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U of L Global drums spreading across the world

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Mike Spencer of the The Geomatic Attic is as happy to help out in the community as he is happy to help excellent bands  get Lethbridge gigs.Steve marriner plays two shows with MonkeyJunk this week. Photo by Richard Amery
 So when Spencer reached out to Ottawa based blues rock trio MonkeyJunk to play a pair of fundraising shows for the U of L Global drums with old friends Cousin Harley, they were happy to oblige.

“ “I don’t know a lot about Global Drums, but Mike Spencer and the Geomatic Attic have always been good to us and I trust Mike implicitly. He spearheaded the whole thing,” said MonkeyJunk baritone guitarist/ vocalist/ harmonica player Steve Marriner, taking a break from putting the finishing touches on the band’s fourth CD with band mates, guitarist Tony D and drummer Matt Sobb.

U of L Global Drums director Adam Mason is pleased with all the support  from the community the group receives.

“I formed the group in 2006. We began just by practicing Trinidad and African drums and it has grown to the largest collection in Western Canada and probably Canada,” Mason said adding the group now has  40 members who play in a variety of  Brazilian Samba, Japanese Taiko, Polynesian and African ensembles under the banner of Global Drums.

  He said most of the members are University of Lethbridge students though  their numbers also include faculty.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 15 April 2015 10:21 ) Read more...

Good week of music for fundraisers

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The Geomatic Attic has a busy week of shows, but none of them are actually at the Attic.Julian Austin returns to Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Amery
 First up are two big fundraising concerts for the U of L Global Drums. The first is a dinner at the Mocha Cabana, April 14 featuring Vancouver rockabilly trio Cousin Harley and Ottawa blues rock trio MonkeyJunk. Doors open at 5 p.m. Dinner is served at 6 p.m and the show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $82.50.

If you missed that, the two groups will be playing an evening show at the German Canadian Club, April 15. Tickets for that show cost $42.50.

 The Geomatic Attic continue their University of Lethbridge series, April 18 with Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland aka husband/ wife folk/country/ rock duo Whitehorse. That show is almost sold out. Their latest CD “Leave No Bridge Unburned is doing well with singles “ Downtown” and “ Baby What’s Wrong” doing well on the chart.

 That show is competing with another very popular event at the Slice- The annual South Country Fair Songwriting Contest finals.
A panel of judges will choose the best newcomer and best seasoned pro’s song, submitted from songwriters from all over Alberta. The winners get to play their song during the Fair on the South Stage. The finalists are Jolaine Kelly, Tyra Whitson, Andrew Scott, Laurie Anne Fuhr, Leanna Copithorne, Chris Gheran, Michael Granzow, Cathy Hawley, George Arsene, Derek Hrynyk, Robb Moss and Rob Lagace.
There is no charge to attend the finals, which begin at 7 p.m.

The Slice hosts a fundraiser for the Heliocentric  Radio Theatre Workshop on CKXU, April 17 featuring the music of the Ruby Plumes and Johnny G and the Spots. This is a new group which will be performing original radio plays on CKXU beginning in September. There is a seven dollar cover for the show.

April 18 will be a busy night with a lot of variety as there is also an excellent punk/ metal show at Inferno featuring Calgary  hardcore metal band Stab Twist Pull plus Medicine Hat’s Morbidly Depraved, Calgary metal duo Perception of Pain and local metal band the Avulsion. Admission is $10 at the door.

 There's no music, but  a whole lot of fun happening at the Bill Kergan Centre, April 18 where Rock Paper Scissors players will be lending a hand or two to the Lethbridge Association for Community Living. Rock Scissors paper players will be competing for a $250 cash prize for first place and  cash prizes for second and third place.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 April 2015 13:31 ) Read more...

B.A. Johnston promises new sweaters, songs, jokes and no punching at Lethbridge show

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B.A. Johnston may not be able to read a calendar, but he sure can put on a good show.
 He returns to Lethbridge, Tuesday, April 21 after rescheduling a show which was supposed to be on Thursday, April 23 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge with local punk trio Advertisement and Internet Love.B.A Johnston and his people in Lethbridge. Photo by Richard Amery

“ I can’t read a calendar,” he said from Victoria, in the middle of the tour for his latest CD, “ Shit Sucks.”.
 “ I double booked myself,” he said.

 “ Thursdays are better usually, but whatever,” he said adding despite the bad press Lethbridge has received due to Marilyn Manson getting punched at Denny’s after his April 4 concert, he looks forward to playing Lethbridge.

“ That feels like the sort of thing that would happen in Medicine Hat, not Lethbridge,” he deadpanned.

