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The Sheehan World
Vol. 24, No. 2 2018 © Media Synergy, Inc.
     

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More music than ever in Bellingham

Threefer a musical trioMusic is everywhere in Bellingham, WA. The number of bands in the City of Subdued Excitement has grown exponentially in the last few years, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the musical offshoots of the Walrus, Bellingham's rockin' sea mammals.

One of the Northwest's — and Sheehan World publisher Kathy Sheehan's — favorite bands, the Walrus has been energizing clubs, parties, weddings, and concert venues since 1995. The five seasoned professionals just can't get enough of the Beatles, Queen, Aretha Franklin and other artists that they cover with vocally rich and intricate arrangements. That's why each Walrus band member has joined up with other Bellingham-area musicians to form duos, trios and other new musical acts that perform original music as well as cover tunes.

Chuck Dingee, a co-founder of the Walrus and the newly mustachioed technical editor of the Sheehan World, is one of the most prolific music makers from the Walrus. He has been playing as a solo artist and in duos, trios and larger groups for close to five decades. For hosting open mics in Bellingham for nearly 20 years, entertainment writer Carey Ross has dubbed him "everyone's favorite fanny-packing, perpetually friendly, open-mic maestro."

His most recent musical incarnations, when not booked with the Walrus, include Threefer, CSC and Voxy.

Threefer Isn't Really Madness

Threefer is a sweet blend of outstanding harmonies from all three players, Chuck, Katie Weed and Sharon Mayson, combined with the rhythm and syncopation of guitar, violin, mandolin and vibraslap.

While Chuck and Sharon's vocals are forefront in Threefer, Katie's violin, guitar and mandolin playing adds color and mischievous improvisation to her bandmates' tight harmonies.

Threefer mostly play covers, but the trio has original songs in its repertoire as well.

In only its first year of performing together, Threefer has delighted audiences throughout the Bellingham area in 2018 and has quickly attracted a local following in Bellingham music circles.

Two Plus Two Equals CSC

The new trio, CSCAnother musical trio co-founded by Chuck and Sharon includes keyboard player Carr Johnson in a Carr-Sharon-Chuck mashup known as CSC. This new trio (pictured at left) excels at three-part harmonies, with the melodious Sharon adding percussion to her vocals, Carr on piano, harmonica and guitar and Chuck varying his singing and guitar playing with flute solos.

Chuck frequently plays separately with Carr and Sharon as a duo, and it was only a matter of time that these three lifelong musicians would join together as one to form CSC.

CSC is frequently on the stage at Kombucha Town's Culture Cafe in Bellingham where they rock the crowd with favorites such as Don McLean's "American Pie" and "Vincent" and classics from the 1960s and '70s, songs enjoyed by audiences of all ages.

Voxy Has Two Walruses and Sharon in the Middle

But what if Katie and Carr, who play in a few other bands themselves, are both booked on a night that a club wants a trio? Proving once again that they are not mic hoggers, Chuck and Sharon recruited Walrus co-founder Jamie Shea for yet another trio, Voxy. Debuting in mid 2018, Voxy takes three-part harmonies to yet another level.

Jamie plays keyboard for Voxy, as she does for the Walrus and her two other bands, the Holmes Shea Band and Pacific Twang. The songster trio of Jamie, Sharon and Chuck is just starting to get around the Bellingham scene to perform an eclectic mix of folk, country and classic rock.

Chuck says the best way to learn where the Walrus or one of his new trios are playing is to sign up for the Walrus e-mail list.

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