RAYMOND HAYDEN ARTIST
ACCIDENTAL: Happening by chance, or unexpectedly; taking place not according to the usual course of things; by accident, unintentional.
GRACE: Generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved.
Those are the two definitions I was drawn to. However, while researching, I also found definitions that related to music.
ACCIDENTAL: A musical sign indicating a momentary departure from the key signature by raising or lowering a note.
GRACE: A musical trill, turn, or appoggiatura.
Well, now that gives a thought provoking question. Which definitions did musician Raymond Hayden draw from, to create his new musical masterpiece ACCIDENTAL GRACE? After listening to the entire album, I think he melded all of those definitions together.
He’s just that kind of magical maestro, of the keyboards.
I first listened to ACCIDENTAL GRACE during one of my PNW nature walks. It was so beautiful and healing. Within a few minutes, I felt the heavy burdens I had been carrying, lifted off of my shoulders. All of the anger and frustration I was holding onto, was carried off in a gust of wind. POOF! Instead of trying to “Walk fast and sweat it out”, I slowed down and looked up at the beauty surrounding me. The air was lighter, and the colors brighter. Instead of being lost in my mind, engaging in a one sided mental battle, I was awake and present. Although, I was using my phone to listen to Ray’s music, I wasn’t looking at it. I became fully aware of the beauty that was unfolding in that very instant of my life.
By the end, I felt myself singing along in harmony, to the notes that were flowing through my ears.
And I was smiling.
Beautiful. Spiritual. Healing.
My Frustration Filled Spirit didn’t deserve that surprise, musical gift that Raymond Hayden sent me.
However, I am so glad I accepted it.
And that’s the beauty of Grace.
PLEASE accept That Gift yourself, and allow yourself to dwell in the musical presence of Raymond Hayden’s ACCIDENTAL GRACE.
It’s not an accident you’re reading this review.
Listen and Be Blessed.
LET’S ( softly) ROCK!
SUSAN IN SEATTLE
As I sit in my red, vinyl bean bag chair, headsets on, cord attached to the turntable….
I’m trying to remember what initially drew me close to The Music. There are so many forms of art available to our souls to connect to. What was the reason I became swept along with the music notes? It began in my childhood. My grandfather hand made violins, and he and my grandmother encouraged us to learn instruments. My brothers played trombone in the school bands. My sister and I learned how to play piano, and also sang in choir. We had the support and music education to guide us.
I loved the spirit and community connection created by joining my voice with others. On Sundays in church, and then all through out my school years in choir. Even when I went to college, GO COUGS!, I joined a sorority and we would sing before meals and chapter meetings.
And now, all though I no longer sing in choirs, I do go to A LOT of concerts. And once again, my soul is connected with my community, as we all share the joy of listening to the live musicians onstage.
Actually, that’s the basis behind my ROCKIN THROUGH MY FIFTIES Celebration of Life. I wanted to share music with friends and family. And, that’s also the reason I was drawn to the Seattle-Tacoma Music Community that Raymond Hayden and his music friends have created. Ray is our center. He calms, encourages, welcomes and yeah….then there is The Unicorn. And cigars. He makes us laugh, feel accepted and realize life is better making mistakes together, rather than being alone. Because, let’s be honest. Life is just a series of lessons, that give us stories to learn from, and stories to tell.
And WHO are the best story tellers? Musicians. They have the vision, talent, passion and energy.
These past few years, I’ve been blessed to become friends with musicians, and see “What it takes” to create music AND have it heard. It’s an incredible amount of work. Many artists have the talent, but they don’t understand the basics of how to manage their music successfully. And, they also don’t have the support from like minded individuals, who understand how they think and process life.
I really appreciate Ray’s missional approach to helping others in his music community. He’s always finding ways to connect and serve, by passing down his stories from his own personal journey with music for these past 40+ years.
His latest musical mission is a self-created series called “4S”. A philosophy explaining the foundations he feels are important in developing a successful music career.
SONG, SOUND, STYLE, STORY
If you don’t have a plan on how to travel to your goal, you will never reach your destination. Ray’s 4S Philosophy is a GPS for your music. Initially, I had written down roadmap, instead of GPS. But then I thought, “ When is the last time I actually used a roadmap?”.I always just type the destination I want to arrive at into my GPS.Pointing out how much our world has changed with digital technology. And, the music world has definitely been affected by digital use. That’s one of the realities that Ray addresses in his “4S” Philosophy.
“…simply put, the music industry may have changed, but there are still essential requirements to achieving success no matter how you personally define success!”
~Raymond Hayden, Artist
And then the difficulty of choosing which song/ story you want to share, and the style in which you present it. I still remember my college business professor’s advice. “ Show up for a job interview looking like you already work there. Manicured nails and polished shoes show you care about your product, which is yourself.” Ray is your business professor, with guidance on selling your own personal product; your music.
And, then in Ray’s typical Servant’s Heart Manner, he has made these tutorials FREE. You just have to sign up with your email address, and he will send you the You Tubes links. No gimmicks. He’s just a mentor, trying to inspire those around him.
Music is all about community and connections. And these You Tubes will help add both to your life. We’re always stronger working together.
SUSAN IN SEATTLE
KIRKLAND PERFORMANCE CENTER 20th ANNIVERSARY BENEFIT SHOW
As I sit in my red, vinyl bean bag chair, headsets on, cord attached to the turntable.....
Recently, I’ve been seeing t-shirts with this saying printed on it. “ I may be old, but I got to see all of the cool bands.” Well, I didn’t get to see ALL the cool bands ( growing up on a farm definitely hindered my concert experiences). However, I was a young person who was able to live through the excitement of those excellent musical decades. Young musicians are picking up instruments and still learning the rock classics their parents grew up with. And EVERYONE sings along with Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” There is no denying the impact that Classic Rock has made on the world.
