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The Gift a wonderful tribute to Ian Tyson’s music

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There was a lot of fun stuff happening on Friday, Sept. 23, but I was glad I chose to stay   for  “The Gift” at Southminster United Church. The Ian Tyson tribute, lead by keyboardist vocalist Stewart MacDougall and spearheaded by Peter North, featured several of Ian Tyson’s former band mates playing most of of Tyson’s most popular songs.


John Wort Hannam playing Ian Tyson as part of the Gift, Sept. 23 at Southminster United Church. Photo by RichardAmery

MacDougall told stories about  playing and writing with Ian Tyson, and a few stories of his history and sang lead vocals.


 Ian Tyson , of course, is a gifted songwriter , who started playing as a folk musician in the ’60 with Sylvia, formed country rock band  Great Speckled Bird in the early ’70s with Sylvia and  got a second  “strong wind” in the ’80s as a purveyor of cowboy poetry, so there was a lot of ground to cover.


 He was an avid chronicler of cowboy life in Alberta so the show reflected all of those phases of his career.

“Alberta’s Child” resonated with the  the audience of approximately 260 people, mostly seniors.


MacDougall noted Tyson turned 89 this week, so the show was really a gift of his music to his long time fans.

Amos Garrett playing Ian Tyson as part of the Gift, Sept. 23 at Southminster United Church. Photo by RichardAmery

MacDougall played keyboards and introduced special guests to shine on Tyson favourites.

A hot band played the music as MacDougall introduced special guests to  take the spotlight for a few songs.


 He introduced Tracy Millar to song’s gorgeous version of Tyson’s signature hit “Someday Soon.”

Myran Szott, played fiddle through out  the show, bowed as he received a polite round of applause for his solo on “ Fifty Years” which MacDougall introduced as showing Tyson’s romantic side.


Telecaster wielding Gord  Matthews deadpanned he still didn’t know what MC Horses meant, so MacDougall explained it  was was the story of  a ranch in Oregon that sold off it’s last horses.


acoustic guitarist Ian Oscar was also a constant throughout the show. He sang a couple more waltz oriented numbers.


 MacDougall welcomed John Wort Hannam to the stage for “Cowboy Pride.“ which he prefaced with a story  about opening for Ian Tyson in Saskatoon and getting caught without pants in Tyson’s dressing room, drinking one of his beer and eating his food as he was afraid he’s spill  on them.


 Amos Garrett, who was an original member of the Great Speckled Bird with Tyson, took a seat and picked up his red telecaster to give a masterclass in making people cry by playing a few tastefully placed notes.



 The first set ended with everybody singing  “Summer Wages.”

The Gift — Ian Tyson tribute was Sept. 23 at Southminster United Church. Photo by RichardAmery


 The second set started with a few more waltzs.

 “Elko Blues” was an immediate highlight.


 Tracy Millar returned for another huge highlight “ Navaho Rug.”

John Wort Hannam returned for “ Saddle Bronc Girl” with  a supper catchy riff echoing Tyson’s melody.


Amos Garrett Returned to humble a few people with minimal, but perfect licks as MacDougall sang his co-write with Ian Tyson “ Yellowhead to Yellowstone.”


Garrett played “Lost Herd” and talked a little bit about Great Speckled Bird and playing Japan with Tyson.


 He traded leads with Gord Matthews.

 The show ended with everybody on stage singing “Four Strong Winds,” which each player singing a verse.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 29 September 2022 16:46 )

The Pack A.D’s last Lethbridge show “fun while it lasted”

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The Pack came back, presumably for the last time to the Slice, Sept. 28.


The Pack A.D. playing the Slice, Sept.28. Photo by Richard Amery

Vancouver punk/ blues duo the Pack A.D. stopped by  Lethbridge in the midst of their last van tour, in support of their last album “ It Was Fun While it Lasted.” And while we’ll see if this show was in fact the last time in Lethbridge, they killed it in every way, capping off a close to 20 year career slugging it out on the road since releasing their debut CD in 2007.


 They released their last album “ It Was Fun While it Lasted” in 2020, right before the pandemic, but were unable to tour in support of it.


So drummer Maya Miller and guitarist/ vocalist Becky Black are doing it now.


I missed opening acts Mom Bod and surprise late addition Fawns, replacing Hell Diablo, who couldn’t perform owing to illness.


 It has been a while since the Pack played Lethbridge and I forgot how solid they are. Becky Black’s vocals  have improved by leaps and bounds. Maya Miller’s drumming was relentless, allowing Black to lay down rock solid riffs and even the occasional solo. Black howled the lyrics in her huge , ragged, yet melodic voice.


 As expected, they focused on  “ It Was Fun While it Lasted,” but wound up an all too brief set with  songs from their older albums.


 There were  some gang vocals and riffs ranging from blues, some straight ahead punk and veered into sludgy Black Sabbath influenced stoner rock and desert rock.

“Teenage Crime ” from  their 2016 CD “Positive Thinking” was an early highlight.


  “ Animal” from “ Do Not Engage” was a highlight which wound down their show.


 While Becky Black switched guitars, Maya Miller introduced crowd favourite “Woke up Weird” from  2017 ’s “Dollhouse” as  “one of the two slow songs we do.”


 “Cobra Matte” from “ 2010’s “ We Kill Computers was another crowd favourite


They ended their set with “ Yes, I Know” from “Positive Thinking.”


But they were called back for an encore of the apt “ Give Up” from “ it was Fun While it Lasted.”


 Fawns return to the Slice Stage next Wednesday with Vancouver’s “Strange Breed, Wednesday, Oct. 5.

