Walking into The Shanty Tavern is like walking back in time several decades. It’s as cozy as an old friend, though, with wood-wrapped walls, beer signs, one pool table, and a tired old L-shaped bar with a laminate top and brass rail. We chose to sit at the bar for a better view, but there were several tables of various sizes separated by a wide aisle throughout the tavern.
We got there a little early, so we had time to chat with John Spacrotelli, a friendly Italian-American gentleman who charmed our hearts. He’s been the the proprietor and bartender since 1961. John poured us a couple of Manny’s pints, and with a big grin, asked if we were sweethearts. “Yeah, I guess so, we’ve been married over 25 years,” I said, smiling back at him.
“What?!” he exclaimed to Pat, with thick eyebrows raised in disbelief. “Did you marry her when she was a baby?” OK, I’ll take the compliment, although it was dark in there; he didn’t have an accurate view. Mr. Spacrotelli said his own sweetheart is 10 years younger than him, so she keeps him feeling youthful. And how much older is Pat? Two years. I could see him doing the math. How old is our son? Eighteen. Hmmmm. Our bartender was so friendly and accommodating, it was hard to resist answering his probing questions.
John mentioned he came from a big Italian family, so we then got on the subject of traveling to Italy and compared cities we visited. I dream of going back one day. I think we’ll have to stop by again just to have a pint and a chat, and pick up where we left off.
We also spoke with Country Dave Harmonson before the show. He’s looking forward to playing at some festivals this summer, including Pickathon in Oregon with Cahalen Morrison. Dave accompanies their band on guitar and steel. Morrison and Dave also opened for Big Sandy at The Sunset in December. Several festivals and dates are already popping up and filling with artists throughout Washington. I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled. Concert Season is here!
Gaby Maag-Bristol, the bass player, is also a friend from our neighborhood. It was nice to see her out at a show again, but this was the first time we got to see her play. She said they hit the retirement home circuit that afternoon, but she enjoyed the gig because the patrons really appreciate their music and enjoy visiting with the band. I said we’ll be there someday, too. She added, “…and hopefully we’ll have people come visit and play for us!”
On with the show! Dave and Marc dressed in bright red satin shirts for Valentine’s Day. The bright red lights reflecting off their shirts gave the stage a crimson glow, a fitting color for the romantic eve. The band’s sound was polished to a shiny glow, too. They know their vintage country. Marc Bristol’s smooth vocals belted out familiar tunes from Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Charley Pride, and Hank Williams, along with some great original songs in the same classic line. Gaby and Robert kept the beat alive and kicking along. Country Dave’s solo picking on both guitar and steel added so much complexity and depth to the songs. Watching him play is really a treat. We first saw him play with The Swearengens at The Tractor a couple of years ago, and I haven’t met his equal on pedal steel.
Meanwhile, the dancers showed up. At first, just two pairs of two-steppers braved the open floor. Then about halfway through the set, a big crowd came in and joined them. About 10 couples were dancing, filling up the entire floor of the little tavern. I enjoyed watching them spin and step. A song would end, and they would hurry back to their seats, only to be drawn back again by the next upbeat country song. I think someone was dancing to just about every song they played. Great fun!
Country Dave and The Pickin’ Crew were up next, but we couldn’t stay around for Dave’s band. The long work day took its toll, and we called it a night. We promised to catch him some other time.
Although still exhausted from my crazy road trip from the week before and the sleepless aftermath of frantically writing the corresponding blog, we couldn’t pass up a chance to see some live music in Ballard. Our neighbors invited us out to The Sunset Tavern January 18th. They had seen Legendary Oaks before and thought we might like them, too. The other two opening bands were unknown to all of us. Check out the links of all the bands below and hear their music. Watch their videos. Make a purchase and support our local musicians.
Day Laborers and Petty Intellectuals opened the show. When I saw the name in the bill, I thought it might be a Tom Petty cover band. I don’t usually enjoy cover bands, but I was willing to give it a shot this time, since it would be a comfort to sit back and enjoy some familiar music. I was disappointed when I quickly realized they were not a TP cover band at all. This big band played original pop/folk (they call themselves a six-piece folk-apocalypse band) tunes and had an unusual narrative style that wasn’t hitting my sweet spot. Other audience members disagreed; many people seemed attentive and clapped heartily for them after each song. Maybe I was having an off night. Check them out for yourself.
The Brambles (aka West Coast Brambles–not to be confused with East Coast Brambles) were up next. Their music definitely hit the spot for me. They had a tight sound with a bluesy Americana vibe. People danced to the nice two-step, upbeat tempo. Some songs were more solemn than others, but it was a good mix of both. The guitarist, Omar Schambacher was amazing. It seemed he was dying for a chance to break out into a big, rockin’ solo. We enjoyed watching him play. Also, my husband enjoyed Vanessa Small, the lead singer. She was “not bad to look at” according to P, in his usual subdued enthusiasm, and she had a great voice for Americana.
Next, the headliner, Legendary Oaks came out fightin’. The lead singer, Craig Schoen admitted he had a good buzz on and dove right in. Their music was loud and rocking with a psychedelic alt-country twang, sans fiddler. Our neighbor informed us that the last time he saw Legendary Oaks, not only was Schoen piss drunk, but he chewed out his fiddler onstage for being completely out of key on a song. Awesome. They seemed to do just fine without her and filled the whole room with sound.
Right about the time Legendary Oaks took the stage, the dance floor shifted from two-step to a Bellevue up-scale club scene. It was surreal. Women with up-dos and pretty dresses you’d see at cocktail parties or conventions sauntered in and proceeded to dance, Night-at-the-Roxbury-style, in too-high heels. There was also a small bachelorette party that joined them. The band was obviously amused by this strange turn on the dance floor. Schoen was on stage screamin’, cussin’ and wailin’ on his acoustic guitar while the girls raised the roof and tried to look like their shoes weren’t mangling their feet. Oh, we had a good laugh at the bizarre dichotomy! But as Kevin Shinyribs Russell says, “There’s no wrong way to dance!” So I had to give the girls credit for getting out there and shaking it. We certainly wouldn’t be shaking anything but the last drop outta the can of PBR this night.
My husband Pat is a bona fide Willie Sugarcapps groupie. I blame myself. I’m seriously considering changing the name of my blog to “Diary of a Married Groupie’s WIFE.” A decade ago, I encouraged him to see some live music and get away from the TV. We started slowly, maybe a few shows a year. Now, we go to a show every time we have a free weekend. His enthusiasm for live music has definitely grown over the years, especially since we moved away from 10,000 seat arenas and planted ourselves firmly near the stages of small venues all over Seattle.
