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L.A. Beat


Ben Sures excited to premiere new trio

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Edmonton blues/ folk musician Ben Sures is excited about his long awaited return to Lethbridge, March 28  when he plays the Lethbridge College Cave for the Lethbridge Folk Club.Ben Sures returns to Lethbridge, March 28. Photo by Richard Amery
 He was supposed to wind up their season last year, but  unfortunately the show was cancelled due to an issue with the venue. His last performance in Lethbridge was last year when he was playing lead guitarist for harp player Paul Reddick.
 Sures is surely excited about playing with his trio — bassist Tyson Maiko and drummer  Bramwell Park.

“ I’ve played with each of them before but never with them together,” Sures  enthused.

“ The three of us are going to make a hoopla,” he said, returning from a successful Home Routes House Concert  tour of northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
“Tyson plays with John Wort Hannam,” he observed.

 He noted the tour went well.
“ I’ve been away for most of March. It went really well,” he said adding a lot of the people who came to the shows were very impressed.
“ Not to toot my own horn but  a number of people who had been to every Home Routes show, said my show was the best they’d ever seen,” Sures said.


CKXU having fun this week bringing Power to the Tower for FUNdrive

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University of Lethbridge based community radio station CKXU 88.3 F.M. is having a lot of fun this week bringing power to the tower during their annual fundraising campaign FUNDrive, March 20-27.
 In addition to special on air giveaways and pledges from on-air personalities, CKXU is hosting or participating in several special events taking place all over Lethbridge this week.
 This year’s goal is $20,000 which will go towards the second stage of a matching grant to increase the station’s transmission power

Aaron Trozzo shows off some of this year’s CKXU FUNDrive swag. Photo by Richard Amery
 They are reaching out into the community for several extra FUNdrive events beginning March 20 with a Gala Friends with Benefits event at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery for businesses who are part of CKXU Friends card promotion. The Friends Card is a promotion CKXU does every year for which local business offer discounts and specials to members.

 The card is one of several items of swag given away as volunteers take to the air and man the phones asking for pledges.

“This year we have seven different events, which is the most we’ve ever committed ourselves to, which is already a lot,”  said CKXU Station manager Aaron Trozzo.

“The idea is to reach out to the many under-represented groups which CKXU can represent,” he continued adding community outreach is part of the station’s mandate and helps foster its own sense of community.

“So this year we thought it would be a good idea to lump our community outreach into one single giant event,” he said.

CKXU is also at the Owl Acoustic Lounge’s afternoon family jam on March 21 (1:30-4:30 p.m.)  and host a free party at the University of Lethbridge at the Zoo in the University of Lethbridge Student’s Union Building featuring Calgary based Latin Fusion band the Uno Band plus local rapper Pzeudo and the Acoustic Rhymers. There is no cover to attend, though a five dollar donation is suggested. It begins at 8 p.m.

  March 21 is a busy day as CKXU members  are also taking part in CMARD’s ( Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism & Discrimination) Pangaea Diversity Cafe: International Day to eliminate Racism and Discrimination at City Hall from 2-4 p.m.

 CKXU also features their annual Cupcake Carnival on March 22 at CASA from 1-5 p.m.

“ It’s generally an all ages event and a celebration of cupcakes. It will feature professional bakers and non professionals and we’ll have the new police chief , Rob Davies there as an honourary judge and Lethbridge Public Library CEO Tony Vanden Heuvel,” he said.


Punk music dominates busy week

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While last week was dominated by country music, this week is all about punk music.Jon Vornbrock playing with the Void. Photo by Richard Amery

 There are several punk shows happening  this week.
 On Wednesday, Calgary band Citizen Rage, who form the core of Calgary’s Beer Core scene, will be coming to Inferno, March 4 to rock the joint with local bands the Space Wolves, The Scallywags and local metal band Penitentz. There is a $10 cover for the show, which begins at 8 p.m.

 The other big punk show of the week features Vancouver Celtic punks the Real McKenzies’ annual Lethbridge show. They will be playing  Bo Diddly’s, March 6 with Vancouver baseball punk band the Isotopes. Doors for the show open at 8 p.m.. Tickets cost $20 in advance, $25 at the door.
 Also on March 6, local alternative rock trio the Void are holding a fundraising concert at the Slice to  try to reduce the cost of going to Vancouver to record with renown producer Jesse Gander of  Rain City Recorders in a state of the art studio. Calgary rock band Free the Cynics is also on the bill. There will be door prizes, a raffle and Mr. Personal will be hosting the show which is pay what you can beginning at 9 p.m.

