Wednesday, February 21, 2018




“One of the talks of SXSW, Flint Eastwood sounded absolutely incredible.” - Huw Stephens, BBC Radio1

“Musically grandiose and empowering” - Billboard

Flint Eastwood Tour Dates:

* supporting Pvris % with Misterwives ^ with Flor

Wed 02.21 - Providence, RI @ The Strand *

Thu 02.22 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE *

Fri 02.23 - Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues *

Sat 02.24 - Grand Rapids, MI @ Intersection *

Mon 02.26 - St Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall *

Tue 02.27 - Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave/Eagles Club *

Wed 02.28 - Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theatre *

Fri 03.02 - Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre *

Sat 03.03 - Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot *

Mon 03.05 - Seattle, WA @ The Showbox *

Tue 03.06 - Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre *

Wed 03.07 - Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom *

Fri 03.09 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore *

Sat 03.10 - Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues *

Sun 03.11 - Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre *

Tue 03.13 - Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theatre *

Thu 03.15 - San Antonio, TX @ Aztec Theatre *

Wed 4.25 - Tulsa, OK - Cain's Ballroom %

Thu 4.26 - Springfield, MO - The Outland Ballroom

Fri 4.27 - Columbia, MO - The Blue Note %

Sat 4.28 - Madison, WI - Majestic Theatre %

Mon 4.30 - Des Moines, IA - Wooly's %

Tue 5.1 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown %

Thu 5.3 - Dekalb, IL - The House Cafe ^

Tue 5.8 - Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel %

Wed 5.9 - Raleigh, NC - Lincoln Theatre %

Fri 5.11 - Columbus, OH - Newport Music Hall %

Wed 5.16 - Portland, ME - State Theatre %

Fri 5.18 - Baltimore, MD - Rams Head Live %

06.14-17 - Dover, DE @ Firefly Festival

Photo credit: Nicole Shackelford

An Evening With JAKE SHIMABUKURO - Event Review from Seattle, WA 2/19/18

Jake Shimabukuro

Benaroya Hall
Seattle, WA


On Monday the 19th of February, also President's Day in the U.S., the master of the ukulele, Jake Shimabukuro, performed at the prestigious Benaroya Hall in Seattle, WA.  Jake, along side Dave Preston on guitar and vocals and Nolan Verner on bass, arrived to a blistering cold snap by Seattle standards.  But the cold outside couldn't stop the heat inside as the trio performed a two-hour set of music to a very appreciative audience.

Having seen Jake live two times previously, I knew what I was in for, or so I thought.  Any musician like myself recognizes other musical talent when they see/hear it.  It doesn't matter what genre or what instrument, musicians recognize other quality musicians.  Jake has firmly planted himself into a category that is really his to lead in any way he sees fit.  Yes, there are other ukulele players out there but Jake's rise to fame has him squarely in front.  And knowing Jake, after spending some time with him during my interview, he would be the first person to scoff at such a notion.  As an incredibly kind and gracious person, he would never proclaim himself the best or even a master of the ukulele - even if his fan base would say otherwise.  Humble and accommodating to his fans - Jake is where many musicians wish they were - in a position to explore new musical and artistic forms of expression.

At 7:30pm, Dave and Nolan walked out on to the bare Benaroya Hall stage to polite applause.  Moments later Jake walked out to loud applause as the trio prepared to perform.  Having started his solo career in 2001, Jake has a lengthy catalog of releases to pull songs from.  His latest being, "The Nashville Sessions", which came out in 2016, the set list spanned much, if not all, of Jake's career.

The audience was treated to a few new tunes as well from Jake's forthcoming record - due to be released later this year.  The title track (I believe it was titled, "A Great Day" but don't quote me on that) was an extremely melodic composition - one that instantly stood out to me. 

The beauty and challenge of performing in a venue like Benaroya Hall (home to the Seattle Symphony) is that the acoustics are so dialed in, as a musician you have to be on your game, as it will shine a spotlight on any mistakes you make on stage.  There really is nothing to cover up a mistake.  Either you perform at a high level or you don't.  Jake, Dave, and Nolan were spot on the entire night.  There is definitely a musical chemistry between the three of them, Dave being the newest musician to join Jake on tour.  The interplay and improvisation at times was magical to behold.  You can't really manufacture that - it happens when certain musicians work with other musicians.  But, once you find it - whoa - the results are amazing.

