Saturday, January 19, 2013

Seattle Celebrates Julia Massey with DJ Alpha Mullet, Shady Bottom and Kissing Potion at Darrells 1-18-13

I crashed a party last night. Oh, I had tacit approval to attend as it was a public event. But it was just a handful of us regulars and a roomful of exuberant, partying young people. I did feel out of place even here in my own front room. I felt like a voyeur. That feeling faded as the funk got started, then it was one big love-in, even for us old folk.

Darrells was all gussied up decorated and for the party.

This was a celebration of Julia Massey's 30th birthday. A wonderful event dreamed up by her husband Jared in cahoots with Scott at Darrells. It was a surprise party and the place was packed early. I was fortunate enough to nab my usual seat and settled in, like a fly on the wall to watch the festivities.

There were some very imaginative cupcakes, these were all chocolate, even the deviled egg.

Here is the straight poop from Scott, the co-conspirator for this evenings fun: The event is called "Seattle Celebrates Julia Massey." She is the singer/songwriter/keyboard player in her band Julia Massey and the Five Finger Discount, and she is just the nicest, cutest person.

Here she is in her blue wig:

Scott goes onto say: Fourteen different performers/bands will be at the event to surprise Julia by playing her own songs, and there will be over 100 people invited, plus the bar will still be open to the regulars. The plan is for Julia's performer friends to play their tribute songs early in the evening and this will run for about two hours. Then they will all switch over to hanging out and partying together for the regular funk part of the night.
In talking to Julia's husband Jared (in the band The Jesus Rehab) I learned that Julia loves Funk music and dancing, so that is what I booked for the later part of the evening.

Scott is such a cool guy. When I had my 30th anniversary party, he bent over backwards with planning and party ideas. It was a success because of him, the staff and the bands he booked.

Here are some of the handmade decorations at Julia's party.

I am going to quote the guru one more time as he has all the info, thanks Scott: Here is the rough schedule at this point so you can get an idea of the flow for the evening. Note no cover charge from 7:45 - 9:00 so all of Julia's pals can join the tribute part of the night for free. After 9:00 regular $7 cover charge/donation begins to help pay for funk/soul/groove bands and DJ.
Surprise!!!!!: 7:45pm
Three Ninjas DJ intro set 7:45 - 8pm while everyone is giving Julia hugs and high fives and saying "Happy Birthday."
Three Ninjas DJ spins a tune or two between each of the tribute band groups 8pm - 10pm
Julia Massey Tribute Bands: 8pm - 10pm
Three Ninjas DJ closing set: 10pm - 10:15pm
Dj Alpha Mullet intro set: 10:15pm - 10:30 (or however long until funk band ready to roll)
Shady Bottom Funk/Soul/Groove Band - 1st set 10:30 - 11:15
Dj Alpha Mullet 2nd set: 11:15 - 11:30
Kissing Potion Funk/Soul/Groove Band - 2nd set 11:30 - 12:15 (or whenever they want to call it quits)
Dj Alpha Mullet - closing set to end of the night

The place was packed and the friends of the girl of the night were taking the stage. The DJ was spinning killer funk and we were all warming up. Here are some of the kiddies enjoying the scene.

I am going to have to profess total ignorance of the music of this obviously talented musician and writer. I say obvious as the next 14 people performed her marvelous tunes. It was all great stuff; wonderful lyrics and beautiful melodies. Here is a link to her Facebook page: Here is a link to the band's Reverbnation page:

I have no knowledge of the fine musicians and artists that played for Julia tonight. Luckily a couple readers have left a message and helped me fill in some holes. I received the best input from Chris, whose own observations I am going to quote. You can read his take of the evening here:

Here is hubby Jared starting things off. From Chris: The Jesus Rehab: Rock duo The Jesus Rehab (Julia’s Husband Jared on guitar & his brother Dom Cortese on drums) did a rockin’ version of Light Reminder. It might have been a little bit cheating since Dom is also the FFD’s drummer.

Great vocals and guitar, this from Chris: Bob and Sheldon are a very talented duo who specialize in covers. They performed at Julia & Jared’s wedding! They did two songs from Julia’s first album: Try to Convince You and Dancing in the Kitchen.

Awesome congas from Sheldon.

Christa Fischer had a beautiful voice and a marvelous delivery. I told her I liked her performance later in the show. Chris had great info on Christa: Ms. Fisher heads the group Christa Says Yay! She has a gorgeous voice and absolutely belted out an amazing version of Someday, Our Bodies Are Gone.

More great stuff from very talented artists. Elizabeth Mayer sang great vocals, rocked the cello and played a ukelele. Multitasking at the finest. Chris had this to say: Safeword Sasquatch is sometimes also known as DVoD. They’re headed by the duo of Eric Weber on guitar, and Liz (Mayer) Daniels on cello and ukulele. They did #712 and bridged it to Spaceships, then did a great version of Don’t Worry ‘Bout Us where the piano parts and much of the bass solos of the original song were done on electric guitar.

