ROCKIN' THROUGH MY 50's & BEYOND!
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
Seattle’s Favorite Beatles Band, Creme Tangerine
As I sit in my red, vinyl bean bag chair, headsets on, cord attached to the turntable….
The Beatles. I’m lucky to say I was alive when the Beatles were bobbing their mopped heads back and forth. In fact, my very first crush, at the tender age of 5, was Paul McCartney. “Who is your favorite Beatle?” was the hot topic. “Is Paul dead?”. And then the devastating news that they were breaking up. “Is Yoko to blame?” Fast forward a ‘few years’ and those topics are still alive, even though John and George are not.
Their music continues to inspire and live on.
When my own teenage daughter ‘discovered ‘The Beatles, it reignited my love of their music. I still remember her confronting me with this haunting question. “MOM! Why didn’t you tell me about The Beatles?!”. I don’t know, I guess I always felt they were as important as air. You don’t really think about breathing it, you just do. The same with the Beatles. They just exist. But, I totally made up for that tragic faux paus. I am a flight attendant, with free travel privileges, so I flew her to London. And, during our Rock and Roll Walking Tour, she literally bumped into Paul McCartney when we were standing in front of his MPL Office building. True story. That made up for everything. Following that, we attended his concert at Seattle’s Safeco Field in 2013. The minute he walked onstage, we were both turned into screaming adolescent girls of the 1960’s. PAUL MCCARTNEY! Swoon. We also saw Ringo and His Allstar Band at The Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery. And yep… we got a nod from him onstage. During this time, the airline I work for started flights between Seattle and London. I was in heaven! I bought a Beatles Guide Walking Book, and on my layovers, I would transport myself back to the 1960’s. I roamed the streets of London visiting the famous Beatles landmarks. Abbey Road Studio, Paul’s House, the old Apple Records headquarters where their last Rooftop Concert was held. I even saw the Beatles musical “Let It Be”. I was living in a fantastic fantasy world. This was perfectly timed with the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles coming to America. Everywhere I looked, Beatlemania was alive and well. During this time, I also discovered Seattle’s favorite Beatles band, Creme Tangerine!
January 30, 1969 was the final public performance of The Beatles. It was on the rooftop of the headquarters of their multimedia corporation Apple, at 3 Savile Road, London. When I was there a couple of years ago, it literally gave me chills to be walking around in the same building that the Beatles breathed in and held their famous rooftop concert.
Since then, it has become a worldwide tradition to have Beatles Tribute bands reenact their final rooftop performance. In Seattle, that band is Creme Tangerine. They began this tradition in 2009, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Beatles last concert. “Creme Tangerine is a dynamic five-piece band from Seattle that performs the music of The Beatles for thousands each year. Rather than focusing on the personalities of the Beatles, Creme Tangerine focuses on performing their beloved music live for all to enjoy.”
I ‘discovered’ Creme Tangerine in 2012, at their rooftop performance in Pike Place Market. It was during my middle-aged Beatlemania, when I read they would be performing ‘The Rooftop Concert’ on the balcony of the Copacabana Cafe.
Fortunately, it was sunny, not the typical rainy January day you would expect in Seattle. I joined the large crowd that had formed beneath the balcony, and soon we were all singing along together with Creme Tangerine. Isn’t it amazing that you can’t remember what you had for lunch yesterday, but you know every single word to songs from your youth? What a blast! And, what I really enjoyed, was that they didn’t try to be The Beatles. Nobody, can be The Beatles. But, you can share their music. The energy that they created was fantastic. It’s difficult to reach your audience from on top of a rooftop, but they managed to do that. I found their website and Facebook page, grabbed my fellow Beatlemaniac friends, and we started following their concerts. In 2015, they held their rooftop concert on top of The Hard Rock Cafe, also located in the Pike Place Market in Seattle. We bought VIP tickets, which meant we got to sit on the rooftop deck during the performance, rather than stand in the street. It was fun, because we had an opportunity to meet the band members. Not only are they excellent musicians, they are nice guys.
Last month, the Rooftop Concert was held on top of the Livengood Alskog building in Kirkland. After a windy, weather delay, we were singing along together to our favorite Beatles songs once again. People that are complete strangers, coming together. To sing songs that were created over 50 years ago. That’s amazing. Thank You Creme Tangerine! I was concerned that because of the distance, we would not be able to hear them. But they had a great sound system, that transported their music across the waves of air. I do prefer the Pike Place Market locations though, where we stand closer to their performance.
And what is cool about these rooftop concerts, is that they are used to benefit local food bank charities. This year was Hopelink.
