At the Shakedown in Bellingham last Friday a unique line-up of blues, funk and rock music took the stage.
Ebb, Slack and Flood from Anacortes played first, followed by Withering Blooms from Seattle and Crow Magnet from Bellingham. My interest was in discovering new music and watching a hometown band. The 4-piece Chicago blues and reggae driven band Ebb, Slack and Flood got people moving like a deep sea current as they opened the night. Front man Tom Savage’s soulful voice and electric guitar playing whispered through the room and under people’s feet, getting us all grooving to the bluesy beat for their entire set.
Giovanni De La Rosa on bass and vocals, Chris Nickerson on drums and Bob Paltrow on keys added rich rhythm and versatile solos to the band’s jam-inspired sound. Their set list touched on abstract concepts, conscious awareness, and personal matters with a chill, bluesy feel and some high-energy reggae tunes. They played “Lynyrd the Cat,’” a favorite song of mine that’s off of their E.P. Groovin,’ released in 2015. I had a brief moment to interview the band before they went on stage.
We are not working on a new album currently because of busy personal lives, but we do have some new songs to perform tonight: Nickerson
Chris has a daughter who was recently born. One song was called Wildflowers, a lyric-driven tune which they played towards the beginning of their set with Christopher Alexander accompanying on viola. When asked about the name of their band they shared that a huge influence is the fact that they are all from islands. The ebb, slack and flood of the ocean all around growing up is apart of them and flows through their music.Ebb, Slack and Flood hails from Anacortes and play regularly in the Skagit Valley and Bellingham areas. I’ve been following this band for a while and am impressed by their evolving sound, especially with the addition of Bob Paltrow on keys. All of the band members are very skillful and talented at playing music together. Their next show is Saturday, March 31st at The Eagle’s Hall Children’s Hospital Fundraiser in Anacortes.
Next up was Withering Blooms, a 6-piece electric psych rock group that graciously put the show together. On tour for their newly released E.P. Cast of Confusion, the guys were really happy to see old friends and be back playing in Bellingham on their way through. Their sound was very lyric-driven with heavy rhythm and colorful electronic effects with lots of melodic layering.
Drummer Sigfried Wynkoop’s playing added a driving, ambitious force to the band that kept the tasteful lyrics and harmonies, overdrive electric guitar and back-up keyboard sections constantly changing and on the edge of creativity. Frontman Calvin Dix and Jake DeGuzman play guitar and sing, while Elliott Dix and Austin Spraggins play keyboard and sing. I interviewed a couple of members of the band after the show.
We’ve been a band for 1.5 years and just released a new E.P. We’ve always played music, but being post college graduates, working 9-5 and taking care of kids has taken up most of our time for music. We’re happy to be getting back into playing and being on tour: Elliot
When asked about the name of their band,
We got it from a Riffwar Saga from a scene where a princess walks past withering blooms. Those words just stuck because of the opposing concepts: Dix
Withering Blooms is based out of Seattle and are on tour in Washington and Canada. It was a treat to get to experience their unique, layered, electronic rock and blues sound. Their next show is March 30th at the Roxy Theater in Vancouver, BC.
The last band of the night was Crow Magnet, a four-piece rock group fronted by Christopher Alexander on electric and acoustic guitar, viola, harmonica and vocals. Chris plays guitar and harmonica with an energetic, classic-rock feel that gets the crowd yelling for more. I fancy Chris’ singing and viola playing that seem to magnetically draw listeners in with beautiful, worldly melodies and Earthly story-telling.
Drummer Tom Forster, bassist Bruce Shaw and guitarist Wes Davis form the rhythm section of the band, adding uplifting dynamics and interesting fills. The guys played a set of high-energy songs that the audience could relate to with themes of relationships and personal growth. My favorite tune of the evening was titled “Friends” which is off of their E.P. Slowly Turning, released last December. I got to interview the band on a cozy couch before they went on to play.
Expressing music is a visceral, spiritual moment… It’s primal. It’s how I express emotion where otherwise I’m talking full of shit: Alexander
Music brings us together as one where there are no boundaries on what the band can do creatively: Forster
Community means access to greater creativity: Shaw
Crow Magnet is from Bellingham where they regularly play, as well as on Lummi Island. They’re coming out with a full-length album that’s an extension of their newly released E.P. with five new songs. Their next show is in Glacier at Chair 9 on April 7th.
The Shakedown is an epic venue that has supported many local Skagit Valley musicians. They like to bring in new talent from the surrounding areas and put together intimate, high-energy shows. I had a great time listening to new and familiar music.
Cultural Arts + Entertainment Contributor
A Skagit Valley native, Channing grew-up among the abundant regional art and music scene. She shares her inherent gifts of voice and playing through a diverse selection of instruments. She brings light to the musical stage wherever she performs through vibrations created on instruments like the violin, and the uncommon saw. Channing is regularly seen singing and playing with Pacific Northwest bands. She is also a realist artist and music teacher. Nature, story telling and freedom inspire her art.