Sunday, May 6, 2012
Cheatin', Lyin', Lovin' and Cryin' at The Tractor 5-5-12
Cheatin', Lyin', Lovin' and Cryin' was the title of this gig and many of Seattle's best Country and Rockabilly musicians were on the bill. I had been keeping an eye on it for a couple weeks. There was a ton of great shows in town, it was Cinco de Mayo and every bar worth it's salt had live music. But this was the show for me, I was really looking forward to it.
This event was put together by a country group named Side Saddle, I had heard of them but never seen. I should have had them on my radar long ago, they are an awesome band with some killer musicians. I bought a couple CD's and have been listening all morning; classic country, beautiful harmonies and dynamite guitar and keys.
They had invited a group of friends to play with them and the line up was impressive. It was set-up in such a way that there were two main bands that supported the myriad of other talent. Lucky Lawrence and his great band The Souvenirs were sandwiched by Side Saddle. Once each band established themselves and got comfy on stage, they started bringing up their buddies.
The personnel change was at a quick pace, they had a lot of talent to showcase and they started moving great folks up to add their voice to the mix. I was having a hard time keeping up at first and I hope I am not making any mistakes as I scribe the names of the players. Please forgive if I am confused for I am just a wanna-be watching your world with awe. If you have a comment there is space below to leave one or two.
Side Saddle is: Kato Moody on vocals, Brooke Asbury on vocals, fiddle and banjo, Lexi Morritt on vocals, the infamous Robert Lee Mitchell on keys, Robbie Johnston on acoustic guitar, Anthony Haugen on bass, the incredible Dave Harmonson on pedal steel and lead guitar and another great, Dave Warburton on drums. A wonderful collection of artists that obviously love what they do.
They have 3 gorgeous girls up front that are striking in looks and beautiful in their harmonies. They pay homage to the great women singers in country history; Loretta, Patsy, Emmy Lou et all. I heard all of that and more this evening. Stunning.
I had seen Brooke out and about at various events, she has a lot of talent and a great voice. She also always has a smile on her face, I like that. Kato sings lead vocal and has a classically beautiful voice. Tall and blonde, she also has a commanding stage presence. Lexi was cute and funny, also with a awesome voice.
The band was stellar. Of course, Robert Lee on the ivories. He is the preferred keyboard man for any country band in Seattle. He plays in The Jukehouse Hounds with 3 other insanely talented and well known Seattle musicians. See The Jukehouse Hounds here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Jukehouse-Hounds/346718454091
Country Dave is the pedal-steel and solid-body lead guitar player, he is a marvelous musician. I have never heard but that will show you how out of touch I am, he is obviously a veteran of stage and screen. I was fixated on his play, phenomenal guitarist.
Dave W is in back banging on the skins and keeping the kiddies honest with his strong beats. He was having fun playing the whole collection of pots and pans he had arrayed in front of him. I guess there is more than one way to coax great sound out of that drum set.
Robbie looks like he just got out of high school, young looking, but plays like a pro. Anthony had a smile on his mug and he laid down the bottom for the band. The whole band was working like one to deliver the killer country music the crowd was craving.
The theme tonight was expressed by the content of the tunes. Songs about cheatin' spouse's, lyin' lovers, failed lovin' and sad songs about cryin' over a beer. What a great premise for a night of fun. In tune with the evening the Tractor had a Drink Special; The Hank and Willie, a Rainier and a shot of whiskey for 8 bones.
The first guest's on stage were Kim Field and Lisa Theo. I was surprised to see Kim without his harp, this guy can play a harmonica that puts the Harmonicat's to shame. Instead he and Lisa sang a couple of great duets. I am sorry I didn't get a shot of them, it was getting crowded and it was a fight to get up close enough to get a decent shot.
Another sweet voice added to the mix tonight was that of Kaylee Cole. A beautiful voice and lovely delivery, she sang a couple nice country tunes. I am sorry I didn't get a decent pic of her.
A couple more sweet tunes from Side Saddle and they forfeited the stage to Lucky Lawrence and The Souvenirs. One of my current favorites, Lucky on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Jack Hanan on bass, Randy on lead and pedal-steel guitar, and Perry Morgan on drums play some of the best country and rock in town. I have reviewed them several times, I will go out of my way to see this collection of great musicians.