Our favorite concerts to attend, though, are at the Kirkland Performance Center. An intimate 397 seat theater, nestled in the heart of Kirkland, WA. There is not a bad seat in the house, and the acoustics are excellent. I have attended numerous plays in London and New York, and what I love about their venues is the close intimacy you have with the performers. This theater emulates that intimacy. Our favorite seats are front and center. Literally in touching distance of the band.
Our first concert experience there, Creme Tangerine performed the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band Album in its entirety. We were blown away! Hearing them this close, with inside acoustics, showed us what phenomenal musicians they were. We had a blast, and their energy exuded out into the audience. You just had to move. This was also the year that I learned of local violinist Geoffrey Castle. His addition added a whole new electric dynamic to their music. They blew the roof off the KPC! How could they possibly follow up this performance?
But they did, by performing The White Album and Abbey Road in the following years. Local artists are always included into the mix, which adds an element of surprise. Who is it going to be this year? By the end of the show, everyone is up dancing and singing along. If you are a Beatles music fan (isn’t EVERYONE?!) check out Creme Tangerine. Their next performance at the Kirkland Performance Center is March 9, 2018. A fundraising benefit for the KPC that includes a champagne bar in the lobby. And check out their website to find them during their active outdoor summer concert series and festivals in the Pacific Northwest.
As Ken Mansfield, former president of the Beatles Apples Records stated “…After decades on the road working with bands and speaking engagements I have found events shared with Creme Tangerine to be the most enjoyable., I was with the Beatles as their associate at their last concert on the Apple Records London rooftop on January 30th, 1969, but actually had more fun with Creme Tangerine as a friend on the incredible rooftop celebrations in Pike Place Market in Seattle.”
And when the night is cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Shine until tomorrow
Let it be.
New Year’s Eve 2018 at Alpental Ski Resort, With the Staxx Brothers
As I sit in my red, vinyl bean bag chair, headsets on, cord attached to the turntable….
I drop the needle, listen for the familiar crackle and then my ears begin to slowly fill with the lyrics and melody of Auld Lang Syne. “Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?”. A song derived from a 1788 Scottish poem by Robert Burns. The basic essence reflecting on the preservation of our dearest and oldest friendships. The only outstanding memory I have of my childhood New Year’s Eve is of this song. I was probably about 10 years old, standing in my pajamas and clutching a plastic horn, counting down to midnight with Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve. When the clock struck midnight, the people on tv started singing ‘Auld lang Syne.”. I was suddenly hit with a wave of emotion and my eyes flooded with tears. At that early age, I did not understand my emotional reaction, because I had yet to say a permanent goodbye to anyone I loved. But I felt what the music was trying to tell me. Appreciate and love the important people in your life.
Other than that memory, New Year’s Eve is a pretty forgettable experience. Especially after I turned 21 😉. No, but seriously, I don’t recall any WOW, that was a cool night. UNTIL, 2013, when I became a part time resident up at Alpental/Summit at Snoqualmie Ski Resort on Snoqualmie Pass, WA. My red, vinyl bean bag chair lived in my childhood bedroom, on our small wheat farm in Eastern Washington. After both of my parents passed away, we sold the farm, and I reinvested part of my old life, into part of my new life. A ski condo at Alpental! The Summit at Snoqualmie ski resort is less than an hour east of Seattle, on I90. Not only is it a ski resort, it is a year-round community. Hiking in the summer is just as fun as skiing in the winter. The Alpental Ski Lodge is the location for the various holiday celebrations. Cinco de Mayo, Oktoberfest and New Year’s Eve. Live music, food, beer and FUN! Bringing in the New Year at Alpental, has quickly become one of my favorite yearly traditions. What a fantastic way to start a new year!
December 31st, 2017, Alpental Ski Lodge
I always look forward to seeing who the band will be at the New Year’s Eve Party. This year it was a double bonus. The Staxx Brothers were the band, AND it is the 50th Anniversary of Alpental! The Staxx Brothers are a Seattle band, whose music I would describe as Rock and Roll with Soul. I heard them play for the first time at a previous Alpental NYE Party. I loved their high energy, wild rhythm. They are also Band in Seattle alumni. Band in Seattle is a live audience videotaping, showcasing up and coming local talent. If you scroll back to my June archives, you will see my blog on how I attended a Band in Seattle taping for my birthday this last year. A total blast! Also, December 2016, the Staxx Brothers were in the Band in Seattle Christmas Show with my music family, Jessica Lynne and the Cousins. Along with Sundae and Mr. Goessel, plus other great local musicians. I love that special connection. You can check out all their episodes on the Band in Seattle YouTube Channel. As soon as the NYE tickets became available, I bought one. I also purchased a cool, limited edition Alpental 50th Anniversary scarf. And lo and behold, I also won the VIP NYE tickets and dinner for two at Webb’s restaurant, through the Washington State Ski and Snowboard Museum fundraising auction. I was set!
