Citizen John

New residents to Seattle tend to be surprised at the variety, and the diversity, of the music in our clubs and on some radio stations that actually play local music (ahem, cheap plug for the station where I work). I was surprised too when I first got here in the early '90s. In those days, I was young and without real work or responsibility. (Now I spin music for a living and my wife pays all the bills.) I would go to any show any day of the week, provided I could get in. My fake Spokane military ID said I was a 35-year-old air force pilot. This would limit me mostly to Pioneer Square and would also cause me to have to explain to the bouncers that "Yes, pilots do get a lot of 'chicks,'" and "No, we can't go attack Tacoma later tonight." I caught every act imaginable, good and bad. There were reggae cover bands, metal tributes, country, folk, jazz, you name it. While 99 percent of the bands didn't last long enough to get to the "It's time to make a record" phase of their careers or past my "this isn't worth getting drunk for" phase, certain bands developed original sounds and always tried to push the envelope. One of them was Diamond Fist Werny. They mixed both Native American and straight-ahead rock vocals with an electric beat that sometimes had a global tug. I was shocked to find such an amazing band on one of my late-night journeys, and to this day I still can't exactly pin down their sound. With the release of their new album Long View to the Sky (Rudy Records), even more is brought to their ever-expanding table of musical achievement. The new record showcases a host of DJs and musicians remixing old and new DFW tracks, and it even represents what they've done live. As long as this band keeps playing and putting out music I will continue to fight in the skies for this great country of ours.

You can hear Captain John Richards of the United States Air Force every weekday morning from 6-10am on 90.3 FM KCMU or live on the Web at

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