Friday, March 11, 2016

First/Last - The Banner Days

"The Banner Days is an old saying that means a time to remember and celebrate. When we started writing together, we immediately clicked. As these songs have taken shape one thing has become clear: This project, this catalog of songs and this experience are going to be something special."

The Banner Days is a soulful folk duo from Seattle, WA who stop in Pittsburgh for the first time on this upcoming Monday evening (3/14) at one of my favorite places to see a show, the extremely hospitable Snake Hill. Touring behind their fantastic record Hand Me a Hymnal, the two are making their Pittsburgh live debut. I want to thank Beth Whitney (Banjo/Vocals) and Bradford Loomis (Guitar/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Beth: It was a single cassette of Skee-Lo "I Wish." I know it by heart.
Bradford: Alice in Chains Dirt. Such a tragic record!

Your last album bought?
Beth: The Wonderlands: Darkness by Jon Foreman.
Bradford: Dori Freeman Still A Child.

Favorite album of all time?
Beth: One Moment More by Mindy Smith.
Bradford: Strict Joy by the Swell Season.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Beth: Ha-ha. Knowing how much work goes into an album, I just can't offer this award to anyone.
Bradford: Beth nailed it. My favorite is when I don't like a record initially and then it just grows on me. Sometimes we just aren’t in a space to truly hear something.

First concert attended?
Beth: Dixie Chicks at the Tacoma Dome. I designed a t-shirt for it that read "Dixie Chick #4".
Bradford: Ha! I took my first real girlfriend to a Janet Jackson concert because Janet was her favorite.

Last concert?
Beth: A local artist named Kate Lynne Logan at The Triple Door in Seattle.
Bradford: Brandi Carlile and the Cousins. So dang good!

Favorite concert ever?
Beth: Tough call! Maybe Brett Dennen. I opened for him at a local cafe and he just took the house down. Ingrid Michaelson is up there too.
Bradford: Easy. The Swell Season. Most amazing dynamics. Such passion!

Least favorite concert?
Beth: I can't really connect when there is an obvious ego present or it feels like noise for the sake of noise.
Bradford: My wife bought me tickets to see Glen Hansard for my birthday, and I ended up getting really sick. So she took a friend instead. So many of my friends posted pictures, video and raved about the show. It was the worst!

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Beth: It's a pretty blank slate! Can't wait to experience it.
Bradford: I have never had the pleasure of experiencing Pittsburgh. This is the first time!

Thanks, Beth and Bradford. So glad you are making a stop in Pittsburgh. The folks at Snake Hill are the best!

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