Willie Sugarcapps, a band that sprouted organically down in the muddy waters of Lower Alabama, is garnering some national attention. Their self-titled debut album is hitting the Americana charts and showed up on many must-have lists of 2013, including #7 on No Depression’s Top 50 of 2013. Their song “Gypsy Train” landed a spot on the Grammy consideration list. Every song on the album is a jewel, and each member is given an opportunity to shine.
Will Kimbrough, singer/songwriter and founding member of the Willie Sugarcapps, toured the Northwest as a solo artist in January, and also played songs from the Willie Sugarcapps album at his shows. My husband and I were honored to be a part of his road crew. It was definitely a highlight of my life, driving hundreds of miles up and down Washington State and spending quality time with one of my musical heroes.
Kimbrough’s excellent solo album, Sideshow Love is also getting respect on the AMA charts and moved up to #31 this week. The album will be officially released on February 14–a fitting day for this collection of love and lust. Join him at Nashville’s Basement for the party. When he’s not touring solo, he’s playing with Willie Sugarcapps, mostly in the Southern states, and keeping close to home.
Back to my groupie husband…
Pat flew to Alabama on business last Friday and called me on Saturday, February 1, the day after he arrived. I could hear traffic noise and chatter in the background, and knew he was driving somewhere with his work buddy Gary.
“Guess where we’re going?” he asked, in a teasing manner. It was Twenty Questions time.
“I dunno,” I said, in my bored voice, “BBQ? Chick Fil-A? White Castle?” No to all three.
“We’re going to Decatur, Georgia!” he exclaimed. I could hear the excitement in his loud voice. My heart skipped a beat, but I kept a nonchalant attitude.
“Oh? And why are you going to Decatur, Georgia?”
“We rented a car, a hotel room, and we bought tickets to see Willie Sugarcapps at Eddie’s Attic tonight!”
“Holy Crap!” I yelled. ”You are officially a bigger groupie than I am! I cannot believe you’re driving to Decatur!”
Decatur, a suburb outside of Atlanta, was about 200 miles away from Huntsville–almost a four-hour drive. They just spent all day flying to Alabama via Atlanta the day before. Well, they didn’t have anything else to do today, so why not?
I asked Pat if Will knew they were coming.
“NO! And don’t say a word to him or post anything on Facebook. I want to surprise him.”
They still had a couple of hours driving ahead of them, but I told him to check in with me once in a while. Meanwhile, I was on pins and needles waiting to hear if they made it to the show and if they surprised Will. I took a walk, wrote a couple of emails and washed the dishes. Purple dish gloves on, hands on hips. Hurry up, already.
Finally, I received a text: ”So sorry you missed this! Playing Mr. Lee.” Later, “Oh, Colorado! Two words: Holy Sh*t!!!!!”
My husband never gets overly excited. Is not in his quiet nature to exclaim anything, unless maybe while watching a closely matched football game, but certainly not at a concert. Even at The Troubadour, where we were so lucky to see Tom Petty, Pat only smiled and nodded once in a while; he let me do the screaming and cussing. For him to frantically text me during the show (which is a no-no, by the way, but I let is pass this time since I had to live vicariously) I could only imagine how magical the Willie Sugarcapps show must have been.
After about a half hour into the performance, Pat stepped outside and called me. He gushed and repeated, “Oh, Lisa, I’m so sorry you’re missing this. Oh, my god, they’re so amazing! Their harmonies and solos are just perfect. Everyone is blown away. It’s the best show I’ve ever seen–better than Tom Petty! It’s such a small theater, the acoustics are incredible, and it’s packed with people!”
On and on he spouted. I could only listen with tears in my eyes, so happy he was having such a moving experience. I thought back to a decade ago when he had little interest in seeing live music. And now, he’s become “One Of Us”.
He also mentioned that they surprised Will. Pat walked right up to him before the show, just like he imagined. Will turned around, and with a perplexed and surprised look said, “Pat?!” and proceeded to give Pat a big hug. Awesome. Pat, the stalker-groupie.
The video below does not compare to the enchanting experience of the live show; but at least it paints a picture of some of the magic moments, like when Corky Hughes goes crazy on that lap steel and when Will shreds on his mandolin. I could tell they were having a fantastic time together. I grieved that I wasn’t there, but was so happy that Pat and Gary made the trip.
Here is “Mr. Lee” at Eddie’s Attic from that night:
Pat also said he got to speak with Brigitte DeMeyer, with whom Will has collaborated. She opened the show, and Pat was very impressed by her sultry voice. She later gave Pat and Gary a CD for helping her walk to her car. I can’t wait to hear it.
Later, I told Will how moved Pat was by the show, and how there is something magical about that band.
“Atlanta, in particular, felt like a step up and forward for WSC,” said Will. “The band is just trying to survive growing pains—mainly, that people want to hear us but we can’t really afford to go play for them. I feel like if we could get out and hit all the cities, 2015 would be a big festival year for us. But you know what? It will happen in its own time. This is no longer the world where you get record company backing when you have a great band. You do it yourself as best you can. You do Kickstarter, or whatever, and you try to step it up a notch. I’m ok with things going along and going well.”
In other words, don’t expect a sweeping national tour anytime soon. If you do have a chance to see Willie Sugarcapps or any of the members of this band, please go and support them. Become a groupie. Check the flight schedules and plan a vacation around their show. Go spend some family time in beautiful Gulf Shores, Alabama and run over to see them play at The Frog Pond in Silverhill. You will not regret it. In the meantime, be sure to pick up their self-titled album and a buy a few for your friends.
Day 3: Lori Gras! – Bellingham, WA Friday, January 10
We were all up and ready to head out of the house at 6:45 to meet Lori and Kenny. First, we ate breakfast at a local diner before they showed up to make the exchange. After many attempts to load all of Will and Sara’s luggage into Kenny’s car, it finally fit like a game of Tetris. Off they went to Bellingham, the final tour destination in Washington.
Pat and I came home and collapsed for a few hours. I tried to sleep, but I had way too many thoughts running through my head. I’m a perpetual list-maker. I checked and re-checked my lists, making sure I had everything ready for this final leg of the tour. I lay down, but kept popping up to add something to a list, make a phone call or send an email. No sleeping for me. Time to get up and re-pack.