New Year’s Eve arrived, we packed up the car and drove up to Snoqualmie Pass for the night. Our condo is walking distance to Alpental, so we enjoyed some fun pre-function before heading out for the NYE Party.
By the time we arrived, the band was already in full swing. The Staxx Brothers don’t just play their music, they PERFORM it. The first time I was jamming with the band, Davin Stedman was wearing a black choir robe. He was leading us in some soul charging rock church in the ski lodge. It was a full on ROCKIN’ revival! The unique thing about listening to music at Alpental, is that there is not a separation between you and the band. You can dance right next to them. That creates a very personal experience, where you can become one with the band and their music.
The next time I came out to dance, Davin was rocking a Christmas sweater. And the last time? Well, I guess Alpental doesn’t have a ‘no shirt, no shoes’ policy. He was baring his ‘soul’. The place was packed, with festive, gyrating bodies, grooving’ to the rhythm. The Staxx Brothers create such a massive amount of energy, it’s impossible to stand still. You just gotta dance. The entire Alpental resort was open, so there was plenty of room to spread out, dance, talk, drink and have fun!
And I want to give a special shout out and thank you to Andy Cantor, marketing manager of Summit at Snoqualmie. Along with Sales Manager Noelle Blazevich. I always appreciate the challenging work that goes into creating these events. Uhm yeah… I’m one that is always asking for MORE LIVE MUSIC!
The wonderful thing about the Alpental Holiday Parties, is that they are open to everyone. It’s a perfect opportunity for picturesque photos, along with just having ski bum fun.
As midnight approached, everyone headed outside for the downhill ski torchlight parade. Huddled around the fire-pits or standing in the lodge balconies.
It’s always so pretty watching the two teams, slowly ski down the slopes, torches held high. Followed by massive fireworks exploding into the crystal-clear sky. Lighting up Alpental Valley. A perfect way to usher in a new year.
But don’t wait until next New Year’s Eve to experience Summit at Snoqualmie, come up now and enjoy all the new businesses and opportunities. I90 East Take Exit 52 to West Summit. I90 West take exit 53 to West Summit. And with the upcoming Winter Olympics, make sure and check out the Washington State Ski and Snowboard Museum. It is a fabulous, interactive collection of history, including previous Olympic and Paralympic medals and paraphernalia from 39 athletes. Alpental’s own Debbie Armstrong competed in the 1984 Winter Olympics and walked away with a Gold. And after visiting the WSSM, go next door and taste Dru Bru’s limited Alpental 50th Anniversary brew, Dunkelweiss.
Follow up with dinner at either the Commonwealth Restaurant, Webb’s Mountain Grill, or some delicious take away from the Aardvark Express.
There is always something to do, taste or see up here. And, did I mention I would love to have more live music? That would be awesome. One can never have too much live music!
‘The hills are alive, with the sound of music…’
Scott Harder Instagram Photo
SUSAN IN SEATTTLE
The Staxx Brothers www.staxxbrothers.com
Summit at Snoqualmie www.summitatsnoqualmie.com
The Commonwealth www.thepasslife.com
Dru Bru www.drubru.com
Washington State Ski and Snowboard Museum www.wsssm.org
Webb’s Mountain Grill www.summitatsnoqualmie.com
Aardvark Express www.aardvarkxpress.com
Band In Seattle www.bandinseattle.com
Rooftop of Nashville Underground, 105 Broadway
Nashville at Christmastime
As I sit in my red, vinyl beanbag chair, headsets on, cord attached to the turntable….
The holidays bring back a rush of nostalgic memories. My Christmas childhood memories are from our small wheat farm in Eastern Washington. The smell of almond extract, brings back memories of my Mom baking cookies in the kitchen. The scent of fresh evergreen, creates an instant vision of our scraggly tree, covered in silver tinsel. And the music of A Charlie Brown Christmas, is still my favorite.
After being a flight attendant for over 30 years, I have a few cities that I view as ‘home’. Places in the world, that I always feel welcomed during one of my quick visits. Nashville, Tennessee has quickly become one of those destinations. If you scroll back through my archives to September 2017, you will read my blog on how this warm and friendly city has taken over my heart. I create a new flight schedule every month, and one of my goals is to have a layover there every few weeks. I call it soul regeneration. This past December, I was fortunate to have a 30-hour layover there, 4 days before Christmas. I was ecstatic. I knew in my heart, it was going to be a magical experience. And I was right!
December 2017 Nashville, TN
Flying so many Nashville trips these past few months, has gained me a reputation for being a fun tour guide. On this trip, I had two Nashville Newbies; Kathy and Fredrica. When we rolled our suitcases onto the airplane in Seattle, we had no idea the people we would meet and the experiences we would share. It didn’t take long for the musical magic to begin.
