Bumber-shot: Brent Amaker and the Rodeo

Brent Amaker :: by Jason Tang

As was expected from Brent Amaker and the Rodeo’s rain-riddled Labor Day morning Bumbershoot performance, the set was filled with a few theatrics, lots of cowboy twang and a good dose of boot-scootin’ honky-tonk boogie to boot. This made for a great way to start the final day of Bumbershoot.

Entering the stage escorted by the always wonderful Bunny Monroe (who was wearing a pink nurse outfit), Amaker led the Rodeo into musical battle as they blazed through a set filled with old and new material giving a bit of a tease for what’s to come from the group’s latest offering Please Stand By (which is excellent btw).
Rodeo guitarist Tiny Dancer should be given a Medal of Valor or the cowboy equivalent of a Purple Heart or something like that for his triumphant return to the stage. He broke his leg a few months back and BAR’s Bumbershoot set was his first show back with the band. Lesser men may have sat out the session because of such an injury, but Tiny didn’t let a walking cast interfere with his duty to turn the twang up to 11.  Aiding in Tiny’s recovery was Bunny Monroe who tended to Tiny during the set by lighting his cigarette and checking his pulse while he stood up (he was seated for most of the show) to touch his pedals.
If you break BAR down to their simplest form you could say they’re just a bunch of Men in Black putting on a show while playing cowboy tunes. Is it a bit gimmicky? I suppose that depends on who you ask. Is it fun? Hell yes it is. Gimmick or not, the band’s unique approach to music make BAR one of Seattle’s most lively and fun acts to listen to and watch. Like most of my favorite Bumbershoot locals that performed Labor Day (Victor Shade, Lisa Dank) Brent Amaker and the Rodeo are taking risks by doing something that isn’t being done in local music and that’s what makes them so damn good in my book.

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