Pablo Trucker
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Pablo Trucker

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF
Band Rock Americana


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If you're not smokin' with Snoop (Dogg) tonight, we highly recommend you check out Pablo Trucker at The Tractor. - (twitter feed)

Fair warning about @PabloTrucker, you'll have "Last Time" stuck in your head for at least three days after ... not that that's a bad thing. - (twitter feed)

Pablo Trucker led us out of the break with their second set of the day in the auditorium (the first being right before the dinner break) and it was a set that made me embarrassed to call myself a Seattle music blogger, seeing that I’d never written about this band. These guys have been around for over a decade, apparently playing some of the best written country blues rock jams our area has to offer. Recently adding a third member on bass, my favorite local engineer Kory Kruckenberg, they’ve also embarked on an EP project with the goal of recording short sessions in many of Seattle’s artistic spaces. I’m excited to see how that plays out. -

There are some bands that go well with pizza and beer, and there are some that don't. At Piecora's Pizza, this is actually a question. Pablo Trucker is definitely one of those pizza and beer bands--bluesy Americana, straight-ahead nod rock, ample amounts of honesty and lonesomeness - Seattle Weekly

I make no bones about the fact that my inner sad bastard has had a love affair going with Pablo Trucker since about five minutes after I met Seattle. Spending endless mornings before work at Victrola up on 15th for my first few months in town, I caffeinated across the bar from Andrew Rudd -- who I knew only as a raging barista who worked in a music shop. Come to find out, he was a percussionist (and then one-half) of the band Pablo Trucker, who write some of the saddest songs I've ever loved to be slain by. Doppio, swoon, ache. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Cut to two years later, a third band member, and all the other things that have evolved since. We've gone from mornings on the Hill and a spot during Jack Wilson's residency at the Sunset in '08 to local and regional tours (including SXSW this year, among others) and a headlining spot at the Tractor. Which is the point of this post: you can catch Pablo Trucker at the Tractor tonight, doing their stripped-down indie.americana big-guitar ache-rock from a legitimate local stage. 21+, as usual.
For $6.00. Yes, six. Six dollars. Which means if you're anywhere within travel-able distance to the Tractor tonight, you've got no excuse to miss this show.
We'll see you in Ballard!

I believe in Pablo Trucker.

And for what it's worth, so should you.

Watching these guys play is akin to watching super-advanced jazz musicians doing shit that you can't even wrap your head around, except to know it's brilliant, only in a traditional-ish full frontal rock band format. Right. Andrew Rudd (percussion, vocals, espresso) and Brian Wagner (guitar, vocals) play not only this hands-down brand of deconstructed Americana, but they play it with each other and off of each other like old men in a jazz club might do it. It's legit. They coax and wrangle and choke and plead these sounds out of their instruments, and they do it with this seamless, amazing harmony of intensity and language that I've never seen rock musicians do before. It's almost like they're having a conversation with each other via their instruments, even though that sounds pretty hokey. And on top of that, they back it up with gorgeous vocals and sweet, sweet lyrics -- all amidst full throttle percussion and full volume big-bodied electric guitar assault.

This past Thursday, Pablo Trucker got their sad bastard on in a big way, and even added in a (permanent?) bass player to kick things up a notch. They also released their first album, which is a combo of two EPs called Heads Tails (sweet graphic here that you might have to logged into your Facebook to see) that they've put together to form a full length. -

I was unprepared, however, for the unabashed mouth-agape in disbelief that was (is) Pablo Trucker. After some friendly interaction over the espresso machine at Victrola with their percussionist, Andrew, and a quick spin around the MySpace page, I was all in for staying late to see the set.

But beyond that... I feel like I should have worn more layers, or prepared somehow otherwise, for what wound up transpiring. One guitar. One drumkit. Two voices, red spotlights, and enough ache to last all of us well into next year sometime. Beyond that, I don't even have any words for it, except go buy the album the minute it comes out, and go see them live next time you have the chance. Seriously. They're my new favorite everything. -

Quite literally, there is not enough to be said about Pablo Trucker that I haven't already brought up in prior posts -- except for the fact that they're even better than they were last time, which seems near impossible. Their two-man full-force setup managed to simultaneously blow out my eardrums and break my heart in half, with achy lyrics screamed out over a big-bodied electric and the perfect amount of percussion. At one point, the soulful delivery of pure, anguish-infested emoting practically knocked me off my feet. This band is nothing short of an utter triumph, and one to watch for sure. We all stood mouths agape, frequently motioning over the deafening bliss to remind each other that all of this sweetness was coming from two - two - people, who often seemed to share a very consciousness during their extended set. -

This Seattle three piece had rich alt-country vocals mixed with rockin' tunes creating a great live band. It was cool to see the singer throw his body/emotions into his guitar...Even the drummer mixed it up and used some glass bottles as drums plus was able to play a glockenspiel too.

