Yogoman Burning Band With Winston Jarrett Fill Seattle’s Pono Ranch Lounge with Succulent Reggae, Ska Sounds, By Holly Homan

It was a warm Saturday night when I ventured out to a place I’d never been before called Pono Ranch. Nestled under the Ballard Bridge on the north side of Seattle’s Ship Canal (a canal that separates north and south Seattle). This time I was taking in some more ska/reggae put forth by Seattle’s Yogoman Burning Band. I had seen these guys a couple years ago opening for the Skatalites so when I learned they were headlining a show I decided to go see them again. I was not disappointed.

These guys play a smooth ska/reggae, but could hype things up in the blink of an eye, or the slam of a drumstick. Jordan Rain, the band leader and drummer, provided the primary vocals. He could croon, he could wail and hit the high notes with great finesse.

Yogoman had a two-piece horn section, that also proved very versatile. Pat Doran mostly played alto sax but also played clarinet and a melodica. Matt Nash played tenor and baritone sax and looked a lot like Col Henry Blake from the M*A*S*H TV series.

Denny Franzmann played guitar, fiddle/violin (which he often played pizzicato)
and a pretty mean trumpet. Jacqueline Rae thumped away on bongos and provided succulent backing vocals that provided ecstasy inducing harmonies with Jordan’s crooning. With Johnny Toulouse keeping things steady on bass guitar, the club was filled with the concoction of fine musicianship. They attracted a good crowd and a good amount of dancers, many of whom danced barefoot on this warm summer night (I could have done without the eau de stinky feet though). The sound was impeccable. Two other musicians joined them on stage, Roger Anderson on keys and Naphtali Ebna La-Hakim Rashid was the Nyabhinghi Drummer and percussionist. I could hear each individual instrument melding into one harmonious sound.

One of the highlights was when Jordan left his drum kit, took the mic and totally emoted, bringing many more onto the dance floor. Andy Sells took his place on drums and totally hammed it up.

As if this wasn’t enough, after a bit of a break the band returned this time with singer/performer Winston Jarrett. Originally from Jamaica, now from Seattle, this guy could not only belt out tunes, but he could strut about the stage a bit too. He was a very dynamic performer as well as great singer. I really had a great time seeing Yogoman again and also discovered another artist I’d never seen before and a great club I’d never been to before. I hope it isn’t long before I have the pleasure of experiencing all three again.

– Photos property of Holly Homan all rights reserved.

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