Our son was also joining us for the show, so we waited for his return from school before heading north to Bellingham, about two hours away. We didn’t leave until 3:00, and ran into heavy traffic through Everett and Marysville. It finally cleared out just north of Marysville, and we checked in to our roadside motel around 5:00.
We were supposed to go to a wine tasting in Lori’s honor at Purple Space, an events space related to Purple Smile Wines, where Lori works. We had to hurry and change; the theme of the night was all black with colorful beads and decorations to celebrate Lori Gras! (like Marti Gras, get it?). It was party time. After showing up a bit late, we ordered some delicious Mexican food from a local food truck called Jalepeno stationed outside Purple Space. The two-story space was cool, with dark wood and iron railings. Upstairs, the hosts served wine and ale, with a special porter brewed just for Lori with her picture displayed on the Lori Gras! label.
Jacob met up with Will again and spent some time talking music with him. He enjoyed that. I wasn’t really sure how to handle this weekend with the boy. His birthday was the next day, the 11th. I knew he would have preferred a sleep-over birthday party with his best pals rather than hanging out with his parents in Bellingham. But the fact that he got to meet Will and talk shop changed his tune. It made for a very special 18th birthday.
After mingling at the Space for about and hour or so, we drove over to the big party at Bellingham Yacht Club, a few blocks away. The downstairs room was set up for a bash with streamers, palm trees, a beer and wine bar and a hot food buffet. Will’s stage was in one corner, ready to go. Couches and chairs surrounded the stage. We milled around and found other people we knew. There is something familial about the music world. Someone runs into someone else at a show. They become best friends, meet other people at another show, and it becomes one big happy family. I first met Lori, Tim and Kenny at a Todd Snider show in Sparks, NV. Will played guitar for Todd as part of his band, The Nervous Wrecks. After the second night, we met them in the hotel bar where they invited us to their after-party. Will showed up that night with drummer Paul Griffith [see my blog of that show here]. I have since run into Lori and more friends at other shows, including Tom Petty and Willie Nelson. The family tree keeps growing and thriving!
Will took his place in the corner and the audience was asked to please SHUT UP. Thanks, Kenny! ha
Set List for Bellingham Yacht Club Lori Gras! Celebration:
Piece of Work
Let the Big World Spin
Mud Bottom – INCREDIBLE SLIDE
Mud and Moss – Will dedicated this song to Lori. Her joyful reaction was infectious. He actually wrote it that day! Everyone was awestruck. The lyrics were hilarious and very meaningful to our long and crazy road trip:
Wings – He wrote this for Jimmy Buffett – over the years, he’s written about a dozen songs for Jimmy
You Made Your Bed - The next four or five songs on mandolin, one blended into the next, crazy crowd dancing
I Don’t Like It
Nobody From Nowhere
Horshoe Lake -before this song, Tim introduced three ladies that surprised Lori. They were old friends of hers who came to the party.
Mud and Moss -encore- people wanted to hear it again!
When Your Loving Comes Around
Lonesome Train on a Lonesome Track
He Ain’t Right
Soulfully -Jimmy Buffett also covered this
Get Rhythm When You Get the Blues
I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry -Hank Williams Cover
Everybody Wanna Go To Heaven, Nobody Wanna Die
Goodnight Moon and another segue to Wind Cries Mary
Encore - Yo Yo Ma! - Going waay back to The bis-quits! More dancing ensued!
Oh, what a fantastic night and climactic ending to the Washington leg of the tour! People danced to a solo guitar and mandolin (Jake called it Old White People Dancing: stiff arms, stiff necks, stiff backs- ha); Lori laughed and cried and danced with husband Tim and her son Kai as well as several friends; we made new friends; we saw old acquaintances; people celebrated, partied, and toasted Lori’s 50th in grand style. What a wonderful time for all.
The next morning, we met Will, Lori and Sara for breakfast at a coffee shop near the hotel. We wished Jacob a happy 18th birthday. Not a bad way to spend it so far, hanging out with Will after a glorious night of music and revelry. Jacob was a big part of the show, and was one of the photographers, videographers and reluctant dancers.
Thanks to Kenny, Will and Sara had a car waiting for them to drive down to Portland to continue the tour. We each purchased another CD, hugged it out, and wished them a safe journey to Oregon. Pat, Jacob and I continued northward to visit our old friend Ralph and deliver a signed CD. Lori went home to her Seahawk nest and celebrated their big win against the Saints with her friends and family surrounding her.
Will and Sara continued their tour to Portland and Cottage Grove.
Sara was kind enough to send over the set list for the first show in Portland before returning to her home in California (another successful night!):
Secret Society - Portland, OR Saturday, January 11
I Want Too Much
When Your Loving Comes Around
Let The Big World Spin
Hill Country Girl
Champion of the World
Wash and Fold
I am still reeling from this trip. My life feels like a heartbeat. There are moments, hours, and sometimes days of intense, vertical spikes of activity followed by a need to stay horizontal and buffer myself from the rest of the world until I can fall into a normal rhythm again.
My husband asked if my soul is full. Yes–overflowing.
Willie, Willie, Willie, get yo’self on home, boy…
Day 2: Thursday, January 9, 2014
The Royal Room – Columbia City (Seattle), WA
After a brief night’s sleep, we got up early with bleary eyes and aching heads, knowing we had to hit the road as soon as possible to beat the afternoon city traffic and transport Will to his next destination. Kenny and Lori stayed back for a couple more hours while one worked online and the other caught a few more zzzs. We rounded up Sara, but first took a little beach walk to check out the pounding white surf until the incessant wind and sideways rain drove us back inside. We were not looking forward to the long and wet drive home, so we stopped for a quick breakfast to gather some energy and load up on coffee.
Although it seemed like we got home faster, the rainy conditions on the road made it almost impossible to see more than a few yards ahead. Pat braced himself with two hands on the wheel and soldiered on. Mud bogs, muddy water, brackish rivers, moss on the trees and moss on the brains. We kept our minds occupied by solving the world’s problems: Politics, the economy, and health care. Other subjects on this road trip included the music industry and being an almost-50-year-old in the biz, being a sideman and a solo artist, stolen instruments, raising kids, oil spills on The Gulf and their latent effects on our flip-flops (not to mention the rest of the ecosystem), genealogy, geography of the South, hiking in the Northwest, traveling the globe, The Arctic, the history of explorers and slaves on the Gulf Coast, Viet Nam, WWII, WWI. Sara was busy booking future shows, so she and Will checked dates in between discussions. My brain shut off a few times as I cozied up to my pillow against the window. Eyes closed and comatose, I could hear muffled talking, the rain pounding on the windshield, and vehicles hydroplaning past us on the watery highway.
