The Seattle area had been hit with heavy snow, a fairly rare occurrence. We usually get some snow but it was a dump. Seattle usually looses it's cool; cars abandoned, long commutes but not so much this time. We were fairly well prepared, many folks didn't make it in to work for a couple days. Schools were closed so anybody with a kid had to handle that. The real killer was the ice storm later; it took down a ton of trees and power lines. Some folks were out of power for 4 days. This was the backdrop for this show.
Given that the crowd was pretty good. I am just miles from the venue so it wasn't going to stop me.
A few words about Darrell's, especially for my friends abroad (Zdravstvujtye) that may not get the chance to visit Seattle. I have describe it a little bit in an earlier post, but I took some pics for your viewing pleasure.
Darrell's bills itself as the place your dad used to drink, it is a lovely example of a neighborhood bar. There are two distinct customers at Darrell's. There are always locals sucking down the suds, they get there before the cover charge and hang out. We can't smoke indoors here in Washington same with a lot of places in the states) and so they are ducking out for a smoke. I am always amazed when a couple of locals get up and leave during a killer set. They are not here for the music.
Then there are the other customers; those who came to for the music. Darrell's presents live music 5 nights a week, they have DJ's on the others. I have a great love for this tavern; they are giving local musicians the chance to perform their music. The sound is always good (strong work Scott), the service is always friendly and fast, and there is ice in the urinal...a nice touch. Here is a link to their events page, you can see they are busy.
On some nights where there are 4-5 bands the musicians outnumber the customers. This particular evening brought out a few hardy souls and those of us who cannot live without live music.
The Black Crabs were on first, I have commented on them before. They have such an amazing presence for a 3 piece band. They are all great musicians and they all sing. They write all their own tunes; great original stuff. Tom on drums, Kirsten on Stand-up bass and Jonathan swinging a mean Gretsch (sorry, I attributed him with playing a Les Paul in an earlier post).
There were extra special good this show even tho Kirsten was not feeling well. They played all their greats and rocked the house. People were dancing and having a good time. Liam Fitzgerald (lead singer for The Rainieros) joined the band for a tune. Apparently it was his birthday. These are the kind of impromptu happenings that make a fun show. He didn't know the words to the tune (sorry can't remember tune, it has been a few days and I can't remember that far back) and Tom had written them on the head of his snare. They were commiserating over who would take which verse even as they were playing. Fun!
Here is the link for the Crabs, buy their album, go out and see them if you get a chance: http://theblackcrabs.com/
The 1Uppers were next; if you have read my posts from before you know I love them. Full disclosure, Jon Hyde one of the leaders of the band is a co-worker.
I had never really had an appreciation of country music, I did like Buck, Willy and Waylon but I had never seen any live country. I was always a rock guy, it was only until I heard Steve Earl and the like that I started to love the genre. I saw Junior Brown and really started to see the light. I was ready for more country.
In walk the 1Uppers; I saw them once and was smitten. These are just great musicians, each one bringing a talent and sound. The result is a rich tapestry of sound that is pleasing to the inner soul. They are so tight, I rarely hear a hiccup. The interactivity between the guitars is precise and beautiful. They have been practicing.
You can listen to some of their music here: http://1uppers.com/
They have 6 members and a total of 5 guitars. David plays Acoustic/lead vocal, Jon plays the pedal steel/lead vocals, Kris blisters on the Telecaster, John plays either a Strat or his beautiful baritone, Caben wields a mighty bass and Eric is the rocking percussion.
They got to play an extra little bit (never long enough) as the bill went from 3 to 2 bands. I was glad to hear some new tunes as well as my favorites. I am sure they will get sick of me. I clap the loudest and longest, I shout for more as they are packing up and heading out the door. I can't get enough.
This band make me wonder, how many other killer bands are out there that you never hear? I m sure there are great bands that form and disappear before they even get a listen. How does one discover these great musicians? Truly, the only way to find out is to go out and see. Find some live music this weekend and go out and treat yourself.