I’m always thrilled when I see a Classic Rock Show being advertised. Especially when it’s at one of my favorite venues, and the band is made up of some of my favorite local artists. As soon as I found out that the Kirkland Performance Center was having the WE WILL ROCK YOU Benefit Show, I bought tickets! Not only do I love Classic Rock, I also love the Kirkland Performance Center. This is a gem of a venue. KPC is an intimate 394 seat theater, nestled in lovely downtown Kirkland. A beautiful and safe community, located on the shores of Lake Washington. We always enjoy strolling through the local restaurants and bars, before a show. The KPC is a valuable asset to the community, and definitely worth supporting.
Actually, our first residence was in Kirkland. I used to run by, what would be the future Kirkland Performance Center. In 1989, We paid $400 a month, to rent a 2 bedroom condo.
In downtown Kirkland.
Not only did I get to see the cool bands, I also got to pay cool housing prices.
THE KPC ALL STAR BAND. April 6, 2019
I’m an avid supporter of the Seattle Area Music Scene, so when I saw the ALL STAR lineup, I knew the KPC was going to have it’s roof rocked off!
Drums : ( and KPC Executive Director) Jeff Lockhart, Keyboards: Chuck Dorsett, Lead Guitar: Jakael Tristram, Rock Fiddle: Geoffrey Castle, Bass Guitar: Rick Jones, Female Lead Singer: Jerri Roberts.
This is an awesome combination of musicians.
With the name WE WILL ROCK YOU, I knew there was going to be some QUEEN performed. We didn’t have to wait long for that to happen. Right out of the gate, Byron Prather whipped us up and out of our seats with “Bohemian Rhapsody”. And I have to say, it takes a lot of talent ( and courage) to sing that song. We’ve ALL been obsessed with Rami Malek’s outstanding performance as Freddie Mercury, in the 2018 movie “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Byron OWNED that song, no problem. And the addition of Jerri Roberts on vocals was a perfect combination. This was the first time I had heard her voice, and what a powerhouse! And, it was SO good to see Byron onstage again. I totally understand moving to San Diego for the sunshine….But, dude,I miss your voice!
After that, it was a blissful evening of listening and singing along to, our very favorite rock songs.
Check out this Set List:
If you didn’t go to The WE WILL ROCK YOU Show, you’re totally kicking yourself now, right? The hardest part, was staying seated. We were in the middle of the second row, so I didn’t want to block anyone’s view. But believe me,I can seat dance most excellently. And seat dance we did!
I wish I could insert some of the videos I took…..well actually it’s probably good I can’t. Because I was WHOO WHOOING like a fire engine at the end of each one . Their onstage energy was tactile. I could reach out my hand, and literally feel the musical vibrations going between them. And when Geoffrey Castle came out onstage to join them, it went to a whole other performance level. The combination of his rock fiddle, with Jakael Tristram’s guitar, produced enough electricity to light up the whole Eastside! It was a good thing they had an intermission, because after watching them perform “Stairway To Heaven” and “Freebird”, I needed a breather and to wet my whistle. I can only imagine how tired and thirsty they were. The KPC ALL STAR band, poured everything they had into that incredible 12 song set.
But, fortunately, they DIDN’T pour everything into the first set. The second set continued to rock us out of our seats! I actually got jealous of the people sitting at the edges of the theatre. They finally got up and had a whole dance party going on in the aisles.
And what made it so fun, is that THEY were having fun. I think Rick Jones was smiling and grooving behind his bass the whole time. Chuck Dorsett always lights up the keyboards when he is onstage. And Jeff Lockhart is like watching a kid in a candy store, keeping that rhythm alive and moving forward on the drums. It was pure joy watching them, because you knew they were all performing out of their true love of the music. And because this was a benefit for the KPC, they all volunteered their talent.
A super fun part of the evening, was the raffle to see who won the chance to play the cowbell onstage during “ Don’t Fear The Reaper”. I was really disappointed that I didn’t possess one of the winning tickets. However, it was probably for the best. I really don’t need an embarrassing YouTube video of me, tripping over cables and speakers, while enthusiastically playing a cowbell. Bravo ladies, on a job well done!
Even though they played 24 songs, I still wasn’t ready for the evening to end. And everyone else agreed! They threw in one final song, that wasn’t on their setlist. “ Play That Funky Music.” And then we grooved our way out into a beautiful Pacific Northwest night, high on some of the best classic rock ever written. Okay, there could have been people high on ‘Washington’s legal herb’, but I didn’t smell it in the theater ;)
And as a personal side note. I attend a lot of concerts, and try all different types of ear protection. That night, I tried Etymotic earplugs. LOVED them. They blocked out the loud sounds, while allowing me to hear the musicians and their music. My ears didn’t hurt at all. I ordered them on Amazon, only $20. Much better than the cheap foam earplugs, or permanently damaging your hearing. How did I hear about them? The gentleman sitting next to me at the KPC Don Felder Concert was wearing them.
PLEASE perform together again, KPC ALL STAR BAND!! You were FANTASTIC!
SUSAN IN SEATTLE
KIRKLAND PERFORMANCE CENTER www.kpcenter.org
LIMBERLOST Video Release Party
With STRANGLEY ALRIGHT, BLUE HELIX and Guest Performer PAMELA MOORE
Jazzbones Tacoma WA February 2nd, 2019
As I sit in my red, vinyl bean bag chair, headsets on, cord attached to the turntable....
I’m going to be honest and admit, that this was an extremely difficult Music Blog for me to write. How do I find the right words to create a short commentary? I feel like nothing I can say, will do justice to this extraordinary night of music I experienced.
