Moving to the music with Foy Vance

Even with terrible jet lag and packed in like sardines with a standing room only sold out audience, I still managed to thoroughly enjoy Foy Vance’s performance  on his Wild Swan Tour at Columbia City Theater this week.  WOW.  What a talent to play in this small venue.  Foy pours his heart into his music, lifting your spirits so high you can’t help but smile and move to the beat.  Whether banging it out on the piano or jamming on his guitar, Foy has passion and energy to spare.  With a careful branding of his Irish roots, he has great style, sporting a handlebar mustache, traditional tweed cap and a cheeky glint in his eyes.

After just coming back from our Ireland vacation, it was a joy to hear that lilting Irish accent again.  As the Irish would say, Feck it sure it’s grand.  Yes, that’s what they say.  He and his band decided that, like most musicians, Seattle is a grand fecking place to play.  Of course it is.

Foy opened for Elton John’s tour in Europe and was the first artist to sign on with Ed Sheeran for his new label.  When I heard he was going to play at Columbia City, I was thrilled.  Boise friends, he is there this week so go see him!  He is that good. wp_20160928_21_39_51_pro-2

With a full band and a large voice, Foy would have been better suited at The Moore or Paramount theaters so hopefully next time he makes the long trip from Ireland, he will move up to a much larger hall so we can enjoy his soaring vocals and excellent band with room to breathe.  To say it was aromatic with all the sweating bodies after a long day would be putting it mildly.  Ewwww….

After standing for over an hour in my heels, my feet were numb but I just couldn’t leave quite yet.  I love all the songs on his new album and enjoyed seeing them performed live. 

Foy’s opening act was a shrill Bob Dylan wannabe who I could have lived without seeing.  Usually the opening acts I have seen in the last year or so have been truly excellent but that was definitely NOT the case here.  Only a lovely whiskey and ginger cocktail got me through that crap that he was throwing all over the stage trying to be artistically crazy.

Finally, the jet lag won out though and, knowing I had to work the next day, we left Foy singing his heart out on the stage.  Come back to Seattle soon, Mr. Vance.  You are a true talent.

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Enjoying Indie Singer/Songwriters in Seattle

I try to never take for granted that we are lucky to live in a city with such a vibrant music scene for all ages that ranges from superstars visiting us like Bruce Springsteen and The Who to hard-working talents that you have probably never heard of but should check out.  Thom and I try to support all levels, attending at least one concert a month for date night.  This fall we get to experience some fantastic indie artists who put their heart and soul into their work. Being a musician is not a easy life for most but I appreciate them all!

One of the smaller venues with phenomenal acoustics is Columbia City Theater with only 100 or so seats so you get to be up close and personal with the acts.  We’ve seen Griffin House there (and he comes back to play 12/1-go!) and last night we got to see Sean McConnell, who had been Griffin’s opening act last year but now is launching his Ghost Town tour as the main act showcasing his new album, which we bought on vinyl, of course.

Can I just say that Thom’s vinyl collection is out of control?  Soon, new furniture will be required to house it all which could be an issue as we look to downsize yet again in the future. We are looking at properties to buy in West Seattle, close to Easy Street Records which might be very, very bad for our budget if Thom can just stroll over every day looking for new vinyl.  He even, perhaps jokingly, said he would get a job there just to have more time perusing the inventory.  OH. HELL. NO.  After we put in an offer on a condo on the main drag in West Seattle yesterday, we ambled by East Street just in time to catch Sean do an in-store appearance before his concert.  He took one look at me, stared and said, “I remember you!”.  So funny and no, I am not a stalker, but on a recent girl’s weekend with my sister in Chicago, we had talked to Sean after he opened for Kris Allen at City Winery.  I had told Sean that I had asked my barber to recreate his hair style on me when I went with the shaved on the sides #3 blade look.  We’re twins now, don’t you know!

But I digress, so back to the music scene.  Sean’s opening act, Andy Davis, was good and connected to the friendly, easy-to-engage audience especially with his piano tunes.  He congratulated us on our clapping skills as everyone in the place quickly took direction to get involved with his quirky and awkward-at-love songs.  I hate a stiff crowd so it was fun to enjoy the concert with other people who appreciate good tunes with some spirit.  Sean even later commented that it was refreshing to play a venue where the focus is music vs. people eating/talking/ignoring the music. Playing bars with drunken patrons is probably not his favorite venue.  Just a guess.

In the 95+ degree heatwave and a theater that was only somewhat cooled off, Sean laid it all out on the floor with his soaring, clear vocals and original lyrics that spoke to the hard life of a musician.  He and Andy are driving a van around the West Coast from Seattle to Boise (9/3 at Neurolox-Boise friends, go!) for a total of 12 cities in two weeks.  Damn, they work hard for their money.  As Sean sings in one of his songs, “One Acre of Land”, he offered his wife the opportunity to be with a broke artist who would devote himself to her despite the lack of money.  Who could turn down that offer?   His lyrics really speak to Thom and I, especially “Best We’ve Ever Been” when he sings, “And damn girl, we look good.  Yeah baby we’re the best we’ve ever been.” and explores the adventure that life can be when you have a partner you love.  That’s Thom and I-no slowing down!  Check out Sean’s vocal stylings: 

Coming soon this fall is Foy Vance, who opened for Elton John this summer on his European Tour, and who will grace Columbia City with his presence 9/28 on his Wild Swan tour. You can bet Thom and I will be there to enjoy his music before he hits it big.  Ed Sheeran signed and produced Foy’s latest album and he has gotten great media coverage in the U.S.  We will have just come back from our Ireland vacation and will be in the mood to let this Irishman entertain us.  Get out there and enjoy some Seattle music.  Cheers!

Fried Dough & Vino=Happy Saturday

Malasada French Toast..dripping with bacon infused salted toffee syrup.  Holy. Moly.  Brunch at Super Six in Columbia City was just the ticket for a rainy Seattle day sugar high.  Thom opted for the Hawaiian Loco Moco–a big ol’ bowl filled with rice, brown gravy, beef patty and topped with two fried eggs.  Or, as it should be called, the Widow Maker.  Today was an anomaly in our usually healthy diet and boy was it tasty!  The owner was giving out hot Malasada donuts on our way out.  We didn’t want to be rude so we accepted them with a smile.  Now that’s world class customer service-free donuts!

After seeking out the Green Eileen store that sells returns/seconds of the really well-made Eileen Fisher line at a huge discount (score!), we meandered down Rainier Avenue and checked out this cool neighborhood just south of Seattle.  This is where the hipsters live in more affordable digs.  On the main drag is the Columbia City Theater that we’ve been to and enjoyed the intimate concert atmosphere.  We’re so excited to see our new fav, Foy Vance, there in September.  This Irish lad will, I predict, explode as a superstar with his new album and tour.  Ed Sheeran just signed him as his first artist on his new label so he will have good direction.  Who doesn’t love that adorable ginger Ed?

But, back to our wonderful day exploring south Seattle in the Sexy Beast, top up unfortunately due to rain/cold.  Still, we enjoyed the ride very much in our cozy BMW cockpit.  After the yummy brunch, we slid on over to the edge of Boeing Field where Charles Smith of Walla Walla winery fame has his new tasting room.  After sugar-laden carbs, bring on the vino!   Jet City was packed with wine affectionados tasting and communing.  I chose the $10 tasting flight of 8 wines that are more modestly priced ($70 and under per bottle) vs. the $20 tasting flight of more expensive wines.  I have a hard time recognizing the value of a $70+ bottle of wine over a $20 bottle-all wine is good to me (even two buck chuck from Trader Joes) so my palate must not be too discerning.

Now, I’ve been happily drinking their Boom Boom syrah for years so it felt good to branch out and sample some other Charles Smith originals.  Thom, my designated driver, made fun of the interesting ad copy extolling the virtues of each wine on the tasting sheet including somewhat dubious details of the soil that created these wines including the usual fruits but also:  pipe tobacco, fresh bread, lemon curd, crushed granite, and dried hanging meat    Yeah.  Right. Who cares though because by the end of the 8 tastes, I was ready to buy a few bottles for home consumption and head on home to take a nap.  Ahhh….Saturdays are wonderful!