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Petty or Not bring classic hits to big stages

Tight-knit group plays Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac songs

Bellingham's Petty or Not have two big shows coming up. On Oct. 7
Tribute band Petty or Not is performing on March 23 at Mount Baker Theatre. (Photo courtesy of Jimmy Smithson)
By Jesse Stanton CDN Contributor

Since forming in 2017, Bellingham’s Petty or Not have rapidly become the biggest drawing act in the area, packing enthusiastic fans in for shows at Downtown Sounds, the Mount Baker Theatre or even Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville for their expertly executed renditions of songs by Tom Petty and Fleetwood Mac. 

They have two more big shows coming up. On Oct. 7, they’re at the Lincoln Theatre, and at the Wild Buffalo Oct. 28 for a Halloween bash. As of Sept. 28, tickets were still available for both shows, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they sell out soon, so make your plans now. 

At their shows, the group is fond of pointing out they are not there to copy Petty’s music perfectly, but to celebrate it in their own way. They’re not afraid to tackle some of his lesser-known songs, or to find ways of putting their own spin on the material. 

In an unusual feat for such an in-demand band, the group makes it a policy only to play with their full seven-piece lineup; never any substitutes.

photo  Petty or Not makes it a policy only to play with their full seven-piece lineup; never any substitutes. (Photo courtesy of Kenneth Kearney)  

Vocals are handled by Stephanie Walbon, singer/guitarist Craig Jewell, and singer/guitarist/keyboardist Aaron Guest. Jeff Ballew and Kevin Chryst are the rhythmic foundation on bass and drums, and Michael Iris and Jeremy Elliott handle the lead guitars. You might well recognize some of them from other top local groups, like Baby Cakes, Polecat, or Acorn Project. They were already a tight-knit group of friends even before they formed a band, and that chemistry comes through on stage.

Both of the upcoming shows will be special in their own ways. The one at the Lincoln is their Mount Vernon debut and will be “an evening with,” meaning two longer sets and no opener. For the show at the Wild Buffalo, they’ll be rocking band Halloween costumes with a Ted Lasso theme. Audience members are encouraged to come in costumes of their choice. (I will just add: If no one does the Mad Hatter costume from the “Don’t Come Around Here No More” video, I’ll be disappointed.) 

The band is hinting at even more big shows on the very near horizon, so keep an eye out for whatever they come up with next.

The Unknowns have a new EP out. “Uninvited” is a delightful five-song collection that shows off some cool soul and tango influences in addition to the band’s usual jazz/pop/folk mix and superb three-part harmonies. Don’t let their ironic naming fool you; you’re going to want to invite this band in and get to know them. 

We’ve also got a pair of big metal releases coming up soon. Dryland have “Weekend In The Swamp” coming out Oct. 27, and have launched a Kickstarter to make it possible for it to get pressed to vinyl. Melancholia have partnered with Philadelphia’s Brutal Panda Records to release their new album, “Book of Ruination,” on Nov. 3. The two bands will celebrate with a joint album release party at the Shakedown on Oct. 27. 

Bellingham’s own Estrus Records blazed a ferocious trail through the worldwide garage, surf and trash rock scenes of the ’90s and beyond, releasing albums by bands such as the Mummies, Man or Astro-Man? and the Mono Men, and hosting the annual Garage Shock festival. They were also known for their distinctive house visual style, spearheaded by graphic designer Art Chantry. A new coffee-table book entitled “Estrus: Shovelin the Sh!t Since ’87” by writer Chris Alpert Coyle and designer Scott Suguishi, celebrates the label’s legacy. 

They will be kicking off their book tour at The Cabin Tavern at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, an event that will also feature Chantry and label head/Mono Men frontman Dave Crider. 

Finally, if you love going to shows and want to get paid to help make them happen, Make.Shift is looking to hire an event manager who would be responsible for running shows in their all-ages venue. Sounds like a great opportunity for a dedicated music fan. 


Elevator Club
7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3, Ramble Tamble
Ramble Tamble, the new bar on State Street in the old Rogue Hero space, features a Tuesday hip-hop night called the Elevator Club, organized by Mostafa. Every week features a special guest and this Tuesday, Oct. 3, that will be hyper-creative rapper The Rhetorician, so it should make for a special night. 

Lucas Warford
7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, Honey Moon
Three for Silver frontman Lucas Warford brings his distinctive “cabaret folk” sound to the Honey Moon for an intimate show the night of Saturday, Oct. 7. Expect growling vocals, stomping acoustic rhythms and lyrics exploring the dark side of Americana. 

