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