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MUSIC NOTES: Country Mixtape Tour for Surrey’s Tyler Joe Miller, others

Music news, views and reviews for Surrey and Metro Vancouver
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Tyler Joe Miller performs at the 2023 Gone Country benefit concert in Cloverdale on July 22, 2023. (Photo: facebook.com/tylerjoemiller)

Surrey’s Tyler Joe Miller will headline the Country Mixtape Tour coming to Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom on April 10, along with Shawn Austin and Andrew Hyatt. Tickets are $32.50 for the concert, presented by Live Nation Canada.

The cross-Canada tour will feature the artists’ collective hits mixed in with some of their favourite cover songs they grew up on.

Miller burst onto the scene in 2020 with a string of hit singles including ““Pillow Talkin’” and “I Would Be Over Me Too,” and was nominated for three CCMA Awards in 2023 including Single of the Year (“Wild As Her”).

Next August, Miller says he can’t wait to play an event called Extreme Mudfest in Cold Lake, Alberta, featuring motorsports, bull riding, softball and concerts. “Sounds like a damn good time to me,” Miller raved on Facebook. Look for tickets and more details on extrememudfest.com.

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Kurt Langmann’s “Commodore Ballroom Blitz” guitar in a photo posted to Facebook Marketplace.

‘BALLROOM BLITZ’ SOLD

Speaking of the Commodore Ballroom, former Aldergrove Star editor/reporter Kurt Langmann is selling a piece of Vancouver rock history. When the dance floor of the landmark concert venue was replaced in the late 1990s, Langmann obtained enough of the wood to make a special guitar he calls the Commodore Ballroom Blitz.

“I hand-built this electric guitar from a piece of the solid Quebec maple floorboards of the old Commodore Ballroom 25 years ago,” Langmann explains in a Facebook Marketplace ad. “I left the shoe scuffs, cigarette burns, and proverbial blood, sweat and tears on the dance floorboards and just varnished the top to seal it in. Solid mahogany back. Telecaster pickup, Hagstrom vibrato and roller bridge/nut make it playable but it’s really more of a nostalgia/art piece. $1,500.”

Langmann is selling the guitar because he’s “reluctantly downsizing in my retirement and relocation.”

LITTLE MOUNTAIN SOUNDS

I’m not sure why Dec. 19 was chosen, but it was “Little Mountain Sound Studios Day” in Vancouver, in salute to the many rock hits recorded there in the 1980s. Seems that the special day was timed with the release of a documentary by Global’s Squire Barnes about the place where Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, AC/DC and other bands made gold and platinum albums.

The 47-minute news feature, “Little Mountain, Big Sound,” is a fascinating look back at the radio-jingle roots of the studio and its hard-rock evolution, led by producers Bruce Fairbairn, Bob Rock and other studio wizards including Pat Glover, now chief sound man at White Rock’s Blue Frog Studio. South Surrey resident Mike Reno tells the story of recording Loverboy’s “Turn Me Loose” at Little Mountain, and why he wished he didn’t add the “MYYYYY WAYYYYY” scream late in the session (it’s now tough for him to reach those notes in concert).

It was a relatively short run of success for the studio, which closed in the early 1990s due to a massive rent increase and changing musical tastes. But we still hear a lot of Little Mountain every time a sports stadium rocks with “Livin’ on a Prayer,” “Thunderstruck,” “Kickstart My Heart” and other iconic songs of the era.

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Luca Stricagnoli will be featured during another International Guitar Night concert in New Westminster. (Contributed photo)

GUITAR NIGHT JAN. 25

If you love the sound of guitars, you might want to check out the International Guitar Night planned Jan. 25 at Massey Theatre in New Westminster. Event publicist Rona Goodman promises a “killer” lineup this year headlined by Luca Stricagnoli, an Italian acoustic-rocker whose invention, a triple-necked guitar, is a viral sensation.

The concert will also feature Thu Le (Vietnam), whose nylon-string artistry stretches from classical to contemporary, Marco Pereira (Brazil) and Minnie Marks (Australia), a blues slide guitar player/singer making her North American debut. For details and tickets visit masseytheatre.com/event/massey-presents-international-guitar-night.



Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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