Monday, August 21, 2006

More photos from the vault.

The Owl Cafe (Seattle) 1988-1989

I took these snapshots in and outside of the late great Owl Cafe over a period of a couple of years in the late '80s. This was THE rockin' blues joint in Seattle's north end after the demise of the Jolly Roger Roadhouse. Operated by Patrick "Fatcat" Lynch and Uncle Ray Varner (Ray ran the New Orleans style Mizz Sadie's Kitchen in the Owl), this very popular club featured blues talent from all over the Northwest and the occasional touring act. The Owl was also the home of the long running Blue Monday jam session that started around 1980. Lots of great music happened in this place!

The good times at Owl Cafe eventually crashed and burned around 1992. The joint is still open as an Irish pub known as the Conor Byrne. The Broomdust Blues Band currently hosts a a blues jam at the Conor Byrne one Wednesday a month, but the blues has pretty much moved out of the Ballard neighborhood, with the exception of the regular Thursday night gig at the Salmon Bay Eagles a few blocks away.

The Owl Cafe - Ballard Avenue, Seattle

Left to right: Guitarist Ted Belushi, Cathy Cooper, and Patrick "Fatcat" Lynch

Bluescast. Left to right: Hal Merrill, Kevin Lynch, Peter LaPonte, unknown sax, and Eric Madis

This is most likely the Screaming Blue Jays (Chris Stevens' band). Left to right: Irv Kellenberger, Ron Nation, Howard Hooper, John Hodgkin, and Chris Stevens

Chris Stevens

Left to right: Dan Abernethy, Daddy Treetops, and unknown fan

Jim Mesi

Jack Cook (playing with Trouble at Home)

Kirk Tuttle (playing with Trouble at Home)

Kathy Hart and unknown fan

Kirk Tuttle and Jimi Jean

Drummer Les Hutchinson

Les Merrihew

Lloyd Jones

Tom McFarland and Mike Lynch

Left to right: Jim Mesi, Tom McFarland, and drummer Homer Leon

Left to right: Patty Mey, Kirk "KT" Tuttle, and Ron "Deacon" Weinstein

Nitelife. Left to right: Mark Dalton, Tom Boyle, Ron Weinstein, Larry Harris, and Mike Lynch

Tom Boyle

Daddy Treetops and Jack Cook

Trouble at Home. Guitarist Russ Meltzer and John Marshall

The Rockin' Rick Band. Left to right: Les Merrihew, Rockin' Rick, Jim Mesi, Mike Lynch, and Patty Mey

Note: Do you have photos of events at the Owl cafe that you would like to share with the Jet City Blues readers? If so, contact me at and we'll figure out at way to publish them. Thanks!


T-Boy said...

I wonder what Rockin' Rick and Les Merrihew are discussing in the picture at the bottom. I can only imagine! Maybe Les will tell us.

Blues Boss said...

Great photos Mike.... I especially like the one of T-Boy actually playing the guitar while standing up straight!!!!(He can't do that anymore!!)... And, the photo of Daddy TreeTops with the pink 'tenny runners'.....