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Tokyo Police Club returning with Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness parts 1 and 2

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 Newmarket, Ontario born pop rock/ indie rock band Tokyo Police Club sure know how to write an ear-worm.

Tokyo Police Club return to Lethbridge, Sept. 30. Photo Submitted
 You can hear a couple of songs from their new EPs “Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness on the Radio like “Not My Girl” “PCH” and their latest from part 2 of Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness “ My House,” and older hits “Hot Tonight,” “ Breakneck Speed and “Argentina.”

 They will be playing those and a lot more at Studio, Sept. 30 with The Elwins and the Born Ruffians, both who the band has known when they started out.

“I don’t think there will be anything people don’t want to hear. You won’t go away wishing you heard something you didn’t. We’ll cover all of the albums,” said drummer Greg Alsop from the depth of a “bunker-like” storage unit in Chicago where he and bandmates, frontman/bassist Dave Monks, keyboardist/ guitarist Graham Wright and guitarist Josh Hook are sorting out the last minute details for  a long tour including both American and Canadian dates.

 They are excited to return to Lethbridge.
“I remember the last time it was really cold and we really didn’t want to leave the bus or the hotel room. So we’re just excited to tour in the fall, so we can actually get out and see some of the places we’re going,” he said.

 The band members are living all over the continent pursuing creative projects outside the band.
Monks moved to New York City and put out a solo record, while Alsop moved to Los Angeles to produce records with other artists, Wright stayed in Toronto to work on a film and Hook settled in rural Ontario on a patch of land.

 That meant they had to be more focused when it came time to record the two new Eps “Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness Part 1, which was released in the spring and part 2 which will be released in a week.

“We literally put the final nail in the Eps a month ago,” he said, adding it is way too early to start thinking about their next project.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 September 2016 10:53 ) Read more...

Festivals, fundraisers and much more this week

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Other than festivals, the Owl Acoustic Lounge is the place to go for original live music this week.

Trevor Panczak plays a Lethbridge Interfaith Food Bank fundraiser this week. Photo by Richard Amery
  The Owl Acoustic Lounge features a variety of touring acts this week beginning with  Calgary based folk/ punk trio Ghost Factory who play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Wednesday, Sept. 21 with local old school rock band JJ Thomas.
The Owl has a busy week as the next night they feature Vancouver indie rock band Goodwood Atoms.
 And they go country with Calgary honky tonk country quartet the Mike Fury 4.

And last but not least, they have an excellent blues show on Saturday, Sept. 24 with Edmonton’s Kimberley MacGregor, who will be joined by Sean Hamilton and Megan Brown.
There is a lot of local country music happening this week.

Earlier in the week, Floyd Sillito will be playing some old school, traditional country at the Galt Museum at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 21.
Local country star Trevor Panczak will be playing a fundraiser for the Lethbridge Interfaith Food Bank at the Italian Canadian Club , Sept, 23. Tickets are $65 including dinner or $650 for a table of 10, . It begins at  6 p.m.
 Also in the country vein, Breanne Urban and Southern Flyer will be playing Casino Lethbridge, Sept. 23 and 24.
And the Mark Hall Band plays the 1010 Pub, Sept. 24.

A special event happens at the Galt Museum, Sept. 24 when recent U of L graduate  Ellen Ortega will be playing Piano and Pie at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are  $35 for adults, $20 for students and youth.
Jazz aficionados won’t want to miss Herb Hicks at the Mocha Cabana, Sept. 23.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 20 September 2016 09:05 ) Read more...

Big Dave McLean to play a night of blues with Tim Williams

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Winnipeg based bluesman Big Dave McLean is excited to return to Lethbridge to play the Geomatic Attic, Sept. 25 with old friend and fellow walking encyclopedia of the blues, Tim Williams.

Big Dave McLean  returns to Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Amery
“ He’s probably  more of an encyclopedia than I am. Whenever someone asks me a question, I tell them to ask Tim. He’ll be able  to tell you what kind of suit the guy was wearing and what the weather was like outside,” McLean rumbled.
“ He’s a good friend and an excellent guitarist. So I look forward to the opportunity to play with him,” he said, adding they will be sharing a rhythm section for the show.
 He recorded a CD with Williams back in 1998 called “ Fellow Travellers,” which is something he’d like to do again.

