WEEKEND: Nash's barn dance springs up Saturday
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Phantoms of Soul, an old-time blues band from Seattle, comes to Sequim for Nash’s spring barn dance Saturday night. The band is, from left, Steve Branca, Al Farlow, Nick Morrison, Jack Cook and Andrew Larsen.

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM — A springtime tradition returns this Saturday night with two twists: a brand-new band and an old-time blues outfit.

Nash's spring barn dance and community potluck will start at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Nash's Organic Produce packing shed, 1865 E. Anderson Road, and dancers of all ages are invited.

Tickets to the barn dance are $10, while those 16 and younger get in free.

“Come early and bring a dish to share with your friends and neighbors,” goes the invitation from Patty McManus-Huber, who with her husband, Nash Huber, runs the farm and store in Dungeness.

Then, by around 7:30 p.m., the live music will set in with Good Machine, the local indie-Americana band featuring singer Cole Gibson, bassist Hayden Pomeroy and cellist Taylor Christine Thomas-Price.

Seattle band

The trio will warm up the room for the arrival of Phantoms of Soul, the Seattle band specializing in blues from the 1920s up through the '60s.

“I'm the Phantom,” quipped Jack Cook, the Washington Blues Society Hall of Fame honoree heading up the quintet.

“We do shuffle blues, like 'Dollar in Your Pocket,' and New Orleans rhythm and blues,” Cook said, adding that Phantoms of Soul is a name he chose because he didn't want to feel restricted to a particular type of music.

“I think we're going to go with the set list I've been using for swing dances,” Cook said.

“Depending on which songs go over, we'll go in that direction. I like to play as much variety as possible.”

And yes, Phantoms of Soul is a band with a lot of Washington Blues Society awards under its belt.

But these men — singer-guitarist Cook, drummer and KPLU-FM announcer Nick Morrison, singer-pianist Andrew Larsen, saxophonist and clarinetist Al Farlow, bassist Steve Branca ญญ— make a gumbo of old-time and Louisiana flavors.

“It's not all 12-bar blues,” Cook said, “and it's not what I call beer-commercial blues.”

“I write songs about Seattle, but in the older style,” he added, giving “Meet Me up in Playland” and “I Heard Elliott Bay” as examples.

When asked what he might say to invite people to the barn dance, Cook gave an inspired answer.

“This music, when I play it on the street, you see children start dancing to it. Adults don't, because they're self-conscious. They think, 'Oh, that's some old, corny rhythm.'”

Dance like a kid

But why not shed that attitude, Cook said, and dance like a kid?

“I think the band's fun,” with a repertoire of good old-fashioned songs, he said.

Cort Armstrong, who booked Phantoms of Soul for Saturday's barn dance, couldn't agree more.

“I have had the honor of playing with him and getting to know him over the past decade,” said Armstrong, a singer and guitarist whose bands include Blue Rooster and Farmstrong.

Cook and Phantoms of Soul “will put on a great show,” Armstrong said.

“I'm really pleased to bring him to Dungeness.”

For more details, phone Nash's Farm Store at 360-681-6274.

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Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 02. 2013 5:59PM
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