A Needle in the Hay is our Bumbershoot Artist Profile series for 2008, provided to help you sift through the daunting schedule at our town’s flagship festival. In it were seeking provide insight into the diversity of great local talent being showcased and give you a few good bands to structure your schedule around. In other words: these are our recommendations for who to see at Bumbershoot.
Artist Name: Star AnnaHails from: Ellensburg, WA
Gets her kicks playin’: Americana, Alt Country, just Country, or whatever YOU want to call it
Latest Release: Crooked PathOther Bumbershoot acts you might know that she’s akin to: Neko Case, Lucinda Williams
Since the release of her album, Star Anna has been kicking around this side of the mountains quite a bit, sometimes solo, but just as often with her trusty band the Laughing Dogs in tow. My happenstance encounters with her performances over the past year have been downright pleasant and each time I come away more impressed with her singing and her band leadership. Injecting enough modern attitude and pop sensibilities into her music to not simply be any old country songstress, Star Anna’s voice is still filled with reverence for the tradition of the endeavor. She sings with intent and attention to detail, and is without question part of the vanguard of our area’s emerging alt-country scene, a list of bands that also includes another Bumbershoot act: the Maldives (who you’ll hear about next).
Here is the video for her single “If Wishes Were Horses:”
Star Anna plays on Sunday August 31 at the Mural Amphitheatre stage from 12 noon to 1pm.
Last night Shane and his fellow Tutmarcs brought along a few friends for their free in-store performance at Easy Street Records on Lower Queen Anne. Ellensburgian Star Anna with whom Shane had played earlier in the week at the Fremont Abbey, joined him on vocals for a Hank Williams cover, while Noah Weaver of U.S.E. and Ryan Richter joined the band for the whole set on Wurlitzer and slide guitar respectively.
A recording of last night’s rendition of “Lost Highway” up on the Mercies myspace (already!), so you should head over and check it out. There are also a few more pictures in the flickr set linked below.
In the earliest days of the this blog, when we called Fremont Ave. home, just down the street from us was this old church that had been converted into an performing arts center. I wasn’t really sure what that meant but I think this Tuesday’s event at the Fremont Abbey might be my reason to finally find out what’s up with this place.
The event is called “The Round” and features three different musicians trading off songs for a couple of hours. The poster also advertises poetry and painting, so maybe there is a bit more to it that I don’t know about yet. This week features Eric Howk, principal songwriter for Palmer, AK and also guitarist for the Lashes, Shane Tutmarc of now retired Dolour and his new band The Traveling Mercies, and Star Anna, who last month celebrated the release of her new album called Crooked Path at the Tractor Tavern. Here’s her decidedly country lead single “If Wishes Were Horses”: