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Bigwood celebrates nine big years

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 While Whoop Up Days dominates the week for entertainment, another big annual event happens on Saturday, Aug. 27— Bigwood 9.

Royal Tusk heradline Bigwood 9. Photo b y Richard Amery
Organizer Todd Carter noted Bigwood began as a  staff party for three landscaping related companies, who had flexible hours which was a boon for the local musicians  they employed.
“We had  40 or 50 people and two or three bands at the first Bigwood,” Carter said, noting the event has expanded to a big annual party for much of the local music community.
“We’ve had 200 or 300 people at the last four depending on the weather,” he continued.

 This year they are expanding again, with out of town headliners , Edmonton rock band Royal Tusk and Saskatchewan band Fancy Diamonds performing in addition to Lethbridge alternative rock duo Sparkle Blood and local rock bands The Silkstones, surf rock band the Atomicos , 90s rock trio the Supervoid and the Dirti Speshuls will be performing just off Research Centre Road beginning at 6 p.m.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 August 2016 11:44 ) Read more...

Whoop Up Days and a lot more happening this week

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There’s never an excuse to say “there‘s nothing to do in Lethbridge.” Especially not this week as there are a few big events happening in Southern Alberta this week.
 Whoop Up Days features superb live music throughout the week.

Country star Jason Blaine played Whoop Up Days, Aug. 23 with Trevor Panczak.Morgan Davis returns to Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Amery
 But if your tastes lean towards more traditional country music, Floyd Sillito and friends will be at the Nord Bridge Senior‘s Centre are performing a tribute to the Alberta Ranch Boys. Tickets are $20 with the show beginning  at  7:30 p.m.
 Things rock at Exhibition Park for the rest of Whoop Up Days.

 Alternative rock duo the Standstills are on the Gas King stage at  9 p.m., Aug. 24. Calgary band Ten Minute Detour are on at 7:30 p.m.
The next night, Aug. 25  Kim Mitchell will show he is still a wild party, playing  his numerous  hits from the ’80s like “Easy To Tame,” “Rock and Roll Duty,” “Go For a Soda,” and maybe even some of  the rockers from  Max Webster.
 He is on stage at  9 p.m. Local rocking blues band Zojo Black opens the show at 8 p.m.

Things get turned up a  notch on Friday, Aug. 26 with a high octane performance from Monster Truck and local metal band Tyrants of Chaos.
And there is an eclectic lineup on Saturday , Aug. 27 with the country stylings of JJ Shiplett, some rocking blues from Angel Forrest and an exciting homage to the Band‚ The Last Waltz — A Musical celebration of the band featuring special guest performances from the Downchild Blues Band’s Chuck Jackson, Juno award winning bluesman Johnny Max and a talented up and comer Matt Weidinger.

Last Updated ( Friday, 26 August 2016 00:31 ) Read more...

The Last Waltz is more than a tribute to the Band

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The Last Waltz — Musical Celebration of the Band are more than just a tribute to the Band, they resurrect the spirit of the Band’s music as you will see at Whoop Up Days, Aug. 27.

The Last Waltz features the music of the Band and submitted
While the nine piece band, plus guests base their show on the Martin Scorsese movie — the Last Waltz which chronicled the last concert of the rock and roll icons who had been the backing band for stars like Bob Dylan and Ronnie Hawkins, and featured special guests like Dr. John, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Van Morrison, don’t expect impressions of the guests from the film.

“ If you come in expecting someone to “do” Bob Dylan, you will be disappointed,” said keyboardist and band leader Lance Anderson.

He was asked to put together a tribute to the music of the Band for the Kitchener Blues Festival  in 2010 featuring some of the highlights, and had a hit on his hands.

“Originally it was supposed be a one off concert, but people came up to me and said it was the highlight of the whole festival,” he said adding there ended up being a lot of demand for the show.
“ So I decided to get really good people to play the music of the Band,” he said.

 among them was Chuck Jackson of the Downchild  Blues Band and drummer who coincidentally ended up being the godson of The Band drummer/ vocalist Levon Helm.
“ I heard this kid Jerome Avis playing  drums and singing and didn’t  know who he was. It’s so hard to find a drummer who sings . I put the word out in Peterborough and it ended up his father Bill was the road manager for the Band during the Last Waltz. You can hear them talking to him off stage in the movie,” he said.

 “He started out as  roadie for them when he was 17 and graduated to road manager. He used to take Jerome  on tour with them and he’d be backstage watching Levon,” Anderson said.
Anderson also has a personal connection the the Band. He produced one of Garth Hudson‘s solo album.

“He is a genius. I spent a year with him doing his solo album. And just learning to play all of the things he played, he is a genius,” he said.

The special guests are a rotating cast, based around  their tour schedules.
“ That’s the most challenging part of it is working around everybody’s tour schedules. We usually do this show in October or November. But this series of shows in Alberta  came around for the summer,” he said adding they are  using  two horn players from Calgary for the Alberta dates, and Chuck Jackson has to leave right after Whoop Up Days for another gig, so won’t be playing with them in Calgary the next day.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 August 2016 11:19 ) Read more...

Kim Mitchell won’t let heart attack keep him from his “Rock and Roll Duty”

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Kim Mitchell won’t let a tough year stop him from doing his “Rock and Roll Duty.”

Mitchell, who had sevKim Mitchell returns to Whoop Up Days, Aug. 26. PHoto by Richard Ameryeral in the ’80s and early ’90s including “Patio Lanterns,” “Rock and Roll Duty” and “Easy To Tame,” returns to Lethbridge to play Whoop Up Days, Aug. 25.

“It was a bit of a challenge. I lost three people close to me and my job on radio (as drive time DJ on Q107 after 11 years ) ended and a relationship and I ended up having a heart attack on top of it, but here I am talking to you, so  it’s all right,” said Mitchell, negotiating challenging Toronto traffic on his way to a have a bite to eat with a buddy.


“ But I’m feeling  way better now,” he said adding he is excited to play in front of people again.

“I just love having the opportunity to play in front of people. It’s pretty exciting,” he said.

 He was last in Lethbridge in 2012 to play Whoop Up Days.
“It was an outdoor gig. And playing outdoors in the summer is the best feeling. Why would you want to play inside,” he enthused.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 August 2016 16:26 ) Read more...

Royal Tusk returning for Bigwood 9

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Edmonton  rock band Royal Tusk returns to Lethbridge for the ever expanding  Bigwood 9 festival, Aug. 27.Royal Tusk’s Daniel Carriere. Photo by Richard Amery

Saskatoon band Fancy Diamonds, Lethbridge alternative rock duo Sparkle Blood and local rock bands The Silkstones, surf rock band the Atomicos , 90s rock trio the Supervoid and the Dirti Speshuls will be performing just off Research Centre Road beginning at 6 p.m.
Royal Tusk were just here a few months ago, on May 27, winding up a tour in support of their most recent CD “Dealbreaker” which just passed a million listens on Spotify.

 They have had an eventful summer.

“It’s been really exciting,” said frontman Daniel Carriere.

“ We played the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver. And we played some festivals with the Eagle of Death Metal and the Arkells,” he said.
“That was so gnarly. It was so much fun. We loved it,” he enthused.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 August 2016 10:37 ) Read more...
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