When I expressed my writing frustration with Raymond Hayden, keyboardist for STRANGLEY ALRIGHT , this is what he replied back .
“When I struggle with a song, I walk away from it and let it breathe. I let it come in its own time. You are up against the same obstacle in that you are writing about something you love and people who you actually give two shits about.”
And then he suggested writing about it from a different point of view.
LET ME BREATHE
These past 6-7 years, I feel like society keeps trying to encase me in an airless bubble. I don’t want to be in an airless, controlled “like minded bubble”. A bubble where everyone thinks and acts the same. I have lived a completely unique life, which produces completely unique ideas and feelings. I shouldn’t be forced to live in a mold, that wasn’t created for me. However, if I reject that mold the accusations fly , followed by judgement and a label. Where can I find The Freedom To Be Me?
With the band STRANGELY ALRIGHT , that’s where. By their second song ,at the February 2nd show, I felt my entire body become covered in chills. The chill you feel, when a window is opened in a stale room, and fresh, cold air comes flowing in. All of that oxygen sparking the cells of your body alive.
STRANGELY ALRIGHT is led by the very talented and passionate lead singer Regan Lane. Supporting him are keyboardist Raymond Hayden, lead guitarist Sean Van Dommelen, Ken Schaff on bass and Jason Bair on drums. I like to describe their music as “Performance Art With a Message.” A message of love, unity and acceptance. And a sound that takes me back to the Peace and Love 60’s. To truly appreciate the magnitude of this band’s music, you need to see them perform live. A powerful ending to their set on stage, was Regan presenting the American flag, and asking all of us to join him in reciting The Pledge of Allegiance. No matter what our political beliefs, we are still ‘ One nation under God.’.
Photo Credit Todd Hobert
I love to read books and watch documentaries on the history of music, and how it represents what is occurring in society at that point in time. The artists, musicians and poets represent the mouthpiece for the people. I’ve watched the trends, listened to the voices, and have come up with this personal conclusion. We are going through a modern day version of the 1960’s. Same issues, same behavior, just the names have been changed.
And what comes after the 1960’s? The 1970’s and Classic Rock. We’re already seeing the classic rock resurgence, with the band Greta Van Fleet.
And one of the bands leading the Classic Rock resurgence in the Pacific Northwest, is BLUE HELIX . BLUE HELIX is an international rock band, with roots in both Puyallup, WA and São Paulo , Brazil. In early 2018, I listened to their newly released album “Anti Social Butterfly”. I loved their hard hitting rock sound, with screaming guitar solos, so I was looking forward to seeing them perform live for the first time.
Right out of the gate, we were ROCKIN’ at attention. Leading the ROCK revival were Sami Chofi on guitar and vocals, Arman Birang on guitar, Marco Bicca drums and Wolf on bass. WOW! I kept thinking “ this is a band that I can visualize performing in a major rock arena tour.” So, you can only imagine the electricity that was vibrating through the club sized venue, of Jazzbones. Rock is alive, there is no doubt about it. BLUE HELIX has the fresh rock sound AND look ( loved your flared jeans, with the cool fabric inset Sami!) A perfect package. They have already been recognized by Seattle’s Classic Rock Station 99.9 KISW. What more do I need to add to that? This IS a band that we’re going to be reading about in rock magazines.
Photo Credit Todd Hobert
So, speaking of the 1970’s. It is Absolutely one of my favorite eras of music. Loud, energy filled guitars, vocals, drums. And the emergence of female fronted rock bands. Proudly representing Seattle in that group of legendary women , of course, is Ann and Nancy Wilson of HEART.
The band LIMBERLOST first caught my attention at the Seattle Wave Radio’s 2016 Jammin Challenge. It has been thrilling to watch their Rock Star rise and shine brightly. The February 2nd show , was to debut their first music video “See What You Want”. A powerful song, expressing exactly my soul’s frustration about judging and accusations. And in your face “I’ve had enough!”.
2019 Rockers, meet your new Seattle-Tacoma female Voice; Krystle Pyette. Now we’re cooking with gas! And, fueling those gas lines is Ricky Dunn. Ricky is definitely the most underrated guitarist in our area. You want to see some excellence in guitar shredding? Go check out Ricky’s work. Of course, a classic rock band isn’t complete without a long, haired bassist, wildly swinging his hair around. Ben Beman is such a kick to watch perform, because it’s obvious he loves what he’s doing. And putting LIMBERLOST’s pedal to the metal, is badass drummer Mike Burt. Some of the best, bad assery stick twirling I’ve seen onstage. New additions to the band are keyboardist Anthony Ciarochi and Brittany Lane vocals. Fantastic energy that brought the crowd to their feet!
Photo Credit Todd Hobert
Photo Credit Todd Hobert
Highlighting the evening, was a special guest performance by local rock legend Pamela Moore ( Queensryche). She was joined onstage with Limberlost and Sami Chofi. What was left of the Jazzbones Roof was completely blown off. A truly exciting moment of PNW music greatness.
Photo Credit Kristopher Oberg
An artistic addition was the work of Simran Narmis, of Slowcamera Paparazzi. It was fascinating to watch him recreate the bands onstage, with oil paintings made on album covers. Art In Action.
PHEW!! I did it. I wrote my music blog. I am not a music critic. I’m a music sharer. And it’s based on what the musicians make me feel. These bands of musicians, made me feel A LOT. They confirmed everything I’ve been intuitively seeing about ‘where’ we are right now. And, that is why I titled this blog ‘For Mature Rockers Only’. These are bands that make you think and feel. And, it takes a mature person to accept and own their feelings, without placing labels and limits on others.
2019 is your preparation year, where you get to rip off the labels and begin to breathe again.
And then, dust off your flared jeans and cowbells. 2020 is knocking on the door, and it’s ushering a new version of Classic Rock Artists.
