Aplscruf's Music Blog

McDougall, Massy Ferguson and Deception Past at The Green Frog 03/07/14

I’ve probably stated this a few times on previous blogs, but I must stress again that the smaller venue is where I really belong. Right there, right in the front of the stage, taking pictures, getting sweaty with the crowd, and sometimes even dancing.  We venture out to larger shows once in a while, but they just don’t exude the same kind of energy for me.  The collective energy of the crowd at arena shows is, at times, breathtaking; but I always feel like I’m up in a cloud, looking down, detached from the scene onstage so far below me.

I also like discovering new venues.  Maybe they’ve been there a while, but they’re new to me.  Discovering new bands can be hit-and-miss; but usually, if we know at least one of the bands in the lineup, we’ll have a good time.  Our night at the Green Frog was no exception.  

Deception Past howlin' at The Green Frog

Deception Past howlin’ at The Green Frog

Our music adventure on March 7 started with a quick drive to Bellingham, less than two hours north of Seattle. We checked into our roadside motel and caught a taxi downtown.  After visiting with our dear friend and purchasing his art in a little shop called The Lucky Monkey (part of Bellingham’s art walk), we walked over to The Green Frog.

Once again, the stars aligned.  A table opened up in the already-crowded venue right when we walked in.  It had a perfect view of the stage.  We nabbed it and saved seats for our friends who were arriving later.  This was our first time at The Green Frog.  Many bands who play Ballard’s Tractor Tavern drive north and play here the next night.  Hence, quality shows at a minimal cover.  The Green Frog has a great selection of beers on tap as well as a hearty selection of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches (I had the Caprese, with mozzarella, basil and tomatoes) with options for chips, delicious home-made smoked tomato soup and salad.  The only drawback was the enormous drink line.  There was only one bartender trying to serve dozens of people.  It seemed a little cruel for both the patrons and the bartender.

Our new friends, Lynsie and Mike, who are visiting from out-of-state, arrived shortly after we ordered.  Later, local ‘Hamsters Lori and Kenny (of Lori Gras fame) joined us.

The first artist, Portland’s McDougall, was bloody amazing, considering he was a one-man show.  He had a fervent and confident swagger in his voice that reminded us at times of Jack White.  He switched off between an acoustic guitar and 6-string banjo.  McDougall sat in front of a kick drum bearing his name, with cymbals to the left of the drum.  He controlled them separately with each foot.  His quick and frantic playing style had me mesmerized.  His passionate vocals pulled us in and kept our attention.

McDougall

McDougall

The crowd cheered in appreciation after his two-part set.

Just after 9:30, Massy Ferguson, Seattle’s world-class, quintessential bar band, jumped on stage and dove in.  The band is heading to Austin for SXSW this week (I also posted a shorter version of this blog for MF on No Depression). The boys are pumped to play there again and will perform at least six shows at numerous venues around town. Check Massy Ferguson’s website for their SXSW schedule, music, merch and other information.

Massy Ferguson, L-R: Dave Goedde, Tony Mann, Adam Monda and Ethan Anderson

Massy Ferguson, L-R: Dave Goedde, Tony Mann, Adam Monda and Ethan Anderson

The talented band includes Ethan Anderson (bass/vocals/flute), Adam Monda (guitar/vocals/harmonica), Dave Goedde (drums), and Tony Mann (keys). They play serious rock ‘n’ roll with an Americana twist, but never take themselves too seriously.

"Prost!" Ethan Anderson of Massy Ferguson Toasts the Crowd

“Prost!” Ethan Anderson of Massy Ferguson Toasts the Crowd

Once again, they brought their rockin’ energy to a fully primed audience.  Unlike the Tagaris Winery show attendees (I’ll forgive them, though–it was 100 degrees that day), the ‘Hamsters came to party. Frontman Ethan Anderson commanded the rowdy crowd to get up and dance.  Dancing is required at every show, including, but not limited to: two-step, freestyle or air guitar.

DSC04017

It didn’t take much encouragement to get the gang dancing.  The women of our group–Massy Ferguson virgins, obeyed Ethan’s words and joined the happy, dancing revelers.  Some eventually ended up on the stage as Guest Female Percussionists (a usual occurrence at MF shows).  I stayed on the dance floor, though, and captured evidence–uh, took pictures.

DSC04004

Their set at The Green Frog included high-voltage songs spanning over three full albums, two EP’s and a couple of covers. They opened with a fantastic new song entitled “Backwoods in the Morning” and sprinkled in a few other songs throughout the night that will appear on an upcoming album later this summer.  Midway through the set, they played the poppy “Hello!”, the first track off their most recent album,Victory and Ruins, released in 2013.

DSC04029

Near the end of the night, The Flute came out.  Ethan held it up ceremoniously as the audience cheered.  He dove into Men At Work’s “Down Under”, rocked the flute solo, and followed it with “Bum Drunk” off their Damaged Goods EP.  The audience danced and sang along in a wild frenzy.  Yeah, it was a great night, but it wasn’t over yet.

