Music is best served... LIVE!
FEBRUARY 22 Elks Lodge
w/ guest - Shaye Zadravec
MULTI JUNO AWARD WINNER Oscar Lopez's Latin guitar groove makes him a standout on the world music stage.
Born in Santiago, Chile, Oscar was encouraged by his father to play the violin and it's close relative the mandolin, influencing his signature rhythmic playing style. He soon chose the nylon-string guitar as his "soul" instrument.
In 1979 he moved to Canada and dedicated himself to mastering the guitar and building his successful musical career. Oscar calls Calgary, Alberta home. "My roots are here but all that I am I owe to my mother country; she has made me who I am today".
Ever the collaborator, Oscar easily incorporates jazz, blues, roots and pop sensibilities into his music. His friendship and artistic chemistry with singer/songwriter James Keelaghan resulted in two fusion recordings as Compadres. They performed scores of live performances at festivals and on stages around the world.
Oscar also joined fellow guitarists Pavlo and Rik Emmett (P.R.O.), recorded "Trifecta" and toured extensively in North America, wowing audiences with their rich and energetic music and his free spirit and guitar artistry.
Oscar's infectious rhythms, guitar mastery and improvisational wit will make you marvel and definitely want to get up and dance. Speaking of which, Oscar has shared the stage with dancers from Alberta Ballet and with big bands like The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra with Spirit of the West. A two-time JUNO Award winner and multi-nominee, he continues to surprise and engage.
An independent artist again, Oscar Lopez's latest release: "Apasionado".
SHAYE ZADRAVEC (ZAD-RA-VEC–soundslikeitlooks)https://shayezadravec.com
“Sometimes they sneak up on you... the great ones. So subtle, so graceful – no big notes, no overwrought star search theatrics, just pure, unaffected performance beauty.”
She appeared out of nowhere, sitting in at open mics, singing background vocals with some of the local heroes, always understated, always memorable.
She sings with an ease and comfort that washes over the listener. She is a singer – it’s as simple as that - she is not a singer-songwriter. She is an interpreter, a singer of songs. Think of those that have come before her – the interpreters: Linda Ronstadt, Eva Cassidy, Norah Jones, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Anne Murray. Great singers who have forged their careers by adding the beauty of their voices to great, great songs.
With contributions and support from notables including Hall of Fame songwriter Chip Taylor, Norwegian producer / musician Goran Grini, and the who’s who of her local scene, Shaye breathes new life into songs written by the aforementioned Taylor, Shelby Lynne and Chris Cuddy. She released her debut ep “Norway” last summer.
- March 9 - Elks Lodge
David Vest & Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne
Special Guest: JUKE!
David Vest is an authentic, Southern-bred boogie-woogie piano player, blues
shouter and world-class entertainer who now lives in Canada.
Born in Huntsville, Alabama in 1943, David grew up in Birmingham near Tuxedo
Junction. His first paying gig was in 1957, and by the time he opened for Roy
Orbison on New Year’s Day 1962, he was a seasoned veteran of Gulf Coast
roadhouses and honky-tonks. At 17, David went on tour with Jerry Woodard and
the Esquires, some of whom later became key members of the Muscle Shoals
Swampers. He jammed with Ace Cannon, Bill Black’s Combo and the Jimmy
Dorsey Band in clubs along the Florida Panhandle
He had seen Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash by 1958. He saw
Bo Diddley, Jimmy Reed, and John Lee Hooker in the prime of their careers.
About the time he turned 21 he found himself onstage with Big Joe Turner, who
said that David Vest’s playing made him feel like he was back in Kansas City.
His first recording featured the last song written by Alton Delmore. David himself
wrote the first songs recorded by Tammy Wynette, as detailed in her recent bio.
He also dated a sister of the Louvin Brothers, toured with Faron Young (who
threatened to kill him), backed Red Foley in a show where all the stars got
robbed, worked in a theatre with Fannie Flagg and became the first American
artist to record in Romania. David received the "direct laying on of hands" from
Texas piano legends like Big Walter The Thunderbird, Katie Webster and Floyd
Dixon. He toured with Jimmy T99 Nelson and Miss Lavelle White, when he
wasn’t jamming with Arnett Cobb, Milt Larkin, Jimmy Ford and Straight No
Chaser in Houston.