Elizabeth and her mates are Safeword Sasquatch. Here is Eric Weber on guitar and vocals and Ron Carnell on drums.

The fun just kept coming with new and talented musicians. This guy played one awesome six string. I need to see more of him. A reader chimed in and left me a comment: (the) Six stringer who's name you need is Gary Lappier. He often jams with folks or solo under the name Terrapin. Also made a record with a band called nomovingparts or NMVGPTS. Also a fantastic photographer and a dear friend of mine. Thanks for the information!

Here he is with a lovely assistant doing a beautiful duet. Chris again: Gary did an extremely spaced-out version of Skatepark with his lovely fiance Katie doing backing vocals. It was cool because it was so way different than the original version.

I didn't catch everybody tonight. They were switching out pretty fast. The guy on the right with Jared played first, I didn't catch him on stage. Chris said this about him: Jon Yoon did a lovely acoustic version of Bottom of the Ocean.

The hits just kept coming. These sweet ladies sang some nice harmonies with Jared and others playing. Chris has the straight poop here: Katie Larson & Jill Cimino with Jared Cortese:
These two girls did a version of Brains & Bubbles (which is a very funny song that isn’t available on any album) with Jared backing them on Guitar.

Here is the last of the worshipers paying tribute to Julia. Once again, Chris is right on: Catacombs then did an absolutely scorching, country-tinged version of Soaked Through Matches. Red Heart Alarm was very impressive and super polished; it sounded like they’d been playing these songs for years, and they killed Soaked Through Matches so hard that they made it sound like it was their song.

Julia was most appreciative and radiated love for all who came out to celebrate. It was a lot of fun, but it was about to get even better.

During the breaks, DJ Alpha Mullet spun the discs. He played a lot of dynamite funk. You can see him here:  He played Booker T as well as many other great classics, I was rocking the whole time. I love his logo:

Here he is at play:

Adam Bruno was there with his sweetie. He is a trumpet player with SmoKing Bill, a great horn based band. Here is a review of them from a few months ago: 

The horns were assembling, the funk was coming. The dancing will commence. Shady Bottom was up on stage. They are an off shoot of Soul Senate, a killer funk band. In Groove We Trust is their motto, I love their music. Tight, bass heavy, horns-a-plenty and grooving. You can see them here:

Shady Bottom is Tracy Ferrara on sax, "Bucket" on bass, Ed Vance on keys (below), Rich "FunkDoc" Reading on drums, Mike "Moose" Barber on trumpet and Jason Graczyk on guitar.

They were cooking and cranking out the killer funk. This is the instrumental version of the Soul Senate. I have the Soul Senate CD and the addition of the vocals is great, but man I love a band that is not incumbered by vocals. I loved Shady Bottom.

Tracy and Moose were rocking the horns.

They play music reminiscent of the kings of funk; great arrangements played tight and skilled. Jason played a strong and talented lead guitar, essential for a good funk band.

Funk is danceable soul. The kids were up and moving and I stayed down close to the action and it was a gas. Shady Bottom was laying down the tasty licks. We were rocking, the windows were foggy with sweat, funk was dripping down the walls.

FunkDoc was keeping the beat in the back.

Bucket was laying the bottom, bass heavy funk at it's best.

The whole place was on their feet. Julia and her friends were up and moving. It was infectious. I was in the middle of the madness and it was a blast.

Tracey was killing the saxophone; awesome solos.

There is something about a horn that makes your soul sing and your butt move.

I loved this group of talented funk artists. They were off the stage way too soon.

I love horns. I used to play the trumpet in high school.

The place was starting to get thick with atmospheric humidity, there was an incredible fog outside and inside it was sweaty.

I saw my buddy Chief in the can, he is a sweet you doing buddy?

I saw another awesome musician in the audience. Great music brings out great musicians. Jeff, the outrageously great keyboard player from The Satellite 4, was there enjoying the show. Here is a review of his show:

I saw a girl with a sax wetting her reed. Good things were on the way. I love a women with a big sax, it doesn't get much better.

Kissing Potion was on next and they had the horns and women-power to rock the house. Joy Davenport on lead vocals, Kathy Moore on guitar and backup vocals, Kyla Gibson is playing keys and vocals, Bob Lovelace on bass, Leo LaBlanc on drums, Michalynn Kidd on percussion, Amelia Albert is playing bari sax, Mike Barber on trumpet and Gwen Barber on alto (not with them tonight).

Joy had a awesome set of pipes, delivered the stellar soul vocals.

I didn't know what to expect until she opened her mouth. This girl has the voice and style for this kind of music.

The band laid down the big sound, the place was moving with the beat. Kissing Potion brought the love; our heads were all spinning from the thump, reeling with the feeling.

There were some talented folks on stage tonight. These guys were a marvelous end to the evening.

Darrells always has the great music. Julia had quite the birthday party. Julia and her peeps were on the dance floor and having a blast.

