Friday, June 6, 2014

Hartwood, The Sweet Twang and Country Sex at Darrells Tavern 2-7-14

I would eat a bug to see Hartwood. They play great country music with a marvelous sense of humor. I have seen them several times, will see again. This night they were in special fun mode. Nobody, I mean nobody has more fun than these guys on stage.

Need I say more than this...

But I am getting ahead of myself here. We are at Darrells Tavern in Shoreline (North Seattle) to see some great country music. I came to see Hartwood and got the bonus of seeing some other killer musicians.

Here is the promise of things to come, musicians hanging at the bar. I love artists.

First up was Country Sex, an intriguing name for what turned out to be a very sexy band. The lead singer, a veteran of stage and screen, had touches of glam, pink and grunge with a country fried attitude, I loved him from the first note.

Lee Rude is the man at the center of the band. He has a great voice, writes creative and memorable tunes, has mass charisma and knows how to surround himself with talented musicians.

The band is as follow as provided by Lee: Bass: Andy Lowe. Lead guitar: Bill Muhlstein. Backing vocals by Violet Degner and Hilary Allison.

I am a sucker for a skilled stand up bass. Andy was not showy; he was laid back, happy to be in back, driving the band and was freaking great.

You don't know how important this bottom can be until you put just 3 guys on show; a bare knuckle stage fight. There is nowhere to hide, you better be present and know your shit.

Bill on lead guitar was stellar, Lee knows how to pick them. The sound of an acoustic guitar has such a distinctive sound. It was so refreshing as all guitars were the same. I expected a Telecaster. This was a nice fresh sound.

Lee put together a great collection of artists that translated his original tunes to perfection. He had a a nice crowd of fans. Some were on top of him the whole evening.

His closest confidant was a lovely vixen; Violet Degner had a delicious pale look that had all the men panting. Well me at least. OK, no ordinary man could not look as hard as they tried...

She also was a great singer and entertainer.

Here Violet is with Hilary Allison and some guy...who cares about him. Sorry man, working with these girls would be like working with a puppy. You ain't got a a chance of getting noticed. No really, Jacob Rocek added nice texture to this sweet sound.

They were a lot of fun, mixing a few covers with original music of Lee's making.

Lee had a killer pipes and did a great job of representing his original tunes. He was joined by an entire neighborhood for a couple tunes.

They were a lot of fun and put a smile on every bodies face. You can connect with Country Sex here:

One more of this fun band. Lee is quite photogenic, plastic face man...

Next up was the band I came to see, the band I would not miss especially here at Darrells. I don't know of any other country band that combines finely written original tunes with such a great sense of humor.

Kinky Friedman comes to mind.

They have a cast of talented musicians that come together to make beautiful music. The names of these characters have been changed to protect their wives and children who would have to answer some obvious embarrassing questions.

Here is the official roster: Cleetus, Murl, Lee Harvey, Henry Lee, Rufu,s JT, Squeaky... 'merica's Band!

Here is Lee Harvey rocking the banjo.

Here is Lee Harvey having a banjo fit, there is something you don't get to see everyday!

I am a man of few words tonight, but have many great shots of one of my favorite bands.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Sourmash Stevedores, Johnson County and The Buffalo Stagecoach at Darrells 1-12-14

Here I was at Darrells again, my friendly neighborhood tavern. It just so happens they book the best music in town. It seems I am here once a week now. Tonight they were presenting some great local bands. Just the kind of thing that is great for the artists, great for the community.

This was a super fun event. This is my kind of bill, three killer rock and country bands that are playing to an intimate audience. In this case very intimate. Nobody was there. Too bad no one else was there to enjoy it.

First up was The Buffalo Stagecoach. Their gear was staged for action, nice stuff.

They put on a good show, cranking out great energy from skilled artists.

The Buffalo Stagecoach is: Dallas Urwin = Guitar, Vocals, Harmonica, Ehren Will = Guitar, Vocals, and Peter Johnson = Drums. There was another fellow so I hope to add his name later.

Here is Ehren rocking his Tele.

I met Ehren at the bar after the show.

With blazing fingers and a great set of pipes, he could rock. The Buffalo Stagecoach blasted a great mix of punk, country, rock and even a bit of psychedelia.

Here is the description from their Facebook page: Two parts rock. One part country. One part folk. Splash of punk. Three parts Rainier Beer.

Dallas had a distinct voice, singing high, balls to the wall vocals.

He also played a killer guitar. These guys knew how to rock playing original music as well as some covers.

They say they play Mountain Rock, I think that is a very good description. I was moving my big, high-altitude butt the whole time they were on stage.

You can connect with them here:
See them live, they put on a great show.

Next to mount up was Johnson County. I had seen them before and was looking forward to seeing them again. I reviewed them here:

Johnson County is fronted by Dan Foster; a talented writer and performer.

Johnson County is: Dan Foster (guitar, harmonica, vocals), Paul Hsu (lead guitar), Jesse Dosher (bass), and Joseph Lee (drums).

Paul is a screamingly great guitar player. I had to stand right up close to watch him ply his craft. He has magic fingers that make beautiful music. He also sang vocals.

He and Jesse had some great interaction, dueling guitars.

This is a talented band with a superb front man that writes killer tunes. At one point I remember him saying something about wearing his flip flops to church. Truly inspired lyrics.

I loved their set; it was rocking and brilliant at times. Dan's original tunes rendered by these skilled musicians was a real treat. I chose well this evening.

You can connect with Johnson County here:

 They were giving away disc's last night. I have yet to be able to listen but I know if it is anything like their live show, it will be stellar.

The lucky few that got to see Johnson County were rocking and loving their set. Their last tune had me in chills. Damn, I wish I could capture that song and bottle it when I need a blast. It was freaking amazing with Paul and Dan trading dynamite guitar licks. Jesse was blazing the bottom as Joseph played amazing and creative skins.

Oh yes dear reader, while you were safe at home with your loved ones, recovering from the Seahawks Game or whatever, I was rocking to a private concert at my favorite bar with one of my favorite bands. I may have made a stain.

There were more folks coming in really late, a testament to Sourmash Stevedores legend. I had heard many a tale but had not seen them live in person. I was tired, but I had to stay to see them.

I saw Van Ramsey of KSER and The Wild Snohomians at Darrell's this evening. A talented and sweet fellow, he is a musician, a DJ and I imagine he holds down a 9-5 to boot. He was there to see the Stevedores too.

The Sourmash Stevedores are: Tim Dunn: Vocals and acoustic guitar, Al "the Hammer" Echison: Drums, percussion and backing vocals, Ed Hodge: Bass and backing vocals, Tim Moore: Harmonica and backing vocals and Ray "Tinker" Taylor: Electric guitar and backing vocals.

Here is Tim singing lead and playing acoustic guitar.

Here is a description from their web-page: The Sourmash Stevedores are from Seattle, Washington and play a style of country music that pays respect to classic country while winking at the outlaw brand. Songs of heartache, despair, drinking and going to hell that'll make you stomp your boots and cry in your beer.

The lead guitar player had a style that hit me hard. The instrument, the skill and the music was magic.

They have played all over the Seattle area from Birthday Parties to Bar Mitzvahs.

They provided killer music with passion and skill. The Sourmash Stevedors had a great stage presence and were seasoned pros at delivering the great outlaw-country.

I wish I had more stamina. I left with a good buzz in my ears just after midnight.

You can connect with them here:

See some live music soon.