This week, I asked Ethan if he could provide “Five Fun Facts” about Massy Ferguson for those not familiar with the band.  He went a step further and provided…

Six Fun Facts About Massy Ferguson:

  • We have a Protestant, two Catholics and a Jew in the band (sounds like a joke, huh?) and once were in talks with a Muslim guitar player about sitting in  [an Equal Opportunity Employer, apparently-L.K.]
  • We attended rival Pac-12 schools (WSU, UW and Berkeley)
  • We have been dubbed by fans as “The Hardest Sweating Band in Showbiz”
  • We have played in Honduras and in San Pedro Sula – Murder capital of the world 2013 – and made it out alive
  • No shows on tour happen unless Dave gets a cup of coffee in the morning and right before the show
  • The only rule we have on stage is no tequila bottles allowed on the actual stage (can fill you in later but let’s just say it was an important rule established after our show at Circus Mexicus in 2008)

If you happen to go to one of Massy Ferguson’s lively shows at SXSW, please report back here and spread the word!

Set List (I’m missing a few songs–sorry, I was dancing):

Backwoods in the Morning

Bent

[new song]Wanna listen to the songs…45??

Powder Blue – Audience Participation/yelling “Powder Blue!” Meanwhile, Pat bought beer for each and passed them around

Renegade

Hello!

Long Time No See

Take It Easy-acapella chorus in honor of a recent Eagles documentary

Cut From The Vine

Down Under by Men At Work – Flute!

Bum Drunk

See other reviews of Massy Ferguson Here:

https://aplscruf.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/massy-ferguson-and-ole-tinder-at-barboza-5-19-12/

https://aplscruf.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/massy-ferguson-at-redhook-brewery-3-24-2012/

Deception Past, another quality Seattle-area country/bluegrass ensemble, filled the stage and the room with their big country sound.  Brothers Andrew, Joseph and Tyler James Pettersson shared the stage with 5 other skilled members of this large band.  It was getting late, but the people stayed danced for their entire set.  The energy from the Massy Ferguson show still filled the room and spilled over the joyful crowd.

DSC04066

Most songs were boot-stompin’ and two-steppin’ numbers stemming from “Whisky Sunset” (2012 EP) and their latest album, “If You Know What I Mean…” (2013).  There was a sense of community as they invited the boys from Massy Ferguson to join them in a couple of covers, including The Band’s “The Weight”, to which the audience gleefully sang along.

After the rollicking set, we spent a little time hanging with the bands and purchasing some CDs for the road.  Check out Deception Past at their next show at The Nectar in Fremont on March 29.  Purchase some music here: http://deceptionpast.bandcamp.com/  Massy Ferguson has several shows coming up after SXSW, so check their tour list on their website.  Also, McDougall has some Oregon shows and one in Tacoma before heading south to California.

We’ll be sure to see more shows at The Green Frog.

March 13, 2014 Posted by | Bellingham, Concert Season 2014, Deception Past, Ethan Anderson, Massy Ferguson, McDougall, Music, The Green Frog | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Will Kimbrough – Mud and Moss Tour – Day 3: Friday, Jan10, 2014 Lori Gras!

Will Kimbrough Plays Lori Gras! Bellingham, WA

Will Kimbrough Plays Lori Gras! Bellingham, WA

Day 3: Lori Gras! – Bellingham, WA Friday, January 10

Click [here] and [here] for Days 1 and 2 of the big tour!

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

DSC03692

Set List for Bellingham Yacht Club Lori Gras! Celebration:

Piece of Work

Let the Big World Spin

Sideshow Love

Rocket Fuel

Trouble

Mud Bottom – INCREDIBLE SLIDE

Another Train


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:

Lyrics for "Mud and Moss" written that afternoon!

Lyrics for “Mud and Moss” written that afternoon!

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

Mandolin Jam!

Mandolin Jam!

I Don’t Like It

Mr. Lee

Glory Be

DSC03724

Cape Henry

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

Leavin’ Now

Lonesome Train on a Lonesome Track

DSC03820

Magnolia Springs

He Ain’t Right

Soulfully -Jimmy Buffett also covered this

DSC03782

Get Rhythm When You Get the Blues

I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry -Hank Williams Cover

DSC03666

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!

DSC03762

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!):

Set List

Secret Society – Portland, OR Saturday, January 11

Trouble

Mr. Lee

Mud Bottom

I Want Too Much

When Your Loving Comes Around

Let The Big World Spin

Sideshow Love

Soulfully

Hill Country Girl

Champion of the World

Three Angels

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.

Another pic for The Music Wall of Fame

Another pic for The Music Wall of Fame

Willie, Willie, Willie, get yo’self on home, boy…

January 19, 2014 Posted by | Americana, aplscruf, Bellingham, Concert Season 2014, Lori Gras, Music, Will Kimbrough, Willie Sugarcapps | , , , , | 6 Comments