Ah…the Tractor Tavern. What can be said about this very cool venue in the heart of Ballard that hasn’t been said before? No Depression magazine says “ it’s the central gathering place for Seattle’s bubbling-under alternative-country scene, as well as a serviceable venue for all manner of roots, folk and traditional musical styles, from acoustic singer-songwriters to rockabilly rave-ups to Cajun-flavored zydeco to the traditional Irish music.” Well said No Depression and with you I concur! The list of incredible artists that have played there is about as long as Yao Ming’s arm.
I guess we’ve been playing the Tractor for ten years already. Can it really be that long? I think Clinton was in office when we started doing shows there. Or Jean Chrétien if you prefer Canadian references. Or Tony Blair if you prefer British references or…..When we started playing in Seattle we would play one of two Irish pubs: Conor Byrne’s and The Owl and Thistle. Great times and great people but both of those places got a little small so we moved over to the Tractor and have been playing there ever since. Dan and all the staff there are great people so it feels good to check in with everybody once or twice a year. As per tradition we had dinner at Hattie’s Hat and a drink at the Lock and Keel before heading over to the club. It was nice to have Tyler’s mom Connie along and Chris’s wife Rachel who was doing a lot of filming.
The opening band was called the Dexter Street Stompers. Nice guys. Cool tunes. Warmed up the crowd nicely. We hit the stage a little after ten and played quite late. The energy in the audience was really up and elbowroom was at a minimum as the show was sold out. It’s always nice to see that piece of paper taped to the front door: “Sold out” Isn’t that what Bon Jovi did by putting out a country album last year? Only kidding Bon Jovi fans. I bought two copies. One for the car and one to give away to a needy Bon Jovi fan on craigslist. And I don’t even have a stereo in my car! Talk about devotion. The show seemed to fly by really quickly. It was sweaty and loud and made me wish that every night was a Saturday night. The band was solid and reckless in a good way for the most part. There were lots of old friends in the audience and new people too, which is always a good sign. There was a lot of word of mouth promotion from a few of the people I talked to. Nothing like free advertising! So the night came to a close and we all got in the van and drove back to Vancouver just in time for breakfast. Now we have a few weeks off through the holidays before some heavy touring starts in January to promote our new album “Make Yourself Known”.