Aplscruf's Music Blog

Diary of a Married Groupie

Massy Ferguson – Triple Door VI Show Friday, April 7, 2017

06-Massy_Ferguson

Massy Ferguson and most of the audience at The Triple Door in 2016. Photo by Rich Zollner Photography

Come join in on the fun Friday, April 7 at The Triple Door in Seattle for Massy Ferguson and Sweet Kiss Momma.

Massy Ferguson, Seattle’s American Rock darlings, will sell out The Triple Door again this year. You don’t want to miss their lively show, which usually involves audience participation. You might even have a chance to join them onstage during their big finale.

Get your tix here:https://tickets.thetripledoor.net/ordertickets.asp?p=2430&src=eventperformances

Advertisements

March 26, 2017 Posted by | 2017, Ethan Anderson, Massy Ferguson, The Triple Door | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Latest Happenings…

Lots of great music happening all over the world right now and an the near future! Here are just a few picks…

Will Kimbrough and Brigitte DeMeyer’s tour moves across The Pond. Paul Kerr of Blabber ‘n’ Smoke added his two cents to the stack of glowing reviews on this duo: https://paulkerr.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/brigitte-demeyer-will-kimbrough-mockingbird-soul/ See Tour Dates for a show near you.

Print

Japandroids

Japandroids, a Vancouver-based punk band, invaded the West Coast, including a stop in Seattle this past weekend. They’ll head to Europe mid-April with a gig at Melkweg in Amsterdam before continuing the tour in UK into the first week of May. They return to Europe in June to play a few more gigs including Spain and Italy.

Oliver Gray , Americana music promoter (I hereby dub him Americana’s Duke of Winchester), is visiting SXSW.  I’m looking forward to his take on the scene. Here is last year’s post: http://olivergray.com/south-by-south-west-festival-2016/

JD-front-page

Jesse Dayton is heading West after SXSW to Seattle’s Tractor Tavern. The man is a beast on guitar and puts on an incredible, entertaining show. Jesse has a new album out called The Revealer. Here’s my review of his show with John Doe a few years ago: http://nodepression.com/live-review/john-doe-reigns-triple-door-seattle-wa. Dayton was featured in No Depression in October: http://nodepression.com/article/unsung-heroes-americana-music-jesse-dayton-real-country-music

John Doe will also tour this summer with a few stops up north.

Jeremy Nail was also featured in ND this month: http://nodepression.com/article/jeremy-nail%E2%80%99s-new-album-climbs-above-health-struggles

Jenny Whiteley, Canadian folk artist, was recently nominated for a  JUNO award, Canada’s version of The Grammys for her latest album, The Original Jenny Whiteley. Awards ceremony is in April.

338412f0-2269-43d9-8cd0-2a9c6db7dd50

 

Dean Owens, a man from Leith–a Celtic Americana  artist via Nashville–has a new album, a movie in the works, and a new single called “Julie’s Moon” on iTunes with a chance to donate through Marie Curie.Check  Dean’s Facebook Page for more info and make a purchase to support this favorite Americana artist.

Kilkenny Roots Festival  happens 28 April – 1 May in Kilkenny, Ireland. Always a quality lineup, many artists from America. Western Centuries, a top-notch country band from Seattle, will attend this year.

Massy Ferguson’s April show at The Triple Door in Seattle will be a sell-out event. The annual show is a must-see for Ferguson fans. We just saw them play a lively set in a suburban venue called Capps Club, just blocks from home. It’s nice to finally have some quality  music venues outside of the city limits.

Speaking of suburban venues, McMenamins offers a variety of music throughout its Oregon and Washington properties. We are lucky to be minutes away from Anderson School where Fernando, McDougal, Jesse Dayton, Massy Ferguson, Ian McFeron, Sean Rowe, and Aaron Lee Tasjan have played–just to name a few artists since its grand opening over a year ago.

JeffFinlin_Guru_6576_tem_en

Jeff Finlin’s brilliant new album The Guru in the Girl is due in May, and I’m giddy with anticipation for the rest of the world to hear it. The album is a perfect balance of darkness and light; of regeneration; of love and loss. It embodies poppy folk songs to naked, soul-baring blues. The haunting title track stirs and elevates the soul.

IMG_1783 (2)

Flight to Mars

Flight To Mars is landing at The Showbox May 12-13 for two RAWK shows with Mike McCready. Proceeds support Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.

