Aplscruf's Music Blog

Seattle International Film Festival 5.22.2014

I normally write about the music scene, but I’m crossing over this time into the world of independent film.  We had the pleasure of attending the opening night of SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival) Short Films at The Uptown cinema on Queene Anne.   Tony Fulgham, the lead singer of Seattle’s Jackrabbit, is a renaissance guy.  He not only plays kick-ass country rock, but is a creative director of World Famous Inc.  He wrote and directed a short called Box Walk that was featured at the SIFF Opening Night, directed a second movie called Secret which will play May 26, and directed the official SIFF trailer (see video, above).

Seven films were presented on Opening night. The audience was encouraged to vote, using tear-away ballots, numbered 1-5 (5 being awesome) for each movie.  Our favorites were, of course, Box Walk and another called The Phone Call, both of which were gripping, poignant and brought me to tears.  All seven films were memorable, creative and very different from each other.

I would recommend the Shorts for anyone who wants a taste of some creative independent films, but doesn’t necessarily want to sit through a full-length feature.

 

 

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May 23, 2014 Posted by | Jackrabbit, Movies | , , , , | 1 Comment

Jackrabbit, Colt Kraft Band, Deception Past at Tractor Tavern 4.26.14

Jackrabbit at The Tractor in 2012

Jackrabbit at The Tractor in 2012

UPDATE: HERE’S MY BLOG OF THE SHOW I POSTED FOR NO DEPRESSION:

http://www.nodepression.com/article/jackrabbit-colt-kraft-and-deception-past-rocked-seattles-tractor-tavern

 

I’m looking forward to a night with Jackrabbit at The Tractor–and a Saturday night to boot.  Lately, it seems our favorite shows have been during the week, which makes for an exhausting night and a fuzzy work morning.  Saturday gives us a little time to relax and be prepared for a late show.  Yes, I am old.

Jackrabbit hasn’t played publicly since late last year.  We went to their private final show on a chilly winter’s eve, and it was a fantastic night of music and celebration.  The band was surrounded by their close friends and family.  Early this year, the girls, Moe Provencher and Aimee Zoe, took a sabbatical from Jackrabbit and cycled across New Zealand and Australia for three months. What an adventure! Not only did they travel on bicycles, but they played gigs at many stops along the way.

Jackrabbit’s frontman Tony Fulgham had his share of traveling around the globe for World Famous Inc. He wrote and directed a movie called Box Walk which is now showing at independent film festivals (most recently in Nashville).  Check out World Famous. The man is prolific.  How he has time to raise his adorable family is a mystery.

Deception Past is celebrating the release of another album Saturday night.  We saw them destroy it at The Green Frog in Bellingham last month. We’re anxious to hear some more great foot stompin’ country from them and to see how many people they can fit on their stage by the end of the night.

Colt Kraft Band is also dropping a new EP.  We haven’t see them before, and new music is always good for the soul.

Hope to see you Saturday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 24, 2014 Posted by | Americana, aplscruf, Concert Season 2014, Deception Past, Jackrabbit, The Tractor Tavern | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

Jackrabbit and Mark Pickerel at The Tractor 1.18.2013

DSC01815

Jackrabbit

I’m finally getting around to posting this.  I was working on a manuscript for a writing contest through pnwa.org and got sidetracked.  We’re not going to as many shows as we’d like, either–trying to cut back a little.  It’s torture for me to miss so many shows; but when we do go, I try to savor each moment.

For our first show of Concert Season 2013, we saw our favorite local band Jackrabbit.  They played at The Tractor, our favorite Ballard venue.  It was a Friday, which always makes it tough to stay the entire night because we have early mornings and long work days.  We try to take a little nap before leaving for the show, but that didn’t happen this time.

In an effort to save some dough, we ate at home, and then shared a snack at Hattie’s Hat, next door to The Tractor.  We then strolled down the sidewalk to a little gelato bar and ordered small scoops of stracciatella and caramel.  We pored over a map of Italy on the wall and wished we were visiting at that moment. 

At The Tractor, our little table was waiting for us.  I swear, people must get a vibe not to touch our table! I think our energy will still be hanging out there long after we’re gone.  We spoke to Tony Fulgham of Jackrabbit briefly, but they were on first.  He was scurrying around, trying to finalize the setlist and helping with equpiment.  He was looking forward to finishing the set and dancing with his wife the rest of the evening.

As usual, Jackrabbit played their little hearts out, and this time added J.B. Kardong on pedal steel for some serious twang.  Aimee Zoe banged away on drums and added gusto to the first song, “I Know”.  My recent favorite, “Fathers and Sons” was up next.  I need to let my own son hear that song and listen to the poignant lyrics about growing up and becoming a man. 

The intro to “Home Alone” a new song that I’m hoping will show up on their future album, went something like this: “This song’s about trying not to be a fuck-up.”

Aimee took the reigns and sang lead on another new song, “One More Time”.  It has a honky-tonk sound that fits nicely in Jackrabbit’s catalog.  “Around The Bend” is dark and bluesy, and got the audience fired up with its Mojo sound, a la Tom Petty.  They finished with “Big Kids” which is another rawkin’ song, and always the perfect closer.

Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands were up next, and the crowd filled in.  Steve Davis, a.k.a. Tine E. Dancer from Brent Amaker and The Rodeo, filled in on electric guitar.  It was hard to put a label on Pickerel’s genre.  Sometimes it had a country twang; somtimes it was more of a surf punk; other times it had a 60’s film noir vibe with dark tones and minor keys, like something from a Tarantino movie.   Overall, they had a pretty cool vibe going on.  Mark’s voice has been compared to “Roy Orbison on sedatives”.  Poor Mark’s beautiful Washburn acoustic guitar was stolen out of his car a couple weeks ago.  Tragic.  I hope he finds it. 

We couldn’t stay for the whole set, and missed Hart Kingsbery’s show entirely.  Just…too…tired.  We were glad we finally got out again, though.

April 2, 2013 Posted by | Concert Season 2013, Davidson Hart Kingsbery, Jackrabbit, Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands, Music, The Tractor Tavern | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Jackrabbit, Ole Tinder and The Swearengens at Darrell’s Tavern 12.29.12

Jackrabbit plays at Darrell's Tavern

Jackrabbit plays at Darrell’s Tavern

Pat and I were looking foward to hearing our favorite Seattle bands again after another dry month.  Although 2012 was a great year for music, we missed more shows than we hit; we were just too busy with other projects or weren’t around at the same time.  I’m also currently working on another writing project, so I haven’t been motivated to write about any new shows due to time constraints.  I couldn’t resist writing a little about the show at Darrell’s Tavern, though.  What a fun place to see live music!

First of all, if you want to see a great review of this show and awesome pics taken with his new camera, check out my buddy Thom’s blog here: http://liveseattlemusicintheclubs.blogspot.com/2012/12/jackrabbit-ole-tinder-and-swearengens.html

We had a busy Christmas and hosted two parties.  Pat and I were ready to let off some steam and just relax.  Darrell’s sounded like the place to be on a Saturday night, and it was just about 20 minutes from our house.  Growing up in Shoreline, I must have driven by that little tavern a million times.  It sits right next to Fred Meyer on Aurora.  After moving out of the area, I never thought of checking out the music scene there.  Ballard has been our place for music over the last several years.

We walked in about 8:30 and found maybe only 10 people in the tavern.  It was very small, with a surprisingly small “stage,” which was really just a corner of the rectangular room.  We wondered how The Swearengens would fit their giant band into that corner.  Darrell’s was stuck in the  1960’s, complete with a padded, u-shaped bar and with a line of sparkly cracked glass golden globes that hung in the center.  Old beer signs hung on the carpeted walls: Heidelberg, Hamms, Rainier.  But the tavern was CLEAN.  SPOTLESS.  It felt like it had been preserved in that era.  The bar padding and bar stools were pristine, with no rips or tears.  There were a couple of pool tables in another corner and more seating by the front door and stage.  The only thing modern about it was the unique and colorful artwork that hung along the wall by the stage.  Also, the sound system was top notch, and I was later told that Scott the Sound Man was equally terrific and was well respected by the bands.  The bar staff were friendly and fast.  Pat browsed their selection of beers on tap, and I enjoyed a good cosmopolitan.