Jake spoke between songs politely and humorously at times, engaging himself to the audience as he always does.  From the mixture of unpleasant tones to the untrained ears of, "Tritone" to the visualistic and cinematic sounds of, "Go For Broke" (dedicated to the men and women of the armed forces, particularly those Japanese Americans that fought during WWII), Jake and the guys played each tune effortlessly, like the professionals that they are.

"Piano Forte", a haunting rendition of, "Hallelujah", as well as a lengthy jam on, "Dragon", complete with looping kept the set moving at an enjoyable pace.

Nolan and Dave exited the stage mid set or so to leave Jake to perform a few songs solo - which was reminiscent of his earlier tours when it was always Jake solo.  This was a nice change of focus and it only reinforced just how good Jake is on the ukulele.

Of course there were a few known cover tunes worked into the set including, "Eleanor Rigby" early in the set, "Free Falling", and the main set ender of Jake's arguably most known cover, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". 

The set wasn't over yet as the band returned to perform the (now) audience sing-a-long cover of Queen's, "Bohemian Rhapsody".  One fan near me tried to hit that high note before the meaty metallic Brian May guitar riff kicks in - "meeeeeeeeee" - and failed miserably.  I laughed good naturedly as did others around me, as it was clear everyone was having a great time. This ended the show on a high note as the set truly flew by.  The two hours felt more like an hour - and that my dear readers is always a sign of an amazing event.

This was by far the best of the three performances I had seen from Jake.  Partially due to the set list and the length of the show.  Partially due to the venue as Benaroya Hall is a spectacular venue for a show of this kind.  But most of all due to the musicians on the stage - Jake, with Dave and Nolan, is a keeper.  I am eager and intrigued to see where this trio goes next with their musical endeavors.  Hopefully they continue to work together and create stellar music and performances like we were privileged to witness in Seattle on Monday evening.

Jake Shimabukuro started everyone's week off right in Seattle with his (and his bands) performance.  If you were there, then you're already smiling and nodding your head in agreement with that statement.  If you weren't, then perhaps next time you'll be able to make the show and experience an artist at the top of his game - and still climbing.

Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts


Special Thanks:  Nichole for the credentials - I sincerely appreciate it!  Your professionalism and warm approach to getting everything set up highly reflects on how you handle your business as well as the artists you represent like Jake.  Thank you so much!

Special Thanks:  To Jake, Dave, Nolan, and crew - I have never been more welcomed to cover a show than I was on Monday night.  It was much like experiencing the best customer service you can get at a favorite store.  I was taken aback by your openness, kindness, and all around good natured-ness before the show. 

Welcoming me backstage while I interrupted your meal, offering me food more than once, asking me about myself and showing an interest in why I was there, talking shop about guitarists (who knew Zakk Wylde - who was performing on the same night at the Showbox SoDo - and Dave played together on Zakk's acoustic tour), watching videos snippets of a great guitar player on Jake's phone after the interview was over, etc.  I don't overlook or forget those types of things.  It showed how classy you guys are but more importantly it showed how great you are as people. 

Again, thank you for everything.  Safe travels on the rest of the tour and I hope to catch up with you all the next time you're in Seattle.  All the best!

Eclectic Arts Video Interview with Jake!
(please turn up the volume on your device)

(Click On Any Photo For A Better Quality Image) 

Jake performing LIVE in Seattle!

Friday, February 16, 2018

THE WIND AND THE WAVE Don't Let Seattle Down! Gig Review! 2/13/18

The Wind + The Wave

Haley Johnsen

Rachel Price

The Crocodile

Seattle, WA



It was nearly a year ago when I discovered The Wind + The Wave. I was fortunate enough to cover their headlining show last year at The Tractor in April. Patty Lynn and Dwight Baker (alongside their band of Scott and Nick) made a distinct impression on me as songwriters and performers. I knew that if they ever came back to the Seattle area I would want to cover them again.