While the week’s highlights involve punk  and rock music, there is an exception to every rule.
 So there is something for everybody.
 If you like modern country music, Grande Prairie born, Nashville based band Emerson Drive return to Lethbridge to play the Enmax Centre for the PBR bull riding event. They kick the event off on Thursday, March 5. They are sure to be playing their hits  “Moments,” I Should Be Sleeping” and “ Fall Into Me,” to name a few. Tickets cost between $30-$50 for the show, which begins at 7 p.m.

 If you like Johnny Cash style country,  Big River : the Johnny Cash tribute returns to Average Joes, March 7.

And Nanton/ Vulcan country band Tin and the Toad return to the Slice for a special show, March 7. There is a $10 cover.

For more alternative country and jazz/ pop music, alternative adult  contemporary musician Sarah Burton returns to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, March 6 with Windborn. The Owl Acoustic Lounge get a little funky with local  band Adequate who play a little bit of everything and more than just a touch of funk.

 If you like to dance there are a couple options as well. Miami based hip hop star Trina  “ the Baddest Chick” visits Inferno, March 6 wth special guests Mr. Work and  Kay Layton. Tickets cost $30 in advance, $35 at the door.


Lots of live entertainment to love this week

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There is a whole lot to love this week, which is marked by Valentines Day or singles awareness day if you are chronically single. Especially if you love rock and roll.
 Because this week is all about banging your head with several heavy metal/ hard rock bands visiting.

Cupid’s Got a Gun with Jolene Draper are among the bands playing CKXU loves you, Feb. 13. Photo by Richard Amery
But the biggest show is just out of town in Fort Macleod.

Lethbridge folk/ country songwriter John Wort Hannam is hosting a big event  at the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod to raise money and awareness for ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease in honour of his friend Ken Rouleau who passed away from the disease in 2012. So Hannam is gathering together some of his closest friends and coincidentally some of Alberta’s best roots and country musicians. Performers include Lethbridge songwriters Dave McCann and Leeroy Stagger plus Calgary musicians Amy Thiessen and Brooke Wylie and High River’s Karla Adolphe. CKUA's Allison Brock will be the MC.

 Tickets for the concert cost $25. It begins at 7:30 p.m.

But there is a lot going on in Lethbridge itself.
 Inferno will have a head-banging great evening, Feb. 12 with Saskatoon instrumental rock band the Basement Paintings who will be joined by local metal bands Sacred Savage and The Avulsion. The music begins at 10 p.m. There will be an eight dollar cover.

 But if you are a blues fan, do not miss the best blues show in Lethbridge in at least a couple of months as Juno Award winning  Toronto based bluesman Paul Reddick will rock the Slice with MonkeyJunk’s Steve Marriner. They will be joined by a hot Edmonton based rhythm section of Chris Brszyki and Peter Hendrickson. There is only a five dollar cover so you can’t afford not to go and have your mind blown by two of Canada’s best blues harp players. The show begins at 9 p.m., Feb. 12.

University of Lethbridge based community radio  station CKXU loves you this week with lots of local talent rocking the Slice, Feb. 13. Performers include familiar faces including the Ruby Plumes and alternative rockers Fox Eyes, rapper Pzeudo, Carisa Jayne Burlesque and some new names but familiar faces including Griffon Sword and  Cupid’s Got a Gun (which include Steve Martin and Jolene Draper).
 There will be a $10 cover for the show.

The Slice rocks again on Valentines Day with Calgary based indie rock band 36? who take the stage at 9 p.m. They have been playing together since 2006.

 If you like classic rock and progressive rock, SAGA come to Average Joes to play their hits including “On the Loose,” “Only Time Will Tell,”  “ Never Alone” and “ Wind Him Up.”

They broke up briefly, but since reuniting in 1995, they have been recording and touring steadily since releasing their  first album in 1978 and have maintained pretty much the original line up. They released their latest CD “Sagacity” in 2014 including original vocalist  Michael Sadler, bassist Jim Crichton, guitarist Ian Crichton, keyboardist Jim Gilmour and drummer Mike Thorne. Local rock band the Raw Dogs will be opening the show. Tickets are $30 at the door, $25 in advance.

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