The band managed to play one slow song, a bunch of rockin ones, and a cover by Spokane's very own Power Und Beauty. I would love to see them again. - (Spokane, WA)

...Pablo Trucker, who play more of a melodic vocal blues. Pablo Trucker channels a Counting Crows-type vibe, but harness it into more of a minimalist/ Americana/ Rock. - Seattle Weekly

As anyone who’s ever surfed the vast, often talentless abyss that is music on MySpace can tell you, it’s not cool to answer the “sounds like” question. If you’re in a band, the last thing you want to be caught doing is talking about what you sound like. It’s a no-win inquisition. If a band decides to touch it at all, they best employ coy sarcasm — as in, sounds like: old people screwing.

For the record, Pablo Trucker sounds like: “pulling teeth.” They’re one of the countless bands who seem to prefer not answering the “sounds like” question directly, and will be playing Bob’s Java Jive on Friday, June 13.

One of my favorite activities lately has been going to the MySpace page of Bob’s Java Jive and picking a band from the club’s lineup that I’ve never heard. Then I check them out — via the magic of the Interweb. Bob’s music schedule right now is ridiculously solid. It’s like good bands are literally lining up to play there. There’s just so much amazing stuff plugging in at Bob’s that nearly every weekend promises a show that’s not to miss.

This is how I stumbled upon Pablo Trucker.

“We find it very difficult to characterize what we do,” writes Pablo Trucker on MySpace. “So we ask you to listen. We ask you to come to a show. We invite your descriptions because we would love for our songs to inspire dialogue and conversation.”

Fair enough, I say. How about this, Pablo Trucker:

“I totally dig you. I’m so happy I stumbled upon your spacious and atmospheric heartland rock — thanks to Myspace, Pablo Trucker. I think your guitar work is beautiful, and I don’t use such a left-handed term lightly. I promise. Even though your singer kind of sounds like the dude from Counting Crows on that one song, I think you’re totally cool, at least on the Internet. And the Internet never lies. I think your show at Bob’s Java Jive should be legit.”

Let the discussion start there. And if you’re smart, head down to Bob’s Java Jive this Friday.
Pablo Trucker should deliver another winner. - The Weekly Volcano (Tacoma, WA)


The Gossamer Session



Pablo Trucker (Seattle, WA) is a 3 piece americana/rock band that has a knack for incorporating soulful,
minimalist, garage rock in to their raw, rootsy sound. It's no secret that Seattle has been home to a major revival
in alt-country and americana music in recent years, and although Pablo Trucker crosses in to that territory occasionally, there is much more to the band's sound. Influences range from soul greats like Otis Redding and Bill Withers to indie rock giants Built To Spill and Spoon. Even cult slowcore pioneers Bedhead, as well as American rock kings Neil Young and Tom Petty are significant influences. Band members Brian Wagner (guitar, vocals), Andrew Rudd (drums, vocals) and Kory Kruckenberg (bass) have been working hard to perfect an extremely dynamic live performance that draws audiences in with tense, spacious moments, as well as surprising many with a sound that is often said to be much bigger than just a 3 piece band.

Although bass player Kory Kruckenberg owns a recording studio (VU.recording - J. Tillman, Damien Jurado, The Maldives, Rocky Votolato, Rosie Thomas), Pablo Trucker has taken a different approach to making records. Minimalism is king in these situations. Recording an EP in the early part of 2010, the band decided to not only record a live mix to 4-track cassette (that's right...Tascam 424!), but they also chose to record the session in one evening in a working Seattle art space called The Gossamer Collective. The Gossamer Session EP is the result. Currently working on a full length record, the band once again chose to use a non-traditional approach, spending four days tracking in an airplane hangar on San Juan island, in the Puget Sound. Again, minimalism in recording technique was a big part of the session, recording all basic tracks (drums, bass and guitar) live to an 8-track Tascam reel to reel. No punching in to fix mistakes here...we're leaving them in. What you will hear on this record are live takes of this incredibly tight band playing together in a room, with minimal overdubs added here and there. Pablo Trucker is taking a very old school, even guerrilla style approach to making records, but what you get in the end is the raw sound and feel of a band that plays extremely well together.