playing folk festival.

“ It’s where musicians promoters, government, funding, non profit groups and volunteers all come together,” he said.

 He usually plays with the Big Machine whenever possible, depending on the gig, but won't be bringing them to Lethbridge other than keyboardist/ guitarist/ singer and long time collaborator Glenna Garramone.

“ We’ll be playing our own songs, some Big Machine songs. and we just released a CD of  Leonard Cohen songs,“ he said.


Award winner David Vest to rock the piano in Bow Island

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Alabama born, Victoria based blues piano player David Vest is excited to return to  Bow Valley, for the second time, July 26.David Vest Plays Bow Island, July 26. Photo Submitted
 The first time he  was inspired a close brush with a freight train inspired “Freight Train Rolling,”  the first single off of his latest CD “Roadhouse Revelations.”

“I’ve only been there once,” said  the Maple Blues award winner from Victoria, doing some last minute packing for a trip to the  Winthrop Blues  Festival in Winthrop, Washington.

“We were driving  from the hotel to the theatre and came to these railroad tracks. It never  occurred to us there were active. But we saw this freight train hauling a car coming at us full tilt. And Jimi Bott, my drummer on that tour who has also played with the Fabulous thunderbirds said‘ I think I can beat this train.’ Luckily the other three of us talked him out of it,” Vest related.

“But I had the melody and the first three lines of the song right then,” he said.
 Bott won't join him on this quick  Alberta visit, which  also includes a stop in Edmonton, however Downchild rhythm section bassist  Gary Kendall and drummer Mike Fitzpatrick plus former Fathead guitarist Teddy Leonard will be joining him.

“ I met Gary four or five years ago at the Hornsby Island blues camp and he put this group together,” he said.

 They will be playing most of the new album, which is already topping blues charts in Canada.

“ And a few years ago “East Meets Vest”  was nominated for a Maple Blues award, it didn’t win. MonkeyJunk won. They're a great band and put out a great album. We’ll be playing some songs from it too (East Meets Vest) ,” he continued.

“It”s all about creating an experience for them,” he said.

He is excited about returning to the Bow Island Theatre.
 “I don’t think there is a musician who has played there who doesn’t want to come back to it,” he said.

“When I  first got there, my agent told me it was a theatre in the middle of nowhere and I wondered where all of the people came from. It’s a subscription series. You buy the entire season. And people come there from all over Alberta and the United States. It’s a labour of love and run by volunteers,” he said.

 “I guess they bought the theatre from the city which had slated it for demolition. But they renovated it. They got hardwood from old churches and a hired a sound guy who has toured with big rock acts like Journey and Triumph,” he said.
 The 70-year-old Vest has played with numerous blues greats including Big Joe Turner, who had  a variety of hits in the  ’50s and ’60s including “Shake Rattle and Roll,” “Honey Hush” and “ Flip, Flop and Fly.”


Nelson born indie chill band Tofu Stravinsky expand horizons in Montreal

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Nelson born, Montreal based band Tofu Stravinsky are an amalgamation of musicians from all over Canada who met while attending music school in Nelson, B.C. and bonTofu Stravinsky visit Lethbridge this week. Photo Submittedded over similar musical influences.
They come to the Owl Acoustic Lounge with Medicine Hat's Terra, July 25.

“ I’m from Alberta, our bassist (Pat McTaggart) is from Manitoba, our drummer (Edward T) is from Ontario and our keyboardist (Jon Perry) is from eastern Ontario,” said Tofu Stravinsky guitarist/ vocalist Tyler Toews from the middle of Ontario in Wabigoon Lake. Lead vocalist Sarah Orton is also from Ontario.

“We’re a chill band with guitar, bass, drums and keyboard and a great female jazz vocalist,” he described

“We’re a five piece indie chill band from Montreal,” Toews continued adding though they met in Nelson and spent, they have been based out of Montreal for the past year.

“ We moved to Montreal because we wanted to expand our horizons and it was a really good excuse to hit the road and drive across the country,” he continued.


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

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