Soon after arriving in Seattle, Jason McCue was ready to quit performing music for good.
After exploring Philadelphia’s voluminous DIY scene while studying for a year at Drexel University, the alt-folk songwriter moved across the country and enrolled at Seattle University. Armed with a guitar and a batch of quirky acoustic numbers, a not-so-confident McCue tepidly set out to break into Seattle’s house-show circuit. It didn’t go so well.
The young transplant, who grew up in a small Pennsylvania town, landed spots on two “huge” house shows in front of about 90 people. While larger more up-tempo bands got the ready-to-party crowd moving, they were largely indifferent to his spindly solo folk songs.
“I went into it thinking, ‘Yeah cool, so many people will see me!’ ” recalls the 21-year-old, bellied up at a Cherry Street Coffee House near campus. “But it was really 10 people who were watching me and then 80 people who were partying.”
However, since those rocky first Seattle gigs, McCue has been on a creative tear, releasing four albums in the past two years, including his new “PANGAEA” LP due Friday, March 9, via Portland’s Fluff & Gravy Records. He plays a release show Friday in Washington Hall’s Lodge Room, a venue chosen in part because he’s still getting comfortable playing Seattle’s more raucous bar scene.
The more friends the self-described introvert made, the more he explored his new city, and with subsequent shows found pockets of the Seattle scene more his speed. Eventually, McCue hooked up with a loose collective of creative Seattle University students called Friends and Friends of Friends, which threw house shows and other “artsy events where people could be themselves.”
Visit him on the web here: https://www.facebook.com/jasonmccuemusic/.
Sally Jablonsky grew up playing music with her family, hiking around in the desert singing cowboy songs, and learning the old tunes from her extended family at festivals and camps. As well as being firmly rooted in the Appalachian fiddle tradition, she writes new songs that are crooked, lonesome, and true. In the Pony Club, Sally plays electric guitar, fiddle, and sings harmonies.
Milo Krims hails from many places-New York and Southern California, among others, and started playing music as a teenager in punk bands. Later he joined up with the oldtime string band, the Peach Colored Jug Smugglers, and toured the country. In his ongoing solo project, Ripe Mangos, he softly shreds on the electric guitar, and sings of wind, wood, ghosts, and being. In the Pony Club, Milo plays guitar, snare drum, and sings lead.
Sally and Milo are the core members of the Misty Mountain Pony Club, with moonlighters such as Ruthie and Eugene Jablonsky, Charley and Peter Gurche, T Scot Wilburn, Jenny Anne Mannan, and Duane Becker. With tight harmonies and a dedication to craftsmanship, the club honors the fiddle tunes and country songs of older times. Having been steeped in traditional American music, their original songs carry that thread of richness and complexity
Christie Belanger and Karl Lucas are doing a solo tour and coming to Longstaff House.. Christie is the front woman of the Brooklyn based indie folk band, Dirty Bird. She’s going to be heading west this fall on a solo tour accompanied by Karl Lucas, a singer songwriter also based in Brooklyn. Below are links to their respective websites, music and social media:
Spotify: Dirty Bird
Spotify: Karl Lucas