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Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar bringing blues and soul back to Lethbridge

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Toronto based blues and soul musicians Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar make a long awaited return to Lethbridge, Nov. 17 at the Southminster United Church in support of their latest Juno nominated  CD “ The Reckless One.”

Martin is going all out for the Geomatic Attic  and Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival co-presentation as she is bringing a10 piece band plus Monkeyjunk’s Steve Marriner to open the show and make a special guest appearance on stage with the orchestra.

“We didn't actually win,” she  chuckled.


“We were in the top five,” she continued adding their last CD “ Run To Me”  was also nominated for a Juno.

Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar return to Lethbridge, Nov. 17  at the Southminster United Church. Photo by Richard Amery

“ This is our second time being nominated for a Juno. that was for our last record “Run To Me” that was in 2018,” she said, packing for a quick two week tour that begins in Saskatoon, Nov. 13.


 The Lethbridge show was delayed because of Covid, so Martin and the band are excited to be back on the road, even if she is touring while 21 weeks pregnant.

“It’s definitely been a long time coming. We were able to do a little bit of touring . And when I say a little bit, I mean we  did a lot more touring than I think a lot of other people did, but it’s still not what we would consider to be normal. But this tour was supposed to take place in January and February, 2022, so earlier this year and we had to postpone it because at the time Omicron was a big thing. Some of the presenters were concerned the mandates would come back and the lockdowns would come back into effect so we decided it would be safer to postpone, ” she said.


“And so this tour has been a long time coming and we’re really excited to bring a 10 piece band to Lethbridge and on this tour.

 The band includes electric guitarist Curtis Chaffey, bassist Ian MacEwan, drummer Will Fisher, Jeff Heisholt on organ, piano, background vocalists/ co-vocalists Sherie Marshall and Tafari Anthony,  trombonist Emily Ferrell,  trumpet player Brian Walters and saxophonist Andrew Moljgun. 


Steve Marriner , who plays with Monkeyjunk as well as Colin James and who is touring in support of his new album “Hope Dies Last,” will be opening the show and plays a couple songs as a special guest.


“It’s a big band, plus I’m pregnant, so it’s really a 10 and a half piece band plus a special guest,” she laughed, adding she doesn’t know what to expect touring while pregnant.


“Well we’re about to find out. I was pregnant in the summer . In August we did about 10 days in between Grand Prairie, Alberta and Salmon Arm. We did a  couple festival appearances and a few club shows though the mid- week. And I’m not gonna lie, it was pretty crazy, because I was doing all the driving and I had wicked morning sickness that seemed to last all day long. So it was a little tough, but the morning sickness has subsided and I feeling a little more energetic these days and of course I won’t be doing the driving on this tour. I’m going to kick back and pretend to be a diva for a little bit— the star of the show doesn't drive the van on this tour,” she laughed.


She has known Steve Marriner for a long time and used to be roommates with him, so she is excited to bring him along on tour.

“Steve and I have been friends for quite some time. Obviously the blues scene in Canada is spread out, but it’s pretty small and I’ve known Steve for a quite some time,” she said.

“I lived with him as roommates, him Curtis and I lived in a place for a couple of months together. We’ve been friends for a very, very long time. And he is actually on the ‘Run to Me ’ record.  He played keys on that album for us and he fills in for Curtis on guitar when Curtis isn’t able to make a show. So he’s been sort of an an honourary Delta Sugar member for a long time,“ she continued.

“And of course, he’s won a gajillion awards with Monkeyjunk and Colin James and he played with Matt Anderson and he’s put out a record that’s also nominated for a Juno this year called ‘Hope Dies Last.’ And so he’s out promoting that record for himself, so we decided to bring him along and he’s going to chip in with the driving,” she said.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 13 November 2022 15:20 ) Read more...

Bros. Landreth play laid back multi-textured music for Geomatic Attic

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The Geomatic Attic wound up a busy October with a sold out Bros. Landreth show, Monday, Oct. 24.


The Bros. Landreth at the Geomatic Attic, Oct. 24. Photo by Richard Amery

 One half of Winnipeg duo Slow Leaves,  Grant Davidson opened the show with some pretty picking.

