Aplscruf's Music Blog

The Gift of Music, Art, and Other Holiday Cheer

Tornado Nebula

Tornado Nebula by Jacob Knight

‘Tis the season for giving. Let’s give support to good causes and to our artist friends near and far. Spread good cheer all ’round. Here are a few of my favorite things (and people!). I know I missed many, and don’t have the time to list them all. If you have other artists, charities, music, or websites in mind, feel free to comment below and include a link.

Kosmos Journal – Give the journal subscription to someone you love and help transform our world! Writers are also encouraged to submit pieces on various topics. You can also donate by purchasing a beautiful meditation bracelet, hand-crafted by the multi-talented New York artist Kari Auerbach.

Speaking of New York artists, check out Kathy Luker Hats – Support Kathy Luker’s fundraising campaign and give one of her hand-made hats to the rockstar in your life! Raspberry beret? Yep, she makes those, too!

New York is also home to the lovely actress Ms. Bernadette Quigley and of Quigley Media whose musical clientele ranges from Canadian folk singers to Austin rock stars. Check out links to her work and purchase some exciting new music from her clients.

Writers Helping Writers – Do you know someone who is writing the Next Great American Novel? This is a fabulous site with lots of tips and books available to move from writer to bestselling author! They also give to great causes on their site.

Another great way to support the writer in your life is to purchase a membership to a local writing chapter. Here in the Northwest, we have PNWA (Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association) and for romance writers of all genres, GSRWA (Greater Seattle Romance Writers of America), local chapter to the national RWA.  If you’d like to donate, there are also scholarships available to help support all writers.

Need an editor for that Great American Novel? Check out Lynne Pearson of All That Editing. She just edited my manuscript in October, and I came away with the motivation and confidence to dive into rewrites.

Want to give the gift of original abstract paintings like the one above? Check out Jacob Knight Art on FB or Instagram. Yeah, he might be my son. And he’s pretty cool.

No Depression – Looking for the quintessential roots and Americana music mag to give to friends and family? Purchase their subscription at 20% off right now. Check out the dazzling list of artists reviewed on this site, as well as their year-end readers poll, where you can vote for your favorite album, including one of our faves, Will Kimbrough and Brigitte DeMeyer’s Mockingbird Soul. Grayson Capps, also has a new album featured on the year-end poll, called Scarlett Roses. Will and Grayson are a part of the Alabama Supergroup, Willie Sugarcapps. Purchase music by following the artist links or GTS (google that stuff!).

You can also support another Will Kimbrough project with Tommy Womack and their band DADDY. I included an article of a recent fundraiser to support their album. Find ’em on Facebook for more info.

Americana Music – Another essential source for award-winning artists, and for planning your next trip to watch them perform at the Americana Music Festival in Nashville.

Paul Kerr’s Blabber ‘n’ Smoke is another excellent resource for Americana music, from a Glasgow point of view. His reviews are thoughtful and poetic, and usually include a video or song selection.

From Glasgow, take a day and head over to Kilkenny, Ireland to Rollercoaster Records, The Happiest Little Record Shop in the World. Buy some vinyl, see a show, and pay respects to the late great Willie Meighan .

Jeff Finlin – Jeff is known world-wide for his musical artistry, but is also a poet, author, and certified yoga instructor and counselor. He has recently worked as an addiction therapist in a treatment center, instructing patients how to turn their words of trauma into healing poetry. Download his music and buy his books on his website.

Willy Vlautin – This man’s on a winning streak. He’s a famous author and formerly of Portland’s world-renowned band Richmond Fontaine. Check out Willy’s websites, download some music, and purchase one of his books. His latest novel, Don’t Skip Out On Me, is due in February. Also, a film based on his novel Lean On Pete will screen in American theaters in February and stars Steve Buscemi.

Massy Ferguson – Seattle’s own American Rock band for over a decade. We’ve seen them countless times, and they never fail to entertain and rock the house. They also perform shows for good causes, and can be found rocking all over the metropolitan area–and across The Pond! Grab a loved one and go! Stream their latest, Run It Right Into The Wall on their website and purchase a disk or three.

Dusty 45’s and DESC – Not to be outdone, The Dusty 45’s have been rocking Seattle for two decades, and were the backing band for Ms. Wanda Jackson, Queen of Rockabilly! They also host the DESC(Downtown Emergency Service Center) annual fundraiser.

Time to Give Back, Y’all.

 

 

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December 4, 2017 Posted by | 2017, Holiday Gifts, Jacob Knight Art, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2016: A Year In Review

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Tom Petty and Mudcrutch played The Filmore in San Francisco this year.

