Western Centuries to Bring Country-Rock to Helsinki Hudson
Seattle-based country-rock outfit Western Centuries will bring its Americana sounds to Club Helsinki Hudson on Friday, April 3, at 9pm. The group boasts a refreshing sound that draws as easily from modern R&B as it does George Jones. The concert coincides with the release of the group's newest album, "Call the Captain."
Seattle is best known for giving the world grunge-rock, but apparently some musicians there are equally influenced by American roots music, country, and rock 'n' roll. Comprised of Seattle-based country musician Cahalen Morrison, jam band veteran Jim Miller (co-founder of Donna the Buffalo), R&B and bluegrass-by-way-of-punk rock songwriter Ethan Lawton, pedal steel player Rusty Blake, and bassist Dan Lowinger, Western Centuries combines all its members' influences and styles into an original take on American roots-rock.
With upbeat, barroom dance numbers, lilting, introspective tunes of heartbreak, and everything in between, Western Centuries strike an oft-strived-for but rarely achieved balance between genre-busting experimentation and thoughtful continuity.
Like the group's model, The Band, Western Centuries boasts three different songwriters and lead vocalists (Morrison, Miller, and Lawton); the result is a sound that deftly defies neat categorization. Yet the group's sound doesn't come off as scattered. Instead, it feels like the natural confluence of the band's wide-ranging influences, laced together by the interconnected histories of the musical styles at its foundation, and by its writers' commitments to imaginative songwriting. There's ample pedal steel, backporch fiddling, and plenty of country Telecaster twang, but Western Centuries elevate neo-traditional two-stepping tunes into transcendental, rootsy rock 'n roll pieces.