Speed the Plow
In today's high-tech world, it's refreshing that one of the most reliable and identifiable music venues in town regularly hosts bands that draw their influence from the precomputer age. For those with a hankerin' for some alt-country or rockabilly, everyone in Seattle knows to head down to Ballard's homey Tractor Tavern. The wood-and-brick decor sets the saloonlike mood, and the city's and the nation's best twangy acts stop by to play the spacious room. The Tractor's reputation was cemented one summer when country legend Emmylou Harris broke away from Bumbershoot to make a special guest appearance, adding her name to a list that includes the likes of Joe Ely, Fred Eaglesmith, and Robert Earl Keen, all of whom have graced the stage at this beloved nightspot. Cowboy boots are optional. 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 206-789-3599.