The Tallboys

By Adam McKinney

You may be forgiven for, after hearing that a band calls themselves the Tallboys, envisioning a field of littered cheap beer empties after an ill-advised rager. In actuality, the Tallboys aren’t quite that rowdy. Oh, sure, the Tallboys want you to have a good time, and I’d hazard a guess that they’ve tipped back more than their share of Rainiers in their days, but their primary focus is to get you up and moving. They’ve even got their guitarist, Charmaine Slaven, on hand to call dances and get the crowd on their feet.

The Tallboys don’t just get the party started – they are the party.

This being the case, it’s hard to imagine a better setting for them than the opening night dance party for the Oly Old Time Festival. Slaven, joined by Joe Fulton on fiddle and John Hurd on bass, craft an atmosphere that evokes careless afternoons drifting into rip-roaring nights. Drawing from a well of early country, old time, and blues, the Tallboys are all about coming together in tightly constructed, delirious jams. Though we may only be soon emerging from the spare nights of winter, this band feels like the sweet kiss of a cool cocktail at the end of a humid day.

On releases like 2013’s Fresh Daily, the Seattle-based Tallboys take infectious glee in inhabiting the time and place of old time music, spinning yarns about jilted lovers, backroads hooch-peddlers, inebriated gunfights, and remembrances of the bygone past. With propulsively strummed strings and a deeply felt sense of texture and attitude, the music of the Tallboys practically barrels by with a wild momentum. If you’re planning on making a movie involving a barroom brawl – with a surplus of beer bottles being shattered – may we humbly suggest the Tallboys for your soundtrack?


The Tallboys


7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14


South Bay Grange

3918 Sleater Kinney Rd NE, Olympia, WA 98506


$25 For Thursday Kick-Off Dance


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