I drove to downtown Seattle this last New Years eve to check out a couple of my friends' bands. Becki Sue & Her Big Rockin' Daddies! were playing an early gig (7-10 PM) at the Frontier Room in the Belltown neighborhood. I didn't know this, but this joint has live music a couple of nights a week, but there's no dedicated spot for bands - just a spot on the floor next to the hallway leading to the bathrooms. So what else is new?!
The crowd was pretty light during BS&TBRD's set, but you wouldn't know it from watching the band. They put on a couple of their usual high energy sets, although there was no room for bassist Les White to play his acoustic bass behind his head as usual.
At the end of the band's show, the long table in front of the band was removed and a dance floor magically appeared. The house DJ was getting ready to perform, of course, and the Army of Young Women Wearing High Heels and Tiny Dresses began to assemble in the club. I would have liked to stay and admire the scenery, but I had to move on to Pioneer Square.
Becki Sue & Her Big Rockin' Daddies!
Tom Boyle and Jim King
Eric Manegolden and Les White
Next stop, the New Orleans Creole Restaurant in Pioneer Square where the Blues Orbiters were holding court. The Square wasn't as busy as Belltown, but the band had a decent crowd to entertain. I dig this version of the Orbiters - they do a great job of backing up band leader/vocalist/guitarist/harp blower Brian Lee on tunes ranging from Elmore James to James Brown.
I hung around long enough to have a glass of champagne at midnight, then split to have a hot dog across the street before heading home. I played at the New Orleans the following Saturday, and even though we had a pretty decent crowd, the Square was a ghost town. I've never seen it like that before!
Here's a wish that everyone has a better year in 2010!
The Blues Orbiters
Conrad Ormsby and Hank Yanda