Around 9:00, more people arrived.  The bands gathered, and Jackrabbit arranged the equipment for their opening set.  We left them alone since we knew they had limited time to get ready.

P and I took our seats at the far end of the bar and just sat back and observed everyone as they walked in.    Before the show began, we got to hang with some of the band.  The guys and gals in the bands know us now.  We’re regular stalkers–er, fans.  Our discussions revolved around back injuries, MRI’s, surgery, VW bus restoration, giving birth, family doctors…you know, the usual band/groupie talk.  We had some good, hearty laughs, too.

Jackrabbit featuring Aimee Zoe Tubbs (Drums), Moe Provencher (Bass), Tony Fulgham (Vocals and Guitar), and J.B. Kardong (Pedal Steel)

Jackrabbit featuring Aimee Zoe Tubbs (Drums), Moe Provencher (Bass), Tony Fulgham (Vocals and Guitar), and J.B. Kardong (Pedal Steel)

Jackrabbit opened at 9:30 sharp, and dove into several rockin’ songs before slowing it down a bit.  Although the place wasn’t quite full, people were flowing in and making their way to the dance floor.   The Swearengens  gang showed their support and danced, and Mike Giacolino from Ole Tinder  joined them.  J.B. Kardong of Ole Tinder also helped out on pedal steel.  My favorite dancing couple was there, too, twirling away.

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Heating Up the Dance Floor

Jackrabbit, with Tony Fulgham at the helm, played songs from A Better Place and their self-titled EP as well as a couple of new ones.  I enjoyed a new song with drummer Aimee Zoe on lead vocals.   Another new song had a lyric I like about how it’s good to miss someone when you’re on your way home.  I’ll have to get the title of that song.  I’m hoping it’s on their next release.  Aimee and bassist Moe Provencher were great on harmonies, as usual.   Here’s a previous review of Jackrabbit:  http://randomville.com/live-review-jackrabbit-and-kristen-ward-at-the-tractor-tavern/

Ole Tinder was up next.  Pat talked to J.B. Kardong briefly before his show.  Jay’s grandpa was an obstetrician and actually “birthed” Pat and his brothers!  He was their family doctor for years.

We also struck up a conversation with two guys who came in to watch the football game, Michigan State vs. TCU.  They were really nice and polite.  They talked about football, told us about their interesting lives and how they ended up here from Montana: by car. Ha.  One works at a salon and the other is currently in between jobs; and I really wish I could relay his hilarious story of his former position working security for a major department store, but I will keep mum about that.  He had us in stitches!  I hope we meet them again sometime.  We had a blast talking with them.  It must be the magic of Darrell’s; it felt like we’d known them a long time.

Ole Tinder: Nils Petersen (Bass), Mike Giacolino (Acoustic), Pat Schowe (Drums) and J.B. Kardong (Steel/Guitar).  My favorite dancing couple in foreground.

Ole Tinder: Nils Petersen (Bass), Mike Giacolino (Acoustic), Pat Schowe (Drums) and J.B. Kardong (Steel/Guitar). My favorite dancing couple in foreground.

Ole Tinder wound their way through Loways to a dancing and appreciative crowd.  I love the ole country harmonies from Nils Petersen and Mike G.  Here’s a previous review: http://randomville.com/live-review-ole-tinder-the-swearengens-and-davidson-hart-kingsbery/ which also includes props for The Swearengens.

The Swearengens started around 11:30.  The place was still packed!  They played a long set of original music off Devil Gets Her Way including one of my favorites, “Bloody Glove” as well as some covers.  Pat and I actually got out on the dance floor for a few songs!  Too bad we cannot dance.  We gave it a shot, though.  I wanted to stay for their whole set and hang out a little longer, but knew we had to get a ride soon.  We stayed as late as we could, then played it safe and taxied home before 1:00.

The Swearengens featuring Fritz Marial (Bass), Brian Ochs (Drums), Brigitt Rains (Vocals, Tambourine), Fredd Luongo (Vocals, Guitar) and Soren Godbersen (Guitar)

The Swearengens featuring Fritz Marial (Bass), Brian Ochs (Drums), Brigitt Rains (Vocals, Tambourine), Fredd Luongo (Vocals, Guitar) and Soren Godbersen (Guitar)

We will definitely go back to Darrell’s.  The atmosphere, friendly crowd and staff, great music and convenient location will bring us back again.  What a fantastic way to end our 2012 Concert Season!