Another year flew by. Another year of fantastic shows and new musical discoveries. This year in music took me from Seattle to England to Amsterdam to Portland to San Francisco and back. I’m grateful for the opportunities I had this year to see local bands and national legends. I also posted several online reviews to No Depression, the journal of roots music. Although we lost some musical greats, I am grateful I had the opportunity to see some of them over the years, including David Bowie and Merle Haggard. I’m also grateful for new friends and for adding lovely new branches to my musical family tree.

Now, on to the fun stuff. I thought I’d share a review in pictures, which includes shows and albums I reviewed. Check ’em out online, or find them linked on my feed to the right.

I started out 2016 with a review of Lookout from a sweet ‘n’ local indie-pop band Fine Prince.

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Seattle’s Fine Prince

Joy Mills, Cahalen Morrison, and Blackberry Bushes graced The Tractor’s stage in January.

Bizarre musical coincidences occurred all year. I was contacted by Jeff Finlin to post his video “I Killed Myself Last Night” from his 2013 album My Moby Dick, which led to an unexpected friendship and a realization that our mutual friends in music criss-crossed the globe. Jeff also had a ridiculously prolific year. He toured Europe twice, released a retrospective album called Life After Death – The Essential Jeff Finlin, published a poetry book, started a yoga for recovery organization, published 365 Days of Recovery Yoga, and will drop yet another new album soon.

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Jeff Finlin

Noam Weinstein released one of my favorite albums of 2016, On Waves.

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Noam Weinstein

Colt Kraft brought his ganja country sound and dapper sweaters to Darrell’s Tavern in Shoreline.

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Colt Kraft and Jamie Henwood

Peter Bruntnell,who toured the U.K. and Europe with Jeff Finlin and Clive Barnes this year, also produced one of the best songs and most scathing music videos of the year called “Mr. Sunshine” from his new critically acclaimed album, Nos Da Comrade. Now, it’s December, and the nightmare of greed and power continues on our side of The Pond…

Massy Ferguson played a final show at Jet Bar in Lynnwood before it closed for good. Massy wins for most shows attended this year. I lost track of how many times we saw them.

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Massy Ferguson

New York’s Sean Rowe blew us away in Bothell inside a tiny classroom-sized listening room at McMenamins.

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Sean Rowe

A trip to Leavenworth for a Knight family reunion also reunited us with Alisa Milner and Ian McFeron, who played Icicle Creek Brewery. They got married later this year!

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Alisa Milner and Ian McFeron

In March, Massy Ferguson and The Dusty 45’s joined forces to support Seattle’s DESC organization.

Vaudeville Etiquette, Seattle darlings, played The Sunset and all over Seattle this year.

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Tayler Lynn and Bradley Laina of Vaudeville Etiquette

A trip overseas led to meeting promoters and musicophiles Oliver and Birgit Gray of Winchester. Their Swiss Cottage and The Railway Inn are havens for many US and UK Americana artists, including a handful that we saw this year: Richmond Fontaine, Jeff Finlin, The Believers, and Fernando.

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Birgit and Oliver Gray’s Swiss Cottage near Winchester, and below, Jo’s Melkweg Cafe in Amsterdam

In Amsterdam, we met Erik and Jo, Wisconsin expats and owners of Jo’s Cafe in the Melkweg music venue. We didn’t see music on that trip, but we met some beautiful people who care about quality music and esteemed musicians.

 Jeremy Nail’s gem of a new album, My Mountain, was produced by Alejandro Escovedo, who also dropped a highly acclaimed album of his own this year called Burn Something Beautiful.

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Jeremy Nail

We drove to Portland and watched Todd Snider’s triumphant return to his solo show. Rorey Carroll opened with her beautiful, biting folk songs.

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Todd Snider at Aladdin Theater in Portland

Richmond Fontaine–another beautiful coincidence. As we were touring Europe, Willy Vlautin and crew were just days behind us. They also visited Oliver and Birgit in Winchester–they were one of the first American bands to ever play The Railway and Swiss Cottage as one of Oliver’s promotional acts years ago. We finally converged in Portland and witnessed Richmond Fontaine’s swan song. The band was breaking up. They’ve taken the rest of the year to do so, with a final tour in Europe just wrapping up in October.

Flight To Mars – Seattle’s UFO tribute band gets together annually for a great cause – Crohn’s and Collitis Foundation.

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Mike McCready and Tim DiJulio of Flight To Mars

Greg Townson was busy with a new solo album and tour with Los Straitjackets as well as a Hi-Risers reunion.

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Will Kimbrough, Nashville’s prolific singer-songwriter-producer-session artist had a very busy year doing all that. Live At Coast was finally released; and Willie Sugarcapps, his Lower Alabama supergroup, also dropped a new album, Paradise Right Here.

