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Stagger digs deep for new album

Leeroy Stagger’s new album Dream It All Away is described as a personal road trip.

The singer/songwriter has dug deep into his own troubled childhood for some of the inspiration, and hopes his “honest” tunes are meaningful to listeners who are also seeking their own happiness and resolution. READ

‘It’s so hard to say good-bye’

Selecting the best scenes and songs from the last decade of Tree House theatre shows was bittersweet for Matt Gould. After 10 years as artistic director, Gould is leaving the youth theatre company after the spring show, 2 For the Road, is presented from May 28 to June 6 at Red Deer’s Scott Block theatre. READ

Bull Skit offers up its best

If more people are staying home for their entertainment, the trend doesn’t seem to be affecting Red Deer’s improvisation and sketch comedy troupe, Bull Skit. READ

The Gay Nineties set to shake things up at Bo’s

The Gay Nineties refers to the 1890s, with its decadent and ground-breaking art, witty plays, society scandals and the beginning of the suffragette movement. READ

Gilmore and Giebelhaus to play Golden Circle

From making guitars to playing them in front of an audience, Dave Gilmore is going the whole nine yards. The duo of Gilmore and Kelly Giebelhaus will entertain on Saturday, May 23, as part of the In Concert at the Golden Circle series. READ

A break with convention

When Vernon Murgatroyd fractured his collarbone and couldn’t use his left hand, he didn’t take a break from composing music at the piano. The indomitable 74-year-old embraced the challenge by writing a piano piece for the right hand. READ

Hip-hop artist encourages fans to believe in themselves

To all the young people who feel like they’re drifting through life, hip-hop artist Snak the Ripper says: Persevere. “Keep on working on whatever it is you’re interested in, and believe in yourself — even if no one else does ... “Thinking too much about what other people think of you — that’s what stops a lot of kids,” said Snak, whose real name is William Scott Fyvie. A decade or so ago, the popular Vancouver rapper and founder of Stealth Bomb Records was a homeless graffiti kid, sleeping on other people’s couches. “I was really unsure of myself and I didn’t have a lot of friends,” recalled the 32-year-old, who performs on Wednesday, May 20, at Wild Bill’s Sports Bar in Red Deer. READ

Pride still going strong

After a chart-topping 50-year music career that’s taken him to the Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame, Charley Pride doesn’t want to think about bowing out. “I won’t retire ... I don’t want anything to do with that,” said the legendary country artist, who performs on Saturday, May 23, at Red Deer’s Centrium. READ

James welcomes fans to his living room with stripped down nostalgic concert

“Welcome to our living room,” Colin James told 600 Central Alberta fans, as he settled into a chair next to tatty lamp on Red Deer’s Memorial Centre stage. READ

An emotion-packed evening of theatre

Prisoner-of-conscience Micah shouts into the darkness: “Hello! Is anyone still out there?” READ

Navigating two different worlds

Singer Ian Kelly’s dilemma illustrates the great cultural divide between Quebec and the rest of Canada. Although the bi-cultural folk/pop artist sings in English, he’s idolized in his own French-speaking province, where his records have reached gold status and are regularly nominated for Félix Awards. Kelly has headlined the Montreal Jazz Festival, playing to audiences of up to 60,000 people — yet hardly anyone outside of Quebec has heard of him. READ

Comedy out of everyday drama

For a guy who’s funny on screen, Gerry Dee said he deals with a whole lot of drama in his everyday life. The trick is squeezing comic nuggets out of sundry tragedies, added the comedian, who performs a stand-up show on Monday, May 11, at Red Deer’s Memorial Centre. READ

Good for what ails the troubled heart

“Music is like a medicine,” says six-time Juno Award-winning singer Colin James, who performs on Wednesday at Red Deer’s Memorial Centre. If so, then his torchy Hearts on Fire album could prove a soothing elixir for what ails the troubled heart. READ

Psychological thriller looks at prisoners of conscience

Three Romanians, united by religious beliefs, are separated in different isolation cells in Andrew Kooman’s new play, We Are the Body. The year is 1955 and the Soviet Union has drawn an Iron Curtain across Eastern Europe. Formerly Christian countries, such as Romania, are being forced to embrace a state-imposed atheism. As a playwright and a Christian, Kooman was intrigued by this historic time and place — and by the question of which ideas are people willing to suffer or even die for? READ

Beautiful Bach

Bach’s earthy and ethereal sides were both showcased in the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra’s blockbuster Brandenburg Project on Saturday. All six of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos were delivered in their entirety by RDSO musicians and guest artists in a behemoth 2 3/4-hour concert at the Red Deer College Arts Centre. READ

Treat your ears for a good cause

Playing for audiences is fulfilling. Performing music to help others is life changing. Naomi Delafield, director of the Rosedale Valley Strings, has seen young musicians grow as artists and as people every time they put on a Music With a Mission concert to fundraise for global projects. “It changes who they are and who they grow up to be,” said Delafield, who has seen youngsters go on to volunteer with non-profits, “empowered” by the idea of helping others. READ

Can’t beat original art

More people are eating local produce and shopping at local stores — so how about buying local art? READ

Less is more

From the horrors of the Boston Marathon bombing to the ecstatic win of wheelchair athlete Jessica Frotten, a gamut of human emotions is explored on Gordie Tentrees’ fifth album. READ

No time for self-pity, no place for blame

The tunes on Rodney DeCroo’s latest album, Campfires On the Moon, can be considered his Songs of Experience. After all, there was little innocence in DeCroo’s childhood. And his new release reflects on this. READ

Mother Mother concert shapes up ‘just lovely’

Something pretty zen was in the air Friday night. Or as Mother Mother frontman Ryan Guldemond put it: “Tonight’s got the right stuff . . .You never can tell how the voodoo’s going to shape up, but it’s taking shape just lovely . . . ” READ

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