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Jimmi Davies records with The Sonics

"Bad Betty" is being released exclusively for Record Store Day

Olympia rocker Jimmi Davies, left, records with The Sonics. Photo credit: Steve Stav

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Jimmi Davies is a coppersmith, motor head, artist and friendly face around Olympia. But perhaps he is best known for his music - with Oly legends The Dirty Birds and his latest project, Resident Kings.

But did you know the singer/saxophonist has a relationship with Tacoma's long-standing garage rock originals, The Sonics?

From performing together on stage at The Capitol Theater, to Davies' hand on the engineering board when The Sonics played with Mudhoney, the group has taken a liking to a man who has looked up to them since he was a boy, inviting him to play harmonica on a track on an upcoming album.

But that's not all. Davies tells me he and a few other musicians were approached by The Sonics to submit a song for possible release. The song Davies submitted, "Bad Betty," was written for his wife.

"It's sort of in the vein of what I've done for so many years," he said. "I like to write songs about subversives and hot rods and stuff like that, so I decided to write a song about my wife, Audrey. It's about Bad Betty on her Bonneville." Bonneville is her motorcycle, her Triumph.

"Bad Betty" is being released exclusively for Record Store Day (Saturday, April 19) as a split 7" with Mudhoney's "I Like It Small."

"They accepted my song and surprised me with an email," Davies said. "Until that point, I didn't really know if it was going to happen."

The Sonics/Davies relationship started back in 2010, when The Dirty Birds opened for The Sonics at a New Year's Eve party. Davies was invited to play "The Witch" on stage with his idol of 25 years, saxophonist Rob Lind.

"I think the obvious connection is the tenor sax," Davies said. "I've really tried to - consciously and subconsciously I think - to emulate Rob's sax style. When we got the opportunity to open for them, that's when we clicked. To be invited to go on stage and play was just astounding. Then Rob and I stayed in contact."

It was worth it. Davies reflects on time spent in Soundhouse Studio, playing harmonica for the classic blues song "Leaving Here," set to be released on The Sonics upcoming album.

"It was all very exciting. They stuck me out in the recording room and said ‘let it roll.' They called me ‘One-Take-Jimmi'," Davies laughed. "The studio was another big surprise, and really, really cool to be a part of - that was the icing on the cake."

The Sonics are about to embark on tour and are shopping around for a label. Weekly Volcano will keep you posted on the new album, and be sure to check out their website,


Record Store Day: Your opportunity to declare your love for music

Q&A: The Sonics' Rob Lind discusses working with Jimmi Davies and their split 7-inch with Mudhoney

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