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L.A. Beat

Jul11

South Country Fair coming up next week

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 The South Country Fair in the Fort Macleod Fish and Games Park is a escape from reality for a lot of Lethbridgians who gather to visit with friends and listen to music.

Most of the local music community hit the road for the Fair and Lethbridge’s two main music venues, the Slice and Owl Acoustic Lounge close during the Fair so their staff and regulars can attend.Outgoing South Country Fair mayor Washboard Hank will pass to torch at this year’s Fair. photo by Richard Amery
“It’s a step away from the every day. Folks come to not only experience and enjoy artistic performances, but to become a part of the amazing pop-up community. It is full of spirit and is many peoples annual fill up of positive vibes and human kindness,” wrote artistic director Jana MacKenzie, who has booked another exceptional South stage for the weekend.


There are a lot of familiar faces performing this year including local talent like Shaela Miller and John Wort Hannam.
 “It’s always been part of our mandate to not only bring in new performers to the area but to provide opportunities for local performers to share their craft. Shaela Miller, who has performed on the east stage, will be performing on Friday night on the main stage,” MacKenzie noted, adding she is excited to welcome former Lethbridge musician Andrew Scott to the fair this year for a ukulele workshop.
“There are several opportunities this year for our audience members to learn something new and participate in creating music. We have a ukulele workshop led by Andrew Scott on Sunday at noon. He’s bringing 20 ukuleles and will be helping folks learn how to play. We also have The Vaudevillian conducting a washboard workshop on Saturday at noon. They’ll also be bringing some washboards for folks to play around on. The one I am most excited about though, is the adult choir, led by Carolyn Mark and Hank Pine. Songs have already been released and Facebook group created. There will be two practices (one Friday, one Saturday) both at 4 p.m. Then a performance on Main Stage on Sunday,” she added.


 Returning performers include Carolyn Mark, Geoff Berner and Kris Demeanor, Oh Susanna, who performs at 7:45 p.m., July 21 and Toronto based African inspired blues musician Ndidi Onukwulu who closes the south stage at 4:45 p.m. on July 22.  She will  also be performing the Pros and Cons of collaboration workshop with Shaela Miller and Carolyn Mark, at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, July 21. John Wort Hannam returns to play a solo set at 3 p.m., July 21 and will host the Sunday Church of the Long Grass with the folk/rock duo the Dimpker Brothers and 1920s style ragtime trio the Vaudevillian who also perform at 9:30 p.m., July 21.


Victoria duo Hank Pine and Lily Fawn return to the fair this year to perform throughout the weekend. Lily Fawn will be performing a workshop with Geoff Berner and the Lemon Bucket Orkestra at 6:30 p.m. on July 20. Hank and Lily will perform Saturday night at 11:20 p.m. and Hank Pine will be taking part in a workshop with Kris Demeanor on the east Stage, July 21.
 Geoff Berner, Carolyn Mark and Kris Demeanor will be playing a Saturday night set at 6 p.m., July 21.


 As usual, there will be some world music with the Lemon Bucket Orkestra headlining July 20 at 12:30 p.m. and Spanish Flamenco group Fin Del Fiesta Flamenco
 “We’re excited to tour Alberta. It will be the first time we’ve toured outside of Ontario and B.C.,” said Fin De Fiesta Flamenco artistic director Lia Grainger, who brings the group, including members from Canada, Spain, France and Cuba featuring Seville born guitarist Dennis Duffin and singer Alejandro Mendia, who is from Bordeaux, France.
 Recently they added Havana raised/Montreal based percussionist Hanser Santos Gomez, Vancouver born, Seville, Spain based flautist Lara Wong and for this tour, India born, Vancouver based guest dancer Deborah “La Carmelita.”


They are also performing at Casa, July 25.
“The South Country fair show will be more rumba with more of a kicking style and more of a party,” she said, adding indoor shows like case are a more intimate experience than outdoor festivals, of which they will be performing several  this year.


