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A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

Topic: Tractor Tavern

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March 27, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Indie rock and rumble at the Tractor | Concert review

The Lonely Wild played the Tractor Tavern Wednesday.

The Lonely Wild played the Tractor Tavern Wednesday.

The Tractor Tavern billed its Wednesday show as “Indie Night,” which isn’t quite descriptive enough for our purposes. Sonic earthquake would be more accurate.

It’s not rare to find bands that are loud, but catching two groups on opposite ends of the Wall of Sound spectrum was a treat. First up was the nuanced avalanche of sound from Nashville, the Apache Relay, and the satisfying jangle of “Growing Pains,” from the band’s 2014 self-titled album. 

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0 Comments | More in Americana, Rock/Pop | Topics: the apache relay, the lonely wild, Tractor Tavern

February 8, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Morrison and West celebrate new album Sunday at the Tractor | Concert preview

Cahalen Morrison and Eli West record their new album, "I'll Swing My Hammer With Both Hands," with Tim O'Brien.

Cahalen Morrison and Eli West record their new album, “I’ll Swing My Hammer With Both Hands,” with Tim O’Brien.

When Cahalen Morrison was introduced to Eli West upon moving to Seattle from New Mexico, he formed his first meaningful musical partnership in his new home.

Both men have gone on to numerous other projects independent of each other, but they always seem to return and released their third studio album, “I’ll Swing My Hammer With Both Hands,” on Feb. 4. The duo will celebrate the album’s release at the Tractor Tavern Sunday night with Ruth Moody. 

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0 Comments | More in Americana, Country | Topics: cahalen morrison, eli west, tim o'brien

February 3, 2014 at 12:05 AM

The Maldives kick off Tractor’s 20th anniversary | Concert review

The Maldives. Photo by Hayley Young.

The Maldives. Photo by Hayley Young.

Seattle alt-country staples The Maldives helped the Tractor Tavern celebrate its 20th anniversary with a pair of packed shows over the weekend. The Friday-Saturday bill marked the first in a planned series of concerts by artists with longtime ties to the Ballard venue.

The Maldives threw down the gauntlet on Friday night with a tight set that will be tough to match. Appropriately, the band got things rolling on Friday with “The Time Is Right Now,” a perfect example of the kind of layered, atmospheric roots rock that is their calling card. 

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0 Comments | More in Country, Rock/Pop | Topics: the maldives, Tractor Tavern

January 27, 2014 at 1:13 AM

Potent Shelby Earl celebrates vinyl ‘Swift Arrows’ release | Concert review

shelbyearl_1

Shelby Earl celebrated the vinyl re-release of 2013′s “Swift Arrows” at the Tractor Tavern Saturday.

Shelby Earl’s tight set at the Tractor Tavern Saturday celebrating the vinyl re-release of last year’s “Swift Arrows” didn’t offer too many revelatory moments. After all, Damien Jurado-produced album — aside from a couple new songs released on wax only — is familiar and remains very good.

What seems new is Earl’s confidence and command on stage, which was apparent from the first words of “The Seer” all the way through her signature song “Sea of Glass.”  Even her normally powerful voice had an increased potency to it, or so it seemed as it came through the PA quite hot during the first few songs until Earl got things worked out with the sound board.

It’s not like Earl is new to the business of playing in front of people. Far from it. But there was a definite shift and it gave added meaning to “This Is Me Now” and “Grown Up Things,” a couple of prickly songs that Earl used to remind the crowd she’s not afraid to tackle heavy subjects. “Look out, look out, s–t’s getting real,” Earl sang as her band growled away, offering it as much as a threat than as a warning. 

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0 Comments | More in Americana, Folk, Rock/Pop | Topics: Shelby Earl, Tractor Tavern

January 24, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Nashville indie darlings Wild Cub tear up the Tractor | Concert review

Wild Cub was at the Tractor Tavern in Ballard Thursday night.

Wild Cub was at the Tractor Tavern in Ballard Thursday night.

The Nashville indie rock scene is getting plenty of attention these days, and rightly so. It takes just a cursory listen to the “Nashville Indie Spotlight” album available on Spotify and iTunes to realize that Music City has more to offer than simply country music.