January 5, 2013 Posted by | Americana, aplscruf, Concert Season 2012, Darrell's Tavern, Jackrabbit, Music, Ole Tinder, The Swearengens | , , , | 1 Comment

Jackrabbit and Kristen Ward at The Tractor 10.25.12

Tony Fulgham of Jackrabbit

Although I’m currently working on a separate writing project, I wanted to at least post a few of the shows I’ve attended over the last few months.  Jackrabbit, our favorite local band, kicked it up at The Tractor in October.   We also saw Spokane’s Kristen Ward for the first time and fell in love.  I wrote for Randomville.com.  See the full review here:

http://randomville.com/live-review-jackrabbit-and-kristen-ward-at-the-tractor-tavern/

December 30, 2012 Posted by | Concert Season 2012, Jackrabbit, Music, The Tractor Tavern | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jackrabbit and Ryan Purcell at Columbia City Theater May 25, 2012

Columbia City Theater, Seattle

Wow, less than a week went by and we got to see another show!  This time, we ventured out of our usual stompin’ grounds and down to Columbia City Theater on Rainier Ave.  It’s a fairly new venue in a very old building, circa 1917.  It used to host Vaudeville shows in its formative years, and was a prominent jazz club in the 1940’s.  The old brick walls, dim lighting and high ceilings gave it a vintage feel.  The beautiful, curtained stage was flanked with ornately carved wood columns.

We got in town a little early and had time to grab some savory appetizers and gelato at Tutta Bella Pizzeria directly next door to the theater.  I highly recommend the meatballs and flatbread.  The salted caramel gelato was pretty fantastico, too.

We then sauntered next door and waited for the show to begin.  There was a bourbon bar at the entrance to the venue and a small bar inside the theater.  After grabbing a bourbon special and Manny’s at the bar, we moved to the theater and sat along the wall with our own candle-lit table fairly close to the elevated stage.  Several benches and small tables lined the walls, but it was mainly open to standing or dancing patrons.

Tony Fulgham of Jackrabbit

Jackrabbit, a beloved Americana band from Seattle, features Tony Fulgham on lead/vocals, Jason Montgomery on guitar/lap/pedal steel, Moe Provencher on bass and Aimee Zoe Tubbs on drums.   Their first full-length album is due in September, but check out their Bandcamp site to listen to their current E.P. and purchase some tunes.

Jackrabbit L-R: Moe, Tony, Aimee, Jason

They started their 10-song set with “I Ain’t Done With You,” which got people in the door and pushing timidly toward the stage.  The crowd was pretty slim for a Friday night, but more people arrived as the night progressed.  It was Memorial Day Weekend, and people tend to scatter all over the state when there is a chance of nice weather.  Next up was my favorite bittersweet jewel, “Throwing In The Towel” followed by “Hurricane,” and the smiling Aimee let loose on the drums.  I love her audacious drumming style.  Tony tried to get the quiet crowd moving and said, “I can tell you’re on your first drink!”

Moe, Aimee and Tony

Tony then picked up his acoustic guitar and played “I’m Sorry” and “Say Goodnight,” which featured sweet harmonies from the girls.  The tender song picked up volume as drums and steel joined in.

A few more songs followed, including “Home Alone” –I wrote down an interesting lyric–It’s good to miss somebody/when you know you’re headed home.  Next was “Around The Bend, with Jason helping out on steel.  The band picked up speed with “Fathers and Sons,” and a lively cover of George Jones’ “The Race Is On,” then crossed the finish line with the rawking “Big Kids” as the crowd cheered and danced.  Yeah, I’m looking forward to September and going to as many Jackrabbit shows as I can until then.

Rawking on “Big Kids”

I always enjoy discovering another new band, but find it hard to venture out of my comfort zone since I tend to latch on to my favorites.  If they’re local, then that’s a bonus.  We were motivated to go tonight mainly to see Jackrabbit, but felt compelled to stay for Ryan Purcell and The Last Round and see if we’d add them to our growing list of local favorites.

