Yup. It’s going to be a few blog entries all smushed together so I can keep up with the updating. I don’t feel like backdating or anything so here goes …

A few days ago …

The weather was again making with the digustingly perfect – sunny, cloudless, yet at the same time cool enough to walk around without breaking a sweat. So naturally, we hopped in the car and decided to have lunch al fresco down at Ivar’s in Mukilteo. We snagged a prime table because of a lady changed her mind about wanting to sit outside. Yay!

GC chose their apple wood smoked wild King Salmon. It was served with a lovely chunky chipotle-peach chutney and wild rice pilaf. My choice for entree was Alaskan razor clams, lightly panko breaded with grilled zucchini and the wild rice pilaf. Since we were peckish enough for starters, we opted for one cup of Northwest Smoked Salmon chowder and their baby greens salad. I managed to remember to snap a photo of it …

it had chunks of Rogue River bleu cheese, a slightly sweet raspberry vinaigrette, toasted hazelnuts, cherry tomatoes, piquant red onion, and in lieu of croutons – two breadsticks crisscrossing the top. I could have easily eaten twice the portion because the flavours melded together wonderfully. I need to keep the camera out because I end up getting a photo of the beginning of the meal but forget to snap when the entrees arrive! Maybe I should just do a food blog because I enjoy taking photos of artfully arranged meals …

anyway, we were nicely warmed in the sun and basked like lizards as we savoured our afternoon lunch. Afterwards, we strolled back towards the car, taking the long way around. We walked down two piers and I made the acquaintance of a six-month old dachshund who was so excited to meet new people that there was a bit of the excited bladder. I managed to dodge the tinkle but the wiener dog was too phenomenally cute.

The lighthouse was open, so we walked the grounds to the seawall behind it. Like last time, the ferry was departing for across the waters so we watched the cars load and the pedestrians walk across.

I’m getting quite used to going out for lunch and then following it up with a nice constitutional afterwards. In Houston and Phoenix, the weather rarely played nice enough to want to walk around … and before you native Arizonians get your feathers in a bunch, I mean to say around the places we frequented. Living here surrounded by so much phenomenal beauty makes me, the couch potato extraordinaire, want to get out and walk around to see it all up close … not just drive by it and acknowledge it cursorily.

But enough about seafood by the sea, my next entry entails the Fleck show down at the Moore and the singer I’m way smitten with πŸ˜‰ …

A few more days ago before …

We had tickets to see Bela Fleck & the Flecktones downtown at a place we’ve never been before, The Moore. We hopped a trusty bus, walked a handful of blocks, and found ourselves there with no stress from parking. I rather like this whole not driving into town thing … but I’ve said that before. Third row seats to see the Acoustic Planet Tour, with Bela and guest artists: Chris Thile, an amazing mandolin player and The Duhks, a group from Winnepeg that was one of the best surprises of the night. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself …

Our seats were rather choice. We’ve had the fortune of seeing them front row centre a few times before, once actually at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, so we could handle a third row experience πŸ˜‰

Thile took the stage and made with the impressive mandolin skills and witty banter. He joked about how entertainers loved the applause but ultimately wondered why we loved them, if we did love them. He was charmingly goofy and played (as well as sang) beautifully. He left the stage and there was a well-choreographed transition between his set and the next, which was the Duhks. I should add their pronunciation of “ducks” not “dukes” so you know if you were curious to pick up either artist’s new CDs … release date September 12th, as we were jokingly reminded throughout their sets.

The Duhks’ lead singer, a bleached blonde spiky-haired woman took the stage. Wearing a strapless red dress with gold flowers and tattooed like a biker chick … sporting white canvas tennis shoes. GC and I looked at each other and wondered what kind of music we’d be hearing, since we had heard the cherubic-faced fiddle player and bald Latin percussionist and banjoist in their band already.

And then she started to sway, she opened her mouth, and sang.

Sweet Jesus. We did not expect that voice to come out of that person.

A husky, soulful voice. One that hit you right where you live … that could make you sing a hymnal and raise your hand high. A voice that completely blew me away enough to buy both of their CDs at the swag table as we left. A voice that well … rocked the house! This band with its hybrid of twanging banjo, Afro-Cuban percussion, Irish fiddlin’, and down home gospel vocals literally defies classification and definitely does not fall into any one category except for fucking amazing. I’m a fan. Oh yeah, they rock.

Their set was amazing … and then Thile came out to join them.

So again, we were treated to some mandolin-infused groovin’ … a few songs later, Victor Wooten came out to add some bass rhythm to the music. Now anyone who considers themselves a bass player will know that man’s name. He does things with that instrument that I’ve never seen done and continues to innovate every time I’ve seen them live. And side note, GC and I counted it up, we’ve seen the Flecktones eight times. Wow. I think that’s about as many times as I’ve seen Depeche Mode …

Then like another well-choreographed dance sequence, members of the Duhks excused themselves in lieu of a Flecktone taking the stage. Smooth like glass, each member was replaced by another until there were nothing but the Flecktones and Bela on the stage. Now, if I told you that I went to see a banjoist play, you might think me mad. But Bela is no ordinary musician … he’s played everything from bluegrass to classical to jazz. And he’s been nominated for Grammies in more categories than any other artist … nine or ten, I’d have to google to check that one. The man has skill and is extremely kind in person.

A Bela Fleck & the Flecktones show in Ft. Worth was our first date. GC flew in, we drove to DFW, and the rest is history. But I digress, back to the music. The Flecktones played one of the shorter sets I’ve seen from them but when I counted up the total 3.5 hours of music with no breaks, I’m so not complaining! And then another transition! Members of the Duhks came back out to play with Thile and the Flecktones until finally they were all on stage together. You can see them all here, here, and here.

And after over 200 minutes of music, it ended. Out of all the shows I’ve attended in recent years, this show gave the best value for the single concert ticket. Anytime I’m treated to a band unknown to me that I like, I’m all for it! TV on the Radio was like that at the Franz Ferdinand show in Vancouver … so yeah, wow. Great show!

So there you have it. The singer that bewitched me … not in the way that I’m in love with GC or living in Seattle but definitely in the way that one can be smitten with something or someone new. It wasn’t tawdry or verging on the gay (to be heard in the Cho), just a crush that you get when you get swept away …

so check out their stuff and allow her voice to sweep you away. It’ll definitely make you want to see them live.

And now, I need to go and get tickets for the midnight show of Pirates tonight. So later if I’m awake, a blog about fireworks on the 4th and my two tarnished cents on Jack Sparrow …

mmmmm. Depp.

Seeya on the stern mateys πŸ˜‰
– GermanCitySquirrel

Currently listening to the self-titled CD by The Duhks

Meal: Cold leftover roasted pork noodles + some freshly brewed iced tea.

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