Aplscruf's Music Blog

Concert Season 2013 Wrap-up

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

Concert Season 2013 is winding down.  I thought I’d get a head start and list some highlights of the year in music.  I still have a few shows I’m hoping to see before the year is up, but my busy schedule might prevent me from posting anything until 2014.  I went to a few shows in the spring and summer that I never blogged about but deserve some mention here.  There are also a few bands mentioned below that I didn’t get to see this year, but I’m hoping will show up in 2014.  Some have new albums out, too.  I’ll keep it short and will give you the basic information.  It will be up to you, dear reader, to click on the links and look up these terrific bands, explore their music and purchase some CD’s for the gift-giving season.  Most importantly, GET OUT THERE AND SEE A SHOW!

Local Seattle-Area Bands: (Mind you, this is an incomplete list of the enormously talented bands in Seattle)

Jackrabbit – One of our favorite little bands in Seattle. We kicked off the year seeing them at The Tractor in January.  The threesome kicks ass on stage.  Never a disappointment. They add new songs to the setlist quite frequently.

Massy Ferguson – A Seattle Rock-n-Roll/Country Rock Darling.  We went to their CD Release Party for Victory and Ruins at The Triple Door.  My Plus 1 and I had a fantastic time sitting in the front row for this performance which was also broadcast live for kids struggling with various illnesses in a local hospital.  Frontman Ethan Anderson gave his all, as usual.  It was the best performance by the band so far, in my opinion, and I’ve seen them play many shows over the years.  We also saw them on a rainy summer evening in Duvall at an outdoor performance.  They jinxed our perfect rain-free summer! A hearty group of fans braved the showers and were treated with another fine show by the boys.  We picked up a cool t-shirt after the show.  Massy Ferguson also frequent some of the wineries in Eastern Washington, so check ’em out in Wenatchee, Tri-Cities and Walla Walla sometime.  Here’s a blog I wrote last year for No Depression.

The Swearengens – Their motto is “The Seattle alt-country band your mama warned you about.”  We try to see this band as often as possible.  I love their big sound.  You never know what will happen at one of their shows: dancing, drinking, special guests and lots of friends joining in on the fun. Oh, and never have a whiskey drinkin’ contest with frontman Fredd Luongo.  You will lose. Their latest album, Waiting on the Sunrise is a treat.  Check out their link and listen or purchase some merch.

Davidson Hart Kingsbery – His self-titled new album is getting some positive, nation-wide press.  We saw part of his show in January, and dug it.

The Rainieros – Another tight country band with a Western swing kicker. Their latest album, Last Call received critical acclaim and was one of the top Americana albums of 2012. We saw them open for Big Sandy in August.

The Ganges River Band – We saw them for the first time at The Sunset this summer.  They opened for Shinyribs and blasted through a clean set of country.  Country Dave Harmonson helped out on pedal steel and electric guitar.  Always a treat.

Ole Tinder – Ole timey country.  We saw them open for Massy Ferguson at Barboza and at The Tractor with Jackrabbit.  Mike Giacolino also has a solo project while Nils Peterson plays in another band called Rose Windows.  JB Kardong also sits in with other bands including Jackrabbit and Sera Cahoone.

The Dusty 45’s – I’ll try to finish up a blog I started of this energetic show.  Billy Joe Huels is THE Frontman.  No one can light a trumpet ablaze, stand on a bass and blow the way he can! We went to a benefit concert supporting the DESC and were thoroughly entertained.

Star Anna  – Opened solo for The Dusty 45’s.  We’ve seen her shows several times.  Her voice will grab your heart and rip it out.  She has a new album out right now called Go To Hell, so pick it up and prepare to be mesmerized by her haunting vocals.

Not-So-Local Bands:

Tom Petty (DUH.) And here’s the latest, if you didn’t check out our trip to Hollywood earlier this year. BEST SHOW OF THE YEAR.

The Gourds – If Tom Petty is my musical Jesus, then The Gourds are my Church.  Always a religious experience.  My soul runneth over at every show, including the latest in August at The Tractor.  One of my Best Weekends Ever.

Shinyribs – Kevin Russell’s solo project.  He has so much creative energy that one band (The Gourds) isn’t enough for him.  If you’re lucky, he’ll open for The Gourds and you’ll get double the fun.  Check out his bandcamp site for a little booty shakin’ music.  We saw him again just two weeks after his stint at The Tractor.  He came back and played at The Sunset!