 He told some stories about living at home with his wife who gives him space to create  while doing a few chores around the house including washing the dishes.

 That prefaced his song “Sink Full of Dishes.”


 When he wasn’t playing beautifully  picked acoustic guitar lines, he  drew from the well of  easygoing soulful ’70s soft rock.

Joey Landreth joined him at the end of his set to add some hot lead guitar.

The Bros. Landreth continued in the laid back vein.


 Joey Landreth had  a pedal board with at least a dozen pedals which he used to created a variety of textures. So there was plenty of delay and vibrato.

 The trio, featuring guitarist/ vocalist Joey Landreth, bassist David Landreth and drummer Roman Clark played a lot of their most recent CD “Come Morning.”

“Drive All Night” was one of the highlights of a really laid back, easygoing set of multi-layered and textured music.


 They played four songs in a row before  addressing the sold out enraptured audience.

Bassist Dave Landreth bared his soul about his struggles with mental health after releasing their successful debut album and touring the  world with it.


He thanked his brother and family for helping him through those dark days.

 He sang a Jonathan Byrd song to follow that up before picking up the tempo a little.

— By Richard Amery, L. A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 01 November 2022 09:58 )

Rock and roll in Remembrance Day week

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With Remembrance Day on a Friday this year, get ready to party on Thursday night.


Five Alarm Funk return to Lethbridge, Nov. 9. Photo by RichardAmery

 The week opens with a couple of huge shows. Barney Bentall returns to Southminster United Church with the Cariboo Express fundraiser for Youth One on Monday, Nov.  7, opening another busy month for the Geomatic Attic. Tickets are from $30- $50. Doors open at  7 p.m. with the show beginning at 8 p.m.


The next night Canadian classic rock icon  Bryan Adams brings his So Happy it Hurts Tour to the Enmax Centre, Tuesday, Nov. 8 Tickets are $124.50, $102.50, $85.50 and are going fast. He is touring in support of his 15th album.


If you’re in the mood to move, then get funky with Vancouver’s Five Alarm Funk who  are guaranteed to entertain you with their rescheduled show at the Slice, Wednesday, Nov. 9. Apollo Suns open at 9 p.m.


 With Remembrance Day, Nov. 11 on a Friday this year Honkers Pub  moves their  open mic to Thursday, Nov. 10  with hosts Saints and Sinners.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 06 November 2022 10:58 ) Read more...

Plenty of plays and roots music to open November

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I’m going to be on vacation this week on the  Outlaw Cruise West with X, Los Lobos, Social Distortion and Steve Earle and Dave Alvin to name a few,  but there are already a lot of great shows planned in Lethbridge for early November, which I’m unfortunately going to miss. But that doesn’t mean you have to miss out.


The Bridgette Yarwood band returns to casino Lethbridge this weekend, Phioto by RichardAmery

There are a couple great plays happening.

 Lethbridge Musical Theatre’s production of 9 to 5 the musical continues this week Wednesday Through Saturday.

 The University of Lethbridge’s main stage production of Dr. Faustus runs from Nov. 1-5 in  the David Spinks Theatre. Also happening at the university,  the Opera Workshop concert is  Nov. 4  in the recital Hall at 7:30 p.m.


 Get social with SAAG and check out their exhibits for one more time before new exhibits are installed, at the second annual SAAG social, Thursday, Nov. 3 from 7-10 p.m. Tickets are $20 for SAAG members, $45 for non-members including an annual membership for this important Fundraiser for the Southern Alberta Art Gallery.There will be ice cream samples from Milkman Milk Bar, Flamingo Floss cotton candy courtesy Urban Studio Interior Design, beverages from Last Best Brewing and Distilling,  a silent auction, 50/50 raffle and more. The Owl Acoustic Lounge’s poutine bar returns as does Owl Acoustic Lounge co-owner Steven William Foord, who will be performing with  Jess Tollestrup and Lolly Willowes.

Theoretically Brewing hosts a Celtic Jam with Celtic Routes, Nov.  3 from 7-9 p.m.


 Listen to a little classical music as Lunch and Listen returns to Casa at 12: 15 p.m., Friday, Nov. 4 with  Deanna Oye and Bradley Parker.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 01 November 2022 10:10 ) Read more...

