Episode 5: Nightpulse

Hailing from San Diego, she traded piano for drums at age 11 and hasn’t looked back since. She was the drummer, co-vocalist, and songwriter fro Bad Things, which toured with the likes of 30 Seconds to Mars and Phantogram, played Lollapalooza, and appeared on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Since then, she’s launched her own solo artist career, releasing three singles and two music vidoes. Say hello to Nightpulse (aka Lena Zawaideh).

We chat about everything from self-producing, her upcoming EP, her latest music video for “The Rush“, compared the LA and Seattle music scenes, and plenty more! You can view both music videos we discussed, “Delirious” and “The Rush“, as well as a host of drum covers on her  YouTube channel . 

Be sure to listen and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here!

If you want to hear the different artists we talk about, check out our Spotify playlist here.

About

Made for Music is a podcast that explores how to navigate the Northwest music scene, the resources available, and most importantly, the stories behind the people making things happen.

The podcast is hosted by Duncan Byargeon, the lead singer / guitarist of Deify – a hard rock group hailing from Seattle, WA.

Contact Information

Duncan Byargeon, Host of Made for Music Email: mfm.podcast@outlook.com

Episode 4: Antoine Martel

McGill University was far from the beginning for this talented musician / producer. Since founding his first band in high school nearly 10 years ago, he has been an active part of more than 8 projects – 4 of which are currently active. From pop and jazz to funk fusion, this man rocks the guitar, keyboards, sings, and “half decently shakes a shaker” for bands based in both Seattle and Japan. Say hello to a truly international musician, Antoine Martel.

We discuss everything from how learning classical piano, his time at McGill University, becoming a guitar teacher, his return to Seattle, and how he got involved in a band based out of Japan.

His personal website www.antoinemartelmusic.com has a fairly comprehensive list of his active projects:  Dentaru no Tsuba, High Pulp, Sous Chef, and Sunking.

Be sure to listen and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here!

If you want to hear the different artists we talk about, check out our Spotify playlist here.

About

Made for Music is a podcast that explores how to navigate the Northwest music scene, the resources available, and most importantly, the stories behind the people making things happen.

The podcast is hosted by Duncan Byargeon, the lead singer / guitarist of Deify – a hard rock group hailing from Seattle, WA.

Contact Information

Duncan Byargeon, Host of Made for Music Email: mfm.podcast@outlook.com

Episode 3: Evan Johnson

Hailing from Minnesota, this man has become a pivotal piece of the Seattle scene on both the local and national level. He kick-started his career in music as an intern at KEXP in the programming department. Shortly thereafter he moved into booking, and is now theTalent Buyer for Neumos. Say hello to the man every local artist wants to be recognized by (and on good terms with), Evan Johnson.

We discuss everything from how he got into the business side of music, best practices for booking shows, the best shows that he’s book, and much more!

Be sure to listen and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here!

If you want to hear the different artists we talk about, check out our Spotify playlist here.

About

Made for Music is a podcast that explores how to navigate the Northwest music scene, the resources available, and most importantly, the stories behind the people making things happen.

The podcast is hosted by Duncan Byargeon, the lead singer / guitarist of Deify – a hard rock group hailing from Seattle, WA.

Contact Information

Duncan Byargeon, Host of Made for Music Email: mfm.podcast@outlook.com

Episode 2: Chris Carlson

Currently one of the busiest drummers in the Seattle music scene,  Chris Carlson has quite the resume. Currently in five bands, he plays with Seattle-local favorites Rafael Tranquilino, James Redfern, and Chance McKinney.

Prior to moving back to the Northwest in 2012, this Berklee School of Music graduate lived was in Nashville performing with budding country acts Claire Dunn, Josh Wilson, and Austin Janckes (from The Voice).

This episode explores how Chris got started on the drums, his post-grad journey (Boston to Seattle, to Nashville, and back to Seattle.), how he balances playing with so many different acts, approaches to recording, and how he networks in the music business.

