Michael Harthorne
T IS FOR TRACTOR: The Growers perform at the Tractor Tavern. The popular music venue is celebrating its 15th anniversary this month.

Tractor Tavern turns 15

This month, one of Ballard’s most venerable music venues hits the 15-year mark.

The Tractor Tavern on Ballard Avenue is the kind of venue that seems timeless. It may as well have been around for 30 years.

Its country-western decor belies the fact that over the years, the Tractor has played host to a wide range of the best music the city, and the world, has to offer.

The Drive-By Truckers, John Wesley Harding, the Supersuckers, and Emmylou Harris have all played there. But, so have many young local bands trying to make a name for themselves.

The venue even hosts a twice-monthly square dance.

Dita Vox, lead singer of Seattle band Thee Emergency, said the Tractor always has great shows. And, Mike Jaworski, of the now defunct Cops, said the venue represents Ballard well.

The Tractor will celebrate its 15th anniversary with three shows headlined by local country-rock band the Maldives.

The Seattle Times says the Maldives “create a gripping sound, drifting between alt-country and Crazy Horse-era Neil Young.”

The Stranger says, “The thing about the Osmonds was that they were neither a little bit country nor a little bit rock ‘n’ roll. The Maldives probably never bargained for being mentioned in the same hemisphere as the Osmonds, but here we are. Screw the Osmonds! The Maldives are A LOT country, A LOT rock ‘n’ roll.”

The anniversary celebration kicks off Aug. 27 with North Twin and 17th Chapter opening for the Maldives. The Moondoggies and Zoe Muth & the Lost High Rollers open Aug. 28. The Maldives, Shim, Thee Emergency and Pickwick close out the three-night festivities Aug. 29.

To see a full calendar of live music for Ballard and Fremont, click here.

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