Islanders can listen to live music and wear out their dancing shoes this week with a trio of almost-end-of-summer shows that run the groove gamut from folk and country to reggae to a hit parade of classic pop, rock and soul. Two of the shows are scheduled back-to-back on Friday, so of course, The Beachcomber suggests going to both and making it an all-night boogie. You can sleep late on Saturday morning.
The Sarah Jane Scouten Band
First up on the docket is The Sarah Jane Scouten Band, playing a free outdoor show at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, at Ober Park. It’s the fourth installment of the annual Vashon Concerts in the Park series, presented by Vashon Events and the Vashon Park District.
Scouten, a Canadian touring artist, grew up steeped in a tradition of American country and folk music expressed by other maple leaf practitioners of the genre, including Hank Snow, Stan Rogers and Willie P. Bennett. One of Scouten’s first memories, a press release stated, was sitting at the dining room table singing Bennet’s song, “Lace and Pretty Flowers.” Another childhood inspiration was Hank Williams Sr. Now, she is an internationally touring songwriter with an intensity and spirit that is sometimes compared to the likes of Lucinda Williams, Nanci Griffiths and Iris Dement. Her work, according to concert promoter Pete Welch, often spills over in modern themes that are outspoken and edgy. Still, she is a traditionalist at heart, with a signature flair for the roots and branches of American music.
The Van Redeker Band Summer Dance Party
A dance-number infused show by the Van Redeker Band will kick off at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24, at the Land Trust Building. Band members include Daryl Redeker, a well-known island musician who has forged a career as a guitarist, composer and music teacher. He’s released nine albums with his sister Renee, and opened and shared the stage with such talents as Phoebe Snow, Cheech and Chong, John Denver and The New Riders of the Purple Safe. On Vashon, he has frequently performed solo and with “RedPerl,” his duo act with violinist Sarah Perlman. The band’s drummer is Dodd Johnson, a seasoned percussionist, originally from the Gopher State, who has been dubbed by his fellow band members as the “Minnesota Metronome.” A married couple, Sara and Sam Van Fleet, round out the group. Sara, the band’s bassist, has played music since childhood, but her husband Sam only decided to start playing music eight years ago, at the age of 52, after decades of work in photography, dance and other arts endeavors. “It’s easily the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it has been worth every single thing I’ve put into it,” Sam said. “I’m in awe that I’m in a band with this much musical talent.”
Sam sings three-part harmony with Sara and Redeker in the band, and will play harmonica. Recently, he has also started to compose music, and he plays the guitar as well. On Friday, the band will play Redeker originals along with classics by The Beatles, Bonnie Raitt, Joni Mitchell and The Staple Singers, with half of the proceeds from a $5 cover fee going to the The Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust.
The Land Trust Building has lots of room for dancers, and Sam said he hopes they turn out in droves and cut a rug during the show.
“There are so many good dancers on the island,” he said. “It makes the shows better. We can’t get enough of it.”
Subconscious Population at the Red Bike
Longtime islanders need no introduction to Subconscious Population, a psychedelic groove, funk and reggae band that has rocked local music fans for decades. But more recent arrivals should be informed that the band’s perpetually youthful-looking, hirsute frontman, Ron Hook, has achieved legendary status on Vashon, and that a free, summertime show by Sub Pop is sure to attract a multigenerational horde of barefoot dancers who have never stopped living the high times of whatever year they happened to come of age. Expect songs like Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” and Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower” along with funkified original tunes by Hook. And dancing. Lots of dancing. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24, at the Red Bicycle Bistro & Sushi, and is for all ages until 11 p.m., and 21 and older after that.