About these troublemakers
Purty Mouth, Seattle's camped-up country-tonk combo: a little Haggard, a little Hedwig, a little Hee Haw, a lotta heart. The countrypolitan outfit has been performing in the Seattle area since 2002, their unique take on country and pop music dialed in from an alternate (better) universe where Brokeback Mountain shares equal space alongside John Wayne.
The combo's current lineup includes Lori Ramon (vocals), Mikey Budd (vocals and guitar), Graham Short (vocals and guitar), Walter Harley (bass), and Mark Drake (drums). The Purty Mouth sound features three-part vocal harmony, classic melodic songwriting, musical references to classic honky-tonk, countrypolitan, and rock 'n roll, and lyrics containing gender-bending twists, tongue-in-cheek fun, while still remaining heartfelt and at times emotionally direct.
Purty Mouth has headlined shows at the Tractor Tavern, the High Dive, the Mars Bar, the Conor Byrne Pub, Jules Maes Saloon, the Blue Moon Tavern, Highway 99 Blues Club and the Comet Tavern. As support, Purty Mouth has proved itself as an exotic and entertaining opener for local and national touring acts, including Neko Case, the Hidden Cameras, Momus, the Moondoggies, the Meat Purveyors, Carolyn Mark, El Vez, the Ditty Bops and more.
Local acts sharing bills with Purty Mouth have included Ruby Dee and the Snakehandlers, the Half Brothers, Brent Amaker & the Rodeo, the Rainieros, the 1Uppers, Jo Miller and Her Burly Roughnecks, and many, many more.
Purty Mouth is a regular at local festivals, and supports queer events as often as possible, including the Northwest Bear's Spring Thaw (2005), Seattle Pride (2006), Portland's BearTown MusicJam (2007), Gay & Lesbian Softball World Series block party (2008), and in 2004, at the Freedom to Marry benefit WEDrock, in Washington D.C., where they shared the stage with Henry Rollins, Sandra Bernhardt, Bob Mould, and Hedwig creator John Cameron Mitchell.
From 2007-2010 Purty Mouth had a monthly residency at the Highway 99 Blues Club. In addition to occasionally transforming their monthly nights into special events (with the Heavenly Spies burlesque and drag MCs), the club managers, Ed and Eric Maloney, regularly invited the band to participate and often headline benefits, including those for the Dunshee House, Home Alive and the Rat City Rollergirls.
In 2010 vocalist Alyssa Keene left the band to focus on her many other talents (and impending marriage). Thankfully her lovely vocals and songwriting are featured on their first full-length CD, A Night at the Opry, as a fitting testament to her talent and contribution to the band. Soon joining the ranks was drummer Mark Drake of local Americana combo Thornton Creek.
With Mark safely in the pocket, band leader Graham Short stepping up on vocals to keep the three-party harmony approach intact, and with enough material to easily make another full-length, Purty Mouth shows no signs of discontinuing their colorful campaign of country music inclusivity.