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Ben Sures plays crowd favourites and new music for Lethbridge Folk Club

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I only caught the encore from an intimate and hilarious show by Edmonton singer songwriter Ben Sures, who returned to the Lethbridge Folk Club on Saturday, April  27. Approximately 30 people were in the audience, some of whom were calling out their requests for their favourite Sures songs.

Ben Sures playing the Lethbridge Folk Club, April 27. Photo by Richard Amery


  Sad songs have never sounded so happy in Sures’ sure footed hands, as he stroked and plucked pretty melodies on the strings of his guitar.


 He focused on his latest album, 2022’s “ The Story That Lived Here.” Percussionist/ vocalist Stephanie Suchy and upright bassist Chris Brzezicki added background vocals and solid rhythm.

As I arrived, he was playing“ Nobody  Will Remember You,” one of the last tracks on the album.


 It has been quite a few years since Sures played the Lethbridge Folk Club, and people wanted to hear a few songs from that visit.


 The trio was called back to play a few requests as encores including “American Shantytown,” from his 2014 album “ Gone to Bolivia.”


 Also from  “Gone To Bolivia,” the host wanted to hear “ The Boy Who Walked Backwards through the Snow,” a touching story about a boy who escaped  from a northern Ontario residential school on winter break, by walking backwards in  his tracks through the snow and hiding in the forest until the nuns stopped searching for him.


Sures called Karen Romanchuk, who opened the show, back to the stage to lead the audience in a sing-along of “ In A Perfect World,” to bring the show to a close.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. beat Editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 03 May 2024 09:39 )

Tanika Charles to celebrate art at SAAG and soul on Saturday at Owl Acoustic lounge

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Toronto based R and B/ soul/ pop singer Tanika Charles has fond memories of playing the Geomatic Attic Wide Skies Music festival last year and hopes to make many more when she returns to Lethbridge this weekend to play the SAAG Art Auction and the Owl Acoustic lounge, Saturday, May 4.

Tanika Charles playing the Wide Skies Music Festival last summer. Photo by Richard Amery

“ I am spectacular,” Said Charles, who enjoyed playing Wide Skies last summer.

“ I remember it was definitely one of my favourite shows of 2023. Also Michael (Spencer)  is a top notch guy and so accommodating to the band and all of the artists he brings out. Just the audience  was incredible. We played a rooftop and  I think it was 1,000 degrees  that day , but the sweat was worth it. It was such a good time,” Charles said, adding she is excited to play two shows on Saturday.

“We’re doing two shows. We’re going to perform at the art gallery. We’re going to do a little acoustic set there   and shortly after  we‘re going to head over to the Owl Acoustic Lounge,” she said.

 She is bringing an expanded Toronto band  including  two singers  and new members .

“ Not a new band I’ve just got new members.

“ The acoustic one  will be me and my guitar and my two singers Tafari Anthony and D/Shon Henderson and Ben Foran on guitar,” she said. Bassist Jeremy John and drummer Jim Toner who plays his first show with Charles this weekend, join her at the Owl Acoustic lounge.

“ I’ve got bands in different cities . I’ve got a band  out in Vancouver and the Toronto band and one in Montreal and then I’ve got one in France so it‘s just convenient. Jim is the newest member in the Toronto band,” she said.

“ I’m going to play some songs I haven’t  sung in a very long time. Because now I have singers with me for these two shows, I can kind of indulge in these songs and of courses some classics I hope people know. And that it. Nothing too new. I am working on two albums,” she said., adding she expects them to be released by the end of the year.

 She just released two albums last year — The “Union Sessions,” and “ Papillon de Nuit: The Night Butterfly in 2022.

 the new albums go back to her roots in hip hop and pop, but  a visit to the Tallinn Music  in Estonia  encouraged her to write. 

“I recently went to Tallinn , Estonia nan d although love writing and creating and releasing new music, I was kind of uninspired for a while since the last release. Just because I’ve been really busy and on the road. Not complaining at all, but just a little bit busy and trying to focus on my health, not that anything is terribly wrong, but I just wanted to be a little healthier, spiritually, mentally and whatnot. And went to Tallinn  for Tallinn music week and had to do a songwriting camp. And I personally enjoy writing with others. It’s just easier to brainstorm that way. But this, from nine to five to write a new song three days in a row  and it kind of forced me to work on my songwriting chops which I’d always kind of shied away from if I had to write an entire album on my own,” she said.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 April 2024 16:44 ) Read more...

Plenty of punk rock and pop plus Wide Skies favourites open May

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April showers bring May flowers and lots of blues and R and B music in Lethbridge.

 But first, start the week with a little country music.


 Amy Nelson plus Good Gal Vintage return to the Owl Acoustic lounge tonight, Tuesday, April  30.

 Also on Tuesday, The Slice has a big jazz rock show with Calgary‘s number one brass band Delirium featuring vocalist  Ali Wick

Steve Foord hosts the Slice’s open mic on Wednesday, May 1.

