Sunday, November 18, 2012

Davidson Hart Kingsbery and Annie Ford Band at The Royal Room 11-17-12

I needed my dose of country this weekend so I headed for The Royal Room in the Colombia City area of Seattle. This neighborhood has been getting significantly remodeled in the last few years. There is a new major commercial presence; restaurants, bars and boutiques are popping up everywhere.

The Royal Room is one fairly new restaurant/bar and has been opened since 2011. They have a great approach to live music. The place is designed with musicians in mind. They have a spacious stage complete with 2 pianos and a sweet sound board capable of high-end recording. The owner, Wayne Horvitz is a musician himself and the end product is superb sound for the audience.

Here is lousy pic of the bar.

Here is the sound guy doing his job.

They also have a fresh approach to paying the talent. There is no cover charge, rather there is an envelope on the table. You are asked to donate to the bands in this manner. I like it as I never feel the bands get enough for their efforts. I always donate generously.

See Wayne and The Royal Room here:

The Annie Ford Band was up first tonight. I have seen and loved them before, you can read that review here:

They play a cool mix of country and swing with twists thrown in to keep you on your toes. One of their songs features Annie on fiddle sounding as much like David Laflamme as can be. Gotta Kill the Rooster was a blast, swinging with great solos by all.

The Annie For Band is: Annie Ford on vocals, guitar, banjo, violin and viola, Olie Eshleman on pedal steel and electric guitar, Matt Manges on drums and vocals, Ivan Molten on bass and Tim Sargent on acoustic guitar and banjo. They play sweet original ballads that make you want to cry, then pick you up with hip shaking swing tunes.

Annie has a great voice and is as cute as a bug. She was wearing some great hose tonight.

Olie plays a beautiful pedal steel guitar. I love the sounds he can coax out of it, from the traditional country twang to soaring psychedelia.

I messaged with him a bit and he told me that his instrument was hand-made by The Williams Guitar Company. They are a family run business, each customer gets personal attention. Olie said that there are no real pedal steel sales in the area. He researched this special instrument and bought it without playing it first. He was very happy with the results and so am I.

They make gorgeous steel guitars, more like little jewels. You can see these beautiful guitars here:

He also played a gorgeous Bixby Gretsch.

Matt, who I suspect is romantically linked to Annie (sorry, I am not up to date on all relationships here), writes a lot of the music they play. Great original tunes that tell some interesting stories.

Tim, the acoustic guitarist also played the banjo. There was a lot of terrific original music coming from Annie and her mates.

I just purchased their music on Bandcamp. Dirty Hearts and Broken Dishes is stellar, I am listening now. This is the best way to support these wonderful artists. It was cheap, 5 bucks...drop the dime here:

This was good original music played with passion and skill. They were fun to see, super entertaining. I had been looking forward to hearing them again and they did not disappoint. See Annie and the band here:

One more pic, loved the hose.

Davidson Hart Kingsbery was up next. I had seen the lead singer once before, he performed at the 8th Annual Elvis Tribute put on by Roy Kay. He has a great voice, sometimes reminding me of Steve Earle, sometimes sounding like Top Jimmy (of The Rhythm Pigs).

Davidson Hart Kingsbery is: Hart Kingsbery on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, Ben Strehle on keys, Eric Himes on bass, Dean Johnson on lead guitar and vocals and Bryan Crawford on drums.

They play original country music influenced by Charlie Rich, Johny Cash, Loretta Lynn and Buck Owens among others. This was a marvelous mix, the result being a happy bunch of dancers. As soon as they hit the stage the dance floor was packed.

There were super tasty licks being delivered by Dean and his beautiful gold Les Paul guitar.

Eric played a Hofner bass guitar, the same one that Paul McCartney used to play in that first group of his...what was that, Wings? It is a tiny little thing but Eric coaxed the most out of it, driving the band with a steady beat.

Hart growls at times, croons at others; he has a big range. He and the band make killer music; wonderful harmonies and a passionate delivery. I was loving every tune.

Ben had played a cool red Nord keyboard. I love the addition of the keyboards in a country band. It really adds a lot to the mix.

I just downloaded their newest music, 2 Horses is available here for your download. Support them and get some great music at the same time.

Mysterious and Secret was a awesome tune, Hart was incredible as he growled out the vocals. The audience loved them and hooting and big applause followed every tune.

This was a fun night, I was really glad I got the opportunity to see this band. Hart had been on my radar for almost a year. I discovered what the buzz was all about; he is great.

Here is one more link to them via Facebook. Like them, I am sure they like you.

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