Hey everyone. My man (and long time ninebullets reader), Chris Green, emailed me over the weekend and asked if I’d be interested in a guest post about a band we recently wrote about, Truckstop Darlin’. Naturally, I jumped at it. Hope y’all enjoy it.
On this particular rainy Seattle Friday night, like lots of nights, my agenda was to go out and see some kick-ass live music. My plan involved first seeing a friend’s band play at a small bar. Since they were going on early to open for a cover band that didn’t interest me, I had to find another show to bounce to afterward.
While at a great show (Lucero/Drag the River/I Can Lick any SOB in the House) the weekend before, I had talked to someone who had told me that I should go see the Seattle show from a Portland band I hadn’t heard of called “Truckstop Darlin'”, so I’d made a mental note to check them out. I took just long enough of a glance at some youtube videos to determine that they were probably at least in the general area of something I might like (and the place they were playing at serves decent chili), so I added it to my calendar. I don’t know whether the person who recommended them was one of the band members, a friend, or a random fan, but whoever you were, thank you very much!
I arrived as the second band of the bill, a 3-piece Seattle band I had also never heard of called “Uncle Doodad” went on. The first song they played was an alt-countryish song in the vein of the Old 97’s, so I thought I had them pegged, but right after that they changed things up – the next song started with with a long bluesy instrumental jam that kept my attention due to the cool slide guitar playing. Eventually this song was revealed to be a completely original arrangement of the Clash song “Bank Robber“. After that, the guitarist switched to lap steel from his pile of guitars, and continued to impress. They have their own record label, and interestingly, have good quality recordings from all of their gigs available for streaming or purchase on a “pay what you like” basis. I’d go see these guys again for sure.
Then, the headliner, Truckstop Darlin‘ set up and started playing. They are a four-piece combo with electric guitar, bass, drums, and pedal steel. Midway into the first song, I looked over at my wife with a big grin – I’d found a new band that I liked, and they were from my part of the country so I was sure to be able to see them again soon. One thing I really liked about them was that they managed to have a good loud rock sound without burying the excellent pedal steel playing at all, unlike a lot of other bands.
The videos I’d glanced at were OK, but in no way did they convey the energy of their live show. Two Cow Garage came to mind as a comparison point – not because of any particular similarity in sound, but because of their enthusiasm, stage energy, and pouring everything they had into even a show for a tiny audience. A comparison to TCG is the highest form of praise from me, so you can tell I was pleased. I even bought a CD, even though most days I think the words “recorded” and “music” shouldn’t be used in the same sentence. After the end of the great set, a friend of the band told me that they would be playing another show soon in Seattle, at a venue I like which will have a bigger and hopefully rowdier audience. I’ll be there for sure, and any fan of the kinds of bands covered on this site should not miss any chance they get to see them live!
The epilogue to this story is that when I went to look them up on the internet the next day, I found that ninebullets.net and a bunch of other good sites had already written positively about them, and that their album had been mastered by Jon Burbank from ICLASOBITH, so it’s surprising that they hadn’t already been on my radar. Usually my MO for discovering a new band that is to find out that I like them two weeks after they play my town, so I was in luck this time.