Live Music Recap 2012 – Seattle Area
Live Music -Touring Bands:
Saw lots of local bands but pretty lean for me for touring bands in 2012. What I saw mostly came from two festivals: Wintergrass and Bumbershoot, and the Last Summer On Earth Tour at Marymoor Park. Somehow I managed to miss The Beach Boys reunion show and The Wall, a couple things I would have liked to see. But basically, it came down to “yeah, seen them.” Roger Hodgson was one cat I’ve wanted to see but he rarely comes around. Caught him this year and he did not disappoint.
1. Roger Hodgson at Snoqualmie Casino. The guy who made Supertramp what they were. A rare NW appearence by him despite living in N Cal. Terrific show on a beautiful evening in the woods.
Review and pictures of Hodgson show: http://mtheads.yuku.com/topic/2385/Roger-Hodgson-at-Snoqualmie-Casino-Mtn-Plaza-Aug-9-2012
Roger Hodgson at Snoqualmie Casino:
2. Tim O’Brien Trio with Bryan Sutton and Mike Bub at Wintergrass. O’Brien is an engaging performer, both musically and comically. Bryan Sutton is possibly the best flat picker around. Darol Anger guested on violin.
Review of Wintergrass and pictures
3. Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express at SLOW in Stanwood. More acts like Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express (a bus line through his neighborhood in San Francisco) would be great at SLOW. They rocked more than I recall them doing at Out To Lunch in 2008, reminding me of an upbeat Tom Petty rocking. Besides writing memorable songs (Summertime Thing got a long workout), he’s an expressive singer and lead guitarist, complimenting lead guitarist James Deprato. At 49 he’s going strong, releasing his 13th album, Temple Beautiful, a “nuanced, insightful and passionate ode to San Francisco” on YepRoc Records in 2012.
4. Eileen Ivers’ Irish Christmas at Benaroya. The best female violinist I’ve ever seen and a dynamic host. Her band, Celtic dancers and a choir made for quite a Christmas show at the symphony hall. Just didn’t like the singer that much. Review
5. Blues Traveler at Marymoor. John Popper was flat-out other-worldly growling. I think he intentionally scorches his voice for the effect. I liked that and the harping, also from his mouth. Some kid came out and played some pretty good licks.
6. Greensky Bluegrass at Wintergrass. One of the best alt-grass bands I’ve seen. Their electric dobro accents by Anders Beck were especially sweet:
7. The Jayhawks at Bumbershoot. Always a delight to see multi talented Gary Louris on stage. I’d rate them higher but they seemed a little tired and I saw the same set at Hardly Strictly in 2011 with Mark Olson’s return and I like them better without Olson.
8. The Wilders at Wintergrass. The band alone is fun but not great. But the cavalcade of jamming guest, swelling to nine on stage, playing some country standards was pretty darn great.
9. Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit at Bumbershoot. Big voiced former front man of The Drive By Truckers. Good alt country with stellar violin and backing vocals.
10. Cracker at Marymoor. The opener of a four band show with a short set, but I really like their catchy rock.
11. Hot Buttered Rum at Wintergrass. Top notch newgrass.
12. Pokey LaFarge at Out To Lunch – Columbia Tower. These guys from Missouri have that old timey string-folk music down pat. I was busy at work and planned to listen to a couple tunes. Stayed for the full 90 minutes.
13. Daryl Anger’s Old Time Kozmik at Wintergrass. Jazzgrass with Bruce Molsky on vocals-guitar-violin and Rushad Eggleston playing a shoulder strapped cello. Weird and a little goofy.
14. Bare Naked Ladies at Marymoor. Yeah, their hijinks and choreography are still there but I miss Steven Page’s voice.
15. Big Head Todd And The Monsters at Marymoor. Nice blues rock with an extended Sweet Surrender. He needs another hit.
16. Henhouse Prowlers at Issaquah Salmon Days. Good young multi-voiced bluegrass band from Chicago with Dan Andree wowing us on vocals and fiddle.
17. The Dunwells at Out To Lunch – Harbor Steps. A young vocal driven five piece pop-rock band from England led by two brothers, getting a lot of fanfare. All five sing, three do lead vocals. They might get big. Their lead guitarist on Les Pauls, is quite good, but too bad one of the brothers isn’t hot on an instrument to compliment him.
18. Bluegrass 45 at Wintergrass. Fun bluegrass covers by a band from Japan.
19. Sweetback Sisters at Wintergrass. Country rockin sisters.
20. NW Passage Navy Band at Out To Lunch – Westlake Park. Just covers, but wow, excellent guitar and female lead singer-keyboarder.
21. Dehli 2 Dublin at Out To Lunch – Waterfront Park. High energy fiddle driven audience participation dance, Punjabi rap and rhythm from Cancouver. They delighted the tourists on the wharf.
Live Music by Locals:
The annual Creme Tangerine rooftop Beatles performance at the Market in January and Tiller’s Folley’s annual appearance at the Coupeville Mussel festival in March were fun as usual. Especially TF’s tribute to the recently deceased Davey Jones.
Highway 9 from Mill Creek continues as one of the most entertaining cover bands I’ve seen with obscure rock covers and stunts like Lyle Ronglien’s beer bottle sliding in the audience at Mel’s Old Village Pub in Lynnwood:
Speaking of creative sliding, entertainer-singer-guitarist Nick Vigarino continues with new objects like a mini watermelon. Saw him at SLOW #1 and #2, a cool festival in Stanwood. Just read that because of sponsor and financial problems, it will not be back next year.
Wings N Things (McCartney) and Ventura Highway Revisited (70s California soft-rock) continue as excellent local tribute bands.
The Twisters, any blues rock band El Colonels plays in, and The Fat Tones, Fanny Alger and Randy Oxford impressed again as danceable rockers.
Autumn Electric and Jack Mattingly & The Procrastinators, original folk rockers, impressed as original folk rockers from NW WA.
Spoonshine’s Jacob Navarro’s hot picking gets better and better. Their stint at Brewgrass with Geoffrey Castle guesting one night and Danny Barnes the other were stellar.
Barnes with Spoonshine at H2O in Anacortes:Singer-guitarist Crystal Baird of Heart Lake Owl had my attention finger-style and vocally with her original songs.
The Paperboys, Pearl Django, Kris Orlowski, Vicci Martinez, get better and better.
Hadn’t seen Duffy Bishop in ages and her act has gotten even more theatrical.