Saturday, November 10, 2012

Whiskey Syndicate, City Faire and Truckstop Darlin' at The High Dive 11-09-12

Truckstop Darlin' is an awesome example of great music originating out of the Pacific Northwest. These guys are from Portland and there is a ton of stellar music coming out of the town of many bridges. I was really looking forward to seeing them on this Friday eve.

I like the High Dive, a nice venue for live music. They have a nice bar, lots of good local brews and a hard working staff. They also have an excellent sound board and tonight, an attentive and diligent sound tech. Here he is at work.

He was out in front of the band making sure everything was just right for the band and for the audience. That is him on the right, I am sorry I didn't get his name.

Check out the High Dive, it is comfy place to see live music and they have a lot of good bands every week.

Truckstop Darlin' hit the stage right after 9:30. They have incredible energy and put on a killer show. I really like the pedal steel lead, right out front and prominent. I have loved them before in another post, see it here:

Truckstop Darlin' is John Phelan on lead vocals and guitar, Nick Foltz on bass, Michael Winter on pedal steel and James Pearson on drums. They defy classification. After a few songs, I mentioned to my buddy that they were a perfect blend of psychedelia, grunge with just a spot of alt. country.

They absolutely rock, bringing a lot of passion and emotion to their original sound. John has a marvelous voice and delivers the awesome vocals.

Nick is fun to watch as he is totally into his bass, laying the bottom for the band. He is moving constantly and drives the band at a rocking pace.

Michael plays most of the lead parts on his beautiful Fender pedal steel. It is a cool thing to hear this instrument used in this way, most of the time I hear it in conjunction with a strong 6 string. While that was the case in some instances, most of the time Michael's picking was out front.

He also used the steel as percussion, picking a cool staccato rhythm in support of the main theme of the tune. I stood close and watched his magic fingers caress his instrument.

James is in back playing super creative drums and keeping the band honest and blazing. These guys have a lot of energy and Ben is the pivot guy for the band.

They had an awesome hard rock attitude with massive psychedelic overtones. Michael had his steel wailing and moaning, screaming at times, it was a great mix of genres.

They have a new CD, I have listened extensively and it is dynamite. Don't Walk Away is blazing as the band delivers some of the magic they manifest on stage. This one tune is worth the price of the disc. See Truckstop Darlin' here:

I talked with John after the set, I worshiped him and the band as they deserve. I try to support hard working talented bands when they come to town. I bought a t-shirt knowing that I would not fit into it. I always purchase something if it is offered; it is the very least I can do.

I am listening to the CD as I write, there isn't a bummer on it. I See You, is rocking, original and refreshing. Like I said, they defy classification. I absolutely love these  guys, they push many of my happy buttons.

City Faire was up next, I wasn't familiar with them but was pleasantly surprised by a totally different sound from TD. They play blues mixed with vintage soul and a touch of psychedelia.

City Faire is Ayesha Musicbox on lead vocals, Larson Haakenstad on vocals and lead guitar, Jacob Yackshaw on bass and Paul Miranda playing drums. They have a great stage presence and had the audience up close digging their groove.

Ayesha has a beautiful and strong voice, she and Larson combined to sing some excellent harmonies.

Larson played a awesome lead guitar, he was one of those free souls who plays one groove while his body rocks to another. He swayed back and forth, on his toes, concentrating on his amazing instrument.

You can see Larson rock even in these still pics.

I loved Jacobs' bass, he had it buzzing and thumping, playing the killer blues and heavy-duty soul.

The crowd was enjoying this brand of rock from City Faire. We were all paying close attention to this collection of excellent entertainers, they had a grip on us. The guitarist was amazing, killing the 6 string and dancing around, doing the hippie dance.

Paul had an extended solo, he was a superb drummer. I could tell when he was warming up we would see something special.

City Faire is a hometown band (Seattle) and I am sure I will see more of them. Check them out here:

The peeps were grooving even as the staff cleaned up around them.

The headliner was Whiskey Syndicate; I had heard but had never seen them. I was looking forward to it. They blew my hair back from the first note, coming on like a nuclear blast. Booming bass, screaming guitar and thumping drums, they burnt the place down in seconds.

Incredible lead vocals and great harmony is the mark of quality-originality for this rocking band. Whiskey Syndicate is Matt Dessert on guitar and lead vox, Greg Floyd on lead guitar, Shea Druffel on bass and Brad Robinson on drums.

Matt had an amazing set of pipes, stellar lead vocals.

Greg is a phenomenal guitar player, his fingers are a blur as he brings great sounds out of his instrument. His solos were amazing, I loved watching him bringing his best.

Shea played his bass by plucking, strumming and even banging on it. He had that killer country-leather look going on, he was fun to watch.

This was classic hard rock mixed with a bit of blues, grunge and psychedelia. Another marvelous mix of genres, original music delivered with passion. My ears are still buzzing from the massive sound.

Here is a link to their Facebook page. If you get a chance to see them do. I am looking forward to seeing them again.

The High Dive put on an excellent show this week. Each band had an original sound and all had strong lead guitars and superb vocals. They also all had a touch of psychedelia, a great sound that I grew up with.


  1. we did not care for vocals of Truckstop darling but Ayesha Musicbox was Great.

  2. Awesome post, I want to check out a couple of your other messages. Thank you!


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