Columbia City Theater
Saturday, January 14
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Seattle's country music fans come in all shapes and sizes, but few were more surprising Saturday night than Moondoggies roots rocker Kevin Murphy, who was uncredited on the multi-billed tribute to the first ladies of country but appeared onstage for a few classic covers with sultry songstress Kaylee Cole.
The bill was loaded with some of Seattle's own "honky tonk angels" including Zoe Muth, Rachel Mae, Vanessa Small of The Brambles, Lexi Morritt, Kato Moody, and Brooke Asbury of Side Saddle, and the up-and-coming Peterman Sisters, but it was Kaylee Cole's warm and effortless performance of Skeeter Davis' "The End Of The World" with Murphy--including an abrupt stop, some laughs, and a do-over--that perfectly captured the fun, informal tone of the show. After Cole's short set ended, Murphy kicked back with the crowd for the rest of the night.
Lucky Lawrence of country group The Souvenirs was short on preambles and a gracious emcee, leading the cast of performers (many in pastel-colored vintage gowns a la Grand Ole Opry) through the classic tunes of Linda Ronstadt, Kitty Wells, Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, June Carter, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Emmylou Harris, and Nancy Griffith, backed by the members of Side Saddle--including Brooke Asbury and her spry fiddling--and Zoe Muth's own Dave Harmonson on pedal steel and electric guitar. From Rachel Mae's steamrolling take on Lynn's "Don't Come Home A Drinkin'" to Vanessa Small's rendering of Harris' "Luxury Liner," the iconic country songbook was covered in spades.
For her part, Muth delivered a few tunes with her inimitable country twang--including Kitty Wells' jilted-woman anthem "I Heard The Jukebox Playing"--and joined the rest of the ensemble for a rousing send-off of the Carter Family's "Will The Circle Be Unbroken." The packed dance floor and crowded house whooped in approval, and the old-timey tune ended things--going on the 3 hour mark--on a high note. Seems Seattle, for all its infinite taste in music, likes a good old-fashioned barn dance just as well.
The Scene: Sold out. Well-liquored, good-natured, dance-happy urban cowboys, rustlers, and country cuties spanning a range of ages.
She's Washing Her Hair: Rootsy country crooner Shelby Earl was billed on numerous previews and CCT's street-side chalkboard, but there was no sign of her onstage or otherwise at the club.