Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Women of the Blues

From Ed:
This past weekend was another great run of shows at the club. Thursday we had Danielle Nicole here. She was the first female Blues artist to be nominated in the Bass category for the Blues Music Awards back in 2012. In 2014 she was the second woman to receive the nomination and the first female recipient in that category. Saturday we had Lisa Mann and her Really Good Band here. Lisa was the second woman to receive the Blues Music award for Blues Bassist and she has won the category two years in a row now. Maybe you were not able to make these shows, or if this was simply not enough Women of the Blues for you? If that's the case, don't miss the 4 time Blues Music award nominee Karen Lovely this Sunday at the club. She will be bringing her buddy, International Blues Challenge finalist, John Del Toro with her to perform a special Sunday show. Still not enough Women of the Blues for you, huh? Well check our September calendar to make reservations for Duffy Bishop 9/10, Maria Muldaur 9/11 for another special Sunday showcase and the return of Nikki Hill 9/16.

~Ed Maloney

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Highway 99 Blues Book Club!

From Ed:
Well, after much discussion among staff, regulars and musicians about books, specifically music books, we have decided to create a Highway 99 book club. Well, at least our version of one. (I want to make a quick personal note here: My friend Stacy will be very proud of me and Highway 99 Blues Club for starting, what I can only imagine to be, the first ever book club within a Blues music venue.) Every few weeks we will post a new book on here for all to check out. If it seems like something that is of interest to you, give it a read. This forum is open to anyone of you who has an interest in reading about music. Yes, that is correct, staff, music fans, musicians, hell we'll even include our beloved sound guy Kirk in this one. He deserves it!! Grab me at the club and tell me about any book that you would like for me to post and I will get it up here for all to read.

I thought that I would appropriately kick off the Highway 99 Book Club with a nod to a local hero. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Harmonicas, Harps and Heavy Breathers. The Evolution of The People's Instrument by Kim Field. Kim had to leave us for some cool digs in New York City, but is a Seattle guy through and through. He is a national treasure as a blues harmonica player and the most respected author, worldwide, to take on the harmonica as a topic. Kim wrote this book back in 1993. It still stands up today. In my opinion, this is THE book to have in your collection if you are interested in harmonica. This book covers the inception of the instrument, the early days, the various forms of music where the harmonica has been applied, up to Blues and modern day harmonica. I suggest that when you read this book, first skip to the back and read up on the 8 page discography. This is going to be your soundtrack to the book. Find this music and play it as you read the book. It applies to the content of the book itself. You will find this a much more satisfying way to enjoy this read. Then the next time you see Kim, shake his hand and thank him for such an important contribution to music history. You can find this on amazon for $4.73 used and $11.29 new. That's less than the cost of a CD and it covers generations of music.
 - Ed

Sunday, May 8, 2016

From Steve (May 2, 2016):
VIA-BOOM..??? VIA-DOOM...???

In all the years that Highway 99 Blues Club has been located in our present (and only) location, we have had to deal with more than our fair share of disruptions; construction, viaduct, tunnel, parking, street changes, a sea wall, relocating utilities and a few that I have chosen to is not that these things do not impact the club - we know they do; just like sporting events, the weather, tax season, other shows and so on.

Ok. So what's my point? Despite all these things happening, we still stay open, still bring in shows 4 - 5 nights a week, and do all we can to help our patrons deal with whatever might get in their way.  

Last weekend was the first weekend of the Highway 99 viaduct closure - all the news sources predicted something short of the end of the world; and maybe traffic for the rush hours was bad - but what we know is that the streets were practically empty when it came time for our shows to start. There was plenty of parking and access was really not an issue for getting to and from the club.

Hopefully after this weekend things will get back to "normal." In the meantime, if you were thinking of coming to the club for shows this week - but maybe thought it might be a mess - we hope you will reconsider. It is a solid week for shows: starting with Drummerboy on Wednesday, followed by the debut of the Harmonius Funk Band (crazy fun funk show!), then the Mark DuFresne Band on Friday and closing the week with the 2015 WBS Best Blues Act; The Hot Wired Rhythm Band - who was also just announced as part of the Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival line-up in July.

As always; thank you for your continued support. Consider this a little nudge to hit the club this week sometime. We appreciate it.

As James Brown said; "let's make everything all right."

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Return of Big Sark's Drum Head

Here's a good ole Highway 99 story with a funny twist. Some of you may remember the story of the Stolen Steve Sarkowsky Drum head. Yes it is true, our founder's drum head, which has hung on the wall among the club memorabilia for many years, went missing about 9 months ago. Some of you may remember being questioned by me. I May have even interrogated a few you "usual suspects" lightly or beyond. Well, I am proud to announce that Big Sark's drum head has been returned to us, interestingly enough, by our brother Eric Elliott. You see, Eric was diagnosed with liver cancer last year. He spent much of his hospital time here in Seattle as well as Las Vegas. Our 99 friends have a unique sense of humor in times of need and often go to extreme lengths to bring a smile to the faces that could use it the most. Well, Eric's got a friend who thought it a funny prank to steal something out of Eric's favorite club in an effort to bring a smile to his face while he was shacked up in the hospital. Good ole Eric Elliott returned the drum head after we had a very successful fundraiser for him just two weeks ago. When questioned by me as to "Why didn't you return this earlier??!!", Eric looked at me funny and simply said, "I've been in the hospital fighting cancer, man!" So I gave him a pass!

You can help a brother a out by contributing to the Go Fund Me campaign that folks are using to help defray the medical bills - every little bit helps:

Thank you to all of the bands, friends and family who have supported Eric here at our fundraiser and the many events on his behalf throughout the city. Eric is a true Seattle gem, who has devoted many years of his life to preserving and progressing rockabilly and rock n roll music here in Seattle. We look forward to many more years with our brother..... Just as long as his buddies stop stealing our shit, man!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Mckinley Wike - "Mack" - was the co-founder of the band Mutha Knows Best, formed 15 years ago. Music was among his life's passions. He was the band's drummer and was one of the reasons they rose to prominence among music fans throughout the Pacific Northwest. Playing at Highway 99 several times and bringing the house down with "True D Funk", he will be remembered for his smile, his kindness, his loving wife Diane (#1 MKB Fan), and his children. Mckinley is probably organizing a gig in Heaven. Rest In Peace.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

New Menu Items, More South For Your Mouth!

From Ed:
Well, this year has seen many cool upgrades and developments down here at the club. It's been fun kickin' this joint up a notch. In the past month we've been running some new food specials and testing out some ideas. I'd like to share a few new menu items that we think are going to make the final cut, and a couple that already have. First, we have added one new salad and one entrée to our core menu. After much conversation with many of you, we have come to realize that we should have more vegetarian and vegan options on our menu. Ladies and gentlemen I'd like to introduce the Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad: Fresh roasted red and golden beets, goat cheese and candied pecans, on a bed of mixed greens, tossed in a raspberry vinaigrette. Please request no goat cheese to make this bad boy vegan friendly. On the entrée side, the Bourbon St. Pork Loin has been dominating the menu in recent weeks: two pan-seared pork medallions sautéed with a rich house made bourbon gravy, topped with red onions and served with our garlic whipped potatoes.

Here are a few items that we are running as specials this week. Come on down, have a taste and let us know what you think.

Creole Tofu
Blackened tofu, sautéed in a Cajun sauce, with a mix of greens, onion, broccoli and carrots, and red beans, finished with our cilantro, jalapeño lime sauce and served over rice.

Mississippi Roast
Boneless chuck roast, massaged in our own 99 rub and seared to hold the flavors in. Slow roasted, in our homemade southern style buttermilk dressing. Served with garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

Pork Ribs, Half or Full Rack
Marinated overnight, our baby back pork ribs are slow braised and fall off the bone. Served with skillet cornbread and rice and beans.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Pahk Ya Cah!

(originally published Feb. 24, 2016)
From Ed:
This year has been extraordinary for us down at the club. After a, "too close for comfort" scare with our lease that consumed much of our attention and energy last year, we have been able to bounce back with many highly attended shows. The remodel, top-shelf booking and some anticipated menu changes have added to your interest in visiting this ole juke joint. The biggest factor in our year so far has been your continued support of the club and the alliance that we have formed with the musicians who grace our stage. Trust me, I am very aware of the challenges that you face as you make your plans to get here. In route to Highway 99 Blues Club, you have been tasked to navigate various construction projects throughout the city. As it seems, the closer that you get to the club, the denser these projects have become, at times even right at our front door. Most of all, Steve and I want to say thank you very much for your continued support throughout this. You have all been at our side consistently and we are proud that you won't let any of this get you down. Together, we are not going to forgo the experience of live music, in the city's premier Blues venue.