SUSAN IN SEATTLE
LIMBERLOST MUSIC www.limberlostmusic.com
BLUE HELIX https://www.bluehelixmusic.com/
STRANGELY ALRIGHT www.strangelyalright.com
PAMELA MOORE www.pamelamoore.net
JAZZBONES TACOMA www.jazzbones.com
SlowCamera Paparazzi www.art.net/simran
WELCOME TO HEART BY HEART
As I sit in my red, vinyl bean bag chair, headsets on, cord attached to the turntable…..
I loved being a teenager in the 1970’s. Great music, great tv shows, and how about those super wide flared jeans, that you constantly tripped over. Technology was slowly advancing, but it hadn’t taken over our lives yet. If you wanted to listen to music, you basically had 3 options. An AM/FM radio ,vinyls spinning on your turntable or a live concert
On our wheat farm in Eastern Washington, I listened to the Spokane radio station, KJRB; a sister station to Seattle’s KJR. And of course, KJR had the legendary DJ, Pat O’Day. It is primarily because of Pat, that so much great music was brought to Seattle, which eventually filtered across state to Spokane and down to Pullman. One of my favorites teenage concerts that I attended was HEART. I was 15, lived on a farm and STILL managed to get to their concert over 25 miles away….without my parents knowing! April 9, 1976. It was the beginning of Heart’s 40+ year career of music. Their incredible setlist:
2. White Lightening & Wine
3. Dreamboat Annie
4. Silver Wheels
5. Crazy On You
6. Sing Child
7. Soul of the Sea
8. Devil Delight
9. Magic Man
HEART BY HEART
My first experience with Heart By Heart was at the 2015 North Bend,WA Block Party. I remember continually telling people in the crowd, “You guys, this isn’t just a tribute band. Steve Fossen and Michael Derosier are from the original band, HEART!”. Their jaws would drop and then they would run close to the stage.
After HEART was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013, Heart By Heart naturally formed on its own. Heart By Heart’s mission is simple –“ to create music that is authentic, passionate, and true to HEART’s original recordings. After all, Fossen and Derosier, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013 as members of HEART, would never do the music any injustice”. In addition to Steve and Michael , there is Somar Macek singing lead vocals, Lizzy Daymont on guitar, keyboard and vocals, and new addition, lead guitarist, Chad Quist. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the path of Heart By Heart these past few years. The music of HEART is really important to me. Actually, it’s “ The Beating Heart “ (pun intended) of my whole ‘ROCKIN’ Through My Fifties’ experience. If you scroll back to my intro of the Susan In Seattle Blog, and the first entries in March 2017, you can read my stories about HEART.
Back to the 2015 North Bend Block Party. It was so cool to listen to the music of HEART, from a different band, who were actually part of the original band. I was next to the stage, of course, and got great photos and videos of Steve Fossen. And was like, WOW! I’m experiencing rock and roll history. He was a total ham in my videos, and I loved every minute of it! I kept capturing him and Michael on drums, because my 15 year old teenage girl spirit was freaking out.
I will be honest, though. I wasn’t quite sure how I would feel, with different women for the vocals and instruments. Ann and Nancy have big shoes to fill.
NO WORRIES. Somar and Lizzy are fantastic! Talented, professional and obviously, have a true love and understanding of the music of HEART. These are not easy songs to sing or to perform. I was sold after seeing their first performance. I looked forward to their upcoming shows, and started following them on Facebook.
This past year or so, I started to see something really wonderful happening to Heart By Heart. Their music was getting recognition, and their tours were expanding nationally. East Coast, Midwest, California and Las Vegas! I was disappointed that I would not be seeing them again at the North Bend Block Party in 2018. But, as luck would have it, I crossed paths with Steve, Somar and Lizzy at the YES concert at the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, this past June. I’m really brave and friendly, after enjoying some delicious Washington State Wine, LOL. Actually, Steve was so nice, and I really enjoyed our conversations. And that’s why I decided I needed to make the effort to go to The Triple Door for their concert. It was the same night that the Seafair Torchlight Parade was happening. And here I go again….That Seattle traffic. BUT, it was SO worth it.
HEART BY HEART, The Triple Door, July 28th, 2018
We had great seats, and right out of the gate, Somar came onstage and took control of the room. After the first song, I realized that this was no longer just a ‘fun tribute band’ that I would see at a block party. This was a professional, tight, well oiled group of musicians working together. I and everyone else at The Triple Door, were up on their feet WHOOPING after the first song. Somar’s voice has always been powerful. But now, it’s grown into this magnificent entity. And, she totally owns each song. I loved it when she came out into the crowd singing and sitting next to people in the audience. That’s when you knew…this is her real voice. She’s standing right next to me. I hear exactly what is coming from her vocal chords. A powerful presence, with an incredible range.
And Lizzy, to quote my friend Raymond Hayden ( who is the band leader of Grieve the Astronaut). “Lizzy Daymont is a f*%’n badass!”. Totally true. Guitar, keyboards, vocals. Wow. Totally kicks it out. She’s playing the keyboard, with her guitar hanging in the front. Smoothly transitioning back and forth. Incredible talent! And in perfect musical symmetry with Somar.
This was my first time hearing their new lead guitarist, Chad Quist. An excellent choice and musician. Totally at home performing onstage with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees. And after reading his bio, I can see why. He is no stranger to performing and touring with legendary rock bands. And like Lizzy, attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music.
And then there’s Steve and Michael. THANK YOU for forming this band and coming back onstage! I love how you are staying true to the music that you created. And Michael…duuude! You’re an animal on the drums. Whatever your fitness and strength program is, you need to share it.