Ryan Purcell and the Last Round took the stage to a fairly large audience, although they were still pretty shy about pushing up to the stage and dancing.  The band just released a new album entitled Pick Me Up.  Ryan had quite a magnetic personality on stage.  His raspy voice has been compared to many country artists, but I think he sounds like Jimmy Smith of The Gourds.  He encouraged the crowd to dance and said sternly, “This music will not dance itself.” 

Ryan Purcell and The Last Round

The band has a big honky-tonk sound and is made to party.  Ryan is joined by his brother Evan on guitar/vocals, Peter Davidson on bass, Charley Rowan on keys (make that a double stack) and David McGraw on drums.

Evan Purcell

I enjoyed the band’s frenetic energy, skillful playing and joyful vibe.  The audience responded accordingly, and long before the set was over, the music did not have to dance itself.

Dancing Crowd

Setlist included:

Cover Your Tracks

Happy Hour

Hurricane

Enough (off 1st record – Kick The Dirt)

Long Road (slower, heartfelt)

Closer – Makes You Wanna Cry which included the lyric:  I ain’t never gonna put that bottle down!

Check out Bandcamp to purchase and listen to songs off both albums.

The Tripwires were up next, but we had to head home.  We caught up to Tony Fulgham and said our goodbyes; we reveled in the bliss of another great night of music in Seattle.

More Pics:

Evan and Peter

David

Ryan and Evan

Ryan

Tony

Jackrabbit

Jason

Moe and Aimee

May 28, 2012 Posted by | Americana, aplscruf, Columbia City Theater, Concert Season 2012, Jackrabbit, Music, Ryan Purcell and The Last Round | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jackrabbit, The Swearengens and The Outlaws at The High Dive 1.28.12

Jackrabbit at The High Dive

P and I finally enjoyed an overnighter in Seattle this weekend.  We made our escape about 4:30 and headed to Hotel Deca, in the heart of Huskyland, near the UW campus.  As Cougs, we normally steer clear of all things UW, but this little art deco hotel suits us.  It’s small, clean, and the price is right.  It’s also close to Fremont, our destination for a great night of country rock, Americana and some old school outlaw country.

After we settled in to our discounted junior suite with a mountain view (if it weren’t 45 and cloudy, we could have seen them), we took a taxi to Fremont and found a restaurant.  We tried El Camino again, since we usually get right in without waiting.  It was just down the block from The High Dive, too.  We walked in and were served almost immediately.  Their food is not typical Mexican.  They incorporate more traditional spices in dishes like enchiladas mole and serve it up with wilted chard and an order of fried plantains on a bed of fresh guacamole instead of the usual chips.

We headed over to Simply Desserts for a mouth-watering piece of fudge chocolate cake and espresso.  We still had time to kill, so we went Brouwers for some ale and whiskey.

The High Dive is another favorite small club to see quality music.  It’s a smidge cleaner than The Tractor in Ballard, and has more seating and larger bar area.  The sound system is clean and crisp.  A variety of genres play there, but tonight it was all about the Country.  Tony Fulgham was out to celebrate his birthday and brought along a few friends.  The place was absolutely packed by the time he hit the stage.  When we first arrived just after 9:00, there were only a couple of seats available and groups of people standing around the floor in front of the stage and bar area.  We weighed our options and decided to ask a couple if we could join them at their table.  They had the bench against the wall, but there were two stools opposite them.  The politely agreed, and we were thankful we had a place to rest, since it was going to be a long night.

After a shy introduction with our new table mates, we quickly bonded when we learned we had similar tastes in music.  The woman, C, was a huge Tom Petty fan, so we spent many minutes comparing shows and our love for Tom.  T was also into lots of music, and we all had a laugh reminiscing about the Bob Dylan show at The Paramount several years ago, and how opener Merle Haggard was such a class act.

The Swearengens

The Swearengens soon took the stage.  They borrowed a few people for the live act, including Jason Montgomery from Jackrabbit on pedal steel.  I knew it was going to be a great night when they started the set with a Ryan Adams/Whiskeytown cover: “Dancing With The Women At The Bar”.  It sounded so nice with the whine of the pedal steel and backup vocals.  They followed with a humorous country heartbreaker called “You Pissed on My Heart” and “Devil’s Gonna Get Her Own Way.”

