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Hippodrome dance away Upside Downtown 2023

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Upside Downtown ended the season on a toe tapping note, Thursday, Aug. 31, with local R and B and funk band Hippodrome, who got a good sized crowd moving with a familiar and comforting set of popular ’60s, ’70s R and B and disco music.

Hippodrome’s Juran Greene at the last Upside Downtown of the Summer, Aug. 31. Photo by Richard Amery


 It was a fitting way to bring Upside Downtown to a close for the year and what you’d expect from a Hippodrome set— plenty of blasting horns,  a whole lot of groove from crack rhythm section of bassist Paul Holden, drummer Brad Brouwer and percussionist Kyle Harmon. And plenty of smiles that could almost outshine the sun.


 I arrived  in time for their last set of their usual blissful,  joyous collection of familiar hits.


 Shawna Romolliwa, Erica Hunt and Juran Greene alternated on lead vocals.

 They all showed their best moves on “Land of 1,000 Dances.”


 Romolliwa lead the way on a hot version of “ Signed , Sealed and Delivered.”


“ Brick House,” always stands out as does their version of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstitious.”


 Erica Hunt belted out “ Son of A Preacher Man,” and Romolliwa returned  with a sizzling version of “ I Thank You.”

 Hunt took the band to e the end of the set with  crowd favourite “ Proud Mary,” and “ I Will Survive.”

 Juran Greene Lead the hot band through an encore of“ Mustang Sally.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 September 2023 11:31 )

Richard Inman band play outlaw country classics at Owl

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Radio show nights are sacred, so I missed  the first set of the Richard Inman Band, Saturday,  Sept. 2 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.


They were entertaining Scott Mezei’s post wedding party, but played all of Inman”s outstanding original material in the first set.


 So I caught a set of  classic outlaw country  including plenty of Waylon Jennings hits including “I Don’t Think Hank Done it That Way.” They added some more twang to the Rolling Stones “ Dead Flowers and rocked Billy Joe Shaver’s “ Georgia on a Fast Train.”


Richard Inman and Kevin Peters at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Sept. 2. Photo by RichardAmery

 TJ Waltho was flexing his fingers on the Owl Acoustic lounge’s piano, but switched to keyboard later in the set. Shawn Worden was lost in the groove on bass and Brad Brouwer was  tight on the skins as usual.


 Kevin Peters added Telecaster twang and sang his cover of Luke Bell’s “ The Bullfighter,” while Inman took a break to dance.


 He returned to explore more modern alternative county with a great cover of the Turnpike Troubadours “ Pay No Rent.” and my favourite Sturgill Simpson song “ You Can Have the Crown.”


 It was time to move on as they were winding down with a cover of Johnny Cash’“ Folsom Prison Blues.”


 If you missed the show, they will be at the Slice on Friday Sept. 8 with Danica Sommer. 

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 September 2023 11:20 )

Afternoon punk on Theoretically patio on a sunny Sunday with Dead Soft

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Theoretically Brewing celebrated the September long weekend with  a matinee  all ages punk gig on Sunday, Sept. 3.


M.J Buckskin started off the sunny afternoon with a solo set of  grunge and alternative rock played on her electric guitar.


Dead Soft at Theoretically Brewing, Sept 3. Photo by Richard Amery

A Trozzo Electric, Aaron Trozzo on vocals and guitar, featuring TJ Waltho doing double duty on keyboards and  guitar, plus bassist Sil Campus and drummer Garwin Poff played an eclectic set of original music ranging from progressive rock to newer almost alt country sounding tunes along the lines of Wilco.


 “Mailbox” was alternative rock, a new song about churches veered into alt country and featured Waltho harmonizing with Trozzo’s lead guitar.

 They played a lot more progressive rock from their “Yellow” EP.

Aaron Trozzo and Sil Campus at Theoretically Brewing, Sept 3. Photo by Richard Amery


 There were plenty of harmonized leads, crunchy riffs and Trozzo’s impassioned vocals.

 Vancouver alternative Rock trio Dead Soft.  sounded like the stepped out of the mid ’90s with  an original set of Pixies style grunge and alternative rock with a. little ambience and a touch of punk rock.


  Guitarist /vocalist   Nathaniel Epp howled lead vocals  as bassist Keely  Rochon added ghostly harmonies as  Alex Smith held down the beat.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 September 2023 11:13 )

Injured Kimberley MacGregor returns to sing the blues

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Battered Vancouver Island based musician Kimberley MacGregor returned home to Alberta and stopped by the Owl Acoustic Lounge , Tuesday, Sept. 5 to share some songs and a few stories about seriously injuring herself two shows into her tour.

