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New open mics offer musicians a place to play

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If you ever get the urge to play and sing in front of people, there are plenty of opportunities sprinkled throughout the week at various open mics in Lethbridge.

 Several popular new open mic nights have started. The Onion hosts a popular Monday night open mic. And there are regular Tuesday night open mics at the Slice Andy MacNamara hosts the Honker’s open mic. Photo by Richard Ameryand Mondays and Wednesday open mics at the Owl Acoustic Lounge when they don’t have bands playing, plus a Saturday night jam at the Smokehouse and the Lethbridge Folk Club open mic, which is now on the last Friday of every month at Casa. The Smokehouse Saturday night jams will be taking a break for the summer as of June 4.

A couple of of the more popular open mics are on Saturday afternoons.
 The Lethbridge Public Library Family jam has been happening at the Owl Acoustic Lounge for a couple of summers, but it closes down for the summer on May 21.

“We run from October to May because it is difficult to get people out. Most kids are away or at camp during the summer,” said organizer John Greenshields. He said while most of the participants in the family jam are under 18, sometimes accompanied by their parents, they have also had prominent faces on Lethbridge’s music scene come out and play including James Oldenburg, Leeroy Stagger and some of his bandmates.
“We usually have their family in the audience so it is usually a very enthusiastic and supportive crowd,” he said.

 Greenshields is looking for a few donations for the family jams including a guitar and keyboard which will be stored with the other equipment at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 April 2016 12:35 ) Read more...

Good Ol’ Goats returning to play new music

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Cranbrook based alternative folk band the Good Ol’ Goats are excited to return to Lethbridge and give audiences a taste of their upcoming new CD “The Days” on April 29 at the Slice with the Wine Soaked Preachers.

The Good Ol’ Goats return to Lethbridge, April 29. Photo by Richard Amery
“The last time we were in Lethbridge it was super fun. We had a great opening band and everyone was really hyped to see us,” said Clayton parsons, who plays  guitar, dobro, banjo and sings background vocals with the Good Ol’ Goats.

 he is excited about the new music and the more polished feel of the upcoming CD.
“This album has a more professional sound and a really decent sound. The first one was recorded live off the floor with all of us playing together. This one was multi-tracked so it doesn’t just sound like a bunch of people just jamming,” he said.

“We also have electric guitar, slide guitar, trumpet and bunch of instruments we didn’t have before,” said Parsons. The Good Ol’ Goats also include Nolan Ackert on banjo, guitar and lead vocals; Theo Moore on bass and back-up vocals; Joelle Winkel on auxiliary percussion and back up vocals; Danica Martin on trumpet, piano and back up vocals; and Julian Bueckert on the drums.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 26 April 2016 15:02 ) Read more...

Cornucopia of killer shows on crazy Saturday night

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April ends with a blast with a cornucopia of amazing shows this week, most of them happening on April 30.The Perpetrators’ Jay Nowicki. Photo by Richard Amery
 One of my absolute favourite bands, blues rock trio the Perpetrators return to the Slice, April 30.
The Juno and Western Canadian Music award nominated  Winnipeg trio are guaranteed to get those toes tapping all night long with high octane Hound Dog Taylor inspired raunchy blues. There is a $10 cover for the show, which begins at 9 p.m.
 For something a little more laid back, down the road at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Edmonton based laid back indie rock/ folk band the Provincial Archive return. There is no cover for that show. And the Geomatic Attic winds up their season on April 30 with some easygoing pop and indie rock with Toronto musician Jason Collett backed by the band Zeus plus Kalle Mattson. Tickets for the show, which starts at 8 p.m. sharp, cost $27.50 in advance, $30 online and $32.50 at the door.

The night before, put on your dancing shoes for the return of the Good Ol’ Goats to the Slice, April 29. The Cranbrook , B.C. based energetic alternative folk band were a hit at last year’s South Country Fair.
 They will be joined by Calgary roots  band the Wine Soaked Preachers. There is a $15 cover for that show.

 The Lethbridge Folk Club winds up their season on April 29 with Victoria based bluegrass band the Clover Point Drifters, who play at Casa on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge features a taste of the Maritimes with Prince Edward Island born, Calgary based storyteller and singer Scott MacLeod who will be performing at 9 p.m.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 26 April 2016 11:11 ) Read more...

Jason Collett strips songs down for pop tinged new CD

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Toronto based songwriter Jason Collett , who was part of the band Broken Social Scene, took a step back and let his band take the reins for his new ninth solo CD  “Song And Dance Man.”Jason Collett plays the Geomatic Attic, April 30. photo submitted
 He brings the tour including members of Toronto based indie rock band Zeus to the Geomatic Attic, April 30 with Kalle Mattson.

“ It was released a couple months ago, so we are finally getting to tour on it,” said Collett, taking in breathtaking Rocky Mountain scenery through the windows of the Banff Centre, which he is considering using for his long running side project the Basement Revue which he described as a  variety show combining music and literature, which over its 10 year run has featured  collaborations with people like Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje and Feist.

“I’ve never felt the need to go some place to get into a creative head space. I’ve never had any trouble doing that on my own. But being here, I get it , it’s beautiful,” he observed.
He is pleased with his new, more pop inspired album.
“It really sounds more refined. It is definitely a fun record,” he said, noting he made the record in Brewster Studio with producer  Afie Jurvanen aka Bahamas and long time collaborator  drummer/ engineer Don Kerr plus Zeus’s Neil Quin on  background vocals plus Christine Bougie playing guitar and lap steel.
“ She’s definitely the secret weapon on the CD. And Don Kerr is one of Canada’s greatest drummers. He has played with  Ron Sexmith for a lot of years,” he said.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 26 April 2016 10:57 ) Read more...

David Vertesi excited to join old friends Said the Whale on tour for new CD

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Vancouver based indie rock band Hey Ocean’s David Vertesi is excited to join old friends Said the Whale on tour while supporting his new David Vertesi returns to LEthbridge with Said the Whale, May 1. Photo Submittedsophomore CD  “Sad Dad Cruise Ship.”

They play Studio in Lethbridge, May 1.
“ It’s kind of tongue and cheek. That’s how I’ve always described my music as sad dad cruise ship.  I like that contrast. I always like  to try to make people happy and sad at the same time,” said Vertesi en to route to London, Ontario for a tour date.

Most of the shows have been sold out.

“They’re playing smaller venues than usual so there’s always a lot of people,” he said.
“ I’m playing three sets. Their bassist (Nathan Shaw) stepped down before the tour.

So I’m playing a solo set on my own — which is how I’ve always written the songs with a guitar and stripped down. So I’m excited to play the songs for people like that and I’m playing bass with them,” he said.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 26 April 2016 10:28 ) Read more...
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