Aplscruf's Music Blog

Diary of a Married Groupie

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.

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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/

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

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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

Flight To Mars Astounds at The Showbox

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Mike McCready and Tim DiJulio of Flight To Mars

Flight To Mars, once again, put on an astounding show at The Showbox, the second of the two-night benefit.

Flight to Mars, a UFO tribute band, features Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready (guitar), Paul Passereli (lead vocals), Tim DiJulio (guitar), Mike Musburger (drums), Gary Westlake (bass), as well as other musical guests. The show is the 14th annual benefit for the Crohn’s and Colititis Foundation of America (CCFA). The proceeds also benefit Camp Oasis, for kids with Crohn’s and Colitis.Throughout the night, there were auctions, announcements, raffles, and lots of top-notch music.This is the fourth time we’ve seen this show, and it keeps getting better and better.

The opener this year included a phenomenal David Bowie tribute, with many special guests (I do not have all of the names yet–will add as I find them), including a Prince look-alike (although no Prince songs were included, but he did sing and have a couple of grinding solos on Bowie songs), TKO frontman Brad Sinsel, Kim Virant, Grace Love, Jeff Rouse (bass), Barrett Martin (drums), Sean P. Bates (vocals – I get CHILLS each time I hear him!) Kathy Moore (who kicked ass on guitar), Justin Davis (guitar), Chris Friel (drums), brother Rick Friel (who also helped out with auction and was on bass for the tribute to Lemmy with Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades”), Mike “The Milkman” Musburger on drums, a keyboard player, additional vocalists, and lots of switching around between artists on vox and instruments.

Click on individual pics for a closer view…

I could have been satisfied with just that part of the show for the $25 ticket. But more was to come, and Paul Passereli and the boys saddled up for Flight To Mars, the UFO cover band. The usual songs were sung, with a few guests coming and going: Doctor Doctor, Love to Love, Mother Mary, Lights Out, Cherry, Too Hot to Handle, Rock Bottom, etc. So great, so loud, so rockin’.

Best image of the night (not caught in my camera’s eye): Mike strumming next to Tim, listening to Tim’s blistering solo. Mike stops, looks directly at us, smiles and says, “Fu*@k!” in admiration of Tim’s guitar prowess.

Another jaw dropping moment included Mike McCready’s destroying his Gibson Flying V, smashing it into an amp and pounding it to pieces on the stage. Crazy! John Hiatt would not be amused.

What a fantastic night of classic rock, and for a great cause. I’m curious to know how much money was raised for CCFA.

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May 22, 2016 Posted by | 2016, Flight to Mars, Music, Seattle Rock, The Showbox | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

David Corley’s New EP and Tour

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Cover art and design by Kari Auerbach

David Corley, whose triumphant story is now legendary among the world of independent music, has come back from the dead (literally) to produce a new 2016 EP entitled, appropriately, Lights Out. This EP, again produced by Hugh Christopher Brown, is a follow-up to Available Light, his debut album released near the end of 2014.

Where Available Light was quiet and introspective Americana with a couple of rockers, this new EP rocks and rolls, circa 1970. Corley doesn’t hold back on sing-talking his way through each song, with powerful, shaggy vocals in the forefront. There is such a great, up-tempo 70’s groove throughout the whole album. It’s heavy on guitar, organ (with a serious nod to early Petty), and drums, but still as lyrical and poetic as Available Light. He does slow down a bit and sings a country-blues tale of bad timing and missed opportunities on “Blind Man”, which includes the mournful whine of a harmonica, reminiscent of a Willie Nelson song.

