Thursday, February 16, 2012

This is our long overdue 2011 recap. What a year! Of the 365 days on the calendar, we had live music on 239 of them. Not bad for a blues-based music venue which only opens when there's a show. Below, we'll list the artists who graced our stage, but first, some highlights:

Drummerboy, Lisa Theo & Kim Field, the 3 Guitars series, the Louisiana Houseparty series by Sean "Gator Boy" Donovan, Son Jack Jr. and his projects with the Delta Hothouse, Michael Wilde, and the awesome House of Bourbon series - residency bookings can be a double-edged sword. Some artists treat them like a paid rehearsal, and that usually means they don't treat it like a real show, don't promote it, etc. The aforementioned artists have treated each of their resident dates here as an occasion, not just another show, by bringing something new to the party every month and turning another show into an occasion. That approach has led to all kinds of good stuff, from growing the audience to putting something fresh and interesting on stage each time, and we appreciate it. Far more than that, the audience appreciates it.

Ruby Dee & the Snakehandlers
- they couldn't make it for the New Year's Eve Hayride to Hell for the first time in six years, but we're so happy to have had them up here from Austin twice in 2011, and some of us made it down there for the brilliant wedding of Ruby and Jorge. We can't wait to see 'em again in twenty twelve!

Rockabilly - we've been committed to this genre from Day One, we like it, and we think it's a "gateway drug" for fans of blues and rockabilly alike to expand their horizons. In 2011 our partnerships with Western Gents and Marshall Scott Warner helped kicked things up a notch. The Valentine's Bop, the Rockabilly Meets Rock & Roll Party, the Route 66 @ Highway 99 BBQ & Hot Rod Show, the Rockabilly Blow-Out... nothing but fun, good music, and good folks.

Pre-Holiday Throwdown with Mia Vermillion and the Ho Ho Ho's
- we didn't know what else to do with Christmas falling on a Saturday, so Ed put on his "chef blacks", cranked out a free buffet of food and booked an awesomely topical night of live music with no cover. We make fun of that goofy bastard, but he has a heart as big as his belly and he sure does know how to throw a party. Also, Mia and the Ho's rocked the house!

Rockin' Toys For Tots - an annual event we believe in, getting toys to kids who need them, always a kick-ass night of music and always courtesy of our old friend, a staple in the global burlesque community and ex-Marine, Miss Kitty Baby.

Jam For Cans, again raised record numbers of food and money for Northwest Harvest during this time of record-high homelessness in Washington. Among those who graced the stage on that November night: Little Bill, Fat James, Kathi McDonald, Patti Allen, Nick Vigarino, Dick Powell, Mark Whitman, Billy Stapleton, Anniieville Blues, Stacy Jones, Tom Jones, Bill Brammer, Chip Hart, Chris Leighton, Tracy Arrington, Dave Cashin, Sam Pierce, Stan Eike, Scotty Lind, Billy Reed,Tommy Morgan, Don King, Howard Hooper, Jeff Beals, Rick Bowen, Jeff Menteer, and Billy Blackstone.

Bernadette Bascom, a legend and local hero, joined Bump Kitchen and later, Lee Oskar & Friends. If you ever need your joint classed-up, if you're lucky, Bernadette can do that.

Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble, played on a Sunday in June, the joint was jumpin', the place was packed, and at the end of the night Curley asked us, "Say, you guys open tomorrow? Can we do a second night?" And so it was.

Dudley Taft Band - the farewell show, with local legends John Kessler and Chris Leighton, Evan Sheeley, Scott Vogel and Patrick Napper on stage. We miss Dudley, a longtime resident artist here, longtime Seattle stalwart in the rock and blues worlds, and as nice a fellow as any of us are lucky enough to know.

The Lee Boys - serious Gospel family band from Florida, made their Highway 99 debut and took us all to church.

Eddie "Devil Boy" Turner, John Lee Hooker Jr. - it was just nice to see 'em again. The class of the class. La creme de la creme. The fruit of the loom.

LJ Porter Memorial and Tribute, Sunday, March 6:
Lee Oskar, Duffy Bishop, Patty Allen, Nick Vigarino, Scotty Harris, Ken Cole, Tom Erak, John Hanford, Lonnie Williams, Steve Peterson, Chris Carlson, Ben Smith, Ricky Lynn Johnson, Aury Moore, Tim Turner, Kathy MacDonald, Valerie Rosa, Mark Riley and more.

Washington Blues Society International Blues Challenge event, Sunday, June 19:
Randy Norris & the Full Degree, Mary McPage & the Assassins, Julie Powers & the Uptown Blues Band, Ray Rivera Band, Rafael Tranquilino Band, the Red Hot Blues Sisters, and the Cody Rentas Band.

And in alphabetical order, here's a list of who "Hit the Highway" in 2011:

3 Guitars: Jack Cook, Chris Stevens, Brian Butler
Alice Stuart
Andrew Jr. Boy Jones
Angie & the Car Wrecks
Bernadette Bascom
Bill Brown & the King Bees
Billy Dwayne & the Creepers
Black Crabs
Blue Velvet Burlesque
Brandon Santini (formerly of Delta Highway)
Brian Lee & the Orbiters
Bump Kitchen
Candye Kane
Capt. Leroy & the Zydeco Locals
Cody Rentas Band
Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble
Curtis Hammond Band
David Vest All-Stars
Dikki Du & the Zydeco Krewe
Don King (Jr. Cadillac)
Dudley Taft Band
Duffy Bishop
Eddie "Devil Boy" Turner & the Trouble Twins
Eric "Two Scoops" Moore
Farko Collective
Felonius Funk
File Gumbo
Franck "Paris Slim" Goldwasser
Franco Paletta
Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie
Ghost Town Hangmen
Guitar Shorty
Hamilton Loomis Band
Hank Shreve
Hard Money Saints
Ho Ho Ho's
Hot Roddin' Romeos
Hot Rod's Blues Revue
House of Bourbon
James Harman Band
James Howard Band
James King & the Southsiders
James Miller
JD Hobson
Jim Wallace
Joe Blue's Rikers Island Blues Band
John "Scooch" Cugno Band
John Lee Hooker, Jr.
John Nemeth
Juke Joint Gamblers
Julie Powers & the Uptown Blues Band
Junkyard Jane
Karen Lovely Band
Kathi McDonald Band
Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne
Kevin Selfe & the Tornadoes
Kim Archer Band
Kim Field
Kim Field & the Mighty Titans of Tone
Lee Boys
Lee Oskar & Friends
LeRoy Thomas & the Zydeco Roadrunners
Li'l Brian & the Travelers
Lisa & the Po'k Chops
Lisa Theo, Kim Field, & the Titans of Twang
Little Bill & the Blue Notes
Little Ray & the Upercuts
LJ Porter
Lloyd Jones Struggle
Los Orchids
Mad Dog & the Smokin' J's
Mark DuFresne Band
Mark Pickerel
Marshall Scott Warner
Mary McPage & the Assassins
Mercury Four
Mia Vermillion
Miss Kitty Baby
Moses & Hightown
Mutha Knows Best
Nathan James
Nearly Dan
Nick Vigarino
Orville Johnson
Petunia & the Vipers
Phil Gates
Philly's Phunkestra
Rae Gordon
Randy Norris & the Full Degree
Randy Oxford Band
Raphael Tranquilino Band
Ray Rivera Band
Red Hot Blues Sisters
Red House
Rick Welter
Robbie Laws Bigger Blues Band
Rock Estrin & the Nightcats
Ron Hendee Band
Roy Kay Trio
Ruby Dee & the Snakehandlers
Sam Marshall Trio
Sammy Eubanks Band
Savoy Brown
Sean "Gator Boy" Donovan
Sea-Town Rhythm & Blues Players
Son Jack Jr.'s Delta Hothouse
Sugar Thieves
Terry Evans Band
The Infamous Swanks
The Relentless Rhythm Machine
Too Slim & the Taildraggers
Troupeau Acadian
True Romans
T-Town Aces
Two Sheds Jackson
Ty Curtis Band
Volker Strifler Band
Western Bluebirds