In the black, wanting cosmos of the music world, talented musicians generally see each other only in passing. They rarely have time for more than just a brief nod one to the other–perhaps a tandem song or two played out of mutual respect and appreciation. So when the rare chance of whole-hearted and prodigious players banding together arises, the result is worthy of attention.
Enter Rust on the Rails, a group that just formed in Seattle. They’re holding an album release celebrating a debut five-track EP, November Sky, on October 5 at the Triple Door. As for why you should be there, read on.
Rust on the Rails is something new made familiar; something complicated made simple; a sound occupying a space somewhere between world music, '90s rock and.. perhaps a jazz-fusion jam band? Each song contains this multi-faceted element, but it lurks behind a complexion of blues, folk, funk or rock depending on the track. The result is intuitive, but its description is only made more approachable by taking a look at who's in the band.
Code Beebe and Eric Miller (Center and second from right) of Cody Beebe and the Crooks
Unofficial front man Cody Beebe has been rocking our town for more than five years now with his band’s highly-charged salute to America's rock and blues roots. His confident, almost Vetter-like voice and commanding stage presence have powered gigs shared with the likes of Buddy Guy, Stevie Nicks, Iron and Wine and Allen Stone. Take into account Lynnwood native Eric Miller’s immaculate yet variable bass lines and backup vocals, and these two Crooks lend Rust on the Rails a serious dose of roots-rock.
Tim Snider (second from left) of his world renowned solo acts and ensembles
Tim Snider has been playing violin from the age of three. Since then, he’s been around the world countless times sawing that fiddle in what’s construed on his website as “a world-folk-jazz-pop hybrid that’s aimed at the heart, the brain and the feet.” International demand has Snider occasionally recording parts on the road--it's impressive that he's been able to contribute. Throughout November Sky, you'll hear virtuostic solos and atmospheric tones blended into the fray with intricacy, tact and emotion (he dances barefoot while playing with Rust on the Rails) that are hard to miss.
Blake Noble (far right) of a class all his own
Australian percussive guitarist Blake Noble attacks his acoustic 12-string axe at the strings, the neck, the body–any part of the instrument that can be used to produce a note or sound–while simultaneously playing a dijeridoo he mastered under the traditional teachings of an Aboriginal elder. The result is a rhythmic polyphony brim full of the outback he grew up in. Before settling down in his adopted home of Seattle (he still gets around a lot), he spent years touring internationally, collaborating with other high-caliber musicians and building up a dedicated following.
Scott Mercado (far left) of Candlebox
Seattle rock group Candlebox has been around since 1990. Since drummer Scott Mercado co-founded the group, it has put out five albums, sold over five million CDs, broken up (2000), reunited (2006) and continued to rock Seattle. As if being a to-the-bone drum aficionado weren’t enough, Mercado also shreds the 128-string hammered dulcimer–a percussive stringed instrument dating back to biblical times. In Mercado’s hands it produces gentle layers of quick, harp-like tones that, while he’s not playing the drums, add a mythical element to Rust on the Rails.
The diversity of talent and singularity of soul this group exhibits is something Seattle needs to know about. Each member has demands elsewhere, making concerts and appearances in Seattle limited. Translation: try to catch a performance by Rust on the Rails. A great start would be checking them out on October 5, alongside Seattle rockers Van Eps. Visit the Triple Door website for access to tickets and additional information.