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royalroomIt’s late January in the Seattle suburbs and I’m sitting here with sunshine streaming in through the OPEN WINDOWS in my home office.  Wuhh??  Yep, it’s a whopping and unheard of 63 degrees F right now (just over 17C)…normally we’d be in a grey and windy rainy mess right now.  We’ll take the sunshine any day!  And warmth!  And any opportunity to get windows open here in the townhouse for some fresh air…ahhh, love it.

Meanwhile I am over the moon about a fantastic live music place I’ve been enjoying immensely over the last few months – The Royal Room, in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood, just a bit south of downtown Seattle.  A 15 minute light rail ride from downtown (and a quick 2-block walk) brings you here…to one of THE most diverse zip codes in the country, so they say. That zip code is 98118 if anyone wants to look it up.   Columbia City brings a wonderfully eclectic mix of restaurants, shops and bars.  No chains here save for one Starbucks.  That’s by design, I’m sure.

The Royal Room opened in December 2011 and is a lot different from most live music clubs around here.  First of all, there’s typically no cover charge.  Sure, there’s a two drink minimum, but the musicians are paid based on your donations of your choosing.  The stage and sound system are state of the art, yet there’s a fantastic old school vibe about it right when you step inside.

And when you step inside its warm and intimate setting, be ready for anything in the live music realm.  It could be a high school jazz band with their first big gig out in public.  Or Swedish techno pop with synthesizers.  Or a jazz trio (piano/bass/drums).  Funk (Earth, Wind and Fire anyone??).  Last night it was gypsy jazz in celebration of what would have been Jean “Django Reinhardt’s 105th birthday.  Never had heard of him to be honest, but by the time the night was over I was hooked.  I truly felt transformed back to the 1930s, what was Django’s heyday.  The musicians were dressed in character…and how awesome to see a lot of people dressed for dancing (nice dresses, suits, hats, dancing shoes)…doing everything from waltz to jitterbug.  I’m ready to sign up for lessons!