Saturday is the one night of the week I expect a karaoke bar to be jumpin'. If it's not then there's something wrong. A couple weeks ago I met with some friends to sing at Harvey's Tavern in Edmonds (just past 212th along on the southbound side of Hwy 99). I got there first and there were only two people sitting at the bar. One of them was the KJ.
Look out, Ryan Reynolds: Pete's a poontang magnet.
When I'm on my missions, it's mostly alone or with the friends I always karaoke with. But every now and again I'll hit a spot I've never been in the company of karaoke lovers outside of my singing circle, and it usually winds up the best time ever. My friend Jamie lives in Bothell but grew up in Edmonds, and we'd been working on getting a crew to sing together for months. There's a karaoke bar near her place called the Yucatan that I've wanted to check out, but we agreed Harvey's on a Saturday would probably provide the party atmosphere we were looking for. Over the past month, I'd been to four other karaoke spots along Sno-Co's 99 corridor and enjoyed every one of them.
It didn't take long to get over the place being so empty. Their book wasn't the best thing I'd ever seen, but it did provide enough options to keep me good and busy. Jamie and her friend Todd got there five minutes after me, we ordered drinks, and took a table in front of the stage. There were still a couple others joining us.
The bartender announced a Jell-O shots special, but moments later announced they were out. My first song of the night was "6th Avenue Heartache" by the Wallflowers, and it was tough. I had it turned down a full key and I still wound up having to give it everything I had to hang in. The guy at the bar sang next and performed a song I had written down on a slip to sing, "Blue on Black" by Kenny Wayne Shepherd. I'd heard it at Goofy's earlier that week and wanted to give it a try, but this guy was pretty good.
Jamie and Todd felt under the gun since the rotation was only three deep. Trying to decide on the first number is tough enough, but when you add in the time factor it just gets worse. I have that problem when it's super busy and I'm pressed to make that one pick count. I had five songs ready and got up and did "Steppin' Out" by Joe Jackson. It was a lot better than my first number but I felt like I was going through the motions. After it was done I went straight to the bar and took a shot of Hornitos.
A couple regulars came in as we were joined by the rest of our group. An old guy with a thick beard sang a very good "King of the Road." I followed him with Pete Yorn's "Life on a Chain." The shot I had was exactly what I needed to loosen up and it was a very fun song to sing.
"Team Whiskey" was the stage name Jamie and Todd went by and they broke their seal with Ray LaMontagne's "Trouble." You can learn about people by the songs people choose to sing and this number told me they really care about delivering something quality that hasn't been sung to death. I vaguely knew the song, but they were so good I had to look it later and give it another listen. They just kept it rolling after that. Jamie's first solo, Carolina Liar's "Show Me What I'm Looking For," showcased her great voice and continued ability to pick an entertaining cut. Todd's rendition of "Ain't No Sunshine" (and Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again) would have gotten a huge ovation had we been at any other place.
Jocelyn was a gal who joined us late and she was all about rock, decked out in all black with a jacket covered with patches of every legendary band. She went on to steal the night singing everything from Meat Loaf's "Bat Out of Hell" to The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army."
At midnight the KJ tried to shut it down and that was strike three. The place had eight singers that were all ordering drinks and the guy still wanted to end it. That let me know this is what it's like here every Saturday. It's too bad, because this place has decent sound and a sneaky good song selection.