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Jr. Gone Wild have wild time since reforming

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Edmonton cowpunks Jr. Gone Wild are back together.

“We took about an 18 year hiatus and got back together two years ago,” said frontman Mike McDonald.

Jr. Gone Wild play Lethbridge, Sept. 5. Photo submitted
“It’s been a whirlwind two years,” he said, adding pressure from a persistent superfan encouraged him to reform the band.
“ A couple of years ago a guy asked me if I’d be interested in reforming the band. I said ‘No way, I’m not interested in doing that.’ A couple of months later he asked me if I’d given any thought to what I said and told him, ‘dude, I said no.’ He came back a few months later and asked again, so I quoted him an outrageous amount. Or what I thought was outrageous amount and he said  ‘no problem,’” he continued, so he contacted former band members, bassist  Dave ‘Dove’ Brown, drummer Larry Shelast and multi-instrumentalist and producer Steve Loree to play steel guitar and lead guitar.

“So we got together and rehearsed for like eight months for the reunion show, May 31, 2013, which we thought was going to be a one time thing. We played a three hour set,” he reminisced.

 He was pleasantly surprised with how many people remembered Jr. Gone Wild.
“When we started there was no social media or smart-phones or Facebook. If you wanted to do a newsletter, it would cost you like $300. You’d have to print it up, then buy envelopes and stamps and send it out. Now you can write a note and post it on Facebook and everyone knows about it in two seconds,” he continued.
A variety of well known artists have covered Jr. Gone Wild songs including folk musicians Carolyn Mark and NQ Arbuckle and going back a few years, ’90s rockers the Doughboys who recorded a Jr. Gone Wild song on  their first EP.
“ That was before they became a Much Music band and became famous,” he said.

More recently, Calgary rockers Napalmpom recorded their song “Cosmos.”
“ I actually like what they did with the song. There's guitar harmonies and vocal melodies we never thought of,” he said, adding he is honoured when other musicians record his songs.

“As someone who knows how much work it is to put out a record, I’m flattered. It’s like we’re part of folklore,” he said.
“As a songwriter probably the highest compliment you can get is for someone to cover your song,” he said.
Jr. Gone Wild got to cover a song by one of their idols/  friends — Edmonton born Canadian punk icons SNFU.
 They just released a video for SNFU's “ Cannibal Cafe.”

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 26 August 2015 10:07 ) Read more...

August winds down with classical, folk music and Taber Cornfest

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After a crazy week in Lethbridge marked by Whoop-Up days, this slower week may be somewhat of a relief for those who are a tad partied out.Trevor Panczak and Rough Stock play  Taber Cornfest this week. Photo by Richard Amery
  So the last week of August is pretty quiet in Lethbridge. However there is a heap of local talent performing just down the road at the Taber Cornfest.

Some of the highlights in Taber are Trevor Panczak and Rough Stock who close off Friday night, Aug. 28 at 10 p.m..
The next day, Southern Flyer play country music  at 8 p.m., while local classic rock juggernaut the Chevelles play their annual Taber Cornfest gig at  9:30 p.m.

Back at home, however, Soup of Flies rock Casino Lethbridge on the weekend.

 The Slice added a  late show,  for Friday, Aug. 28 before the Boarderline afterparty.

 Fort Worth based blues, folk and rock musician  Brent Johnson will be performing from 9-11  p.m. He has shared the stage with the likes of Buddy Guy, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Texas blues luminary Lonnie Brooks, Hubert Sumlin, Kenny Wayne Sheppard and many others.

Over at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Calgary folk/bluegrass and alternative  duo Rye & Fairy Tales will be playing at 9 p .m., Aug. 28.
 Saskatoon acoustic rock /poetry trio  Bastard Poetry will return to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Aug. 29.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge features their comedy open mic on Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 25 August 2015 23:30 ) Read more...