Willie Nelson – Hurry up if you haven’t seen him already.  He’s 80, but can still put on a class act for 90 solid minutes.  We saw him in August at Marymoor Park.  Tears in eyes.

The Wild Feathers – This big band opened for Willie Nelson at Marymoor and we fell in love with them.  Besides their original tunes, they managed to cover Tom Petty’s “Listen To Her Heart” with my approval.

Big Sandy – Roots rock, rockabilly and Western swing.  Big Sandy’s a ball of energy and the king of smooth.  He plays in Southern Cal most of the year, but tours around the country and Europe, too.  If he shows up with Los Straitjackets (see below), it’s a Must-See show.  We saw him in August at The Tractor.

Los Straitjackets – Eddie Angel’s lucha libre mask-wearing band of psycho surf musicians and one of Marshall Chapman’s (see Marshall below) favorite bands.  Angel was actually the guitarist in Marshall’s band back in the 80’s.  They’re known world-wide for their onstage antics and surf guitar mastery.  I had the pleasure of meeting them at a local show a couple of years ago.  They’re currently touring the East Coast.  Hoping to see them again in 2014.

Greg Townson – Solo artist, Hi-Riser (Meet the Hi-Risers Here!) and Gregorio El Grande of Los Straitjackets.  He can sing a swoon-worthy love song (buy his latest album, On Your Side) or perform a face-melting guitar solo.  Check him out in Rochester, NY or on the current Los Straitjackets tour.  He also joins the bands overseas to Italy, Spain and other countries.

Marshall Chapman – A Nashville treasure and my musical hero.  Rodney Crowell calls her “The Goddess of Tall”.  The first time I saw her was in 2011 at The Station Inn , a Nashville mecca for  singer/songwriters of country, Americana and bluegrass.  All my preconceived notions of Nashville flew out the window that night.  She was REAL.  She was CANDID.  She had bare feet.  And she wore basketball shorts to the performance.  I liked her before she ever sang a note.  Here is my blog of that show (scroll down a bit to find the Nashville section).  She has a new album and a couple of books that are Must-Reads for music lovers.  Check her website for more info and purchase some merch!

My husband, who travels to the Nashville area often, had a chance to see her play again this year at The Bluebird Cafe, another very famous yet tiny Nashville hangout.  Will Kimbrough (see below) accompanied her on guitar once again to promote her new album, Blaze of Glory, which is getting rave reviews.  I was so jealous that my husband attended the show without me, but I knew he would return with her signed CD.  What I missed most were the stories that accompanied the songs.  My husband recounted a few stories to me when he returned.  She also told the audience that this album is meant to be shared with the one you love. Play it in the bedroom with the curtains drawn and the lights low.  By the fifth song, you should be ripping each other’s clothes off.

My sweet husband did bring home a signed copy of Marshall’s CD.  Throughout the album, the instruments stay firmly put in the background, allowing Marshall’s vocals and lyrics to shine.  Occasionally, Mr. Mike Utley, one of  Jimmy Buffet’s cohorts and co-producer of this album, drops in for a visit with an organ accompaniment.  The first two songs offer some good ol’ rock and roll, and one includes The Reverend Todd Snider on vocals.   After that, she pulls in for a sexy slow dance.  A new genre is born, says Marshall: “Torch-song Americana”.  Hear some tunes here.

Will Kimbrough – Another Nashville hero whom I found through Jimmy Buffett.  We’ve seen him perform several times in various locations solo, with Rodney Crowell, Emmylou Harris, Todd Snider and with Marshall Chapman in Nashville.  He just released a solo album, Sideshow Love, and will perform in the Seattle-Bellingham area in early January 2014!  More info soon!! A MUST-SEE EVENT!!!

Willie Sugarcapps – An Americana supergroup starring Will Kimbrough- also with new album out this year.  They are getting outstanding press and are currently enjoying a Gulf Shores Shrimp Fest weekend in Alabama.