And you know what else I loved? The connection between the band members. Steve and Somar are married, so OF COURSE she gets the whole “HEART BEAT”. But, the entire time, everyone was having fun. No stress, just fun. And if you’re having fun with your music, I’m having fun with your music. It was a total Rock and Roll Show, from beginning to end.
HEART has a complicated history. But, seriously, what band doesn’t? Actually, what family doesn’t? Steve and Michael, I’m so happy that you guys are playing HEART music again, and sharing it with all of us. Other than the 1970’s hairstyles, you guys don’t look or sound any different. This is my original Dog and Butterly album from 1978. The only band member that I haven’t met (YET) in this picture is Howard Leese. He is performing in Raiding The Rock Vault in Las Vegas. He wasn’t performing the night that I went, so I guess I will just have to return! It’s a great show, so I don’t mind that at all.
And, Michael, thank you for clearing up what GOOGLE has wrong. On April 9, 1976 I saw the fantastic new PNW band HEART perform at The KIBBIE DOME in Moscow, Idaho. NOT at the WSU Performing Arts Center. I KNEW it. The Kibbie Dome has a very unique appearance. If you want the correct answer, go straight to the HEART of the matter.
Now, if I could just go back an re-live that concert. No ticket stub, no t-shirt, no pictures. Deep sigh.Because….
Sorry Mom and Dad in heaven , for sneaking off the farm, and not telling you that I was at a HEART concert.
Hmmm, I wonder what my own kids have done that I don’t know about ?!
SUSAN IN SEATTLE
Heart By Heart www.heartbyheart.com
The Triple Door www.thetripledoor.net
THE SUMMER LAUNCH OF JESSICA LYNNE, ANDREW LANDERS and MASSY FERGUSON
As I sit in my red, vinyl beanbag chair, headsets on, cord attached to the turntable….
I dreamed. A lot. In fact, when I think back to my childhood, that’s what I remember. Dreaming. And, listening to or creating music always inspired my dreams. Back then, I had to stay attached to my headset to listen to music. My beanbag chair would have to act as my imaginary mode of transport. Now? I have Bluetooth earbuds, so my music moves with me. Some of my most creative ideas come to me, while I am out walking and listening. And that’s the MOST important thing. That I keep dreaming and creating. Always having a dream, is what keeps us alive.
I love being involved with the local music scene in Seattle-Tacoma, because I’m surrounded by dreamers. Musicians who are working hard, and supporting one another in pursuing their dreams. I enjoy watching them grow and evolve. It’s truly inspiring.
REBEL SUMMER LAUNCH PARTY, JAZZBONES TACOMA WA
The opening act at Jazzbones was Massy Ferguson, a ‘new to me’ band. The members are Ethan Anderson, Adam Monda, Dave Goedde and Fred Slater. On their website, they describe their genre as Americana Alternative-Rock. A perfect description and a perfect fit for the night’s performances. A little bit of country, a little bit of rock n’ roll, and a whole lotta fun to listen to and watch. I always appreciate a great guitar shredding fest onstage.
ANDREW LANDERS AND THE MAINSTREET STRUGGLEVILLE
I’ve had the joy of being at Andy’s shows before. If you scroll back to my August 2017 blog, you will be able to read up on his background and ‘where’ his music is coming from. A big hearted man, giving us big hearted music. I always walk away feeling better about myself and my life, after one of Andy’s shows. His musical stories are filled with love and laughter….with a lot of soulful rhythm.
On this night, his band was a different mix of band members than I had seen before. It completely changed the dynamics of his songs, which added additional fun to the evening. And, it also shows what a versatile musician he is. Conga playing percussionist, Tommy Sandovallegos , added a new groove, which engaged a whole new relationship with the guitarist, which brought out a whole new sound from Andy. Americana Folk with a touch of Jamaican Motown. He had it all covered, and it was awesome! It’s always a great night of music when Andy is in the house.
I have an interesting relationship with Jessica. A fan/friend/ team member. I get a completely unique perspective on her growth as a musician. Initially, I would see her performing on one of the concourses at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Sea-Tac hires professional musicians to perform throughout the airport, to promote Seattle as the City of Music. As a flight attendant, I certainly appreciate that! It always made my day better when I would see her before a flight. Later on, I would see her performing with her band ,The Cousins, throughout the area for summer festivals. A friendly, folksy country band. Then, I started selling merchandise at her shows, getting a completely different perspective. I saw her growing into higher levels of performance, that required changing. And, change she did.
The Rebel Show was the official launch and debut of her new band, which just goes by Jessica Lynne. Gone is friendly and folksy. Now, they are a smoking hot country band, with a ton of chemistry. Joining in on the vocals of Jessica Lynne and fiddle player Kat Bula, is Denmark dynamo, Cirke Cherockee. She brings in a whole new R&B feel, that perfectly plays off of Kat and Jessica. And I have to be honest. I’ve always loved Kat’s fiddle playing, but now she’s just oozing sex appeal. I think it’s the pole dancing classes she’s been taking…. Smoke literally pours off the stage, when you combine these 3 talented and sexy women together. HOT, HOT, HOT! Stoking the onstage fire is Raymond Hayden on keyboard, Phil Suggs on bass , Taylor Enloe on lead guitar and TJ Gile on drums. This has become a ROCKIN’ country band! And, you can tell that they are having a blast performing together. I’m seeing a whole new layer to Jessica’s endless musical talent. I love it!
I travel to Nashville quite a bit, and always go out and listen to music on Broadway, aka Honky Tonk Row. Jessica’s new band is EXACTLY what I see and listen to in Nashville bars. A little tease, a little sass and a whole lot of FUN COUNTRY!
Old or new fan, you’re going to LOVE the new Jessica Lynne band! Look for them this summer, as they head out on their concert circuit. And Denmark….You have some of this hot country sass coming your way. Watch for Jessica, Kat and Raymond in September!