“Outdoor festivals are a lot of fun,” she said.
 She is also excited to be able to performed with percussionist Hanser Santos Gomez.
“We’re so excited to have him as part of the group. He has an incredible  style,” she enthused.
 MacKenzie is excited they applied to the festival this year.

“They submitted. We‘re pretty excited about it,” MacKenzie wrote. They will be on the south stage at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, June 22.

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Jul11

Lethbridge Girls rock for sixth year at Lethbridge Girls Rock camp

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Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp has been inspiring girls to play music for the past six years. This year 32 campers will be learning an instrument, forming a band and writing a song and performing their first gig all within a week as the camp returns to the Gate, July 9-13.


“I Sil Campus playing the Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp Band Swap, June 16. Photo by Richard Amerywish I’d had this when I was a little girl,” said Bailey Smith-Orton who is excited to volunteer at the camp for her second year.
“A friend of mine told me about it last year and it seemed like a great idea. It’s really inspiring for young girls,” Smith-Orton said, adding she will be volunteering as a band manager and at the front desk this year. Last year she was volunteering as a guitar instructor as well as front desk.


“ I’m excited to work with the girls and the other volunteers,” she continued.
She is among 25 volunteers helping this year.
The campers will spend the mornings forming bands and learning instruments, but in the afternoon, there will be classes dedicated to learning how to silkscreen T-shirts with Sinking Ship on Thursday and learning how to  3-D print keychains on the Wednesday.


 There will also a be a seminar with the YWCA  and other fun to be announced.
Organizer Silvana Campus is excited not only that Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp has expanded, but that some of the returning campers are also going to be interns this year.
“We have six interns this year. So that’s the biggest change,” she said, observing The Girls Rock Camp concept began 18 years ago in Portland, Oregon.
“So that’s exciting. We gave the campers the option of taking on more responsibility as interns. We’re excited to see what they will do,” Campus continued.


“It’s very cool so many people are supporting the camp,” Campus continued.


 It has been a tough year for Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp as last September someone stole all of their instruments, which inspired local rock band the Chevelles to hold a fundraising concert at Average Joes to raise money to buy new instruments to replace them.
“ A couple of the instruments came back to us thanks to the King of Trade. But we’re really, really grateful to the Chevelles for their concert. They raised a lot of awareness and money for us. It’s great to see the support form the community,” Campus continued.

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Jul10

Lots of country, Street Wheelers and Citizen Rage this week

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Friday the thirteenth will be a lucky day this week for music lovers, with a cornucopia of excellent shows coinciding with Street Machine Weekend.Sean Burns plays the Windy Cty Opry this week and at Casino Lethbridge on the weekend. Photo by Richard Amery
Concert for A Cause 2 takes place in Galt Gardens, July 13 at 6:45 p.m. with performances by Old School and Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction and hypnotist Jr. Matthew. The family friendly concert is free to attend.  The music begins at 6:45 p.m. Proceeds from the beer garden and donations will go to Big Brothers and Sisters.


 Backstreet Pub has an outdoors beer gardens and the music of classic rock/ pop band Fast Times, who will entertain you as you get a front row seat to the Street Wheelers Friday night cruise.

For another vantage point on Mayor Magrath, the Ten Ten Pub also has an outdoor Beer Gardens. Classic Rock band Who’s Yer Daddy will be performing.


 If you are trying to avoid traffic and want to bang your head, Calgary punk/metal band Citizen Rage return to Lethbridge to play the Smokehouse with local metal band Extrados, punk pop band Sessions and Hockey Moms. Doors open at 8 p.m. There is a $10 cover.

For something a little easier on the ears, get a preview of the Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp and South Country Fair as Calgary singer songwriter Tara Warburton opens for local band Makiisma at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, July 13 as well.


And just down the street, get a taste of the Calgary Stampede as Toronto country rock band Johnson Crook play the Slice with Gabriel Thaine of the Crooked Creek Warblers.
 Johnson Crook are also playing the Coca Cola Stage at the Stampede this week.

