Seattle Stars Shine at Hootenanny for Haiti

It’s my third cup of coffee this morning and I can’t get the show last night, “Hootenanny for Haiti” out of my head. And to think, I was considering packing up my Sunday and calling it a day. Then a friend of my – up from LA – texted me and asked, “I just got back into town. Are you going to the Showbox tonight?”

Really, I wasn’t planning on it, but I knew someone with a couple extra tickets, so I met them at a funeral parlor (a whole other story) and made it to the Showbox just before the hootenanny started. It was packed, but we were able to get a table in the very back. As it started, I didn’t realize what we were about to witness.

The evening was filled with familiar covers. The crowd seemed to know the words to every tune. Well they handed out lyric sheets before the show. There were a lot of Rolling Stone and Tom Petty songs. We heard Beatles, Neil Young, Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, Prince, Echo and the Bunnymen, Mother Love Bone, Iggy Pop, Johnny Thunders, etc. But this night went way beyond the songs.

There were never fewer that five or six musicians on stage at once and most of the time there were more than ten. The night felt a lot like Duff McKagan and Mike McCready invited a few friends over to the house for a little jam session – thus Hootenany! And it was an awesome collection of star power.

And speaking of star. Does anyone who was there last night doubt that Star Anna from Ellensburg, is a freakin talent? She blew the room away, and then turned around and did a soulful duet with Duff, “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.” Throw in “Love Hurts” with Duff on drums – man, I haven’t seen the Almighty Duff behind a kit in decades – and I was won over.

So in no particular order, here were the highlights for me.

Shawn Smith (Brad/Satchel) sang Mother Love Bone’s, “Crown of Thorns” with Stone Gossard, Mike McCready, Matt Cameron among others. I almost cried. I whispered to my friend that they should stop the show right now. It won’t get any better than that.

Kim Virant just kills me every time I hear her open her mouth. Among other offerings that night she covered The Psychedelic Furs, “Ghost in You.” And she brought along a several of her talented friends, Chris Friel (hubby and Sweet Water drummer), Gary Westlake and Tim DiJulio.

Tim electrified the crowd with one of my favorite Faces tunes, “Ooh La La.” Mike jumped up half way through the number and stopped the musicians so the audience could finish singing the rest of the song. Good call Mike.

Which leads me to Seattle legend, Kim Warnick from the Fastbacks returning to the stage and pounding out the Stooges anthem, “I Wanta Be Your Dog” with Duff. Mike McCready’s guitar solo was worth the price of admission. Kim also covered a Belinda Carlile (The Go-Gos) tune “Heaven is a Place on Earth.” That was the exactly how I felt Sunday night.

Jeff Rouse (Vendetta Red, Loaded) & Mark Pickerel (Screaming Trees, Tripwires) did a haunting version of Echo and the Bunnymen’s song, “The Killing Moon.” Kristen Ward covered Hank Williams “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” Duff laid down an honest version of Johnny Thunders’ “Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory.” And another touching moment was Jeff and Mike doing “River of Deceit” for the first time since Mike was in Mad Season.

I could go on and on and on. And don’t even start me about the musicians in the crowd. So this is the takeaway. The next time your friend says we should go see a concert – GO! You’ll never know who you’re gonna run into.

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