Please check out Cara Gibney’s heartfelt article and interview with David, which includes the real-life story behind “Blind Man”, working with Sherman Holmes, and partner-love Kari Auerbach’s artistic interpretation of the album cover: http://nodepression.com/interview/lights-out-david-corley

Listen to and purchase the entire EP here: David Corley – Lights Out on Bandcamp

David is touring Europe starting this week in The Netherlands and moving to Ireland for Kilkenny Roots Festival over the weekend, starting May 1. Check out the incredible lineup here: http://kilkennyroots.com/

Check out David’s full tour here: http://davidcorleymusic.com/shows/

More articles on David Corley:

http://nodepression.com/interview/david-corley-wishes-right-star-and-debut-album-soars

http://nodepression.com/interview/david-corleys-irish-odyssey-moving-past-new-album

Official Video of “Easy Mistake” from Available Light:

 

 

April 26, 2016 Posted by | 2016, Americana, David Corley, Music, Rock | , , , , , | 1 Comment

X Show Review on No Depression!

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Here’s my review of X at The Showbox. See more pics in my previous post. What a fantastic night!

http://nodepression.com/live-review/all-i-want-x-mas

December 26, 2015 Posted by | Concert Season 2015, Mike Watt, Music, The Showbox, Uncategorized, X | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Luther Wright’s New Album: Hearts and Lonely Hunters

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Luther Wright and The Wrongs “Hearts and Lonely Hunters” Photo by David Irvine Photography

Luther Wright & the Wrongs have a fabulous new album out. It’s a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll. I interviewed Wright for No Depression. Check out the review and interview here: http://nodepression.com/album-review/luther-wrights-new-album-has-split-personality Go buy his album and support your local independent artist! Pick up another one for your bestie. Thank me later.

Try not to dance to this one:

November 22, 2015 Posted by | Concert Season 2015, Luther Wright, Music, No Depression | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Church of Betty Exclusive Video Premiere on No Depression!

Check out my short review and smile-inducing video called “Paella” created by Steve Zehentner for Church of Betty.

http://nodepression.com/article/exclusive-video-premiere-paella-church-betty

October 1, 2015 Posted by | Church of Betty, Concert Season 2015, Music, No Depression | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

John Doe Reigns at The Triple Door – Seattle, June 19, 2015

John Doe

John Doe – Photo by Jacob Knight

John Doe with Jesse Dayton at The Triple Door – Seattle 6/19/15

[see No Depression for a concise, concert-only review here]

I was in junior high when John Doe’s punk band X started picking up speed.  I remember a vague mention of X in high school, maybe a song or two, but they disappeared out of my radar completely as I headed for college.  Seattle, although it tries to be trendy, forgot to send me the memo.  They slipped right by me, along with The Fleshtones.  Also, I tend to get stuck on one artist every few years and miss all the contemporaries.  Musical poverty.  Musical ignorance.

A John Doe Virgin.

I missed out on John Doe as a solo artist, too, until a musician friend posted some lyrics on his Facebook page:

you are the hole in my head / I am the pain in your neck / you are the lump in my throat / I am the aching in your heart

I looked up the lyrics, which led me to “Golden State” a track on the album, A Year In The Wilderness by John Doe.  Thee John Doe.

I purchased A Year In The Wilderness.  It didn’t leave the CD player of my car for a solid month. I fell in musical love.  How did I miss him all these years? The tone of his voice, the lyrics, and the Americana style of the melodies really hits my sweet spot.  I checked his website for tour dates. He mostly stays in California these days, but makes a few trips up north every year.  Its seemed like every time he was up here, we were going to another show or were out of town.

Finally, this June, I was able to purchase tickets to The Triple Door, a swanky dinner theater in downtown Seattle.  I secured a photo pass for my son Jacob that night, courtesy of Doe’s manager, promising to write a show review for No Depression. I was thrilled.  Pat had to miss it, but at least Jacob would be there with me to enjoy the night.

After surviving terrible Friday rush-hour traffic and quickly eating before the show, Jacob and I settled in to Booth 13.  The six-person booth comfortably seats four.  Jacob’s shoulders alone take two spots.  We were all pins and needles waiting for the show to begin.  I was a proud mama watching my son, with his press pass proudly displayed on his shirt, adjust his camera settings to prepare for the shoot.

