Sunday, Aug. 27, Bandito Hideout (all-ages); 8:30 p.m., $6: Ruby Dee and the Snakehandlers are a band because, plain and simple, they enjoy each other’s company. "You can hear that we like each-other and that we have been working together for a long time," says Ruby Dee. She writes all the lyrics, but the band writes the songs, she says.
For this roots country, rock-a-billy quintet, the "and" might be the most important part of the band's name. It's not "Ruby Dee or the Snakehandlers." Not "with" or "before" or “better than," it's "and" as it always will be. "We all add something to the mix, and that's important," Dee says.
Dee and the Snakehandlers (Liz Smith, Lewis Warren, Pete Smith and Jorge Harada) are touring in support of their latest release North of Bakersfield. The album was recorded in Seattle's Egg Studios in a live format to try to capture the energy of the band's stage performance. “We're more than just musicians, we put on a performance,” Dee says. They're not just there to be like a jukebox—not just there to play background music and familiar tunes. Dee says she loves to interact with the audience, and if they are dancing, she know she's doing her job.