Aplscruf's Music Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hook and Anchor

Hook and Anchor

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

Legendary Oaks

Legendary Oaks

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

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

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

Massy Ferguson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Massy Ferguson Setlist

Massy Ferguson Setlist

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

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

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

Jackrabbit at The Tractor in 2012

Jackrabbit at The Tractor in 2012

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Hope to see you Saturday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

McDougall, Massy Ferguson and Deception Past at The Green Frog 03/07/14

I’ve probably stated this a few times on previous blogs, but I must stress again that the smaller venue is where I really belong. Right there, right in the front of the stage, taking pictures, getting sweaty with the crowd, and sometimes even dancing.  We venture out to larger shows once in a while, but they just don’t exude the same kind of energy for me.  The collective energy of the crowd at arena shows is, at times, breathtaking; but I always feel like I’m up in a cloud, looking down, detached from the scene onstage so far below me.

I also like discovering new venues.  Maybe they’ve been there a while, but they’re new to me.  Discovering new bands can be hit-and-miss; but usually, if we know at least one of the bands in the lineup, we’ll have a good time.  Our night at the Green Frog was no exception.  

Deception Past howlin' at The Green Frog

Deception Past howlin’ at The Green Frog

Our music adventure on March 7 started with a quick drive to Bellingham, less than two hours north of Seattle. We checked into our roadside motel and caught a taxi downtown.  After visiting with our dear friend and purchasing his art in a little shop called The Lucky Monkey (part of Bellingham’s art walk), we walked over to The Green Frog.

Once again, the stars aligned.  A table opened up in the already-crowded venue right when we walked in.  It had a perfect view of the stage.  We nabbed it and saved seats for our friends who were arriving later.  This was our first time at The Green Frog.  Many bands who play Ballard’s Tractor Tavern drive north and play here the next night.  Hence, quality shows at a minimal cover.  The Green Frog has a great selection of beers on tap as well as a hearty selection of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches (I had the Caprese, with mozzarella, basil and tomatoes) with options for chips, delicious home-made smoked tomato soup and salad.  The only drawback was the enormous drink line.  There was only one bartender trying to serve dozens of people.  It seemed a little cruel for both the patrons and the bartender.

Our new friends, Lynsie and Mike, who are visiting from out-of-state, arrived shortly after we ordered.  Later, local ‘Hamsters Lori and Kenny (of Lori Gras fame) joined us.

The first artist, Portland’s McDougall, was bloody amazing, considering he was a one-man show.  He had a fervent and confident swagger in his voice that reminded us at times of Jack White.  He switched off between an acoustic guitar and 6-string banjo.  McDougall sat in front of a kick drum bearing his name, with cymbals to the left of the drum.  He controlled them separately with each foot.  His quick and frantic playing style had me mesmerized.  His passionate vocals pulled us in and kept our attention.

McDougall

McDougall

The crowd cheered in appreciation after his two-part set.

Just after 9:30, Massy Ferguson, Seattle’s world-class, quintessential bar band, jumped on stage and dove in.  The band is heading to Austin for SXSW this week (I also posted a shorter version of this blog for MF on No Depression). The boys are pumped to play there again and will perform at least six shows at numerous venues around town. Check Massy Ferguson’s website for their SXSW schedule, music, merch and other information.

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

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

The talented band includes Ethan Anderson (bass/vocals/flute), Adam Monda (guitar/vocals/harmonica), Dave Goedde (drums), and Tony Mann (keys). They play serious rock ‘n’ roll with an Americana twist, but never take themselves too seriously.

"Prost!" Ethan Anderson of Massy Ferguson Toasts the Crowd

“Prost!” Ethan Anderson of Massy Ferguson Toasts the Crowd

Once again, they brought their rockin’ energy to a fully primed audience.  Unlike the Tagaris Winery show attendees (I’ll forgive them, though–it was 100 degrees that day), the ‘Hamsters came to party. Frontman Ethan Anderson commanded the rowdy crowd to get up and dance.  Dancing is required at every show, including, but not limited to: two-step, freestyle or air guitar.

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It didn’t take much encouragement to get the gang dancing.  The women of our group–Massy Ferguson virgins, obeyed Ethan’s words and joined the happy, dancing revelers.  Some eventually ended up on the stage as Guest Female Percussionists (a usual occurrence at MF shows).  I stayed on the dance floor, though, and captured evidence–uh, took pictures.