Wynton Marsalis
4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, Mount Baker Theatre
Jazz legend Wynton Marsalis is at the Mount Baker Theatre on Sunday, Oct. 8, leading the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra through a program called “Beyond Black Codes,” which revisits compositions from some of his classic small-group albums in big-band arrangements. 

photo  “Beyond Black Codes” brings jazz great Wynton Marsalis to Bellingham for a Sunday, Oct. 8 performance at the Mount Baker Theatre. (Photo courtesy of Lawrence Sumulong)  


Tuesday, Sept. 26

  • Aslan: 8 p.m., Jazz Night
  • Blue Room: 8 p.m., Jam:30 (open jam night)
  • Boundary: 3 p.m., Out of the Ashes; 6 p.m., Paul Klein on piano
  • Culture Cafe: 7 p.m., Open Mic
  • Menace: 7 p.m., Invitational Blues Jam
  • Ramble Tamble: 9 p.m., The Elevator Club ft. Ca$h McClane (hip-hop)
  • Ranch Room: 9 p.m., Michael Dayvid

Wednesday, Sept. 27

  • Bar Cicotti: 6 p.m., Mark Hunter & Julian Macdonough (jazz)
  • Blue Room: 9 p.m., JoWe, Addee, Silk Jammies
  • Boundary: 6 p.m., Aaron Guest on piano, Gallowglass in the beer garden
  • FireHouse: 7 p.m., Cory Woods Quintet with Steve Davis (jazz)
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Open Mic
  • Rockfish: 6 p.m., Fidalgo Swing (jazz)
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m., Free Harmony

Thursday, Sept. 28

  • Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., High Peak Trio
  • Blue Room: 9 p.m., Black Ends, Beautiful Freaks, Smithers (rock)
  • Boundary: 5 p.m., Robert Sarazin Blake and the Happy Hour Band; 8 p.m., Ivy Ficarra, Sunflecks
  • Brown Lantern: 8:30 p.m., Open Mic
  • Farmstrong: 6:30 p.m., Chill DeVille
  • Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Dmitri Metheny Quintet ft. Holly Pyle
  • Gruff: 8 p.m., Tenderpile’s Smile Aisle
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Bluegrass Jam
  • Make.Shift: 8 p.m., Impulse Noise, Mem//Brane, Slaghive, Dulzura (metal/hardcore)
  • Shakedown: 8:30 p.m., Creative Differences, Foxy Apollo, Lint (rock)
  • Thirsty Badger: 7 p.m., Open Mic
  • Wild Buffalo: Miles Harris & The Deep Cuts, Atomic Affair, The Problem
  • Zeeks: 7 p.m., J.P. Falcon

Friday, Sept. 29

  • Beach at Birch Bay: 6 p.m. Little Big Band (classic/Southern rock)
  • Birdsview: 6 p.m., Matney Cook (folk)
  • Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., Thomas Harris Quartet (jazz)
  • Blue Room: 9 p.m., Magenta Wave, Madam Monarch, Madrona (rock)
  • Boundary: 6 p.m. Legendary Chucklenuts (classic rock)
  • Eagle Haven: 7 p.m., Free Harmony (classic folk rock)
  • Farmstrong: 6 p.m., Savanna & Ireland Woods
  • Fireside: 7 p.m., Fritz & The Freeloaders (acoustic rock covers)
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Serafima & The Shakedowns, Sunflecks, Branson Anderson
  • Red Square (WWU): 5 p.m., The Black Tones, Instant Crush, Pure Halcyon (rock)
  • Rockfish: 7:30 p.m., Dmitri Matheny Group
  • Shakedown: 9 p.m., Secret Emchy Society (country)
  • Skagit County Fairgrounds: Bigfoot Fest featuring Olson Bros, King Youngblood, Fortress of the Bear, more
  • Skylark’s: 8 p.m., Tenderpile’s Smile Aisle (jazz)
  • Vault: 7 p.m., Veronica North (folk)

Saturday, Sept. 30

  • Beach at Birch Bay: 3 p.m., Jim Buk Tu
  • Birdsview: 6 p.m., Mike Spine and Barbara Luna
  • Blue Abode: 8 p.m., The Problem (jazz)
  • Boundary: 6 p.m., Sleepy Alligators (Grateful Dead tribute)
  • Brown Lantern: 9 p.m., Tenderpile’s Smile Aisle (jazz)
  • Conway Muse: 8 p.m., The Walrus (classic rock)
  • Eagle Haven: 6 p.m., County Rose (country)
  • Fireside 4 p.m., Singers’ Saturday
  • Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Quickdraw String Band
  • Guemes Island General Store: 6:30 p.m., GrooveBot (funk/R&B)
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., 3/4 Street Band (Americana)
  • Littlefield Celtic Center: 7 p.m., Fred Morrison (Celtic)
  • Rockfish: 7:30 p.m., The Atlantics
  • Shakedown: 9 p.m., Teddy Bear Orchestra, Kurly Somthing (experimental/multimedia)
  • Skagit Cellars: 6 p.m., Ryan Higgins
  • Skagit County Fairgrounds: Bigfoot Fest featuring SYLKROAD, Coaster, Lion of Judah, more
  • Station 49: 3 p.m., J.P. Falcon Band
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m., Flattery (Celtic)
  • Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., The Halluci Nation (electronic)
  • Zeeks: 7:30 p.m., Motown Cruisers

