Review: The Weary Times — ‘The Weary Times’

It’s said that idle hands are the devil’s workshop, an old saying dating at least as far back as Chaucer in the twelfth century. So, when Boise, Idaho based singer/songwriter Ryan Curtis found himself with time on his hands during a break from his former band, Curtis/Sutton & The Scavengers he joined forces with keyboardist, Mike Swain in hopes of putting together a solo project for fun and occasional gigs, and The Weary Times were born. The duo is joined by Mike Simon on guitar, Nick Archibald on bass and Ben Wieland on drums. The group is set to release their ambitious 13 track self-titled debut July of 2019. The band describes their sound as being “Steeped in Vintage Blues and early Rock n’ Roll,” and this album recorded at Osmosis Studios in Meridian, ID, and mixed at Ground Control Recording in Seattle, proves they are children of the vinyl generation.

The quick and dirty affair begins with the reverb soaked opener “Best Of You,” that introduces us to the whiskey-soaked, gravel-paved vocals from Curtis and Swain’s love of the vintage Farfisa organ, setting up the Eric Burdon singing with The Doors archetype. The driving “Hard Times,” has a 90’s “Lunatic Fringe” vibe, and Wieland lays down a crisp groove for the Spaghetti western rhumba “Arms Around Me.” The keys lead the fight on the gut bucket garage rocker “Peace Of Mind.” Archibald kicks off “I Can Tell,” with a very bluescentric bass line and then everyone punks up the place taking the tune way off the map. “Why are you so Lonely,” has some serious 60’s pop multi-track production, then the surf rock blast “I Swore,” drops in as another left turn. The twang and torch ballad “Give And Take,” has a sweet high lonesome sound, and the driving honky tonk rocker “I Ain’t Done Drinking,” will fill up a dance floor. The album’s closer, “Way Down” is an ambitious atmospheric track that starts out slow and builds by adding weeping steel guitar, and rumbling jam band furry, until it hits a surprising soft ending.

Initially conceived as a project for fun and occasional gigs, The Weary Times have put together a strong debut that should help them chisel out a notch in the northwest music scene.

(Check out a sample of the band’s music below and get more info about The Weary Times HERE.)


Rick Bowen

Rick grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan playing in school band, choir and show bands. While earning a BA at Western Michigan University in History and Social Science, he was a member of the Bronco marching band and jazz ensemble Gold Company. Moving to the Northwest in 1994, Rick soon landed gigs and sessions with many diverse local artists and is currently a member of the award winning Stacy Jones Band and the host of the all ages School of Jam. Rick is also an associate producer and session musician for Critical Sun Recordings, a contributing writer at Innocent Words, Seattle Examiner, No Depression, The Washington Blues Society and S.T.E.A.M magazine, and serves on the board of directors for the Washington Blues Society. Rick is endorsed by and plays THUMPER CUSTOM DRUMS. Awards: Washington Blues Society “Best of the Blues” award 2009 Best New Band –Stacy Jones Band WBS “Best of the Blues” award 2012 Best Blues Jam - Oxford Saloon Monday Night Jam 2013 & 2014 WBS Best Blues Writer award. 2014 WBS Chris Leighton Blues Drummer BB Award. Nominations: 2009 & 2013 Best Blues Drummer WBS BB awards. 2012 Best NW recording “No Need To Spell it Out –Stacy Jones Band (Rick J Bowen co producer)