This morning I headed for the train with Seattle wrapped in a low early morning cloud that swallowed the tops of the tallest skyscrapers. I’ve spent three days here, doing the tourist thing until I’ve pretty much had enough of that. Ticking off boxes – Wednesday was the Pike Market and Aquarium, both crammed with cameras and kids. On Thursday I visited the Art Museum and the EMP museum where I gazed at Kurt Cobain’s old op-shop cardigan and the mangled remains of one of Jimi Hendrix’s ill-fated Stratocasters. Yesterday it was the Museum of Flight with its JFK-era Air Force One, the Blackbird bomber and a bit of the moon in a glass case. Seattle takes pride in its aerospace industry – the Boeing factory has been an economic mainstay here for decades and the 747, which was the first plane able to cross the Pacific in a single leap and thus ushered in the era of global air travel, was designed and built here.
But as a teenager of the grunge years, Seattle means music to me and so last night I went looking for the rock and roll soul of this fabled town. I was torn between the Felice Brothers at Tractor and Dale Watson at the Sunset Tavern – accordion-shaking folk revivalists vs Telecaster-slinging country traditionalist. Forced to choose I went for the Felice bros but while the support act was playing I thought I’d wander down the street to see if Dale had started yet and if I could poke my nose in to check it out. I couldn’t believe it when just three doors down the street this poster caught the corner of my eye:
Delaney Davidson, a friend from Lyttleton was right there and had just started playing! What were the chances? So in I went and watched the first half of Delaney’s set before heading back to see the Felice brothers. Both shows were top-notch and complemented each other perfectly, I was lucky to see them concurrently just a few bars apart.
Anyway once the Felice brothers were done I headed back across to have a chat with Delaney and as a result I’ve now headed down to this little town Silverton outside of Portland and have just filmed his show there tonight. Delaney’s just finishing his set outside as I write. Lowlight of the day was the “hamburger” I was served on the train. Highlight was driving along an American country highway for the first time on a stunning Oregon day, watching grain fields and old barns go by out the window.