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Shaela Miller opens first day of all Alberta live music program at Whoop Up Days

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Whoop Up Days opened up it’s all Southern Alberta live entertainment component on Thursday, Aug. 24 with headliner Shaela Miller, who gave an enthusiastic audience of long time fans a preview of her upcoming new album “ After the Masquerade,” which will be released in a couple months.


Tube Dog playing Whoop Up Days, Aug. 24. Photo by Richard Amery

Many artists reinvent themselves every couple album.

 Shaela Miller, a longtime veteran of the  Lethbridge music scene, started playing rock and roll, then more alt country along the lines of Neko Case, but lately has been   exploring more traditional country sounds.


Her next album will sound like it comes right out of the ’80s if  her Whoop Up Days show is any indication.

 She started her set with a couple of older songs including an early crowd favourite “Station.”

 Then Taylor Ackerman traded his guitar for keyboards after the Skinny Dyck penned crowd favourite “Tombstone Grey.”

 Skinny Dyck alternated between adding pretty and subtle steel guitar and  his blonde Telecaster.


 Bassist Paul Holden locked in with Tyler Bird on drums who was hidden in the shadows, adding harmony vocals for a laid back set of mostly new original music 

Her new music comes right of the ’80s, but it is still what people expect from Shaela Miller — heartfelt, vulnerable, sweet and wearing her heart on her sleeve.


 For something  a little different that songs of loneliness and broken hearts, they played a love song from the movie Labyrinth.


This show was all about previewing the new album, though they sprinkled in a few old favourites and a couple tracks from her most recent album “ Big Hair , Small City,” including ‘700 ” and “ The Devil in You.”


 The title track off the upcoming album “After the Masquerade” got the audience moving.


“ Friend In You,” and “Station”  have always been crowd favourites, so everybody cheered for their performance here.


Miller quipped she still tears up  when playing her own songs, ” then cracked a rare smile on stage  before leading the band into  a laid back version of the Eurythmics’ ’80s  nugget “ Sweet Dreams (Are made of This.)” which had every one who wasn’t dancing before, dancing for this one.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 24 August 2023 23:31 ) Read more...

Saints and Sinners a highlight of Rotary Ribfest

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 I stopped by The Rotary Ribfest on Friday, Aug 18, mainly to see Saints and Sinners, a hot cover band out of Raymond. I missed them the week before at the Slice, but made a point of catching  them at Ribfest.


I missed Obsidian Soul who opened the Friday stage, but was in time for it to start to rain and for Saints and Sinners to rock the stage ’70s and ’80s style.

Saints and Sinners’ Whitney McLellan playing Ribfest, Aug. 18. Photo by Richard Amery


They played a variety of classic rock and modern pop beginning with Harlequin’s“ Sweet Things In Life” and a solid version of Kansas‘ “ Carry on my Wayward son.”


They went modern with a catchy version of Maneskin’s “ Beggin’”


Whitney McLellan impressively carried those high notes especially on the Darkness’ “ I Believe in a Little Thing called love,” and Led Zeppelins’“ Ramble On.”


 For something different for covers, they played an excellent version of The Outfield’s “ Your Love.”

 I had to move on to the next gig as they were tearing up some Def Leppard.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 24 August 2023 16:01 )

Eric Braun band plays blues and country music for Owl

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Local bluesman Eric Braun has branched out from the blues into more alt country, as he showed during his, Saturday, Aug. 19 show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.

Eric Braun and Nate Lockley playing the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Aug. 18. Photo by Richard Amery

 I missed the first set,  but it took a while for the second set  to get going, so I caught most of that.


Braun opened by strumming a couple songs solo beginning with an apt cover of Chris Stapleton’s “Starting Over,” which he followed up with a break up song “ I’m Not Who I Used to Be” and a cover of Tyler Childers’ “White House Road.”


 Keyboardist Nate Lockley joined Braun for a couple of sad songs plus Jason Isbell’s “ Cover Me Up.”


The rest of the band, drummer Jon Bateman and bassist Mike Davidson joined him to play some of his original blues songs from early in his career and some more covers.


One of the highlights was  “Back to California, which reminded me of Chris Colepaugh and the Cosmic Crew.


