Local Music: Coretta Scott

"It's a long way to the top if you want to rock 'n' roll," and if you're Coretta Scott, you've just caught a glimpse of what AC/DC was talking about. There's no question in my mind that Coretta Scott is one of the five bands in this area from which we can expect great things. They're making a break for the big time in many ways — for example, these guys consistently draw more people to their shows than almost anyone in Spokane. They're easily the most popular band around here since Five Foot Thick.

They have successful tours, not only in the Northwest, but on the West Coast and even nationwide. They've even released an album on Rise Records with Victory records distribution — how many Spokane bands have done that within two years of starting up? And they have the hearts of young girls all over the greater Spokane area. But being the darling band of high school students seems to bring indignation from those scenesters who aren't teenagers anymore and from bands that no longer appeal to 15-year-old girls with studded belts and MySpace accounts. I don't want to hear you complain about Coretta Scott's hair or their chorus-heavy music — you were probably listening to Motley Crue when you were young (and probably still are now).

Everybody's heard that Spokane is always 10 years behind the times culturally, and when we have something even bordering on success, we pick up stones to throw. Well, don't cast the first one, because we can't be trend-setting until we at least catch up to current trends. Bands like Coretta Scott are the target of gossip on spokanebands.com and in music circles all over town. (Hell, I talk shit about them and I like them.) In the local press, it's trendy to be anti-trends. But in the case of Coretta Scott, labeling them "trendy" isn't even close to an insult. Even people who don't like them sing along to their music.

But let's not pomp up their hair too much, though, because they have a long way to go. Former singer Seth Woodard left the band to start another project (Paper Mache), and gave vocal responsibilities to guitarist Josh Albright, who has experience in front of the mic but still faces a big obstacle in keeping fans emotionally involved. Guitarist Preston Thomason is now the sole ax man in the group.

So look at the mountains Coretta Scott has yet to climb: New lineup, critical locals, and a really competitive national music scene. AC/DC was right: "I tell you fools, it's harder than it looks — it's a long way to the top if you wanna rock 'n' roll."

Bill Powers — formerly of the band with our favorite double-entendre name, Mourning After — books gigs at Fat Tuesday's. He's currently looking for a second job, and though he hasn't been in a band since Mourning After, Bill swears he's got something "in the works."