Thursday, June 29, 2017 This Week's Paper

Brent Amaker and the Rodeo

// “Please Stand By”

Seattle-based Brent Amaker and the Rodeo keep the dusty old days of the American West alive and well in the new millennium with their upcoming release of "Please Stand By."

The echoingly deep voice of Brent Amaker takes the lead on the record that is a modern-day spin on classic, old school Western sounds of the heartbroken, drunk, wayward styles of the likes of cowboys Johnny Cash and Hank Williams.

Amaker is joined by Steve "Tiny Dancer" Davis, lead guitar; Ben Strehle, guitar; Sugar McGuinn on bass; and Bryan Crawford on drums on the band's third CD that debuts Oct. 19.

The quintet continues in their mission on "Please Stand By," delivering a dusty, bumping concoction of twisted twang interwoven into Amaker's narratives of women, whiskey and the wild ways of the Rodeo.

Renowned for their image, style and stage presence as much as their recorded sound, the Rodeo has created an international following during the last three years of touring in support of their first two releases: the self-titled debut "Brent Amaker and the Rodeo" and "Howdy Do!"

The Rodeo's live performances deliver the classic, simplistic country-western sounds of the mid-century with over-the-top stage spectacles the likes of glam rockers David Bowie and Devo.

Standout tracks on "Please Stand Bye" include the mariachi-infused homage to America "USA," and the largely instrumental "Johnny's Theme" that opens the record and introduces the album. Complete with hoots, hollers, whistles and yells, this foot-tapping number sets the feel for the record as its overture, showcasing each musician's individual prowess and style before Amaker's bellowing vocals take the reins. Even while singing about impending doom, bloody hands and broken hearts in a handful of songs, the Rodeo manages to keep an upbeat, optimistic feel going in their recorded music and affirming the often tongue-in-cheek, fun-loving side of the band that becomes undeniably apparent during their live acts.

Brent Amaker and the Rodeo will be performing at the Bumbershoot Music Festival Labor Day weekend in Seattle before kicking off another national tour in support of  "Please Stand By." Check them out at 11:45 a.m. Sept. 6 at the Starbucks Stage. For more information on the band and other upcoming shows, visit