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David Corley came back from the dead (literally) to release his sophomore album Lights Out and tour Europe again.

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David Corley in The Netherlands. Photo by Niels Knelis Meijer

Aaron Lee Tasjan, another acclaimed Nashville artist who just dropped a new album called Silver Tears, played a free show at McMenamins in Bothell to maybe 50 people. His clear vox and bluesy guitar licks sold us. The talented Brian Wright shared the spotlight and backed him. Where the hell was everyone?

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Brian Wright and Aaron Lee Tasjan

John Doe — a new album, a new book on LA punk, a new video, and a new tour, including a stop in Ballard’s Tractor Tavern. A thrill to meet him. Always keeping things fresh and remembering his punk roots at the same time. Opening and backing him was Texan Jesse Dayton, guitarist extraordinaire, who also came back and played a duo show at McMenamins and dropped a new album.Click on individual pics for a closer look…

Ted Leo (of The Pharmacists) and Aimee Mann played Barboza, the tiny club in the basement of Capitol Hill’s Neumos. It was a Pharmacists Acoustic Greatest Hits Night, as well as a splash of new music with Aimee from The Both.

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Fernando, who shares lead guitarist Dan Eccles with Richmond Fontaine, came to Hotel Albatross for a lovely solo performance. Two greats, Austin Lucas and Adam Faucett played sets later that night. Later in the summer, Fernando played an outdoor show with Dan at McMenamins in Bothell.

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Fernando Viciconte played Hotel Albatross in Ballard with Austin Lucas and Adam Faucett

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Fernando and Dan at McMenamins in Bothell, late summer

Massy Ferguson released Run It Right Into The Wall, another fantastic rock album. Ethan Anderson of Massy would later bond with Pete Bruntnell in England at the Maverick Music Fest. You’re welcome!

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Pete Bruntnell with Ethan Anderson at Maverick Music Festival, England

Massy Ferguson’s CD Release Party took place at The Triple Door, the day before we flew out to see Tom Petty with Mudcrutch…

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Massy Ferguson and most of the audience. Photo by Rich Zollner

Tom Petty reunited with his old band Mudcrutch and dropped a “2“! Better than the first album, with each artist getting his chance to shine, and more Petty-esque songs. He played The Filmore in San Francisco, and we had to go. Click on individual pics for a closer look. Tom’s also gearing up for a massive 2017 tour, celebrating The Heartbreakers’ 40th year anniversary!

The Swearengens, a favorite Ballard alt-country band, played The Sunset Tavern in July. I’m excited to see them perform once more at The Tractor’s holiday bash with Massy Ferguson and Jackrabbit on December 23.

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Fredd Luongo of The Swearengens

The very next day, we came back to Ballard to rock out with surf instrumentalists Los Straitjackets at The Tractor. El Vez joined them on stage!

The B-52’s at Woodland Park ZooTunes summer concert series. Pass the tanning butter! Always a great venue for summer shows. They played all the hits to a sold-out crowd.

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In August, Kevin “Shinyribs” Russell of Austin surprised us with a full band and backup singers, stepping up his game and into a funky groove.

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Shinyribs at The Tractor

The Believers, with Craig Aspen and Cynthia Frazzini, tore it up at Oak Harbor Music Fest Labor Day weekend to a huge crowd. They celebrated a 15-year reunion with their original band.

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The Believers with Craig Aspen, Garey Shelton, and Cynthia Frazzini

The Paperboys from Vancouver came late September to The Nectar in Fremont. They are always a joy to see, and bring a full band with brass, banjo, fiddle, and flute!

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The Paperboys – with Tom Landa

Jenny Whiteley went back to her roots on her latest album, The Original Jenny Whiteley (2016 Black Hen Music). The album was recorded on Wolfe Island, Ontario at the magical Old Post Office, and produced by multi-instrumentalist and humanitarian Hugh Christopher Brown (the man can do no wrong!).

Her father Chris and uncle Ken Whiteley joined her on the album, which includes original material interwoven with traditional folk and bluegrass songs, continuing her father’s legacy. They keep things simple, clean, and stripped down, all the while honoring the genre and letting Jenny’s rich, earthy vocals shine.

Wanda Jackson with The Dusty 45’s backing, came to the EMP (MoPop) in Seattle. It was such a thrill to finally see Ms. Jackson, the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll!

Dean Owens caught my ear this year when he released “Cotton Snow”, a song about the Civil War’s bloody Battle of Franklin. Find Dean in Nashville–or Scotland. He will release a new album soon called Southern Wind, a follow-up to 2015’s Into The Sea. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. I’ll leave you with Dean’s latest Christmas video he produced with The Whisky Hearts. He’ll play Edinburgh 12 December.

