Aplscruf's Music Blog

Will Kimbrough, Rodney Crowell and Jedd Hughes Toured The West

Jedd Hughes, Rodney Crowell and Will Kimbrough played a specacular show at The Triple Door - Seattle. Photo Credits: Jacob Knight

Jedd Hughes, Rodney Crowell and Will Kimbrough played a spectacular show at The Triple Door – Seattle. Photo Credits: Jacob Knight

 

I just finished a blog for No Depression regarding our fantastic trip to California which ended with a fabulous show at Slim’s in San Francisco to see Will Kimbrough, Rodney Crowell and Jedd Hughes.  We then followed the boys to Seattle where they tore it up at The Triple Door.  Spectacular.  Here’s the link to my blog:

http://www.nodepression.com/live-review/will-kimbrough-rodney-crowell-and-jedd-hughes-gain-new-fans-san-francisco-and-seattle

June 29, 2014 Posted by | Americana, aplscruf, Concert Season 2014, Jedd Hughes, Music, Rodney Crowell, Seattle, Slim's San Francisco, The Triple Door, Will Kimbrough | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Flight To Mars Tonight!

Flight to Mars members Tim DiJulio and Mike McCready

Flight to Mars members Tim DiJulio and Mike McCready

Flight to Mars, Seattle’s star-studded UFO tribute band, is going to Rawk the Showbox tonight.  We saw their high-octane show in 2011 and loved every minute of it.  You never know who is going to show up on that stage!  Plus, the show benefits  Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.

Here is my review of the 2011 show:

https://aplscruf.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/flight-to-mars-at-the-showbox-april-8-2011/

Also, see my sister-in-law’s awesome pics of that night here:

http://ljwkphotography.photoshelter.com/#!/index/G0000HqfCi3zyWrk/97

May 16, 2014 Posted by | Concert Season 2014, Flight to Mars, Seattle, The Showbox | 1 Comment

Hard Rock Rising 2014 The Global Battle of the Bands

I was invited to be a judge tonight, March 21, for Hard Rock Cafe’s “Hard Rock Rising 2014 The Global Battle of the Bands” in Seattle. Four local bands are competing in this fourth round. The competition will eventually move on to an international arena, which includes a global online vote.  The winner gets to play in front of 40,000 fans at a music festival in Rome.  Not a bad gig!  The show tonight is free, and all ages are welcome.  Come join us!

March 21, 2014 Posted by | Concert Season 2014, Hard Rock Cafe, Music, Seattle | , , , , | Leave a comment

Will Kimbrough – Mud and Moss Tour – Day 2: Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014

Will Kimbrough at The Royal Room, Seattle

Will Kimbrough at The Royal Room, Seattle

Day 2:  Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Royal Room – Columbia City (Seattle), WA

Click [here] for Day 1 and [here] for Day 3 of this rare tour!

After a brief night’s sleep, we got up early with bleary eyes and aching heads, knowing we had to hit the road as soon as possible to beat the afternoon city traffic and transport Will to his next destination.  Kenny and Lori stayed back for a couple more hours while one worked online and the other caught a few more zzzs.  We rounded up Sara, but first took a little beach walk to check out the pounding white surf until the incessant wind and sideways rain drove us back inside.  We were not looking forward to the long and wet drive home, so we stopped for a quick breakfast to gather some energy and load up on coffee.

Although it seemed like we got home faster, the rainy conditions on the road made it almost impossible to see more than a few yards ahead.  Pat braced himself with two hands on the wheel and soldiered on.  Mud bogs, muddy water, brackish rivers, moss on the trees and moss on the brains.  We kept our minds occupied by solving the world’s problems: Politics, the economy, and health care. Other subjects on this road trip included the music industry and being an almost-50-year-old in the biz, being a sideman and a solo artist, stolen instruments, raising kids, oil spills on The Gulf and their latent effects on our flip-flops (not to mention the rest of the ecosystem), genealogy,  geography of the South, hiking in the Northwest, traveling the globe, The Arctic, the history of explorers and slaves on the Gulf Coast, Viet Nam, WWII, WWI.  Sara was busy booking future shows, so she and Will checked dates in between discussions.  My brain shut off a few times as I cozied up to my pillow against the window. Eyes closed and comatose, I could hear muffled talking, the rain pounding on the windshield, and vehicles hydroplaning past us on the watery highway.

Hungry and tired, we made it back to the ‘burbs of Seattle in one piece.  Thank you, Pat, for your patience on the road and helping us arrive safely at each destination! Our son Jacob was home from school, awaiting our return.  Pat re-introduced Will to the boy who was thrilled to meet him again after all these years.  Jacob was only in fifth grade when he saw Will at the Coos Bay show.  Jacob’s first concert will hold a special place in my heart, as I remember with fondness how Will talked to him and signed his shirt. The boy even made little foam visors with hand-cut paper letters glued on the front that said “Will Kimbrough Americanitis” on one, and “Rodney Crowell” on the other.  He insisted that we wear them the entire show.  Afterward, both Will and Rodney signed the visors. I still have them tucked away in a cabinet.

Pat took Will downstairs and showed him our Music Wall of Fame.  Over the years, we’ve collected pictures, tickets, posters and set lists of our favorite artists.  Pat and Jacob framed them as art and gave them to me for Christmas.  It felt surreal to have someone, whose pictures are hanging on my Music Wall of Fame, standing in my family room looking at my Music Wall of Fame.

Sara also got to hang with us at home while Pat made a quick trip to the store for some apps.  We had about an hour and a half before it was time to leave for The Royal Room show.  Will disappeared for a bit and caught a short nap.  I wanted to sleep so badly, but knew I had things to do.  I needed to have a bite, too, and Sara and I enjoyed snacking and chatting before it was time to go.  I then freshened up and changed into nicer clothes for the show.

Let’s go! Back in the car, back on the road, back in the horrible rain and Seattle rush hour traffic.  We had to backtrack from our suburban home south into the heart of Seattle, and then up and over Pill Hill to Rainier Ave.  Over the hillside and through the ‘hood to Columbia City we go!

The Royal Room – a very hip, hipster place to see live music and eat some hearty food.  Open spaces, little tables, a generous bar, a large stage, an unusual oversized scary portrait on wall, dim lights and warm atmosphere completed the scene.  We arrived late for the sound check due to the traffic, but Will wasn’t worried.  Nothing seemed to bother him too much; he just went with the flow. He’s mastered “the art of the hang,” in Tommy Womack’s words.  He said he didn’t have much equipment, so the sound check would be quick.  We found out later, that even though the venue manager wanted Will there at 6 pm to load in and run through the sound check, he would not play until 10:00.  Oh, so late.  I don’t know why they wanted to wait that long.  It was a Thursday night, and a very rainy one indeed.  Greg Vandy of KEXP hosted the show as part of the “American Standard Time” Showcase, so there was a promise of a decent crowd and some airplay.  Vandy actually started playing Will’s music on his Wednesday show, “Roadhouse” a few weeks prior to this visit.

DSC03642

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Every person in our gang invited someone, and they all showed up!  I was so glad to see our friends Chuck and Dawn make it out on this dreary evening. Kenny, Lori and Sara also had some friends show up, and I’m guessing at least 50 people stuck around to watch the late show. Meanwhile, Will ran through his quick sound check and found several of his friends there, too, which made for a pleasant reunion.  Sara made dinner reservations, so we spent time catching up with our friends and eating a sizable dinner.  We enjoyed stew, salad, chicken and potatoes, and a gigantic squash lasagna that I had to share with the others.  The food was big, rustic and hearty, similar to the excellent food we had at The Adrift.  I was happy that Sara made reservations for us there, so we could stay put and not worry about hurrying back to the show from a different restaurant.

The Sumner Brothers, a duet from Vancouver, BC opened the show.  They performed an eclectic mix of minimalist folk and country music including a lively roots rock song near the end of the set.  The slower, quieter songs reminded me of  Small Sur, a quiet folk band from the East coast.  The brothers kept vocals to a low and growling pitch, with minimal guitar strumming.  A couple of other musicians joined them on pedal steel and electric guitar which added a richness to their otherwise austere sound.  One of the brothers had a peculiar way of hunching over a low microphone, to the point where the sound engineer tried to raise it up higher for him between songs.  He laughed and told her it’s supposed to sit that low.  His brother/partner also laughed and said, “It happens every time!”

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There was a long intermission, and finally Will took the stage around 10:00.  I was happy to look around the room and see that people stayed to support him.  Will’s humor was up this night, and he had the audience cracking up at his Red Dirt anecdotes.

Set List for The Royal Room, Seattle:

Trouble – Lots of cheering after this first song on mandolin, from Willie Sugarcapps 

Mr. Lee – I like the improvisations and short jams on mandolin

Let the Big World Spin – Switching to his Kay guitar (he said he uses Kay instruments on the road, and that his Mama’s name is Kay) to play this dark and dirty tune from Sideshow Love

Sideshow Love – Will admitted he “ripped off” Freddie Staehle’s drum patterns off Dr. John’s Gumbo for this title track from his new solo album.

I Want Too Much – Compared the poignant, love/lust song to The Sex Pistols.  Johnny Rotten wanted just enough.  Sid Vicious wanted too much.

Soulfully – Jimmy Buffett covered this beautiful song off Sideshow Love.

Gypsy Train

Mud Bottom – Willie Sugarcapps – The Ol’ Dog River is the river of his childhood, where he and his friend JD (who now lives in Washington and attended the show) used to swim and dive.  The game was to dive down, past all of the layers of pine needles, bark and other flotsam, down to the cool mud bottom.  The water was a dirty milkshake color, and warm like “piss-mud soup.”

Hill Country Girl  A heartbreaker from his EP

I Don’t Like It – A Daddy song with a big Elvis finish at the end to celebrate The King’s recent birthday.  Thankyouverymuch.

Champion of the World

Wings – Another song he wrote for Jimmy

Brand New Song – From Americanitis, and a nice surprise tonight.

Wash and Fold

Nobody From Nowhere – Daddy!

Piece of Work 

Horseshoe Lake

Oh, Colorado – Such a beautiful vibrato on this one tonight.  He mentioned the previous bands he’s been in, and said Willie Sugarcapps is the best one yet.

Magnolia Springs – Another addition/variation from last night’s set

Goodnight Moon – (Lori in raptures again) with a segue into a whispery version of Hendrix’s “Wind Cries Mary,” and a hush carried through the room as jaws dropped open.  After the last note was played, Kenny yelled, “Oh, My God!”

Although not as long as the night before, he played a quality set to a large, appreciative audience.  Will’s guitar prowess was on point again: jamming, sliding, and picking.  He seemed loose and able to live in the moment.  He introduced our gang and his friends to the rest of the crowd, gave his all to each song, and had energy left to joke around and spend time meeting those who stuck around after the show.  The life of a troubadour.  Sleep is for pussies.

After his set, we probably spent another 45 minutes or so talking to friends and making new acquaintances.  Greg Vandy, KEXP DJ, spent time talking to Will and the rest of us.  We also met some of Will’s friends.  Glad they could make the show and reconnect. Sara worked the merch table and also worked her magic with the Bumbershoot booking manager to try to secure a gig this year or next. She contacted the right people to make this show a success for Will.  Kudos, Sara!

We finally rolled in to the ‘burbs around 1 am.  We were amped up after the show and talked the whole way home.  I’m startin’ to lose ma g’s.  All this talkin’ and listenin’ for hours over the last two days with a Suhthen boy made the g’s disappeah off words like: workin’, fryin’, lyin’, lovin’, livin’, dyin’, drinkin’, drivin’, singin’, sayin’, and playin’.  Once in a while, he’d say a word or phrase born in the muddy waters of the Deep South that was almost unintelligible to us Northerners.

Sara also spent the night with us (sorry about the couch and Max the dog, Sara!) while Lori and Kenny found rooms downtown. They planned to pick up Will and Sara early the next morning to head up to Bellingham.  It was hard to get to sleep again after such a lively show, but I managed to get a few winks before crawling back out at 6:20.

Stay Tuned for Day 3: Lori Gras!

January 17, 2014 Posted by | Americana, aplscruf, Concert Season 2014, Music, Seattle, The Royal Room, Will Kimbrough, Willie Sugarcapps | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Will Kimbrough UPDATE! Northwest Tour Dates Confirmed!

Will Kimbrough, a prolific singer/songwriter from Nashville, is making a rare appearance in The Northwest in January.  Here are the dates, locations and links.  This is a MUST-SEE EVENT! Purchase tickets NOW!

If you need more info regarding any of the dates listed, please contact me in the Comments section below.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014:   Adrift Hotel, Long Beach, WA 8:00 PM

Thursday, January 9, 2014:   The Royal Room, Columbia City/Seattle, WA 8:00 PM

Friday, January 10, 2014:   Bellingham Yacht Club, Bellingham, WA 6:00 PM

Saturday, January 11, 2014:   The Secret Society, Portland, OR 5:00 PM

Sunday, January 12, 2014:   The Axe and Fiddle, Cottage Grove, OR 6:00 PM

See other blogs I’ve written on Will Kimbrough here:

http://www.nodepression.com/profiles/blogs/will-kimbrough-is-coming-to-the-northwest

https://aplscruf.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/will-kimbrough-is-coming-to-the-northwest/

https://aplscruf.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/steve-martin-and-emmylou-harris-at-chateau-ste-michelle/

https://aplscruf.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/randomville-via-margaritaville-huntsville-and-nashville/

https://aplscruf.wordpress.com/2010/01/16/todd-snider-and-the-nervous-wrecks-2-2009/

December 2, 2013 Posted by | Concert Season 2014, Music, Seattle, Will Kimbrough | , , , | Leave a comment

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

Old 97’s at the Showbox 01.24.2011

Wind-Miller

Monday, January 24, 2011

Old 97’s at The Showbox at the Market, Seattle

Langhorne Slim Opened

See my Randomville review here

Monday’s show at The Showbox was quite a ride.  Not only did the opening act Langhorne Slim totally deliver, but the Old 97’s shook the Showbox with a steady, churning mix of old and new material.  The diehard fans packed the house and partied like it was a Friday night.

We wandered around the cavernous Showbox and scoped out our spot, a railing on the right side, a.k.a. Murryside (Murry Hammond, the Old 97’s bass player’s customary side of the stage–thanks, West Coast Fan!).  We were two people deep from the stage, pretty much under the speakers, which helped keep our ears away from the speaker blast zone.

Langhorne Slim

Slim and Moore

Langhorne Slim took the stage just minutes after we arrived.  I was thoroughly entertained by his short set of five or six upbeat folk/Americana songs, infused with a lot of soul.  Slim has a high, soulful voice, which at times reaches a throat-tightening scream.  His charismatic performance was fun to watch; he reminded me of the quirky Ryan Adams.  He bounced around the stage and lost his hat, fell to his knees seemingly begging the audience to hear his words, and at one point lay on his back with his legs straight up and kicked the air.

Slim and Moore Jamming

I don’t have the exact titles of the songs he played except “Collette.”  I’ll try to find a set list soon.

Raised By Wolves

I Ain’t Dead Anymore  (soul/r&b sound)

I would Do Anything For You

Collette

Slim was accompanied by drummer Malachi DeLorenzo, Jeff Ratner on standup bass, and David Moore on keys/banjo.  They played off each other’s energy and absorbed the audience’s joyous noise.  Their tight, percussive sound was so much bigger than their compact appearance on the large stage.  And David Moore temporarily left the planet every time he picked up his banjo.  He shredded that banjo and pounded out percussion sounds in a trance-like state.  Moore could give Scott Avett a run for his money.  In fact, Langhorne and the band will be opening for the Avett Brothers this spring, throughout Florida, Georgia and Texas.

After about a 20 minute intermission, the lights dimmed, and Stealers Wheel’s “Stuck in the Middle with You” blasted over the speakers.  The veteran fans knew that was a cue for the Old 97’s to take the stage.  With our choice viewing spot, we were able to see the Old 97’s rush out of the green room and up the short flight of steps to the stage.  The screaming increased in decibels with each step!

Rhett Solo

The Old 97’s, the Texas alt-country/rock band fronted by the hideous Rhett Miller (yes, girls, I’m being sarcastic) delivered all night, with lots of sweat, spit, windmills, thundering solos and a few broken strings!  They fired up the evening with “Grand Theatre” off their latest album by the same name.  Throughout the set, they mixed in several new songs, and the faithful fans gave them enthusiastic props.  Within the first few beats of the older songs, the audience (myself included) jumped up and down, hollered and sang along unabashedly.  They played many favorites, including “Oppenheimer,” “Barrier Reef,” “Rollerskate Skinny,” and “Big Brown Eyes.”  A few of their newer songs are on their way to becoming Old 97’s classics, such as “A State of Texas,” “Champaign, Illinois,” that Miller said he “co-wrote” with Bob Dylan (he added lyrics to the Dylan song), “Dance Class” and the biting and bouncy “Every Night is Friday Night (Without You).”

Rhett

Ken and Rhett

Set List:

Grand Theatre (latest album title)

Get Me Through This Lord (not sure of exact title)

Dance Class (G.T.)

On a Bus

You Smoke Too Much (Murry)

Oppenheimer

Champaign, Illinois (G.T. – Rhett “co-wrote” with Bob Dylan – he added lyrics)

The New Kid

West TX Teardrops (Murry)

A State of Texas (G.T.)

Stoned

I’ve Got a Question

Merle Haggard’s Mama Tried, False start (Murry)

Waltz-paced Love is What You Are (G.T.)

Barrier Reef

Rollerskate Skinny

Smoker (Murry)

Please Hold on While the Train is Moving (G.T.) Funky psychedelic middle part, like a Beach Boys Pet Sounds song, muted guitar

4 Leaf Clover

(Short break, Encore)

Singular Girl  (request from internet)

Valentine (Murry)

Won’t be Home No More

Big Brown Eyes (my fave)

Every Night is Friday Night (Without You) (G.T.)

Time Bomb

Miller still has that front man “it” factor.  He had the girls in the front row swooning and screaming over “I’ve Got a Question,” the cheesy marriage proposal song.  Throughout the set, he shook his booty and strutted around the stage.  His manscaped chest glistened with sweat.  His dripping hair looked like he’d just stepped out of a shower; and when he was head-banging to Ken’s Bethea’s amazing guitar solos, many lucky front-row girls (and boys) got to take a little bit of Rhett home with them that night!

Murry

The rest of the band added fuel to Miller’s fire.  Murry Hammond, the beloved bass player with Harry Potter rims, had his turn at the mic quite a few times.  He sang “You Smoke Too Much” off Grand Theatre, “West TX Teardrops,” Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried,” and “Smoker.”  After a short break, he also came out and did an acoustical version of “Valentine,” honoring a song request from several audience members. Ken Bethea’s guitar skills are legendary, and he proved himself worthy as he dove into raging solos and teased the front row by bending low for an up-close view of his moves–and his soul patch. Drummer Philip Peeples is also impressive.  I’m sure he must hit the drums three times more per minute than a typical rock drummer; his sticks were just a blur.  He also had to pay close attention to false starts, solos, and keep up with sudden changes in the set list.

The near-capacity crowd got the Showbox shuddering when Old 97’s performed their traditional closer, “Time Bomb.”  There was a frenzy of cheers as Rhett departed while the rest of the band stayed to play the final notes.   It no longer mattered that it was a Monday; the Old 97’s make every night a Friday night.

Ken Solo

January 29, 2011 Posted by | Concert Season 2011, Langhorne Slim, Music, Old 97's, Randomville, Seattle, The Showbox | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment