Soaking Up A Month of Music from Seattle to Manhattan

Oh what a month it has been to enjoy live music from coast to coast and I’ve enjoyed every moment with every artist. From Elvis Costello to Allen Stone to Griffin House to Hello Brooklyn to the Beatles cover band in the subway, we have been lucky enough to partake of their musical stylings.

Allen Stone and his band rocked the Paramount
Allen Stone and his band rocked the Paramount

Allen Stone was first on our feast of music and he served a buffet of soul in spades. If you haven’t heard of him or listened to his music, DO. IT. NOW. He led the best concert I have ever seen with his deep connection to the crowd, who clearly knew his music and sang along, swaying to the tunes. His energetic trumpet and trombone artists danced as well as they played and the rest of his entourage created a powerful support for Allen’s amazing voice. If I had to pick a similar artist to Allen, it would probably be a cross between “good karma” Jason Miraz and an energetic gospel preacher. After sitting through his rapper warm-up act who encouraged everyone to “light up” and they enthusiastically obeyed, sending up a cloud of weed that enveloped us like a smokey blanket in the balcony to the point my eyes were watering.  Got to love Seattleites!  After the smoke cleared, we enjoyed  this hometown boy’s performance and I predict Allen Stone will be a HUGE artist soon.

Then, same classic and gorgeous venue-the Paramount-but a week later and with a very different tone set by the legendary  Elvis Costello performing solo with a few guitars, a piano and a playbook filled with forty years of music to share. Thom is a huge fan but I’m not that familiar with his tunes but was impressed with his artistry. He played all the hits that Thom expected and more with three encores to delight the sold out crowd.  Along the way, he shared personal stories of his family and how his music evolved.  Quite the entertaining evening.

Lost count of the multiple Elvis guitars he used to serenade us
Lost count of the multiple guitars Elvis C. used to serenade us

Moving on to NYC, we landed and immediately after checking in to our hotel, we set off on foot to walk a few miles to the City Winery to see Griffin House, an artist that I’m sure you have never heard of but might enjoy.  We like this venue so much that we wanted to go while in NYC and Tuesday was our free night so Griffin House happened to be playing that night and off we went. I had checked out his indie/slightly country music but enjoyed his live performance even more. Slightly shy and awkward at first, he gradually got into it and finished very strong with the crowd calling out their favorite songs for him to play, which he gladly performed. He is one of the many struggling artists out there just looking for their big break and working hard, living in Nashville and hitting the road to tour the small clubs. He’s coming to The Tractor in Seattle and then to Boise so check him out later this summer/fall.

Griffin House sharing his bluesy tones with us at City Winery
Griffin House sharing his bluesy tones with us at City Winery

Finally, walking home from a gallery opening after a short hike on the Highline, we were in our old neighborhood near the Flatiron and decided to check out who was playing at Toshi’s, our favorite local music bar. Lucky for us, Hello Brooklyn was playing great cover tunes so we sat back with some refreshments and enjoyed their set. Toshi’s dog is the bouncer outside the club and Toshi himself is a charming host. If you are ever in NYC, you must go to Toshi’s and enjoy whatever music offering they have that evening. It’s sure to be a good time.  Guaranteed.

Toshio's bouncer is a cutie
Toshio’s bouncer is a cutie

Finally, taking the subway to one of Thom’s old college buddies for dinner, we were serenaded by a Beatles cover band in the subway. I love this trend of officially sanctioned music in airports (Seattle) and subways (NYC) to entertain the commuters. They were quite good and having a rocking time both times we saw them-coming and going. I hope their tips were plentiful and the people appreciated their artistry. I did. Who knows what music we will enjoy next but I’m sure we’ll be spinning the tunes on Thom’s new turntable when we return to Seattle. Let the music and the good times roll…..

Rocking out with a healthy pour and Hello Brooklyn at Toshi's
Rocking out with Hello Brooklyn at Toshi’s

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