Sunday, Oct. 1

  • Birdsview: 4 p.m., Jake Rozier & Bailey Allen Baker
  • Kulshan: 5 p.m., Bison Socks (Celtic/folk)
  • Main Street: 6 p.m., Open Mic
  • Mount Baker Theatre: 3 p.m., Bellingham Symphony Orchestra
  • New Prospect Theatre: 4 p.m., Salty Siblings Harvest Hootennany ft. Hot Damn Scandal, Clam Slam Jammers, more
  • Old Edison: 5:30 p.m., Alice Wallace and the Pickers
  • Paws for a Beer: 2 p.m., Michael Dayvid
  • Shakedown: 8:30 p.m., Restless Spirit, Witch Ripper, Swamp Lantern (metal)
  • Station 49: 2 p.m., Zach Michaud
  • Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., Hamdi (electronic)

Monday, Oct. 2

  • Blue Room: 8 p.m., Kevin Woods & Bill Anschell (jazz)
  • FireHouse: 3:30 p.m., Cheryl Hodge & Jan Peters (jazz/blues)
  • Kulshan: 6 p.m., Cape Flattery (Americana)

Tuesday, Oct. 3

  • Aslan: 8 p.m., Jazz Night
  • Blue Room: 8 p.m., Jam:30 (open jam night)
  • 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
  • Ramble Tamble: 9 p.m., The Elevator Club ft. The Rhetorician  (hip-hop)
  • Shakedown: 8 p.m., Willi Carlisle, Rachel Baiman (folk/country/Americana)
  • Wild Buffalo: 8 p.m., Everclear (alternative rock)
  • Zeeks: 6 p.m., Open Mic

Wednesday, Oct. 4

  • Blue Room: 8 p.m., Rootz Within, Skablins, Jeremy A (reggae)
  • Birdsview: 5 p.m., Max Minardi
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Open Mic
  • Rockfish: 6 p.m., Trish Hatley (jazz/standards)
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m. Simon Llewelyn Evans (folk)

Thursday, Oct. 5

  • Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., High Peak Trio (jazz/funk)
  • Blue Room: 8 p.m., Hip-Hop Open Mic
  • Brown Lantern: 8:30 p.m., Open Mic
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Jazz Jam
  • Thirsty Badger: 7 p.m., Open Mic
  • That’s What I Like: 6 p.m., J.P. Falcon and Friends (folk/rock)
  • Outback Farm (WWU): 5 p.m., Floodlights and Fools, Kazmyn, Lemon Bear, Girl Parallel, Kai Sage
  • Zeeks: 7 p.m., TBA

Friday, Oct. 6

  • Admiralty Lounge: 7:30 p.m., Lindsay Street (Celtic)
  • Aslan: 8 p.m. BJ Block Trio (jazz/funk)
  • Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., Thomas Harris Quartet (jazz)
  • Blue Room: 8 p.m., Chiddy Bang (hip-hop)
  • El Capitan’s: 7 p.m., Open Mic
  • Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., North Country Highway (country/rock)
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Karyn Ann, Stephanie Strange (indie folk)
  • Shakedown: 8:30 p.m., Boxcutter, Potbelly, Land of Wolves (punk)
  • Skagit Cellars: 6 p.m., Ben Starner
  • Skylark’s: 8 p.m., Lisa Temcov (classic country)
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m., High Mountain String Band (bluegrass)
  • Vault: 7 p.m., Adrian Clark
  • Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., Minnesota, Ceilla (electronic)
  • WinkWink: 7 p.m., Pure Halcyon, The Hobby (rock)

Saturday, Oct. 7

  • Birdsview: 6 p.m., Rosahlee
  • Conway Muse: 8 p.m., Joe Cook Blues Band
  • Eagle Haven: 6 p.m., Billy Appleton Band
  • Fireside 4 p.m., Singers’ Saturday
  • Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Delta Promenade (acoustic blues)
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Lucas Warford (cabaret folk)
  • Lincoln Theatre: 7 p.m., Petty or Not
  • Main Street: 8 p.m., Sunset Superman (classic rock)
  • Mount Baker Theatre: Main Stage 7:30 p.m., Jesse Cook (flamenco); Walton Theatre, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., Ruth Moody Band (folk/bluegrass singer formerly of The Wailin’ Jennys)
  • Ramble Tamble: 7 p.m., Will Rainier & The Pines, True Stars
  • Rockfish: 7:30 p.m., Red House (blues)
  • Shakedown: 9 p.m., PaperHeart, Anti-Shock (alt-rock covers)
  • Skylark’s: 8 p.m., Will Byrne (acoustic covers)
  • Station 49: 3 p.m., Jack Benson Band (classic rock)
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m., One Lane Bridge
  • Underground: 7 p.m., Bubba Sparxxx & GT Garza (hip-hop)
  • Wild Buffalo: 8:30 p.m., Sam Lachow (hip-hop)

Sunday, Oct. 8

  • Kulshan: 5 p.m., The Devillies (Celtic/folk)
  • Main Street: 6 p.m., Open Mic
  • Mount Baker Theatre: 4 p.m., Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis
  • Old Edison: 5:30 p.m., Pacific Twang (country)
  • Shakedown: 8 p.m., John R. Miller, William Matheny (country/folk)
  • Station 49: 2 p.m., Sandy Rowe

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

The Beat Goes On is published online Tuesdays and in print Fridays. Email: or Twitter: @JSBhamMusic.

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