Hungry and tired, we made it back to the ‘burbs of Seattle in one piece. Thank you, Pat, for your patience on the road and helping us arrive safely at each destination! Our son Jacob was home from school, awaiting our return. Pat re-introduced Will to the boy who was thrilled to meet him again after all these years. Jacob was only in fifth grade when he saw Will at the Coos Bay show. Jacob’s first concert will hold a special place in my heart, as I remember with fondness how Will talked to him and signed his shirt. The boy even made little foam visors with hand-cut paper letters glued on the front that said “Will Kimbrough Americanitis” on one, and “Rodney Crowell” on the other. He insisted that we wear them the entire show. Afterward, both Will and Rodney signed the visors. I still have them tucked away in a cabinet.
Pat took Will downstairs and showed him our Music Wall of Fame. Over the years, we’ve collected pictures, tickets, posters and set lists of our favorite artists. Pat and Jacob framed them as art and gave them to me for Christmas. It felt surreal to have someone, whose pictures are hanging on my Music Wall of Fame, standing in my family room looking at my Music Wall of Fame.
Sara also got to hang with us at home while Pat made a quick trip to the store for some apps. We had about an hour and a half before it was time to leave for The Royal Room show. Will disappeared for a bit and caught a short nap. I wanted to sleep so badly, but knew I had things to do. I needed to have a bite, too, and Sara and I enjoyed snacking and chatting before it was time to go. I then freshened up and changed into nicer clothes for the show.
Let’s go! Back in the car, back on the road, back in the horrible rain and Seattle rush hour traffic. We had to backtrack from our suburban home south into the heart of Seattle, and then up and over Pill Hill to Rainier Ave. Over the hillside and through the ‘hood to Columbia City we go!
The Royal Room – a very hip, hipster place to see live music and eat some hearty food. Open spaces, little tables, a generous bar, a large stage, an unusual oversized scary portrait on wall, dim lights and warm atmosphere completed the scene. We arrived late for the sound check due to the traffic, but Will wasn’t worried. Nothing seemed to bother him too much; he just went with the flow. He’s mastered “the art of the hang,” in Tommy Womack’s words. He said he didn’t have much equipment, so the sound check would be quick. We found out later, that even though the venue manager wanted Will there at 6 pm to load in and run through the sound check, he would not play until 10:00. Oh, so late. I don’t know why they wanted to wait that long. It was a Thursday night, and a very rainy one indeed. Greg Vandy of KEXP hosted the show as part of the “American Standard Time” Showcase, so there was a promise of a decent crowd and some airplay. Vandy actually started playing Will’s music on his Wednesday show, “Roadhouse” a few weeks prior to this visit.
Every person in our gang invited someone, and they all showed up! I was so glad to see our friends Chuck and Dawn make it out on this dreary evening. Kenny, Lori and Sara also had some friends show up, and I’m guessing at least 50 people stuck around to watch the late show. Meanwhile, Will ran through his quick sound check and found several of his friends there, too, which made for a pleasant reunion. Sara made dinner reservations, so we spent time catching up with our friends and eating a sizable dinner. We enjoyed stew, salad, chicken and potatoes, and a gigantic squash lasagna that I had to share with the others. The food was big, rustic and hearty, similar to the excellent food we had at The Adrift. I was happy that Sara made reservations for us there, so we could stay put and not worry about hurrying back to the show from a different restaurant.
The Sumner Brothers, a duet from Vancouver, BC opened the show. They performed an eclectic mix of minimalist folk and country music including a lively roots rock song near the end of the set. The slower, quieter songs reminded me of Small Sur, a quiet folk band from the East coast. The brothers kept vocals to a low and growling pitch, with minimal guitar strumming. A couple of other musicians joined them on pedal steel and electric guitar which added a richness to their otherwise austere sound. One of the brothers had a peculiar way of hunching over a low microphone, to the point where the sound engineer tried to raise it up higher for him between songs. He laughed and told her it’s supposed to sit that low. His brother/partner also laughed and said, “It happens every time!”
There was a long intermission, and finally Will took the stage around 10:00. I was happy to look around the room and see that people stayed to support him. Will’s humor was up this night, and he had the audience cracking up at his Red Dirt anecdotes.
Set List for The Royal Room, Seattle:
Trouble – Lots of cheering after this first song on mandolin, from Willie Sugarcapps
Mr. Lee - I like the improvisations and short jams on mandolin
Let the Big World Spin - Switching to his Kay guitar (he said he uses Kay instruments on the road, and that his Mama’s name is Kay) to play this dark and dirty tune from Sideshow Love
Sideshow Love – Will admitted he “ripped off” Freddie Staehle’s drum patterns off Dr. John’s Gumbo for this title track from his new solo album.
I Want Too Much – Compared the poignant, love/lust song to The Sex Pistols. Johnny Rotten wanted just enough. Sid Vicious wanted too much.
Soulfully - Jimmy Buffett covered this beautiful song off Sideshow Love.
Mud Bottom - Willie Sugarcapps - The Ol’ Dog River is the river of his childhood, where he and his friend JD (who now lives in Washington and attended the show) used to swim and dive. The game was to dive down, past all of the layers of pine needles, bark and other flotsam, down to the cool mud bottom. The water was a dirty milkshake color, and warm like “piss-mud soup.”
Hill Country Girl A heartbreaker from his EP
I Don’t Like It – A Daddy song with a big Elvis finish at the end to celebrate The King’s recent birthday. Thankyouverymuch.
Champion of the World
Wings - Another song he wrote for Jimmy
Brand New Song - From Americanitis, and a nice surprise tonight.
Wash and Fold
Nobody From Nowhere - Daddy!
Piece of Work
Oh, Colorado - Such a beautiful vibrato on this one tonight. He mentioned the previous bands he’s been in, and said Willie Sugarcapps is the best one yet.
Magnolia Springs - Another addition/variation from last night’s set
Goodnight Moon – (Lori in raptures again) with a segue into a whispery version of Hendrix’s “Wind Cries Mary,” and a hush carried through the room as jaws dropped open. After the last note was played, Kenny yelled, “Oh, My God!”
Although not as long as the night before, he played a quality set to a large, appreciative audience. Will’s guitar prowess was on point again: jamming, sliding, and picking. He seemed loose and able to live in the moment. He introduced our gang and his friends to the rest of the crowd, gave his all to each song, and had energy left to joke around and spend time meeting those who stuck around after the show. The life of a troubadour. Sleep is for pussies.
