Choices had to be made. There were a lot of shows and I had to choose just one. Several of my buds were going to see The Raincoats at Chop Suey but I knew it was going to be crowded and parking sucks. I decided on Redneck Girlfriend at Sim's, I chose well.
I had heard of Redneck Girlfriend but had never seen. They have been around for 2 decades. Their rep combined with the venue sold me. I also saw that Johnny 7 from The Black Crabs had given a maybe on Facebook. That was a good enough endorsement for me.
Jim was at the controls when we walked in at 9; good news. He was the sound-tech for The Sonics on their last tour, he is a seasoned pro. He is also a real nice guy, I talked with him for some time, always complimenting his great talent of making every voice and instrument heard.
As I approached the front door I noticed two guys taking a smoke break outside. My spidey sense told me they were musicians. I mentioned that I had just heard a tune by Redneck Girlfriend on KEXP. They were jazzed at the news.
I always start every Friday night with Shake the Shack on KEXP 90.3 6-9pm (you can stream every program for 2 weeks after the show KEXP.org). Great music, wonderful personalities and the best way to get prepared for Friday night Live Music. This last show Mike not only mentioned the show on the Concert Calendar but he played a cut off one of their albums. Great resource for music and information.
The place was getting crowded, I saw Sweet Pea and Roy Kay along with others milling about. There were a lot of women; a bigger than usual proportion to men than I see at most shows. I liked it. There were short, small, tall and big beautiful women. Some were dressed to the nines, some in comfy clothes. There was a beautiful girl with a killer multi-colored mohawk in a dress so short I am sure it exposed her poh-poh, I tried not to look.
Flo was there; you know the girl from the Progressive Insurance commercials? She was all Ho'd up. I almost fell over myself when she first walked by. Stunning raven-haired beauty covered in tattoos, her off the shoulder top revealing scenes of deprivation and lust. No, I didn't get that close to see all that, this is just what I want to believe they illustrated. Her hose ended inches short of her skirt and in 5 inch heels she had everybody in the room drooling. I couldn't help it, I walked over and told her she was gorgeous...she smiled and said thanks. Schween!
I was ready, the crowd was ready and the band was coming on. Two guys hit the stage; one on percussion, one on guitar. Dead Man is coming to life.
They absolutely rocked; alternating with hard blues and soaring vocals. At times Uncle Hickory (I think his real name is Michael) sounded like the lead singer of a grunge band, the others like Steve Earle. Great voice and killer delivery. One of those voices that can get right up to screaming without crossing the line and still sound good. He also played a guitar in every blues, rock and punk style you can name without missing a lick. He sounded like 2 guys, sometimes playing with bottleneck in a slide fashion, some times picking and strumming. Great stuff and the audience loved.
Brian was playing some great beats next door to the multi-talented lead. He was a genial fellow I met later. I saw he had cd's and I always will purchase music from the artist. The best way to support them. See Dead Man here:http://www.reverbnation.com/deadmanduo
After a short break Redneck Girlfriend mounted up. The lead singer was standing on what would normally be the dance floor. Most of the chairs and tables had been removed and the crowd was right on top of them. I mean cheek to cheek. Sweet Pea was dancing up front with a beautiful tall girl in a pleated dress and lingerie top. They were having a little too much fun as they were hitting the buttons at the lead vocal singers feet. They had changed the settings on his guitar and in a "I kid because I love"way he blamed what he called bad sound on them. Great theater tonight, really glad I came.
Well, what to say about Redneck Girlfriend except that they came, they saw and they conquered. Blasting out killer original tunes they played metal hillbilly, hard driving rockabilly and mega manic rock. I moved to a place to watch up close and they were pros doing what they love and what they have done for 20 years.
Skeeter, Layne, Terry and Dave have added another member, a pedal steel, Stormin' Steve. What a great addition, a killer musician he made a great band better.
This was happy music and most of the crowd were fans, some from the old days. I looked out to see girls with googly eyes, half closed, mouthing the words. Guys, doing the same with their arms around their honey. Heads bobbing, butts moving and smiles all around.
The bass player had twin skull and crossbones tattooed on his neck and lived up to that image; he was up and down, back and forth; active and cranking. The drummer was backing this driving sound with equally driving percussion. He kept an eye on the band up front and looked liked he was in his happy place. The lead guitar was blasting great rock licks, he was moving as he was obviously loving the scene. I loved the steel, he added a lot to the mix as I said before. He could be heard perfectly thanks to Jim's fab sound board.
The lead singer, rhythm guitar and spokesman was a veteran at pleasing the adoring fans. He had us hanging on every word, rocking to every tune and wanting for more when they took a break.
They played 2 screaming sets, they left us exhausted and satiated. I can see them rocking for another 20. I was fortunate to see this show, one of the best I have seen in recent memory. Great scenery, wonderful theater and the best music Seattle has to offer. If you get a chance to see Redneck Girlfriend in the wild, do so. They leave you with a big smile and a song in your heart, or is that a ringing in your ears? Either way, talented guys having big fun and worth a listen, see them here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Redneck-Girlfriend/133016086759679#!/pages/Redneck-Girlfriend/133016086759679
I am posting this at 8pm, at 9 I leave for The Little Red Hen to see Knut Bell and the Blue collars. I need some comfort music.