Barney Bentall coming back to Lethbridge with Cariboo Express for Youth One

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There is no dust on Barney Bentall. He is excited to come back to Lethbridge to bring music and raise money for Youth One as the Cariboo Express rolls into Lethbridge, Nov. 7 at Southminster United Church for the Geomatic Attic.

Bentall had a handful of hits in the ’90s including “ Life Could Be Worse,” and Something to Live For,” but he has evolved into a Juno award winning country and roots musician, who has released two albums this year including “Cosmic Dreamer”, produced his daughter’s band’s album and spends time working up north.


He has been supporting community charities with The Cariboo Express since 2006.

 Lethbridge is among the 10 Cariboo Express shows happening this fall.

Barney Bentall and the Cariboo Express return to Lethbridge, Nov. 7. Photo Submitterd


“ We will have local guy Ryland Moranz who’s a just a great musician and  from that area. Ridley Bent, my son Dustin Bentall , Stephanie Cadman  who is an incredible fiddler and dancer and my son’s band who are kind of a bluegrassy band the Blue Wranglers, they’ll be there,” Bentall said. 

This year’s Cariboo Express also features Matt Masters, Wendy Bird, Geoff Hicks, Rob Becker, Geoffrey Kelly, Scott Smith, Geoff Holhorst, Jamielynn Caswell and Dan Fremlin

“It’ll be the usual thing. The shows have always been so fantastic there. It’s just wonderful,” he said.


This Old West‐inspired troupe helmed by Barney Bentall, was established in 2006. Since then it  has become a favourite annual touring event in Western Canada. Building on an Old West-inspired variety show, a typical Cariboo concert features a regular cast of some of Canada’s finest roots and country musicians each taking turns in the spotlight, collaborating, and warming the hearts of audiences with every stop they make. To date, the Cariboo Express has contributing over $2 million to worthwhile local causes.


“It’s a variety show, though that has the connotation of being cheesy, but it‘s not that way at all. There’s just so many artists. And we’re also doing this in support of Youth One which is a great charity there that supports youth. Which Lord knows they need a lot of that these days. So they get song sponsors to contribute to the charity. And we do have an element where my good friend Matt Masters is co-MCing with me and we give intros based on the companies or the individuals who sponsor songs. In which case it becomes a very humourous and entertaining part of the whole show. It‘s just an interesting format that I thought of 15 years now and we‘ve raised well over $4 million for various western Canadian charities by doing this,” he said, adding all the money stays in the community. This will be the third time in Lethbridge for  Youth One.

“What we need to do is just get people. We’re half way there to selling it out and we’d really like to sell it out though it always is well attended,” he said.

He found it easy to get motivated during the pandemic.


“ It was pretty easy. I realized what a time commitment touring all the time is. Music has changed in that for most of us the income stream is mostly live shows,” he observed.

“With streaming, things have changed dramatically. So you have to travel and you have to play and when you take that away, you realize oh my goodness, I  have a lot of time and you’re also not feeling, oh I’d better get out and hustle because everybody else I know is and so it kind of takes off that pressure. And then you find you have a lot of time. I worked on my house, I checked off a lot of items on the list at my ranch and I wrote lots of music. I really attribute that to  the lack of that grind of getting on a plane and flying somewhere. I love live performance, but when you take that away, you have a lot of time,” he said.


 The fruits of that time off the road was two of his own albums and another by his daughter’s Cranbrook based roots act Wild Honey, which has just been released.

“ I’m obviously biased, but I think it’s a great record,” he said adding they are playing some of the B.C Cariboo Express shows.


“It was a productive time musically for me during Covid because we weren’t playing. We weren’t touring. I mean there we some things that did present themselves when the situation relaxed somewhat. But there was a lot of time to write music and produce music and so i just  really enjoyed making Cosmic Dreamer but then I also made Ranch Riders with my friend Geoffrey Kelly from Spirit of the West. And both of these were just nominated for  Canadian Folk Music Awards. So that was really quite gratifying,” he said.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 29 October 2022 14:33 ) Read more...
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