After his set, we probably spent another 45 minutes or so talking to friends and making new acquaintances. Greg Vandy, KEXP DJ, spent time talking to Will and the rest of us. We also met some of Will’s friends. Glad they could make the show and reconnect. Sara worked the merch table and also worked her magic with the Bumbershoot booking manager to try to secure a gig this year or next. She contacted the right people to make this show a success for Will. Kudos, Sara!
We finally rolled in to the ‘burbs around 1 am. We were amped up after the show and talked the whole way home. I’m startin’ to lose ma g’s. All this talkin’ and listenin’ for hours over the last two days with a Suhthen boy made the g’s disappeah off words like: workin’, fryin’, lyin’, lovin’, livin’, dyin’, drinkin’, drivin’, singin’, sayin’, and playin’. Once in a while, he’d say a word or phrase born in the muddy waters of the Deep South that was almost unintelligible to us Northerners.
Sara also spent the night with us (sorry about the couch and Max the dog, Sara!) while Lori and Kenny found rooms downtown. They planned to pick up Will and Sara early the next morning to head up to Bellingham. It was hard to get to sleep again after such a lively show, but I managed to get a few winks before crawling back out at 6:20.
Stay Tuned for Day 3: Lori Gras!
Pat and I had an opportunity to be a part of the road crew for Will Kimbrough when he toured Washington and Oregon in January. We felt so honored to help support this rare solo visit. He is humble, easy-going, gracious and one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. Oh–and he’s one of the most talented and versatile artists in Nashville.
The tour formed around the 50th birthday party for Lori, our friend in Bellingham. The ‘Ham is a beautiful college town just south of the Canadian border. Lori is a huge fan of Will’s; so naturally her husband Tim and brother-friend Kenny planned her birthday bash, coined it Lori Gras! and hired Will to play for her at the party. From there, the search began to find other venues around Seattle and Portland. Will’s agent Sara with Axecess Entertainment contacted me to help with the search. We brainstormed back and forth several weeks before the tour. I wrote a press release that coincided with a blog and album review which Sara sent to prospective venues as an incentive to get him booked. Check out my No Depression Blog for more info on Will and his new album, Sideshow Love. Meanwhile, Kenny worked on flights, ground transportation and hotels, and coordinated details with Lori and Tim. Pat and I volunteered to drive and use our house as a hub between gigs. It took a village to organize this tour!
This is the first time I have seen Will play the Northwest on a solo tour. In 2006 he opened for Rodney Crowell at the Music On The Bay series in Coos Bay, Oregon where he played to a stunned and elated audience (including my son and me) for about 1/2 hour. All of the other times I’ve seen him, he played guitar for other bands without an opportunity to open the show.
Seattle is a tough gig. If you’re not Justin Timberlake or a local musician, it’s hard to get booked. Other ‘tween acts, like The Gourds from Austin (god rest their souls while on hiatus), and other veterans of the club circuit are scheduled to play every six months to a year in advance. Unfortunately, there are so many acts vying for limited venues on a short calendar, there isn’t room for outsiders. Sara successfully booked Will for the dates he requested, with some promising exposure through KEXP, our local public radio station.
Day 1: Wednesday, January 8, 2014
The Adrift Hotel – Long Beach, WA
As part of the road crew, we were supposed to pick up Will at the airport Tuesday night. The weather did not cooperate. The East was slammed by a terrible, freezing Arctic storm. The plane from Nashville to Chicago was delayed and eventually re-routed through Los Angeles. Will stayed there overnight, and then left bright and early Wednesday morning for Seattle. Around 11:30, he showed up in the SEA Baggage Claim where we greeted and welcomed him. Because of the re-route situation, not all of his bags came on the final plane. Will remained calm–he’s used to this. We finally located his bags among a giant maze in the unclaimed bag area. After ensuring his guitar showed up in one piece, we loaded up and set off for Long Beach, Washington, a small coastal village in the southwest corner of the state. We had a long drive ahead of us in the pouring rain.
Although he seemed a little tired from the flight and long haul to the Pacific Coast, Will was happy to be back in the Northwest. He honeymooned out here 20 years ago with his wife Jessica and enjoyed some great hikes and a stay in Seattle. They also have some friends out here, transplants from The South.
We drove south to Olympia and found Fish Tale Brew Pub and settled on some great grub. We all drank a toast to the upcoming tour and dug in. I had a huge organic chicken salad with healthy chunks of chicken on spinach; Pat ordered a hearty stew, and Will wolfed down some delicious fish tacos. We were back on the road within about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, Lori, Ken and Sara were somewhere behind us. Sara’s flight arrived around 12:30, so they agreed to pick her up on their way down from Bellingham. We hoped to meet up with them at the hotel barring any more stops or traffic.
We continued our three-hour journey southwestward, in dark gray skies. I felt my Vitamin D level drop significantly. Halfway there, the population dwindled and the highway was lined with tall, moss-covered trees. Will said the tree-lined drive was similar to his journey through Sweden. Not long ago, he went on an 18-gig tour with only a few days of breaks. He spent hours and hours driving through the Swedish landscape and into little villages, getting lost and finding his way again. He also spoke of the difficulty of solo European tours: loading instruments and luggage on planes and in vehicles, organizing long flights and transportation, etc. So much work for the reward.
We drove on. The landscape flattened out to lonely mud bogs and brackish streams, and the tall trees were replaced by low bushes covered in chartreuse moss.
Part of Will’s genius is the ability to observe his surroundings and start some chatter that eventually leads to a stream of lyrics. Along the way, he spoke of the mud, the moss, the wind and the rain, the strong craft beer, the rivers and the sloughs. He noticed the road signs: Aberdeen, Willapa and Hoquiam. We’d later be pleasantly surprised by his descriptive words at the Lori Gras! celebration. Our long commute also reminded Will of his traveling up and down the great state of Alabama. Will’s parents live in Mobile, and are in need of his occasional assistance. Nashville to Mobile, Mobile to Nashville. Three thousand miles logged in the van just in December alone. During those lonely drives up and down I-65, his mind produced page after page of lyrics. His “magic phone” has voice recognition, so he’s able to record his words and continue to drive. The melody usually comes later, he said, after he’s organized his words into verses and a viable rhythm.
