Aplscruf's Music Blog

Five…No…Ten Favorite Shows of 2011

I was lucky enough to see a show almost every month of 2011, and some months, two or three shows.  We’re winding down now, getting ready for the holidays and visiting with family and friends.  We’ll still see a couple of shows between now and the end of the year, including The Paperboys on December 23, one of my Top 10 favorite bands of all time.  Click Here For Previous Review.

So far, though, I do have a list of my Five Favorites of 2011.

5.  Screw it.  I can’t make a decision, so I’m going to go with my Ten Favorites of 2011.

10.  The B-52’s at Chateau Ste. Michelle – This show was great because The B-52’s brought the energy, the showmanship and the great songs we all love to a beautiful outdoor venue.  We were there with a large family group and danced and sang along.  Click Here For Review.

The B-52's

9.  Vicci Martinez at Big Daddy’s Place – This was a chance to see Vicci, a Tacoma, Washington local, wail her lungs out in a small suburban venue before becoming a national sensation on The Voice.  Click Here For Review.

Vicci Martinez

8.  Massy Ferguson and Brent Amaker and The Rodeo at The Tractor – Our first introduction to Massy Ferguson and Brent with The Rodeo back on a smaller stage.  Curtains For You, a poppy, energetic band opened the show, and a biker in the front knew all the words.  I love the picture of Brent Amaker smiling while the biker is in the moment.  No whiskey this time, but now that the stage performer liquor laws have changed, we’ll get to hear “Bring Me The Whiskey” at the next show!

Curtains For You, Brent and Biker

Massy Ferguson

Brent Amaker

7.  Star Anna at Neumos – We saw Star four times this year, but this time, even P was completely hooked by her vocal prowess.  He connected.  Click Here For Previous Review.

Star Anna

6.  Jackrabbit and Massy Ferguson at Nectar Lounge – Jackrabbit, reincarnated after North Twin’s demise, and again Tony Fulgham won me over.  Massy was celebrating their EP release, and I got to post my review of the show on
RandomvilleClick Here For Review.

Tony Fulgham of Jackrabbit

Ethan Anderson of Massy Ferguson

5.  Jackrabbit and The Gourds at The Tractor – Jackrabbit opened and rawked the set, warmed up the crowd for The Gourds, another crazy night of crossover music, from 60’s psychedelic rock to old-timey revivals.  Most memorable moment was approaching Mr. Kevin Russell at Hattie’s Hat and telling him I was going to review his show.  His response: “Oh, Shit!” I later gave him the ol’ two-fingered stink-eye when he noticed me in the audience, and I mouthed, “I’m watchin’ you!”  Click Here For Review.

Tony Fulgham of Jackrabbit

The Gourds

4.  Old 97’s at The Showbox – My first press pass!  Right up front.  I loved every minute, and sang my heart out to every song.  Click Here For Review.

Old 97's

3.  Flight To Mars at The Showbox – Another press and photo pass!  My sister-in-law joined me and took absolutely brilliant pics of the boys (Click This Link for her pics), including local Tim DiJulio (Lazy Susan and North Twin) and Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready.  Click Here For Review.

Tim DiJulio and Mike McCready of Flight to Mars

2.  Nashville (Will Kimbrough, Marshall Chapman, Minton Sparks, Slim Chance and The Can’t Hardly Playboys) – the whole Nashville experience was wonderful.  Kept to small venues and the Americana singer/songwriters.  Click Here For Review.

Marshall Chapman and Will Kimbrough at The Station Inn

Zach and Josh of Slim Chance and the Can't Hardly Playboys at Layla's

1.  Los Straitjackets at Slow Food Roots Music Festival – A bizarre series of events.  Marshall Chapman’s book had a chapter on Eddie Angel who once played in Marshall’s band.  Now Eddie’s fronting Los Straitjackets, and just happened to be playing in Seattle and a small fair in Stanwood within two weeks after I finished the book.  I brought the book, my son, our appetites to the festival.   We ate delicious local food, watched some pretty loco boys in Mexican wrestling masks play instrumental surf music, and were completely blown away by their skills and entertaining antics.  My son loved every minute of it.  To top off a perfect afternoon at the festival, they all signed Marshall’s book!  Click Here For Review.

Los Straitjackets

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November 19, 2011 Posted by | Americana, Big Daddy's Place, Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, Chateau Ste Michelle, Concert Season 2011, Flight to Mars, Jackrabbit, Langhorne Slim, Los Straitjackets, Marshall Chapman, Massy Ferguson, Music, Nectar Lounge, Neumos, North Twin, Old 97's, Randomville, Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs, The B-52's, The Gourds, The Paperboys, The Tractor Tavern, Vicci Martinez, Will Kimbrough | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Vicci Martinez at Big Daddy’s Place Woodinville, WA 4.29.11

Vicci Martinez

Opener: Red Cup

Big Daddy’s Place

Woodinville, WA

April 29, 2011

UPDATE! VICCI WILL BE “LIVE” TUESDAY, JUNE 14 ON THE VOICE! BE SURE TO CAST YOUR VOTE FOR HER!!

CHECK OUT MY REVIEW ON RANDOMVILLE ! Vicci WON the “Battle Round” on The Voice Tuesday, May 10! GO, VICCI!

Vicci Martinez

Last night at Big Daddy’s in Woodinville the sold-out crowd of middle-aged suburbanites witnessed budding fame personified.  Vicci Martinez was just featured on NBC’s  The Voice on Tuesday, April 26.   I wouldn’t expect someone who is a contestant on a vocal talent show similar to American Idol to appear in a small suburban nightclub, but there she was, singing her heart out while we danced, ate, drank and shouted for more.

