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Cassette mix tape club brings Albertan music community together

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Lethbridge musicians Jesse Northey and Jon Martin are revitalizing a long lost  ’80s memory — mix tapes.  And in the process they are creating a province-wide community of musicians.

 The subscriber series evolved out of a post show conversation between Martin, Northey (who has since moved to Edmonton),  Edmonton musician Doug Hoyer and drummer Clayton Smith about mix  tapes and all of the Alberta talent.Jon Martin is excited about the cassette mix tape club. Photo  by Richard Amery
“Jesse took the idea and ran with it. And we sold out the subscriber series even before there was any music,” Martin said, who is responsible for mastering all of the songs.

 Every month songwriters submit a song based on a theme provided in whatever style of music they are interested in. The results are put onto a compilation of 50 cassette tapes as well as downloads.

“ We get indie rock, indie pop, hard rock, sensitive ballads, alt country electronic eight bit and psych rock though we haven’t had any metal yet. Aaron Trozzo’s song sounds like ( ’70s progressive rock band King Crimson) “Court of the Crimson King”, which is awesome,” Martin said.

 The compilations feature many familiar faces from the Lethbridge and Edmonton music scenes like Doug Hoyer and Jesse Northey and Joe Nolan who was just in Lethbridge this week opening for Jeremy Fisher,  plus familiar Lethbridge faces like Lustre Creame’s Aaron Trozzo, Brenna Lowrie, Joel Stretch from the Utilities, Michael Granzow and of course Jon Martin who usually plays with the New Weather Machine. Word is spreading as they are starting to receive submissions from Calgary as well.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 October 2014 10:40 ) Read more...

Autumn Hill take their time recording follow up to Juno nominated debut

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Toronto based country duo Autumn Hill  are hard at work on the follow up to their Juno award nominated 2013 debut  CD “ Favourite Mistake.”Autumn Hill play Lethbridge, Nov. 4. Photo by Matt Barnes

Things have been happening quickly since then. They recorded a song “Karolina” with Jann Arden and were nominated for CCMA Duo of the Year and received a Juno nod for  Breakthrough Group of the Year for their debut. Now they are busily writing the follow-up.
“Mike (Robins)  is from Toronto and I’m from Calgary. We’ve been here three years and it’s gone by so fast,” said  Autumn Hill lead singer Tareya Green.

“ I do miss Alberta though,” she continued.
 They  are coming back to albert and to Lethbridge, Nov. 4 to play Average Joes with Ottawa's Kira Isabella, whose single “Quarterback” has been making some waves this year.

“ We’ve played a couple of shows with her. I’m excited to be touring with another girl. Usually it’s me in a van full of guys,” said Green, who along with bandmate Mike Robins, who will be sharing the back up band with Isabella.

“ I don’t think we’ve ever played a show in Lethbridge, though I know we’ve done some radio there,” she said.
“ We’ve be playing songs from ‘My Favourite Mistake’ and we’re making a new record, so we’ll be playing some new songs. It will be a high energy, fun show,” she described.

 They enjoyed working with Jann Arden on “Karolina.”
“ I don’t know how it happened. It was a matter of our people taking to her people and the next thing we know we get to sing with Jann Arden,” she enthused.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 28 October 2014 17:14 ) Read more...

Strumbellas enjoying successful second CD

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This year hasn’t been too shabby for Toronto based alternative folk collective the Strumbellas who have taken home a truckload of awards for their second, 2013  Cd “We Move on Dance Floors.”
 They return to Lethbridge to play the Geomatic Attic, Nov. 4.The Strumbellas play the Geomatic Attic, Nov. 4
 To coincide with the American release of their album, they also released a new video for  “ Ride On.”
“ We just rented a camera and filmed ourselves running around the streets of Chicago. We did it all in 48 hours,” said Strumbellas  guitarist/singer Simon Ward.

 The album won the 2014 Juno award for best  folk and traditional album of the year, the 2014  Sirius Indie Award for folk/ roots album of the year and made the long list for the 2014 Polaris prize.
“ It’s been not too shabby,” Ward said.

“ It’s been a fun  year for sure and we  definitely did not expect it,” he  continued.
“It’s not that we don’t think about  it, we just don’t let it affect the music or the live performance,” he said.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 28 October 2014 17:01 ) Read more...

Kira Isabella growing with audience on second Cd “Caffeine and Big Dreams”

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Ottawa based country/ pop singer Kira Isabella is pumped about her first headlining tour in support of her sophomore full length  CD “Caffeine and Big Dreams.”Kira Isabella returns to Lethbridge, Nov. 4. Photo by  Richard Amery

 She scored a popular hit earlier this year with the first single “Quarterback.”

The Rivers Rutherford, Marti Dodson and Bobby Hamrick penned hit song inspired by rape scandals and football teams and cyber-bullying over the past couple of years, immediately resonated with Isabella.

“Country music has always been about stories. The first time I heard it, it hit me hard. I knew it would connect with my audiences,” Isabella said from the first tour date in Kingston. She noted the song was originally intended for Carrie Underwood, who was dating a football player Tony Romo and who passed on the song.

 Isabella noted a couple other songs including ‘Coke Can,’ which includes the line she drew the album name from, resonated with her similarly.

“This is a coming of age album, she said adding she is growing up with her audience.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 28 October 2014 16:49 ) Read more...

Life is “Gold” for Jill Barber

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Ontario based singer songwriter Jill Barber has a lot of reasons to be excited. She has a brand new son and a brand new album and a brand new tour with both of those which brings her back to the Southminster United Church, Nov. 3 to play a show for the Geomatic Attic.Jill Barber returns to Lethbridge, Nov. 3. Photo Submitted
“ It’s all good and exciting, ” said Barber from Trail, B.C. where she and their new son Joshua is accompanying her husband, CBC radio personality and author Grant Lawrence on his book tour.

“ It feels good. I’m looking forward to  the tour and coming back to Lethbridge. I’ve played that church before,” she said.
“ I love touring with a full band (guitarist Les Cooper, pianist Robbie Grunwald, bassist Steve Zsirai, multi-instrumentalist Drew Jurecka and drummer Marshall Bureau). The band is on fire,” she enthused, adding she is excited about playing the music off of “Fool’s Gold” which  includes elements of soul, R and B, pop, old country and a lot of jazz.
“I definitely wear my influences on my sleeve,” she said.

“It feels like a more confident, solid album,” she continued.
“ My head has been in a lot of jazz music lately. It really appeals to me,” she said.

 “ I’m a modern singer songwriter, but  I’m very much influenced by my dusty old record collection. It’s a big part of my world,” she said.
She noted her show will have a lot of variety.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 28 October 2014 16:28 ) Read more...
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