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Starpainter stoked about self produced second album and hitting the road this summer

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Starpainter decided to DIY when they decided to make their second full length album.

Starpainter release their second album Rattlesnake Dream, June 2.  Photo by Richard Amery

“ Rattlesnake Dreams,” which is officially released Friday, June 2, just in time for an album release party, June 3 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge with Amy Nelson.

 The album is the local alt country folk rock band’s  first for Edmonton based record label Neon Moon Records.


“ They’ve been extremely beneficial for us for supporting us and for PR. They have a project management, which has been extremely helpful,” said Starpainter frontman Joel Stretch, noting he produced the album himself and recorded it at his home with bandmates— lead guitarist Joel Gray, bassist Colby Stolson and drummer Mickey Hayward.


 When they start playing live again, they will welcome new bassist  Dylan Wagner to the fold as Stolson has been driving in from Edmonton to play with them.

 They are also joined by Bailey Kate and Tyler Stewart playing organ when they play live.

 Stretch played all the keyboard parts on the album himself as well as rhythm guitar and vocals.


 They had the luxury of taking more time to write and develop the songs because of Covid.


“ We recorded it at my home, and  we were able to meet in the same room because it was a little bit looser. We weren’t locked down,” he said.


“It was challenging. But we did lots of pre-production. We chipped away at them on weekends,” he said.


“Usually we like to road test the songs before we record them but weren’t able to do that this time, he said.


“ We did less road testing for this album but we took more time to work on areas of improvement . This album captures a more homey sound,” he continued, adding live he translates all the piano parts to guitar.

“ I like it when I go to a show and the band has a different sound than on the Cd,” he said.


Plenty of punk and plays to round out May

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May goes out with a bang.

 There are a lot of punk / rock/ metal  shows with week, the One Act Play Festivals provincials and much more happening this week.

 The Owl Acoustic Lounge’s weekly open mic is tonight, Tuesday, May 23.

 Don Robb and  Randy Epp aka the Standard time duo return to the Watertower Grill on Wednesday. As usual on the last Wednesday of the month, Teri Petz hosts and open mic at the Owl Acoustic Lounge on Wednesday.


Makiisma helps close of Slicefest on Sunday, mMay 28. Photo by Richard Amery

 Then things  get loud.

 The first big punk show of the week features Calgary thrash / punk band Citizen Rage  returning to the Slice in support of their first full length CD “harsh Reality.”  They will be joined by No More Moments, Berserker and then Hockey Moms. 

 The early show begins at a 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 at the door, $15 in advance.

 Theoretically Brewing has a punk show on the patio on Thursday with Vancouver post punk band Aversions and AaronTrozzo’s new musical project A Trozzo Electric.

 Admission is pay what you can with a suggested donation of $10.


The Slice has a big three day musical extravaganza as they bring back Slicefest, beginning on Friday, May 26  with  Chilliwack folk/rock/ punk/ ska band Like Bears plus local favourites the Hockey Moms and Hell Diablo.

It’s indie rock night on Saturday , May 27 as Edmonton’s Scenic Route to Alaska returns to the Slice with  local Favourites Bailey Kate and Queen of the Worms.

 Slicefest finishes with a laid back country night on Sunday, May 28 with  Tyler Humphreys, Dark Wrangler, Corduroy Brown and Makiisma playing an early show beginning at 3:30 p.m.


 Admission for all three days of Slicefest is $30 for all three days or $15 per day.


Now the smoke is gone and the weather is beautiful, knock on wood, there is music in Festival square outside Telegraph Taphouse on Thursday nights.

 Tom Price performed  last Thursday, this Thursday Daylan Delaney will be performing.

There are a variety of shows happening on the weekend. Uncovered will be playing all your favourite hits at Casino Lethbridge Friday and Saturday.