I tried to be as professional as possible on this trip; but inside my skin, I was a major fan-dork. Here is a musical hero–the Americana Music Association’s Instrumentalist of the Year; on the Grammy consideration list for Willie Sugarcapps’ “Gypsy Train;” and a singer-songwriter getting rave reviews for solo album Sideshow Love humbly accepting our offer of transportation and lodging. Will By-God-Kimbrough is hanging with us for the next three days! Holy Shit! All cool and collected on the outside, a giggling married groupie moron on the inside. My dear, patient husband handled all of the excitement in his own quiet way.
“Are we there yet?” I asked wearily. So much driving. So little visibility. So much gray. Kenny later re-named our first destination “Long-Ass-Away-Beach.” Finally, the salt air and GPS guided us toward our venue: The Adrift Hotel. Just steps from the thundering Pacific Ocean surf, the renovated hotel was a beautiful sight. We were so happy to have finally arrived. But the day was just beginning. Will still had a show to perform in just a few hours. Loading out of the truck involved a couple of trips in sideways rain. We were instantly soaked.
There was just enough time to settle in and get dolled up for the show. The rest of the gang caught up and joined us at the restaurant, right before show time. We knew going in that this particular show would not have a big audience. During a summer month, this place would be packed. According to their website, the Adrift hosts bands every week. The oceanside resorts in January are mostly vacant. Some people come to the beach to watch the storms roll in, and it’s only a bridge away from Astoria Oregon; so we hoped to get a few more people in the door. Regardless, WE would be there to support him and cheer him on, and we made sure to do just that.
We ate apps and dinner at Pickled Fish, the hotel’s upscale restaurant: kale salad, oysters–raw and fried, pork bellies, rustic bread, crab mac n’ cheese, and other amazing, tasty dishes. Will joined us briefly, toasted Day One (again) with a strong IPA and then set up his gear in the small venue separated from the restaurant by large rolling doors.
Set List for The Adrift Hotel, Long Beach:
Another Train – From Americanitis, immediately got everyone’s attention. Listen up, people! Yeah, this guy’s from Nashville, and he will blow your freakin’ mind.
Piece of Work – My favorite song from Home Away , where it all began for me. I heard him sing this on Jimmy Buffett’s Radio Margaritaville back in 2006 and wondered who that man was covering Jimmy’s song. I soon learned Will wrote the song and Jimmy covered it! I then proceeded to purchase all of his music.
When Your Loving Comes Around - The first track from Sideshow Love sets the mood for the whole album.
Let the Big World Spin
Sideshow Love – Title track from his excellent solo album (see my review in the No Depression blog above)
I Want Too Much
Nobody From Nowhere
Trouble – On mandolin, from the new Willie Sugarcapps album. He showed off his mad mandolin skills on this one.
Mr. Lee – Also on WS album, Mr. Lee was a neighbor from long ago, born in 1900. Mr. Lee was always willing to give you a good piece of his mind. The same piece, but a good piece.
All That We Can Do is Love
Three Angels – from Wings and a tribute to his beautiful family. The song is played in the Flatted 5th, also known as the Devil’s Note, made infamous by Led Zeppelin and proclaimed illegal by a former Pope.
Horseshoe Lake – Pat’s favorite that Will co-wrote with Todd Snider while hanging with him in West Memphis, AR
Gypsy Train – Grammy consideration list for best Americana song from his new Willie Sugarcapps album!
Mud Bottom – “Tonight is dedicated to some good ol’ Northwestern Mud!” exclaimed Will.
Oh, Colorado - From Willie Sugarcapps. Savana Lee sings beautifully on the record, and Will sounds like John Denver’s twin on his version.
Wash and Fold – A dirty ditty ’bout gettin’ clean? One of my favorite Daddy songs.
I Don’t Like It
Hill Country Girl
Glory Be – Another hand-clapping Daddy gospel tune. Amen!
I’m A Grownup Now
Champion of the World - a more upbeat take on this self-deprecating song from Home Away
I Don’t Have a Gun
Goodnight Moon – This last song is Lori’s absolute favorite, and she was over the moon. She used to sing this to her son before bedtime every night for years, until he outgrew the need for bedtime lullabyes, much to the dismay of any loving mom. The tears flowed as Will tenderly sang and quietly played this sweet rendition.
Twenty-five songs, just for us–and four other people. Kenny said it felt like stealing. A true professional, Will played his lil’ heart out like he was in front of an arena full of screaming fans. Nope, just the nine of us. We sat back and watched The Alien at work. He gets in a zone and fires up that guitar and mandolin like he’s from another planet. He also used a loop pedal to record a riff, and then played live over it to add depth and harmony to the songs. It filled the whole room with sound! We did our best to cheer, clap and whoop it up to show our support. I teased Kenny because he could hardly speak after seeing Will perform this solo show for the first time. ”Kenny,” I smiled, “You just had a musical orgasm.” The other newbies were awestruck, too, and purchased some merch on the way out. We closed the place down. In Long Beach on a Wednesday in January, that meant 9:30.
We helped break down and pack up, and then headed back to the suite for a toast to Night One! What a night! What a set list! Will managed to play a song from just about every solo album as well as Willie Sugarcapps and Daddy. It was an incredible day, but more fun was on the way.
We began our fantastic weekend by checking in to the very swanky Hotel Ballard, directly across the street to our ol’ stompin’ grounds, Hattie’s Hat and The Tractor. The boutique hotel just recently opened, and it is fabulous. Although the nightly rates are a little steep and garage parking is $15, it’s a steal for attending any shows in Ballard. We could not come close to matching their rates by staying in downtown Seattle and paying over $30 for parking plus taking a taxi to Ballard. We’ll be sure to stay here again. Our room was spotless and tastefully decorated, too, with an iron balcony overlooking “our” street.
We got in to town around 5:30 and got settled in. We decided to go grab a bite at Bastille, a French restaurant just a few steps up the street. Being the last weekend before Christmas, we wondered if the crowds would be crazy, or if the neighborhood would be quiet. Actually, the crowds were manageable. We bellied up to the beautiful bar and ordered a shared meal from a bartender who looked like he came from some glamorous Parisian bar that served Oscar Wilde. His hair was slicked back and buzzed and he had a respectable beard. I think I remember his friendly and polite manner from the last time we ate there. He brought us some wonderful drinks and took our order for chicken and baguettes. There was a sea salt sprinkle on the baguettes that made them irresistible. The half chicken was delicately fried and crispy. A few tiny Brussels sprouts and some rustic potatoes surrounded the moist chicken. After saying adieu to our genteel bartender, we continued down the street to find dessert.
First, we stopped by The Sunset to see if the crowds were forming, but it was dead. We checked in and got stamped so we could come back later.
We noticed most of the smaller restaurants and cafes were packed. We stopped by the very crowded Hot Cakes and picked up a delicious peanut butter cookie that we devoured in minutes. I think we waited longer in line than the time it took to eat that cookie!
Back to our room. We cleaned up, donned our western apparel, and headed back up the street to The Sunset. The audience grew exponentially once we entered. I could not believe it, but once again, we were able to get two bar stools at the end of the bar. We get so lucky scamming seats! We happily scooted in next to a pair of rockabilly girls dressed in leopard prints and beautiful up-do’s. Next to them was someone I recognized from our first Big Sandy show. He had a large, colorful neck tattoo and a perfectly coiffed ducktail. His tweed jacket completed the dapper package. I took a pic of him at the first show because he got on stage with Big S and sang a rockabilly tune in a death metal pig squeal while Big S laughed. It was so hilarious! Here is the link of that show: http://randomville.com/live-review-big-sandy-and-his-fly-rite-boys/. I felt shy when we first got there, and was not ready to introduce myself quite yet. I did bring my business cards this time, so at least I was a little more prepared to pass around the cards.
We also saw some other people we knew. We are starting to feel like regulars. I guess we are, since we have been hitting the Ballard clubs regularly since 2007. Big Sandy came out of the backstage room and ordered a soft drink at the opposite end of the bar. He looked our way, and we smiled and raised our glasses to him. He smiled and did the same. I should have walked over and talked to him, but the growing crowd surrounded us. Johnny 7 Stuart showed up. He opened for Big S in Portland a couple of days before. Johnny said the Portland show was cool, in the old and elegant Crystal Ballroom. He also managed to catch X and Blasters at El Corazon the night before. We had another function that night, so I was bummed I missed that show. I enjoyed talking with Johnny, and miss seeing him play on stage. It’s been a while. We’ll make an effort to see his show in 2014. Gaby, our Bothell friend showed up with her husband, Marc, too. Dean, an acquaintance we met at Hattie’s before the first Big Sandy show, also arrived. Pat recognized him and brought him over.
The crowd pushed forward, and we realized we were right in the middle of a giant group of Ugly Christmas Sweater Pub Crawlers! They looked like college students, all buff and beautiful, but with hideous red and green sweaters! It was fantastic to see the variety and creativity. I’m sure some were lovingly made by a grandparent. I took a few pics.
Country Dave Harmonson was there, too, and was going to play with the opening band, Cahalen Morrison & Country Hammer. Cahalen and crew loaded in while we ordered drinks and a pizza slice. I didn’t think I could eat a bite, but it was so good! Cahalen Morrison’s band filled the stage with guitars, steel, drums and violin. They had a tight country sound and the dancers appreciated their lively tunes.
I said hello to Gaby and told her I was glad she made it. P saw her earlier, and she said she was trying to get off work asap to get to the show. She knew it would be packed. Actually, after the pub crawlers dissipated (they were only on the 2nd pub of the night), the crowd became pretty reasonable. It was probably only ¾ full, and by the end of the night only about ¼ stuck around. We were perfectly comfortable on our stools and took turns getting up and moving through the crowd. I also said hello to Country Dave after his show, and again congratulated him on his superb skills on pedal steel. He’s really a master. I also told him that Pat saw him at the airport playing his gig, but he didn’t want to interrupt his playing. Dave said, “PLEASE” stop by and say hi, because he gets bored sometimes sitting in the airport with no one to talk to! So if you ever see a man picking a guitar or pedal steel at SeaTac Airport, please stop by and pay Country Dave Harmonson a visit. He’ll appreciate your support.
Big Sandy loaded in and we prepared for his rollicking show. I just love his energy. Here’s a review from last August: http://aplscruf.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/two-big-nights-big-sandy-willie-nelson-and-the-gourds-8-22-8-23-13/ We took our seats and meanwhile, I asked Pat to look up my first Big Sandy review from 2012, because I was pretty sure there was a picture of our tattooed neighbor in my review. There he was, up on stage squealing away!
I zoomed in on the pic to fill the phone’s screen, and slowly moved it in front of him. He stopped, looked at the pic, looked at me, and laughed! “Hey, that was a fun night! Did you take that picture?” Yes, I did, and I wrote the review, too! “So, did you coin the phrase, ‘Death Metal Pig Squeal?’” Well, yes, yes I did! Ha! That cracked me up. I coined a phrase! He shook my hand and introduced himself as Clark. We spoke for a while about the whole rockabilly culture. I am so enamored with the scene. I love the coiffed hair, the beautiful dresses and tattoos. I took a few pics of the dancers. I envy their cool looks. I wanted to dress up after my first rockabilly show, but just didn’t seem to have the nerve—or the tattoos! I love connecting with people at these shows, too. We’re finally branching out a bit. We used to just sit there by ourselves and not interact with anyone, and it can tend to get boring in between sets.
Big Sandy, drummer Joe Perez (aka Lil’ Sandy), guitarist extraordinaire Ashley Kingman and bassist Kevin Stewart were ready to go. He had a massive setlist, and I think he hit most of the songs on it. He must have played for about an hour and a half, maybe 2 hours. I lost track of time once they got started. The dancers were out en force. I had fun watching them twirl around. The girls had such pretty dresses and ta-tas to fill them. I don’t think I could “fill” those dresses properly! I really wanted to get out there and dance, though. It was a swing style, with lots of twirling and fancy footwork.
He played many of my favorites, including “Miss Tracy”, “Jumping From 6 to 6″, and “Chalk it Up to the Blues”. His energized set kept the dancers moving. He played a couple of acoustics off the latest album, What A Dream It’s Been too, and the audience adjusted accordingly to some slow dances. Ashley Kingman rocked his electric guitar again, in his unassuming style. He’s an expert, and never has to add gimmicky moves to get his musical point across. I love the explosion of sound. Big Sandy delivers his smooth lyrics through the intro, and then he turns to the boys and lets them go, go, go!
I was disappointed in how few people stayed around till the end. He’s such a class act, and should fill a larger venue. It was getting late, though, and I think people like to hit the road before midnight. We didn’t have far to go, so we were in no rush. We were glad we stayed, glad we got to talk to some more friends, glad we had a free weekend to get out and let loose!
