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Walking Papers

Supergroup to play Jazzbones Friday

WALKING PAPERS: The Seattle buzz band will headline Jazzbones March 29. Press photo

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Tacoma caught of glimpse of the band Walking Papers this past July at the Music & Art in Wright Park festival. Singer/guitarist Jeff Angell (Sedated Souls, Post Stardom Depression, Missionary Position) and drummer Barrett Martin (Skin Yard, Screaming Trees) played their bluesy-rock underneath blue skies to a crowd searching behind the band's stage equipment and around trees. There was a rumor former Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan was to join them, which he had a week earlier in Seattle. Tacoma enjoyed a Duff-less set of soulful guitar rock that day.

Soon, rumors became truth and McKagan was, indeed, in the band, along with Missionary Position keyboardist Benjamin Anderson.

Pure blues rock 'n' roll, executed with the nimble fingers, creative minds and a sixth sense of boys who have been around the block, Walking Papers is headlining a nearly sold out show at Jazzbones Friday. A full European tour follows.

Walking Papers seems to have a lyrical lean toward rock 'n' roll nostalgia and a seasoned view of the world, with advice and hindsight strung throughout with the occasional token bad-luck-with-women story. Paired with a phenomenal combination of instrumental breaks and engaging tempos, WP is a solid representation of the sometimes over-used term "super group."

In a recent interview, McKagan called Angell a hidden talent, puzzled why he hasn't been catapulted into the international limelight.

Who says flattery will get you nowhere?" answers Angell. "Rock and roll may have ruined my life. I never got the sports car or the swimming pool I was promised in Circus magazine. I never got a limousine, a roadie, my black leather mansion or my glass coffee table. Having a musician that I look up to and have admired all my life validate my efforts by saying something like that is my Grammy or my Platinum record. It's my key to the city. It lifts me up and keeps my feet on the ground. What can I say? It softens my calloused heart."

While each has their own spotlight, it's the power combo of members that makes Walking Paper a force. I ask Angell what the creative process is like for the group.

"If I told you I would have to kill you, and that wouldn't be good for my work visa," he replies in a cute, snarky tone. "Let's just pretend that Diane Warren or Desmond Child write all the songs for us and that we are puppets chosen for our amazing abs! Making the music is a lot like the fun of making a baby. Delivering the lyric is much like being in labor." 

While I might argue that last comment, I do believe him when he talks about his love of Jazzbones.

"The thing I like the most about Jazzbones is the people who work there. Especially Dan Rankin and Reed Riley. They don't have to do shows there to make money. They would do just fine as a meat market with a DJ. They have live music because it is important to them and that is why the venue was opened in the first place. It's a Tacoma treasure."

Whether the Jazzbones' show is sold out or not, you'd be wise to visit and buy the band's self-titled album.

JAZZBONES, FRIDAY, MARCH 229, 8 P.M., $15, 2803 SIXTH AVE., TACOMA, 253.396.9169

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