Sioux City Kid gets ready to rock the Trillium Cafe

“Wishing Well” is the first single off of the new record “Minutes, Miles, Troubles & Trials” by Sioux City Kid. The San Francisco Band is fronted by singer Jarred Griffin, and he’s pleasantly surprised with how things are going for his debut record.

“Wishing Well is our first single, and it’s also our new video, which just came out on CMT Edge a week ago; we’re stoked about that. That song came about with a musical side project that I was in with me on guitar, plus upright bass, fiddle. It was a band where I kind of got my ballads out, and this was one of them. Eventually that band disbanded, and I reformatted the song for the rock band, and it kinda became a fan favorite.”

The raucous, road-weary traveler sound of the song has hints of Griffin’s musical upbringing, which included “a sudden obsession” that made him devote all his efforts to being in a band.

“I didn’t really come from a musical family, but music was always around when I was growing up. When I was 17, I just got this bug. I listened to The Who, Neil Young, Dylan, Hank Williams, Howlin’ Wolf, all the blues cats. It became more than ‘Oh, I’m just gonna listen to music in my car,’ it became an obsession. And then, after about a year of being obsessed, I thought maybe I should play music for a living,” Griffin said.

What Griffin created on his new album is not classic rock, but rock infused with a New Orleans vibe, blues and country.

“Yeah, those songs were written over the last two or three years, and there were four or five of them that were written when I was listening to The Band a lot — Levon Helm was a big influence on me. I was also listening to a lot of Joe Cocker. All of that stuff had this country and R&B sound going on.”

Hood River has a chance to catch Sioux City Kid on Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Trillium Café. Fitting a five-piece band in the venue for a late-night set is going to be tricky, but Griffin said he’s looking forward to the gig.

“We’re playing Portland, Seattle and Corvallis, which I’m excited about. I found Hood River by just looking at a map, and friends of mine who have toured up there always talk about it. I saw the town is right on the river, so I’ll love it. I’ve seen pictures of the Trillium online, and it does look very small, and I hear it gets packed. If you like to dance, this is really a show you’ve got to catch,” Griffin said.

The name Sioux City Kid, with its tinge of outlaw connotation, is a band name that grew into Griffin’s consciousness, most likely from films and music that surrounded him growing up.

“I always loved the kind of feeling that surrounds icons like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and all the old blues players like Lighting Hopkins, Mississippi John Hurt and Blind Willie Johnson. All of those names fascinated me, and when it came time to play music, it just didn’t feel right to play under my own name. Sioux City Kid just came up kind of naturally. People seem to enjoy the name; I couldn’t lose it now if I wanted to!”

For several years prior to this band, Griffin was involved in music projects that weren’t creating the kind of above average product that he wanted, in terms of recording. But he’s thankful that his current band is really putting in the effort.

“Well, it was just time to do the record that became ‘Minutes, Miles, Troubles & Trials.’ I wanted to make a career out of this, and all past recordings I had wasn’t anything I was proud of. I wanted a really good calling card.

“We’ve been playing the songs on this album for the last three years, and I was like ‘I should probably get these songs down on a record.’ We went to Coast Recorders in the Belmont District for three days and recorded the nine songs live. This tour is going to be fun, because I’ve essentially got the same band, just a different drummer. Drummers are very hard to hold onto.”

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