Kimberley MacGregor at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Sept. 5. Photo by Richard Amery

MacGregor and accompanist Elliot  Thomas played an all too brief set to open  open mic night.

Thomas opened their set with a solid set of pretty fingerpicking and falsetto vocals.


 He switched to his  Weissenborn  for some sleazy slide blues including a cover of “ Rolling and Tumbling.”


 He prefaces a song about “staying put” by telling a story about living in Australia and Hong Kong and about the joys of returning home.


MacGregor, perched on a stool, explained the cast on her foot by telling the story of  tearing her tendon after stepping off the stage in the middle of her guitar solo and finishing it on her back on the floor, before opening her part of the show by playing “ Hard Day” off  “ her latest album “Sitting with Uncomfortable Feelings.”


Thomas added slide guitar in his Weissenborn.


Kimberley MacGregor watches Elliot Thomas solo at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Sept. 5. Photo by Richard Amery

 She belted out a couple of her more bluesy songs, before slowing things down with one of my favourites “ Fill my Cup Up,” with Thomas adding falsetto harmony vocals.


 She ended her brief set with my favourite song of her second album “ Trouble.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 September 2023 11:06 )

Red Deer ’s Hooker Spit psyched to support debut album ‘Krotch Splitter’ in Lethbridge

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Things are about to get loud at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Sept. 16 as Red Deer metal band Hooker Spit visit in support of their debut album “Krotch Splitter.”


 The band includes Vlad Glyegore (Lead Guitar), Devin Link (Rhythm Guitar), José Garza (Bass), Daniel White (Vocals) and Scott Gooding (Drums),

Hooker Spit play the Owl Acoustic lounge, Sept. 16. Photo submitted

 They have had a busy summer touring in support of their new CD, which was officially released on July 28.


Guitarist Vlad Glyegore produced the band’s debut album himself, and despite having to take five swings at it, is pleased with the result.

“We looked at the costs of recording an album and having nice production and it can go up to  about  $20,000 so I decided to take it upon myself. I bought all the tools and took some seminars and it was fun. Frustrating  but fun. Fifth time was a charm. It took us about five times to record it until we were happy enough to send it out to Jaroslav (Holub) with Develop Device studios in  Pilzen, Czech Republic. He did the final  touches on it. He got the mix and master and reamped everything,” he said adding the album’s sound didn’t change much over the five attempts.


“Not much to be honest with you. It was all learning experiences. the first few times some of the  levels weren’t right. Another time the album got deleted because I got an e-mail with a worm in it and that wiped out my computer. That was the fourth time. And the fifth time was a charm,” he chuckled, adding the band is pleased with the result.


 “Yeah it did. We’re seriously happy with it , man,” he said, adding they have been touring a lot in support of it, though not without a few tribulations

  They had to cancel some shows in B.C because of wildfires.


“It’s been fun, we’ve quite action packed so far . Got to play a bunch of shows, unfortunately had to cancel some because of fires, but that hasn’t brought our spirit down,” said guitarist Vlad Glyegore.

“We’ve never played B.C. before. That was a real highlight of the summer for us. We really wanted to get out there and get to meet new people, new fans and make new friends. But unfortunately we couldn't make that happen, he said, adding they haven’t  played Lethbridge before.


“No we haven’t played Lethbridge. That’s another one we’re really looking  forward to,” he said.


 They have played with Crimson Caliber and Medicine Hat’s Raising the Ruins, who will be joining them at the Owl Acoustic lounge .

“We’ve played with  Raising the Ruins lots this year. We had our first show with them in April and set up a tour with them. Crimson Caliber, we haven’t played with them but I’ve been friends with those fellas since last year. Met them all at Loud as Hell ( in Drumheller) and got to watch them play and they’re amazing. One of the best thrash bands  in Alberta in my opinion,” he enthused.

 He enjoyed  Hooker Spit’s debut performance at Loud as Hell this year.

“It was our first time playing it. It was surreal man, 200 some people showing up at noon to watch us play, None of us were ready for that. We just expected like maybe 20 hungover people eating pancakes ,” he laughed.


 He noted response to their debut  new album has been mixed.

“It’s been mixed. Some people really love it and some people are confused by it, ” he said. 


The band name and their lyrics are tongue is cheek.

“Once again, tongue in cheek. The way the band name came to be. The vocalist and I were talking about how anime and heavy metal covers have so much in common. So we decided to bring those two worlds together. We came up with our demo art work and gave it to  our artist to give it the polishing touch. It’s a girl ripping her guts out from the early days. And our reaction to that was hooker spit. We thought that was the best thing we could call it,” he chuckled.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 06 September 2023 14:33 ) Read more...
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