Good news on the horizon. As the seawall construction project moves north, parking spaces will be opening up again on the west side of Alaskan Way. The parking spots across the street will be back this upcoming weekend. Directly across the street, on the west side of Alaskan Way. The spots that begin at the end of Pier 51, The Big Wheel, and south on the same side of the street will be opening up beginning this coming weekend. These are available to park and are well lit for your safety and that of your vehicle. We also have our spaces back in the lot in front of the club. (The Puget Sound Energy project has been completed.) One note, very important, do not park at the area in between our block and the Public Storage building. (The Union street pedestrian pass through). In recent weeks, Seattle Parking Enforcement has been ticketing there, and the tickets are steep. As always, I am available to walk any of you back to your cars at the end of the night. With all of the construction and police presence down here, I have not heard of any incidents of concern. However, throughout the years, single women, some of our elder clientele and Andrew Cloutier feel a stronger sense of safety when escorted by a handsome gentleman in a suit. Don't hesitate to ask me, there's a reason we call the club home, and you are our guests, or family!! That's all the info for now, I'll see you this weekend down at the club. - Ed

Social Media?

(originally published Feb. 17, 2016)
Hey! This is a good place to keep in touch with us and get all the info. you need about All Things Highway 99 Blues Club, but we're also on social media where we often post info. and articles to Facebook and Twitter, photos to Instagram, or as we sometimes call them, "snapchat and the instaface..." But seriously, folks... While all the essential info. is on the website and here on the weekly email, sometimes shows are announced and go on sale first on Facebook and Twitter, and our Instagram stuff isn't always the same stuff we post anywhere else. We also have a YouTube channel! Check 'em out. The links above take you to our pages. Here's a recent video from our YouTube channel, the Hank Shreve Band doing "Mellow Down Easy" a couple weeks ago:

Monday, February 15, 2016

Blues Music Awards

(originally published Feb. 11, 2016)
From Big Sark aka Steve:
The 37th annual Blues music Awards are coming May 5th and the list of nominees has just been posted. As most of you know, Highway 99 tries to compete with the big boys when it comes to booking shows. We are limited to some degree by being in the Pacific Northwest, and also due to the lack of clubs that follow along the I-5 corridor, down to San Diego and then heading east. Over the years we have done a pretty good job at bringing acts to our stage who are - let's be honest- within driving range of the club. So it should not come as a surprise when I tell you that 17 of the acts that have played the club are NOMINATED THIS YEAR IN 26 CATEGORIES FOR BMA'S... boom,boom,boom, boom....(That's a John Lee Hooker Boom there, not an Ed Maloney Boom!) Not only are there artists from our very own corner of the world; Lisa Mann, Jimi Bott and Karen Lovely; but just look who not only played at Highway 99 but is also nominated; James Harman, Jason Ricci (as in Grammy award winning Jason Ricci!!) Sugaray Rayford, Walter Trout - who made an amazing recovery from health issues this past year; Duke Robillard, Rick Estrin and the Nightcats, Ian Siegel, Nikki Hill, Brandon Sanitini, Fiona Boyes, Terry Hanck, Kid Anderson, Bob Corritore and John Nemeth. Pretty Impressive right? And what's really slammin' is that many of these acts will be hitting the highway over the next few months.

We wish all the artists listed here and all the other acts nominated the best of luck at the BMA's.  Keep your eye on the prize; or in this case - our calendar...we are loading it up and bringing the best in blues to Seattle.

International Blues Challenge

(originally published Feb. 2, 2016)
From Ed:
All of us here at Highway 99 want to extend a congratulations to all of the participants of the 2016International Blues Challenge. I feel that when representing on a national/international platform Seattleand Portland represent the Pacific Northwest, with our musicians, promoters, supporters proudly sharing the same backyard. It is with great pride that I congratulate Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons, representing the Washington Blues Society, for snatching up first place in this year's solo/duo category. I'm proud to say that they went at it their own way. They performed their unique style of blues, often touching on current social issues, while paying respect to the origin of the music and as importantly theculture from which it was born. Representing the south side of our backyard, Greg Johnson, known as Slim Lively in certain circles, brought home the, oh so coveted triangular award. That's right folks, we got another "Keeping the Blues Alive" award recipient from the region. Greg represents the Cascade Blues Association as President.

Speaking of Blues on a national/international platform, we got a whole lot of touring goodness coming down the highway for you all. After saving the lease and remodeling the joint, we landed some great acts to kick off the year. Thanks again for continuing to Hit theHighway and support all of the local, regional, and touring musicians that have made our stage such a special piece of the music scene here in Seattle. See ya at the club!!

Some of the great out-of-town stuff on the calendar: Curley Taylor 2/5, Lisa Mann 2/13, Andy Stokes 2/20, Rose City Kings 2/27, John Nemeth 3/3, Ken DeRouchie 3/5, The Lloyd Jones Struggle 3/5, Daniel Castro 3/19; Robbie Laws, Big Monti and Rae Gordon 3/25, the Highway99 debut of Soul Vaccination with special guests Andy Stokes 3/26, Rick Estrin & the Nightcats 4/7, The 44's w/ Calvin Conway 4/8, Kevin Selfe and The Portland All Star Big Band 4/9, Jeffery Broussard and The Creole Cowboys 4/16, James Harman's Bamboo Porch Revue w/ Nathan James & Bonedaddy Tempo 5/20, Bruce Katz Band 6/18...

A note from Big Sark

(originally published to our email list, January 27, 2016)
From Steve:
Have you been to the club since we re-opened? Well - you really need to get there - the changes are tight and folks' reaction has been overwhelming. People are really excited about what we have done: the new paint work, the sound system overhaul, new artwork and of course our slamming VIP section! In the two weeks that we have been re-opened, the weekends have been packed; we don't usually talk about what happened since we have so much about to happen, but we would be remiss not to mention the shows that kicked off the new year for us - Nearly Dan, Karen Lovely, Kalimba and the Hot Wired Rhythm Band - the big crowds that turned out for all of these shows. We can't thank you enough for the support. The bands were fired up, and the vibe in the club was really special. We like to think that after 11 years, we have earned our place in Seattle as an established, legitimate live music venue. With the kind of support and comments that we have heard since we opened up again, we think and feel that we are getting close to being the club that we all want: a vibrant and comfortable venue for music, food and dancing. That our mix of music is filling a space that people want to hear and see, that we respect our customers and provide the type of experience that you'll want to have again and again.

So thanks for being there for us, and allowing us to do what we do. We have great shows coming up and even more changes over the coming months. Let us know how we are doing. We look forward to seeing you down at the joint. - Steve

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

2016 Remodel is done!

With a LOT of elbow grease and TLC from staff, friends, and family, we started with a deep clean everywhere from the front of house to the kitchen, got funky with the paintwork, built out some 2-level VIP booth seating, new stage carpet & lighting all around, a new soundboard, Kirk and Terry power-blower cleaned all the speakers... Wear an adult diaper next time you Hit the Highway, 'cause yer gonna crap yer trousers!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2016 Remodel

With a new lease on life, we are coming out swinging!  Building out a new VIP seating section in front of the stage, re-carpeting our stage and throwing in some new stage lighting. Our good buddies Kirk and Terry are replacing the sound board, blowing out the amps and rewiring the whole system. Boom!  We'll update with more photos as the project progresses.  We re-open a week from tonight. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

2015, It's In The Books

What a year, 2015.  Here are some of our personal highlights:…

Fundraisers for beneficiaries we believe in, including the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention, Chris Leighton, the Firefighters of Eastern Washington, United By Music North America, SWOP (Sex Workers Outreach Project), Raven’s 15th Annual Jam For Cans for Northwest Harvest, “Nick-a-Palooza”…

A memorable weekend with Maria Muldaur, the first evening with Her Red Hot Bluesiana Band and the second a multi-media retrospective “Way Past Midnight” where she did it all and gave the packed house a night none will forget…

Special Events like Chris Jones' & Ed’s Big Sexy Birthday Hoedown, Ridin’ with the King: a Musical Tribute to B.B. King, Mary St. Sin's Fried Chicken & Birthday Bash, Sex Worker Appreciation Day, Slide Monsters, A Tribute to Stevie Wonder & Motown, Bawdy Storytelling's "The Business of Pleasure”;  Burlesque by Lady Drew Blood, Maggie McMuffin, the Shanghai Pearl.  We presented shows at the Triple Door Theater, including Bobby Rush and a series of Sunday shows in their Musiquarium Lounge…

It has been a fun, exciting, interesting year by any measure.  Here's a partial list of who played here in twenty fifteen...
Acapulco Gold
Alice Stuart
Amanda Hardy Band
Andrew Norsworthy
Andy Stokes Band
Annie Eastwood
Ayron Jones & the Way
Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons
Ben Rice
Big Monti
Big Road Blues
Billy Stoops & the Dirty Angels
Bleed Together
Blues Rock Hudson
Brian Butler
Brian Kent
Brian Lee & the Orbiters
Brian Nova & Felonius Funk
Bruce Lavin
Bump Kitchen
Calvin Conway
Candye Kane
Carl Sonny Leyland
Carl Verheyen Band
CD Woodbury Band
Che Blaq
Chebon Tiger
Chris Eger Band
Chris Leighton
Chris Stevens
Chris Tussing
Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band
Country Dave Harmonson
Country Lips
Daniel Castro Band
Darrius Willrich
Dave Fleschner
David Raitt & the Baja Boogie Band
Dean Reichert
Dick Powell & Billy Stapleton
Dikki Du & the Zydeco Krewe
Dirty Rice
DK Stewart's Pocket Change
Drummerboy's monthly series featured Tuck Foster, Little Bill, Jim King, Paul Green, Mark Riley, Billy Shew, Eric Rice, Leanne Trevalyan, Billy Stoops, John Kessler, Eric Robert, Norman Baker, Rece Jay Newton, Dan Berkery, Tim Shaughnessy, DreamWreck, Ben Smith, Brooke Lizotte, Jon Bayless..., 
Dudley Taft  Band
Duffy Bishop
Duke Evers
Dwayne Darby
Emmanuel del Casal
Erin Rae Murray
Franco Paletta & the Stingers
Hank Shreve Band
Hard Money Saints
Heather Rayburn
Henry Cooper
Honkey Tonk Union
Hot Roddin' Romeos
Hot Wired Rhythm Band
Hunter & the Dirty Jacks
Jack Cook
Jack Geary & the Owl N' Thistle Band
Jack Rainwater
Jackrabbit Starts
James Howard Band
James King & the Southsiders
Jar of Flies
Jason Ricci & the Bad Kind
Jim McLaughlin
Jimmy Thackery & the Drivers
John "Scooch" Cugno & Mike Shea
John Bayless
John Hanford
John Hodgkin
John Nemeth
JP Hennessy
JP Soars & the Red Hots
Justin Kausal-Hayes
Karen Lovely Band
Ken DeRouchie Band
Kenneth Brian Band
Kevin Andrew Sutton & the Northwest All-Stars
Kevin Selfe & the Portland Blues All-Star Big Band Revue
Kim Field's Big Blues Revue w/ the Emerald City Horns, Ron Bailey & Mark Dalton; 
Kurt Lindsay
LaTanya Horace
Liam o'Maonlai
Lisa Mann And Her Really Good Band
Lissa Ramaglia
Lloyd Jones Struggle
Lori Hardman
Mac Potts
Maria Muldaur
Mark DuFresne Band
Mia Vermillion & Friends
Michael Baxter
Midnight Rambler
Mike Marinig
Mississippi MacDonald
Mitch Pumpian
Modern Relics
Mojo Cannon
Nancy Claire
Nathan James & the Rhythm Scratchers
Nearly Dan
Neil Brown
Nick Baker
Nick Vigarino's Meantown Blues
Northern Pacific
Patti Allen & Monster Road
Paul Green Blues Band
Polly O'Keary & the Rhythm Method
Rae Gordon
Rafael Tranquilino
Randy Oxford Band
Rashonn Johnson
Rick Bowen
Rick Estrin & the Nightcats
Ricky Lynn Johnson
RL Heyer
Robbie Laws Bigger Blues Band
Robin Moxey Band
Roger Fischer
Rose City Kings
Roseland Hunters
Ruby Dee & the Snakehandlers
Shawn Smith
Six Gun Romeo
Slim Jimmy
Smokin' Joe Kubek Band & Bnois King
Son Jack Jr.'s House of Bourbon w/ Michael Wilde & the Total Experience Gospel Choir;
Sourmash Stevedores
Stacy Jones Band
Stereo Embers
Steve Bailey & the Blue Flames
Studebaker John & the Hawks
Sugaray Rayford
Suze Sims
Terry Evans
The 24th Street Wailers
The Alkis
The Black Clouds Blues Band
The Charlatones
The Fabulous Roofshakers
The Forty Fours
The Funk E Fusion Band
The Guessing Game
The Highway 99 Spotlight Series featured Willy Straub, Polly O'Keary, Billy Hancock, Steve Sarkowsky, Dan Tyack, Miguel El Show, Jeff Russell, Brian Nova, Chris Eger, Patrick McDanel, Rod Cook, Scotty Harris, Tommy Wall, Marc Lagen, Dave Kennedy, Randy Norris, Ron Hendee; 
The Poulsboys
The Scotch Tops
The Shaken Growlers
The Starjays
The Strange Tones
The Trailer Park Kings
The True Romans
The WIRED! Blues Band
The Yada Yada Blues Band
Tom V Jones
Tony Grasso
Too Slim & the Taildraggers
Whitney Monge
Xolie Mora & the Strange Kind