Band of Certainty is three long-time Seattle friends – Scott is the nearly eccentric songwriter guitar singin’ guy, Tammy, the achingly beautiful pot of vocal honey, and Mike the subtle harmonic musical glue. Together they make music that is oddly beautiful, something distinctly American.
Twist and Sway (Seven Songs), produced by Tom Dyer & Scott, is their first release, recorded over the last year and optimistically released in the height of the killing virus. For their tracking session at Crackle & Pop!, they brought in Seattle bass stalwart Rebecca Young and sharp young drummer Percy Boyle from the delightful DKDC. The magic thing happened.
For the next several months, Mondays, BoC would drive to Dyer’s studio hideaway in Olympia and refine. Olympia’s pedal steel wizard Dan Tyak appeared one night and delivered the beautiful goods. The exquisite Glenn Slater of the Walkabouts never physically appeared but still added exactly the right parts to breathe new direction. They toiled on. Some days it seemed all was lost, but in the end a right path was found. Solid ground.
The 7 Songs of this recording are deeper than most. You might wonder how to correctly gauge the depth of a song. To take that measure, you must count both ideas and chills. Each song on this collection has four unique ideas and one complete set of chills. While it is certain that all reference to German philosophers and Greek paradox have been subtly disguised between the lift of the pedal steel guitar and the poignant vocals of Tammy Madsen, it is hard to ignore that these songs have both purpose and reason. They touch the essence of Humanity.
Scott and Mike have musical history. Chums, they came to Seattle in the early nineties, in the time of grunge, and formed the obscure and under-rated Albert Figures. They were definitely not grunge. As part of this acknowledgement of existence, GMR is re-issuing remastered digital-only versions of their long out of print No Bad Dogs from 1994 as well as their 1992 cassette Paint My House. These are an enjoyment without doubt, but they also stand as comparison to the maturity of their new work.
Band of Certainty is not coming to your town, virus-infected or otherwise, any time soon. There may never be another Band of Certainty release. But there is this. There is the now.