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I had a friend and colleague in my last office who was a drummer and guitarist in his off hours, and played drums and banjo for Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter in Seattle for a few years and a couple of albums, when he wasn't assessing the acoustic impacts of new highway construction and designing snake fences.

He once let me paw through a box of old discs, he said it was mostly stuff he'd gotten in trade at shows from other bands, and in there were Clare Burson and Brenda Weiler, among others.  I quite liked them both for about the same reason -- I am a fan of straight up female vocalists with spare guitar work; I am reluctant to sling labels since it leads to prejudgement but alt-folkish-rock is probably roughly where these are at.

So I 've been listening to these on and off for more than a year and it finally occured to me to dig around and see what else they had on offer.  They seem to both still be active in "the scene" and I scooped up a somewhat randomly selected album from each off of itunes.  I was bemused to discover they've both got a fairly lengthy backlist and feel fortunate to have found more music to enjoy that I probably never, ever, would have come across if not for Snakeman(TM) and his box of castoffs.  It got me to wondering whether they were any better known in their home country.  I suspect they are all clinging to a regional club audience and ekeing out their craft...  I actually saw JSATSH in Toronto last winter, but I don't think they typically get out of the WA / OR / NOCAL area.

A little Jesse:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4aYDuJKsEs

A little Clare:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjHA2biJC5I

A little Brenda:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LV1SSbrFHVQ&feature=related

Enjoy.

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haardvark

November 2015

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