Friday: Ha Ha Tonka, Country Lips, Evening Bell Live at the Mural, and Lonesome Billies at Sunset Tavern

coverby Sean Jewell ::

Ooh boy, Friday’s gonna be busy folks, but the swingin’ roadhouse sounds of The Northwest (and parts beyond) are callin’. First of all, did you know that KEXP’s Concerts at the Mural are FREE? Also, they happen early (starting at 4:30). So come on down to Seattle Center and find a sweet spot on the grass at the sweetest stage in town. With the sun at your back and the space needle looming overhead, in the Mural’s gently sloping natural amphitheater, it’s gonna be easy to enjoy Missouri‘s Ha Ha Tonka, the always impressive, honky tonkin rhapsody that is Evening Bell, and Country Lips‘ menagerie of a band.

After the sun goes down, coast down Denny Way, make a right at the water and head into the sunset across the 15th Ave. bridge. Take that first exit and turn left and you’ll be in the People’s Republic of Ballard, Washington, U.S.A., but you knew that already. The Lonesome Billies are kickin’ off a West Coast tour with their Seattle album release show at The Sunset. The dudes ride into town fresh off a successful fund drive for the release and distribution of their latest record It’s Good To Be Lonesome, and despite their success that album is morbid, on’ry, and mean. Portland has a tight-knit, active country scene, and it’s made for some creative releases from the region. This one is a thunderclapper of laudanum and whiskey, an ancient remedy sure to encourage the kind of dancing that helps release the noxious humors that ail you. You’ve got to hear songs like “Goddamnit Bill,” about being “on the wagon that’s got no wheels,” but strolls right along on acoustic strummin’ and electric pickin’. The trottin’ away song called “Better To Forget” has a rhythm so sweet you might drop a tear in the ol’beer if you ain’t careful. “Stay Lonesome” and “Die Lonesome” feature both Ornery Bill’s baritone and the kind of shitkickin’ smart-assedness that make them Lonesome Billies great.

Figure on dancin’ holes in your boots that’ll match that worn out soul, being drunk early, and beddin’ down late, this is gonna be great.

west coast tour