Michalynn was in the back playing a percussion.

Bob was playing bass, driving the band with the killer beat.

Kathy was slaying the strings; a good funk band has the need for a skillful lead guitar. She was blazing as her solos had the peeps howling with pleasure.

Save Me In the Morning was a killer tune. Here is a pic of Amelia blowing the big hole.

I'm the One was another thumping tune. Here is the alto sax player, great stuff tonight.

I want to thank Julia and her friends for letting me hang around for the festivities. Thanks to Kissing Potion for the killer set. You can connect with them here: Thanks to Chris once again for providing awesome information.

Thanks to Sandy Bottom for the stellar set. I am looking forward to seeing them again. Thanks to Darrells for providing the best venue in town for live music. Here is another shot of the cool decorations.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Burley Mountain, The Bourbonites and Johnson County at Darrells 1-11-13

It was a fun evening at my favorite place. After checking the musical listings for the evening, Darrells was topping the list. The formula is this: Musical Genre (band reputation (if known) multiplied by band list) + Location (ease of access multiplied by comfort/amenities of venue) over mood. Darrells usually wins.

Darrells is as comfortable as my front room. See them here:

Tonight's bill offered a good mix. Three bands sauteed in country, this was going to be fun.

Johnson County was on first. 4 guys delivering raw country rock: great guitar, thumping bass, fine vocals and driving percussion. Dan Foster plays guitar, harmonica and is the lead singer for the band. Joseph Lee is on drums, Jessie Dosher on bass and Paul Hsu on lead guitar.

Some of the tunes they played reminded me of The True Believers, big guitar riffs, raw vocals and rocking rhythm. Dan was multitasking singing lead, playing harp and rhythm guitar.

The lead guitarist was skilled and rocking. Here Paul is blasting away.

The drummer was driving the band with some tasty beats. Here is a fuzzy shot of Joseph.

The bass player was laying the bottom, Jessie also sang vocals.

They played a fun set, one of my favorite tunes was Johnson County, an obvious original.

My new camera has some cool features, here is the panorama shot. Click to enlarge.

Dan and his mates performed some sweet original tunes. The crowd appreciated them and they were a great opening band.

The Bourbonites were up next. They play rock with a country flavor. Sometimes it is the other way around. I liked them immediately. The Bourbonites are: C. Todd Stevens, Roger Johnson, John Fisher, and David "Deep" Cameron.

They play original music with passion and talent. I read where C. Todd sang punk for years, it doesn't surprise me. He was blazing on the guitar and pouring his heart into the vocals. A few tunes bordered on punk, even psychedelia.

He was a great entertainer, delivering humorous lines between the tunes. He was hawking their CD. I bought two, you can connect with them here:

The lead guitar changed hands several times, C. Todd taking some and Pete taking his turn. David was blazing his beautiful guitar. He carried it high on his body, just like George Harrison.

I didn't get a great shot of the drummer at work but I did catch him at the bar. He has a sweet smile but played some mean skins. This was the first time I have seen an abundance of Asian and Native people on stage rocking. This band had a Native drummer, the last had a Native lead vocal and an Asian guitarist. I love diversity, and it just goes to show that music can bring different people together.

The Hard Way was one of my favorite tunes. They were really rocking, the sparse crowd was too.

I loved their energy and style. This brand of rock is my current favorite.  The peeps were enjoying the vibe too. There were many moving butts and bobbing heads.

At times they really had a Steve Earle sound.  The tune Changing Hearts not only sounded Earle like, the title and the lyrics were reminiscent of the man. It featured excellent writing and a stellar performance. They had killer harmonies and dueling guitars.

These guys were all about making your toes tap. They had a good connection with the crowd and they were having fun too.

Todd played a gorgeous left handed 6 string.

One tune featured the two guitars trading licks. A most excellent exchange.

One more of Todd.

I have been listening to their CD, great stuff, well worth a listen.

This is a pic of the bar mat that was sitting in front of me. Great graphics.

I had seen Burley Mountain once before, they were excellent. They play southern rock, country and electric bluegrass. I saw them at Darrells and reviewed it here:

Burley Mountain is: Brandon Russel; on lead vocal and guitar. Marty Ofsowitz on lead guitar and harmonies, Andrew Staufer on bass and vocals and Scott Jantzen on drums. I liked them before and I liked them again.

Brandon had some great facial expressions. His passion for the music is obvious.

His pal Marty on lead guitar, was awesome; tasty licks form a talented musician. Burley Mountain brought out the dancers right away. It was midnight and the place was just warming up.

These guys knew how to rock. They played all original, country infused, southern fried dancing music. The lead guitar picking was outrageous. Marty and Brandon shared the duties. It was a sweet combination.

I love Burley Mountain music. They have a great style and provide an excellent performance. You can listen to some of their music here:

A great bill tonight delivered in my favorite place. I hope you will see some live music soon.