From 2002 through 2006, he was co-leader of the Paul deLay Band, reaching
the Top Ten on Billboard's national blues chart. David's many festival
appearances include Bumbershoot, King Biscuit, Waterfront (Portland), Winthrop,
Edmonton, Calgary, Tremblant, Trois-Rivières, Baltimore, Houston Juneteenth,
Ritzville and New Orleans Jazzfest. (and CMF 2011).
Working solo or with his band, he continues to bring audiences to their feet and
to demonstrate why he has been called “one of the greatest living boogie-woogie
Born in Spokane but raised in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New Orleans,Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne was a child prodigy in his minister father’s youth choir. Eventually turning from the Lord’s work to the Devil’s music, he took up the blues, borrowed his nickname from legendary influence Amos Milburn, got a few fashion tips from Jim Carrey in The Mask, and the Blues Boss was born.
He’s been large and in charge ever since. Wayne released his first album Alive & Loose in 1995. It was followed by Blues Boss Boogie in 1998 and four albums for Canadian label Electro-Fi Records: 88th & Jump Street, the Juno-winning Let It Loose, Can’t Stop Now and the live Piano-Rama. Since joining Stony Plain Records in 2011, Wayne has released ‘An Old Rock On A Roll’, 2014’s Rollin’ With The Blues Boss and Jumpin’ and Boppin’ in 2016.
In keeping with those energetic titles, Wayne is a man in constant motion. He’s built a stellar reputation within Canada and abroad for his colourfully energetic shows, and regularly performs everywhere from Europe and Israel to Russia and South America, selling out 800 to 1,000-seat venues and headlining international festivals.
And the charismatic performer plans to keep boppin’ as long as he can. “I’m gonna go until the chariot comes down and opens the door and I jump on,” he says. “It’s like a friend of mine says: You gotta make the landlord happy.”
– March 30 Elks Lodge
w/guests - Ocean Men
MAJOR LOVE is the moniker of Canadian songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Colleen Brown – and a new album featuring members of Scenic Route To Alaska, Jesse and the Dandelions, Elijah Abrams, and Aaron Goldstein.
With versatile songs and a voice akin to Joni Mitchell, Colleen Brown is relentlessly unafraid. Kerry Doole of exclaim.ca says ‘she is the rare vocalist that impresses equally on vibrant soul and quiet folk...travelling in Brown’s Direction is one very pleasing trek.’
An album was tracked live off the floor a month later at True North Studios in Edmonton with Jesse Northey on keys and faders. Contributions from Elijah Abrams followed, with mixes and co- production by Toronto- based Aaron Goldstein, along with Kenneth Meehan. The singalong single ‘So Good’ was mixed by Brooklyn’s Gus van Go and Werner F. The album was released on Latent Recordings (Warner) on Aug 24, 2018.
The first two singles ‘Tear It Down’ and ‘So Good’ have been embraced at CBC Radio 2, landing in the Top 20 for several weeks – and CBC Radio 3.
When I told Colleen Brown that we usually get local musicians to open our concerts, she said, “Great! Get a young rock band!” Sounded like a plan to me. OCEAN MEN (Ryan Berglund, Steven Kitt, Michael Harvey & Kaidan Schauer) will be filling that bill.
Nothing like live Rock n’ Roll to motivate your soul!
JOHN WORT HANNAM
April 12 Elks Lodge
w/ guests - Off The Rails
In 2001 John Wort Hannam quit his teaching job and spent 10 months depleting his savings while sat at his kitchen table, wearing a lucky hat, writing his first ten songs. Those songs would become his first recording Pocket Full Of Holes, released in 2003.
Seventeen years later, the Alberta musician is releasing his seventh full- length recording Acres Of Elbow Room and has a few feathers in that lucky hat for his first six offerings. Feathers that include a JUNO nomination, a Canadian Folk Music Award for Best Album of the Year, a CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award, a Kerrville Texas New Folk win, and numerous Western Canadian Music Award and Canadian Folk Music Award nominations.
Recent years have seen a great deal of change in John’s life - becoming a Dad, turning 50, a move to the “big city” of Lethbridge, a long, deep bout of depression, and episodes of losing his singing voice. But John has emerged a better songwriter, a better singer, and a better player.
