Star Anna ::: photo by Josh Lovseth
It’s shocking, I know, but there’s actually other great music happening this weekend in Seattle outside of a sweaty three block radius on Capitol Hill. And none of those shows comes more highly recommended than Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs (with Daniel G. Harmann & the Trouble Starts and Ryan Purcell & the Last Round) at Columbia City Theater.
In some sort of sonic self-flagellation for missing the show, I’ve been listening to Star Anna’s latest release, The Only Thing That Matters on repeat. It’s an album I’m sad to say I overlooked when it was released locally last year, though Shane Tutmarc gave it some much deserved love on his end of the year list. It is a rocking country album full of rough and tumble heartache and snarling sweetness. There’s a dichotomy at play with the record and Star Anna herself, a strange marriage of untouchable toughness with an edge of danger and startling soul-barring, heart-exposing honesty in her words and her voice. There is such a technical proficiency to the album and such confidence radiating from Star Anna when she sings, it can at times seem aloof — but then her voice cracks with emotion as she begs you to hold on and she seems as fragile, as tough. There is something delightfully complex about Star Anna, something that makes you want to listen more loudly, more closely and just, more.
Locally, if you’re a fan of The Maldives more forceful songs and Zoe Muth’s skillful songwriting with a nod to classic country, you’ll love Star Anna. Nationally, Star Anna often draws comparisons to Lucinda Williams and Neko Case. That is to say, this is Americana at its best.
Courtesy of our friends at Columbia City Theater, we’re giving away a pair of tickets to see Star Anna and Her Laughing Dogs this Friday, July 23rd. Drop a comment below by Friday July 23rd at 10:30 and we’ll pick a winner at random to have their name on the list plus one to see Star Anna at Columbia City Theater.