 

 

 

 

 

March 20, 2017 Posted by | 2017, Alt-Country, Americana, aplscruf, Brigitte DeMeyer, Canadiana, Flight to Mars, Folk, Japandroids, Jeff Finlin, Jenny Whiteley, Jeremy Nail, Jesse Dayton, John Doe, Kilkenny Roots Festival, Massy Ferguson, McDougall, McMenamins, Music, No Depression, Oliver Gray, Seattle Rock, The Tractor Tavern, The Triple Door, Western Centuries, Will Kimbrough | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Massy Ferguson: Chasing Anti-Heroes and Hitting The Mark at The Triple Door

DSC_9096 (2)

Massy Ferguson at The Triple Door June 17, 2016. L-R: Tony Mann-keys; Ethan Anderson-vocs, bass; Dave Goedde-drums; Adam Monda-vocs, guitar (not pictured: Fred Slater-keys). Photo Credit: Jacob Knight

A Massy Ferguson show always turns into one big audience-participation party, but this night was even more festive because each guest received a copy of their new album, Run It Right Into The Wall with the purchase of their ticket. Hence the official name for the evening: The “Everyone Gets An Album” Release Party.

A few weeks before the show, Massy Ferguson hyped it up online, blasting us with Facebook and Twitter posts, videos, teasers, pictures, and album review links. Paul Kerr, prolific writer of the music blog Blabber ‘n’ Smoke recently gave a thumbs up to Massy’s new album, calling it a “solid slice of gritty roots rock”. Check out his lively review here: https://paulkerr.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/massy-ferguson-run-it-right-into-the-wall-at-the-helm-records/

By showtime, The Triple Door was nearly sold out, with only a few empty seats scattered about the venue. People who purchased VIP tickets (a mere $16 more than regular admission) were also treated to a pre-show party and meet ‘n’ greet in The Green Room which included food, signed CD’s, and a cassette (yes, an actual audio cassette) of the new album. Dig out the boom boxes and find a pencil!

DSC_8777

Ethan Anderson: Chasing anti-heroes. Photo Credit: Jacob Knight

Ethan Anderson, bassist and frontman for MF, officially kicked off the night by reading a heartfelt speech about the conception of this album, calling it the record Massy Ferguson was born to write. He spoke of all of the steps it took to get to this point in the life of the band. He spoke of his anti-heroes–those bands who were on the fringe, who didn’t swim in the main stream, such as The Replacements, Wilco, Son Volt, and The Boss himself, back in his Nebraska days. They were his mentors, his idols–just out of reach. Some he literally just missed in a green room or on a stage. Their latest album sonically touches these anti-heroes, but as more of an homage–never an imitation. They have a signature sound, and this one hits all the marks that make them Massy Ferguson. Maybe it’s a little more rockin’ than their previous albums; but as Ethan said, “They always were at their best with rock first, twang after.”

Keeping a band together for ten years is quite a feat these days, especially when one is on the left side of the dial, trying to make ends meet–trying to make it. Roll the video…

Following the speech and video, Nick Foster Band, a seven-piece Americana ensemble, primed the audience for party time. Foster, on acoustic guitar and vocals, shared beautiful harmonies with Jazmarae Beebe. The rest of the band was equally impressive on soulful folk songs and full-bodied jams.

02-Nick_Foster_Band

Nick Foster Band. Photo Credit: Rich Zollner Photography

DJ Indica Jones kept the festivities going between sets with some great spins from 80’s and 90’s pop, rock, and hip-hop. He involved the audience in sing-alongs and let them finish choruses with songs like Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer”. He danced along, grooving to his own beat.

01-DJ_Indica_Jones

DJ Indica Jones doing his thang. Photo Credit: Rich Zollner Photography.

The curtain rose and Massy Ferguson started their long set with five new tracks from Run It Right Into The Wall. All songs on the album except one were written by Massy Ferguson. The exception is “Firewater”, written by UK rocker Dave Woodcock (Dave Woodcock and the Dead Comedians). This up-tempo, jangling rocker fired up the audience as Adam Monda fueled them with his trusty #5 Fender. A makeshift dance floor started in the aisle.

DSC_8923 (2)

Ethan Anderson, Adam Monda, and Fred Slater. Photo Credit: Jacob Knight

They continued with some favorites, including “Renegade” and “Backwoods”, the latter receiving help from the audience as they clapped along to the beat.

Another new one, “Dogbone” includes a Creedence-inspired riff. During the song, Rainier tallboys magically appeared on the stage. While Adam dove into a psychedelic solo, Ethan rolled over onto the stage (with his bass, which is quite a feat), grabbed a beer, took a sip, and popped back up. The stage lighting matched the colors of their new album. Bonus.

massycd-runitrightintothewall-cover-square-72dpi

04-Massy_Ferguson

Ethan grabbing a Rainier and saving the bass. Photo Credit: Rich Zollner Photography.

Ethan interrupted the show to mention they have two new t-shirts designed by drummer Dave Goedde in the merch booth. Dave also designed the album’s cool cover. Ethan then threw two shirts out to the cheering audience before raising his Rainier for his traditional toast, in several languages.

DSC_9063 (2)

Dave Goedde kept a steady beat all night. Photo Credit: Jacob Knight

“Every time I say Hello, you answer…Hello!” Ethan yelled to the crowd, and they happily shouted along to this poppy tune from Victory & Ruins.