Glorious Sons to return to play Whoop Up Days

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The Glorious Sons are riding high on “Contender,” the fifth top 5 single of their most recent CD “The Union,” but they are trying not to think too much about it.

The Glorious Sons’ Brett Emmons. Photo by Richard Amery
“ We weren’t really expecting  that. You get this nice pat on the back, but you just put one foot toward the other and hope you don’t fall,” said vocalist Brett Emmons, whose band play their first Whoop Up Days, Aug 21.

“ There has been a lot of appreciation for the single. There has been a lot of radio support and fan support, so we’re super excited about it,” he said, in the midst of a quick 10 day breather in a summer full of festivals.

Kingston born Glorious Sons include guitarists Jay Emmons and Andrew Young, bassist Chris Huot and drummer Adam Paquette. They exploded the Canadian music scene in 2013 with the EP Shapeless Art, produced by John-Angus MacDonald of The Trews.

 Their singles, “Mama,” “ Lightning,” “White Noise” and “Heavy have been instant hits with audiences who love dirty, upbeat rock and roll.
“ We’re working on new music constantly. ‘ Contender’ dropped a month ago and will be the last single off the album,” Emmons said.
“So we’ll continue to grow and serve as a platform to speak to people while satisfying our artistic needs,” he continued.
They begin a headlining tour in October, which is named after the new single.

“ We last had a headlining tour two years ago, so it will be fun to play more than 45 minutes and play three or four encores, meet people and give audiences what they want, he continued.
 He is excited to play the band’s first Whoop Up Days.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 August 2015 11:12 ) Read more...

Good reggae vibes with House of David Gang

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After a 14 hour drive from Vancouver and a missed time zone, Toronto reggae band House of David Gang was late, but still in the mood to share the love with an intimate audience, Aug. 13 at the Slice.

Vancouver reggae singer Gisto sang the first couple of the songs including one oThe House of David Gang and Gisto at the Slice, Aug. 13. Photo by Richard Ameryf his own with the band then traded the microphone  to King Selah for a guitar for most of the rest of the set.

 Gisto said  because the audience was so intimate, that the band would be trying out a lot of new material like it was a rehearsal they were invited to and promised it would be tight. He was right.

 They channelled the spirit of Bob Marley as they played a couple of songs from their 2012  “Reggae Warrior” album including the title track and several catchy new songs.
 They had a laid back vibe throughout and keyboardist Todd James Britton was playing horns sound on the keyboard to add the the Jamaican feel of the night.

Among the many highlights of the first set from “Reggae Warrior” the title track of their most recent album as well as “Don’t Make Me Cry.”

Their most recent single “Rock and Roll Queen” was also a toe tapping highlight.
 Unfortunately half the audience wandered into the parking lot to smoke and missed most of the show.
 Gisto manned the mic again  for the end of the set

—by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 August 2015 10:35 )

Black Thunder rock the Slice

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A good sized crowd filled the Slice on a Wednesday for a big rock show featuring local talent and the big riffBlack Thunder bassist Dustin Wiebe. Photo by Richard Amerys of Regina’s Black Thunder, Aug. 12.

I arrived as local punk/ alternative trio Advertisement were finishing a loud, abrasive, ferocious set of original musiAdvertisement's Adrian Sutherland. Photo by Richard Ameryc which ended with writhing guitarist Adrian Sutherland jumping into the audience and thrashing away on his guitar and back on stage where he threw his shrieking guitar onto the stage  leaving it to feedback before making way for alternative rock trio the Supervoid. 

 The Supervoid played their usual strong set of modern alternative rock along the lines of the Foo Fighters and Smashing Pumpkins.

 Black Thunder closed off the night with a plate full of massive guitar riffs straight out of the ’70s.

In addition to lots of  Tony Frank’s riffs, they had innovative tempo changes, multiple guitar textures,  a lot of energy and an unstoppable groove from bassist Dustin Wiebe and thunderous drummer Neil Lutz.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 August 2015 10:00 )
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