In 2006, Stettler-born bluesman Hank Lionheart moved from Vancouver to Edmonton take on the role of art director for Company’s Coming Cookbooks.
In his spare time, he cobbled together Big Hank and a Fist Full of Blues, a sextet with quite a bit of heft. They included guitarists Barry Nighswander and Ken Kirkwood, keyboard ace Dennis Meneely and in the rhythm section drummer Bill Hobson and St. Albert bassist Duane Smith, formerly of Tacoy Ride.
In December 2008, they released their first album titled Lightning Strike My Boogie. Tonight they turn up the heat debuting their follow-up CD Bluesville at the Newcastle Pub, 6108 – 90 Ave. Special guests are Willy James, Crawdad Canterra and Marshall Lawrence.
The 15-track CD has a contemporary feel, yet retains key references to classic blues. “We have a lot of different sounds, different guitar riffs, different grooves, different arrangements. We even utilize the horns in Life of the Party,” says Smith.
Recorded at Crowtown Studios in Edmonton over a period of several months, Bluesville is a team effort of original material. Some of the tunes are topical such as Nighswander’s East Side Blues, a song about the Vancouver homeless.
Others are groove based such as the Motown vibe of Your Minefield or the up-tempo Boz Skaggs feel of I’ll Just Have to Hold On. And then there’s the sexy sounding shuffle Little Black Dress with lyrics by Lionheart and music by Smith.
The concert starts at 9 p.m. Cover charge of $10. For more information visit www.fistfullofblues.com.
Capital Ex just mothballed Ed Fest and reconfigured its concert stages.
This year the central attraction is the Telus Stage, going strong with some of Canada’s top acts such as George Canyon, Stereos and Metric.
On Sunday, July 25 Juno and Canadian Country Music Award winner George Canyon along with CCMA winner Gord Bamford will perform.
And on Monday, July 26, the Toronto-based Stereos with guest rockers Down With Webster strut the Telus Stage. Stereos lead singer, Pat Kordyback, is a Bellerose High graduate, and for the band it will be a chance to re-connect with family and friends.
On Friday, July 30 the 2010 Group of the Year Juno Award winner, Metric, along with guest Hot Hot Heat set out to raise the temperature.
More acts will be announced in the weeks to come. For future announcements visit www.captialex.ca.
This coming Tuesday, Ammar’s Open Stage welcomes Juno award nominee Rick Shott and St. Albert veteran Todd Redekopp.
Of his two guests, host Mark Ammar says, “Rick has a knack of quietly filling in the background with such a volatile guitar style that even when he is being the subtle guitar player in the corner, you can’t help but notice his style and sound.
Redekopp instead was a blues man until 1985 when he put his guitar away and resurfaced in 2005. Since then he’s played at the Nanaimo Blues Festival and the Vancouver Olympics.
The open jam starts at 9 p.m. at LB’s Pub, 23 Akins Dr. No charge.