Ethan later dedicated “Set The Sun” to a friend in the crowd who was having a birthday this evening.What a perfect way to celebrate.

“Lagrande” from the EP Damaged Goods featured Tony Mann on keys, filling in for Fred Slater. Tony just recently moved back to the US from Costa Rica, and was a member of Massy Ferguson from its inception. It was great to see Tony play with the band again.

“Atlantic City”, a cover by Bruce Springsteen, reminded Ethan of driving home with Adam after a late night in Roslyn, a tiny resort town east of the mountains. The audience sang along to the somber, repetitive chorus.

Massy Ferguson blasted back from “Atlantic City” with “Front Page News”, an angry rocker, and the dance floor spread into the aisles. They kept the momentum going with “Powder Blue” –always a great song to do near the end when everyone is primed to yell “Powder Blue!” at the top of their lungs on Ethan’s cue.

The last song,  “Into The Wall” allowed the crowd to breathe briefly while nodding their heads to the pensive title track.

05-Massy_Ferguson

The Almighty Flute! Photo Credit: Rich Zollner Photography.

Ethan then invited the entire audience onstage, and soon the stage was packed with happy revelers and dancers. He handed his bass to another capable musician while he brought out his almighty flute, a bittersweet sign that the rowdy night was coming to an end. They finished their high-energy set with a cover of “Can’t You See”, but the flute malfunctioned. It was missing an end piece. A roadie tried to do an emergency repair, but it didn’t hold. Ethan tore that thing apart as the dancers and revelers continued on, not caring or noticing that the flute solo was abandoned.

06-Massy_Ferguson

Big Finish! Photo Credit: Rich Zollner Photography.

Ethan Anderson might have missed his anti-heroes, but tonight, he and the band hit their mark.”They exceeded the hype!” said a friend when the party was over.

13578527_10208061117618151_1188918619_n

Ethan Anderson, Fred Slater, Adam Monda, and Dave Goedde somewhere in England. Photo Credit: Ethan Anderson

A few days later, Massy Ferguson revived the party and ran it right into The UK the rest of June and into the first week of July. The tour included shows in Bath, Brighton, London, and Scheffield, among others, culminating with a grand finale at Maverick Festival in Suffolk where they shared the stage with the brilliant UK-Americana artist Peter Bruntnell.

See their website for news, merch, and upcoming shows here: http://massyfergusonband.com/

Support the independent artists who venture to your city and play small clubs and venues.  Support quality music.

 

 

 

 

 

July 9, 2016 Posted by | 2016, Americana, Massy Ferguson, Rock, Seattle Rock, The Triple Door | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Makin’ It with Massy Ferguson

massycd-runitrightintothewall-cover-square-72dpi

Congratulations go out to Seattle’s own Massy Ferguson, for recently acquiring a UK label, At The Helm Records, to support their upcoming album, Run It Right Into The Wall.

Frontman Ethan Anderson and the boys will host a CD release party here at The Triple Door on Friday, June 17th. The show is nearly sold out, with only a few seats left at this writing.

Soon after, they’re heading across The Pond to continue the festivities.

The UK tour is from June 22nd through July 3rd, and includes a CD launch party. Other show announcements will pop up soon, so check their website or Facebook often for updates.

Their first official video from the album is aptly called “Makin’ It”, and was recently featured on Huffington Post. Read it here (scroll down a bit):http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/chats-with-barenaked-ladies-ed-robertson-wpremiere_us_573a8399e4b07a3866046392

See you at the party!

May 28, 2016 Posted by | 2016, Americana, Massy Ferguson, Rock, Seattle Rock | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Macefield Music Festival October 3-4, 2014

The Swearengens played Conor Byrne Saturday, Oct. 4.

The Swearengens played Conor Byrne Saturday, Oct. 4.

Day 1: Friday, October 3

Massy Ferguson and Star Anna at The Sunset

It was an unusually warm October evening, with temperatures hovering around 70 degrees.  We were excited to get down to Ballard on this first night of the Macefield Music Festival, a two-day celebration of northwest music, art and comedy. Check out their website for more information about the festival, venues, and artist lineup.

The first band on our schedule was Massy Ferguson, playing The Sunset at 7:00. The show time was a bit early, considering it was a Friday.  Lots of people don’t get out of work until at least 6, so I knew the crowd would be a bit thin this first night of the festival. For us old peeps, though, it was like getting the Early Bird Special.

This is how Massy Ferguson got to Macefield:

The Sunset was in the midst of remodeling. I hardly recognized the place.  Instead of the Chinese restaurant red velvet wall paper, the walls were adorned with shiny wood paneling.  A new wall broke up the long, rectangular space, separating the future bar from the stage. A makeshift bar on a folding table held a bucket of bottles, ice and a few hard liquor choices.