Jessica Lynne / Birch Pereira and The Gin Joints LIVE at Band In Seattle
As I sit in my red, vinyl bean bag chair, headsets on, cord attached to the turntable….
I LIVED for my records. As a child, I had a small record player that 45 rpms were stacked on. It was encased in a red and black box, complete with a lid and handle. When I became a teenager, I bought the classic turntable, with a clear, plastic top. And that’s how I listened to music when I sat in my bean bag chair. The turntable and the bean bag chair are long gone, but the headphones are resting safely in my memory chest. Fast forward to my own children’s music listening devices, and it was cassettes and CDs. I still remember visiting my Mom’s house, and we were exploring in her ‘treasure filled’ basement. My kids picked up a vinyl record, turned it around curiously in their small hands and asked “How do you play this disc?”. My oh my, the times have changed. Now everything is streamed digitally. What do dreamy eyed teenaged girls hang on their walls, if they don’t have an album poster?
I do appreciate, though, the resurgence of vinyl. People miss that physical connection with musicians and their music. There is nothing like being in the presence of music, as it is being performed live. I loved American Bandstand and Soul Train. I always thought it would be SO cool to be in the studio audience for one of their live tapings. A big dream for a little farm girl.
Never give up on those dreams, even if it takes awhile for them to come true.
The LIVE Taping of Band In Seattle, April 5th 2018
What is Band in Seattle, you ask? “ Created and produced by Victory Studios, Band In Seattle is a music television series that offers intimate concert experiences with the bands you know and love or are listening to for the first time…..it is a national program that has featured everything from up and coming independent bands from the Pacific Northwest, to international pioneers of the craft. The only requirement is that the band is in Seattle when the show is taped.”
I was ECSTATIC when I found out that Jessica Lynne would be the first 2018 Band In Seattle taping. Because not only would I be in the studio audience….drum roll…..I would also be her Merchandise Girl! I was going to experience the production side of it, too. My secret dreams coming true on one night.
This wasn’t the first time that Jessica Lynne had been on Band In Seattle. She and her band, The Cousins, had a live taping in 2015. And then in 2016, they were also in the Band In Seattle Christmas Show. You can find both of those episodes in the Band In Seattle archives.
I arrived before the doors opened , to set up the merchandise table. It was so much fun to be in there, listening to the sound checks. On Facebook I shared a video of my merchandise table, the Red Carpet area, and then walking into the studio while Birch Pereira and the Gin Joints were doing soundcheck. I love seeing the backside of a production.
There is so much teamwork and coordination that goes on. It’s not just about the musicians performing onstage, it’s about everyone who makes them look and sound good AND, the people that give them a stage to perform on. A shoutout to Conrad Denke, for his visionary hard work, in creating Band In Seattle.
BIRCH PEREIRA AND THE GIN JOINTS
This would be the first time I heard their music, but after listening to their sound check, I knew I was in for some soulful jazz. I love the standup bass, but here’s my question. How does a person decide that this gargantuan instrument is something you need to play! Whatever the reason why, I’m so glad they do. It adds cohesion and rhythm. You just feel your body responding . What a fun performance to experience.
People were swing dancing, and just rolling their shoulders with the music. Loved their vibe, loved their groove. It was a blend of the old speak easy jazz, spiked up with some new rhythm. Really unique. I didn’t know what to expect, but I found a sound I really enjoyed. I felt like I should be smoking a cigar, while sipping on some smooth whiskey.
In between band tapings, there was a live feed happening on the Red Carpet, right next to my merchandise table. First, Jessica Lynne was having a live interview. Then it was Davin Stedman, of The Staxx Brothers. I had written a blog , January 2018, about their performance at the Alpental Ski Resort’s New Year’s Eve Party. It was great to say HI! I’m “Susan In Seattle” and to have a conversation with the artist I wrote about. Davin is also a Band In Seattle Alumni. What an impressive group to belong to.
The next thing you know, I’m on the Red Carpet and Abby Williamson is interviewing me about being one of Jessica’s Merch Girls and writing the Susan In Seattle music blog. A lot of first time experiences for me at Band In Seattle!
It’s Showtime! Jessica had done a restructuring of her band this past winter, so I was looking forward to hearing the new sound. From the very first notes, I could feel the electricity of this new band. What an entrance. The crowd was immediately whipped into a frenzy, with Taylor Enloe’s guitar leading the way. This was now a female fronted, country rock band. I loved the energy they all created together. Very reminiscent of the Dixie Chicks. The voice of captivating fiddler player Kat Bula, has always been a perfect compliment to Jessica Lynne. But now, Danish red headed dynamo, Cirke Cherokee, has been added into the mix. Everyone around me had “ Jaws dropped, eyes wide open” smiles on their faces. Ray Hayden on keyboard, Phil Suggs on bass and TJ Giles on drums. Their energy was palpable. A couple songs were slower, but the majority were just country ROCKIN’, heel kickin’ fun. They were so sizzlin’ hot, we all left branded with the initials JL! I can’t wait for their future shows, the first one being at Jazzbones in Tacoma, June 9th.
The evening ended, and it was time for some red carpet photos. Thanks to all of my friends for coming!
SMEB “ If we really want to change the world, think about somebody else.”
As I sit in my red, vinyl bean bag chair, headsets on, cord attached to the turntable…….
The music I listen to, definitely affects my state of mind and emotions. I remember being a teenager sitting in my bean bag chair, listening to music for hours, completely unaware of the world outside me. It was like coming out of a dream whenever an album ended. I would wake up and blink in confusion as to where I was. Sometimes I had been in a happy dream, sometimes it was a very dark dream. Music has that kind of impact on me. And, so do words. I interact with life on very complicated levels, so I have to be very careful about what I expose myself to.
