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Best of Olympia 2018: Ethan Tucker

Readers' pick: Best celebrity

Local country musician Ethan Tucker tours extensively each year, but returns to his hometown, Olympia, each year to reconnect with family, friends and fans.   Photo credit: Roxanne Haynes

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Country music isn't what it used to be. The days of nothing but twanging guitars, cowboy hats and dusty boots are far behind us, and they've left plenty of room for genre-blurring, feel-good music. Local country music star Ethan Tucker is all about exploring those musical opportunities, and he's doing it right here in his hometown, Olympia.

"This is my favorite place in the world," Tucker told Weekly Volcano in a phone interview. "I love my fans here."

Tucker, who was born in Olympia and has lived in Washington State on and off his entire life, is currently on tour through the evergreen state. The musician tours regularly, presenting original, roots-inspired music with country and blues undertones.  

"I love touring, but this is my home," said Tucker. "When I'm coming back from a tour, as soon as I cross the Nisqually Valley and I see the water, I feel like I'm home."

Despite Tucker's love for the Pacific Northwest, he's no stranger to performing in other regions. His musical career has led him to touring in at least 16 countries around the world and travelling through at least 45 states in the U.S. He's played with the likes of Jimmy Cliff, Buddy Guy, G-Love, Slightly Stoopid, Michael Franti and The Wailers.

"I love making music and that's what I focus on. I've always loved music. It's just a part of who I am," said Tucker. "I want people to forget about their worries for the few hours they spend at my concerts. I want it to be an escape from whatever they're feeling."

Over the course of his musical career, Tucker has released three full albums and an EP. The 28-year-old musician has also developed a reputation for layering acoustic and electric guitar sounds with his signature, roots-inspired vocals.

Tucker has also working on a new, full-length album, which he hopes to release with Stoopid Records/Controlled Substance Sound Labs later this year.

"I don't have a release date yet ... but I'm hoping to be done by this summer," said Tucker. "It (the album) has similarities to my other albums, since I focus on acoustic guitar and electric guitar. Those (sounds) have always been my focal point, but I've been messing around with more electronic sounds, and I've been incorporating some hip-hop sounds, too. I'm a big fan of hip-hop. It (the album) is still my style of music -- roots music -- but it'll have some hip-hop elements, too."

ETHAN TUCKER, 8 p.m., Friday, March 16, Doyle's Public House, 208 St. Helens, Tacoma, price TBD, 253.272.7468,

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