Be sure to listen and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here!

If you want to hear the different artists we talk about, check out our Spotify playlist here.

About

Made for Music is a podcast that explores how to navigate the Northwest music scene, the resources available, and most importantly, the stories behind the people making things happen.

The podcast is hosted by Duncan Byargeon, the lead singer / guitarist of Deify – a hard rock group hailing from Seattle, WA.

Contact Information

Duncan Byargeon, Host of Made for Music Email: mfm.podcast@outlook.com

 

Made for Music: The podcast set to explore the Northwest Music Scene

It’s been a long time coming, but I am thrilled to announce the launch of Made for Music.

I grew up in the Greater Seattle area and have lived in the Pacific Northwest my whole life. There’s a wonderful, vibrant music scene up here, with an incredibly welcoming community. Growing up, music was my ultimate passion, but I didn’t know how to get started.

So, this podcast will explore the Northwest music scene, how to navigate it, the resources available to you, and most importantly, the stories behind the people making things happen.

Episodes will be released every two weeks, highlighting different artists, producers, and business people who have established (or are establishing) themselves in the music scene.

The first episode is set for release Tuesday, January 9, 2018  (TODAY) featuring Sarah St. Albin. Check out our Spotify playlist to listen to the different artists we chat about, including Tobias the Owl, J GRGRY, and Sarah McLauchlan.

Be sure to check out our website and follow us on our socials to experience this journey every step of the way!

Website: https://www.madeformusicpodcast.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/madeformusicpodcast/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mfm_pod

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mfm_podcast/

Contact Information

Contact: Duncan Byargeon, Host and CEO of Deify Entertainment

Phone: 425.503.3714

Email: dbyargeon@deifyentertainment.com

Why Songwriters Should be Listening to “And the Writer Is…”

Did you know that songwriter compensation is established by three judges in DC every five years, based on two laws – from 1909 and 1976, respectively? Or that, until this year, songwriters were not eligible for “Album of the Year” awards at the Grammys for records that they wrote?

My guess is that your answer to the first question was a hard “no,” and unless you’ve been on an award-winning song, you also answered” no” to the second. How could you have known? There isn’t a whole of information out there for aspiring songwriters. In many cases, people who love to write songs may not even be aware that they can pursue a career as a songwriter.

“And the Writer Is…” is a podcast hosted by multi-platinum songwriter, Ross Golan. Each episode, with a few exceptions, he sits down with the songwriters behind the biggest hits in the world. He delves into their upbringing, their journey into songwriting, and the stories behind some of your favorite songs.

Why These Episodes Are Important

Music Business Education

I had the pleasure of meeting Peter Hollens at a workshop at the University of Oregon. He discussed the lack of business education in university music programs, and how learning the business behind the music industry may be one of the more important things when trying to make it as an artist (or songwriter).

Every single episode of “And the Writer is…” discusses the business dealings of each songwriter, from their own lens. What you’ll find is that there are seemingly endless ways that people “make it,” but how many of them face the same challenges.

At the very least, listen to Episode 28 featuring David Israelite. He is the President and CEO of the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), where he has achieved landmark successes for publisher and songwriter royalty rate agreements and increasing the value of intellectual property. During this episode, he explains everything you need to know about getting paid in the streaming era and provides the history of copyrights.

Credible Sources

Who better to learn from than the experts?

Let’s start with the host, Ross Golan. He’s penned some of the biggest hits of the decade, including “Same Old Love” (Selena Gomez), “My House” (Flo Rida), “Compass” (Lady Antebellum), and “Dangerous Woman” (Ariana Grande). He was a touring musician, released a critically acclaimed musical (The Wrong Man), and won BMI’s Pop Songwriter of the Year in 2016.

His guests include:

  • Desmond Child – songwriter and producer who has had top 10 hits in five different decades (Kiss, Cher, Bon Jovi, Ricky Martin, Kelly Clarkson, Selena Gomez)
  • Bonnie McKee – one of Katy Perry’s most trusted writing partners, and a solo-artist
  • Mike Caren – an A&R executive and esteemed songwriter (Bruno Mars, Kanye West, Beyonce, and more)
  • J-Cash – the songwriter behind hits from Charlie Puth, Jason Derulo, and Maroon 5.

Why You’ll Love This Podcast

As a songwriter, it’s nearly impossible to find content that provides tangible, real-world guidance. Most of the materials available are music theory books. Even then, it can be difficult to access premium materials unless you’re attending school specifically for songwriting – in which case you’re spending thousands of dollars.

So…the question remains: outside of “critical information,” why will you love this podcast?

It Will Inspire You

From love and loss, to getting songs recognized and struggling to put food on the table – it’s all there. Hearing how writers have gone from rock bottom to the top of the charts (in some cases more than once) and they lay their hearts out in these episodes. Knowing that the biggest writers in music have been in your shoes is comforting. Moreover, listening to people geek out about their passion – which also happens to be yours, will get you FIRED UP!

Each Episode is a Lot of Fun

Ross has known some of the guests for years, making for some hilarious stories and some true “behind the scenes” discussions.

Listening to how some of the biggest songs in the world came to be are fascinating. Often, the personalities behind those songs are even more interesting. Ever wondered how Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” came to be? Want to hear a happily married man explain his wife’s thoughts on hearing him write “Side to Side” for Ariana Grande? Curious as to how “My House” by Flo Rida was originally intended to be an Adele ballad?

…what are you waiting for? GO LISTEN TO IT!

 

Top 5 Episodes

1.      Episode 28: David Israelite

David Israelite delves into the business of music copywrites, publishing, and his continued fight for songwriter rights. It’s all you need to know about how songwriters are getting paid, and the political climate surrounding their rights.

2.      Episode 3: Savan Kotecha

Savan Kotecha is responsible for writing and producing some of the world’s biggest records and is considered to be one of the elite top liners (one who writes vocal parts over pre-made music) in the industry.

Recommended Tracks:

  • Confident – Demi Lovato
  • Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd
  • Side to Side – Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj

3.      Episode 30: Rhett Akins

Featuring an esteemed artist, one of the top country songwriters (25+ number one hits), and the proud father of Thomas Rhett. From playing frat parties to writing with the likes of Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, Rhett Akins delivers one of the most honest, humble, and funny episodes in the podcast’s history.

Recommended Tracks:

  • Hey Girl – Billy Currington
  • Boys ‘Round Here (feat. Pistol Annies & Friends) – Blake Shelton
  • Drink a Little Beer – Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins

4.      Episode 8: Evan Bogart

This songwriter has a story unlike many others. Unlike most, he didn’t break into the industry as a writer, but as an executive. As a side-gig, he wrote hits like Beyonce’s “Halo,” Ashley Tisdale’s “He Said, She Said”, and Rihanna’s “SOS”. He also happens to be married to one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE ARTISTS, ZZ Ward.

Recommended Tracks:

  • Criminal – ZZ Ward
  • SOS – Rihanna
  • Ride – ZZ Ward, Gary Clark Jr.

5.      Episode 25: Charlie Puth

One of the biggest up-and-coming artists, a man with PERFECT PITCH! This episode may have the most energy out of any guest, as Ross and Charlie dig into what exactly constitutes perfect pitch, how it plays into Charlie’s writing, and how Justin Bieber inspired him to kickstart his career.

Recommended Tracks:

  • How Long – Charlie Puth
  • Attention – Charlie Puth
  • See You Again – Wiz Khalifa, Charlie Puth

 

“And the Writer is…” is available on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, and other podcast listening apps. Visit their website for more information: http://www.andthewriteris.com 

Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold at CenturyLink Field

It’s hard for me to give an objective review on last night’s show in Seattle. Instead of a review, I want to give a write up of my experience. My brother and I (the Deify collective) got to the stadium at 10am to camp out for the show. Fast forward six hours and we were standing front row with some friends we made in line.

At 5pm, Mix Master Mike from the Beastie Boys had a surprise set. To be honest, it was a bit lackluster. I don’t envy a DJ trying to throw hip hop beats under hard rock and heavy metal instrumentals to a crowd of what turned out to be approximately 50,000 metal heads.

First Up: Gojira

The French heavy-metal scene isn’t something I’ve paid much attention (have you?) but these guys brought raw intensity. While not my cup of tea, they were a fun band to watch. The highlight for me was that their drummer looked like a French Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).

Avenged Sevenfold

I’ve seen these guys four times now, all in a headlining role, so it was strange to see them come on at 7pm while it’s still light outside. The band opened with the title track from their new album “The Stage” – an eight-and-a-half minute epic that starts off with a droning organ before kicking into neo-classical metal riffs, yet ends with a flamenco-esque acoustic outro. Though not the headliners the band still delivered headliner-style pyro, with 30-foot flames erupting from stage throughout nearly every song. I was honestly surprised at how well-received the band was.

While they are my favorite band, I didn’t realize they had gotten to a point where nearly an entire stadium would be familiar enough with their material to sing along to hits like Afterlife, Almost Easy, Nightmare, and Hail to the King. This was incredibly exciting for me, as a long-time fan. Maybe these guys will be able to carry the torch for hard rock/heavy metal and fill arenas in 20 years like Metallica…?

On that note, the highlight (for me – and I’d assume the band) was “Hail to the King”. 50,000 people screaming “HAIL” and pumping their fists in unison was quite a sight to behold. “Unholy Confessions” was a close second with the stage being engulfed in flames 😉

Listen to Avenged Sevenfold’s setlist on Spotify

Note: Photo credit to Rafa Alcantara

Metallica

I’d read about the danger the band brought with them in their heyday. That wasn’t exactly the case at CenturyLink Field (not complaining). Sure, there was pushing and shoving – especially when the band played their earlier material – but it never felt out of control. James Hetfield stopped the show after its second to proclaim “Metallica does not give a shit”. In the late 80s/early 90s, this probably would have been followed by a call for a massive circle pit or mosh. Instead, James continued on to state they “did not give a shit” about what anyone’s race, gender, sexual orientation, or political stance and wanted everyone to come together as a family to celebrate music. A little bit different than “Kill ‘Em All,” eh?

Having sold over 58 million albums in the US and over 155 million worldwide, it’s no secret that Metallica is one of the biggest musical acts on the planet. All that being said, I never thought I’d be front row to see Metallica play to over 50,000 people screaming every riff, lyric, and drum beat of a two-and-a-half hour set. What I was most impressed by was the range of ages at the show. When my brother and I were camped out, most people were late teens and early twenties. Those same people were screaming the lyrics to Whiplish and Seek and Destroy from Metallica’s 1983 album “Kill ‘Em All” and “Halo on Fire” from 2016’s “Hardwired…to Self Destruct”.

Needless to say, Metallica did not disappoint. The scale of their show matched the size of the venue with five 100-foot screens that brought an intense visual experience to show, with pyro cannons on top, fireworks, and a complex laser/light show. Kirk Hammett flawlessly executed blistering guitar solos with James Hetfield flashing his incredible rhythm guitar chops (and some impressive lead pieces).

Robert Trujillo is also quite the spectacle on bass. What I enjoyed most about watching him was how seamlessly he played intensely technical riffs while finger-picking the whole show. Most hard/rock metal bassists these days stick to picking to keep up with the speed and technical nature of the genre.

Should Metallica make their way back around to your neck of the woods, this is not a show to be missed. Deep cuts are there to satisfy the hardcore fans, with plenty of massive hits for the casual listener.

