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Sessions host pop punk night at the Place with Galacticas and The Rock Show Blink 182 tribute

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 For something completely differeent than Daniel Champagne, Local pop punk band Sessions celebrated their fifth anniversary at the place with a hot night of pop punk, Sept. 16 at the Place.

Blink 182 tribute the Rock Show at the Place, sept. 16.  Photo By Richard Amery


Sessions, who just released a new CD“ Serious… But Stuff on High End  Denim Records in Red Deer, opened up the show around 10 p.m. as promised  with a spirited set of upbeat pop punk music mostly about girls and drinking and girls.



The Galacticas playing the Place, sept. 16.  Photo By Richard Amery

They had a muddy mix, so  the nuances were  lost in the mud, but they played an upbeat set of catchy ’90s style pop/ skate punk in the same vein as Blink 182 including the new EP with catchy chords and gang vocals.


After Sessions, Calgary pop-punk trio the  Galacticas let their geek flag fly.


 They have released a new CD “Pixels and  Poetry,” and re-recorded their debut “Diagnostics”  with a few more tracks so they played tracks from both of those plus some choice covers.


They played over a multi-media backdrop of animation.


‘Cracked Leather’ “About being a punk rocker in the 2005” was an immediate highlight. They played a lot of songs  about video games and pop culture.


 They added covers of Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle,”  a cover of Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8r Boi,” and their always popular cover of Wheatus’s  “ Teenage Dirtbag,” which had the dance floor full.


THe Rock Show Blink 182 tribute  delivered exactly what was expected—juvenile, bratty, humour and note perfect versions of all your ’favourite Blink 182 humour’90s and 2000s hits, and a few obscurities.


They played “First Date,” “Feeling this,” Raise Your hands,” “Blow Job” and of course “ What’s My Age Again?”

 They Slowed things down for “I Miss You.”

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Sessions playing the Place, Sept. 16.  Photo By Richard Amery
Last Updated ( Friday, 23 September 2022 14:39 )

Daniel Champagne makes acoustic guitar magic for two sold out Lethbridge shows

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Lethbridge got a double dose of acoustic  guitar wizardry from Australian  musician Daniel Champagne at the Slice last week.


Daniel Champagne playing the Slice, Sept. 16. Photo by Richard Amery

 He is so popular that he added a second show as his first one sold out almost immediately.


 I caught the Sept. 16 show at the Slice.


 It was supposed to start at 7 p.m., but started late as a sold out crowd was forced to wait.


 Champagne was amazing, seamlessly combining intricate fingerpicking, cascades of harmonics and tapping all over his guitar’s body to create an array of rhythms and percusssion without missing a note.

 A lot of people were cheattering during his two sets, but Champagne was lost in his own world and didn’t seem to notice.

 But even retuning his guitar sounded beautiful.


 He added pleasantly pop inspired vocals and extra vocalizations on top of everything else.


He jumped about and pulled faces while playing  his immensely complex  music.


Champagne took a breath in between guitar pyrotechnics about how he had the guitar custom built and strengthened so battering it about wouldn't destroy it.


“ Back To Nova Scotia” was a highlight as he was moving a capo up and down his guitar’s neck without missing a beat or note.


He wound down his set with a tender ballad called “Through the Windshield,” which ended with a flurry of harmonics.


He ended his first set with  an acoustic version of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are,” for which he played the bass, rhythm and tapped out the beat.


The second set was a lot shorter but with a lot more experimentation. He played a long jam on Don McLean’s “ Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)”


 He bid the audience farewell as all of the acoustic guitarists in the audience went home to either practice or burn their guitars.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 23 September 2022 14:28 )

Zachary Lucky revisit traditional favourites on new CD and tour

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Saskatchewan born, Orillia, Ontario based folk/ roots musician Zachary Lucky returns to Lethbridge to play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Monday, Sept. 26.

Zachary Lucky returns to Lethbridge, Sept. 26. Photo By Richard Amery

 He has just begun a long tour in support of his new album “Songs For Hard Times”— CD of  traditional cowboy songs and a cover of Townes Van Zandt’s “ Rex’s Blues.”


“It’s all points west now,” said Lucky from the side of Highway 17 outside of Thunder Bay on the second day of the tour en route to Lethbridge via Winnipeg. He opened the tour in Sault St Marie.


““I’ve been living in Orillia for seven years I guess and left Saskatchewan behind,” he said.


“ It was a collection of solo recordings, so this tour is the album release tour for that set of songs so I thought I’d tour it in the fashion that it was recorded. Just me , myself and my guitar,” he said, adding the tour is going well, though he’s only had one show.


“One show down, it’s hard to say, but  pretty good. When I booked this tour, I wasn't doing much touring, It was when things were kind of still in and out of being shut down,” he said.

“I thought after a couple years it felt pretty good to get back on the road and do a real big set of shows. We’ll see how I feel about it at the end of the tour,” he chuckled.


“But so far so good. I’m looking forward to making some miles in the next week.


Lucky wasn’t feeling very inspired during the pandemic, but rediscovered his love for old traditional cowboy songs. 