I didn’t get a setlist, but here’s a rundown of either the titles or partial lyrics of songs they played in their rich and energetic opening set:

A local song, listing things he’s seen in the lyrics, including Cascade Pass and Shi Shi Beach

If I Remain

For A While – which included a nice fiddle solo

Eyes of Angels

Bloody Gloves

Always Get the Woman Off First – Yes, a little dirty, and a lot of fun

The last song was about Seattle and included the lyric, “If you come around here/we’ll drive you away”

The Swearengens

By this time, the packed audience was shoulder to shoulder throughout the venue.  It was tough to just work over to the other side to use the restroom.  I did manage to get a few pictures from the left side of the stage.

The Swearengens

The Swearengens

After a short break and more bonding with our neighbors, Jackrabbit performed to the roar of many friends, family and fans.  Tony Fulgham, founder of Jackrabbit, celebrated his birthday by hosting this party and invited all of us to join him.  Being big fans, we gladly obliged.  This is the third time we’ve seen Jackrabbit in the past 6 months or so; they included many more great new songs in addition to their  current EP.  See a previous review of their show on Randomville.  P and I agreed they sounded better than ever.  I’m excited to see what their next album has in store.  The show was energized, and got me off my feet and over to the side of the stage to take pictures.

The Outlaws, a Waylon Jennings tribute band, played last; by that time, we were wiped out.  We hung around for three or for songs then split for the hotel.

Jackrabbit

The Outlaws

February 26, 2012 Posted by | Americana, Concert Season 2012, High Dive, Jackrabbit, Music, The Outlaws, The Swearengens | , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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

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

LIVE REVIEW: THE GOURDS AND JACKRABBIT

Kevin Russell of The Gourds

Check out my review on Randomville!  See below for more pics and more info about the show.

The Gourds, from Austin, TX stormed into town for another rollicking, foot-stomping performance, showing off music from their new CD, Old Mad Joy produced by Larry Campbell for Vanguard Records.  Jackrabbit, who played for Massy Ferguson in Mid-October, opened the show, and once again performed an excellent set of country rock and got the crowd moving.  Click here for a review of their show with Massy Ferguson.  

Tony Fulgham of Jackrabbit


Jason Montgomery, Tony's "Brother From Another Border--Oregon!" on Pedal Steel

Check out Jackrabbit’s website  to purchase their new EP!  Listen below:

Here is Jackrabbit’s setlist from The Tractor show:

What’s a Guy Gotta Do

Fathers and Sons

AZ Death Song

Done With You

Throwing in The Towel

I Know

I’m Sorry

Around the Bend

Big Kids (RAWKED!)

Jason and Tony

It was a pleasure to finally meet Tony and be able to exchange a few words before his awesome set.  We’re hoping to go to his next show in December.

Before The Gourds came on, we met a nice couple from Victoria.  Came down specifically for the show.  They were also at Tractor several other times throughout the year, and saw Los Straitjackets a few weeks ago, too.  I commended them for their long haul across the water and US border to get here.  I’m sure we’ll see them again.  They also enjoyed Jackrabbit and were looking forward to The Gourds.

The Gourds’ show at The Tractor Tavern featured most songs from Old Mad Joy.  It felt more like a rock show than a revival this time around.  Their new music has a 60’s psychedelic vibe, heavy on electric guitar, with psychotropic solos from Kevin Russell.  I could hear The Rolling Stones bleed through some of their songs; especially those from co-singer/writer Jimmy Smith, whose voice sounds similar to Keith Richards.

Jimmy Smith on Bass

Instead of going through a song-by-song description of The Gourds’ very long setlist, I thought I’d take a few paragraphs to explain The Gourds to those who have not experienced their live show.  The Gourds formed 17 years ago in Austin, TX.    They have 11 albums under their belts, and travel the countryside spreading the joy of live music.  They make appearances at SXSW, Bumbershoot, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, and other festivals.  Their motto: “For the Unwashed and Well-Read.”

