Ladies and gentlemen, welcome, welcome, to 75 Bands in 75 Days, where we’re showcasing some of the best talent that the Pacific Northwest has to offer, at least one band per day, leading up to December 31st, to ring in a new year. This list is in no particular order and it is not a chart or a countdown. It’s merely a list of bands or musicians that we feel are worthy of checking out. The band for day 64 is a band from Seattle called Rust on the Rails.
Rust on the Rails is something new made familiar; something complicated made simple–their sound blending world music, ’90s rock and.. perhaps a jazz-fusion jam band behind complexions of blues, folk, funk or rock depending on the track. The result is uniquely intuitive, its description made more approachable by taking a look at who’s in the band.
Cody Beebe sings & plays acoustic 6 string guitar
Blake Noble plays 12-string acoustic percussive guitar & sings
Tim Snider plays violin and sings
Eric Miller plays acoustic bass
Scott Mercado plays drums & percussion
Unofficial front man Cody Beebe has been rocking our town for more than five years now with his band’s highly-charged salute to America’s rock and blues roots. His confident, almost Vetter-like voice and commanding stage presence have powered gigs shared with the likes of Buddy Guy, Stevie Nicks, Iron and Wine and Allen Stone. Take into account Lynnwood native Eric Miller’s immaculate yet variable bass lines and backup vocals, and these two Crooks lend Rust on the Rails a serious dose of roots-rock.
Tim Snider has been playing violin from the age of three. Since then, he’s been around the world countless times sawing that fiddle creating what’s construed on his website as “a world-folk-jazz-pop hybrid that’s aimed at the heart, the brain and the feet.” International demand has Snider occasionally recording parts on the road. It’s impressive that he’s been able to contribute–his intricacy, tact and emotion (he dances barefoot while playing with Rust on the Rails) are a pity to miss.
Australian percussive guitarist Blake Noble attacks his acoustic 12-string axe at the strings, the neck, the body–any part of the instrument that can be used to produce a note or sound–while simultaneously playing a didjeridu he mastered under the traditional teachings of an Aboriginal elder. The result is a rhythmic polyphony brim full of the outback he grew up in. Before settling down in his adopted home of Seattle (he still gets around a lot), he spent years touring internationally, collaborating with other high-caliber musicians and building up a dedicated following.
Seattle rock group Candlebox has been around since 1990. Since drummer Scott Mercado co-founded the group, it has put out five albums, sold over five million CDs, broken up (2000), reunited (2006) and continued to rock Seattle. As if being a to-the-bone drum aficionado weren’t enough, Mercado also shreds the 128-string hammered dulcimer–a percussive stringed instrument dating back to biblical times. In Mercado’s hands it produces gentle layers of quick, harp-like tones that, while he’s not playing the drums, add a mythical element to Rust on the Rails.
The diversity of talent and singularity of soul this group exhibits is something Seattle needs to know about. Each member has demands elsewhere, making concerts and appearances in Seattle limited. Translation: try to catch a performance by Rust on the Rails.