While electropop rockers Wild Cub weren’t one of the 30 bands featured on the spotlight, it’s just proof of how deep the scene is. Fresh off the major re-release of their self-released 2013 album “Youth” and an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel, Wild Cub treated a sold-out Tractor Tavern to an intense, if brief, dance party Thursday night.

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0 Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Tractor Tavern, wild cub

January 24, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Ash brings stadium-sized sound to tiny Tractor | Concert preview

Ash

Northern Irishmen Ash have been making music together since 1992. They’ll play Seattle Monday. Photo by Karen McBride.

From sensation to slump to comeback story, Northern Ireland’s Ash has lived many lives since forming in 1992. Remarkably, frontman Tim Wheeler, bass player Mark Hamilton and drummer Rick McMurray are still only in their mid-30s. The band kicks off its first U.S. tour in nine years Monday at Ballard’s Tractor Tavern.

Like many groups, Ash began in a small-town garage.

“We were trying to play metal,” Hamilton remembers. “Then, Nirvana came along and showed us you didn’t have to be technically amazing to play your songs. We loosened up, stuck to the melodies, didn’t think about solos as much… just bashed it out.”

Their timing was excellent. Following Nirvana’s left-field success, record execs combed the world’s regional scenes for the Next Big Thing, throwing bands against the wall and seeing which stuck.

Unlike most, Ash stuck.

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0 Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: alternative, rock, Tractor Tavern

January 16, 2014 at 12:42 AM

Randy Rogers Band thrills sold-out Tractor | Concert review

Randy Rogers Band and Wade Bowen sold out the Tractor Tavern Wednesday. It was so crowded that approaching the stage to shoot photos was impossible.

Randy Rogers Band and Wade Bowen sold out the Tractor Tavern Wednesday. It was so crowded that approaching the stage to shoot photos was impossible.

Say whatever you want about country music, but just don’t say it isn’t popular in Seattle. Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen — two artists who fly about as low under the radar as possible while still regularly touring and recording — sold out the Tractor Tavern on a sleepy Wednesday night.

Rogers and Bowen are old buddies and they’re cut from the same cloth: Texas songwriters with quintessential country voices whose idea of a good time is being under the bright lights in different city each night. Despite the fact neither man has ever charted a top-30 single, it didn’t take long to figure out why they sold out the Tractor and had people scrounging for tickets outside.

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0 Comments | More in Country | Topics: randy rogers band, Tractor Tavern, wade bowen

January 15, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Country journeyman Randy Rogers hits the Tractor tonight | Concert preview

The country music scene is dominated by big-name stars who sell shiny pop music to the masses, but one of the true pleasures of the genre is that there’s plenty of room for blue-collar working musicians like Texas songman Randy Rogers. Rogers has never charted a top-20 hit, but he’s released six studio albums, the last…

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0 Comments | More in Country | Topics: randy rogers, Tractor Tavern, wade bowen

December 6, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Aoife O’Donovan lays her burden down at the Tractor Saturday | Concert preview

Aoife O’Donovan is blessed with an incisive knack for songwriting and a charming voice that’s one of the most in-demand commodities in the bluegrass and folk scenes right now. Just about the only thing going against O’Donovan is her tricky first name: it’s pronounced “Eee-fah” for the record. On the heels of her debut solo release…

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0 Comments | More in Americana, Country, Folk | Topics: aoife o'donovan, fossils, Tractor Tavern

November 21, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Indie pop in three flavors | Concert review

Philip Dickey of Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. Photo by Owen R. Smith.

Philip Dickey of Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. Photo by Owen R. Smith.

When Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin was formed 14 years ago, lead singer Philip Dickey told the modest Tractor Tavern crowd gathered for the Wednesday night show that the band never imagined it would play a gig in Seattle.

But that was a long time ago and the band has now been through Seattle nine times. Last night, SSLYBY’s tight brand of indie pop brought some cheer to a bitter, windy night that further signaled the change in season.

The five-piece from Springfield, Mo., started out with a little nostalgia, ripping through a rocking version of “Pangea,” the first track off their 2006 debut album “Broom.”

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0 Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: army navy, hibou, someone still loves you boris yeltsin

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