Making fun of the town he plays in and neighbouring/ competing towns is as much part of B.A. Johnston’s show as is his self deprecating humour and quirky, original battered guitar and keyboard powered songs about fast food, McDonald’s Coupon day,  the deep fryer in his basement, douchebag doormen, zombies and life's little foibles.

“I better not go to Denny’s, I might get punched. But it’s certainly become a big story. I don’t know what happened. Some say Marilyn was being a jerk, others says the other guy was,” he said adding sometimes people want to fight him at his shows.

“ I’ve had people who want to start something. Especially in Prince Edward Island. They can be hillbillies there. I just avoid them though,” he said adding he enjoys Lethbridge.

“ Other than my show where the guy almost died, audiences are usually well behaved there. They listen. They buy CDs and T-Shirts. They’re a good T-shirt audience. And they smell nicer,” he said referring to a show at Henotic a few years ago where one of the patrons put his hand through a glass and wire window.

He said the tour has gone well as has response to the new album.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 April 2015 12:03 ) Read more...

Whitehorse enjoying touring as a family

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Whitehorse has become even more of a family affair.
 Husband and wife multi-instrumental duo Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland merged their successful solo careers a couple years ago and have been enjoying increasingly successful tours ever since.
 The Hamilton based musicians recently returned from an American tour in support of their most recent CD “ Leave No Bridge Unburned” and will be stopping by the University Of Lethbridge Theatre, April 18 to play an almWhitehorse return to Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Ameryost sold out show for the Geomatic Attic.

“ Don’t worry if you hear a small child crying, it’s our eight month old son  Jimmy,” advised Luke Doucet, disembarking  from a ferry from Vancouver in Victoria, where they are beginning the Canadian leg of the current tour.

“We actually have two children on the tour. My 18-year-old daughter Chloe is  babysitting for Jimmy,” he said adding bringing the family along has added  a few more logistical challenges.
“ We don’t have any drives longer than four hours, so we’re actually playing more dates on this tour,” he said.

“ It’s gone great actually,” he said adding they couldn’t have done this tour or the Whitehorse  project without the assistance and guidance of  their record label Six Shooter Records.
“ We both had successful solo careers, so we didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t want to start from square one again. I don’t know what people expected. i think we sound better together. I know I sound better with Melissa, though some people might say Melissa sounds a lot better without that guy,” he chuckled.
 The duo play a variety of different instruments on stage, loop different riffs and sounds.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 April 2015 09:31 ) Read more...

MonkeyJunk pumped to play fundraisers for U of L Global Drums

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Ottawa blues rock  trio MonkeyJunk don’t mind monkeying around a little when they play the blues, as they play an array of traditional blues, blues rock and more experimental, often soulful Tony D and Steve Marriner of MonkeyJunk. Photo by Richard Ameryblues.

 The Juno award winning and multiple Maple Blues Award winning trio including baritone guitarist/ vocalist harp player Steve Marriner and band mates, guitarist Tony D and drummer Matt Sobb return to Lethbridge this week for a pair of shows for the Geomatic Attic, April 14 at The Mocha Cabana and April 15 at the Italian Canadian Club with Vancouver rockabilly trio Cousin Harley.
 Both are fundraisers for the University of Lethbridge Global Drums Ensemble.

“I don’t know a lot about Global Drums, but Mike Spencer and the Geomatic Attic have always been good to us and I trust Mike implicitly. He spearheaded the whole thing,” said MonkeyJunk baritone guitarist/ vocalist/ harmonica player Steve Marriner, taking a break from putting the finishing touches on the band’s fourth CD with band mates, guitarist Tony D and drummer Matt Sobb.
He said the band always looks forward to playing Alberta, where the trio have always had  a warm welcome.
“Alberta is the strongest market we play. Our Edmonton/ St. Albert show is already sold out and it’s a 500 plus theatre, Calgary is always good and Mike Spencer and the Geomatic Attic has always been great to us in Lethbridge,” he enthused.

“We’ll probably play a few of the new songs. Just to whet your appetite for more MonkeyJunk,” he said.
 This tour will last three weeks until it ends in White Rock, B.C, after which the band will return home to Ottawa and finish their CD for a couple weeks, then fly out to the east coast for a tour of the Maritimes including Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.
“We’ll  probably have a busier festival season next year with the new CD out,” he said.
“It’s almost done. If we weren’t going on tour, we’d have it finished. But there’s more opportunities for publicity if we release it in the Fall,” he said adding releasing  a CD right before festival season, means it can get lost among numerous other releases being released so bands can play the festival circuit.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 12 April 2015 10:22 ) Read more...
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