Matt Epp puts on his happy face for new album “Rolling Wave” and tour

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Singer songwriter Matt Epp has  had a tough  couple years even before Covid, his marriage broke up, he lost his house and is living in a van, living the life of a modern day troubadour. He just released his latest album “Rolling Wave,” which he recorded with collaborators from afar. 

 He makes a long awaited return to Lethbridge to play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, May 26 with Jesse Northey and up and coming singer Nora Kotkas.


 In spite of all the tribulations he has faced, he accepted them and wrote the new album “ Rolling Waves” from a more optimistic point of view.


Matt Epp returns to Lethbridge, Friday, May 26. Photo by Jen Squires

  Bassist Joel Couture sent Epp his bass parts from Winnipeg,  Kyle Crane contributed  drums from Los Angeles and jazz pianist Chris Andrew added piano from Edmonton.


“I really worked on layering guitars and vocals,” Epp said.


 It has been many years since he played Lethbridge, though he was in Lethbridge to visit family over Easter .

“ I got to check out the new Owl,” he said.


 He has released quite a few albums since he last played here. He released a collaboration with Ojibway artist Isaac Murdoch, “You Were Chosen to Be Here” in 2021, an album with Joel Couture,  “River of Tears” in 2019 and  “Shadowlands” in 2018.

“This album was a lot more fun to record. I felt the pressure was really lifted somehow after I had accepted all of the challenges that happened to me, with losing my house and my marriage and taking care of my daughter during during the pandemic, I took time for reflection ,” he said, adding he has been living and travelling in a Mercedes Sprinter van.

“‘I can stand up in it. It’s pretty comfortable,” he said.


 He recorded the new CD in a variety of places including in an old church on the shores of Lake Huron, one of his friends suggested and at Isaac Murdoch’s retreat centre.


 He said the new album reflects a more positive perspective, and all the tribulations  in his life didn’t inspire it.


“ The last three albums were about that,” he said.


The songs “Rolling ” are really  cheerful and upbeat.


Citizen Rage psyched about first full length album ‘Harsh Reality’

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Calgary punk/ metal band Citizen Rage  are ready to rock their long awaited first full length  album  “Harsh Reality” on a tour which brings them to Lethbridge, to play the Slice, Wednesday, May 24.

' The album has been three years in the making. They re-recorded crowd favourite anti-bullying anthem Fuck Your Face, and added a solid cover of  the Rebel Spell’s “Breathe.” They also  have First Nations drumming and singing  on “Given No Hope,” which is about the discovery of  215 graves behind former residential schools locations.


Mark Russell of Citizen Rage. photo by RichardAmery

“It’s going great. We‘re really excited to get this album into everybody’s hands. It’s been three years in the making. And we‘re on tour with our best buds, No More Moments. We‘re really excited about everything,” said Citizen Rage frontman Mark Russell en route to Banff for the first show of the tour.


“I’m in the van right now heading  to the Pump and Tap in Banff for day 1 of the Harsh Reality tour. In tow we’ve got the with No More Moments people. Those homies are in the van behind us and we’re all ready to go,” he enthused.

“We’re really excited to get out on this leg. This is the first one we’re going to do. Then we have a part two in September which we’re going to release probably when we get back. We’re just unbelievably excited to jest get out and get more consecutive  dates together and see some homies. Yeah Lethbridge is our home away form home. We can’t wait to get back to the Slice and see everybody and give everybody a hug,” he said, adding they will be playing a lot of the new album and selection from their previous EPS.


No More Moments, Berserker and the Hockey Moms will be playing with Citizen Rage in Lethbridge at the Slice on Wednesday, May 24.


Citizen Rage features bassist Mikey Bastard, drummer Chase Hamilton, guitarist Sean Adam vocalist Mark Russell and guitarist Ross Ferguson.


“From writing to studio  to all of production, it’s been almost three years,” Russell said.


“ It was surreal holding our very first vinyl. We all had a great time at the jam room  touching it, holding it, rubbing it all over our faces,” Russell continued, adding they had a vision for the album, which they released on Cursed Blessings Records.


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