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The sounds of Oly

Olympia music scene a force to be reckoned with

Owner of Rhythm & Rye, Andy Geertsen. File photo

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Why did you move to Olympia? If you ask the Olympian natives this question, you will get a variety of answers. Some people would tell you that they wanted to be closer to the art community. Others will say it's the only place in Washington where you can look at the Puget Sound and the capital building at the same time. However, the most common answer is - the Olympia music scene is a force to be reckoned with.

A huge part of the music scene is Andy Geertsen. Working in bars all over Olympia for the past decade, Andy opened Rhythm and Rye three years ago - the only place to find amazing music and stellar rye whiskey in the same place.

Andy's experience booking music in bars made it really easy for R&R to book bands that pack the house. Everything from local unsung heroes, to Seattle favorites like the Andy Coe Band, becoming a regular at Rhythm and Rye is to understand that no two shows are the same. Even if the same band is playing for the third or 50th time, you will leave with a different beat in your heart.

Another face in the Olympia music scene is a trio by the name of Mudcat! Free flowing, authentic, bluesy, soulful music that makes a statement - much like a catfish in Louisiana when you pull it out of the water. The leader of this trio is a man by the name of Dan McKinstry. Dan is one of those people that you start a conversation with, and you take notes, because you're going to want to reflect on the conversation later.  The guitars you see him playing on stage are instruments he made out of a tree he cut down for firewood.

Geertsen has long been a Mudcat! fan, so much so that Mudcat! plays at R&R at least every two months.  "Dan will finish a three-hour set and play for another three hours just because people showed up."

As for why I love Olympia?  Rhythm & Rye is one of my main reasons.  

Mudcat!, 9 p.m. to midnight, June 3, Rhythm & Rye, 311 Capital Way N., Olympia, $10, 360.705.0760

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