 They got people up and dancing with crowd favourite “Mustang Sally.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 24 August 2023 15:30 )

Plenty of country music and much more for Whoop Up Days and Taber Cornfest week

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It is a one heck of a week in Southern Alberta  for live music because Whoop Up Days and Taber Cornfest are both happening simultaneously and featuring a bevy of good local acts.

 The Owl Acoustic lounge’s weekly open mic is night, Tuesday, Aug. 22.


The Slice has a packed week beginning with Prince George born singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ernest Anyway baring his soul at the Slice tonight, Tuesday, Aug. 22.


Tyson  Ray borsboom plays twice on Thursday. Photo by Richard Amery


 Parade play the Slice on Wednesday, Aug. 23. Regina musicians, indie rock band Blu Beach and Lova Lamp plus Charles Marks hit the Slice stage, Aug. 24. And Friday night features pride at the Prairies  at 7 p.m. followed by Printhead, Ropebunny and Soylent Green  at 10 p.m.. Calgary indie rock jam rock trio Buns play on Saturday.

This Wednesday,  The garden party in Galt Gardens  features Mary Ann McTrowe and the Little Lethbridge Opera  Theatre from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 Paul Holden and  James Oldenburg return to the Watertower Grill from 6-8 p.m,


 And  it is the last week of the month, which mean Teri Petz hosts   the monthly poetry open mic at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.


 From then on, it is all about country music.


 Local country band Badlands play Upside Downtown outside casa from 5-7 p.m.. Down the street, Tyson Ray Borsboom brings his band to Telegraph Taphouse 8:30 p.m.. He has a busy night as he also plays Whoop Up Days at 6 p.m.


 Shaela Miller kicks off the live music portion of Whoop up Days. She headlines at 9 p.m. 

 But first, Lance Tailfeathers opens the Original 16 stage in the middle of the midway at 1 p.m. followed by Desert Orchid and Tube Dog at 7:30 p.m.. The New Testaments play an afterparty at Whoop Up Days Thursday through Saturday at 11 p.m.


Theoretically Brewing also goes country on Thursday with local favourites Starpainter, Taber teen Kai Brooks and non binary author, pop musician and multi instrumentalist artist Rae Spoon who has just released their new album  “Not Dead yet.”

 Admission is pay what you can.  The music begins at 6 p.m.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 22 August 2023 14:47 ) Read more...

Lethbridge and District Exhibition ready to whoop it up for Whoop up Days

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Get ready for some rodeo fair food and live music because one again, it’s time for Lethbridge to Whoop it up  as a community and check out the new Agri-food Hub and Trade Centre for Whoop Up Days, Aug.22 -26.

The grounds open right after the Whoop Up Days parade that begins at Park place Mall at 9 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 22 .

 Thanks to sponsors like  Gas King, admission  to Whoop Up Days is free this year.


The Cody Hall band will be performing a lot through Whoop Up Days. photo by Richard Amery

“Whoop Up Days is meant to create a community. It’s homecoming for a a lot of people,” said Lethbridge and District Exhibition  CEO Mike Warkentin.


 West Coast amusements are already starting to build the midway into Exhibition park with most of the work beginning on Sunday.


There will be a dozen food trucks including the usual favourites and special fair food like Jumbo Ears, with proceeds from them being donated to the Lethbridge  & District International Baseball Association, which runs the Lethbridge Longhorns high school baseball program.


Past Whoop Up Days have usually focused on big name classic rock acts. But this year, all the live entertainment is from Southern Alberta beginning at 1 p.m. Aug. 24-26 on the Original 16 stage in the middle of the midway with headliners Shaela Miller on Aug. 24, Armond Duck Chief on Aug. 25 and Calgary folk/ roots musician T. Buckley on Aug. 26. The New Testaments will get the audience dancing until close beginning at 11 p.m. each night.


 The Cody Hall Band will be an ubiquitous presence at  Whoop Up days. Cody Hall played the official grand opening of the new building and  the band will be will be performing throughout Whoop Up Days including at 7:30 p.m. on aug. 26 at special events including their pancake breakfast throughout the week. The full entertainment schedule is at


“ Whoop Up Days is about community. So this year we’re really celebrating the local music community,” Warkentin said, adding the garden next to the  Agri-food Hub and Trade Centre isn’t ready yet, so the Original 16 stage will be in the middle of the midway.

Last Updated ( Friday, 18 August 2023 16:22 ) Read more...
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