On a hot August 19 night Darrel’s Tavern just north of Seattle hosted a night of Seattle hillbilly, celtic and folk punk bands.
The headliner was Wages Of Sin. This Seattle quintet combined a bit of country, a bit of folk, a bit of punk and a heavy dose of Celtic and tossed it into a blender for each song so you never know which genre would dominate.
Jesse Stewart (vocals and guitar) belted out the songs with a whine a sneer and a growl and delivered each song with a subtle charisma. Combine this with the lively fiddle playing of Erin Hillert, the solid upright bass of Ethan Socotta, the steady drumming of Nate Atkins and the versatility of Mark Robben, who traded off between mandolin, acoustic guitar and harmonica. These guys were nothing less than amazing and I plan on seeing them many more times.
Preceding WOF was another Seattle band calling themselves The Pickpocket Revue. This upbeat quintet combined hillbilly and punk. Imagine a hillbilly version of the Clash’s “Judy’s Been Working For the Drug Squad.” One wouldn’t think this would work, but it did and beautifully so. These guys covered a lot of Clash songs (“Jimmy Jazz,” “Bank Robber” and “Remote Control”). They also performed a Pogues’ cover (Sally MacLennan) in which they hauled Wages Of Sin’s Jesse Stewart to perform vocal duties on. Pickpocket Revue were loads of fun and full of energy. I have added them to my list of favorites. The Pickpocket Trio consists of, Jimmy the Pickpocket: vocals, accordion, keys Aaron Joshua Shay: banjo, vocals Mai Li Pittard: violin, vocals Andy Lowe: upright bass Steve Baz: Drums.
Starting the whole night was Ghost Train Trio. Musically they reminded me of a cleaner version of Social Distortion. Guitarist/vocalist Patrick Mackinnon was great at growling and hootenanny yowling, but with a voice so clear I could make out every word of the provocative poetry he sang. Lots of twangy guitar licks were combined with the prowess of Joel Putzier on double bass and the often manic drumming of Bob Farwel.
It was great to be back at Darrel’s again — a cozy, intimate club and it was great fun to witness three excellent and fun Seattle bands.
Wages of Sin
The Pickpocket Revue
Ghost Train Trio