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Ken Hamm taking his time to release new music with “Mokomon”

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Forget, Saskatchewan based delta bluesman Ken Hamm  is never in a hurry to put out  new material.
 He released his latest CD “Mokomon” in 2018. Before that his last releases was a double CD set in 2006 called “Live in 05.”
 So he is excited to return to the Lethbridge College Cave to play for the Lethbridge Folk Club, Saturday, April 27.

Ken Hamm plays the Lethbridge College Cave for the Lethbridge Folk Club, April 27. Photo By Richard Amery
“I have a lot of die hard fans there who have been listening to me for 40 years and I hate to let them down,” said Hamm, from his home in Forget, Saskatchewan, where he has called home for the past 15 years and has been keeping busy chopping wood and  enjoying  the thriving music  community.

“ There’s only 40 people here and there are five bands who play a lot,” he said.
He is excited to finally have a new CD out, which includes old blues, folk, classical music and even gospel, which he was excited to record in the comfort of his own home.

“I have a friend, Tom Richards, who has a small computer studio. So we meet every Sunday to work on songs. We started working on several of his songs, which I hope to have on the next album and then we started recording my songs,” he said, adding he enjoyed the no pressure circumstances.
“It was very liberating. Usually when you’re renting a studio, you have 20 songs. But we started doing this for fun,” he said, adding he plays most of the instruments himself.
“That’s me playing guitar, banjo, dobro, foot stomps, hand claps,” he said.

“Really this whole CD was an experiment to see what it would be like to record at home,” he said, adding it has drawn a really positive response from fans and critics, though he didn’t really  do a lot of promo on it.

  The title track “Mokomon,” was written by his neighbour.
“She wrote a poem about Mokomon, which is a little town in Ontario where my grandparents settled. She’s from there, so I put music to her poem. I’ve been playing it a lot. I even played it  at her wedding because she got married since I wrote it,” he said.
 Hamm has been playing a lot of festivals and house concerts from everywhere from Kakabeka Falls, Ontario  to Horsefly, B.C. since He was last in Lethbridge in 2015.


Whitney Rose returns to Geomatic Attic with country classics and cool originals

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Prince Edward Island raised/ Austin Texas based Whitney Rose  returned to the Geomatic Attic to sing some outlaw/’70s style country for an intimate audience, Thursday, April 11.

Whitney Rose at the Geomatic Attic, Thursday, April 11. Photo by Richard Amery
 I missed Shaela Miller’s opening set but was just in time for Whitney Rose and her tight band who played  an enjoyable set of mid-tempo covers and originals. They began with a pretty version of Don William’s“Tulsa Time,” then drifted into one of her own songs “Arizona,” as she noted she wasn’t in the mood for much talking and just  wanted to play music. That was all right by the enthusiastic crowd who cheered every song and most of the precise guitar solos. Her voice reminded me of Margo Price mixed with Lee Ann Womack and LeAnn Rimes.
 She noted they had been touring up the West coast and into Lethbridge en route to Calgary, and promised to play some new songs as well as a few older songs.

 Some of the original highlights were “I Don’t Want Half, (I Just Want out)” and “You Don’t Scare Me” from her most recent CD Rule 62 which set the theme of the evening as heartbreak was on Rose’s mind, who sang with her  eyes shut, occasionally  cracking a smile and moving to dance to her lead guitarist Josh Owen’s solos.

“One thing you don’t know about Josh, is that he sings like an angel,” as  she stepped back to let him sing Gram Parsons’ “Return of the Grievous Angel.” She harmonized beautifully with him.

 A couple of other highlights  were  the slower “My Boots” from her 2017 CD “South Texas Suite ” and more honky tonk rocking country of “The Devil Borrowed my Boots” from 2015’s “Heartbreaker of the Year.”

They also played some sweet covers of Little Feat’s “Willin’” and an exceptional version of Concrete Blonde’s ’90s hit “Joey,” which they turned into a  country song.

 She introduced a couple of originals “ You’re Going to Get Lonely,”  about “another asshole” and another, more up tempo number in the same vein, both of which drew applause from the audience and caused Rose to crack a smile.
“It’s always difficult to play new songs,” she observed.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor


Matt Masters plays cool covers for Windy City Opry

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 CKUA Radio personality Matt Masters showed his substantial musical chops for the April edition of the Windy City Opry, Wednesday, April 10, which drew a good sized mid week crowd.

Matt masters at the Windy City Opry, April 10. Photo by Richard Amery
As usual on a Wednesday, I arrived too late for most of the show of up beat honky tonk country from Masters and Emily Triggs, who opened the show with Tyler Allen.

But I was in time for an excellent version of Ray Wylie Hubbard’s “ Snake Farm,” which Masters and his lead guitarist Craig McCallum made their own.

 They also tackled Ridley Bent’s “Suicidewinder,” with Master noting they’d never played the song together before.

 They sounded like they had been playing it together for years.
 Host Shaela Miller got up and said she had been friends with Masters since meeting him while working at the Tongue N’ Groove, “when I 13, maybe a little older than that.”

— by Richard Amery, L.A. beat Editor

Yvette adds jazz and pop music

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Calgary based alternative rock/indie rock band Yvette played a solid set of music at the Slice, for about 25 people, Saturday, April 6.Yvette keyboardist Craig Davidson at the Slice, Saturday, April 6. Photo by Richard Amery
 They played a strong set of keyboard powered original music drawing a lot of inspiration from mid—70s soft rock and jazz.

Thanks to the laid back keyboards, they had a strong Steely Dan and  Supertramp feel, plus  a whole lot of smooth jazz, but with a whole lot of loud bass.

 They have released a new self titled  EP and played the single, which featured a cool walking bass line.

— By Richard Amery,L.a. beat Editor

Adequate bring the funk and Space jam theme

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As usually things got a little funky with Adequate at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Saturday, April 6, which was packed, as expected.

Adequate’s Scott Mezei adding vocoder, keyboards and bass. Photo by Richard Amery
 They were playing some original funk and R and B  as I arrived with Keenan Pezderic singing in his best falsetto from behind the drums, guitarist Josh Thorlakson was laying it down on lead guitar while Scott Mezei was doing triple duty on bass, background vocals, keyboards and was even incorporating a vocoder into the music.

Their set included the usual suspects — vintage R and B and funk popular standards and even Steve Miller Band’s “ The Joker.” As a bonus they decided to funk up Quad City DJ’s  “Space Jam” theme.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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