Finally, at 8:00, the lights dimmed and Jacob took his position across the theater and I readied my pen and journal, crushed between the other booth guests.  I was pleasantly surprised to see several guitars, drum kit and upright bass on stage.  I thought it was going to be an acoustic show, for some reason.

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On with the show (the following is a copy of my post on No Depression):

John Doe Reigns at The Triple Door

John Doe brought his punk energy and some Texas twang to The Triple Door in Seattle.  Doe is in the middle of a short tour to promote The Best of John Doe This Far, his multi-decade collection of greatest hits. The genre-bending performance entertained and engaged the audience from start to finish.

Opening for John this night was Austin’s Jesse Dayton, who, like Doe, is a bit of a renaissance man.  He’s a top-notch session guitarist (he played on Waylon Jennings’ last two albums), a stage and screen actor, producer, zombie movie star and soundtrack artist, screenwriter and film maker (ZOMBEX), raconteur and comedian.

Jesse Dayton

Jesse Dayton

Dayton, who played a dark and dirty Gretsch guitar, was accompanied by Chris Rhoades on doghouse and electric bass, and Eric C. Hughes on drums. The three boys let ‘er rip with some rollicking alt-country and Americana tunes with humor and big Texas style.

Jesse was “brangin’ it” (his motto) with a screamin’ rockabilly solo on the first song, “Daddy Was a Badass” and a slappin’ bass beat. In a faux bravado move, Jesse held his hand up to his ear and begged the audience to make some noise for him.  The crowd whooped and clapped heartily.

He said he was from a parallel universe called East Texas, and dedicated the song, “We Can’t Help The Way That We Are” to Waylon Jennings.

“Beautiful Thing” is a song about the creole woman from Louisiana who helped raise Dayton. When he was a boy, they spent the weekdays listening to blues artists like Lightnin’ Hopkins.  On Sundays, she only allowed gospel music. “She was my best buddy,” he said.  He played a soulful acoustic slide with a nod to his favorite blues guitarists.  One lyric in the heartwarming ballad really stood out: The Funeral was black and white / but our tears were all the same

Jesse with Chris Rhoades (bass) and Eric C. Hughes (drums)

Jesse with Chris Rhoades (bass) and Eric C. Hughes (drums)

Not wanting to get too sentimental, Jesse kicked it up a notch and quipped, “It’s all drinkin’ and cheatin’ songs from here on out!” Sticking to his word, he introduced the next tune, “I’m At Home Getting Hammered While She’s Out Getting Nailed”, by proudly exclaiming that it has “two whopping chords in the whole song, and no bridge or chorus”.

[Up on a scaffolding, on the side of the stage behind the curtain to most eyes, I spied a man with black-rimmed glasses looking down on Jesse’s performance.  My heart skipped a little beat.  It was him!  I discreetly pointed and showed my neighbor, who verified that it was indeed, John Doe checking out the show.]

After a few more tunes, Jesse joked, “I hope we passed the audition tonight.” His last song was dedicated to Eddie Spaghetti of Supersuckers.  Jesse first told a story regarding the beautiful time he had traveling with Eddie on tour and stopping at a  Love’s Truck Stop for some duct tape. Eddie wanted to purchase some chrome girly mud flaps for his garage wall, too.  In a “Shakespearean white trash epiphany,” Jesse promptly went back to his car and wrote a song called “Arkansas Chrome (Duct Tape Song)”.

Check Facebook and Jesse Dayton’s website for more details on this multi-talented Texan.

John Doe is a singer / songwriter with almost four decades of songs to his name.  He’s an actor (with a long list of credits), a poet, a teacher, a horseman, and punk royalty.  Doe is most recognized as the bass player and vocalist with the renowned L.A. punk band X with Exene Cervenka.  He was also with The Sadies, The Knitters, and participated in other collaborations.

The talented and beautiful songstress Cindy Wasserman from Dead Rock West  joined Doe on vocals this night. He facetiously introduced her as the meanest woman in rock ‘n’ roll.  Cindy’s harmonies blend perfectly with his clean and controlled vocals.  The tone of his voice is still so powerful; he can hold a note and take it for a ride into the stratosphere.

Doe played an eclectic set, mixing X songs with his solo projects and included a few covers. Singing from the heart on moody ballads, he also balanced out the tone with politically-fueled rants and up-tempo rockers.  With Jesse Dayton’s band backing him, it was high-energy rock show overall, but infused with Americana, country, roots, and blues–crossing genres without apology.

John Doe and the band at The Triple Door

John Doe and the band at The Triple Door

John dove into the set with “This Far” from 2002’s Dim Stars, Bright Sky , featured in his latest collection.

One of his old friends was in the audience this night.  He introduced “Handsome Devil” from Keeper and warned the audience to never let a friend of a friend spend a couple of nights, because bad things might ensue.  The foreboding lyrics explain:

here comes a stranger
a friend of a friend
knocking on our door
sliding it open
he talks the blues, so do you
this ring is getting tighter
my finger is falling off
this changes everything
he stole your wedding ring
this changes everything
he walked right in, sat right down
baby let your mind roll on
& roll right outta town
where’s my gun?
oh that’s right, I don’t have one
so devilishly handsome
should of known he was actually Satan
this changes everything

Another song of betrayal, “Burning House of Love” from X’s Ain’t Love Grand  included Rhoades, back on upright bass, and an explosive solo by Dayton.

 

“The best life lesson is to hold the reigns firmly, but lightly…” Doe states in the video.   He also kept the audience firmly but lightly in his grasp.  He offset any angry rants with humorous anecdotes, backstory, and friendly banter with the band and the crowd.  During a mishap (Jesse broke the bridge of his guitar and had to swap out with one of John’s and quickly tune it) which involved some quiet talk and scrambling around on stage, Doe stepped back up to the mic and said, “Sorry, we were just up here talking about the basketball game…followed by some choice words about not really caring about basketball, making the audience chuckle.

“Twin Brother”, a very touching song of regret from 2005’s Forever Hasn’t Happened Yet contained haunting, beautiful harmonies from Cindy.

Cindy and John

Cindy and John

He introduced the Bob Dylan Cover “Pressing On” by saying, “I’m not religious, but I do have some spiritual ideas, if you care to discuss them with me at the merch table…” garnering laughter from the crowd, although they soon hushed up as he played this spiritual (or religious, depending on one’s point of view) number.  Later, he also covered Johnny Cash’s “I Still Miss Someone” and a lovely, emotional version of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You”.

“4th of July” a bittersweet X song, is a perfect accompaniment to these sunny summer days, but Doe complained that he always hears someone request it in November.

John checked in with the audience: “Are you all having a good time?  Excellent.  It’s all going to come to an end.”

“Lucky Penny”, a cherished love song from Keeper, generated a wistful sigh from Booth 13. [Why do I find his grumpy rants so endearing? Because he can still write and sing an honest love song.]

Feeling Blue

Feeling Blue

“Who has worked in a factory?” asked John.  A few people raised their hands.  “Seven people? No wonder this country’s so fucked up.  There are no factories here anymore!”  “Giant Step Backwards”  from Keeper, can also be interpreted as a song of love lost.

Doe flew into another Keeper tune, “Never Enough”, which rants about our materialistic society, or as John put it, the “fucked-up-edness of our country” and lists all the junk we have–and how it’s never enough.  Although the lyrics are scornful, the upbeat tempo is undeniably danceable.

“This May Be the Last Time” from Dead Rock West’s second album, Bright Morning Stars  was introduced by John with, “Nothing is as fearsome as an unhappy partner!” He let Cindy take the lead, and Jesse backed her with lots of bluesy reverb.

Exene wrote the next song on her last record, called “Alone in Arizona” and Doe loved it, so he played it this night. Jesse accompanied with a mood-altering solo to a somber audience. The lyrics are dark and heavy: My heart is blue with losing you / My soul is still losing you / The road is rough, I’m losing you / The sun beats down, I’m losing you

Doe didn’t leave the crowd hanging in the dark for long, and picked up speed again with “Telephone By The Bed” from Freedom Is…with Jesse taking a Billy Zoom punk stance and tight, thumping drums from Eric Hughes.

“The Have Nots”, his ode to the dive bar, was prefaced with the plea, “Take the dive bars back from the fucking hipsters!”

“Golden State” from A Year in The Wilderness was another crowd favorite, made even more special with Cindy Wasserman sharing vocals with Doe.  They ended the regular set to more cheers and applause.

They soon returned to the stage as the clapping continued and played the quietly moving “Darling Underdog”, also  from A Year in The Wilderness  and co-written with Exene.

John Doe wrapped up with  X’s  “The New World”, a fitting end to his diverse set.

Check John’s website and Facebook page for tour dates and merchandise.

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After the show, John invited the audience to visit with him at the merch table, along with Jesse and Cindy.  Jacob and I gathered our things and headed over there immediately.  There was only a short line, so we quickly queued up while I pulled out a couple of business cards. I introduced myself to Cindy, who was in charge of merch.  She recognized my name from my daily video posts of Doe on Facebook over the last week, and I told her I saw her at Neumos a few years ago with Dead Rock West.  She was so friendly and sweet.  I also spent a little time chatting with Jesse, who was also charming, and handed him my card.  I purchased three CD’s, including John’s 2011 gem, Keeper, another copy of The Best of John Doe This Far (his latest and greatest collection) for a friend, and Jesse’s Tall Texas Tales.  Support the independent artists who venture to your city and play small clubs and venues.  Support quality music.

John was busy talking to an older gentleman, a few steps away from the merch table.  Another woman was awaiting a turn for his signature on a CD.  I could feel my nerves set in, but as he patiently listened to the man, he looked up and smiled at me.  I’m not sure if that helped settle my nerves or made them worse.  Finally, it was my turn. I felt immediately humbled among punk royalty.  I was shaking a little, and my shyness seems to paralyze my ability to speak.  I’d rehearsed a few lines, but they all went away.  Below is what I remember of our brief conversation:

“Hi, I’m with…well, I’m not with anyone, but I am writing about the show tonight for No Depression.  I’m Lisa.”

While I said this, I handed him my card, and he shook my hand and said, “Oh, that’s ok, you don’t have to be with anyone.  Oh good…Nice to meet you.”

“This is my son, Jacob.  He took pictures tonight.” John shook his hand as Jacob smiled.

“Have you been to an X show before?”

“No, I’m a little late to the game, here, but I’ve been studying up, bought some CD’s…” Of course, I failed to mention I’ve been a fan these last four years or so, but also ashamed I haven’t been a fan for the last four decades.

“Well that’s ok, always good to have new people at our shows.  A good night tonight.  Nice to play in a club with a great acoustics.”

I did ask to get his pic before the other fans came over, and he said, “Sure, come on over here,” and motioned me to step close so he could put his arm around me.  It all happened so quickly.  It was over in a matter of seconds.  Jake took one pic on his phone.  Me, all crazy eyed, pointing at him, saying to myself, “Holy shit, I’m getting my pic with John Doe!”  I was humbled and thrilled to meet him.

I woke up Saturday morning feeling cooler, somehow, having met John Doe.  Thee John Doe.  “The best hair in Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Punk Royalty.

June 26, 2015 Posted by | Americana, aplscruf, Cindy Wasserman, Concert Season 2015, Jesse Dayton, John Doe, Music, The Triple Door | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Best Show of The Year II: Los Straitjackets and Deke Dickerson at The Tractor 11.21.14

Pete Curry of Los Straitjackets

“Pedro” Pete Curry of Los Straitjackets

It was one of those Yin-Yang, bittersweet days.  Our Mexican-American friend Ralph passed away a few weeks earlier and we attended his memorial service on the afternoon before the Los Straitjackets show.  He died in the midst of doing something he loved: selling his folk art at a local art shop on the weekend of Dia De Los Muertos.  Not only did Ralph paint beautiful folk art, but painted several variations of ornate skulls and skeletons for Dia De Los Muertos that he was selling that day.

In such a perfect, almost supernatural coincidence, Los Straitjackets played The Tractor the evening after Ralph’s memorial service.  We told his loving partner Nancy about LSJ, who wear Lucha Libre Mexican wrestling masks and play instrumental surf music.  She was happy that we were going to do something so strangely appropriate after the service.  Ralph would have joined us if he could.  Maybe he did, in spirit.  The happiness and revelry of the night balanced out the somber atmosphere of the day.

On with the show…

Although I had already claimed Southern Culture on The Skids as the best show of the year, I knew I’d probably eat my words when I heard Los Straitjackets were coming to town.  The two bands even have their own collaborative album out entitled Mondo Zombie Boogaloo and toured together last year.

Los Straitjackets have been a favorite of mine ever since I saw them a few years ago in Stanwood’s Slow Foods Roots Music Festival.   They are a part of my musical family tree–artists I have grown to love that have a common ancestry in roots rock, who have either collaborated together or branched out with various cousins of that genre. LSJ have also gained a huge following in Mexico, and played to 50,000 people in Mexico City last year, two nights in a row!

To give you an idea of their musical style, here’s a fun one from their album, Jet Set:

After the memorial service, we had just enough time to change and Uber down to Ballard.  The traffic was reasonably light for a Friday, so we had plenty of time to grab some hearty food at Hattie’s Hat.  We first paid homage to Ralph with a big shot of tequila and lime.

Our friend Dean arrived earlier and saved us a spot at our favorite table, right up front, stage right.  Thanks, Dean!  Soon after, the first band set up.

Miss Mamie Lavona The Exotic Mulatta

Miss Mamie Lavona The Exotic Mulatta

Miss Mamie Lavona The Exotic Mulatta and Her White Boy Band strutted out to the stage to hearty applause. I didn’t realize this was a local Seattle band.  I’ve seen their name pop up a few times (pretty memorable!) and I believe they’ve played with LSJ in the past, but didn’t know the treat we were in for.  The band this night consisted of Miss Mamie on sultry vocals, Hugh Jardo’hon aka Eric Ray Anderson on electric ukulele, with other members on trumpet, keys, drums, upright bass, and clarinet.  Their jazzy, cabaret-style music took us way back to New Orleans. Miss Mamie’s downright sexy aura was mesmerizing.  The band was excellent, with fabulous solos on trumpet and clarinet.  They covered some old songs, but also included their own numbers, including a humorous one called “Flat Stanley”.

Hugh J'Ardon

Hugh Jardo’hon

Los Straitjackets, in their self-aggrandizing fashion, took the stage to a capacity crowd of cheering, whooping fans.  Everyone crushed forward as the band donned their matching instruments and egged on the audience with their arms raised in a plea for more noise and applause.

They wasted no time as they dove into “Pacifica”.  Here’s a video from a show last year in NYC:

Los Straitjackets performing "Casbah"!

Los Straitjackets performing “Casbah”!

“Casbah” is one of my all-time favorites, with the boys lined up bopping their heads in unison, turning sideways.

Eddie and Greg’s solos were bloody scorching.  It was so exhilarating to be that close and watch Eddie’s fingers at work.

Eddie Angel summoning the Devil out of his guitar

Eddie Angel summoning the Devil out of his guitar

Pete was also a kick on bass and had complex runs while mugging for my camera, as evidenced in the first picture, top.

Drummer Chris Sprague, aka Sugarballs, had furious solos, especially on “Sing Sing Sing” and also played to the audience’s applause by standing, waiting to hit the last beat, etc.

Sugarballs on Drums

Sugarballs on Drums

Deke Dickerson, in a straw cowboy hat and red jacket joined them, adding some super vocals to their instrumental music.  They have an album out which is a collaboration with Deke on old instrumental favorites, such as the Hawaii Five-O theme song (actually sung by Sammy Davis, Jr. in the seventies) and to some of LSJ’s own instrumentals with new lyrics.  The LSJ album, entitled Deke Dickerson Sings the Great Instrumental Hits is a hoot.  I laughed my way through LSJ’s original first song, “Fury”, where Deke decided a big-time wrestler’s voice would be appropriate singing the lyrics.  They played this one at the show, but first Deke asked the audience to clear a path down the middle.  He growled the lyrics in his best wrestler voice, jumped off the stage and eventually picked up a hapless audience member and flung him around in his arms, wrestler-style.  It was fantastic, and really got us going. Meanwhile, the band was onstage tearing it up, with a nasty solo by Eddie halfway through the crazy song.

Deke Dickerson

Deke Dickerson

He played several songs with them, also including the 50’s version of “Miserlou” with lyrics.  He first started off playing in the familiar up-tempo version, made famous in the movie Pulp Fiction.  He stopped after shredding a few seconds on his own sparkly DiPinto guitar (LSJ’s model with Deke’s name on it) and said he would do the earlier version–which we would like 50% less than the one we all knew.  Ha

I’m just now learning more about Mr. Dickerson, and I must say he is truly a renaissance man.  Along with Los Straitjackets, he is doing his part to preserve roots rock for future generations.  Check out his website and learn more about this multi-talented fellow.

Deke left the stage to LSJ for several more songs.

Gregorio El Grande teasing the front row

Gregorio El Grande teasing the front row

Besides being expert instrumentalists, LSJ’s showmanship and faux bravado just added to the entire entertainment experience.  We were completely immersed in their performance.

LSJ Coordinating Moves

LSJ Coordinating Moves

Los Straitjackets are now in the midst of touring with the great Nick Lowe for their Quality Holiday Review. In a twist of fate, Ian McLagan, famed for the band Faces, just passed away early December.  He was supposed to join them.  They will have a bittersweet tour, I’m sure; but nonetheless it will be the show to see if they play your town. Check out their tour dates and cities on Nick Lowe’s site here: http://nicklowe.com/

A few more pics:

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No Hands! The Deke Dickerson Reach-around!

Eddie Angel

Eddie Angel

Gregorio y Eddie

Gregorio y Eddie

LSJ Setlist

LSJ Setlist

December 8, 2014 Posted by | aplscruf, Concert Season 2014, Los Straitjackets, Music, The Tractor Tavern | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dusty 45’s and The Believers at a Private Club in Fremont, WA

The Believers - A former Seattle duo, now residing in Nashville

The Believers – A former Seattle duo, now residing in Nashville

On Hallowe’en, we said goodbye to a beautiful little private club in grand style.  It was one of those interesting, quirky venues that only a handful of people knew about.  We only saw a couple of other shows here, but instantly fell in love with its rustic beauty and great acoustics. It was a bittersweet evening, knowing that the place was closing for good.

The Believers, an alt-country band originally from Seattle, now reside in Nashville.  The duo (Craig Aspen and Cynthia Frazzini) opened the show and encouraged the costumed revelers to dance.  Their music was definitely dance-worthy and their beautiful, soulful harmonies filled stable-like space.

Take a listen and a peep of “Gimme Some Love”:

Heavy on harmonica, Aspen adds a dark and bluesy touch to “Let It Be What It Is”:

Dancers twirled around the wooden floor in colorful costumes and masks.  We felt out of place in our street clothes, but still felt welcome in the intimate club.  We knew and recognized a few people and met some new friends by the end of the night.

A variety of dancers, including an early appearance by Santa himself!

A variety of dancers, including an early appearance by Santa himself!

I asked Pat, “Who is tending bar tonight?”

“Snoopy.”

“Snoop Dog?”

“No, Snoopy The Dog.”

I wished I’d taken a picture of him.  You’ll just have to use your imagination.

A scary Swedish silent movie played on a wall next to the stage.  A BBQ truck fed the hungry outside in the courtyard.