Backing up a bit…

We first took notice of Vicci when we discovered a little cafe on Bainbridge Island called The Treehouse Cafe.  It showcases various artists (including Vicci, who is from Tacoma) who also play in small Seattle clubs; but it’s a ferry ride away.  We thought it would be fun to stay at a little B&B nearby sometime and go see a show.  It would be a costly weekend, though, so we never got around to it.  Vicci was featured there recently and received much praise on the cafe’s website.  We checked out Vicci’s website which had a notice that said she would appear on The Voice on Tuesday, April 26.  I listened to a few of her songs that streamed on her website and liked what I heard.  She has such power in her voice;  I was curious to know how she’d do on The Voice.

P and I watched The Voice intently last Tuesday.  She came on early into the show, and totally impressed the coaches.  The four coaches (Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton) seemed excited when she belted out a song  by Adele called “Rolling in the Deep.”  Christina and Cee Lo fought for her (the premise is, they will “coach” the unsigned singers to eventually compete and earn a chance for a recording contract and big money).  She ended up choosing Cee Lo as her coach.  The show moved on to other contestants.  We’ll be watching over the coming weeks to see what happens to her.

We got to Big Daddy’s about 7:30.  Not only is it located northeast of Seattle, it resides in a one-level industrial park.  Not very pretty, but the rent’s cheap compared to a Seattle venue.  The place was already packed.  It’s a nightclub from 9:00 on, but before that, they do allow families in to eat in the restaurant section.  We paid our $10 cover and found a couple of stools and a tiny, round table right by the door.  We had an angled view of the stage, but were pretty close.  We ordered some food: P had a large, tender steak and I settled for a “naked” chicken and steamed veggies.  I’d eaten lots of crappy food that day, so I thought I’d go light for dinner.  Big mistake.  More on that later.  We settled in with a pitcher of Manny’s and did some people-watching while awaiting for the opening band, Red Cup.

Red Cup’s lead singer, Steve Stefanowicz  is blind, but that doesn’t stop him from playing quite a nice blues guitar.  The bass player is owner Mike Summerfield, a.k.a. Big Daddy.  Eric Robert played organ and Darin Watkins was on drums.  The band played several covers, including B.B. King’s “Thrill is Gone,” Steve Miller’s “Fly Like an Eagle,” Van Morrison’s “Moon Dance,” and The Eagles’ “Hotel California.”  They also did an original song called “Desiree,” and finished the nice set with Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild.”  Stefanowicz had lots of nice solos and jammed with Robert and Watkins.

Big Daddy's House Band, Red Cup

I was getting a little sleepy during the intermission; it’s hard for me to go out on a Friday after a long day at work.  My day starts at 5:20 am, so it takes some fortitude to stay out past 9:00.   I guess that shows my age.  I tried to get comfortable and relax a bit, knowing Vicci would be on soon.  The bar stools were not so comfortable, and it was so crowded; people kept hitting our legs trying to get through the narrow aisle.

I was hungry again, as the diet food just didn’t cut it tonight.  Screw it, I ordered a plate of chicken nachos and a cosmo.  P laughed at my lack of will power!

After another half hour or so, Vicci Martinez took the stage to a shouting, whooping crowd.  Many people there were already fans of hers, some most likely saw her on The Voice (validated by the cheers of the audience when she asked if people saw her on TV this week), and some were there to see her for the first time.

Vicci started the show by first saying, “I know it’s TV and it’s cool, but we still do what we do the way we do it.”  Cheers erupted from the audience.  In other words, she’s staying true to herself and her band by playing her original music the way she wants to do it.  She actually tried out for American Idol at sixteen, got through to the Hollywood round, and then decided she wasn’t quite ready.  Pretty big decision for such a young woman.  Now, in her mid-20’s, she’s about to make it big.

Vicci, Darin and Jeff

Her voice is clear, bluesy, powerful and emotional, very surprising for her diminutive frame.  When she gets into the upper octave of her range, she tends to get raspy, but in a rocking, Melissa Etheridge sort of way. The rest of the band was tight, and wavered between pop/jazz sessions and blues, with organ and guitar leading the way.  She got down to business during the long set.  Most songs were original, except for a Michael Jackson medley near the end.  She played rhythm guitar, letting the long solos go to her lead guitarist Rod Cook.  She crouched down while getting into a song, threw her head back and wailed, smiled and hammed it up with the dance crowd.

She played over a dozen songs from her five albums.  She also has a new live album that was recorded at Tacoma’s Jazzbones.  Some of the songs from her set list included:

Fire In Her Eyes

Leave The Light On (great slide guitar, with very bluesy feel)
Check out a YouTube video of this song here:

Hold Me Darlin’ (featured on The Mountain 103.7)

Wake Me Up (she switched it up to a little reggae beat in the middle)

Michael Jackson Medley (included “Billie Jean,” “Rock With You,” and “ABC”)

Mexico (one of my faves…just a cool vibe to this song)

She interrupted the set at one point to plug the purchase of her version of Adele’s song on iTunes to help her stay on the show.

We left after “Mexico.”  She promised to play a couple more songs, but we were pretty tired and ready for a soft bed.

No matter the outcome on The Voice, Vicci Martinez will keep doing what she does, the way she wants; and her loyal fans will be right there with her.

More Pics…

May 2, 2011 Posted by | Big Daddy's Place, Concert Season 2011, Music, Vicci Martinez | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment