Well, I had to miss the  Cave Singers' Seattle Weekly In-Store at Easy Street last night. I was here at the office too late. By

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Oakley Hall Is A Great American Band

No Foolin'.

Well, I had to miss the Cave Singers' Seattle Weekly In-Store at Easy Street last night. I was here at the office too late. By the time I got out, they were finished. Damn. But Easy Street's marketing wiz Jesse Flores tells me it was packed, that they sold dozens of copies of their debut Invitation Songs, and that Solo was packed for our Happy Hour with the band. Wish I coulda been there.

But I DID make it to the Croc to catch one of the greatest live bands on the planet right now, the mighty Oakley Hall. I was almost too excited to catch what was happening. It was a flurry of foot-stomping, hair-flinging, American Rock Music. Frontman Pat Sullivan was absolutely on fire, swinging his axe, hair-in-face, grinding out those burning Crazy Horse riffs. Watching Sullivan is an awesome sight, he moves like Neil Young circa Zuma, rocking back n' forth wildly on his heels. The fact that he's anchored by the rock-steady presence of multi-instrumentalist Fred Wallace to his left, and fiddler Claudia Mogel and singing partner Rachel Cox on his right, gives him the freedom to rock out as he pleases. The Hall are fantastic on record, but live, they are a freight train, a mountain, a goddamn bucking stallion. Of course, with all this energy, it looked like they could hardly keep themselves tied to the Croc's little stage. This band should be playing in a canyon! They positively set their songs aflame, most off them culled from their latest I'll Follow You and their last album Gypsum Strings. Anyone who stayed late enough was treated to Oakley Hall inviting their tourmates, local soggy mountain jammers Whalebones, to the stage. Frontman Justin Deary took the leads and vocals on the Hall's "Having Fun Again", while Joram Young and Amy Blaschke shook tambourines and clapped-hands along with Claudia Mogel. Rachel Cox occupied herself by beat the shit out of a cymbal. And the whole affair built up, built up, built up, and collapsed under its own weight. Amazing. Even after everyone left the stage, Deary and Hall bassist Jesse Barnes kept noodling on their instruments and had to be broken up by legendary Croc soundman Jim Anderson. Very few acts make me say this, but Oakley Hall could've played all night and I'd never grow tired of them.

 
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