Massy Ferguson with Dave Goedde on drums, Ethan Anderson on bass and Adam Monda on guitar

And Then There Were Three: Massy Ferguson with Dave Goedde on drums, Ethan Anderson on bass, and Adam Monda on guitar

The three members of Massy Ferguson (Ethan Anderson, Adam Monda, and Dave Goedde) loaded in while a paucity of people took their places around the stage. Tony Mann, keyboardist, was visibly absent; stage right, where he usually played, was left empty. Tony is currently hanging out in a Costa Rican cantina enjoying a tall cool one, most likely with a little umbrella in it and a wedge of tropical fruit attached to the rim.

Massy Ferguson opened with the rocker “Long Time No See” from Hard Water and hit two songs off their new EP, Backwoods, including the title track “90’s Darlin'” that has some cool Seattle references. They also included a couple of nameless new tunes, which was a pleasant surprise.  More fans arrived as the band moved through the short, 45-minute time slot.

The trio was energized and really upbeat tonight, filling in that empty space with lots of great rock solos from Adam and blasting rock drum beats from Dave.

Ethan and Adam

Ethan and Adam

Ethan’s powerful vocals and bassline punched through the amps, encouraging more people to peek around the wall and join the fun.  His borrowed Rickenbacker bass shone in the blue lights.  Pat asked me if he could have one.  “No.”

Check out the downsized Massy Ferguson at a venue near you and “Like” them on Facebook.

After the show we saw Jay Kardong, pedal steel player for a few local bands, including Massy Ferguson from time to time. We chatted with Jay, Adam and Ethan for a bit before going to dinner. Jay’s grandpa, Dr. Kardong, always comes up in conversation. Dr. K. brought Pat into this world and was their family doctor for years.  Jay has made his own path in music and is famous for a couple of firsts: We are 99.99% certain he is the only person to ever do “The Worm” on the stage of Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, original home of The Grand Ole Opry; He was also part of the first band to ever play the top of The Space Needle (Outside! On top!) with Sera Cahoone for SubPop’s anniversary special.  Yes, Mudhoney played there, too, but Sera and Jay played before them. They also spoke of their adventures touring with their bands and going to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland during a big music festival there a few years ago.  After hearing their stories, I will not be sticking one toe in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland.

Jay also mentioned he’ll play with Ole Tinder Saturday, and things went downhill as we exchanged suggestions for what he might bring or wear to the event in order to really stand out, such as stilts (which would be a true challenge for any pedal steel player) and a kilt, or possibly a more unconventional kilt made of clear plastic wrap.  It’s always a joy spending time chatting with them. 

Pat and I walked back to The Sunset after briefly checking out The Sonics who were killing it on the KEXP mainstage to a packed crowd. Our friend Dean said they had the “same sound and raw energy that  made them the Godfathers of Punk!”

Among the local music and Seattle scene celebs walking around was John Keister of The 206 and Almost Live fame. Pat introduced us and I told Mr. Keister a story of how we’re so old that I remember my grandma making a dry remark after seeing the first episode of Almost Live, back in the mid-80’s: “You know that show, Almost Live? Well, it’s almost funny!”  I think Grandma coined the phrase. We loved that show, and it’s great to see The 206 back on TV with some of the original cast.

Here’s a sketch from The 206:

Jeff Fielder, guitarist extraordinaire walked by (check out this great interview by KEXP’s Jacob Uitti here).  He played a set at Conor Byrne Friday. I wished we had time to see him.  I recognized other artists, including Ryan Granger from The Grizzled Mighty, working the door at The Sunset.

Star Anna in the blue glow of The Sunset

Star Anna in the blue glow of The Sunset

Star Anna, whom we haven’t seen in quite some time, quietly took the stage to a growing crowd.  She played a couple of songs from her recent album entitled I Hate You and others from The Sky Is Falling, a new download-only collection. Star thanked the audience for their hearty applause after each song.  She is a little shy, but has such a powerful energy when she sings. It just crawls right into the soul and lingers well after her performance has ceased.  She asked us if we like Robyn, the Swedish pop diva, who had the big hit “Call Your Girlfriend”.  Although it was originally recorded as a pop/electronica song, Star said the lyrics are so sad; so Star took the pop song with sad lyrics and turned it into a sad song–with sad lyrics. The rest of her band stepped back and let her play it with just an acoustic guitar.  Oh, Star’s voice gave me chills. The crowd hushed up as she pulled them in.

Here is a version of “Call Your Girlfriend” that she performed on KEXP–see what I mean?

Cheers and applause followed after a short pause, akin to a collective gasp.  Her dark humor continued as she thanked the audience and said in a sing-songy voice, “This next song is about dying!”

It was getting hot; the packed room added to the stuffy atmosphere.  I needed some fresh air and water. Star’s so amazing, though, I hated to leave. Check out her website for music, videos, and show dates and GO.  She’s a local gem.

