The Ramblin’ Years
w/ Duke Evers, The Swearengens, and Stefan Paul George and the Vices
Neumos, Seattle, WA

Despite the freezing weather, Neumos brought out the stops for a hot night of local bands in honor of The Ramblin’ Years’ Halfway Somewhere record release. We kicked things off with opener Stefan Paul George and the Vices, who demonstrated a lot of passion in their playing, George himself singing his heart out. The three-piece band’s chemistry was apparent, as each member supported the others on stage, including a surprising saxophone solo during one song.

The Swearengens took it up a notch with their alt-country-rock. Guitarist/vocalist Fredd Luongo showed a lot of confidence on stage while bassist and backing vocalist Kirsten Ballweg demonstrated great harmony with Luongo during their performance. The band appeared to be having a great time together, and Luongo was really generous in jamming on stage with his band mates.

With the recent addition of bassist Dune Butler, Duke Evers is now a three-piece, and their sound filled up the room. They started out with escalating synths and the drummer Kyle Veazey’s supporting hi-hats before the guitarist/vocalist Josh Starkel blazed onto the stage with a leather jacket, a pair of sunglasses, and no shoes. He drew the crowd in with his typical rock star energy, busting dance moves during the bridges of songs, all the better in stocking feet. These guys had the energy of a punk band that can get the entire crowd going till morning.

And then, in front of a maxed out crowd, The Ramblin’ Years brought it all home. Releasing their third record Halfway Somewhere – a three-track EP that features the big band’s rollicking genre-bending harmonies – The Rambling Years were in a jovial mood. With a cameraman lurking in the midst of the band, the 6-piece makes no apologies for their brash and beautiful, good-time tunes. Like vocalist/guitarist Katie Sweeney’s sparkling dress, their stage presence and attitude shined like a glowing gold curtain over the crowd.

Lead singer/guitarist Sean Clavere led this group through their niche of poppy melodies and crisp Americana, while Daniel Dunn not only played the sax, he also provided the extra touch to the live performances with his tambourine and rap. Their music was an interesting blend of country and rock, with a cheerful attitude throughout. Their set was well received, and they came back with a couple of encore songs to end the night with a satisfying thank you to their fans.

Review by Kai-Yao Lan
Photos by Matthew Harrington

The Ramblin’ Years

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