We talked to Big Sandy (aka Robert Williams) after his show. He sweat right through his suit, and rightly so, after such a long and electric set. He noticed we came early and stayed late. I again told him I wrote about his show a while back and gave him my card this time. We took some pics with him and wished him well. I also bought a cool t-shirt from Ashley, who also remembered reading my previous review, so that was rewarding.
The boys were headed to Eugene next before returning to California.
It was a perfect birthday weekend getaway. Thank you, P!
Will Kimbrough, a prolific singer/songwriter from Nashville, is making a rare appearance in The Northwest in January. Here are the dates, locations and links. This is a MUST-SEE EVENT! Purchase tickets NOW!
If you need more info regarding any of the dates listed, please contact me in the Comments section below.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014: Adrift Hotel, Long Beach, WA 8:00 PM
Thursday, January 9, 2014: The Royal Room, Columbia City/Seattle, WA 8:00 PM
Friday, January 10, 2014: Bellingham Yacht Club, Bellingham, WA 6:00 PM
Saturday, January 11, 2014: The Secret Society, Portland, OR 5:00 PM
Sunday, January 12, 2014: The Axe and Fiddle, Cottage Grove, OR 6:00 PM
See other blogs I’ve written on Will Kimbrough here:
Will Kimbrough, a singer/songwriter from Nashville, is coming to The Northwest in January. It’s about time. Due to a highly successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for his new solo album Sideshow Love, Will was able to book a few gigs in Washington and Oregon. As soon as I know firm dates and specific locations, I’ll post them here.
Many artists whom we have latched onto over the years seem to have a “prolific genius” quality about them. Not only are they singer/songwriters, but play multiple instruments, write other works, play in multiple bands, support other artists, produce, tour incessantly, and somehow manage to raise a family. Will is one of these genius artists. He also earned the title of Instrumentalist of the Year by the Americana Music Association. Americanitis, a politically-charged solo album from 2006 landed him in the “Top 35 Roots Albums in the Last 25 Years” by The Alternate Root Magazine. His music catalog ranges from pop, folk, Americana, country, to a little bit rock-n-roll.
Sideshow Love is Will Kimbrough’s best solo work to date. He reaches out instrumentally and vocally in ways I haven’t heard before on previous albums. The twelve Americana tracks have a darker, bluesy edge with a Southern drawl. Themes of love, lust, longing and love lost snake their way through most tracks mixed with wit, humor and angst. Some songs, like “Soulfully” and “Emotion Sickness”, just ache with tenderness. His diverse vocals portray heartbreaking emotion, grit, a sensual rasp, beautiful vibrato, surprising falsetto, and a quiet, soulful whisper. Not to be outdone, his instrumental prowess accents each song’s mood perfectly. His expert guitar picking is most distinct in the bridge and throughout “I Want Too Much”; and his old timey banjo strumming takes the amusing “Home Economics” back several decades to its roots. Will plays a variety of guitars, mandolin, banjo, bass, keys and percussion on this album. He invited a few friends along to round out the sound, including Lisa Oliver Gray and Paul Griffith. A smile and a wink or a teardrop – there’s a song for every mood in this stellar collection.
Will’s recent solo endeavor was not the only project he worked on this year. He also managed, almost by accident, to form a roots band called Willie Sugarcapps and produced a debut self-titled album. One of the tracks, “Gypsy Train” landed them on the 2014 GRAMMY consideration list for best Americana song.
If you are anywhere near the Portland-Seattle-Bellingham metropolis in early January (firm dates/locations will be posted soon), I strongly recommend you clear your calendar of all other events and see his show somewhere, somehow. If he tours in your part of the world, go see him. Buy his albums. Trust me, you will not be disappointed. It’s Will By-God-Kimbrough!*
*Will By-God Kimbrough – Thanks, Sir Paul Griffith, for dubbing Will with this honourable title.
See other blogs I’ve written on Will Kimbrough here:
- Alan Rickman
- Ayron Jones and The Way
- Benjamin Doerr
- Big Daddy's Place
- Big Sandy
- Bob Dylan
- Brent Amaker and the Rodeo
- Chateau Ste Michelle
- Columbia City Theater
- Concert Season 2005
- Concert Season 2006
- Concert Season 2007
- Concert Season 2008
- Concert Season 2009
- Concert Season 2010
- Concert Season 2011
- Concert Season 2012
- Concert Season 2013
- Concert Season 2014
- Country Dave Harmonson
- Cristina Bautista
- Damian Brennan
- Darrell's Tavern
- David Bowie
- Davidson Hart Kingsbery
- Dudley Taft
- Dusty 45's
- Eddie's Attic
- Emmylou Harris
- Flight to Mars
- Fox and The Law
- George Harrison
- Gimme Shelter
- Hard Rock Cafe
- Harry Belafonte
- High Dive
- Honky Tonk Sweethearts
- Jakob Dylan
- Jimmy Buffett
- John Mellencamp
- Kasey Anderson
- Langhorne Slim
- Legendary Oaks
- Lori Gras
- Los Straitjackets
- Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands
- Marshall Chapman
- Marymoor Park
- Massy Ferguson
- Murphy's Lagh
- Music in Atlanta
- Nectar Lounge
- New Mexico
- North Twin
- Old 97's
- Ole Tinder
- Paul McCartney
- Railroad Earth
- Randy Hansen Band
- Redhook Brewery
- Rod Stewart
- Rodney Crowell
- Rolling Stones
- Roots Rock
- Ryan Adams
- Ryan Purcell and The Last Round
- Small Sur
- St. Paul de Vence
- Star Anna
- Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs
- Steve Martin
- Stevie Ray Vaughan
- Tagaris Winery
- The Avett Brothers
- The B-52's
- The Black Crabs
- The Brambles
- The Cardinals
- The Chris Eger Band
- The David Wax Museum
- The Fonda Theatre
- The Gorge Amphitheatre
- The Gourds
- The Hi-Risers
- The Juliettes
- The Old 97s
- The Outlaws
- The Paperboys
- The Paramount Theatre
- The People Now
- The Puyallup Fair
- The Rainieros
- The Royal Room
- The Satellite 4
- The Shanty Tavern
- The Showbox
- The Sunmakers
- The Sunset Tavern
- The Swearengens
- The Tractor Tavern
- The Triple Door
- The Wallflowers
- The Wild Feathers
- Todd Snider
- Tom Petty
- Toubab Krewe
- Van Morrison
- Vicci Martinez
- White River Amphitheatre
- Will Kimbrough
- Willie Nelson
- Willie Sugarcapps
- Yellowstone Country Guardians