Working the Calgary connections

Locals headline this week’s finest shows

Considering we’ve dedicated a good chunk of this issue to celebrating the best of Calgary it’d be a shame not to shine a spotlight on local music too. Of course there’s instrumental rockers The Ramblin’ Ambassadors and psychedelic weirdos The Azymyth both of whom are releasing new albums and both of whom are profiled in these very pages. That’s not all that’s going on in the city though.

After winning two songwriting awards at the 2007 Calgary Folk Music Festival songwriter competition local country singer J.R. Shore spent the past year recruiting a backing band and making a debut worthy of his early accolades. An Impeccable Shine comes out on Friday and Shore will be celebrating the release with a show at the Ironwood Stage — it’s a good chance to see what last year’s folk fest jury was going on about.

For the more classically minded the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra is taking advantage up the upswing in the weather to offer POPS in the Park at Heritage Park this Tuesday and Wednesday. Both nights feature a barbecue at 6:30 p.m. and concert at 7:30 p.m. with pieces like Rossini’s “William Tell Overture” and family favourites like “Ghost Riders in the Sky.” The latter isn’t exactly classical but anything that the Blues Brothers have covered is surely a classic.

Still to come later in June CD releases from local heavies like the Cape May’s Clinton St. John the Neckers’ Bil Hetherington and upstarts Women who’ll be heading to Europe with Chad Van Gaalen later this summer.

Although it may be stretching the local angle a little Montreal’s CPC Gangbangs (featuring Calgary’s Paul Spence a.k.a. Dean from FUBAR) are heading into town on Sunday June 1 where they’ll be joined by Edmonton’s Secret Fires and Calgary’s own Nightrocket . Expect hard-rock debauchery worthy of a night with Mötley Crüe. Ignore the early posters though — due to ongoing issues at the venue the show has been moved from the Republik to Bamboo Tiki Room. Because nothing says hard rock like tiki torches.

Lastly Kingston Ontario’s Tom Savage may not have a local connection but the Tom Savage Trio’s heartfelt roots rock would fit right in come Stampede time. Savage has apparently scrapped the acoustic guitar that’s served him well over the years and is rockin’ out with the best of them on his current tour. Catch him at the Ship and Anchor this Saturday and then at Shuckalucks on June 5 after he works his way through rural Alberta.