Boise singer-songwriter Marcus Eaton has never been to the Tri-Cities, but that hasn't stopped him from booking a sold-out show at the Roxy Wine Bar in downtown Kennewick on Feb. 26.
Not a big deal if your name is Rob Zombie or Alice Cooper, but when you're from a state where the biggest name in recent years is Josh Ritter, it carries a bit more meaning.
The Pocatello, Idaho-raised musician came as close as The Gorge amphitheater in 2009 for an opening spot on a side stage for the Dave Matthews Band.
"A lot of people told me they were at that show, but didn't see us," Eaton said. "I would tell them, 'If you know where the bathrooms are ... we were playing the bathroom music.' "
But it was there that Eaton met the man who may be his biggest fan, Andr Ranieri of Pasco. It was Ranieri (who also happens to be a former Herald photographer) who helped spread word of the show through numerous messages on Twitter and Facebook.
Eaton will be playing the show solo, without his usual rock band that includes drummer Kevin Rogers and bassist Garrett Sayers. But solo, Eaton gets the chance to use looping technology to fill out his sound.
"The solo show is really cool, Eaton said. "I'm a really strong rhythm guitar player and when I would stop playing the sound just kind of dropped out. With this looping thing it's kind of turned into this really cool sound. And with how intimate the Roxy is, the crowd will really get to experience it."
Roxy holds about 100 people at capacity.
The band will be touring more extensively together in about three months when Eaton's new album comes out. Eaton sometimes gets lumped into the jam band genre because of his association touring with DMB guitarist Tim Reynolds, but he knows when a song is over.
"We're a relatively new band and still trying to find our groove," Eaton said. "But we're trying to find that balance (between playing the song as is or flushing it out). I think the crowd really determines how it's going to go. If they're not responding, I'm on to the next song."
The show at the Roxy starts at 9 p.m. For those who didn't get a ticket, Eaton says he's already at work booking another Tri-City show at a later date.
*On the net: www.marcuseaton.com
*Jeremy Dutton: 582-1525; firstname.lastname@example.org