Saturday, January 29, 2011

Uniontown, WA: Dahmen Barn

And sometimes it all comes together... I've admittedly viewed this trip with the band as a bit of an exercise in vanity--I really wanted to bring the whole outfit over for a hometown release, and was willing to be impractical in doing so. But turnout, space, response, performance, taco-buffet at the nearby Churchyard Inn B&B, you name it...all fantastic! Faces I haven't seen in years (and lots of 'em!) materialize inside the much-loved and much-used Artisan Barn (Dad had a hand in the wonderful restoration!), and it's a all tribute to so many things across so many different times. I joke about my the band's largely-fabricated "You're taking us where??" response, but my gratitude at their making the trip is real and tremendous. If this isn't success, I don't know what is...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Spokane, WA: nYne Bar & Bistro

I have wanted to take the full WW Band on the road--particularly toward the homeregion hinterlands--for years, and this weekend it finally comes together. I find myself wishing we were all 20 and happy to just throw-in and buy a van, heedless of careers, family, life... Of course, I wouldn't have the players I have now at 20--nor the relationships (among bandmates, I've known Drummer Dave for the shortest amount of time: 9 years)--but I suppose that's the trade. At any rate, I'm thrilled to offer 10-months-late CD Release events in Eastern Washington this weekend...and pleased that local media is as excited as I am.

nYne is an interesting spot: women's sports bar by day; club by night. The dance floor under the basketball hoop is a nice touch, but the promoter immediately begins covering it with seats (I guess we're not a dance band tonight). But wait, the cowboys are waltzing anyway... And the space is working splendidly!

Never enough time to see and visit properly with all the old friends and familiar faces, but touched to have 'em come out. Also a joy to have a band's-worth of foils...foils who play brilliantly, mind you, even if their post-gig meal plans don't always line up with mine... Great opening set from Mark Ward.

At 20, I stayed up this late every night!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Leavenworth, WA: Leavenworth Community Coffeehouse

This is such a great model for a community live-music series: 16 years strong. And, though I've certainly been through town in intervening moments, it's been an embarrassing seven years since I appeared under the Coffeehouse banner-proper. This is also a nice spot to kick of the spate of 'Project' 10th-Anniversary shows that will appear this year, as I celebrate the passage of a decade by highlighting and celebrating many of those songs and communities. (Choice line tonight from My Northwest Home: "Hard times have hit us too, you know, but see how we move on / When our logging towns go belly-up they go Bavarian.") Many more to come!

Seattle folk think I'm nuts for booking this gig this time of year, but I love the Bavarian Paradise in winter...though, to be fair, this town has stunning scenery to offer in all seasons. And though the evening's black-ice onset likely keeps some folk in, I lodge no complaints: how could I, when I'm waking up to this view (plus snow) from the Barn Beach Reserve's cozy River Room? Or this, from Icicle Ridge later that next morning?:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Seattle, WA: Can*Can - Bushwick Book Club (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court)

I stand in delicious awe of the momentum these Bushwick Book Club shows are gaining, though I also get the feeling quite early that fewer members of the normally well-read audience are as familiar with this particular Mark Twain offering as they were with the likes of Slaughterhouse-Five and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (song/video coming soon, I hear!). With apologies to Craig Robinson (not the president's brother-in-law), I share my own scorecard from the baseball game I played in my head between Hank 'Boss' Morgan's Bessemers and Ulsters, with the Bessemers prevailing 5-2 and Arthur (CF, batting leadoff) going 2-for-5 with a pair of singles.

My song, of course, has nothing to do with this. "Dr. Eternal" explores the market for time travel medicine that would emerge were time travel itself ever available commercially; think of the shots you need just to visit the tropics, imagine how you'd have to prep your system for the unfamiliar air/food/water/bugs you'd encounter on a swing through Camelot...

Props to the Can*Can for making such great use of the new/temporary space!

Photo: Justin Sorensen

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Seattle, WA: Conor Byrne Pub (Full Band)

I love this group! I don't care that no iTunes 'genre' seems to fit whatever full-band songwriter-Americana-ish-ness we lay down: I want people to hear this outfit and see and share the utter joy on my face when Brian takes a lead and Alicia and Erin kick in with their harmonies. I am fortunate to have these players and friends answer my calls!

Thanks to the great crowd that turned out at Conor's, and to Paul Benoit and Ryan Purcell for sharing the bill--special thanks to Paul for adding some enthusiastic, impromptu tambourine to the always-fun cover of "Take On Me." And extra special thanks to Brian Hoskins, whose left hand was pressed into extra duty when we learned that Alicia would have to sit most of the night out with vocals-only availability. (I suppose Laurens Hammond deserves in-absentia kudos as well for creating the apparatus that made all this possible, as does Donald Leslie; Harold Rhodes, however, could stand to see what lighter-weight options might exist regarding his [wonderful-sounding] contribution...)

Next stop: homeregion concerts to the east!

Photos: John Wright (more here)

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Year, Full Steam

Didn't load? Click here.

Error: Embedded data could not be displayed. Please visit