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Jul06

More than just cars for Street Machine weekend

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Street Wheelers weekend celebrate it’s fortieth anniversary, July 13-15.Chris Houston is excited about the Fortieth anniversary Street machine weekend. Photo by Richard Amery
“Street Wheelers Weekend has been happening for 40 years, the Street Wheelers club has been around for 43 years,” observed said Street Wheelers club president Chris Houston, who joined the club 10 years ago just in time to help the thirtieth annual Street Machine weekend.


“Other than the drive in movie, it’s pretty much business as usual,” he said.
 There will be a special showing at the Enmax Centre of Gone in 60 Seconds on Thursday, July 12.


Gates open at 6:30 p.m., with the film beginning at dusk.Lots of classic cars are on display  at the show and shine.Photo by Richard Amery
“And that turns the three day weekend into a four day weekend. There will be a 30 foot inflatable movie screen and they’ll play the sound through your car stereo. It’s a family friendly event and it only costs $10 a car, so it doesn’t matter how many people you have,” Houston said, adding he isn’t sure if the drive in movie will become an annual event.


The rest of the weekend will include the controlled cruise down Mayor Magrath Drive and 3rd Ave from 7-10 p.m. on July 13, the 100 Foot race at Exhibition Parks Grandstand, July 14 and the Autocross race also at Exhibition Park in the north lot. The always popular show and shine takes over Galt Gardens on July 15 beginning at 9 p.m.
Street Wheelers members choose the most unique cars to be among the 850 cars in the cruise.


“We don’t want too many of the same newer cars. I think people want to see the older stuff,” Houston observed, adding he tries to get his cars into the cruise including  A Nissan Globe and a Chevy Blazer.
“And I just got a new 1990 Mustang,” he said adding he’ll drive one of the cars, his wife another and one of their friends the third.

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Apr24

Good causes and something to laugh about at the end of April

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Most of the best shows this week  feature local musicians playing for good causes.AMy Nelson is one of the performers at a FLIPfest Fundraiser this week. Photo by Richard Amery
The big event of the week is Heartbreak Hotel: A special Flipfest Fundraiser at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, April 28. Calgary based banjo picker and singer/ songwriter Amy Nelson returns to Lethbridge for the show.
Shaela Miller is also on the bill her band will also back Wanda Krein. There will be a raffle for prizes including a Dolly Parton prayer candle, country inspired pins by local artist Meghan MacWhirter, a selection of used country vinyl and more. Admission to the event is by donation. It begins at 9 p.m.


 It is competing with Maggie Hall’s annual day long fundraiser for Alzheimer’s. There will be a variety of different artists performing at Legends Pub, April 28. Bands include local country band the Mark Hall band, folk group Artemis in the Summer, electronica artist Tyler Vandendool, Calgary bluesman Eric Braun,local blues rock band Good Time Charlie, singer songwriter Bryan Horvat, local metal band Eons of Earth and 123Go. Admission is $10. The music begins at 4 p.m.


But the fun begins early in the week, April 24 with Vancouver classic rock inspired musician Terence Jack stopping by the Slice with local singer songwriter Tyson Borsboom. The early show begins at 8 p.m. Admission is $10.
The Slice has a busy week as the next night, April 25, they welcome back Moose Jaw based blues rockers Johnny 2 Fingers and the Deformities who will be playing with local alternative rock trio the Supervoid. There is a $10 cover for that show as well.


 The Slice features more alternative rock, April 27 with alternative rock band Fox Eyes, and Brooks based Celtic/punk/blues band My Tin hat and Friends. There is a minimum $5 donation for that show.
 As April draws to a close,  it means  get ready to laugh as the Owl Acoustic Lounge features their monthly stand up comedy open mic. You can also laugh at Average Joes, April 26 as local Rotarians return with 10 Rotarians and a microphone, presenting 10 different Rotary club members and stand up comedians.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. it is a fundraiser for Rotary Club of Lethbridge Mosaic. The giggles begin at 8 p.m.

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