Todd Snider – Now, The Reverend Todd Snider.  He received his license to officiate in support of gay marriage.  Part folk/Americana, part country, and part rock-n-roll.  He can make a political statement in a song before you know what hit you.  His live shows are a stand-up comedy act with some music thrown in.  He makes you think, laugh and generally just have fun.  He said he isn’t trying to preach to you, either.  He tells these stories because they rhyme.  We also saw him at The Triple Door last year, and I wrote a review for Randomvile.  We saw him at The Zoo this summer on a perfect Sunday evening.  He brought along Hayes Carll, whom I coined Todd Jr. by the end of his set.  He was also a storyteller, and had funny songs that accompanied the backstories.  His voice was a little more country than Todd’s, more akin to Jack Ingraham.  Carll also had some inappropriate songs that he couldn’t sing because of “the children” in attendance.  On his website, he had a ton of videos.  Shawn Mullins, , of the notorious talk-sing “Rockabye” song, was a very pleasant surprise.  His guitar playing was superb, and his other songs rich and interesting.  Sarah Jarosz opened Todd’s show.  I really enjoyed her clear folk vocals accompanied by a fiddler and a cellist, who plucked his instrument like a bass.  She did a Bob Dylan cover of “Ring Them Bells” and it was wonderful.  She only played about a half-hour set, but kept the audience’s attention the entire time.

Tommy Womack – Another favorite Nashville/Kentucky solo artist, a Daddy with Will Kimbrough, and collaborator with many others including Todd Snider.  He has an album out (several, actually), and plays regularly at The Station Inn with Will and Marshall.  He also wrote a humorous and heartbreaking tell-all about his life in the band Government Cheese called Cheese Chronicles.  A very entertaining read.  Visit with him on YouTube every Monday Morning for a cup of coffee (see his website or FB for more info) and pick up your own coffee mug on his website.  “Don’t let the bastards get you down!” I have yet to meet Tommy, but P got to meet him at The Station Inn last year.  I’m hoping to make it back to Nashville in 2014.

Have I missed anyone here?  I’m sure I have.  It’s been a tough year to find time to get out there, so we’ve been very picky about our show dates.  We try to see our regulars first and foremost.  Once in a blue moon we see a new band or enjoy an opening set;  it’s always a nice surprise to add one to our “favorite band” list,

October 11, 2013 Posted by | Americana, aplscruf, Barboza, Big Sandy, Concert Season 2013, Davidson Hart Kingsbery, Dusty 45's, Gimme Shelter, Jackrabbit, Los Straitjackets, Marshall Chapman, Marymoor Park, Massy Ferguson, Music, Ole Tinder, Randomville, Roots Rock, Seattle, Shinyribs, Star Anna, Tagaris Winery, The Fonda Theatre, The Gourds, The Hi-Risers, The Rainieros, The Sunset Tavern, The Swearengens, The Tractor Tavern, The Triple Door, The Wild Feathers, Todd Snider, Tom Petty, Will Kimbrough, Willie Nelson | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Massy Ferguson and Ole Tinder at Barboza 5.19.12

Inside Barboza

It’s been a month since our last show, so I was ready to get out of the house.  We spent a frustrating hour in traffic, then trolled for parking on Capitol Hill before getting lucky.  We parked just a couple of blocks up Pike Street from our destination, Barboza, a new venue in the basement of Neumos.  I really enjoy Pike Street; there is such an eclectic mass of humanity, businesses and restaurants.

We were ready to eat by the time we parked and settled on Poquitos, an interesting Mexican restaurant.  We had some dessert there before, but wanted to try their dinner fare.  I had chicken mole enchiladas and P had a taco sampler.  Both were delicious.  I prefer the dark, spicy mole, and I had yet to find a match in flavor to that of Redmond’s El Toreador.  The Poquitos mole was definitely better tasting, spicier and richer than El Toreador.  I also had a Purist Margarita (well, make that two) and P stuck to his favorite Manny’s ale.  We were stuffed and happy.  By the way, if you ever sit at the bar and happen to notice that the bartender has an interesting European accent–he is Scottish.  NOT Irish, NOT English, NOT Australian!

We then headed across the street to Neumos/Barboza for the show.  Next door, and part of the venue, is Moe Bar.  Upstairs in Neumos, a hip-hop band was just finishing their show.  Talk about an eclectic mix at Moe!  The hip-hop audience, all dressed up in nice shirts and dresses, poured into Moe and mixed with the cowboy boot-wearin’ country folks.  I loved it.