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Their set at The Green Frog included high-voltage songs spanning over three full albums, two EP’s and a couple of covers. They opened with a fantastic new song entitled “Backwoods in the Morning” and sprinkled in a few other songs throughout the night that will appear on an upcoming album later this summer.  Midway through the set, they played the poppy “Hello!”, the first track off their most recent album,Victory and Ruins, released in 2013.

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Near the end of the night, The Flute came out.  Ethan held it up ceremoniously as the audience cheered.  He dove into Men At Work’s “Down Under”, rocked the flute solo, and followed it with “Bum Drunk” off their Damaged Goods EP.  The audience danced and sang along in a wild frenzy.  Yeah, it was a great night, but it wasn’t over yet.

This week, I asked Ethan if he could provide “Five Fun Facts” about Massy Ferguson for those not familiar with the band.  He went a step further and provided…

Six Fun Facts About Massy Ferguson:

  • We have a Protestant, two Catholics and a Jew in the band (sounds like a joke, huh?) and once were in talks with a Muslim guitar player about sitting in  [an Equal Opportunity Employer, apparently-L.K.]
  • We attended rival Pac-12 schools (WSU, UW and Berkeley)
  • We have been dubbed by fans as “The Hardest Sweating Band in Showbiz”
  • We have played in Honduras and in San Pedro Sula – Murder capital of the world 2013 – and made it out alive
  • No shows on tour happen unless Dave gets a cup of coffee in the morning and right before the show
  • The only rule we have on stage is no tequila bottles allowed on the actual stage (can fill you in later but let’s just say it was an important rule established after our show at Circus Mexicus in 2008)

If you happen to go to one of Massy Ferguson’s lively shows at SXSW, please report back here and spread the word!

Set List (I’m missing a few songs–sorry, I was dancing):

Backwoods in the Morning

Bent

[new song]Wanna listen to the songs…45??

Powder Blue – Audience Participation/yelling “Powder Blue!” Meanwhile, Pat bought beer for each and passed them around

Renegade

Hello!

Long Time No See

Take It Easy-acapella chorus in honor of a recent Eagles documentary

Cut From The Vine

Down Under by Men At Work – Flute!

Bum Drunk

See other reviews of Massy Ferguson Here:

https://aplscruf.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/massy-ferguson-and-ole-tinder-at-barboza-5-19-12/

https://aplscruf.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/massy-ferguson-at-redhook-brewery-3-24-2012/

Deception Past, another quality Seattle-area country/bluegrass ensemble, filled the stage and the room with their big country sound.  Brothers Andrew, Joseph and Tyler James Pettersson shared the stage with 5 other skilled members of this large band.  It was getting late, but the people stayed danced for their entire set.  The energy from the Massy Ferguson show still filled the room and spilled over the joyful crowd.

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Most songs were boot-stompin’ and two-steppin’ numbers stemming from “Whisky Sunset” (2012 EP) and their latest album, “If You Know What I Mean…” (2013).  There was a sense of community as they invited the boys from Massy Ferguson to join them in a couple of covers, including The Band’s “The Weight”, to which the audience gleefully sang along.

After the rollicking set, we spent a little time hanging with the bands and purchasing some CDs for the road.  Check out Deception Past at their next show at The Nectar in Fremont on March 29.  Purchase some music here: http://deceptionpast.bandcamp.com/  Massy Ferguson has several shows coming up after SXSW, so check their tour list on their website.  Also, McDougall has some Oregon shows and one in Tacoma before heading south to California.

We’ll be sure to see more shows at The Green Frog.

March 13, 2014 Posted by | Bellingham, Concert Season 2014, Deception Past, Ethan Anderson, Massy Ferguson, McDougall, Music, The Green Frog | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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

Columbia City Theater, Seattle

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

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

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

Tony Fulgham of Jackrabbit

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

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

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

Moe, Aimee and Tony

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

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

Rawking on “Big Kids”

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

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

Ryan Purcell and The Last Round

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

Evan Purcell

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

Dancing Crowd

Setlist included:

Cover Your Tracks

Happy Hour

Hurricane

Enough (off 1st record – Kick The Dirt)

Long Road (slower, heartfelt)

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

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

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

More Pics:

Evan and Peter

David

Ryan and Evan

Ryan

Tony

Jackrabbit

Jason

Moe and Aimee

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

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

Jackrabbit at The High Dive

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

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

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

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

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

The Swearengens

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

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

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

If I Remain

For A While – which included a nice fiddle solo

Eyes of Angels

Bloody Gloves

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

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

The Swearengens

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

The Swearengens

The Swearengens

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

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

Jackrabbit

The Outlaws

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