Harpoonist Shawn Hall and Gordie Johnson play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Sunday, May 5. Photo by Richard Amery

 Impromptu returns to  Good Times for  Queer Prov Flower Power Edition, Thursday, May 2.  Tickets are $14.95. The laughs begin at 7 p.m

Calgary comedian Chris Gordon brings the funny to Good Times on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $19.95.

The Southminster United Church hosts a free concert, Friday, May 3 to fight cancer.


 Local country musicians Trevor Panczak and The Cody Hall band plus the LCI Gold  jazz band perform beginning at 7 p.m. Admission is free but donations to the Canadian Cancer Society are welcome.

Cal Toth and Anna McBryan bring duelling pianos back to   the Place on Friday, May 3 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door.


If you like R and B and pop music with a folk influence, Calgary based pop and soul singer Natalie Inga hits the Slice stage in support of her  new EP “Nothing Less than Me.”


 Honker’s Pub welcomes Bill Weiler and  Dennis Wade to host the open mic on Friday, May 3.  Horizon will play all of your favourites at Honkers Pub on Saturday.

Classic rockers won’t want to miss the return of Creedence Clearwater Remembered  who play the Enmax Centre, Saturday, May 4.  The show features a multi-media  presentation and  the powerhouse vocals of El Niven and an all star cast of  CCMA award winning veterans.Tickets are $48 and $65.


Local country band Border Bound returns to Casino Lethbridge  this weekend.


And there is an all ages jam at Salsas by Karolls’s on Saturday beginning at 6 p.m. 

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 April 2024 16:10 ) Read more...

Ben Sures set to revisit old songs for return to Lethbridge Folk Club

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Edmonton based folk musician Ben Sures makes a long awaited return to the Lethbridge Folk Club to play the  the Lethbridge College Cave, Saturday, April 27.

 He last played the Folk Club  in 2015.' This trip he is also playing  the Rocky Mountain Folk Club in Calgary on April 26.

“It should be a good weekend,” Sures said.


Ben Sures plays the Lethbridge Folk Club, April 27. Photo by Pamela  Cregg

 Since his last visit, he has released two live albums and two studio albums including an  album of murder ballads with David P. Smith, Troy Bubba Cook and  his tenth album “ The Story That Lived here,” which he released in 2022.

 He recruited two top notch musicians to record with him,  Richard Moody (viola, violin, mandolin, vocals)  and Scott White (upright bass).

“I always wanted to work with them but never could because they were always in demand and never available because if timing, but during the pandemic they were available. Richard Moody is the brother of Ruth Moody who played with the  Duhks and Wailin Jennies. He Also played on my 1997 album Ooh Wah Baby. So it was nice to work with him again,” Sures said.

“It’s an acoustic record. I was going listening to Guy Clarke albums and just  loved the sound and the production and the at lead me to Townes Van Zandt, so there is a lot of their influence on this album ,” he said, adding response has been great.


“The feedback had been good. It spent  nine weeks at the top of the CKUA charts,” he said, noting he recorded int in 2021 and released it in 2022.

“I still get to show off some guitar things on this album,” he said.


 A lot has happened since his last visit. 

“I lost my father in 2018, so there are a two songs on the album about that and I’ve been looking after my elderly mother,” he said.

“Father’s Shoes” is about  going to his wife’s house and picking up his shoes. My grandfather said I look exactly like him from the back physically and his shoes fit, so I’ve been wearing them in my painting studio,” he said.

 He has a couple of personal songs about him and people he knows.

Last Updated ( Friday, 26 April 2024 11:59 ) Read more...

Lots of laughter in an eclectic week

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It is an eclectic week for live music and plenty of laughter on the table 

Wannabe: A Spice Girls Tribute plays a sold out show at the Yates Theatre on Tuesday, April 23. If you want to laugh, don't miss Hamilton  musician and funnyman B.A. Johnston, who returns to the Owl Acoustic lounge , April 23. Foster Dollis and the Foolish Hearts are also on the bill.

Jolene Draper and the Inquisitive  Few play a Fundraiser for Teri PEtz on Wednesday. Photo By Richard Amery

 if you like your country music, the Bellamy brothers play the Yates Theatre, Wednesday, April 24. That show is also sold out.

It]s the end of the month. which means it’s poetry open mic at The Owl Acoustic lounge.


 The Wednesday, April 24   Poetry open mic will be special. It is a  fundraiser for founder Teri Petz who needs to return to Hungary to visit long time friend Elizabeth who was like a mother to her. There will be poetry and performances by Gabe Thaine and Jolene Draper and the Inquisitive Few


Good Times has a full week of laughter, beginning Wednesday, April 24 with Pro-Amateur night,. Theatre Outré returns to Good Times on Thursday with Card Chaos. Tickets are $14.95. The show begins at 7 pm.

Andrew Crone performs Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.. Tickets are $19.95.


 The Slice has a comedy show on Saturday, April 27. This is Fine Features host  Leah Scheitel and a pasell of Calgary and local comedians .The show begins at 8:30. Admission is $10.

Last Updated ( Monday, 22 April 2024 08:56 ) Read more...
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