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Tom Savage plays stripped down set of original music

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Kingston based musician Tom Savage returned to the Slice to play for an intimate audience, Sept. 17. I only caught the Tom Savage playing his own songs. Photo By Richard Amerylast couple songs of his set, which he noted included most of the songs off his freshly minted CD “History of a Common Man.”

He sat on a stool strumming his battered acoustic guitar though he also had a mandolin handy.

He had a very much Bruce Springteen feel to his sound with a touch of heartfelt country and folk music.

He ended his set with a funky upbeat number called “Moving On” which will be recorded on a new album with his country band and which allowed him to show off some exceptional guitar chops which ranged from funky rhythms to bluesy bends  and all in the same song.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 September 2014 12:37 )

Montreal's Eagle Tears a surprise at Slice jam

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Open mics are fun because you never know what will happen or who will show up to play.

The Slice had a greatEagle Tears stopped by the Slice to jam. Photo by Richard Amery  turnout for their Sept. 16 jam.

As always there were local performers like pop punk trio Open 24-7 who played an array of covers of Blink 182 and catchy new originals which drew plenty of cheers.
 But the real surprise of the night was Montreal band Eagle Tears.

They were in the middle of a cross country tour and decided to stop by the Slice en route to Saskatoon.

They were a ’70s style southern rock band along the lines of Thin Lizzy, BTO, UFO and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

So there were plenty of high octane riffs and  harmonized guitar solos as they played several songs from their new self titled album.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 September 2014 12:31 )

John Antoniuk and Jen Lane do it best with duets

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 Saskatoon folk/ blues duo John Antoniuk and Jen Lane played  a couple of laid back sets for a chattering crowd, Tuesday, Sept. 16 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.

They both have solid solo careers and feature each other on their albums so they each took turns playing their own songs and hJohn Antoniuk and Jen Lane playing the Owl Acoustic Lounge. Photo by Richard Ameryarmonized on the others.

But they really came together on songs from their new duo album.
 They also played a couple of covers like Ryan Adams’ “Oh My Sweet Carolina,” the song which lead to them being together for 11 years.

They also covered the bluesy JJ Cale number “Crazy Mama.”

Jen Lane had a more straight ahead twangy county sound along the lines of Lucinda Williams while Antoniuk, who supplied plenty of guitar and mournful harp solos, leaned more towards the folk end of the spectrum.


 Antoniuk noted he recorded his last solos album in 2012 in Lethbridge with Leeroy Stagger's Rebeltone Studios and dedicated his song “My Guitar is in Chicago” to Leeroy and Matthew Robinson who were in the audience and who played on his last CD.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 September 2014 12:25 )

Fourth annual CKXU Love and Records 2014 a huge hit

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University of Lethbridge based community radio station CKXU know how to throw a party. They celebrated all things music with their fourth annual Love and Records Music Festival, Sept. 13 in Galt Gardens and broadcast it live across the country.
 The Wet Secrets performing at Love and Records. Photo by Richard Amery

The event has just exploded over the past few years and drew several thousand people throughout the day. So this year, in addition to a wide array of different styles of music all day long at Galt Gardens, they had numerous attractions for children and families, Johnny Korthuis and The Disciples of Gravity performing leaps, bounds, stunts and aerial ribbon tricks.

There was also an art gallery featuring gorgeous new works created by Lethbridge artists numerous stalls of vendors selling a variety of items, promoting events, and of course lots and lots of records, which had probably the biggest crowd yet prowling through them looking for lost musical treasures.
 The music on the main stage, as always, was fantastic, not to mention diverse. 

Johnny Korthuis leaps. Photo by Richard AmeryThere was truly something for everybody.
 The first half of the day featured some of LeTreeline’s Ryan Dyck at Love and Records. Photo by Richard Amerythbridge's best musicians beginning with The Global Steel Drums.
 Young Medicine were supposed to open but couldn’t make it as they were in Winnipeg accepting the Aboriginal People’s Choice Award for best blues CD.

But Global Drums added some exotic percussion and warmed up everybody starting to trickle into the park.
 Local jazz Trio HBO3 were up next to play sThe Disciples of Gravity performing stunts at Love and Records. Photo by Richard Ameryome laid back jazz music.

 Things went a little country after that with Treeline and Shaela Miller who played an array of their original material.
 Things stayed in an alt-country/ roots vein with Dave McCann and the Firehearts who played many of the songs off their most recent CD “Circle of Light,”  and older material like my favourite “Fireheart” and older favourites like “Standing in the River.”

Fellow Lethbridge alt-country troubadour Leeroy Stagger used his set as as an opportunity to turn things up a notch as well as play some upbeat rocking new material to appear on his upcoming tenth album.

He also turned one of my favourites “Stormy” into a laid back, slightly funky blues jam. He wound his set down with “Dirty Windshields” from his 2012 Album “Radiant Land.”
  Leeroy Stagger and his band at Love and Records. Photo by Richard Amery

Dave McCann performing at Love and Records. Photo by Richard AmeryThat was the cue to turn things up and rock out.
 Calgary classic metal trio Outlaws of Ravenhurst dressed as knights for their set full of big riffs and lyrics about battle and slaying dragons. Actual swords and armour clanged and clashed through the air as the Lethbridge Medieval Club battled it out in front of the stage during the band’s second song.

After that, Edmonton's  the Wet Secrets stole the show with a solid set of eclectic horn and bass powered rock and roll with just a touch of dance music on a long jam for “Nightlife.”

They were all dressed in ’70s band uniforms and there was plenty of upbeat  trombone and coronet from the brass section and a two person percussion jam on another song.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 September 2014 12:12 ) Read more...

Birds of Chicago visit Geomatic Attic with jokes and pretty melodies

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The Geomatic Attic opened their season of the shows at the actual Geomatic Attic Birds of Chicago entertaining the Geomatic Attic, Sept. 12. Photo by Richard Amerywith a laid back and enjoyable evening featuring Chicago folk trio Birds of Chicago, Thursday, Sept 12.

They blended good humour with a variety of musical influences ranging from traditional folk to world music with a touch of gospel.

Allison Russell, who also plays in Po’ Girl, played clarinet, banjo, ukulele and guitar but began the first set with a beautiful song about growing up in rural Saskatchewan called “Barley.”

Her husband JT Nero added rhythm guitar, percussion and vocals while telling stories and cracking jokes for the appreciative 81 people in the Attic.

He talked about growing up on the south side of Chicago as an Irish kid and sang a love song for Chicago.

Chris Merrill stood back in the shadows adding extra guitar and bass where needed.
“ We usually play as a five piece and he’s taking the place of two of them,” Russell said.

“And we don’t miss them at all,” quipped Nero.
 Russell laughed that was why she married him — because he makes her laugh and shared a story about meeting her real father, after growing up in Saskatchewan then Montreal and moving the Chicago.

She had a powerful voice fueled by gospel and showed her French roots on “ the perky, French cabaret of “Sans Souci.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 September 2014 11:21 )
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