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Foxy Apollo kicks off West Coast tour at Wild Buffalo

Band incorporates pop, jazz, R&B and more

Foxy Apollo are releasing a new album
Foxy Apollo are releasing a new album (Photo courtesy of Scott Starkovich)
By Jesse Stanton CDN Contributor

Sam Ashkenazy formed Foxy Apollo in 2016, when he was still in high school. Originally a trio led by Ashkenzay on guitar and vocals, the band has grown to a six-piece lineup with keyboards and horns.

While the pandemic put a damper on their momentum for a while (their first album, “Sweet Talk,” came out in spring 2020), they have reemerged ready to go even bigger. They are releasing their new album, “Saturated, Faded,” this week, and celebrating with a string of West Coast shows which kick off Friday, May 26 at the Wild Buffalo.

Recorded over the last year at Bellingham’s Champion Street Studios, the new album extends and refines their sound, with dynamic production and catchier tunes than some of their previous work.

There’s something in their music for just about everybody, whether you’re looking for pop melodies, jazz textures, R&B grooves or psychedelic rock twists. Ashkenazy describes it as an album about “seizing opportunities, embracing change and maximizing our limited time on Earth,” which sounds like themes a lot of us can get behind these days. 

The band has taken a bit of time off from performing to focus on recording, so they’re excited to be getting back onstage and sharing the new songs with all their fans. The May 26 show also features Magenta Wave and Madam Monarch, and they are promising to make it memorable with some surprises. They’re also expecting they’ll have some other musical releases, even after the album comes out. 

Speaking of dropping more music right after an album comes out, Willdabeast promised they had lots of cool stuff coming up this year, but I didn’t imagine that would extend to an EP so soon after their album. Their collaboration with producer Woofax, “Watching The World Go By,” is out now on all streaming platforms.

I’m not even going to try to list all the different performances associated with the La Conner Guitar Festival this week, but if you have any interest in hearing jazz, classical, flamenco or fingerstyle guitar, or if you’re in the market for a beautiful hand-crafted instrument, that’s the place to be. Check their website for all the details. 

Jordan Rain, aka Yogoman, has started a Gofundme to reissue his 2003 solo album, “9 Jordan Rain Songs,” on to vinyl. If you only know him from his party-oriented reggae tunes, it’s a fascinating departure, incorporating everything from low-fi folk sounds to sweet harmonies to dub atmospherics. 

We have the Downtown Sounds lineup! Mark your calendars now for Latin funk with Reposado on July 12, Five Alarm Funk on July 19, laid-back R&B with Outer Orbit on July 26, Tom Petty and Fleetwood Mac covers from Petty or Not Aug. 2, and the intricate grooves of Polyrhythmics Aug. 9. Openers will be announced soon. 

Live music listings 

Tuesday, May 16

Archer: 7 p.m., The Piper’s Despair (Irish folk)
Aslan: 8 p.m., Jazz Night
Blue Room: 6 p.m., Open Mic; 8 p.m., Jam:30 (open jam)
Boundary: 6 p.m., Paul Klein on piano
Culture Cafe: 7 p.m., Open Mic
Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Open Mic
Menace: 7 p.m., Invitational Blues Jam

Wednesday, May 17

Boundary: 6 p.m., Aaron Guest on piano
Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Open Mic
Rockfish: 6 p.m., The Singer Tina
Stones Throw: 6 p.m., Tom Sandblom (acoustic covers)
Underground Coffeehouse: 7 p.m., Night of A Capella
Wild Buffalo: 7 p.m., Bellingham Idol (singing competition)

Thursday, May 18

Blue Room: 9 p.m., TorBjorn, Nurries, Bambu, Leafs (electronic)
Boundary: 4 p.m., Robert Sarazin Blake and Jan Peters; 8 p.m., Meg Yates, Louis Ledford (folk)
Brown Lantern: 8:30 p.m., Open Mic
Farmstrong: 6 p.m., Jupiter’s Trail
FireHouse: 6:30 p.m., Bellingham Youth Jazz Band
Lincoln Theatre: 7:30 p.m., Duplessy and The Violins of The World
Littlefield Celtic Center: 7 p.m., Andrew Finn Magill & Alan Murray (traditional Irish)
Thirsty Badger: 7 p.m., Open Mic
That’s What I Like: 6 p.m., J.P. Falcon and Friends (folk/rock)
Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., Pure Halcyon, Sour Fuzz, Collins Beach (rock)
Zeeks: 7 p.m., Tenderpile’s Smile Aisle (jazz)

Friday, May 19

Aslan: 8 p.m., The Problem (jazz)
Beach at Birch Bay: 6 p.m., Chris and Cory
Birdsview: 6 p.m., Lisa Temcov (classic country)
Boundary: 4 p.m., SmallTown Strings, Katie & Kevin (folk)
FireHouse: 4 p.m., Kid’Sax (youth saxophone quartet)
Fireside: 7 p.m., Free Harmony (folk/rock covers)
Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Natalie Paige (singer-songwriter)
Make.Shift: 8 p.m., Passiflora, Red Shift, Proud Failures (punk)
Mount Baker Theatre: 7:30 p.m., Sunny War
Shakedown: 9 p.m., The Schizophonics, Checker Bloom, Smithers (rock)
Skylark’s: 5 p.m., Whitewing Duo (blues/R&B)
Thirsty Badger: 8 p.m., Michael Dayvid
Vault: 7 p.m., Gruv (blues/ jazz/ funk)
Wild Buffalo: 8:45 p.m., VAMPA, The Don, OVRTHNKR, Dr. M.D. (electronic)

Saturday, May 20

Beach at Birch Bay: 4 p.m., Mutiny Bay (hard-rock covers)
Blue Room: 8 p.m., Salami Rose Joe Louis, Sandu Ndu
Birdsview: 6 p.m., Zach Michaud (folk)
Buxton’s: 7 p.m., Bare Feet, The Enthusiasts, Randy Weeks, Jack Mattingly
Conway Muse: 8 p.m., Polly O’Keary and the Rhythm Method (blues/rock)
FireHouse: 6:30 p.m., Jim Buk Tu (alternative rock covers)
Fireside: 4 p.m., Singers’ Saturday
Guemes Island General Store: 6 p.m., Ebb, Slack & Flood (rock/reggae/funk)
Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Jeffrey Slough (singer-songwriter)
Lincoln Theatre: 8 p.m., Heart by Heart (Heart tribute featuring original members)
Make.Shift: 8 p.m., Actress, Rosetan, Justin Harden, Bullets or Balloons (rock)
Rockfish: 7:30 p.m., Pacific Twang (country)
Skagit Cellars: 6 p.m., Andre Feriante (flamenco)
Skylark’s: 5 p.m., Jaeden Luke (singer-songwriter)
Stones Throw: 6 p.m., One Lane Bridge (classic rock)
Underground: 8:30 p.m., Blindfate, Sunset Superman (classic rock covers)
Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., Dan Deacon, Go Slowpoke

Sunday, May 21

Beach at Birch Bay: 3 p.m., Jasmine Greene Band (blues/rock)
Birdsview: 4 p.m., Norman Baker
Brown Lantern: 8:30 p.m., The Clark Point Rounders
FireHouse: 4 p.m., Mark Lewis Quartet (jazz)
Kulshan: 5 p.m., Katie & Kevin (folk)
Main Street: 6 p.m., Open Mic
Old Edison: 5:30 p.m., Ron Bailey & The Tangents (classic rock)
Shakedown: 8 p.m., Kate Clover, Cat Valley, True Stars (rock)

Monday, May 22

Blue Room: 7 p.m., Bellingham Youth Jazz Band
FireHouse: 3:30 p.m., Tracy Spring (singer-songwriter)
Kulshan: 6 p.m., Tenderpile’s Smile Aisle (jazz)

Tuesday, May 23

Archer: 7 p.m., The Piper’s Despair (Irish folk)
Aslan: 8 p.m., Jazz Night
Boundary: 6 p.m., Paul Klein on piano
Culture Cafe: 7 p.m., Open Mic
Horseshoe Cafe: 9 p.m., Michael Dayvid
Menace: 7 p.m.,  Invitational Blues Jam

Wednesday, May 24

FireHouse: 6:30 p.m., Arete Quartet ft. Ari Joshua (jazz)
Jansen Art Center: 7:30 p.m., Jami Templeton and Andy Langham (jazz)

Before heading out to listen to live music, check with individual venues to make sure the event is still taking place as scheduled. 

Jesse Stanton’s music column, The Beat Goes On, runs Tuesdays. Email: or Twitter: @JSBhamMusic.

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