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The Bittersweets headlined the Tractor Tavern in Ballard last night. They are touring the west coast (Portland tonight) in support of their latest CD, Goodnight San Francisco, on Compass records. The one time duo of performing songwriters Chris Meyers and Hannah Prater began playing venues in the SF Bay Area in 2004. Their live shows were always well received and they got a lot of radio airplay. They were joined by Steve Bowman (of Counting Crows) and two other performers in a full band for a time and recorded their first full CD, The Life You Always Wanted. The band moved to Nashville two years ago and continued touring as a trio through the recording of this latest CD. Steve needed to depart from the band last fall, and the Bittersweets are again the original core duo. They were wonderfully accompanied on lap steel and harmonica last night by fellow Nashville musician Jason Goforth. Opening for The Bittersweets were two bands I very much enjoyed, local Americana folk group Moe Provencher (great original songs), and new arrival on the Seattle scene, The Ledgendary Oaks (lots of great roots sound and high energy). It just so happened that when I snapped a shot of Oaks lead singer Craig Schoen that he was standing next to a poster of another performing songwriter, Anna Coogan, who happened to be in the audience last night and who joined a few of us for drinks at The Sloop after the show. These things will happen, but I was surprised when I put together these photos to show you that a poster of her would be next to a photo of her :-). The bird in front of Anna is Maverick, a plastic dove that likes its photo taken wherever it travels, sort of like Flat Fred. He belongs to Jason Goforth, who is wishing you "cheers" in the last shot. The Tractor is a local treasure of a venue, featuring great performers in roots, alt, indie, rock, jazz, bluegrass, and country music. I learned that Anna will open for Fred Eaglesmith there on May 21.