Well it’s been nearly 6 months already since this pandemic has dominated our lives. As many know, live music has come to a screeching stop around the world and it’s hard to know when things will return to what they once were. As a band, we had to postpone our March performance at Edmonds Center for the Arts. We are glad to share that the event has been rescheduled to April 16, 2021 and existing ticket sales will be honored (stay tuned for more info in the coming weeks). There is certainly a void out there right now without live music, but as a band, the thing we’ve missed most is just getting together and playing music in general.

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We sometimes think strange thoughts about our heroes. I had pondered that question every once in a while about one of my heroes, Neil Peart, who loomed large as the most important drum teacher in my life. Not in person, of course. But via Rush’s extensive catalog, I – along with tens of thousands of other drummers – grew and learned a vast vocabulary under the tutelage of my “virtual” professor.

Sadly, the question that I had asked myself periodically over the years was answered all too abruptly last week when I learned, along with the rest of the world, that Peart had passed away from brain cancer on January 7 at 67 years young.

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Summers in the pacific northwest are incredible. For a brief window of time, the rain stops and we look around to once again realize that this place is absolutely beautiful. Music is vibrant all over and people love to take it all in before the clouds return. The summer of 2019 was another great one for MSDS and friends. As we reach for our warm coats and stocking hats once again, I felt it was worthwhile to reminisce a few highlights that Miss Sydney and The Downtown Saints had over the past few months:

Miss Sydney & The Downtown Saints at American Brewing Company
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The legendary rock & roll power trio RUSH (L-R: Neal Peart, Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee)

Nine years ago today I wrote a brief Amazon review “Power Windows,” a 1985 gem in the Rush album catalog that I think deserves re-consideration, and has been often maligned. If you’ve never listened to it, give it a listen on a nice summer drive and see if you don’t agree with some of what I share below. Enjoy! – Ben

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Linda Ronstadt performing in Germany back in 1976

Happy Birthday Linda Ronstadt! Born on July 15, 1946, Linda is one of the greatest voices in Rock & Roll. It’s no secret that Linda is a favorite of ours in Miss Sydney & The Downtown Saints, and for good reason – simply put, she did it right! So today on her birthday, we feel it necessary to celebrate with her by recognizing some of the things we appreciate about Linda Ronstadt. So in no particular order, here are 3 reasons to celebrate Linda Ronstadt today.

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Gerald Johnson sharing stories about his career as a bass player on the Dreampath Podcast

It’s no secret that our beloved bass player in Miss Sydney and the Downtown Saints has had an incredible career in music. From starting in The Sweet Inspirations as an opening act for Elvis Presley in Las Vegas followed by a call in the early 70’s to join the Steve Miller Band, to recording an touring for over 50 years with the likes of Dave Mason, The Pointer Sisters, John Fogerty, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and so many more, it almost seems unreal that someone with this kind of resume would be part of our little band here in Edmonds, WA. But that’s the amazing thing about music.

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At 75, Randy Bachman continues to carry the rock & roll torch

Growing up in the small border-town of Lynden, Washington, the concept of rock & roll bands was a bit foreign. Often times  the older kids in my neighborhood would be playing basketball or washing their Ford Mustangs while blasting cassette tapes of bands like The Beach Boys, The Cars, Joan Jett, and Van Halen over their car stereos. While these rock & roll bands provided great soundtracks to our neighborhood excitement, my view of them was more like fictional characters rather than actual human beings. This changed in elementary school when I found out that my classmates’ dad was in one of these “rock & roll bands”.

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