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Ben Caldwell plays some of his new songs

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 Tuesday night shows are pretty rare in Lethbridge other than the Slice's open mic.Ben Caldwell playing a solo set. Photo by Richard Amery
 But New Zealand born, Golden based songwriter Ben Caldwell returned to the Owl Acoustic lounge, Aug. 12 to play some original music and give a sneak preview of his upcoming Aug. 27 show with Broken Down Suitcase.

He strummed an acoustic guitar added distortion for the occasional bluesy solo, all the while stomping out  drum beats on two microphoned boards.

Most of his songs were heartfelt folk, though he played one really nice blues song.

A decent crowd of approximately 25 listened fairly intently, couple of them shushing one louder audience member, which caused Caldwell to shush them.
He played an older song called “Redemption,” which caused the crowd to call for an encore. He played a quick cover of an ’80s pop song which I missed and ended with the outstanding “Two Ships.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 August 2014 11:37 )

Whoop Up Days brings in all the classic rock you want

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The big shows this week come courtesy of  Whoop Up Days. So if you love classic rock, you will definitely be at Exhibition Park this week.

Aaron Pritchett opens the show on Tuesday night with his many country hits including “Hold My Beer While I Kiss Your Girlfriend” and his newer summer hits “Sunset City and “Boat on the Water.” Treeline with Shaela Miller open the show.

The Mark Hall Band play a fundraiser for firefighters with Death Pledge and Driving While Blind at Smokehouse this week. Photo by Richard Amery
It is all about classic rock for the rest of the week as Loverboy ( Working For the Weekend, the Kid is Hot Tonight) playing on Wednesday, Aug. 20 with local blues rock band Paul Kype and Texas Flood opening the show. Loverboy  recently released a new CD.

We go back a few years on Aug. 21 with female fronted rockers Toronto (Your Daddy Don't Know, Even the Score, Girls Night Out) take the stage with local rock band Fast Times opening the show.

 Another high energy female fronted rock band, The Headpins ( Don’t It Make You Feel, Breakin’ Down, Just One More Time) tear up the stage on Friday night, Aug. 22 with Who’s Yer Daddy opening the show.

Whoop Up Days ends on Aug. 23 with Canadian metal icons Helix. They have just released a new album and have a string of hits including “Rock You”. DNR will be opening the last show of Whoop Up Days. The shows are free with admission to Whoop Up Days.

 If you didn’t get enough rock, Soup of Flies return to Casino Lethbridge on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. each night. There is no cover for the show.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 August 2014 11:14 ) Read more...

Victoria's Scimitar finding the melodic side of death metal

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Victoria melodic death metal band Scimitar are excited about tearing up the Slice with several Lethbridge acts, Obsidian Soul, Accalia and Blackest Sin, Aug. 22.Scimitar comes to Lethbridge, Aug. 22. Photo Submitted

“ We’ve been playing for six and a-half years. And we’re inspired by  European metal and the more melodic side of death metal,” described Scimitar guitarist Noel Anstey, who formed the band  in high school with his big brother George plus bassist Angus Lennox and drummer Clayton Basi.

“ We’re also influenced by  folk and Viking metal. actually Angus got us into that.

 And when we formed the band in high school, it definitely wasn’t mainstream and that’s what we liked about ti but by the time we graduated it had exploded and now it is mainstream,”  Anstey said.

“ It’s fun music. It’s catchy, but it also has a lot of balls. It’s very aggressive. But it is a nice blend that appeals to a nice selection of people who want to have a good time but also want to feel the metal flowing through them,” he continued.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 August 2014 10:54 ) Read more...

Samantha Martin and the Haggard blend soul and country music across Canada this summer

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Toronto based musician Samantha Martin is enjoying successful summer full of excellent shows across Canada. She and guitarist Mikey McCallum aka Samantha Martin and the Haggard come to the Slice, Aug. 23.
“ It’s been a great little tour,” said the Edmonton born  Martin from a tour stop in Winnipeg.Samantha Martin and the haggard come to Lethbridge, Aug. 23. Photo by Gerry Lebrun
“We’ve played a lot of festivals and they have been fantastic,” she said.

“ We just played the Trout Forest Music Festival (in Ear Falls, in Northern Ontario). It is a smaller festival, and it was very relaxing so were were able to be very relaxed before we went on stage,” she continued.

“And the Dream Cafe in Penticton was exceptional. They've all been great for a hundred different reasons.”
She noted the band sounds like a blend of traditional country music,  folk and  the darker side of gospel music.
“ We sound like a mix of  The Staples Singers and The Black Keys. We play a little bit of everything from classic county to the blues and even a little gospel,” she said. While she sometimes travels with a larger group including three back-up singers, she will only be bringing Mikey McCallum for their Lethbridge show.

“ I’ve been working with him in various capacities for the last six years,” she said.
 She is excited  to visit Lethbridge for the first time.
“ I’ve been trying to get into the Slice for years but it has always been booked. But Romi Mayes  booked this particular  tour and she got us in,” she continued.

 She has released three albums including  a in 2008  called “ Back Home,” another album with the eight piece band  the Haggard  in 2012  and a new EP called “ Dark Angel” which she released earlier this year.

“ So I’ll be playing songs from all three albums and some  songs I just wrote,” she said.
 She  noted she was attracted to gospel music because of the harmonies.

“ I’m not  an overly  religious  person. But I always liked gospel  with three part vocal harmonies and maybe a guitar and lots of foot stomping and hand clapping,” she said.
“ So it's not gospel like ‘Jesus save me,’ but  more why do bad things happen and why does the  good Lord and Jesus let them,” she continued.
“It's kind of dark. It makes your hair stand up on the back of your neck. it's just beautiful,” she said.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 August 2014 10:34 ) Read more...

The Tourist Company's music inspired by international band members influences

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Tourist Company are aptly named as the Vancouver based indie rock and folk band's members come from all over North America from Canada to Guatemala.The Tourist Company play Lethbridge, Aug. 20. Photo submitted

 Frontman Taylor Swindells is from Canada,  Jillian Levey is from South Africa, while drummer Brenon Parry is from Tucson, Arizona.  Bassist / multi-instrumentalist Josué Quezada is from Guatemala originally though he was raised in Mexico and Oregon.

 Swindells and Levey will be playing the Mix Lounge at Ric’s Grill on Aug. 20.

 “The name comes from the fact that we tour a lot and because we’re from all over the world,” said Swindells driving through the mountains in  B.C. to begin their tour.

The  group started jamming together  after meeting each other in Vancouver and throwing a few musical  ideas  at each other.
“ When we decided to take it a little more seriously when we recorded our CD (Brother Wake Up) last year, we decided to make it a band and we needed a name, so we had a long list of names and The Tourist Company just fit,” he said.

He said they blended many musical influences on the EP which they recorded with producer Jordan Klassen.
“He helped us a lot with different ideas. He has a great mind. He helped us expand our sound  is it sound more full,” he said.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 August 2014 16:31 ) Read more...
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