Day 2: Saturday, October 4

The Swearengens and Ole Tinder at Conor Byrne

Laff Hole Comedy at Hattie’s Back Room

We made the incorrect decision Saturday evening to drive to Ballard, park, and take Uber home at the end of the night. The festival started around noon this day, so we should have known that we would not find a place to park, as people arrived early and stayed for the duration of the festival.  We circled around Ballard Avenue and extended our search several blocks away to no avail. It was approaching 7:00, and I knew The Swearengens were loading in.

Soren Godbersen and Fredd Luongo of The Swearengens

Soren Godbersen and Fredd Luongo of The Swearengens

Forfeiting the show because we couldn’t find a place to park was unacceptable.  Pat sensed my growing anxiety and kicked me to the curb, festival wristband firmly intact.  He would meet up with me much later, after parking about half a mile away. He knew he would never hear the end of it if I missed The Swearengens again. I love this band, but bad timing and Pat’s work/travel schedule prevented us from seeing them for almost two years. Here is a 2012 review I posted for Randomville of The Swearengens at The Tractor.  We made an attempt in August, but the stars were crossed that night, as we already had plans to see Massy Ferguson (see Massy’s review and my run-in with The Swearengens here).

I entered Conor Byrne solo, which felt a little weird, but I immediately saw familiar faces in the audience.  I grabbed a pint of red and snaked my way to the front where I ran into Moe Provencer, and noticed that her Jackrabbit partner Aimee Zoe was setting up her drums. Aimee was drumming for The Swearengens, and both would be playing with Ole Tinder after that. Fantastic! The pair can also be found jamming with Jealous Dogs: Seattle’s Only Pretenders Tribute Band.

Meanwhile, Fredd Luongo, lead singer/songwriter for The Swearengens was onstage plugging in his acoustic guitar. I pointed at him with both hands and exclaimed triumphantly, “I made it!  I made it!”

Fredd smiled and said, “I better not f*ck up!”

He had nothing to fear.  If they played air guitars, covered Swedish rap (yes, it’s a thing), or [reader: please insert optional colorful phrase here], I wouldn’t have cared. I was just happy I finally made it to the show.

Friday’s setlist included songs from their 2012 EP Devil Gets Her Way, their latest album Waiting on the Sunrise, and other songs that I hope will show up on a future album, including this song, “‘Merican Woman”:

Another orphan song,”You Pissed on My Heart” is one of my favorites.  It got my attention the first time I saw them at The High Dive a few years ago.  The bitter song flows with acidic lyrics and splashes of dark humor (groan–sorry, I couldn’t resist).

The Swearengens definitely rocked the country songs tonight and got back to basics with a streamlined, four-person band. Aimee Zoe was smiling and spirited on drums. Soren Godbersen had some searing country-rock guitar solos. Fredd backed him on acoustic and sang his heart out tonight. Bassist Kirsten Ballweg is a former member of The Black Crabs and the founding member of The Dee Dees, an all female Ramones cover band. Kirsten had her Ramones stance going all night. We need to get to a Dee Dees show one of these days.  Check out their website for show times. 

Aimee, Fredd and Kirsten

Aimee, Fredd and Kirsten

Lots of dancing ensued throughout the lively set, and the house was packed.  They finished big with the blues-soaked rocker “Bleeding Blue” from Waiting on the Sunrise.

The Swearengens are back in the studio recording a new EP, due early next year. Catch them at The Green Frog in Bellingham November 8th, and at The Sunset with Massy Ferguson and Deception Past in Ballard November 15th.

Ole Tinder featuring Jay Kardong, Mike Giacolino, Aimee Zoe, and Moe Provencer

Ole Tinder featuring Jay Kardong, Mike Giacolino, Aimee Zoe, and Moe Provencer

Ole Tinder was up next. Aimee, Moe and Jay backed Mike Giacolino, who also played a solo set that afternoon. Ole Tinder has that classic country sound.  People continued to dance as Ole Tinder wound through their set with a couple of songs from Loways and many new ones I hadn’t heard before. I hope a new album will be out soon. Here’s a review of Ole Tinder from 2012, the first time I saw them.

“Labor” was a great song with a powerful message. Mike Giacolino plays a solo version here:

Tony Fulgham, singer/songwriter for Jackrabbit and  wife Daisy joined in on the fun. Wes Amundsen, bass player for The Black Crabs, also showed up and gave support to his musical compadres.

After the show, we said goodbye to the boys and girls and hugged it out, with hopes of seeing them again soon. It felt like a musical family reunion.