During the boarding process, I greeted a lovely couple. Obviously, musicians, as he was carrying a guitar that we stowed in the First-Class closet. As the flight progressed I learned I was correct in my assumption. It was Gospel Rock musician Randy Stonehill and his wife, Leslie. I always enjoy my conversations with musicians and to hear their stories. One of Randy’s stories, is that his song with Amy Grant, “I Could Never Say Goodbye”, was nominated for a Grammy. I was thrilled to hear that, as we had tickets to the Amy Grant and Vince Gill Christmas Show at The Ryman Auditorium the next night. Before the end of the flight, he gifted each of us with a CD. I love the sound of his music, and will be keeping an eye out on his tours in 2018.
After enjoying a full night of sleep (a flight attendant’s dream) we were ready to experience Nashville. Off to the music races we went. The hardest part of Nashville, is trying to enjoy all the music. It’s EVERYWHERE! Each bar is filled with talented musicians.
The weather was pleasant, so we enjoyed roaming in and out of every establishment on Broadway. Being so close to Christmas, everyone was in a gifting mood. Thank you for our new CD John Stone!
Our last bar to visit, before our concert at the Ryman, was the newly opened Nashville Underground. I had been walking by it all summer during its construction, so it was fun to walk in and see it finished.
The minute we walked in, we were greeted with warm and genuine Southern Hospitality. Nashville Underground is the creation of American singer-songwriters Joey and Gavin DeGraw. We were lucky to be there before the official grand opening, so it was not crowded. And we were also lucky enough to meet Joey and his dad Wayne, and spend our entire visit with them! Nashville Underground is a 40, 000 square feet live music venue, that includes a restaurant and bars. 4 stories, boasting the highest, largest and only double deck rooftop on Broadway. When we were there, only the bottom two floors were open to the public. Joey graciously offered to give us a private tour of the entire club. WOW! Now that is some serious Southern Hospitality.
What a beautiful and first-class establishment. The attention to detail was astounding. Every floor offered a unique experience. The bottom floor had a top class 5-piece band performing to a comfortable bar and table area.
The second floor was a quieter restaurant seating, with one of the most phenomenal women’s restrooms. Seriously, women lay on the floor and take a picture of themselves, because it is so pretty! Oh, and numerous bathroom stalls… YAY!! Someone finally understands our needs. The third floor was lit with a video dancefloor, surrounded by a gleaming bar. Immaculate detail everywhere. And then we were up on the incredible top deck. One side has a real lawn with Adirondack chairs to relax on. The other side offered the most stunning view of Broadway and the Cumberland River. Breathtaking.
Joining us were two young women, that he referred to as his adopted little sisters. To have Joey as our tour guide, telling us his vision and journey surrounding its development … I mean, that’s a sign of smart, dedicated and sincere business owner.
At the end of our visit, we were back relaxing in front of the fireplace, talking and laughing with Wayne. I loved that. Here they are, a family of two well known, successful musicians, and they are just hanging out with us. I truly felt welcomed and comfortable. And the staff was excellent. Unfortunately, we never got to experience the food, because we were so busy talking and getting a tour. So, next visit I will be back for dinner. The menu looked mouthwatering. Underground Nashville is going to become THE place to visit, while in Music City.
The icing on our Holiday Cake, was attending The Amy Grant and Vince Gill Christmas Show at The Ryman Auditorium. I had never been inside before. To be sitting in a such a sacred venue, where so many artists had performed was true glory. And what a beautiful performance it was. Genuine, pure and filled with so much love. We found our eyes watering off and on throughout the performance. The talent, the beauty, the feel of family. The real meaning of Christmas, which is Love. And we can even say we sang at The Ryman; along with 2,300 other people to “White Christmas’. It’s hard to describe the beauty and power of the music.
Too soon, it was over, and we were walking back to the hotel. It was good that I had Kathy with me, because she steered me in the right direction, when my body started turning back down to Nashville Underground. It was time to get our Stewardess Beauty Sleep.
In what seemed like a blink of an eye, our airplane landed back in the rainy clouds of Seattle. We all kept looking at each other, “Can you believe what we experienced? How lucky are we.”
My Motto for 2017 was “Expect the Best 2017”. And it fulfilled its destiny. What a wonderful year of music and experiences. It’s a good thing I take a lot of pictures, because it’s hard to absorb it all sometimes.
Thank You for sharing this musical journey with me. I truly hope it is inspiring you to seek The Passion that is in your soul. I’m rested and ready to see where The Music takes me in 2018.
SUSAN IN SEATTLE
Randy Stonehill www.randystonehill.com
Nashville Underground www.nashunderground.com
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