On Acres Of Elbow Room, John has further refined his lyrical style and has landed squarely on his niche in the folk-roots world. He’s spent years learning the craft of songwriting and is taking those tools to write some of his most personal songs. He has, quite literally, found his voice.
Off The Rails
Family band OFF THE RAILS features siblings and cousins April Irwin, Brent Cheek, Melanie Cheek, and Judy and Lloyd Jackson. The instrumentation of the band and the rich harmonies they weave into their songs are enhanced by years of singing together around the piano and guitar.
OFF THE RAILS ... Judy, Melanie and April’s natural, sweet vocal blend compliments Brent’s rich tenor, while Lloyd pulls it all together with an additional layer of harmony. Lloyd brings decades of band experience to the group as it’s backbone instrumentalist on lead & rhythm guitar and bass. Brent’s unique piano style was born from a natural talent and finely tuned ear. The girls take turns on rhythm and bass guitar, and percussion. Mandolin, accordion, and harmonica are layered on as well.
OFF THE RAILS have selected songs from the past and the present - cover tunes and originals and pay particular homage to the songwriting of Leonard Cohen, The Beatles, James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Randy Newman, Gillian Welch, The Indigo Girls, Fred Eaglesmith and fellow Alberta-based musicians Pat Hatherly, and Mike Plume & Jenny Orenstein.
OFF THE RAILS transport themselves and their audience away - through story & song, tears & laughter.
“BROTHER” RAY LEMELIN BAND
APRIL 27 Elks Lodge
w/guest Kent Cadman and TBD
The love of music, dance and singing started early in Ray’s life in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, through his mother’s taste for Rhythm and Blues. Ray was immediately drawn to the Soul sounds of vocal groups, notably ‘The Supremes’. “I love the groove and those big vocal sounds” confirms Lemelin. James Brown, Joe Tex and Wilson Pickett were other major influences. His migration to Calgary in the late seventies really opened up opportunities for Ray to pursue a career. Inspired by a quote from guitar legend Johnny Winter – “it should be the “older” black musicians we listen to”.
Lemelin has worked with Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Queen Ida, Johnny Copeland, Larry David, the Legendary Lowell Fulson, and appeared on
stage with numerous performers such as Luther Johnson, Junior Wells, Amos Garrett, the Late Valerie Wellington, Michael Coleman, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Billy Branch, and Albert Collins. The Ray Lemelin Band also completed 3 tours with Grammy Award winner Fenton Robinson. He worked with Johnny V and Rusty Reed’s bands, then fronted his own band “Sho-Nuff”. He has been an integral part of the Canadian blues scene for decades.
“If you put the Blues of B.B. King, the grooves of James Brown, and the Gospel vocal sounds of the Staple Singers”, states Lemelin, “and mix it all up, you have the ingredients for a Funky, ‘Soulful’ good time!”
The Brother Ray Lemelin Band likes to make a gumbo of good time music, so you better bring your dancing shoes!
MAY 16 Elks Club
w/guest Charlie Jacobson
Harrison Kennedy in 1968 joined the Detroit pop group “The Chairmen of the
Board.” and played all the top venues including The Tonight Show, Soul Train ,
American Bandstand and England's "Top-Of-The-Pops', doing their hit, “Gimme
Me Just A Little More Time.” C.O.T.B. had performances with B.B. King, James
Brown, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Funkadelics and more. C.O.T.B. also
performed many times at New York's Famous Apollo Theatre.
Harrison was awarded the 2016 “Blues Album of the Year” JUNO for his album “This Is From Here” at the 45th annual JUNO Awards (Canada’s Grammy) in Calgary, Alberta on April 2nd. This was the 6th nomination for the Hamilton
Harrison grew up in a house filled with music and famous visitors such as Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Lonnie Johnson. In 1969 he took a hiatus from college to become a founding member of the million selling
Detroit Soul Super Group “The Chairmen of the Board” with whom he toured the world, as well as appearing on Soul Train, American Bandstand and the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
Since signing with Electro-Fi Records in 2007, Harrison Kennedy has released 5 internationally acclaimed albums and developed into one of the 21st century’s most insightful and original Blues singer/songwriters. The JUNO winning album “This Is From Here” was co-produced by keyboard ace JESSE O’BRIEN, with Roots Guitar Master COLIN LINDEN guesting on several tracks. It has also won the prestigious Academie Charles Cros in France for 2016 Blues Album of the Year.