“it was a straight ahead blues album. We had a lot of fun doing it. I’d love to do it again. you never   know,” he said
McLean has played with his share of blues legends.

“My favourite would be Muddy Waters. I wrote a song for him called Muddy Waters For President.’ But I’ve played with Pinetop Perkins and Roosevelt Sykes and Bukka White. But my second favourite would be John Hammond. He gave me my first guitar lesson,” he said.

McLean will release “ Better the Devil You Know,” his second album with Steve Dawson’s record company Black Hen Records on Oct. 27, but won’t be playing any of it until it is released.
“I don’t want people to hear something  I’ve thrown together with a band who have never heard the songs before.,” he said, adding he is planning a CD release party and possibly a tour in support of it in October.

“But we‘re going to be playing a lot of good blues music in Lethbridge. I’ve never been to the Geomatic Attic before,“ he said.
He enjoys working with Dawson. He released “Faded But Not Gone,” in 2014 with Black Hen.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 20 September 2016 08:56 ) Read more...

Kimberley MacGregor writing and touring extensively

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Edmonton blues and soul musician Kimberley MacGregor is a pretty prolific songwriter.

 Though she has two CDs of her own and has played with a variety of other Edmonton bands,  she never stops writing.

Kimberley MacGregor returns to Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Amery
 She returns to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Sept. 24 with band mates bassist Melissa Walker,  (Of Two Bears North and Scott Cook), slide guitarist Nathan Burns and drummer Geoffrey Hamdon-O’Brien.

“ We just did a 20 show tour in 18 cities in 18 days and lost a van along the way. But we got a new van in  Qualicum Beach,” she said, taking a quick breather from her Edmonton home before heading to work at 6 p.m.
“It will be the same set up as last time, except Melissa Walker on bass. She’s amazing,” she said.

“When I recorded my first CD, I was playing in six different bands with all of them and picked the best players,  then I found touring with a 13 person band wasn’t viable. So I pared it down to four,” she said.

 In addition to touring a lot, she has also been writing a lot of new songs.
“I played the Folk Alliance last year, which was pretty amazing and will be playing it again this year. But I was also part of the Great Canadian songwriting challenge with nine different bands. We had to write and record a song every day,” she said.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 20 September 2016 08:49 ) Read more...

Billy Bob Thornton and the Boxmasters play solid set of roots rock

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Billy Bob “ Bud” Thornton brought his band the Boxmasters for a short but sweet set of laid back roots rock along the lines of Tom Petty, to Average Joes, Sept. 8.

Billy Bob Thornton and the Boxmasters at Average Joes. Photo by Richard Amery
 Frontman Thornton stood near the back of the stage for most of the set and disappeared while his band mates took solos.

 He didn’t say much to the crowd until  after one of the show’s immediate highlights “ She Looks Like Betty Page,” (which was reminiscent of John Cougar Mellencamp’s R.O.C.K In the U.S.A) about three songs in, when he  said “Come a little closer, these cats won’t bite.” Some of them did come closer.

 They had a good crowd for the laid back show which included the songs from their last two double CDs.

 They only played a couple from the brand new CD “Boys and Girls and the World,” but they were highlights including the touching “ They Can’t See That,” which Thornton said was about special needs children and noting some money would be donated to help them.
 The other highlight from the new double CD was “Careless.”

 “ Just so you know, we aren’t going to be playing any  Mustang Sally or Johnny B Goode,” he said.

 Not that they needed to as they followed it up with their own urgent and catchy “ Kathy Won’t Share.”
 Though a cover of Dr. Hook and the Medicine show’s “Sylvia’s Mother.”

Boxmasters keyboardist Teddy Andreadis takes a harp solo. Photo by Richard Amery
 There were plenty of catchy rhythms, lots of tasteful guitar solos and plenty of spine tingling four part vocal harmonies. The skinny, sunglasses sporting and affable Thornton talked a little about having to go to Edmonton after the show and thanking the crowd for their shouts of affection.

 He decided, mid-set, to leave the stage altogether and get a drink from the bar, while his talented bandmates blasted into a hot version of blues standard “ Talk to your Daughter,” and disappeared backstage while they took solos on another song.

 Keyboardist Teddy Andreadis was  a highlight in suit and sunglasses, grinning behind his organ and piano, beaming all the while.

 He took centre stage  for a massive harp solo at the show closing “That Mountain” as Thornton left the stage for good.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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