John Keister getting some laughs

John Keister getting some laughs

We hoofed it to Hattie’s Hat for the Laff Hole Comedy Night in Hattie’s Back Room.  The lineup included comedy shorts on video screens by Black Daisy, several local comedians, a Last Comic Standing contestant, and headliner John Keister. About 30 people crammed in booths and tables around the makeshift stage (consisting of a piece of rug on the floor and a cardboard sign on the wall).  We enjoyed hearty laughs, knowing smiles, and occasionally suffered a few eye-rolling groans.  It was all good fun, though, and we definitely got our entertainment value this night.

I hope Macefield returns next year.  The lineup was superb; the energy of the artists and crowd was truly invigorating.  We enjoyed the two-day event, and only wish we had time to see more artists.

October 11, 2014 Posted by | Americana, aplscruf, Concert Season 2014, Massy Ferguson, Ole Tinder, Star Anna, The Swearengens | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Backwoods” in the Evening: A Rowdy Night with Massy Ferguson and Friends

Massy Ferguson celebrated another EP release on Friday, August 8 at Conor Byrne Pub in Ballard.  

DSC05974

We began the warm summer night with a special treat: a parking spot directly in front of The Tractor, across the street from Conor Byrne. After all these years, we’ve never parked that close, especially on the first go ’round.

Fredd Luongo, lead singer of The Swearengens, stood in front of the Tractor with his band mates and watched us park the car.  I stayed in the car for a minute and pulled on my boots. I caught Fredd in my peripheral vision, staring me down.  His blue eyes followed me as I stepped onto the sidewalk, and I knew what he was going to say.

“You’re going to the Massy Ferguson show tonight, aren’t you?” A very sober look crossed his face.

“Uh, yes. Yes we are, Fredd,” I said, my voice full of remorse. “I’m so sorry!  We already committed to their show before realizing that you were playing tonight, too.  I’ll tell you what–if there’s time, we’ll run over and catch your show, I promise!”

I felt like some sort of traitor.  I love The Swearengens just as much as I love Massy Ferguson. Lately, for some reason, the timing has been off in our efforts to make it to a Swearengens show. Both bands have played in the Seattle area for years and tour with other local and national bands, too.  And this night, they played across the street from each other.  The stars were crossed tonight, I’m afraid.

With tails between our legs, Pat and I headed down the to Bad Albert’s for a quick and hearty dinner–pulled pork on toasted roll with slaw and fish sandwich and chips.  Great pub food, and inexpensive, too.

Conor Byrne is a long, rectangular brick building with a bar lining the left side and a few benches and tables along the right wall and scattered near the stage.  The triangular stage was ridiculously small for the piles of equipment loaded on and around it.  A low velvet couch against the wall near the side of the stage looked like it was built about the time of the opening of the original structure. We chose to sit on the couch and sunk way down into the worn, threadbare cushions.  That was OK–at least we didn’t have to stand for the show.  It was going to be a long night.

Hook and Anchor

Hook and Anchor

Hook and Anchor, a talented, five-piece, multi-instrumental Americana band opened the show. I liked their bluegrass vibe.  The female lead singer, Kati Claborn, had quite a large vocal range, and hit some beautiful high notes in a song near the end of the set.  She also played banjo and acoustic guitar.  She switched out to upright bass for one song and let the bass player Luke Ydstie lead on banjo.  Fiddler and guitarist Gabrielle Macrae sang her own song and accompanied on others. The band also included collaborator Erik Clampitt on vocals, guitar and steel, and Ryan Dobrowski on drums. They reminded me of The Gourds in the way they democratically let everyone take a turn at different instruments and vocals. The band had a helluva time switching out instruments, positioning amps and monitors, and changing places on the tiny stage.  They really deserve to be on a larger stage to showcase their fine talents without the distraction of trying not to get in each other’s way. 

Legendary Oaks

Legendary Oaks

Legendary Oaks, a four-piece rocking alt-country band loaded in after shuffling around the equipment. Pat and I talked to them outside before the show. We saw them back in January at The Sunset Tavern. I remember it well, because there was this strange turn on the dance floor that night.  The boys were up on stage rockin’ out, and these girls that looked like they’d just been to a Bellevue dance club came in wearing pretty dresses and high heels and started raising the roof!  We had a good laugh over that, and frontman Craig Schoen remembered my written account of the crazy evening. We were looking forward to another great show, but with probably a little less disco on the dance floor.

They rocked again with some psychedelic jams. Their lead guitarist Zoran Macesic could be The Edge’s protege, with echoing, haunting, repetitive guitar licks.  Schoen’s vocals turned a dark corner, Dave Grohl-style, and went from a smooth, even tone to a wail.  He jammed on his acoustic like a true rock star, with posturing and angst-riddled facial expressions.  Their sound has a bit of a Tom Petty vibe, too, which makes their songs so addictive.  Bassist Chris Jordan and drummer Justin Ansley kept the tight beat going for their strong set. They left the stage soaked in sweat.  Legendary Oaks also packed the floor, although the dancing was minimal this time around. 

