by Susan Varnes-Newland
(Guest blogger from Grieve The Astronaut) ~ ~
As I sit in my red, vinyl bean bag chair, put my headsets on, cord attached to the turntable….I love listening to all genres of music. It depends on my mood and surroundings. When I’m up in the ski condo at Snoqualmie Pass, WA, I like to listen to the stack of CDs that I’ve bought from local musicians. At home, I tend to use my Bluetooth speakers with Spotify.
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN MUSIC AND PEOPLE
But when I am up in the retro 1972 condo, I like to revert to my beanbag chair and listen to CDs. And how cool that I’ve met these local musicians. It makes that music connection even more special.
As I mentioned in a previous blog, summer 2015 was the inaugural of the Chinook Fest Summit Music Festival at The Summit at Snoqualmie Ski Resort. 3 days of music! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the Chinook Fest co-owners, Cody Beebe and Michelle Bounds VandenBrink. Cody is also the lead singer of the band Rust on the Rails.
The Cinco de Mayo party is always a lot of fun at The Alpental Ski Lodge. Skiing, costume competition, food and drinks, laughter and music! This year, DJ Indica Jones provided the music for the festivities. I recognized his name from Chinook Fest and other events since then. I’m sure this was the first time I have danced in ski boots. And I’m also sure I ended up on somebody’s YouTube video. Cough, cough cough. That’s okay, I was wearing a wig. He always creates excellent music to dance to. I stood next to him for a while, watching him skillfully spin some tunes. It was fascinating to see how he changed the sounds and speeds of the songs, and what he chose to play. He has an intriguing background story of his career. One comment he said really stuck with me. “It’s amazing to see how the type of music you play, affects people.” Music is a very powerful tool.
Cody Beebe and his band Rust on the Rails just completed their first European Tour. I’ve had a lot of fun with that! I found out that they were flying out of Seattle to Amsterdam on the airline I work for. I had some friends on their crew, so advised them to give the band some extra TLC. Next best thing to working the flight myself! Their tour took them throughout Germany, Netherlands, France and Spain. As luck would have it, I worked the flight back with Cody’s wife and brother; Mackenzie and Cassidy. I loved being able to meet them, and hear their stories. What a terrific adventure they experienced!
It was perfect timing, because their first performance back in Seattle was the day after we returned from Amsterdam. The Bale Breaker Brewing Company was presenting a Beer Week Party at The Nectar Lounge. Rust on the Rails and Scott Pemberton Band were sharing a show. Scott Pemberton is also a band that I fell in love with at Chinook Fest Summit. Perfect alliance!
Rust on the Rails performed first. It was obvious that they had just been touring together for a month. A smooth operating, music machine. And Blake Noble with his Didgeridoo and guitar. A funky blues connection. And how unique! It’s not often you hear a Didgeridoo in a rock band. Their band description is ‘American Aussie Roots Rock. Blending influences of Rock from Seattle, with the ancient Australian Didgeridoo, tribal percussion, and a rock-solid rhythm section.” I had heard them perform for the first time at Chinook Fest Summit 2016. It was fantastic to hear the ‘man behind the music festival.’ Incredible talent! Eric Miller on bass and Chris Lucier on drums/vocals. We were having a blast groovin’ away at our table upstairs. Their last song was a mix of dance covers songs, and the floor was packed! A perfect way to wind up their set. And kudos to Cody. He arrived in from Amsterdam several hours after I did the day before. Jet lag is not easy to recover from, and he totally rallied!
I also heard Scott Pemberton and his band for the first time at Chinook Fest Summit 2016. Another funk, jazz, rock band, based in Portland, OR. I heard them again at the Alpental ski lodge Roktoberfest Party last October. When I saw that these two bands were sharing a show at The Nectar Lounge, it was an automatic I’M GOING! Wear comfortable shoes when you go to their show, because you will be on your feet dancing the entire time. Their unique quality is their percussionist Rudy Slizewski. Steel drums, various elements of percussion and the keyboard. Also, Scott plays his guitar more like a piano, than a guitar. Laying it flat across a stool onstage. One of my favorite songs is their cover of ‘Dear Prudence.’. Jack Johnson coolly strums the bass, while Sam Berrett tears it up on the drums. Often sharing them with Scott.
I burned off any extra calories I had ingested from drinking the Bale Breakers brews! Such a fun night of dancing.
Rust on the Rails www.rustontherails.com
Scott Pemberton Band http://scottpemberton.com
And if you’re looking for a great DJ for your party or venue, check out DJ Indica Jones www.djindicajones.com
And don’t forget Chinook Fest! Unfortunately, Chinook Fest Summit will not be returning this summer. However, original Chinook Fest at Naches is going strong and sells out quickly. www.chinookfest.com
SUSAN IN SEATTLE