Listen to Metallica’s setlist on Spotify

3 Things Artists Can Learn From Green Day

Tuesday night, Green Day kicked off the latest leg of the Revolution Radio Tour at the White River Amphitheatre. This was their first show in Washington since the 21st Century Breakdown tour in 2009. The setlist did feature a significant amount of material from the band’s latest release “Revolution Radio,” as well as most of “American Idiot”. Nonetheless, the setlist contained many gems for old-school Green Day fans, with five songs off Dookie, three from Nimrod, and even 2,000 Light Years from their pre-major label days (“Kerplunk”).

This was my second time seeing Green Day, the first being their show at Key Arena 8 years ago. After this show, there were a few things that stood out as fantastic points of reference for other artists/bands:

Get the Crowd Involved

Sure, this seems like a no-brainer. However, I can’t tell you how many shows I’ve gone to in the last few years where artists/bands simply play through their songs. It’s safe to say that every other song (if not every song) Billie Joe had the crowd clapping in unison and/or screaming “hey ooooooooooh”. Within the first 30 minutes of the show, Green Day had turned the crowd into a community. As far as I could tell, no one was holding back – from jumping up and down to singing along at the top of their lungs.

When it came to the encore, 16,000 people were screaming “hey ooooooooooooh” in unison and pounding the chairs of the amphitheater to get the band back on stage. Sure enough, this was met by the band running out bowing to the crowd and a very excited Billie Joe fist pumping and screaming “YES”!

Repetition in Your Live Routine is Okay, If It’s Genuine

On three separate occasions, Billie Joe Armstrong (lead singer/guitarist) brought members on the crowd on stage. The first was to have a young boy to sing the final verse/chorus of Know Your Enemy, the second being a teenager to sing the final verse/chorus of Longview, and the third bringing a birthday-girl on-stage to play guitar for the end of “King for a Day”.

He did the exact same thing in 2009 at Key Arena (except the guy he brought up to play guitar was not celebrating his birthday). Yet, it still worked. The band has found a way to bring the intimacy of a club show to their arena/amphitheater shows.

This also ties into the former point about getting the crowd involved. Having a crowd repeat the same action over-and-over again makes it easy to get involved. This is especially true for people seeing you for the first time, or those who aren’t familiar with you at all. Having a simple phrase repeated across your setlist makes your show accessible to newbies – the point is to keep gaining new fans, right?

Don’t be Afraid to Make a Statement

It’s not a secret that “American Idiot” was Green Day’s response to the Bush Administration back in 2004. Tuesday night Billie Joe made it pretty clear that he’s not terribly content with the current administration either – which may be a deeper reason for the inclusion of so many “American Idiot” tracks throughout the set. He certainly struck a chord with the majority of the crowd (no pun intended…okay kind of…) while avoiding any notion of a man sitting on a pedestal.

Now, I’m certainly not saying to spend your precious minutes on stage voicing your grievances. Further, your statement definitely does not have to be political. The bottom line is people are drawn music that speaks to them on a personal level, and therefore artists who stand for something. This ranges from deep socio-cultural beliefs to how people choose to spend their Friday nights, though the later tends to generate more long-term fans. Crafting your message goes back to how an artist/band brands itself (see my posts on artists becoming a media company and what I’ve learned since Deify’s first record), which can certainly change over time – Green Day being a perfect example: from high-school burnouts/stoners to vocal, socio-political artists.

Highlights from the Show

Billie Joe Armstrong

He may be one of the most playful front-man that I’ve ever witnessed. His ability to get the crowd involved yielded a great night of entertainment.

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Dedicated the late Chester Bennington, the song packed an emotional punch. The first half of the song was stripped down to just a guitar and vocals and was delivered beautifully.

The Stage During Revolution Radio and Forever Now

I’m a sucker for great pyro.

Setlist:

  1. Know Your Enemy
  2. Bang Bang
  3. Revolution Radio
  4. Holiday
  5. Letterbomb
  6. Boulevard of Broken Dreams (dedicated to Chester Bennington)
  7. Longview
  8. Youngblood
  9. 2000 Light Years Away
  10. Hitchin’ a Ride
  11. When I Come Around
  12. Welcome to Paradise
  13. Minority
  14. Are We the Waiting
  15. Jimmy
  16. Knowledge (Operation Ivy cover)
  17. Basket Case
  18. She
  19. King for a Day (Saxophone solo w/ snippet of “Careless Whisper”)
  20. Shout/(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction/Hey Jude
  21. Still Breathing
  22. Forever Now

Encore

  1. American Idiot
  2. Jesus of Suburbia
  3. Ordinary World
  4. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)

 

Ayron Jones and the Way Rock the Neptune Theatre

If you haven’t heard of him already, you will soon. Ayron Jones just released his sophomore album “Audio Paint Job” on July 2nd. His music reflects the Seattle music scene he grew up in, resulting in a beautiful mashup of Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix. Yet, he’s breaking new ground by incorporating elements of gospel, soul, and hip-hop.

Last night, Ayron Jones and the Way took the Neptune Theatre by storm. It was a guitar onslaught from the get-go. The kid is making a name for himself in the local scene as a guitar wonder, and it won’t be long before news starts to spread. It’s one thing to listen to the album recordings, but live is a whole different experience. The stage is where he belongs, and he knows it.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram| Spotify (First album is under Ayron Jones and the Way)

Performance Highlights

Every. Damn. Guitar solo.

Ayron lets it rip every time he steps away from the mic (sometimes even while he’s singing). There’s an attitude that comes with his guitar play, which is something that has been missing from the scene for quite some time.

While certainly a highlight, the solos don’t take away from the rest of the arrangements.

Whether a casual or avid guitar fan, you owe it to yourself to see this man play. Don’t miss him next time.

Best Songs:

“Boys from the Puget Sound” – What better way to take the stage in Seattle than to hear “the baddest band in town” come in guns blazing, screaming “here come the boys from the Puget Sound”?

“Take Me Away” – This is my favorite track off “Audio Paint Job” and it did not disappoint. The dynamics of the song translate perfectly to the stage. While Ayron is certainly shines in every song, the rhythm section displayed their chops, laying down a perfect groove underneath the guitar god’s wailing.

“Mr. Jones” – Once again, the rhythm section held it down enabling Ayron to get the crowd involved. We gleefully chanted “Mr. Jones, tell me, are you ready?” while getting our two-step on.

“West Coast Feeling” – this is a track I hadn’t spent as much time on. That said, I haven’t been able to stop listening to it since the show. This track has an identity factor to it and I can see this translating extremely well to a broader audience. The Neptune was certainly feeling it. Check it out. I’m sure you will too.

Honorable Mention

Noelle Tannen and the Filthy No Nos

Another act that I cannot wait to see again. This was the first act of the night that I caught, and boy am I glad I did. When reading about them they were advertised as a hip-hop/pop group. What I saw live was a full-blown blues/rock show. Noelle is a killer vocalist and knew how to work the crowd. The highlights of the set were the final two tracks (didn’t catch the names) which will be on the group’s upcoming record.

To my fellow Ducks, they will be performing in Eugene tomorrow night (June 26th) at Old Nicks Pub. Be sure to check them out!

Website | Facebook | Instagram| Spotify

Black Stone Cherry’s First Seattle Headlining Show

Review of Black Stone Cherry’s First Seattle Headlining Show

After five worldwide releases, mainstream rock radio success, and sold-out arena tours across the US and Europe, you’d think that Kentucky’s finest southern hard-rock group would have headlined The Town. Not so! Though overdue, as guitarist Ben Wells stated mid-set, El Corazon’s “dirty, sweaty, basement atmosphere” was the most fitting – and rock n roll – setting for their first Seattle headlining show.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram| Spotify

Performance Highlights

Chris Robertson’s Vocal Delivery

They don’t call this guy the “Big Mouth of the South” for nothing. This guy belts it out, no-holds-barred. I’ve watched their “Thank You: Livin Live Birmingham UK” DVD  and countless YouTube videos of them performing from the likes of Germany’s Rock am Ring to hidden gems like fan footage of them rocking Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”, and I was still not prepared for the gusto this guy has on the mic.

Ben Wells’ Energy

The dude was head banging and kicking like a mad man. All the while, he was singing every word and cutting through insane southern rock/metal riffs for a solid 90 minutes straight. He made sure that everyone stage-right was engaged the whole night.

Okay…so there was a break where he sat down and played an acoustic guitar for “The Rambler”. You got me. But I’m sure he was still moshing in his head.

I feel obligated to note that the whole band had an incredible amount of energy. The rest of the band still blew the roof off the place.

John Fred Young’s Harmonica/Drum Solo

The man was jamming out on the harmonica AND playing a drum solo. Such an act was something I’d never heard of and I don’t think I’ll ever see anyone do it better. This may have been the most joyous moment of the concert. I can’t put my finger on it, but there was something special about this moment. Throughout the show, I was amazed by his chops. I’m convinced that he’s one of the most underrated drummers in the business.

Jon Lawhon: The Friendliest Guy On & Off the Stage

Jon was a close second in the energy department. If Ben went stage-left, he was jumping right up to the front of the stage. Throughout the night, he and a woman who was clearly an avid Black Stone Cherry fan went back-and-forth all-night yelling, dancing (head banging), and screaming every lyric. He made sure he was at the center of the camera for every photo/video she took, including a mid-song selfie. Towards the final third of the show, he walked directly up to her and handed her a pick.

After the show, while waiting for my Uber ride he took the time to chat with me on the curb by their tour bus. It felt like talking to an old friend. We talked the band’s journey over the past 16 years, rock n roll’s dominance in Europe (and the contrast here in the US), his home-town in Kentucky, and the band’s day off in Eugene (where I went to school – hence my excitement).

If he ever reads this, I do want him to know that two canceled rides was truly the reason I was out-front for so long and that I wasn’t using that time to trick him into hanging out.

Dean: The Gentleman Working the Merch Table

The Black Stone Cherry experience is rife with genuine, kind men. This guy isn’t around just to hustle merch, but making genuine connections with the fans at these shows. What started as buying some shirts turned into a night-long conversation. Between each set I made my way back to the merch table to chat with him. Like with Jon, it felt like talking to a life-long friend. It was fascinating to hear a different perspective on the tour-cycle, how things have changed since the band switched labels, and why none of them have the desire to call any place other than Kentucky “home”.

When you go see these guys on tour, make sure you say hi to Dean and throw a few tips his way.

Best Songs

“Devil’s Queen” – this is one of my favorite Black Stone Cherry songs, hailing from their second album Folklore & Superstition, and I did not think this would be played. It served as a kick-ass opener.

“White Trash Millionaire” – a talk box, heavy guitars, and talk of “trans-ams in primer paint”. What’s not to love?

“Soul Machine” – my favorite song off of the new album Kentucky, which I feel is the epitome of the band. Fresh, yet still a throwback to their older material.

“The Rambler” – this was the most heart-felt performance from Mr. Chris Robertson. The performance featured Ben on acoustic guitar and Chris on the mic. You could feel the heartache the man feels from being on the road and away from his family.

Honorable Mentions

Citizen Zero (2nd Opener)

I was familiar with their material and they did not disappoint. I’d go as far as saying that they’re better live than they are on their records. “State of Mind” and “Save the Queen” were my favorite songs of their set. The Detroit rockers brought the party to Seattle on a Tuesday night. If these guys come back around, don’t hesitate to buy a ticket.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram| Spotify

Letters from the Fire (1st Opener)

I only caught the last 3 songs of their set, but the lead singer has PIPES! I wish I had more here, but they certainly showed that they deserved to be sharing the stage with the likes of Black Stone Cherry and Citizen Zero.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram| Spotify

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post! Hit me up on Twitter at @duncanbyargeon.

Until next time,

Duncan Byargeon