As promised, we trotted across the street to see if The Swearengens were still on, hoping to catch a few songs before Massy Ferguson took the stage.  We just missed them.  Fredd was manning the merch table. We caught his eye and slowly waved goodbye to him with pouting faces.  Sorry, Fredd.

Massy Ferguson

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

Massy Ferguson’s new 6-track, mostly acoustic album, entitled Backwoods is just what I would expect from the boys.  It has just the right balance of beer-swillin’ songs and sober, thoughtful tunes. Lead singer and bassist Ethan Anderson shared his thoughts about the new EP: 

An album is a time piece, I’ve always thought. It captures a moment, a snapshot of what an artist or band is or what they are feeling at the time. In that way, albums are bound and chained to the stage of life of the artist. And, honestly, these are more “sober” times for MF. Three of us have had kids with wives/girlfriend, etc., and all the grown-up stuff that comes with that, and Tony is leaving the band for the better part of a year (he’s headed to Costa Rica – hence the song “Last Note”). I think all of us have been feeling a little more worn down by the “business” of music–maybe it’s age, maybe it’s wisdom. Sober is not a bad thing, it gives you ability to better reflect; and I think this album is, at its core, quite reflective. Reflective on individual expectations, on art, on nature, on personal histories, on places and spaces we’ve occupied.

“We’ve proven over the years that we can write songs for the bar-room, but we had this palette of songs that were more pretty, introspective and acoustic – 6 of them to be exact – and they didn’t really fit in with the feel of our other new material. They felt like a break from what we do, and I’m really glad they turned out the way they did sonically.”

Massy Ferguson started off strong with the title track and “90’s Darlin'” from Backwoods.  They squeezed in a couple of female vocalists to the stage, adding to their already-big sound and filling up every square foot of stage space with instruments, pedals, and power cords (and power chords, of course).  The band got the people on their feet and clapping to their energized blend of alt-country, with mostly upbeat songs keeping them engaged throughout the night.  

DSC05956Ethan took a few moments during the set and christened the new EP with a poignant yet humorous speech about where he’s headed musically and where he’s ended up physically with this band.  He paraphrased it later: “…the moment right when you start to wake up in the morning where your brain is cloudy and you realize you are not in your bed at home. As a musician this is something I’ve experienced a lot. I’ve woken up in a bed next to Tony in a Richland, WA motel room, I’ve woken up next to a 68 year old British man named Nick on our recent UK tour, I’ve woken up on the floor of the Brick Tavern in Roslyn...Backwoods in the Morning is probably mostly about waking up (literally and metaphorically) in a better place, a better headspace, in a new recognition of your life and who you are, where you have been.”

Even the bar was a different space for them. “As for the Conor Byrne show, again, even the show was a departure from the usual. That’s not a room we play, but we’d heard it was a good room for acoustic music. The sound for us wasn’t as spectacular as I’d hoped, but the show was definitely fun. Once you’ve been a musician in a town for a long time, you like to shake things up a bit, and I  think we did just that with the Conor Byrne show. It was a bit more of an unknown commodity than, say, the Tractor or Nectar or places we’ve played a lot. And, truthfully, the EP is a bit more of an unknown commodity too, compared to what we usually do.”

Adam Monda on lead guitar decided to go all acoustic tonight and follow the tone for their new EP, which added a rich, subdued sound to some of the more rocking numbers.  It worked on this smaller stage, although as Ethan mentioned above, there were some sound issues and the occasional feedback hum.  Tony Mann had some great solos on keys, including a noticeable turn on “Last Note” from the EP.  Dave Goedde is fun to watch on drums; his long arms pounded out the strong country-rock beat.  He must have felt a little claustrophobic this night, crushed into the very back corner of the miniscule stage. 

Adam Monda (Guitar) and Ethan Anderson (Flute) of Massy Ferguson

Adam Monda (Guitar) and Ethan Anderson (Flute) of Massy Ferguson

Our favorite part of the night is when the flute comes out. We know there is going to be a sing-along to a cover song, and possibly a few extra fans or musicians on stage to help out.  Ethan held the revered flute up high and the audience cheered. The band held nothing back, and several of the other band members joined them until there was absolutely no room for any more people or instruments.  Guest percussionists pounded on pint glasses (more than one broke and ended up on the stage) to add to the wall of sound.  The audience, as instructed, sang and danced, bounced and clapped heartily as they played “Last Note” and “Bum Drunk” to finish off the fabulous night.  

DSC05975

I enjoy evangelizing when it comes to our favorite Seattle bands.  We try to invite friends every time we go out to a show.  Many get the thrill of experiencing an unknown band for the first time.  It’s so invigorating to watch their eyes light up when a particularly rollicking song catches their attention.  I feel like we’ve done our part to spread the word about the great music that happens every week in Seattle.  This night was no exception.  Pat invited his friend and co-worker Gary, and he was thankful to get out and listen to new music tonight.  His wife and friend came to the show later after attending the Lady Gaga spectacle at Key Arena.  They were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the bands here in this tiny bar.  Quite a bit of a scene change from Lady Gaga.

The rowdy night ended with the setlist, signed CD’s, a drive with the top down, and Dick’s hamburgers at 1 am. 

Massy Ferguson Setlist

Massy Ferguson Setlist

**Catch Massy Ferguson around town over the next few weeks, including The Tractor Sept. 19th with Austin’s Band of Heathens, and Ballard’s Macefield Festival Oct. 3rd, where they will play at The Sunset.**

September 10, 2014 Posted by | Americana, aplscruf, Concert Season 2014, Conor Byrne, Hook and Anchor, Legendary Oaks, Massy Ferguson | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

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 at Tagaris Winery, Richland, WA 8.18.2012

DSC01187

I posted a review of this show for No Depression.com.  What a fun night!  I was a little slow to post here.  It’s been a busy year.

I really wanted to be cloned this weekend.  So many shows, so little time and space.  We chose to leave the Seattle area, though, and visit some friends in Tri-Cities.   Massy Ferguson was in town and played two nights at Tagaris Winery in Richland.  It turned out to be a fun outing on a wonderfully hot (for Washington) weekend.  We soaked in that dry heat with the hope of saving a little warmth for the impending winter gloom and enjoyed the company of good friends and great music.

We hit the road Saturday morning, and by 9:00 the temperature already rose above 70.  Over Snoqualmie Pass we could see the haze from the recent forest fire that swept over thousands of acresnorth and east of Cle Elum.  As we approached Indian John Hill, we could see smoldering hillsides through the thick haze.  The inside of our truck smelled like a smoky campfire.

We drove to 97 and through Yakima and on to Sunnyside.  We stopped by P’s uncle and aunt’s home and had a nice visit while the boy swam in their pool.  We then dropped by the Sunnyside cemetery, visited P’s parents’ headstone and said hello, swept off the recently-cut grass around the stone, adorned it with flowers, then found his grandparents’ stone and did the same.  It was now in the mid-90’s and climbing.

We drove past apple orchards, their trees bowing with the weight of the growing apples.  Farther south, apple orchards morphed into vineyards and vast stretches of desert.  Tri-Cities spread out before us in hazy buildings, neighborhoods of houses, small trees and stoplights.

We arrived at our friends’ house in Kennewick and had a nice chat on P and D’s patio.  The sky was hazy, the temperature now at 100 and holding.  The dry heat felt good on my skin.  We then changed and headed out to eat at a local hangout that had good pub food, great ale and hosted different bands every week.  We decided not to stay for this evening’s band, as we had to get over to Tagaris in Richland to see Massy Ferguson.  We promised our friends they would not be disappointed.

They later admitted they did a little “recon” mission the night before we arrived and checked out the band for a few minutes on their first night.  P and D did enjoy the music, so we were all looking forward to tonight’s show.

I’ve lost track of how many times we’ve seen Massy Ferguson.  I guess that’s a sign that I really like this band.  Their music spans many genres from Americana, folk, twang rock, alt-country, and good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll.  We always have a blast, and their frontman Ethan Anderson is bound to say at least one funny thing at each gig.  He always manages to get someone on stage to help in some way with singing, dancing, or cowbell near the end of the set.

The winery crowd, although it was a relaxed and casual atmosphere, seemed to be pretty quiet.  Tagaris: one of three wineries nestled closely together.  Gourmet food, appetizers, happy hour specials, wines, beer, and cocktails.  Covered ‘taverna’ with big screen, open to the elements.  Also, air conditioned dining area.  Round metal tables and chairs dotted a giant outdoor courtyard.  Trees and beautiful shrubbery and flowers lined the boundaries.  As the sun set, the floodlights and white Christmas-type lights set the mood for the beautiful evening.  It was still in the 90’s after the sun went down, and the heat radiated from the aggregate concrete.

We met up with Ethan Anderson before the show and introduced him to our friends.  We also spoke briefly with Adam Monda, lead guitarist.  He was excited to know we were all Coug grads, as both Adam and Dave Goedde, the drummer, were Cougs.

Massy Ferguson opened the giant three-part set (which I believe got shoved into two extra-long sets with a quick dinner and gallons of water in between) with “Pretty Plain Jane”, a favorite off the album Hard Water.  Throughout the night, they mixed songs from their three current albums as well as a bunch of new music which will be on an upcoming album scheduled for a fall release.  On top of all that, they also managed to play several covers.

Here is the review I wrote for No Depression: http://www.nodepression.com/article/live-review-massy-ferguson-heats-tagaris-winery

December 30, 2012 Posted by | Americana, aplscruf, Concert Season 2012, Massy Ferguson, Tagaris Winery | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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