Best of bands 2013: White Ash Falls

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      Thanks to his tenures in bands such as Yukon Blonde, Red Cedar, and Twin River, Andy Bishop has logged plenty of time on local stages. Where he truly shines, however, is not as a sideman but as an artist in his own right. With his solo project White Ash Falls, Bishop (backed by a rotating cast of supremely talented friends) makes roots rock so gritty and authentic that just listening to it will put dirt under your fingernails. Watch for a new White Ash Falls album to come out this fall via Light Organ Records.

      Best local release other than yours:
      Fall Paths by Colin Cowan & the Elastic Stars. To be honest, I wasn’t really expecting Colin’s record to sound like that. I think he did a really great job, and it just kind of blew my mind. He’s got a release show coming up pretty soon [at China Cloud on Friday (September 20)]. He’s pressed vinyl and stuff; it looks pretty choice.”

      The year’s best gig:
      “Jonathan Wilson and Tame Impala at the Commodore [on May 27]. It was great. I didn’t know any of Jonathan Wilson’s material, and was kind of blown away. I’d heard a little bit about him. His whole band was great. They just came on-stage and played a flawless set and just totally blew my mind. And of course Tame Impala were amazing.”

      Your house is on fire. What album are you saving?
      “Television’s Marquee Moon. Totally scored a first U.S. pressing at the record fair on Main Street, so I was pretty pumped on that. I’ve been rockin’ it hard. It’s just a great record. A friend had mentioned to me that it’s one of those albums that when you hear it on vinyl it somehow makes a lot more sense than when you heard it before—you know, like in a digital version. I was really excited to get it home and take a listen. I agree with him that it totally took on another character when listening to it on the record player.”

      Chip Wilson’s paying, so where’s dinner?
      “The Acorn up on Main Street [3995 Main]. Great vegetarian restaurant, wonderful cooks. The drinks are really good; great cocktail menu. I always enjoy it. It’s such a good spot.”

      We’re reshooting the video for Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”. Who’s your topless costar?
      “Cody Hiles, the drummer from the Zolas. He’s a dreamboat, that Cody is. We also play together in James Younger’s band. Cody’s a rad dude—a charmer.”

      Let’s make this city more fun by opening a venue. Where?
      “Queen Elizabeth Park. Some kind of sweet amphitheatre on the hill. I’d love to see something cool there. It would be a great spot for a venue—you know, beautiful views all over the city. I’m sure you could find a choice spot in Queen E Park for a nice outdoor stage.”