Sometimes dreams cannot be denied as the band returned to Seattle, this time at The Crocodile, on Tuesday night. I was really looking forward to seeing them again - round two.

Last year - I was introduced to the music of Allison Pierce and Haley Johnsen. I knew next to nothing about either artist going into the show but - wow - what a bill that turned out to be!

This year Haley Johnsen was on tour again with the band with Rachel Price as the opener. Nebraska born and raised but currently residing in Tennessee, Rachel and her guitarist Ben Flanders took to the stage at 8:30pm for a 30-minute set. Opening with a Michael Jackson cover tune, "The Way You Make Me Feel", Rachel played a solid set of tunes, some of which are on her EP, "Home". Rachel received a warm response from the Seattle crowd.

After a very brief changeover, Haley Johnsen hit the stage. The Portland artist switched between electric and acoustic guitars to accompany herself, just like last year. Her voice was in fine shape. If you haven't heard Haley sing before, do yourself a favor and go check out her tunes. Her voice is simply breathtaking. It was showcased throughout her set but in particularly on, "Feel The Water", the crowd in the Crocodile lessened the chitchat and focused on the talent that was on the stage. Haley's set was also around 30-minutes and re-emphasized what I thought last year - she's going places for sure. Great stuff!

About fifteen minutes after Haley's set, The Wind + The Wave came out to much applause and we were off! On tour supporting their third full-length album, "Human Beings Let You Down", Patty and Dwight played every song off the new album. This is sometimes a risky move, especially considering the album is still very new (and not widely available via digital channels - yet), but every new song I heard last night was either good or great. No kidding. Ten songs in total on the new album, it's a stellar set of tunes.

Of course mixed in were favorites from the second album, "Happiness Is Not A Place" and the debut, "From The Wreckage".

If I compare the performances from last year to this year, I would say that there was a rawness to last year's show that was replaced with a more almost polished presentation of the songs. It could be the venue as well as last year's crowd was rowdier than this years. Or maybe the fans had consumed more alcohol last year. Who knows?

All I know is that last night's event was a showcase of two extremely talented songwriters with a band that is a joy to witness live on stage. Patty and Dwight, along with Scott and Nick, never disappoint. I know there were fans at the show last night that haven't missed them any time they've come to town - as an opening act or as a headliner. After seeing The Wind + The Wave twice now, I certainly know why.

I don't plan on missing them any time they come to Seattle, either. They're that good, that talented, and they never let you down live.

The tour is working its way around the U.S. through the rest of the winter months. Do yourself a favor - when they come to your town, go see them. This is one artist where I can confidently say you absolutely will not - be - disappointed.


Mark Sugiyama

Eclectic Arts

Special Thanks: Morgan for the credentials - I really appreciate it!

(Click On Any Photo For Higher Resolution and Size)

Haley Johnsen

 Rachel Price

SAXON - "Thunderbolt" Review!





I first saw Saxon live in 1983, as special guests of Iron Maiden, here in Seattle, WA. They were touring in support of, "Power & The Glory". To this day that is my favorite Saxon album. I eventually worked my way backward to the earlier catalog and fell in love with, "Wheels Of Steel", "Strong Arm of The Law", and "Denim and Leather".

I saw the band live three additional times in 1984 and 1986. Then they had a long break before returning to Seattle in 2013. They are now coming back in 2018 as special guests on the upcoming Judas Priest tour.

Which brings us to their newest release, "Thunderbolt". Starting off with, "Olympus Rising" - an intro instrumental that sets the stage for the title track. Biff and the boys rage right out of the gate with pure heavy metal thunder.

The next song is a standout to these ears. "The Secret of Flight" reminds me of "747" and "And The Bands Played On" as in it tells a story while providing a melodic but heavy soundtrack. There is no mistaking Paul Quinn's guitar tone as he has a unique sound and style of playing. This should definitely be made into a video/single if it hasn't already.

"Nosferatu" is an interesting departure as it goes into storytelling mode again but with a more symphonic background of instrumentation. There is also a stripped down "raw" version of it at the end of the album. Castles and darkness creep into the musicscape on this tune - it will be a killer when played live!

