by Susan Varnes-Newland
(Guest blogger from Grieve The Astronaut) ~ ~

DARBY PICNIC, LIMBERLOST, MODERN DAY POETS, As I sit in my red, vinyl bean bag chair, put my headsets on, cord attached to the turntable….
I drop the needle, hear the familiar crackle, take a deep breath and wait for it. ‘IT’ is the sound that seems to provide whatever the world cannot. Perfect love and acceptance. That is what music does. It’s a perfect relationship, that never rejects you. Music needs you, as much as you need music. Without our ears, its voice would never be heard.

I’ve always felt like the obscure puzzle piece you find, but have no idea where it fits into in the puzzle. Or, even what puzzle it belongs to. Depending on the lighting and time of day, the shape and color of the piece changes. It can fit into a lot of puzzles. You don’t want to throw it away, because it may be the perfect piece you’re looking for some day. So, you hang onto it. Just because you don’t know what else to do with it. Its home is in ‘that’ drawer we all have in our kitchens. The ‘this is a really odd item, but I might need it someday’ drawer.

That’s what I’ve always felt like.  Friends of many, but never at home in one group. I just fly in and out of people’s lives. Literally. For 30 years, I have been a flight attendant. Odd hours. Long days. Constantly traveling. It’s been a struggle to find a group of people that understood and accepted me.
And then I met musicians.

My puzzle piece finally discovered other puzzle pieces who were happily living outside of the ‘here is what the completed puzzle should look like’ box.  I was lost, and The Music found me.

This blog is about 3 of the local/Pacific Northwest bands that I have become friends with.  Limberlost, Modern Day Poets and Darby Picnic.

Darby Picnic, Limberlost, Modern Day Poets

Susan Varnes-Newland blog on May 19th show at Louie G's

Darby Picnic~Lee Gregory, Troy Moss, Kent Beatty, Terry Hickey, David Mark
Darby Picnic~Lee Gregory, Troy Moss, Kent Beatty, Terry Hickey, David Mark
Limberlost~Ricky Dunn, Mike Burt, Krystle Pyette, Ben Beeman
Limberlost~Ricky Dunn, Mike Burt, Krystle Pyette, Ben Beeman
Limberlost~Ricky Dunn, Mike Burt, Krystle Pyette, Ben Beeman
Limberlost~Ricky Dunn, Mike Burt, Krystle Pyette, Ben Beeman
Modern Day Poets~Bob McAloney, Jina Anika, Ryan Macnab, Frazer Pelling
Modern Day Poets~Bob McAloney, Jina Anika, Ryan Macnab, Frazer Pelling
Susan Varnes-Newland and Jina Anika
Susan Varnes-Newland and Jina Anika
Linda Gordon, Susan Varnes-Newland, Mark Gordon
Linda Gordon, Susan Varnes-Newland, Mark Gordon

Mike Burt is the drummer for Limberlost. He is also the drummer for Grieve The Astronaut. In case you didn’t realize, look at the header on this web page.I’m just orbiting with them as a guest music blogger. Mike asked me if I would cover them in one of my blogs. SURE! I love the music of Limberlost. And when I saw they would be sharing the stage with Darby Picnic and Modern Day Poets, it was an even more enthusiastic YES! I had seen both Limberlost and Modern Day Poets perform as finalists at Seattle Wave Radio’s 2016 Annual Jammin’ Challenge, Seattle Hard Rock Café, last November.

Limberlost, Darby Picnic, Modern Day Poets

Supporting Local Music: Limberlost, Modern Day Poets and Darby Picnic

May 19, 2017
I arrived at Louie G’s Pizza in Fife, WA a few minutes before the show was going to start. What a great, little venue! They showcase local musicians on a small stage. A biker bar atmosphere, that allows families to dance together by the stage. Awesome! My name was on the guest list and I had a front table reserved with the owners of Seattle Wave Radio; Mark and Linda Gordon.

Okay…I had just walked across the skies of America holding a plastic, gray garbage bag saying, ‘Thank you’ to people as they handed me their germ-infested rubbish. And now, I’m on a Guest List for a local show. Works for me!

The first band on stage was Darby Picnic. I recognized the name, but I had never seen them perform before. “Darby Picnic is a PNW band with genre hopping colorful sound, intelligent lyrics and sweeping arrangements.”  Lee Gregory, Kent Beatty, Troy Moss, Terry Hickey and David Mark Smith are the band members. Their music covered a wide genre of musical decades. There were a group of children dancing away in front of the stage. I wish I had taken a picture of them, as they totally captured the spirit of the band’s music. Fun, free and easy. The kind of music that makes you feel happy inside.

The second band onstage was Limberlost. The band that I was a guest of. It had been 6 months since I had seen them perform live. I WAS BLOWN AWAY! The energy and the sound they created was phenomenal.  Their latest EP has been rising on the local and regional Reverbnation Charts and recently was #13 in the nation for rock! Deservedly so. They are an exciting combination of energy onstage together.

Mike Burt on drums, Ricky Dunn on lead guitar, Ben Beeman on bass, and Krystle Pyette lead vocals. Calissa Knox also joins on keyboard. “Limberlost is a rock band from Puyallup, WA formed in 2014. From our roots in the Worship world our passion is to create music with a powerful message…”. And that’s what you feel when you’re in the presence of their music. Krystle’s compelling voice pulls your soul out and onto the stage. I kept thinking, who do they remind me of? And then she said it. “Carrying on the tradition of Seattle women who ROCK with their voices.” Ann Wilson of Heart. BINGO. That’s the power of Krystle’s voice. Combined with the extraordinary guitar shredding skills of Ricky Dunn, Ben Beeman’s hair whipping bass and Mike Burt impressively killing the drums in back, it’s an electrifying performance that you don’t want to stop! Pacific Northwest Rock and Roll is alive and thriving! And, their message is so strong and inspiring. Nothing dark. With this awful rainy winter, we just experienced, we do not need any darkness added into our lives. We need hope and energy. And when beautiful Calissa Knox joins in on keyboard, she adds a soothing presence to guide our souls down this musical journey.

It’s going to ROCK! This is a band that we are going to see grow and make their presence known in the world of Pacific Northwest Music. Everyone is waiting for the next Seattle Sound. Well, here you go. Served up to you on a spinning, vinyl platter.

The final band of the evening was Modern Day Poets, from Vancouver, BC. Speaking of strong women who rock, lead singer Jina Anika owns the stage with her soulful voice. Bob McAloney, Ryan MacNab and Frazer Pelling complete the new sound they are creating. A rock blues, that takes on its own life with their energy. Jina pours every ounce of herself into each song. There’s nothing left on the shelf by the time their performance is over. One of the most powerful moments of the evening, was when Jina and Bobby performed their song ‘Rise Up’.  Jina’s voice was raw and emotional. Everyone was on their feet by the end of the song. I personally had to walk up to the stage and reach out to her with thanks and gratitude.

Afterwards, I asked Jina for the story behind her song. She said wrote it, after a watching a painfully emotional documentary on bullying. Rise Up; a powerful message of hope and strength. They are currently working on a new CD. This song should be included, in my opinion.

And because I was wearing my new U2 Joshua Tree Tour 2017 t-shirt, I found out something really cool about Jina. For the Vancouver, BC show, Jina was on their back-production team! WOW! She even had an amazing picture of Bono on her phone.

The entire show at Louie G’s that night was a blast! I’m so incredibly thankful and grateful that I was Limberlost’s guest and asked to write about it for my blog. I got to experience the history of Pacific Northwest rock music being carried forward into the future. One of those moments when I will look back and say, “I was there at the beginning.”

Not a bad night, for a puzzle piece that lives in ‘that drawer’.

Check these bands out. This is rock history in the making.

You can find Limberlost on Facebook at Limberlost Music, or on Reverbnation at www.reverbnation.com/rpk/limberlost 5

Modern Day Poets are on Facebook and www.ModernDayPoets.ca

Darby Picnic is on Facebook and http://darbypicnic.com

And check out Louie G’s event calendar for upcoming live music events www.louiegspizza.com