Max Johnston of The Gourds

I discovered The Gourds just by chance in 2007 while flipping through the TV channels.  They were featured musicians on Austin City Limits.   I then heard they were touring the Northwest, so  my husband and I made sure to buy tickets and saw them live at The Tractor Tavern in Seattle.  Their show felt like an old-timey revival in the Deep South.  The five-piece band played a variety of instruments, including electric/acoustic guitars, bass, drums, mandolin, violin, banjo, lap steel, and accordion, and Each band member is also so full of life and energy.

Kev, Jimmy and Claude

The Gourds’ original music, written mostly by Russell and Smith, is sometimes complex and so eclectic; it is impossible to categorize their music.  Their songs range from Tex-Mex country rock to Bluegrass to Cajun to something out of a church hymnal.  This latest album has more of a rock influence, although rock riffs and beats are scattered throughout their older music.

I get more salvation from their shows than I ever did in church.  My soul gets a lift, and I feel so alive–so fulfilled after their two-hour set.  They are a full body-mind-and-spirit show.  Each band member brings energy and puts their heart into each performance.  Kevin Russell, co- singer/writer, plays electric and acoustic guitars, harmonica and mandolin.  When he gets into the music, he stomps to the beat, gyrates, postures, poses, and throws his head around like a man possessed–or blessed.

A Grave Moment

The Gourds’ musical energy and rampant joy spills out over the low stage and floods the audience.  They stomp, wail, whoop, jam and generally cause musical hysteria.  When they’re in such a frenzied state, they are a sight to behold.  It is something that is hard to put into words.  The entranced (and possibly chemically altered) crowd responds accordingly, by whooping back, clapping and singing along, dancing and stomping in time.

Max and Keith

They also do a few covers, including T-Pain’s “Let Me Buy You a Drink,” and received some attention a few years ago after covering Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice,” with Kevin on mean mandolin:

At times, their lyrics are perplexing and undecipherable; but it doesn’t seem to matter during their live shows.  They could speak in tongues and the crowd would still embrace each song.

An excerpt from “Marginalized” off Old Mad Joy by Jimmy Smith:

saw this magnanimous bottom feeder look up at me
thought pond scum sucked ‘til i had a bowl of rat soup inside of me
well, it’s pretty good said this cat named Sneezeguard
couldn’t ever crowd his pan always got a proper sear on
just to find out that easily led could actually steer one

Over the years, every set and  show has been unique in some way.  They bring new songs mixed with old, different instruments, and different variations to the songs.  Shinyribs (Kevin Russell’s alter ego on acoustic guitar) might show up and play the opener with a mix of original and covers of old gospel and blues tunes.  The crowd ranges from all walks of life, from cowboys to college students.  The one time I didn’t bring my camera, a girl next to me kept her V-neck T-shirt pulled down pretty much the whole evening and flashed her recently purchased boobs to the smiling band (and others’ cameras).  Not to be outdone, a tall, skinny guy in a yellow T-shirt approached the front of the stage and pulled his shirt all the way up and rubbed his belly and chest, to the roar of the crowd.  That was the same night Jimmy’s bass got knocked over, smashed into the side of a beautiful acoustic guitar and made a big hole in it.

My most memorable Gourds moment this evening 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!” 

A camera crew filmed the show during their most recent visit.  I asked Max Johnston who they were, and he said he didn’t know; they’ve just been following the band around like a couple of stalkers!  I suspect, with their new Vanguard label, we will see a DVD shortly.

Kevin Bending the Strings and Stalker Camera Man

On this chilly October night, we put our political differences aside and followed Jimmy’s plea to “Occupy The Gourds!”  The Tractor crowd warmly embraced their new music.  The older songs, worked in throughout the set, galvanized the audience who sang and shouted all the words.  My favorite moment came during their three-song encore, where they played “Burn the Honeysuckle,” or Kevin’s “cowboy brag” song, as he calls it.  His mandolin skills and gyrations are mesmerizing.

Here is a polished version of that song with an explanation of how he came about writing the lyrics:

Also, check out another encore song, “Mr. Betty,” by Jimmy, and hear the  Stones influence:

The long, frenzied night of soul-cleansing music came to an end, instruments and T-shirts intact.
MORE PICS!!


November 8, 2011 Posted by | Americana, Concert Season 2011, Jackrabbit, The Gourds, The Tractor Tavern | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment