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.

 

 

 

 

 

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

Will Kimbrough – No Gimmicks on Latest Album, “Live At Coast”

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Will Kimbrough produced a brilliant live album that dropped last fall. See my No Depression review here: http://nodepression.com/album-review/will-kimbrough-and-his-guitar-no-gimmicks

Photo Credit: Tamarind Free Jones

 

March 4, 2016 Posted by | 2016, Will Kimbrough | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will Kimbrough and Brigitte DeMeyer tour California, Oregon and Washington!

Will Kimbrough at Slims, San Francisco.  Photo Credit: Jacob Knight

Will Kimbrough at Slims, San Francisco. Photo Credit: Jacob Knight

I’m so happy to announce that Nashville singer/songwriter Will Kimbrough is coming back to The West Coast, for the third time in just over a year.  Last time, he came in June with Rodney Crowell and Jedd Hughes.  This time, he’ll bring Brigitte DeMeyer, another Nashville-based singer/songwriter whose sultry voice and genre-crossing Americana songs soothe the soul.

Take a listen:

Check the links above for tour dates–California end of January, Oregon and Washington early Feb.

I’ll see you in Portland on Feb 4 and Seattle Feb 5.  California and Southern Oregon friends, please clear your calendars and hit a show or two.

January 12, 2015 Posted by | Brigitte DeMeyer, Concert Season 2015, Doug Fir Lounge, The Royal Room, Will Kimbrough | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Willie Sugarcapps at Eddie’s Attic, Decatur, GA February 1, 2014

Willie Sugarcapps L-R: Corky Hughes, Grayson Capps, Will Kimbrough, Savana Lee and Anthony Crawford
Photo Credit: Keith Necaise Photography

I posted the following blog on No Depression: http://www.nodepression.com/article/willie-sugarcapps-eddies-attic-decatur-ga

My husband Pat is a bona fide Willie Sugarcapps groupie.  I blame myself.   I’m seriously considering changing the name of my blog to “Diary of a Married Groupie’s WIFE.” A decade ago, I encouraged him to see some live music and get away from the TV. We started slowly, maybe a few shows a year.  Now, we go to a show every time we have a free weekend.  His enthusiasm for live music has definitely grown over the years, especially since we moved away from 10,000 seat arenas and planted ourselves firmly near the stages of small venues all over Seattle.

Willie Sugarcapps, a band that sprouted organically down in the muddy waters of Lower Alabama, is garnering some national attention.  Their self-titled debut album is hitting the Americana charts and showed up on many must-have lists of 2013, including #7 on No Depression’s Top 50 of 2013. Their song “Gypsy Train” landed a spot on the Grammy consideration list.  Every song on the album is a jewel, and each member is given an opportunity to shine.

Will Kimbrough, singer/songwriter and founding member of Willie Sugarcapps, toured the Northwest as a solo artist in January, and also played songs from the Willie Sugarcapps album at his shows.  My husband and I were honored to be a part of his road crew.  It was definitely a highlight of my life, driving hundreds of miles up and down Washington State and spending quality time with one of my musical heroes.

Will Kimbrough at Adrift Hotel

Will Kimbrough at Adrift Hotel, Long Beach, WA

Kimbrough’s excellent solo album, Sideshow Love is also getting respect on the AMA charts and moved up to #31 this week.   The album will be officially released on February 14–a fitting day for this collection of love and lust. Join him at Nashville’s Basement for the party.  When he’s not touring solo, he’s playing with Willie Sugarcapps, mostly in the Southern states, and keeping close to home.

Back to my groupie husband…

Pat flew to Alabama on business last Friday and called me on Saturday, February 1, the day after he arrived.  I could hear traffic noise and chatter in the background, and knew he was driving somewhere with his work buddy Gary.

“Guess where we’re going?” he asked, in a teasing manner.  It was Twenty Questions time.

“I dunno,” I said, in my bored voice, “BBQ? Chick Fil-A? White Castle?”  No to all three.

“We’re going to Decatur, Georgia!” he exclaimed.  I could hear the excitement in his loud voice.  My heart skipped a beat, but I kept a nonchalant attitude.

“Oh? And why are you going to Decatur, Georgia?”

“We rented a car, a hotel room, and we bought tickets to see  Willie Sugarcapps at Eddie’s Attic tonight!”

“Holy Crap!” I yelled.  “You are officially a bigger groupie than I am! I cannot believe you’re driving to Decatur!”

Decatur, a suburb outside of Atlanta, was about 200 miles away from Huntsville–almost a four-hour drive.  They just spent all day flying to Alabama via Atlanta the day before.  Well, they didn’t have anything else to do today, so why not?

I asked Pat if Will knew they were coming.

“NO!  And don’t say a word to him or post anything on Facebook.  I want to surprise him.”

They still had a couple of hours driving ahead of them, but I told him to check in with me once in a while. Meanwhile, I was on pins and needles waiting to hear if they made it to the show and if they surprised Will.  I took a walk, wrote a couple of emails and washed the dishes.  Purple dish gloves on, hands on hips.  Hurry up, already.

Finally, I received a text:  “So sorry you missed this!  Playing Mr. Lee.”  Later, “Oh, Colorado! Two words: Holy Sh*t!!!!!”

My husband never gets overly excited.  Is not in his quiet nature to exclaim anything, unless maybe while watching a closely matched football game, but certainly not at a concert.  Even at The Troubadour, where we were so lucky to see Tom Petty, Pat only smiled and nodded once in a while; he let me do the screaming and cussing.  For him to frantically text me during the show (which is a no-no, by the way, but I let is pass this time since I had to live vicariously) I could only imagine how magical the Willie Sugarcapps show must have been.

After about a half hour into the performance, Pat stepped outside and called me.  He gushed and repeated, “Oh, Lisa, I’m so sorry you’re missing this.  Oh, my god, they’re so amazing!  Their harmonies and solos are just perfect. Everyone is blown away.  It’s the best show I’ve ever seen–better than Tom Petty! It’s such a small theater, the acoustics are incredible, and it’s packed with people!”

On and on he spouted.  I could only listen with tears in my eyes, so happy he was having such a moving experience. I thought back to a decade ago when he had little interest in seeing live music.  And now, he’s become “One Of Us”.

He also mentioned that they surprised Will.  Pat walked right up to him before the show, just like he imagined. Will turned around, and with a perplexed and surprised look said, “Pat?!”  and proceeded to give Pat a big hug. Awesome. Pat, the stalker-groupie.

The video below does not compare to the enchanting experience of the live show; but at least it paints a picture of some of the magic moments, like when Corky Hughes goes crazy on that lap steel and when Will shreds on his mandolin. I could tell they were having a fantastic time together.  I grieved that I wasn’t there, but was so happy that Pat and Gary made the trip.

Here is “Mr. Lee” at Eddie’s Attic from that night:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnB2LJakG28

Pat also said he got to speak with Brigitte DeMeyer, with whom Will has collaborated.  She opened the show, and Pat was very impressed by her sultry voice.  She later gave Pat and Gary a CD for helping her walk to her car.  I can’t wait to hear it.

Later, I told Will how moved Pat was by the show, and how there is something magical about that band.

“Atlanta, in particular, felt like a step up and forward for WSC,” said Will. “The band is just trying to survive growing pains—mainly, that people want to hear us but we can’t really afford to go play for them.  I feel like if we could get out and hit all the cities, 2015 would be a big festival year for us.  But you know what?  It will happen in its own time.  This is no longer the world where you get record company backing when you have a great band.  You do it yourself as best you can.  You do Kickstarter, or whatever, and you try to step it up a notch.  I’m ok with things going along and going well.”

In other words, don’t expect a sweeping national tour anytime soon. If you do have a chance to see Willie Sugarcapps or any of the members of this band, please go and support them.  Become a groupie.  Check the flight schedules and plan a vacation around their show. Go spend some family time in beautiful Gulf Shores, Alabama and run over to see them play at The Frog Pond in Silverhill. You will not regret it.  In the meantime, be sure to pick up their self-titled album and a buy a few for your friends.

February 7, 2014 Posted by | Americana, aplscruf, Concert Season 2014, Eddie's Attic, Music in Atlanta, Will Kimbrough, Willie Sugarcapps | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Will Kimbrough – Mud and Moss Tour – Day 3: Friday, Jan10, 2014 Lori Gras!

Will Kimbrough Plays Lori Gras! Bellingham, WA

Will Kimbrough Plays Lori Gras! Bellingham, WA

Day 3: Lori Gras! – Bellingham, WA Friday, January 10

Click [here] and [here] for Days 1 and 2 of the big tour!

We were all up and ready to head out of the house at 6:45 to meet Lori and Kenny.  First, we ate breakfast at a local diner before they showed up to make the exchange.  After many attempts to load all of Will and Sara’s luggage into Kenny’s car, it finally fit like a game of Tetris.  Off they went to Bellingham, the final tour destination in Washington.

Pat and I came home and collapsed for a few hours.  I tried to sleep, but I had way too many thoughts running through my head. I’m a perpetual list-maker.  I checked and re-checked my lists, making sure I had everything ready for this final leg of the tour.  I lay down, but kept popping up to add something to a list, make a phone call or send an email.  No sleeping for me.  Time to get up and re-pack.

Our son was also joining us for the show, so we waited for his return from school before heading north to Bellingham, about two hours away.  We didn’t leave until 3:00, and ran into heavy traffic through Everett and Marysville.  It finally cleared out just north of Marysville, and we checked in to our roadside motel around 5:00.

We were supposed to go to a wine tasting in Lori’s honor at Purple Space, an events space related to Purple Smile Wines, where Lori works.  We had to hurry and change; the theme of the night was all black with colorful beads and decorations to celebrate Lori Gras! (like Marti Gras, get it?).  It was party time.  After showing up a bit late, we ordered some delicious Mexican food from a local food truck called Jalepeno stationed outside Purple Space.  The two-story space was cool, with dark wood and iron railings.  Upstairs, the hosts served wine and ale, with a special porter brewed just for Lori with her picture displayed on the Lori Gras! label.

Jacob met up with Will again and spent some time talking music with him.  He enjoyed that.  I wasn’t really sure how to handle this weekend with the boy.  His birthday was the next day, the 11th.   I knew he would have preferred a sleep-over birthday party with his best pals rather than hanging out with his parents in Bellingham.  But the fact that he got to meet Will and talk shop changed his tune.  It made for a very special 18th birthday.

After mingling at the Space for about and hour or so, we drove over to the big party at Bellingham Yacht Club, a few blocks away. The downstairs room was set up for a bash with streamers, palm trees, a beer and wine bar and a hot food buffet. Will’s stage was in one corner, ready to go.  Couches and chairs surrounded the stage.  We milled around and found other people we knew. There is something familial about the music world.  Someone runs into someone else at a show.  They become best friends, meet other people at another show, and it becomes one big happy family.  I first met Lori, Tim and Kenny at a Todd Snider show in Sparks, NV.  Will played guitar for Todd as part of his band, The Nervous Wrecks.  After the second night, we met them in the hotel bar where they invited us to their after-party.  Will showed up that night with drummer Paul Griffith [see my blog of that show here].  I have since run into Lori and more friends at other shows, including Tom Petty and Willie Nelson.  The family tree keeps growing and thriving!

Will took his place in the corner and the audience was asked to please SHUT UP.  Thanks, Kenny! ha

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Set List for Bellingham Yacht Club Lori Gras! Celebration:

Piece of Work

Let the Big World Spin

Sideshow Love

Rocket Fuel

Trouble

Mud Bottom – INCREDIBLE SLIDE

Another Train


Mud and Moss – Will dedicated this song to Lori.  Her joyful reaction was infectious.  He actually wrote it that day!  Everyone was awestruck.  The lyrics were hilarious and very meaningful to our long and crazy road trip:

Lyrics for "Mud and Moss" written that afternoon!

Lyrics for “Mud and Moss” written that afternoon!

Wings – He wrote this for Jimmy Buffett – over the years, he’s written about a dozen songs for Jimmy

You Made Your Bed – The next four or five songs on mandolin, one blended into the next, crazy crowd dancing

Mandolin Jam!

Mandolin Jam!

I Don’t Like It

Mr. Lee

Glory Be

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Cape Henry

Nobody From Nowhere

Horshoe Lake -before this song, Tim introduced three ladies that surprised Lori. They were old friends of hers who came to the party.

Mud and Moss -encore- people wanted to hear it again!

When Your Loving Comes Around

Leavin’ Now

Lonesome Train on a Lonesome Track

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Magnolia Springs

He Ain’t Right

Soulfully -Jimmy Buffett also covered this

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Get Rhythm When You Get the Blues

I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry -Hank Williams Cover

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Everybody Wanna Go To Heaven, Nobody Wanna Die

Goodnight Moon and another segue to Wind Cries Mary

Encore – Yo Yo Ma!  – Going waay back to The bis-quits! More dancing ensued!

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Oh, what a fantastic night and climactic ending to the Washington leg of the tour!  People danced to a solo guitar and mandolin (Jake called it Old White People Dancing: stiff arms, stiff necks, stiff backs- ha); Lori laughed and cried and danced with husband Tim and her son Kai as well as several friends; we made new friends; we saw old acquaintances; people celebrated, partied, and toasted Lori’s 50th in grand style.  What a wonderful time for all.

The next morning, we met Will, Lori and Sara for breakfast at a coffee shop near the hotel.  We wished Jacob a happy 18th birthday.  Not a bad way to spend it so far, hanging out with Will after a glorious night of music and revelry.  Jacob was a big part of the show, and was one of the photographers, videographers and reluctant dancers.

Thanks to Kenny, Will and Sara had a car waiting for them to drive down to Portland to continue the tour.  We each purchased another CD, hugged it out, and wished them a safe journey to Oregon.  Pat, Jacob and I continued northward to visit our old friend Ralph and deliver a signed CD. Lori went home to her Seahawk nest and celebrated their big win against the Saints with her friends and family surrounding her.

Will and Sara continued their tour to Portland and Cottage Grove.

Sara was kind enough to send over the set list for the first show in Portland before returning to her home in California (another successful night!):

Set List

Secret Society – Portland, OR Saturday, January 11

Trouble

Mr. Lee

Mud Bottom

I Want Too Much

When Your Loving Comes Around

Let The Big World Spin

Sideshow Love

Soulfully

Hill Country Girl

Champion of the World

Three Angels

Wash and Fold

I am still reeling from this trip. My life feels like a heartbeat. There are moments, hours, and sometimes days of intense, vertical spikes of activity followed by a need to stay horizontal and buffer myself from the rest of the world until I can fall into a normal rhythm again.

My husband asked if my soul is full. Yes–overflowing.

Another pic for The Music Wall of Fame

Another pic for The Music Wall of Fame

Willie, Willie, Willie, get yo’self on home, boy…

January 19, 2014 Posted by | Americana, aplscruf, Bellingham, Concert Season 2014, Lori Gras, Music, Will Kimbrough, Willie Sugarcapps | , , , , | 6 Comments

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.

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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 – Mud and Moss Tour – Day 1: Wednesday, Jan 8, 2014

Will Kimbrough at Adrift Hotel

Will Kimbrough at The Adrift Hotel

Pat and I had an opportunity to be a part of the road crew for Will Kimbrough when he toured Washington and Oregon in January. We felt so honored to help support this rare solo visit.  He is humble, easy-going, gracious and one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. Oh–and he’s one of the most talented and versatile artists in Nashville.

The tour formed around the 50th birthday party for Lori, our friend in Bellingham.  The ‘Ham is a beautiful college town just south of the Canadian border.  Lori is a huge fan of Will’s; so naturally her husband Tim and brother-friend Kenny planned her birthday bash, coined it Lori Gras! and hired Will to play for her at the party. From there, the search began to find other venues around Seattle and Portland.  Will’s agent Sara with Axecess Entertainment contacted me to help with the search.  We brainstormed back and forth several weeks before the tour.  I wrote a press release that coincided with a blog and album review which Sara sent to prospective venues as an incentive to get him booked. Check out my No Depression Blog for more info on Will and his new album, Sideshow Love. Meanwhile, Kenny worked on flights, ground transportation and hotels, and coordinated details with Lori and Tim. Pat and I volunteered to drive and use our house as a hub between gigs. It took a village to organize this tour!

This is the first time I have seen Will play the Northwest on a solo tour.  In 2006 he opened for Rodney Crowell at the Music On The Bay series in Coos Bay, Oregon where he played to a stunned and elated audience (including my son and me) for about 1/2 hour. All of the other times I’ve seen him, he played guitar for other bands without an opportunity to open the show. 

Will Opening for Rodney Crowell.  Coos Bay, 2006

Will Opened for Rodney Crowell. Music on the Bay Series, Coos Bay, 2006

Seattle is a tough gig.  If you’re not Justin Timberlake or a local musician, it’s hard to get booked.  Other ‘tween acts, like The Gourds from Austin (god rest their souls while on hiatus), and other veterans of the club circuit are scheduled to play every six months to a year in advance. Unfortunately, there are so many acts vying for limited venues on a short calendar, there isn’t room for outsiders.  Sara successfully booked Will for the dates he requested, with some promising exposure through KEXP, our local public radio station.

Day 1: Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Adrift Hotel – Long Beach, WA

As part of the road crew, we were supposed to pick up Will at the airport Tuesday night.  The weather did not cooperate.  The East was slammed by a terrible, freezing Arctic storm.  The plane from Nashville to Chicago was delayed and eventually re-routed through Los Angeles. Will stayed there overnight, and then left bright and early Wednesday morning for Seattle.  Around 11:30, he showed up in the SEA Baggage Claim where we greeted and welcomed him.  Because of the re-route situation, not all of his bags came on the final plane.  Will remained calm–he’s used to this.  We finally located his bags among a giant maze in the unclaimed bag area.  After ensuring his guitar showed up in one piece, we loaded up and set off for Long Beach, Washington, a small coastal village in the southwest corner of the state.  We had a long drive ahead of us in the pouring rain.

Although he seemed a little tired from the flight and long haul to the Pacific Coast, Will was happy to be back in the Northwest. He honeymooned out here 20 years ago with his wife Jessica and enjoyed some great hikes and a stay in Seattle.  They also have some friends out here, transplants from The South.

We drove south to Olympia and found Fish Tale Brew Pub and settled on some great grub.  We all drank a toast to the upcoming tour and dug in.  I had a huge organic chicken salad with healthy chunks of chicken on spinach; Pat ordered a hearty stew, and Will wolfed down some delicious fish tacos.  We were back on the road within about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, Lori, Ken and Sara were somewhere behind us.  Sara’s flight arrived around 12:30, so they agreed to pick her up on their way down from Bellingham.  We hoped to meet up with them at the hotel barring any more stops or traffic.

We continued our three-hour journey southwestward, in dark gray skies.  I felt my Vitamin D level drop significantly.  Halfway there, the population dwindled and the highway was lined with tall, moss-covered trees. Will said the tree-lined drive was similar to his journey through Sweden.  Not long ago, he went on an 18-gig tour with only a few days of breaks.  He spent hours and hours driving through the Swedish landscape and into little villages, getting lost and finding his way again.  He also spoke of the difficulty of solo European tours: loading instruments and luggage on planes and in vehicles, organizing long flights and transportation, etc. So much work for the reward.

We drove on.  The landscape flattened out to lonely mud bogs and brackish streams, and the tall trees were replaced by low bushes covered in chartreuse moss.

Part of Will’s genius is the ability to observe his surroundings and start some chatter that eventually leads to a stream of lyrics. Along the way, he spoke of the mud, the moss, the wind and the rain, the strong craft beer, the rivers and the sloughs.  He noticed the road signs: Aberdeen, Willapa and Hoquiam.  We’d later be pleasantly surprised by his descriptive words at the Lori Gras! celebration. Our long commute also reminded Will of his traveling up and down the great state of Alabama. Will’s parents live in Mobile, and are in need of his occasional assistance.  Nashville to Mobile, Mobile to Nashville.  Three thousand miles logged in the van just in December alone. During those lonely drives up and down I-65, his mind produced page after page of lyrics.  His “magic phone” has voice recognition, so he’s able to record his words and continue to drive.  The melody usually comes later, he said, after he’s organized his words into verses and a viable rhythm.

I tried to be as professional as possible on this trip; but inside my skin, I was a major fan-dork.  Here is a musical hero–the Americana Music Association’s Instrumentalist of the Year; on the Grammy consideration list for Willie Sugarcapps’ “Gypsy Train;”  and a singer-songwriter getting rave reviews for solo album Sideshow Love humbly accepting our offer of transportation and lodging.  Will By-God-Kimbrough is hanging with us for the next three days!  Holy Shit!  All cool and collected on the outside, a giggling married groupie moron on the inside.  My dear, patient husband handled all of the excitement in his own quiet way.

Pacific Ocean Surf at The Adrift Hotel

Pacific Ocean Surf at The Adrift Hotel

“Are we there yet?” I asked wearily.  So much driving.  So little visibility.  So much gray.  Kenny later re-named our first destination “Long-Ass-Away-Beach.” Finally, the salt air and GPS guided us toward our venue: The Adrift Hotel.  Just steps from the thundering Pacific Ocean surf, the renovated hotel was a beautiful sight.  We were so happy to have finally arrived.  But the day was just beginning.  Will still had a show to perform in just a few hours.  Loading out of the truck involved a couple of trips in sideways rain. We were instantly soaked.

There was just enough time to settle in and get dolled up for the show.  The rest of the gang caught up and joined us at the restaurant, right before show time.  We knew going in that this particular show would not have a big audience.  During a summer month, this place would be packed.  According to their website, the Adrift hosts bands every week.  The oceanside resorts in January are mostly vacant.  Some people come to the beach to watch the storms roll in, and it’s only a bridge away from Astoria Oregon; so we hoped to get a few more people in the door.  Regardless, WE would be there to support him and cheer him on, and we made sure to do just that.

We ate apps and dinner at Pickled Fish, the hotel’s upscale restaurant: kale salad, oysters–raw and fried, pork bellies, rustic bread, crab mac n’ cheese, and other amazing, tasty dishes. Will joined us briefly, toasted Day One (again) with a strong IPA and then set up his gear in the small venue separated from the restaurant by large rolling doors.

DSC03624

Set List for The Adrift Hotel, Long Beach:

Another Train – From Americanitis, immediately got everyone’s attention.  Listen up, people!  Yeah, this guy’s from Nashville, and he will blow your freakin’ mind.

Piece of Work – My favorite song from Home Away , where it all began for me.  I heard him sing this on Jimmy Buffett’s Radio Margaritaville back in 2006 and wondered who that man was covering Jimmy’s song.  I soon learned Will wrote the song and Jimmy covered it! I then proceeded to purchase all of his music.

When Your Loving Comes Around – The first track from Sideshow Love sets the mood for the whole album.

Let the Big World Spin

Sideshow Love – Title track from his excellent solo album (see my review in the No Depression blog above)

I Want Too Much 

Nobody From Nowhere

DSC03613

Trouble – On mandolin, from the new Willie Sugarcapps album.  He showed off his mad mandolin skills on this one.

Mr. Lee – Also on WS album, Mr. Lee was a neighbor from long ago, born in 1900.  Mr. Lee was always willing to give you a good piece of his mind.  The same piece, but a good piece.

All That We Can Do is Love

Three Angels – from Wings and a tribute to his beautiful family.  The song is played in the Flatted 5th, also known as the Devil’s Note, made infamous by Led Zeppelin and proclaimed illegal by a former Pope.

Horseshoe Lake – Pat’s favorite that Will co-wrote with Todd Snider while hanging with him in West Memphis, AR

Gypsy Train – Grammy consideration list for best Americana song from his new Willie Sugarcapps album!

Mud Bottom – “Tonight is dedicated to some good ol’ Northwestern Mud!” exclaimed Will.

Oh, Colorado – From Willie Sugarcapps.  Savana Lee sings beautifully on the record, and Will sounds like John Denver’s twin on his version.

Wash and Fold – A dirty ditty ’bout gettin’ clean? One of my favorite Daddy songs.

I Don’t Like It

Hill Country Girl

Glory Be – Another hand-clapping Daddy gospel tune.  Amen!

DSC03634

Soulfully

I’m A Grownup Now

Champion of the World – a more upbeat take on this self-deprecating song from Home Away

I Don’t Have a Gun

Interstate

Lori capturing the moment

Lori Capturing the Moment

Goodnight Moon – This last song is Lori’s absolute favorite, and she was over the moon.  She used to sing this to her son before bedtime every night for years, until he outgrew the need for bedtime lullabyes, much to the dismay of any loving mom.  The tears flowed as Will tenderly sang and quietly played this sweet rendition. 

Twenty-five songs, just for us–and four other people.  Kenny said it felt like stealing.  A true professional, Will played his lil’ heart out like he was in front of an arena full of screaming fans.  Nope, just the nine of us.  We  sat back and watched The Alien at work.  He gets in a zone and fires up that guitar and mandolin like he’s from another planet.  He also used a loop pedal to record a riff, and then played live over it to add depth and harmony to the songs. It filled the whole room with sound!  We did our best to cheer, clap and whoop it up to show our support.  I teased Kenny because he could hardly speak after seeing Will perform this solo show for the first time.  “Kenny,” I smiled, “You just had a musical orgasm.”  The other newbies were awestruck, too, and purchased some merch on the way out. We closed the place down.  In Long Beach on a Wednesday in January, that meant 9:30.

We helped break down and pack up, and then headed back to the suite for a toast to Night One!  What a night!  What a set list! Will managed to play a song from just about every solo album as well as Willie Sugarcapps and Daddy.  It was an incredible day, but more fun was on the way.

Click [here] for Day 2 and [here] for Day 3 of the Mud and Moss Tour!

 

January 15, 2014 Posted by | Americana, aplscruf, Concert Season 2006, Concert Season 2014, Music, Will Kimbrough, Willie Sugarcapps | , , , , , | 3 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

Will Kimbrough is Coming to The Northwest!

I posted this article on No Depression: http://www.nodepression.com/article/will-kimbrough-coming-northwest

Will Kimbrough, a singer/songwriter from Nashville, is coming to The Northwest in January.  It’s about time.  Due to a highly successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for his new solo album Sideshow Love, Will was able to book a few gigs in Washington and Oregon.  As soon as I know firm dates and specific locations, I’ll post them here.

Many artists whom we have latched onto over the years seem to have a “prolific genius” quality about them.  Not only are they singer/songwriters, but play multiple instruments, write other works, play in multiple bands, support other artists, produce, tour incessantly, and somehow manage to raise a family.  Will is one of these genius artists.  He also earned the title of Instrumentalist of the Year by the Americana Music Association.  Americanitis, a politically-charged solo album from 2006 landed him in the “Top 35 Roots Albums in the Last 25 Years” by The Alternate Root Magazine.  His music catalog ranges from pop, folk, Americana, country, to a little bit rock-n-roll.

Sideshow Love is Will Kimbrough’s best solo work to date.  He reaches out instrumentally and vocally in ways I haven’t heard before on previous albums.  The twelve Americana tracks have a darker, bluesy edge with a Southern drawl.  Themes of love, lust, longing and love lost snake their way through most tracks mixed with wit, humor and angst.  Some songs, like “Soulfully” and “Emotion Sickness”, just ache with tenderness.  His diverse vocals portray heartbreaking emotion, grit, a sensual rasp, beautiful vibrato, surprising falsetto, and a quiet, soulful whisper.  Not to be outdone, his instrumental prowess accents each song’s mood perfectly.  His expert guitar picking is most distinct in the bridge and throughout “I Want Too Much”; and his old timey banjo strumming takes the amusing “Home Economics” back several decades to its roots. Will plays a variety of guitars, mandolin, banjo, bass, keys and percussion on this album.  He invited a few friends along to round out the sound, including  Lisa Oliver Gray and Paul Griffith.   A smile and a wink or a teardrop – there’s a song for every mood in this stellar collection.

Will’s recent solo endeavor was not the only project he worked on this year.  He also managed, almost by accident, to form a roots band called Willie Sugarcapps and produced a debut self-titled album.  One of the tracks, “Gypsy Train” landed them on the 2014 GRAMMY consideration list for best Americana song.

If you are anywhere near the Portland-Seattle-Bellingham metropolis in early January (firm dates/locations will be posted soon), I strongly recommend you clear your calendar of all other events and see his show somewhere, somehow.  If he tours in your part of the world, go see him.  Buy his albums.  Trust me, you will not be disappointed.  It’s Will By-God-Kimbrough!*

*Will By-God Kimbrough – Thanks, Sir Paul Griffith, for dubbing Will with this honourable title.

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

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/

November 6, 2013 Posted by | Concert Season 2014, Will Kimbrough, Willie Sugarcapps | , , , | 4 Comments