I am beginning a new music column that ventures down the dirt covered side road of the musical main highway. It is primarily being written to share insight and info about our flowering local music scene. It will not be wholly based in the Portland sphere, but encompass all of the Northwest. To prove this my first article will showcase Seattle’s Night Beats. I have seen them live a couple times recently and feel they are an up and coming band to take notice of. They are a psychedelic three-piece consisting of guitarist (Lee Blackwell), bassist (Tarek Wegner) and drummer (James Traeger); the guitarist and drummer having relocated to Seattle in 2009, from Austin, Texas, where they met groove artist Tarek.

Their brand of psychedelia is based more in the late sixties pop rock style, then in any of the more recent innovative realms, much like MGMT have done recently with “Congratulations”, except where that is more Syd Barrett era Floyd, Night Beats has more surf rock elements involved in the musical styling. Each musician is really very talented but, as with most rock bands that yearn to stand apart from the multitudes of artists in the genre; it is in the guitarist hands to carry the bands ability to convey the critical elements of their composition to the audience. An up and coming guitar great, Lee Blackwell intertwines surf guitar with psychedelia flawlessly, injecting it with his own brand of cowboy zeal that carries a dessert rose-like atmosphere throughout the venue.

It was hard to find a video that represented their talent. Although you will find many YouTube vids posted, few do their sound justice. However, I was able to find one that I think did. It is a live recording, most new bands that start recording early find it difficult to capture their sound in the studio at first, there are only a few bands that are able to do this successfully from the onset. There is plenty of time for them to work out their studio bugs. Live is the best way to check out new musical endeavors and live is where these boys excel. They tour relentlessly, so check them out if you can.

Night Beats Live