I used to think I was really weird, and had been given a curse to live with. Now? I’m still weird, but I have come to accept that this is a beautiful gift! I don’t just listen to music, I feel it flowing throughout my body. I have a physical connection with the musicians performing. Up until 2 years ago, I thought that they never noticed me from onstage. However, when Heart’s drummer, Ben Smith, waved to me from onstage at The Royal Albert Hall in London, I realized I wasn’t invisible. Now, I know that they not only see me, they receive the energy back from my body. It helps them create music. That’s why I love my musicians, and am writing this blog. Energy creates energy, whether it be negative or positive.
I choose positive.
If We Really Want To Change The World, Think About Somebody Else!” Mannequin Bonfire
Earlier this winter, musician Raymond Hayden starting creating Facebook Posts about SMEB. What the heck was SMEB? It definitely piqued our curiosity. Eventually it was revealed. SMEB is a comic strip style creation, with a positive and encouraging message. A collaboration between artists Raymond Hayden, Daniel Lee and Regan Lane, featured on Seattle Wave Radio. The premise behind SMEB has an actual storyline, but it is more or less a whimsical approach to to remind us all that we are a community. And we are stronger together, than alone.
The story starts “…On a routine trip to Nabiroo5 (Earth space station ) Saturn Shadow crashed on an un-inhabited planet..or so he thought. A dying alien entrusts her only child for him to take care of…SMEB. And so begins the fun, albeit unlike adventures of SMEB and Saturn Shadow.”
I love this approach to sharing an important message. Sometimes, we need to have reality replaced with fantasy, in order to absorb the message. Biases and prejudices are erased. Your ears are clear to listen. The media is an expert in creating conflict between us. That’s what sells. So, it is very refreshing to hear this positive message on the internet. To remind us of the selfless love, that exists in each of us.
And it’s The Truth! I think back to horrific accidents, and how people naturally reached out to help complete strangers. I’m a skier, so I think of the crazy chairlift accident that happened at the Gudauri Ski Resort, Georgia this past winter. According to the Russian newspaper Pravda Report, the chairlift was somehow shifted into reverse by the operator, causing a malfunction. YouTube videos show the lift hurtling passengers back towards the mountain at high speed. Some skiers jumped off, others stayed on, only to be flung into the air by the force of their chair getting whipped back around the mountain. It was horrifying to watch. However, the beautiful aspect of it all, was to see the reactions of the people on ground. Shouting at the skiers on the chairlift to JUMP! And then rushing, to try and rescue those who were flung off at the end. These were strangers, but in that time of need, it didn’t matter. Their priority was to help a fellow human being. To try and make someone else’s life better. We see it all of the time in the news, with complete strangers reaching out to help someone who was going to die, because of the life threatening position they were in.
That is what SMEB reminds us. Our outsides may look different, but our insides are all the same. And, in the end, we really want the same things. Love, safety, acceptance. PEACE.
So, when you’re scrolling through the internet, make sure and check out SMEB on Seattle Wave Radio. Read the messages being revealed in the storyline. And, listen to the incredible local music that is being featured.
We have choices in our actions and reactions, why not choose something that can make somebody else’s life better?
Support your local artists.
MUSIC AID NORTHWEST Presents
PLAY IT FORWARD
A Benefit for Music Education in Washington State
The Triple Door, Seattle WA. March 17, 2018
As I sit in my red, vinyl bean bag chair, headsets on, cord attached to the turntable….
I’ve always had memories of music. I imagine being a little bun in my mother’s oven, and listening to her softly singing or humming along to the radio or a church hymn. I learned to play piano at the age of 7. Participated in school choir from 1st – 12th grade. Even in college I would sing in my sorority choirs and events. When I wasn’t singing or playing music, I had it flowing into my ears. Music has been my friend, my confidant, my love and the way I communicate with God. My own children also learned instruments and sang in school and church choirs. None of us ever pursued any kind of professional career with music. You don’t have to, in order to reap the benefits. It’s there to help you heal, grow and connect with the world.
If you scroll back to the November archives of my blog, you will see my story about the Seattle Wave Radio Jammin’ Challenge, at the Hard Rock Seattle. The winners of that event, would perform at the Music Aid Northwest Play It Forward Benefit. I had never been to that benefit, so was thrilled when Bob Tomberg, President of MANW, gave me a guest pass, through Linda and Mark Gordon (owners of Seattle Wave Radio).
Music Aid Northwest is a non-profit organization that raises funds for music education in Washington. Through the sale of their Music Matters specialty licenses plates and their annual Play It Forward gala, they have donated over $500,000 to music education. Through a simple grant process which they have created with partners WMEA (Washington Music Educators Association) they provide supplemental funds to bolster music programs that have been hit hard by budget cuts. They have an impressive committee, including local rock stars Alan White(YES) and Steve Fossen (Heart and Heart by Heart). Plus, numerous representatives and sponsors from local businesses. And from their successful donations, obviously, a group of dedicated supporters.
There have been studies that show the importance of music education, in both the beginning of our lives, and the end. Children with music classes graduate at higher rates and have better attendance than children that don’t have music classes. And, recent studies have shown the impact of music on aging and dementia. A new study found personalized music and memory therapy helped decrease antipsychotic and anti-anxiety medication, as well as improve dementia symptoms.
I walked into The Triple Door not knowing what to expect. I decided to let the music direct me, rather than I direct the music. It didn’t take long for that direction to begin. As soon as I entered and found Mark and Linda Gordon, they showed me around and gave introductions. I finally found myself sitting on a stool back in a Green Room, with musician Carina DeAngelo and her band. I was delighted to have this opportunity to get to know her better, since her performance at The Hard Rock Jammin Challenge was hindered by laryngitis and a 102-degree fever. I felt so badly for her.
