Ruby Darby highlight park series
June 9, 2008 · Updated 3:05 PM
"They describe their music as Johnny Cash and James Brown get drunk together in Spain.Ruby Darby, an island sextet, hosts a CD release party tonight for their debut album, 130 Pounds of Pep. The show begins at 7 p.m. in Waterfront Park, as part of the city's summer Concerts in the Park series.We feel good about the response that we have received so far, said lead singer/guitarist Don Clifton, of the band's fusion of tango, funky folk and rock n' roll. We have a strong live show that is engaging enough to draw interest to our CD.Named after an Oklahoma showgirl, Ruby Darby was formed two years ago after Don Clifton and brothers Jherick and Korum Bischoff expanded their blues trio by adding three musicians, jamming together a few times and then playing local gigs.They view their music as a co-creative process between the various talents of the six band members. Jherick Bischoff plays bass, Korum Bischoff plays the drums and does vocals, Ward Johnson plays the keys and percussion, Andy Marshall plays fiddle and sing, and Mike Dahl plays the trumpet and the accordion and does vocals as well. Clifton, the most visible member of the band, wrote all of the music and lyrics for the album, with the exception of a cover of Hank Williams' I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry.Ruby Darby began producing their album last September, and have since played shows in the Seattle area as well as on the island. The album was funded by private investors and money that Mike Dahl won on Wheel of Fortune. Clifton said most tracks were recorded on the first take, to reflect the character of the songs and avoid sounding too polished. Apart from playing in the band, Clifton and Korum Bischoff work with students at the Island Music Teachers Guild. Marshall is part of the vocal group Kickshaw, Dahl and Johnson teach high school classes, and both Bischoff brothers attend the University of Washington. The album release party will be held tonight at Waterfront Park from 7-8:30 p.m. Kickshaw will make a guest appearance, and a reception will follow at the Sound Brewery in the Pavilion, giving everyone a chance to buy the band beverages, Clifton said.130 Pounds of Pep is available at Glass Onion and Island Music for $12, and will be sold at tonight's show for $10.Ruby Darby is also scheduled to play at the Bite of Seattle this Saturday, and at the Bainbridge Island Arts Walk on Aug. 6.The plan now is to start playing more shows, get reviewed and get radio play, Clifton said. Fame and fortune is our inevitable downfall."