The summer concerts at Seattle Center's Mural Amphitheatre kicked off Friday with a dandy show featuring Shovels & Rope, Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside, Legendary Oaks, and Fly Moon Royalty.

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Concert Review |

Start with a brilliantly sunny day, add four great bands, a beer garden and an overflow crowd, and you’ve got one helluva summer party.

Thousands of music fans gathered Friday on the lawn at the Seattle Center Mural Amphitheatre for the second annual No Depression Night, a collaboration between the Americana website and KEXP-FM.

The concert featured four diverse bands — Shovels & Rope, Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside, Legendary Oaks, and Fly Moon Royalty.

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Shovels & Rope, an Americana duo of Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, was an absolute delight as the evening’s de facto headliner.

Based in Charleston, S.C., the husband and wife sang harmonies and traded places on guitar, drums and harmonica, performing a fusion of rockabilly and gritty American roots music that brought a throng of listeners to the front of the stage.

Hearst’s vocals were raw and raspy, while Trent played guitar with hard-rocking gusto. The set featured songs from the duo’s newly released album, “O’ Be Joyful.”

Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside, a mesmerizing four-piece group from Portland, played an old-timey blend of country, roots-rock, jazz and blues.

Ford’s distinctive vocals recalled torch singers of a bygone era, but it was her brash, lusty rockabilly tunes that really fired up the crowd. A standout was the fiery “Take Down the Devil.”

Legendary Oaks, a Seattle band led by singer-guitarist Craig Schoen, played folk rock, Americana and bluegrass with a powerful punk edge.

Fly Moon Royalty’s Adra Boo and instrumentalist and rapper Action Jackson opened the concert. The band’s blend of R&B, soul and hip-hop was electrifying. Boo’s feisty version of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” was a special treat.

No takes its name from the song “No Depression in Heaven,” recorded by the Carter Family in 1936.

The concert was the kickoff for a free summer music series at the Mural Amphitheatre.

Gene Stout blogs about music at

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