Here are a couple of the previous posts: http://liveseattlemusicintheclubs.blogspot.com/2012/04/rugcutters-bash-with-black-crabs-lucky.html here: http://liveseattlemusicintheclubs.blogspot.com/2012/02/lucky-lawrence-and-souvenirs-with.html
The Souvenirs are tight and talented, each guy adding his expertise to the mix. This is the time I usually gush about Randy and his steel playing. There is just something about seeing him hunched over the pedal-steel that makes me happy, the slightest touch of his pics on the strings make the place rock. He is equally great at the solid body, but I am most satisfied when he is sitting.
Jack is having the most fun of anyone on stage. He and I exchanged smiles as he was laying down the grove for he rest of the boys. A marvelous musician, I will bet he is a great guy too.
Perry is in back having his way with his play-set. He is another one who is very creative when it comes to making cool sounds come out of his drum set. He was playing the rims in very neat ways. I have seen him several times, I never get tired of this band.
Of course, Lucky and his beautiful voice is in front and amazing. They played their usual great stuff; some covers, some Souvenir music from the new and old. Whether they are playing country or some of the root-rock stuff I have been hearing from them lately, they always have the crowd hanging on every tune. A Northwest gem, I hope you can experience them soon. See them here:https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1115784674
I have been getting comments from a gent name Thunder on the Souvenirs. You can see some of his additions at the bottom of one of the posts on Lucky. He has been very informative, I appreciate his input. If you have something to add, I encourage it.
They got the kiddies warmed up for the next round of celebs to hit the stage. Roy Kay with his suave looks and marvelous voice mounted up. His face is so expressive as he was singing the weasel grasping songs that were becoming de rigueur for the evening. I love Roy and his signature guitar, it was no surprise he was going to be on stage this evening. He sang a couple wonderful duets with Brooke as the bones of the Souvenirs backed him up. This was fun.
A couple more tunes from Lucky and the stage was owned by Side Saddle again. The gorgeous trio of vocalist's wowed the crowd again before bringing in another guest. Bryan John Appleby and his band came in and sang some sweet original tunes.
I do not have all the info on the band that played this evening. Bryan had a great voice and played a guitar high on his chest. His voice just did not fit the body; a gorgeous delicate voice inside Bigfoot's body. I can talk because I am Bigfoot's cousin. Surprising and entertaining. This was a nice albeit laid-back set.
Side Saddle decided they would wake us all up with another set of killer tear-jerkers and other assorted lyin' and lovin' songs. I really like this group, they have a lot of energy and presence. See them here, buy their CD: https://www.facebook.com/sidesaddleband
The fun didn't stop there, they had a more favorites waiting in the wings. I had seen Mark Pickerel smooching with his honey over on the side of the stage. I wasn't going anywhere until he had a chance to do his thing.
I had seen Mark with his band the Praying Hands a couple years ago. I loved but never managed to get to see him again. He was the last man standing and he took the stage singing a duet with Kato. He also did a solo with Side Saddle backing him up. I love his style and even though he didn't think he gave the best performance, I thought it was great.
Check out Mark and his cool style here: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=766692291
This was a killer evening of country music Seattle Style. Thanks to Side Saddle for set up this super bill and to all the artists who entertained the packed crowd. I didn't mention it but there was dancing up near the stage all evening. I like to get right down next to the stage but it was trench warfare down there. If you wanted to stay up close you had to be prepared for a few bruises. I was weened in the mosh pits of punk shows, it usually take a few broken bones before I will give up my perch to the show.
I can't blame all my crummy photography on the jostling I got down there, but it didn't help. I will return with a new camera next round, hopefully I can capture better images.
This was a great show and what a way to go out. I will be taking a break from the blog for a while, the sun has come out here in the Pacific Northwest and I want to spend some time gathering some rays. I will be reporting in at times but won't be spending the 4-5 hours every weekend day writing. I know I will miss it, but if I have a fishing pole in my hand, the loss will be a little easier to take.
Don't forget to listen to KEXP, Kevin Cole's afternoon show is stellar, then right after on Fridays is Shake the Shack, streaming from: http://kexp.org/streamarchive/streamarchive.asp choose Leon Berman at the DJ window and choose your show and method of delivery. He is live on 90.3 FM Friday's 6-9pm Pacific Standard Time. There is also an app for that. Best radio on the planet.
Have a great summer season, I will send missives from the middle of the lake; shirt off, pole in hand, osprey circling above and a song in my heart.
Til then, thanks for reading...out.