Just did an Ask Sophie post not too long ago and we gleefully have another. I love these guys. My old pal Bill Coleman comped me one of his CDs (don’t you just love the image on the actual disc…another old pal and drummer of extraordinary Humbodlt bands like The Schmidtheads and Sherri’s Flappin’ Mams (SFM)). It’s been a long time comin’ as Bill promised me this here CD way back when this first came out, whenever that was. I had to create a whole new category to suit the band, “post-folk” (I like that). They remind me a lil’ bit of the Violent Femmes in that they are very strong musicians and have impeccable lyrics, but the punkiness is more implied and there is more emphasis on the folk side of the coin. Super catchy tunes, with uber lyrics…ya just can’t go wrong. About the only criticism I can give has nothing to do with the band, the lyrics should be on an insert or something, as a fella like myself likes to read along to well written songs as they’re sung…but these boys ain’t signed to no big fancy label and probably released this bad boy themselves. If you’re fixin’ to give em a listen, check out their Reverbnation page below…
On their RN page they do have a nice bio…
“Ask Sophie is an Americana/folk band from Washington’s Snoqualmie Valley. Leaning toward songs that tell stories of outlaws, criminals, outcasts, and misfits, Ask Sophie is an acoustic trio that incorporates folk, Americana and old country music into their eclectic style. Although many of their songs do tend to deal with the darker side of humanity, Ask Sophie augments their performances with generous helpings of conversation, humor and political commentary. Snoqualmie Valley music critic Misty Desoto says, “Ask Sophie will make you laugh, and make you cry….then cringe all over. Awesomely amazing band to have a beer and a sit, or wine and a listen, but Whiskey works best. Music that spins a great yarn over the course of an evening.” Based in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains just east of Seattle, the members have roots ranging from Alaska to Utah to Northern California.
Humboldt County native Bil Coleman’s began his musical career in Humboldt County playing bass in the Love Dolls in the early 1980s. Coleman went on to play guitar and bass in numerous punk/new wave, top-40 and country bands over the years, most notably R4*, WattsBaldHead, The Yowling Zygotes and The Cow Persuaders. Even after migrating to the Puget Sound region in 1998, Coleman maintained a musical connection with the North Coast and makes frequent treks back to Humboldt County to play gigs with Brett the Truck and others.
Shortly after relocating to the Snoqualmie Valley, a chance encounter brought Coleman together with Joe Burgener, an accomplished harmonica player. Burgener, who comes from a rich musical family background, earned his chops in Alaska in the early 80’s playing with the likes of Tod “Big Coffee” Chandler and jamming with the Far North’s Johnny Craighead George. Burgener works to fill the haunted spaces of murder ballads and lonely train tracks with cross harp wailing or minor key mystery. With a love for singing Burgener contributes vocals to the poignant Ask Sophie originals and the great but overlooked gems of the past.
Fate once again showed it’s hand when Cal Christensen crossed paths with Ask Sophie where, harkening back to his rough childhood he felt a kinship with the murder ballads, and outlaw characters found in their songs. Former Utah resident Cal Christensen’s passion for percussion had him diving head first into hitting a myriad of objects including the Irish bodhran and bones, the Egyptian dumbeck, the African djembe and djunn djunn, Indian tabla, Peruvian cajon and the modern drum-kit. Christensen’s heavy metal past saw him hit the road with a metal bands headlining shows and opening for the likes of Sanctuary, Savatage, Prong and Danzig. During a jam session with Burgener and Coleman, Christensen forced them at knife point to let him join the group. They quickly bonded over expensive whiskey, cheap beer and a mutual admiration for story telling.
Following the success of two previous tours and the release of their debut CD “Misfortune,” Ask Sophie will embark on their third tour of the western United States in the summer of 2012 to promote their most recent recording. The “Hot as Folk” tour will take them to Washington, Idaho, Montana, Idaho, Utah, California and Oregon. Ask Sophie approaches each musical performance from the philosophy that playing music should be as much fun for the musicians as it is for the audience. “Always a great time, they have the ability to transform a crowd of stone faced wallflowers into a raging room of mad hatters in three songs flat,” according to a recent concert review by The Word.”