During the intermission, they entertained us by inviting people to whack a cowboy boot piñata, full of tiny booze bottles:

Cowboy Boot Pinata

Cowboy Boot Pinata

The unrecognizable Johnny 7 showed up as Frank ‘n’ Furter from Rocky Horror Picture Show with his girlfriend Little Nell:

'Merica!

‘Merica!

Next up was The Dusty 45’s, a Seattle treasure. Their claim to fame, besides rocking Seattle for the past decade, includes touring with Ms. Wanda Jackson in support of her revitalized career. Billy Joe Huels, founder and lead singer/guitarist/flaming trumpeteer, also hosts an annual fundraiser concert called Gimme Shelter to support DESC (Downtown Emergency Service Center).  Other members of this amazing band have their own impressive resumes.  See their stories here: http://www.dusty45s.com/about-the-band/

More revelers packed the dance floor as The Dusty 45’s entertained us for about two hours.

The Dusty 45's: Billy Joe Huels (lead vocals), Jerry Battista (guitar), Kelly Van Camp (drums), Robin Cady (upright bass), and Arthur Migliazza (keys)

The Dusty 45’s: Billy Joe Huels (lead vocals), Jerry Battista (guitar), Kelly Van Camp (drums), Robin Cady (upright bass), and Arthur Migliazza (keys)

 

Robin Cady

Robin Cady

Jerry Battista

Jerry Battista

More Dancers!

More Dancers!

Here is a taste of their original roots rock “Chase Your Dreams” which showcases each member:

The big finish usually involves a flaming trumpet.  I’m thankful Billy Joe only figuratively burned down the house!

Big Finish!

Big Finish!

November 2, 2014 Posted by | Americana, aplscruf, Concert Season 2014, Dusty 45's, Fremont Music Scene, Music, The Believers | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Wild Feathers and Friends at The Tractor Tavern 10.24.14

Ready to Go!

I ran out of time to write a proper blog, but wanted to share some pics and videos from three terrific bands we saw on Oct. 24 at The Tractor Tavern.  Common denominator of these bands: HARMONY!

Desert Noises

Desert Noises – I like this pic because lead singer Kyle Henderson looks like a young Tom Petty

Desert Noises

Bordering on psychedelic rock, prog. rock, very edgy at times.


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The boys in blue

Kyle Henderson: Vocals, rhythm guitar
Patrick Boyer: Lead guitar
Tyler Osmond: Bass, vocal harmonies
Brennan Allen: Drums

Kyle Henderson of Desert Noises

Kyle Henderson of Desert Noises

The Apache Relay

Pop rock and soul, with a Shins vibe–mixed with some Nashville twang. Unfortunately, the blue stage lights washed out most of my pics and gave me a headache! Had to move to other side of the stage.  Sorry, boys.  I included a couple of fun videos below. One, “Katie Queen of Tennessee” won Nashville’s Best Video award for 2014.  We really loved their unique sound.

The Apache Relay

The Apache Relay

Good article here from Huffington Post’s Paul R. Byrne

The Wild Feathers

The Wild Feathers

The Wild Feathers : Ricky Young, Joel King, Taylor Burns, Preston Wimberly, and Ben Dumas

Vocal harmonies are king with this talented group.  Genre-crossing rock, alt-country, Americana sounds.

We saw them for the first time last year when they opened for Willie Nelson.  Instant LOVE.   I was surprised to see them in such a small venue this time ’round. Their energy onstage is infectious, and almost too big for this little Tractor.  They packed the house. Such a rare treat to see this band up close.

“Left My Woman” shows off the impressive vocal styles of each singer/guitarist:

The Wild Feathers

The Wild Feathers

 

The Wild Feathers

The Wild Feathers

 

 

The Wild Feathers joined by the other bands for "The Weight" Singalong

The Wild Feathers joined by the other bands for “The Weight” Singalong

November 2, 2014 Posted by | aplscruf, Concert Season 2014, Music, Rock, The Tractor Tavern, The Wild Feathers | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment