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Whole lot of soul and pop with Mwansa Mwansa and HBO3 and Aaron Collier

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The Slice was full of soul with Mwansa Mwansa, jazz Trio HBO3 and keyboardist Aaron Collier, March 13.Mwansa Mwansa singing  with HBO3 and Aaron Collier. Photo by Richard Amery
 I missed Fei Fei Du’s opening set of hot acoustic guitar playing, but caught  the first set from Mwansa Mwansa,  HBO3 (James Oldenburg, Paul Holden, Brad Brouwer) and Aaron Collier.

 They performed a beautiful version of  “I Can See Clearly Now. ”

Mwansa Mwansa’s huge, sultry, soulful voice was gorgeous as always as she sang a variety of  soul and R and B hits from the ’60s and ’70s and newer pop material like Alicia Keys’ “ How Come you Don’t You Call Me” and Amy Winehouse/ Zutons/Bruno Mars’s “ Valerie.”

 One of her usual highlights is  her set ending version of Alabama Shakes’ “Hold On.”
 One of my favourite moments was James Oldenburg’s original “ Right Time.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 March 2015 11:16 )

Blacksmith plays plenty of old and new country music

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 Southern Alberta country trio Blacksmith featuring Papa Pezderic Marlin Pezderic on bass and vocals  played  familiar country  and rock from the ’50s through the ’90s at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, March 13. I arrived in the middle of an excellent version of “Don’t be Cruel.”Blacksmith playing country music. Photo by Richard Amery

 They played an excellent version of Rickey Skaggs’ “Heartbroken,” plus CCR’s “Green River.”

 They also played a cool Rick Collie song called “Even the Man in the Moon is Crying

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 March 2015 11:10 )

CKXU reaches more than half of FUNDrive goal

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 The fun is built right into the name for  University of Lethbridge based radio station, CKXU which is reaching out in the community for their annual FUNdrive.
“ I’m actually pretty excited about it. I’m not even stressed out about it,” said CKXU Station Manager Aaron Trozzo of the station’s annual fundraising campaign.
 This year’s theme is  “Power To the Tower” referencing the fact that this year’s $20,000 goal is being dedicated  to the next stage of  increasing the station’s signal power.

 ThisAaron Trozzo shows some of  the CKXU swag you can get by pledging during Fundrive this week. Photo by Richard Amery past week they have reached out into the community  for several extra FUNdrive events, beginning with a Gala Friends with Benefits event at the Southern Alberta  Art Gallery for businesses who are part of CKXU Friends card promotion. The Friends Card is a promotion CKXU does every year  for which local business offer discounts and specials to members.

 The card is one of several items of swag given away as volunteers take to the air and man the phones asking for pledges.


“ This year we have seven different events, which is the most  we’ve ever committed ourselves to, which is already a lot,” Trozzo said.

“ The idea is to reach out to the many under-represented groups which CKXU can represent,” he continued adding community outreach is part of the station’s mandate and helps foster its own sense of community.
“ So this year we thought it would be a good idea to lump our community outreach into one  single  giant event,” he said.
“We’re proud to be part of the community. The best part of what we do is make it fun. We really love to enable the community to give back,” he continued.
Trozzo is optimistic about reaching the $20,000 goal.

As of Wednesday morning, $ 11,808 had been raised for FUNdrive this year.

“It’s a lofty goal, but last year we had a goal of $13,000 and reached it. If we make $20,000, we can get the biggest tower we’ve ever seen,” he continued adding the money will go towards one third of  a matching grant between the City of Lethbridge and the province.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 March 2015 10:50 ) Read more...

Ben Sures excited to premiere new trio

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Edmonton blues/ folk musician Ben Sures is excited about his long awaited return to Lethbridge, March 28  when he plays the Lethbridge College Cave for the Lethbridge Folk Club.Ben Sures returns to Lethbridge, March 28. Photo by Richard Amery
 He was supposed to wind up their season last year, but  unfortunately the show was cancelled due to an issue with the venue. His last performance in Lethbridge was last year when he was playing lead guitarist for harp player Paul Reddick.
 Sures is surely excited about playing with his trio — bassist Tyson Maiko and drummer  Bramwell Park.

“ I’ve played with each of them before but never with them together,” Sures  enthused.

“ The three of us are going to make a hoopla,” he said, returning from a successful Home Routes House Concert  tour of northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
“Tyson plays with John Wort Hannam,” he observed.

 He noted the tour went well.
“ I’ve been away for most of March. It went really well,” he said adding a lot of the people who came to the shows were very impressed.
“ Not to toot my own horn but  a number of people who had been to every Home Routes show, said my show was the best they’d ever seen,” Sures said.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 March 2015 13:37 ) Read more...

This week is a cornucopia of comedy and classic rock inspired music

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A lot of new bands are tapping into the spirit of guitar driven classic rock. Lethbridge features some of the best of them this week.The Bryant Watson Duo are among many local acts playing this week. Photo by Richard Amery

 Kelowna’s the Wild and Vancouver’s One Bad Son return to Lethbridge to rock Bo Diddly’s, March 27. If you like classic rock along the lines of AC DC, you will love The Wild and One Bad Son are one solid rock band with plenty of big guitar and sing along choruses.

 If you like progressive rock and experimental rock  and organ along the lines of Deep Purple, Bend Sinister is right up your alley. They were a hit at the South Country Fair last year and sold out the Slice last year when they visited  on a Wednesday. This time, they play a Thursday night at the Slice, March 26.
 There is also a lot of comedy this week.

 The Slice features the I’s the Bye Musical comedy tour, March 25. Tickets are $10. The Owl Acoustic Lounge features their always popular comedy open mic on March 25. Comedians of all stripes and styles are welcome to perform on their open mics on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month. And Average Joes features stand up comedian Simon King with Noor Kidal, March 27.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 March 2015 09:47 ) Read more...
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