Most everyone knows the strong connection between Motorhead and Saxon, from their early touring years together. The pairing, while a little odd at the time, proved to be a perfect match as Motorhead's fans embraced Saxon and in many eyes gave them new credibility in their early career. "They Played Rock And Roll" is a tribute to Motorhead, complete with audio snipped of Lemmy during the midsection. A fitting tribute to a massively influential band.

"Predator" is another Saxon barnburner and brings the heaviness to the forefront. It's interesting how Saxon has become a signature band in the heavy metal genre. After taking a departure in the early and mid 90's, they refocused and went back to their roots and have been flying the flag of metal ever since.

The next song, "Sons of Odin" brings us back to "Crusader" era Saxon where history is used as a vehicle for the lyrics.

"Sniper" and "A Wizard's Tale" showcase the band's diversity while still remaining heavy. The last two songs (not including the "raw" version of Nosferatu) are "Speed Merchants" and "Roadies". The former is a bit cliché' in the lyric department but it will get your head banging as does the ladder.

I enjoyed the album front to back. It was great hearing some harmonized lead work from Paul and Doug. I've always been a huge Nigel Glockler fan and he's drumming like a beast. Nibs is holding down the bottom end and will be going wild on stage when the tour hits the U.S.

It's easy to forget that a band like Saxon has been doing this a Hell of a long time. They never got there due here in the States like they deserved. "Thunderbolt" is going to be a fine album to be touring for here in the U.S. I know Saxon are going to make many new fans on their trip across the pond and are going to satiate their hardcore fans like myself. Either way - we all win.


Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Beyond Borders with JESSE COOK! Gig Review from Seattle, WA 2/11/18

Jesse Cook

Neptune Theater

Seattle, WA



Anyone that follows Eclectic Arts knows that I'm a musician. When I go to cover shows I'm always looking at different aspects of the show - including the musicianship. Sunday night at the Neptune Theatre, French born and Canadian residing Jesse Cook showed me just how far you could go as a musician (and then some).

"Beyond Borders" is Jesse's newest release and it perfectly captures the music that was performed on stage last night. Flamenco style guitar with a multitude of World Music influences and instrumentation, Jesse has built his reputation on his impeccable guitar playing as well as his songwriting and composing skills.

Backed by a four-piece band, some of which have been playing alongside Jesse for double-digit years, Jesse came out to loud applause from the Seattle crowd and so began set one.

We were treated to old classics like, "Bombay Slam" and "Incantation" as well as tunes from his newest album.

Chris Church had to pull multiple instrument duty - some of which I can't even pronounce. He must have played at least maybe eight different instruments Sunday night - as well as vocals on a few songs. Amazing!

The multi-ethnic band was just spot on with their performance last night. It was much like watching session musicians rip through a tune with the ease and flair of seasoned musicians. There was absolutely no weak link in this band. I was in awe for the entire show.

There was a 20-minute intermission before set two began. I loved hearing, "Lost" from the new album in a live setting, complete with a beautiful introduction by Nick on guitar. Ditto the single from the album, "Double Dutch", complete with hand clapped looping.

The energy in the crowd definitely reached its apex as Jesse good-naturedly asked if the audience was ready to stand for the rumba party or to sit and listen to some sad, reflective songs. Of course everyone stood up and the party began!

Set two ended with everyone still on their feet - clapping and cheering for Jesse and his band to return.

And return they did to perform two songs - the latter being a crowd favorite cover of, "Fall At Your Feet" - done acoustically from what I could tell (not plugged in). Chris showed off his vocal chops as the lead and sounded stellar.

A fan gave Jesse a bouquet of flowers as he walked off the stage briefly only to return almost immediately.

The night concluded with a third tune that Jesse described as a lullaby. The crowd returned to their seats to hear every note of the song as it closed the evening. Massive applause, a standing ovation, and the band gathered together as they waved goodbye to the audience.

I personally loved the entire performance. The use of multiple instruments, looping, Jesse on percussion, heck I think every member played another instrument at some point in the evening, the positive energy emanating from the stage was infectious.

Jesse Cook and his band were beyond good. They were simply remarkable.

Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Special Thanks: Bari for the credentials - I really appreciate it! Thank you!