First/Last – The Banner Days

March 11, 2016

“The Banner Days is an old saying that means a time to remember and celebrate. When we started writing together, we immediately clicked. As these songs have taken shape one thing has become clear: This project, this catalog of songs and this experience are going to be something special.”

The Banner Days is a soulful folk duo from Seattle, WA who stop in Pittsburgh for the first time on this upcoming Monday evening (3/14) at one of my favorite places to see a show, the extremely hospitable Snake Hill. Touring behind their fantastic record Hand Me a Hymnal, the two are making their Pittsburgh live debut. I want to thank Beth Whitney (Banjo/Vocals) and Bradford Loomis (Guitar/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • Beth: It was a single cassette of Skee-Lo “I Wish.” I know it by heart.
  • Bradford: Alice in Chains Dirt. Such a tragic record!
  • Your last album bought?
  • Beth: The Wonderlands: Darkness by Jon Foreman.
  • Bradford: Dori Freeman Still A Child.
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • Beth: One Moment More by Mindy Smith.
  • Bradford: Strict Joy by the Swell Season.
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • Beth: Ha-ha. Knowing how much work goes into an album, I just can’t offer this award to anyone.
  • Bradford: Beth nailed it. My favorite is when I don’t like a record initially and then it just grows on me. Sometimes we just aren’t in a space to truly hear something.
  • First concert attended?
  • Beth: Dixie Chicks at the Tacoma Dome. I designed a t-shirt for it that read “Dixie Chick #4”.
  • Bradford: Ha! I took my first real girlfriend to a Janet Jackson concert because Janet was her favorite.
  • Last concert?
  • Beth: A local artist named Kate Lynne Logan at The Triple Door in Seattle.
  • Bradford: Brandi Carlile and the Cousins. So dang good!
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • Beth: Tough call! Maybe Brett Dennen. I opened for him at a local cafe and he just took the house down. Ingrid Michaelson is up there too.
  • Bradford: Easy. The Swell Season. Most amazing dynamics. Such passion!
  • Least favorite concert?
  • Beth: I can’t really connect when there is an obvious ego present or it feels like noise for the sake of noise.
  • Bradford: My wife bought me tickets to see Glen Hansard for my birthday, and I ended up getting really sick. So she took a friend instead. So many of my friends posted pictures, video and raved about the show. It was the worst!
  • Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • Beth: It’s a pretty blank slate! Can’t wait to experience it.
  • Bradford: I have never had the pleasure of experiencing Pittsburgh. This is the first time!

Thanks, Beth and Bradford. So glad you are making a stop in Pittsburgh. The folks at Snake Hill are the best!