Aplscruf's Music Blog

Diary of a Married Groupie

Will Kimbrough – Mud and Moss Tour – Day 2: Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014

Will Kimbrough at The Royal Room, Seattle

Will Kimbrough at The Royal Room, Seattle

Day 2:  Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Royal Room – Columbia City (Seattle), WA

Click [here] for Day 1 and [here] for Day 3 of this rare tour!

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.

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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!”

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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.

Gypsy Train

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 

Horseshoe Lake

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!

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January 17, 2014 - Posted by | Americana, aplscruf, Concert Season 2014, Music, Seattle, The Royal Room, Will Kimbrough, Willie Sugarcapps | , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. […] [here] and [here] for Days 1 and 2 of the big […]

    Pingback by Will Kimbrough – Mud and Moss Tour – Day 3: Friday, Jan10, 2014 Lori Gras! « Aplscruf's Music Blog | January 19, 2014 | Reply

  2. […] [here] for Day 2 and [here] for Day 3 of the Mud and Moss […]

    Pingback by Will Kimbrough – Mud and Moss Tour – Day 1: Wednesday, Jan 8, 2014 « Aplscruf's Music Blog | January 19, 2014 | Reply


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