We made our way through the crowd and downstairs to Barboza.  We oohed and aahed at the beautiful, clean little venue.  It’s a long rectangle with a low stage at one end and a small dance floor, beautiful, plush booths on one side, and a bar wrapped in shiny, varnished wood along the other side.  There was room in the back to mingle, too.  Low lighting in reds and blues, large, thick curtains along the back of the stage and along the walls completed the picture.  It was nearly vacant when we arrived, so we were able to get a seat at the bar closest to the stage.

Ole Tinder

Minutes later the opening band Ole Tinder took the stage, complete with country swag.  Their motto: “We play songs so you don’t have to.”  Ole Tinder are Mike Giacolino (singer/songwriter, guitar/harmonica), Nils Peterson (bass/vocals), J. Kardong (pedal steel/electric guitar) and Pat Schowe (drums/percussion).  They played good, clean old-time country, complete with the mournful whine of pedal steel and the occasional harmonica.  I found myself tapping my boots in time to most songs.  Their sound and vocals reminded me somewhat of Psychedelic Cowboys.  Check out ReverbNation or Facebook for a couple of their songs included in their set: “Our Hope” and “Aurora Bridge”.  Also, they just dropped a new EP entitled Loways, which can be purchased on iTunes.  Their last song of the evening, “Welcome Home” was especially energetic–a perfect closer.  Their next performance is at Noise for The Needy on Friday, June 1 at The Comet.

Mike Giacolino of Ole Tinder

Fredd Luongo from The Swearengens was at the show.  We introduced ourselves and I told Fredd I’d written the review of his show with Jackrabbit at The High Dive a few months ago.  The Swearengens are playing Thursday, May 24 at Blue Moon joined by Zoe Muth and Joy Mills.   We’re hoping to make the show, since we enjoyed their set at The High Dive.

Massy Ferguson

Massy Ferguson opened their short, lively set with a brand new song called “Breathin’ In” then dove right in to their more familiar songs including “Pretty Plain Jane” and “Wenatchee Eyes”.  Ole Tinder’s J. Kardong joined in on pedal steel.  Other favorites included the shout-along “Powder Blue” and the joyful closer, “Bum Drunk,” joined by a couple of female volunteers,  Horse-Head Guy and My Little Pony.  Rumor has it that Horse-Head Guy ate My Little Pony (that sounded dirty…).

We always enjoy Massy Ferguson’s quality shows and the ensuing silliness.  Previous shows have included several “guest female vocalists” to help(?) with the chorus (actually, one girl could really wail at their Nectar show last fall), cowbell and tambourine players, two-steppers, drunk air guitarists, as well as Hall and Oates covers and serious flute playing by Ethan Anderson.  Unfortunately, there was no flute this time, but there was plenty of horsing around.

My Little Pony Guarding The Setlist

MF Setlist (My Little Pony in silhouette!)

Massy Ferguson were scheduled to play Sunday afternoon at Redhook in Woodinville.  We were ambitious last night and thought we’d ride our bikes down to the show, but changed our minds when we awoke to rain.

Their next gig will be at Three Rivers Winery on June 1.  Check out Massy Ferguson’s website for more dates.

More Pics:

Ole Tinder’s J. Kardong with Pat Schowe on Drums

Ole Tinder’s Nils Petersen on Bass

Ole Tinder

Mike G.

J.  switching to guitar

Ole Tinder

Ole Tinder band

Massy Ferguson’s Tony Mann, Proud New Daddy!  Congrats!

Ethan Anderson

Ethan with J. and Adam

MF Band

MF Band

Dave Goedde

Ethan and Adam Monda

J. Kardong on Pedal Steel

Adam

Horsing Around: Horse-Head Guy, Guest Female Vocalists/Tambourine Operators

Horsing Around!

Did the Horse-Head Guy Eat My Little Pony?

To the Glue Factory!

May 22, 2012 Posted by | Americana, Barboza, Concert Season 2012, Massy Ferguson, Music, Neumos, Ole Tinder, The Swearengens | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Massy Ferguson at Barboza Saturday, May 19

Looking forward to Massy Ferguson at Barboza Saturday night! We are definitely bringing ID. No horsing around!

May 18, 2012 Posted by | Americana, aplscruf, Barboza, Concert Season 2012, Massy Ferguson, Music | , , , , , , | Leave a comment