December 10, 2016 Posted by | 2016 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Past Shows, Future Shows, and Cool Projects

I can’t keep up with the shows we’ve attended, nor do I have time to write full reviews, so I thought I’d do a brief summary of some artists to keep in your radar.

Vaudeville Etiquette, psych-Americana sweethearts from Seattle, threw a helluva CD release party on Saturday, May 7, at Neumos. What an absolute party it was. Their sophomore album, entitled Aura Vista Motel represents the polished versions of songs they’ve been playing live for months now.

Although I’ve seen them play several times, the energy they brought to the party was palpable. Their five-person band, co-fronted by Bradley Laina and Tayler Lynn, expanded to eight and exploded with sonic and visual delights.

Check tour dates for tons of shows coming up in June and July here: http://www.vaudevilleetiquette.com/#!tour/ck0q

 

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Last weekend, we saw Ted Leo (sans The Pharmacists) in a solo show at Barboza, the intimate space in the basement of Neumos.

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Aimee Mann and Ted Leo of The Both

It was fantastic to see Ted Leo in such a small venue. We saw the full band at The Showbox back in 2007,  but due to events beyond our control, we had to leave early. It was super loud, too, almost unbearably so. At this solo event, he politely asked the audience if he should turn down the amp on his electric guitar. It was a Greatest Hits Night, but he also showcased a recent project called The Both with Aimee Mann, who was also a surprise guest on a few songs. Their harmonies were gorgeous. In between songs, and even during some, Ted kept us in stitches with little anecdotes and forgotten lines. Afterward, he graciously allowed us to have a few words, even going as far as telling us to tell our college-aged son to do well on his finals and stay in school. Sweet!

Coming up this Thursday, June 9, is a show at Hotel Albatross in Ballard with Portland’s Fernando, Austin Lucas and Adam Faucett . Looking forward to their unique styles, blending alt-country, folk, and Americana.

Next week: Newlyweds Ian McFeron and Alisa Milner will play an outdoor set of their lovely Americana music on the grounds of McMenamins/Anderson School in Bothell on Thursday, June 16.

 

On June 17 we will attend Massy Ferguson’s release party! Super excited for this show. They always bring the fun. See my previous links or their website for more info. Also, their June UK tour dates are up!

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Tom Petty and his band Mudcrutch play The Fillmore in San Francisco Sunday and Monday, celebrating their second album in 8 years, properly titled, 2. No Seattle dates, unfortunately.

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We saw Mudcrutch in 2008 at The Troubadour in Hollywood: https://aplscruf.wordpress.com/2010/01/27/tom-petty-with-mudcrutch-at-the-troubadour-05-02-2008/

More fun at the end of June when John Doe, Jesse Dayton, DJ Bonebrake, and Cindy Wasserman “Brang It” to The Tractor Tavern June 29! This one should sell out.

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Thee John Doe. Photo by Jim Herrington

See my review of John Doe’s show at The Triple Door here: https://aplscruf.wordpress.com/2015/06/26/john-doe-reigns-at-the-triple-door-seattle-june-19-2015/

In July, a few shows to start off the Independence Day weekend with a Bang, including The Paperboys , the MexiCanadiAmericanaIrishFolk band, who will play The Tractor July 1.

The Swearengens, another Ballard Americana staple, will also play The Sunset July 1. If you time it right, you might see both the same night. Just hoof it up or down Ballard Ave.

On Sunday, July 3, those La Lucha-wearing surf rockers, Los Straitjackets will sell out The Tractor.

Down South and other far away lands, more great news:

Austin darling Jeremy Nail’s tour hits Nashville and NYC, among other cities. Fantastic Press keeps rolling in for this talented singer-songwriter.

Jeff Finlin’s new book of prose, The Seduction of Radha is now available. Check his website often for more good news, including new albums, books, and his new organization, Recover.Yoga.

Willie Sugarcapps keeps moving up the Americana charts and is getting great press for their new release, Paradise Right Here.

Dean Owens recently recorded a haunting song called “Cotton Snow”,  about The Battle of Franklin. See Paul Kerr’s Blabber ‘n’ Smoke review which includes more information about Dean’s previous and current projects here: https://paulkerr.wordpress.com/2016/04/04/dean-owens-with-dave-coleman-cotton-snow-single-release-drumfire-records/

He also paid a heartfelt tribute to Muhammad Ali in the audio below. Watch his site or follow him on FB for upcoming projects.

https://soundcloud.com/search?q=scary%20biscuit/louisville-lip-rf

 

Whew! I’m exhausted just thinking about it all. More fun is on the way, so it’s time to re-charge.

June 8, 2016 Posted by | 2016, Americana, Rock, Roots Rock, Seattle Rock | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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.

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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

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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!

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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

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