Block Heater Recap: Friday

Sunday 24th, February 2019 / 17:52


By Mike Dunn

The Mariachi Ghost

CALGARY – There’s something at every big festival that fires your pangs of nostalgia. When Matt Mays’s show at Studio Bell hit capacity quickly, the crowd dispersed throughout the festival to catch some other acts. Lethbridge country singer Shaela Miller had gone directly from a long workshop at the King Eddy into her concert set, which put her and her crack band of Windy City honky tonkers on stage for nearly three straight hours, which gave her set an old time feel as much her roadhouse shuffles as in the sweaty old school reality of hard working country bands.

Saskatchewan folkers Kacy & Clayton put on yet another excellent show here in Calgary, their California 70’s folk rock sound punctuated by a serious amount of laid back charm, mixing in songs recently recorded for a new record in with older numbers like the brilliant “Brunswick Stew”. The ATB Stage in the Studio Bell lobby was well packed for Ashley MacIssac, the iconic Nova Scotia fiddle maestro laying down a blazing violin workout with pulsing beats provided by his sideman on only a cajon. I walked in form the cold a little later to find Edmonton alt-rock weirdos The Wet Secrets laying into an energetic cover of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2” before frontman Lyle Bell ripped a fuzzy punk rock bass solo that had a lot of Mike Watt to it, to go along with Bell’s infectious energy.

Kacy & Clayton

Later, at the King Eddy, after the Block Heater program was finished, those who stuck around got an extra performance from Winnipeg’s The Mariachi Ghost. While known for their theatrical performances, The Mariachi Ghost would be nowhere if they weren’t skilled players and singers, and with new songs from their upcoming record based on the Mexican novel Pedro Páramo sitting in nicely with cuts from their 2013 self-titled debut, The Mariachi Ghost played a powerful set late into the chilly Calgary night.

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