“ I guess I could say the lack of inspiration sort of inspired it. The pandemic was interesting for musicians and artists I think you could say. I saw some friends of mine who were making lots of records and videos and all sorts stuff and writing all these songs and for me, it quite honestly, it just wasn’t a very inspiring time. I was kind of doing the home school parent thing and spending a lot of time taking care of the domestic things. It really it didn’t leave much time or energy or inspiration for the music. But at the end of the day, if I did have energy or did have five minutes to pick up the guitar I found myself singing all these old traditional songs and cover songs that eventually ended up being this record.  And as I was  playing them I thought this would be kind of a nice record. So we put it together. And I think it turned out to be a nice recording. And it’s a little different from my other recordings. And I’ve heard nothing but good things from folks. I like it quite a bit because I’ve always been a fan of raw solo recordings and so far I think people are enjoying it as well,” he said.


He covered some old traditional cowboy songs  like “Hang Me an Oh Hang me” and “Leavin’ Cheyanne” and Townes Van Zandt’s “ Rex’s Blues.


“ These are songs I’ve been singing for years and years. Not necessarily on stage but just songs that have been in my backstage repertoire— songs that you’d sing  before the show or after a show sitting around a kitchen table,” he said, adding he never had time to record them until now.


He had studio time booked, but plans kept changing so he ended up recording them in his family’s cabin up north.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 25 September 2022 17:34 ) Read more...

A heap of country happening this week

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Get your folk and country on this week as there are several stupendous country and roots shows happening this week.

Luke James Bruce and the Plaid Ramblers have a busy week ahead of them. Photo by Richard Amery

 First off, Luke James Bruce returns to  Mojo’s Pub on the west side to host their Monday night open mic, Sept. 19. His band the Plaid Ramblers play Casino Lethbridge, Friday and Saturday. They were also at the Lethbridge College’s Couleefest on the weekend.


Coda Lite play the blues at Spectrum Ale on Tuesday.

 Devin Gergel hosts the Slice’s open mic on Wednesday.


 If you missed Carter Felker at the Word on the Street on the weekend, don’t miss this super talented Calgary based country singer  at the Owl Acoustic Lounge on Tuesday, Sept. 20.


 The Lethbridge Folk Club opens their season at the Lethbridge College  Cave  on Wednesday with Juno  and East Coast music Award winning East Coast  songwriter Lennie Gallant and Greg Herman. Tickets are $35 for members and $40 for non members, which includes a membership for the year. The music begins at 7 p.m.

Last Updated ( Monday, 19 September 2022 12:46 ) Read more...

“The Gift” to present the highlights of Ian Tyson’s career at Southminster United Church

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Long time Ian Tyson keyboardist  Stew MacDougall has  a “Gift” for Ian Tyson fans.


MacDougall and some of Tyson’s other former band members  (guitarist Gord Matthews, drummer Thom Moon, fiddle player Myron Szott and bassist Julian Kerr) plus special guests John Wort Hannam and guitar god Amos Garrett, who was a member of Ian Tyson’s pioneering ’70s country rock band Great Speckled Bird, bring Ian Tyson tribute “The Gift” to Southminster United Church, Friday,  Sept. 23. The show also features guest vocalists Tracy Millar, John Wort Hannam and Ian Oscar.


Stewart MacDougall is looking forward to “The Gift,” at Southmoinster United Church, Sept. 23. Photo Submitted

Country music fans know Ian Tyson’s work, from an illustrious career spanning 50 years ranging from early solo hits, duets as Ian and Sylvia which lead to his landmark work with early country rock band Great Speckled Bird and the more cowboy themed music that marked  the end of his career. 


He also hosted a popular country music television show from 1970 to 1975, which began as “Nashville North” with the popular  theme “Long, Long Time To Get Old” which featured several incarnations of Great Speckled Bird.

 Tyson first came to the ears of country music fans in 1962 with his first big hit “ Four Strong Winds.”


 MacDougall was part of Ian Tyson’s band around 2008, which resulted in collaborating with Tyson on the title track of the 2008 album “Yellowhead to Yellowstone and other Love Stories.”


“It is 50 years of his songs. The show has 26 songs spanning 50 years of his career,” said MacDougall, noting all of the major hits are accounted for including ‘Four Strong Winds,” “Someday Soon” and “Summer Wages.”

“His ‘Cowboyography’ album is really well represented,” continued MacDougall, espousing an encyclopaedic memory of Tyson’s storied career.


“So there’s lots to draw from,” MacDougall said, adding each guest gets to be the featured player on three songs.


“ Ian has blessed it. He can’t sing anymore,”   said MacDougall, noting Tyson was having some voice issues, but recovered from them to enough to return to the stage  for a while, but has retired from the business..


“The big three hits from Cowboyography, ‘Navajo Rug,’  ‘The Gift’ and ‘Fifty Years Ago’  are represented,” he said, adding Tyson recorded ‘Summer Wages’ several times.


Last Updated ( Sunday, 18 September 2022 17:21 ) Read more...
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