Review: Third Train Running — ‘Dancing in July’

Anchored by the singer-songwriter, father/daughter tandem of Steve Erickson and Lindsey Erickson Willis, the Seattle band Third Train Running released their debut album Dancing in July in September 2019. The 12 Strong tracks are a mixture of easy Blues, folky Rock and a little Country charm. The duo is backed by the nimble rhythm section of Joe Brown on bass, drummer Tim Kelliher, with James Middleton adding harmonica and Jay Hallstrom providing keyboards.

Album opener “12 Long Days,’ allows Lindsey to set the stage with her powerful alto, boosted by chiming guitars and mournful blues harp. She then takes on the slinky tune about a woman done wrong, “I Won’t Cry,” from the Janiva Magness catalog. The second original is the modern rocker with an 80s feel, “Pretty Boy.” They then add some snap to the Tom Waits tune “Long Way Home,” and Kelliher keeps the train beat rolling as Steve takes over the lead vocals on the road song “Old Crow Street.” Everyone sinks their teeth deep into the sultry slow blues “Wee Wee Hours,” that features soaring vocals and fine solos on the old Chuck Berry classic.

Blues shuffle original “Goin’ Dancing,” is a fun little romp with groovy breaks and the country two-step, “See You Later Walk,” features some tasty pickin’ and snarky lyrics. Lindsey does a fine job of covering the dynamic range of the smoldering jazzy blues, “Heart Is as Black as Night,” and the gospel standard, “People Get Ready.” The band ends the set with a raucous cover of the definitive song from the Elvin Bishop Group “Rock Bottom,” with Lindsey stepping into the big shoes of incendiary soul belter Jo Baker and Steve laying down some Elvin inspired slide guitar and adding a big gang vocal shout chorus to end the album with a rockin’ blues party.

(Purchase the album at CD Baby HERE and get more info about the band 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)

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