Monday, April 18, 2011

Fool for the City

Charlie Huhn from Foghat, Humble Pie, and Ted Nugent, 
with Doug McGrew on drums
Donny Evola's Pink Floyd tribute "Echoes"

I’m constantly amazed at the wealth of local music talent here in the Puget Sound area. Some nights I just can’t believe what I’m hearing! And many of these musicians are not just locally well-known, but world-renowned!

Last Friday at the King Cat Theater (one of the best venues in town for concert-quality live music) we all experienced some truly fine rock musicianship. World-famous lead guitarist and vocalist Charlie Huhn, who played for years with legendary bands such as Humble Pie and Ted Nugent, and who is currently touring with Foghat, cranked it up a few levels with excellent Donny Evola and his band Echoes (the best Pink Floyd tribute band I’ve ever heard).

The rhythm section pounded a very tightly-wound “rotary perception,” a term Charles Mingus coined to define the center of each beat, and how different musicians zero in on that center in a way unique to their own style. Our own Doug McGrew blasted the Traps with such Keith Moon-like power and artistry that the entire audience, as well as Charlie and the rest of the band, roared with applause.

Some upcoming shows you won’t want to miss:

Jam Night & Blues To Do TV featuring Power Cell (Lynn Sorensen, Doug McGrew, Michael Johnson) and Special Guests, at 88 Keys in Pioneer Square
Wednesdays, TV taping 6-8pm, Jam 8pm – midnight

Jam Night featuring Power Cell and Special Guests at Oddfellows Grill in Redmond
Thursdays 9pm

Geoffrey Castle, fantastic electric violin, at Club Sur in SODO
Friday, April 22 at 9pm

Fabulous Johnsons (Lynn Sorensen on bass, Jeff Kathan on drums, Michael Johnson on lead guitar) at J&M Cafe in Seattle
Friday, April 29 9pm

Riverbend with Klover Jane (featuring the very talented Rane Stone) and 1Wish, at Hard Rock Café in Seattle
Friday, April 29 at 9pm

Chris Cornell at the Moore Theater in Seattle
Sunday, May 1 at 8pm

No Quarter (top-notch Led Zeppelin Tribute) at Big Daddy's in Woodinville
Friday, May 6 at 8:30pm

Soul Stripper (Howard Comfort’s excellent AC/DC Tribute) at R&R Sports Bar in Graham, WA
Saturday, May 14 at 9pm

Poodle Bomb (with Mark Fluegel on bass) at J&M Cafe in Seattle
Thursday, May 19 at 8pm

Magic Bus at Tulalip Casino Canoes Lounge
Friday, June 3 at 9:30pm

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hammer of the Gods

photo courtesy Lori Mullins

Back in high school, my sister used to blast KISW FM radio, a station that at the time played a lot of Led Zeppelin, before it was known as “heavy metal.” The radio itself featured no bass and substituted static for high notes, but on and on it rasped. From my serene blue-and-white bedroom next to my sister’s, I thought Robert Plant’s voice was very strange and I was sure it came out of some martian synthesizer. Although some of the tunes were catchy, I was never really motivated to go to a Led Zeppelin concert.

Fast forward to now: Maybe it’s that recently one of our local musicians had the pleasure of playing with Jason Bonham (yes, John’s son), Led Zeppelin is in the air. Tuesday I went to jam night at the Barrel in Burien, and members from Seattle’s premiere Led Zeppelin tribute band “Kashmir” were playing. Whole different experience. Whole Lotta Love!!

Terry Mriglot is Robert Plant incarnate; his voice hits those hard to reach spikes and wails, and he even looks like Robert, with that leonine curly blonde hair and oh-so-tight jeans. Dan Benz plays a beautiful minstrel-like guitar, as if he had time-travelled from the Olde English countryside. Is it a Marshal? I’ll have to ask him, but that boy can paint castles and unicorns in the clouds.

I loved the combination of these Kashmir members playing with members of Howard Comfort’s AC/DC tribute band “Soul Stripper”: tall Howard plays a scorching lead guitar and exudes Rock Star Cool from behind his shades as his accomplished bass player thunders on his 5-string. When they played Collective Soul’s “Shine” it all came together: Magic!

The Barrel Jam, every Tuesday night 8-12 p.m.