Didn’t buy any CDs released in 2010 by any national acts. Too much free or discounted music around. Bought a few at shows by locals as support. I do like some new releases, like Band Of Horses’, Local Natives’, Mumford & Sons’, Beach House’s and Black Keys’ for instance. You can listen to those and others in Spinner’s Top 30 here.
Saw a lot local bands again this year, including those at various summer festivals, Out To Lunch, Seattle City Hall, two wonderful days at Folklife, Brewgrass, The Gram Parsons Tribute , organized by Dave Harmonson, and that hectic Seattle Weekly local music blowout in Ballard, Reverb. Only went to three individual shows by touring acts, Greensky Bluegrass, the Eagles and Pure Prairie League, but saw plenty of good national bands at events like Wintergrass, The Olympics, The Festival Of The River, Saint Paddy’s at Kells, Bumbershoot and Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit in the Bay Area. I’ll include all those nomadic gypsy mongrel punk-folk bands at Folklife as touring acts. I sure enjoy their annual visit.
The best of the national acts:
1. Buffalo Springfield at Bridge. Number 1 not only for the music but for the momentous occasion of the first performance in 42 years of this band that helped found alternative country (rock). Neil Young and Stephen Stills have often played together since 1968, but Richie Furay has not. They played acoustic versions of 12 BS songs, including Nowadays Clancy, On The Way Home, For What It’s Worth, Mr Soul…
2. The Eagles at Key Arena. Another old band with roots in country-rock. Hadn’t seen them since Hell froze over in ‘96. 2 ½ hours of impeccably played hits, hooks and harmonies.
3. The Alain Francois Band at the Quebec Pavilion – Olympics. Lots of enjoyable Canadian bands at the Winter Olympic’ “houses”, pavilions and Live Cities in Vancouver, and wild-man Francois was the most entertaining of the bunch. Yeah, the lyrics were French, but this fiddler-mandolinist and his band from Quebec were a kick in le bout.
4. T Bone Burnett’s Ticking Clock Revue at Bridge. Burnett’s band backed the likes of Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Jeff Bridges, and Elton John and Leon Russell playing songs from their new album. The song, Shiloh, with Neil being the highlight. What a wealth of talent.
5. The Dustin Bentall Outfit with Barney Bentall at Live City Yaletown – Olympics. We missed half the show because of the producer’s schedule error, but what we saw, including a cover of Powderfinger, rocked.
6. Pure Prairie League at the Triple Door. Despite Craig Fuller’s absence, they made up for it with two lead singers/guitarists: Donny Lee Clark and Curtis Wright.
7. Zachary Richard at Francophone – Olympics. More Frenchie vocals, but what an old pro, and an excellent band playing his Acadian-Cajun inflected tunes.[b]8. Jenny Lewis and Johnny at Bumbershoot.
8. Jenny Lewis and Johnny at Bumbershoot. Love her Big Wave in a big way.
9. Bobby Bare Jr at Bumbershoot. Enjoyed his humor, rock and vocals with the girl guitarist.
10. Kris Kristofferson solo at Bridge . Mellow, but great songs with emotion..
11. The Band Perry at The Festival Of The River. The girl sibling’s voice made 95 degress even hotter. I see they’re climbing the pop-country charts and got an appearance on the CMAs.
12. The Absynth Quintet at Wintergrass. Gypsy jamgrass from a mix of electric banjo, fiddle, flat top and mandolin:
13. The Wiyos at Wintergrass. Old time swing-rock with pedal steel, washboard and megaphone.
14. Greensky Bluegrass at The Boom Boom Room – SF. Excellent grassrock band from Michigan.
15. Booker T at Bumbershoot. An old pro gave the Mural some class. And he’s got one wicked lead guitarist.
At Wintergrass – The Infamous Stringdusters, The Wilders, Sarah Jarosz (rising young star), Vasen And The Duo with Mike Marshall and Darol Anger, Crooked Still, Ken and Amanda Smith, Dry Branch Fire Squad. We really like The Hyatt in Bellevue as the new Wintergrass venue.
At Bumbershoot – The Meat Puppets and Japandroids (not a big fan of hard rock but liked these two), Trampled By Turtles, The Clientele.
At Bridge – Modest Mouse, Pearl Jam, Grizzly Bears, Ralph Stanley.
At OTL and City Hall – Glen Phillips, Trombone Shorty, Taimaine Gardner.
At The Olympics – Kyle Riabko, Colin James, One More Girl, Nadjiwan, La Raquette A Claquette.
Touring Acts at Folklife – Ghost Town Rejects, Dandelion Junk Queens, Pass The Jug, Hot Club Sandwich, Sour Mash Hug Band with special mention to their accordionist-trombonist, Eerie Shiri, for singing while gargling.
At Festival Of The River – The Quebe Sisters.
St Paddy’s Day at Kells – Cormac Duffin (what an entertainer), Eamon McGuire And Friends.
Greg Laswell, One Horse Shy, Mike Gouchie, The Thermals.
Since you’ve read this far you might be interested in my recap at Seattle Music & More with links to my reviews and photos.