KEXP Ballard Day @ Sunset Tavern: The Black Crabs

photos by Brittney Bush Bollay

The Black Crabs are Jonathan Stuart, Tom Forster Jr., and Kirsten Ballweg, experienced musicians of many flavors. Before initially forming as the backing band for Wanda Jackson, the various members had had diverse musical pasts that ventured down every avenue from 60′s garage rock to swing and rockabilly. Spearheaded by the success of touring with Jackson, the Crabs soon found themselves going steady, much to their delight.

The trio performs an upbeat mix of danceable, roots-laden rock and pop, swirling together surf pop hooks, lo-fi garage energy, and danceable swing rhythms that sound like they’ve jumped right out of the car radio on the way to grab a malt. Before heading out to Ballard to Hood to Hood, the band’s been seen everywhere from KEXP’s Rockabilly Ball, Bumbershoot, Folklife, and the International Beer Festival.

Last night, the Sunset Tavern was transformed into a room full of rockabilly fans eager for The Black Crabs as Shake the Shake with Leon Berman took over from the Afternoon Show during our Ballard Day broadcast. The Crabs’ fiery set had the crowd swinging and hollering for more. Check out the photos here:


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