 If you missed them, The Pack AD are playing Dickens Pub in Calgary, Sept. 30.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Thursday, 29 September 2022 16:33 )

Desirée Dawson excited to “chill” on western Canadian tour with Serena Ryder

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Squamish musician Desirée Dawson is living the dream, opening for Juno Award winning musician Serena Ryder.

Desirée Dawson opens for Serena Ryder in Lethbridge, Oct. 1. Photo submitted

Their tour stops by Southminster United Church, Oct. 1 for a Geomatic Attic show.


“It’s been so much fun. There has been a lot of learning. It’s been amazing,” said Dawson from a tour stop in Kamloops. The tour began Oct. 14  in Mission and ends with two shows in St. Albert, Oct . 7 and 8.


“I met Serena at the Juno Awards. We were both nominated for adult alternative album of the year, and  she won,” said Dawson, whose mother is French-Canadian settler ancestry from Ontario and her father is of African descent from South Carolina.


 “I’ve been listening to Serena since I was really young. So it’s been a beautiful thing to get to know her before and after the show and to see her perform every night. It’s been amazing,” Dawson enthused.


“We don’t get to play together on stage, but that would be a dream come true,” Dawson enthused, noting her 30 minute set only includes one track, “ Mountain Tops” from her new CD “Meet You at the Light.” 


 Dawson is touring with  guitarist/ vocalist Matt Storm, cajón/ percussionist / videographer Sally Zori and  partner and tour manager Jules Tatone.


“I’ve been touring as a duo, as a trio and solo. For Lethbridge, I think it will be a duo. I want to present people with a show that  helps them to be joyful and connected,” said Dawson, who just released a well received album, “Meet You at the Light,” which has a lot of laid back pop influences, but is also reminiscent of Allison Russell’ folk stylings.


It is a sparse sounding album with multi-layered harmony vocals, subtle piano and cello. 

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 28 September 2022 12:29 ) Read more...

Rock in October this week with lots of music

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September ends withs a smorgasbord of  different kinds of music.

The Devil’s Sons return to Lethbridge this week. Photo By Richard Amery


 The week starts early on Monday with a special early week show from Orillia via Saskatchewan singer songwriter Zachary Lucky who’s tour in support of his latest CD “Songs for Hard Times ”stops by the Owl Acoustic Lounge on Monday.

 On the west side, Luke James Bruce hosts his  usual open mic at Mojos Pub.


 The Owl Acoustic Lounge’s usual weekly open mic is on Tuesday.


And because it‘s the end of the month, Teri Petz return’s to the Owl Acoustic Lounge to host their monthly Poetry open mic.


 Things get loud at the Slice with Vancouver punk blues duo The Pack AD and Hell Diablo plus local riot grrl trio Mombod at the Slice, on Wednesday, Sept. 28. Tickets are $16.93 for the Pack AD’s last tour. The music begins at 9 p.m.

 Get a little more mellow at the Slice on Thursday, Sept. 29 as Sweet Alibi stop by in support of their latest CD “Make a Scene,” with Chris Drew.


 Then turn it up again at the Slice on Friday Sept. 30 with Edmonton psychobilly/punk  rock band The Devil’s Sons supporting their new CD “Broken Bones, Bottles and Hearts. If you like Social Distortion and the Supersuckers , you will like the Devil’s Sons.  The Hockey Moms, Bob Scallywag and for something a little different  l’omelette will be joining them. Admission is $10 at the door.

The Slice hosts a big local rap and hip hop show on Saturday, Oct. 1 to open October.

 Zimbabwe artist of the year  Kay L is the headliner with support from JPB, Indigidrip, Stratum403, Atomic Lane, Kropp Hopper and Knixxen Out. Tickets are $17.87 through Eventbrite.

Last Updated ( Monday, 26 September 2022 07:35 ) Read more...

Sweet Alibi to share sweet harmonies and new music at the Slice

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Winnipeg folk pop trio Sweet Alibi are ready bring their sweet harmonies back to Lethbridge, Sept. 29 at the Slice along with a more pop  inspired CD “ Make A Scene.”


Sweet Alibi’s Amber Nielsen playing with Richard Inman and Fortune Block this summer. Photo by Richard Amery

 Amber Nielsen hasn't stopped running since things opened up,  as she was just in Lethbridge in July supporting Richard Inman for Upside Downtown, is excited to return to Lethbridge with Sweet Alibi band mates, Jessica Rae Ayre (lead vocals, guitar, harmonica) and Michelle Anderson (electric guitar/banjo/ background vocals) plus  bassist Alisdair Dunlop and drummer Sandy Fernandez.


 “ I’ve been playing with Richard Inman and before that I was touring with Sweet Alibi,” Neilsen said.

 She is excited about the new CD, agreeing. the band’s sound has evolved.


“it still has folk rock roots. This time we worked with producer Matt Schellenberg and Matt Peters  (from Royal Canoe). We experimented with different sounds, so it has evolved organically,” she said, noting there are a few horns on the new album.


“It’s our fourth album. We’ve tried to make each album different,” she continued.


Since the interview, they won  a WCMA Award for Roots Artist of the Year.



 “ I think we were touring with the band the last time we were in Lethbridge, which has been a few years (in 2015 for the Lethbridge Folk Club).”


 They recorded the CD right before the pandemic , but were unable to tour on it, so Neilsen is excited to finally be able to support the new music.


“I love the way it sounds. it’s exactly like we wanted . So were excited to tour, though we aren”t bringing the horns, ” she continued, adding they have been playing a lot more soft seat theatres in Germany.

“ It’s fun to play theatres,” she said.


“ We did a small tour of Germany in the summer and we hope to go back next year,” she said.


“ It’s definitely a been a fun year,” she continued.


 They explore a variety of emotions through the lyrics for this CD.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 25 September 2022 17:33 ) Read more...
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