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Shelter Me: Party in the Park marks relatively slow mid July week in Lethbridge

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Most of the town shuts down this week due to the South Country Fair in Fort Macleod. At least the music going portion of Lethbridge, most of whom go to Fort Macleod to take in three days of great music and good vibes. So the two main music venues, the Slice and The Owl Acoustic Lounge close as their staff, owners and most of their regulars all make an extended weekend out of South Country Fair.Fox Mandy performs for shelter me: Party in the park on Saturday, July 21. Photo by Richard Amery
 Even Honker’s Pub is shutting down their weekly  Friday night and Saturday afternoon for the weekend as most of their hosts will be at the Fair. Open mics resume at Honker’s next week, though they are also taking the August long weekend off.


The Fair features an outstanding line-up as usual including local musicians  John Wort Hannam and Shaela Miller, plus Richard Inman, Wine Soaked Preachers Geoff Berner, Kris Demeanor and Carolyn Mark, Hank and Lily, The Vaudevillian, Amy Nelson, the Red Hot Hayseeds and Spanish/ based Canadian/Cuban and France flamenco group Fin de Fiesta Flamenco, who also play Casa on July 25.
If you aren’t going to South Country Fair, Galt Gardens hosts Shelter Me: Party in the Park, July 21. There will be concessions, a dunk tank, an open air market, bouncy castles and kids activities. There will also be live entertainment beginning at 10:30 with Zumba Lethbridge,Thomas Chiefmoon, singer/belly dancer/ Maddie Young, local rappers the Battlepark Super Crew (lRev, ONTK, $am Hill, Shed Beat boys and JPB) and 21st ave follow. Fox Mandy winds up the entertainment at 2 p.m.

On the weekend, Suzanne Scott will be playing country music at Casino Lethbridge.
Guitarist James Oldenburg and Andrea Walker perform a special afternoon show at Plum on Saturday, July 21 from noon-2 p.m.
 Another option is the annual Coutts Centre Arts Festival happening Sunday, July 22.

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Tennyson King bringing his own well travelled soul to Lethbridge

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Alfred Chow aka Tennyson King is excited to bring his own music to Lethbridge, Tuesday, July 31 at the Slice.Tennyson King sings by the Slice, July 31. photo submitted
He has played Lethbridge several time with other musicians including Sarah Burton and the hip hop collective the Vibonics, five years ago.


This time he is touring in support of his bright new CD and new single “Coast,” which was inspired by extensive  travels in Australia.


“The tour’s been going great said Toronto based Chow, where he is beginning his Western Canadian tour. The Lethbridge show is at the tail end of the tour before he goes to Europe and then back to Australia.


“ I spent a lot of time playing music and lying in the back of my van, staring at the stars on the Gold Coast,” he reminisced, adding that experience helped make the new CD and single more uplifting compared to the more serious, morose debut self titled EP.


“ This album is a lot more positive than the other album,” he said, adding the rest of the new album is in a similar vein to the first single.

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Fin de Fiesta Flamenco bring Spanish culture to Casa

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Flamenco has always in the blood for dancer Lia Grainger, who grew up in Vancouver and worked as a journalist in Toronto before moving to Spain and forming Fin de Fiesta Flamenco to make Flamenco music her life.Fin de Fiesta perfom at South Country Fair and at Casa next week. Photo submitted


 The group, which includes members from all over the world including Spain, France and Cuba plus two other transplanted Canadians, return to Canada with their new show Salvaje for several performances including the South Country Fair in Fort Macleod, July 22 and at Casa on July 25.


“I started taking classes in my 20s and then moved to Madrid to learn more. But decided to get a ‘real job’ and work in journalism in Toronto. But I kept going back to Spain. I decided to put together a group in 2012. I really enjoy it. It feels good to do it,” said artistic director/ dancer Lia Grainger, who formed the group in 2012 with 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”

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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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L.A. Beat is Lethbridge, Alberta's only online arts and entertainment magazine.

It is designed to support music, art, drama and other cultural endeavours in and around the city.

It will start out as an online presence and then evolve into a print edition which will be distributed at numerous locations in the city.

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