Last night I had probably one of the most surreal experiences of my life. I have been following a man on facebook who caught my attention both because of his look and sound. Growing up in the 70's & 80's through today (Am I really grown up yet?) Seattle has always had a great music scene and I can even remember listing to some of my mother's old 45's from the 50's and 60s with bands like "The fabulous wailers", "The Ventures" and "Paul Revere and the Raiders"... She had many others, but it always seemed these were the ones I latched on to before I even began to understand the significance of the Great Northwest contributions to music. As I got older, I started listening to some of the other NW greats, like Queensryche and on through the 80's and 90's with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice In Chains. Since these bands, I haven't been too enthusiastic about the local music scene. I thought maybe this had to do with my aging and tastes changing or just the style changing, but I now realize that true talent is not dead, it was just lurking in the shadows waiting to be discovered.
I found Rane Stone and Klover Jane after hearing about them on the radio on KISW and started to check them out on facebook. I like many styles of music and many singers, but my husband is the picky one and has pretty much one type of music he likes and a few favorites that he really likes and follows. Like me, he thinks the local music scene felt as if it had just turned to cover bands and top 40 or some gawd awful "Hip Hop Club Mix Autotune no real talent needed" sounds ( I am not calling it music). We are too old (and married) to want to hang with the ravers and booty shakers. We love the sound of raw, real rock. I decided to take my chances with Rane Stone and drag my husband out to an unknown venue in Woodinville last night for an acoustic show of unknown quality and see if I could get him interested and excited about something new.
We saw the link on facebook for an event promoted by Mad Mike Presents at The Cookhouse in Woodinville. I was not sure about this venue as:
A. I have never heard of the place.
B. We drove by the location an didn't see it at 13330 NE 175th St Woodinville, WA 98072 from the street and didn't see any signs.
C. Google gave me results such as it was closed, it was nicknamed "the crackhouse" and virtually no reviews on any of the restaurant sites.
We decided to drive up early try to find it , have a drink and see what the flavor was like before going back later for the show. We entered by the Shuck's /O'Reilly autoparts off 175th and drove to the strip mall in the back as this is where Google Maps pointed me. BUT...wait, there is the address...but it is not The Cookhouse? It says Indian Palace? But there is the promo poster in the window. We decided to drive around back and check it out. The cookhouse is located in back of the Indian Palace and it is very small (Max capacity is 70) . It really appears to be a dive, but upon entering, the staff was very friendly and best of all, the drinks were poured well and they were inexpensive. ($3.25 wells). It was very small, but we were not totally discouraged and decided we would take our chances and come back later. We arrived early for the show and saw Mad Mike and Rane Stone getting ready for the show.
Mad Mike looks a lot like the kind of sleezy guy you might expect as a music promoter (big sideburns, fancy shoes and a big talker), but looks can be decieving. He is one of the nicest guys I have ever met. We had communicated via Facebook prior the the show to verify that it would be wheelchair accessible. He made sure we had a spot reserved just for us and made sure we were cool the entire night. The staff also looked out for us all night and kept the drinks coming. (Well, ok they forgot a couple times, but they were busier than they expected to be, and we got those drinks on the house.).
We started off with dinner and since my hubby is the picky eater, he had chicken strips and fries off the standard bar fare american menu (they serve breakfast all day if you look for that sort of thing, which I do on occasion) . I chose to order off the Indian menu as The Cookhouse used to be part of a bigger restaurant. It was bought out to become the Indian Palace, but the customers were used to The Cookhouse and so the back half of the building (the bar) remained untouched, thus both menus.
The Butter Chicken was some of the best I have ever had. Mildly sweet and spicy, smooth texture and mouthwatering taste. The Pulao Rice was cooked perfect and you can never go wrong with garlic naan to soak up the extra sauce. I give the food, the drinks and staff all 5 stars.
The surreal part of the night was meeting a soon to be Seattle legend of the music scene. Yes, Rane, you don't know it yet (though I know you dream it) but I think you will be known and respected in the local industry with the likes of the late Layne Staley, the late Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder and Mike Mcready, and Chris Cornell . You have the pipes and the personality to carry you far. Tragic as it may be, there are some good lessons to be learned from living the lifestyle like Staley and Cobain, and I hope you can keep your head above the muck and continue to be yourself.
Rane Stone is an amazing performer, especially for a very small venue, which lent itself well to the acuoustic set up last night. He is involved with his own solo acoustic show, with guitar back up by an amazing J.T. Phillips, as well as the local band Klover Jane, an Alice in Chains cover band called Jar of Flies, and a project with Michael Wilton of Queensryche called Wratchet head. His voice has a quality seldom heard these days and I love the fact you can listen loud and still understand the lyrics. This made it easy to start singing along with his original songs as well.
My husband told me the last time he had that much fun was the night of our wedding! I think I might be a little jealous of Rane now, but it was all worth it and we are already looking at future dates, such as April 15th at the Liquid Lime in Kirkland, April 29th at Hard Rock Seattle and May 28th at Louie G's in Fife (which will be an all ages event and has some of the best pizza south of Seattle!).
If you want to hear some good local rock, have a good time with a fun band and just get out for the night, check out Rane Stone and Klover Jane at one of these venues. The future is yet to be seen for this powerhouse man with amazing gift of voice, guitar and songwriting, but I will be happy to say that I was there in the beginning and hoping that just a few of you who read this look him up, buy some songs or go to a show! Support our local musicians; it is what makes Seattle bearable during our long winters and pouring rain!