However, I found through our conversation, that this bump in the road, provided her a chance to rest and reset her future. She is now collaborating with local artist Patrick Vincent, and will be debuting a new album this year, titled “Come Over”. She has infectious energy and enthusiasm, which follows through into her fellow band members. I also found out, that Carina’s musical career was personally assisted by a scholarship from MANW, during a challenging time in their family’s lives. And as often happens, this type of family stress could completely end any pursuit of music. But, the scholarship kept her music dreams alive. Her Mom, Amy, has her own experience with a music career, and lovingly guides and assists Carina. I was excited to hear their band perform. They walked out onstage looking and acting like rockstars. Their energy was through the roof, and you could tell they were having the time of their lives. This time, I could hear Carina’s voice, and it was strong and beautiful. Their band had an awesome vibe connection, which normally would have been difficult to pull off with a brand-new band member. But the creative relationship between Carina and Patrick was obvious. I walked back to their Green Room after the performance, to congratulate them. Post performance celebrations were in full steam! They had a lot to be proud of. I’m looking forward to more of their music and the album release.
The next band I sat down and talked with was Enloe, the winners of the Hard Rock Jammin’ Challenge 2017. This would be the second time I would see the band perform, and the third time to see lead singer/guitarist Taylor Enloe perform. It’s been fascinating watching his career reboot and take form. I interviewed him last August and wrote an Artist Spotlight Blog about his musical journey. His wife, Mackenzie, is his keyboardist. I asked her if she gets nervous before a performance, and she said she feels more excited. The spotlight is on Taylor, not her, so the stress isn’t as high. Taylor said he only feel anxious when the wait between sound check and the performance is several hours. Understandable. I can only imagine the amount of adrenaline flowing through his body. I have terrible stage fright, so it’s always amazing to have these calm conversations with musicians, before they go onstage. How do they do it?!
Enloe started out by rocking us into an excited frenzy! Wow, Taylor just keeps performing at a higher level. And, they kept the direction of the music perfectly flowing. First it was high energy, then it was brought down a notch, so we could relax and breathe, and then they cranked it back up! Tight, professional and ready to go up to the next level. You will be seeing Enloe performing in the local club circuit, soon. And honestly, I see them opening for large, national acts not long after. Keep your eyes on them!
Jessica Lynne and Cirke Cherokee Showcase
My ears were really looking forward to this portion of the evening. Last summer, when I saw Jessica and her band onstage at the LRS Country Fest, I saw a musician that was ready to ramp up to the next level. This past winter, Jessica did a necessary band restructure, to align with her continuing artistic growth. She added Cirke Cherokee and, Taylor Enloe. Cirke moved from Denmark to Washington, just like Jessica, to pursue her music dream. During our conversation before the show, she said she was nervously excited to be performing her newly recorded song “After”. I love watching these artists making their dreams come true!
After watching their trio performance onstage, I went WOW! Now, this is what I’m talking about!
And there are still 4 more people to add to the band! This is going to be an exciting year. The band was great before, but the addition of new musicians opened the door to more creativity. Cirke adds a delicious R &B vibe to their music. Then there’s Taylor tearing up the stage. That man can accompany and play anything. The first time I am going to see the entire band perform together with their new sound, is at The Band in Seattle taping on April 5th. That’s going to be a killer show!
An impressive moment during the event, was the presentation of the first annual Washington Music Icon Award to legendary Seattle Broadcaster Pat O’Day. The presenter was Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member (and original Heart founder) Steve Fossen. I love all parts of the band Heart. Past, present and in between. And, like every 60’s-70’s child from Washington state, am in awe of the impact Pat O’Day has had on the Seattle music scene. The presentation occurred right when Jessica Lynne, Taylor Enloe and Cirke Cherokee were setting up onstage. I kept thinking “WOW! Now THAT’S Cool!
I loved listening to Pat’s stories of his music memories. The people he has met, the bands he brought to Seattle, the difference he has made in our music community. I was honored to get a chance to talk to him afterwards and thank him. Truly a legend.
Other performers, that I did not get a chance to meet were opera singer/student performer, Jaydon Beleford. The audience was standing on their feet, clapping in appreciation after his performance. An outstanding talent. And the excellent tribute bands Just One Look and The Kings of Hollywood, closed out the event, with their covers of Linda Ronstadt and The Eagles. Everyone was up dancing and singing. A perfect way to close out the very successful, fundraising event.
Music DOES matter. Especially in the Seattle area. We have a rich music history, that needs to continue and be cultivated into generations to come. Non-profits like Music Aid Northwest are what is keeping the music alive. Everyone should have access to instruments and music instruction. After talking with all of these musicians, I truly understand how important this performance was to each of them. To be able to stand on The Triple Door Stage and have their voices and instruments heard, were dreams coming true. And the only reason it happened, is because of Music Education. And through their voluntary Playing It Forward, they helped to raise $80,000, that will go towards another aspiring musician on their personal journey with music.
I am going to close with some thoughts from that evening.
When I was having a conversation with Pat O’Day, he said something that stuck with me. “Always say Yes to an opportunity, because you have a 50-50 chance of succeeding.”
Shortly after that, I had a conversation with Jessica Lynne. She said, “Musicians are the vessels to share the Message and the Light.”
SUSAN IN SEATTLE
Music Aid Northwest www.MusicAidNorthwest.org
Washington Music Educators www.wmea.org
Seattle Wave Radio www.seattlewaveradio.com
The Triple Door www.thetripledoor.net
Carina DeAngelo on Facebook and Instagram
Enloe Official on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Jessica Lynne www.jessica-Lynne.com
Just One Look www.justonelookband.com
Kings of Hollywood www.kingsofhollywood.com